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Building Voyager (part 2 of 2)

by Matthew Zinno, Staff Writer

13th November 2013


Tuvok I already had my outline for the DQ Federation deck before getting my affiliation officially assigned.  It started with a "Crew Quarters: Voyager" backbone, i.e. all the main characters from the series.  Kathryn Janeway, Tuvok, Tom Paris, Harry Kim, The Doctor, and U.S.S. Voyager itself, all in Federation blue. Chakotay, B'Elanna Torres, Kes, Neelix, and Seven of Nine, all dual-affiliation but counting as Federation for my assigned affiliation.  

As discussed before, Voyager would be seeded at Caretaker's Array, and Home Away From Home would seed on the ship also, meaning that I wanted plenty of other [Fed] [Stf] personnel who would play for free. One was certainly Marika, bringing the other triplets along. I looked first at others with lots of skills, picking Icheb (6 skills), Tabor (5, but qualifies for Ancestral Vision), Samantha Wildman (with two downloads, including Naomi Wildman who would also be useful in a Voyager deck), Stadi (with a RANGE boost), and Lon Suder (who could also help in case personnel battle became useful). There were two others with 4 skills, whom I did not include: Vorik, one of whose skills is the not-very-useful Mindmeld, so in a sense he doesn't really bring 4 whole skills to the table; and Chell, whose skills are all useful, just rather redundant after also including all the mains. I also added Rudolph Ransom, with his 6 skills and command star -- worth spending a card play on. Weiss is another high-skilled personnel with a command star, and he can be gotten without a card play by using Holodeck Door -- as can The Doctor, so I included two. I also wanted jumpstart personnel, for Assign Mission Specialists and Assign Support Personnel. Looking over the available support personnel, William Telfer seemed to have the most useful skills. And seeing that I was a bit light on SECURITY so far, I chose Ayala and Angelo Tassoni for mission specialists. I would also use Defend Homeworld and Quark's Isolinear Rods in my jumpstart, but they would be targeting personnel I'd already chosen: Defend Homeworld could get Tuvok, Tabor, or Lansor, depending on what I needed; Quark's Isolinear Rods could similarly choose between Seven of Nine or B'Elanna Torres.  

Delta Flyer I also wanted to have more than one ship available to me; with one ship you're vulnerable to battle and other ship effects (both damage and lingering dilemmas like Ankari "Spirits"), plus multiple ships can extend your RANGE by using daisy-chain tactics. I put in all the [Fed] ships: U.S.S. Equinox, U.S.S. Dauntless, and the Delta Flyer; plus the only outpost that they can report to, the Nekrit Supply Depot. This facility represented my last non-Federation card allowed, after the triplets P'Chan and Lansor

With my personnel possibly set, I looked at my skill coverage with respect to wall dilemmas. I try to always make sure that any deck I build is capable of passing any wall in the game; I don't like being locked out of a mission by something I could easily have prepared for. Plenty of OFFICERs, ENGINEERs, females, and Computer Skill. 2 Geology (to pass Seismic Quake after one gets stopped or killed), check. 2 Treachery (for Q Gets the Point et al.), check -- even Federation Treachery for In the Pale Moonlight. Good Diplomacy, and even a Law. The hard one was Executive Authorization: DQ decks which pass this with personnel often use either Arachnia, The President of Earth, or someone TMW'd from the Alpha Quadrant ... but I had locked myself out of that avenue with my choice of the three off-color cards I was already using. So I needed to include a PADD for this one; fortunately, Samantha Wildman could download one. SCIENCE turned out to be my most common classification of the ones which can benefit from non-Kit equipment, so I chose the Engineering PADD. I also added the Medical Tricorder for her to alternately download, since it would help me against Founder Secret and because I was a little light on MEDICAL. Both of those equipment went in the Tent, since the plan was for them to only be downloaded. But I realized it might potentially be useful to get both, so I also included a Q's Tent in the deck, to grab whichever one Sam didn't download.

I don't always do this, but I also tried putting the deck through the lackskillz executable that comes with Lackey, which is designed around the recommended skills list that was posted at the (now-defunct) 1elives.com site. This showed me a few things about my distribution that it told me were problematic. I had what it thought were too many CIVILIANs and Youth ... but I knew I wasn't going to cut any of those people (Kes, Naomi, P'Chan, Icheb, Neelix, Harry, and Tabor); they all had good reasons to be there. It also told me that I had "too many" Biology and Stellar Cartography ... and I did indeed have someone in both of those lists I could cut, the support personnel William Telfer. I had thought his skills would be worthwhile additions, but I hadn't noticed yet just how many of my other personnel had those. So with a second look at available support personnel, I switched him to Mariah Henley

Lackskillz also identified two lacks in my skills. It thought I should have a second Law, after Tuvok. That was going to be hard, with it being on no other [Fed] personnel. There are some [NA] that have it, but fitting them in would mean reworking something else I'd already decided on. I decided to just leave this alone, and ignore the warning. Tuvok's backup for Implication would have to be the many diplomats I had in the deck. Similarly, lackskillz pointed out that I had no Greed (which I think it found important because its designer worried about Chula: the Game). Yeah right, none of that in [Fed] at all. It's true that I could have tossed in a Reflection Therapy to account for these, but with my Treachery/Honor balance, and it costing a card play, it might not work very well. I decided that just leaving it out was more likely to be worthwhile. 

Missions

Liberation With that done, I looked into mission selection.  I limited myself to Delta Quadrant missions, as these would clearly be the easiest to reach, and this would be perfectly safe to do since You Are A Monument would not be seen.  I kept in mind that I counted on facing other opponents in the Delta Quadrant during this tournament.  There were certainly 3 other opponents out of 12 who were assigned affiliations that I could count on to play in the Delta Quadrant (Kazon, Hirogen, and Vidiian), and two others with good chances (Non-Aligned and Borg).  Plus, if I was right in my earlier assessment of the relative strengths of the quadrants in this format, then the Delta Quadrant affiliations would be more successful, and would face each other in the later rounds.  On top of this, I was counting on everyone in the Delta Quadrant using some Non-Aligned personnel as at least a few of their off-color cards.  As a result, I wanted to avoid any missions that are stealable under the OTF rules, and therefore stick to unique missions under 40 points.  

Liberation was a given, since I needed it in order to seed Caretaker's Array. I also needed a Nekrit Region mission in order to seed the Nekrit Supply Depot; since there are only two and one is universal, that meant I also needed to use Assist Cooperative. (Fortunately, two of my personnel have the icon which gives a bonus there, and both could be in play early due to my jumpstart cards.) My personnel had good skills to tackle Answer Distress Signal (with a few holograms to possibly give its bonus) and Study Interment Site. They also had good coverage for Study Protonebula, but I nixed that because it would likely be duplicated by other Delta-jumpstart opponents. Other missions were solvable, just not with as much skill coverage as I would like. A lot of Delta Quadrant missions require Physics, and I was one short of having as good coverage there as I had for the other missions. (I had five Physics in the deck already, but wanted one more.) So what to do, but add one more Physics personnel? Marla Gilmore looked like a good candidate, with not only Physics but Transporter Skill (making it easier to solve Liberation, in case I actually worried about that one), plus a bonus to the RANGE of the Equinox (which did also have Rudy and Angelo). With the addition of that Physics, I looked again at the Physics missions and saw that my coverage was best for Reinitialize Warp Reaction and Repair Null Space Catapult

Delta Quadrant Danger

I expected to face other Delta Quadrant decks ... and several of those are known to favor ship battle. I don't plan to start battles, but I thought it would be prudent to include a Battle Bridge side deck, along with some defensive tactics. I selected one each of several varieties, to also qualify for the "Varying Tactics" achievement. Another opponent tactic I planned for is one exclusive to the Borg. Still a powerful card today after the release of several virtual sets, Harness Particle 010 was still new at the end of the 1E Decipher days, and I suspected that the Borg player in the tournament might choose to build a deck based on it. One of the counters for this Borg strategy is to battle them, preventing them from probing for that objective before the countdown expires on the Omega Particle. I opted to try a different counter, rather than sacrifice ships against the side of a Borg cube. When the Borg player activates Harness Particle 010, that downloads Omega Particle ... which will let me download Omega Directive, which can nullify the particle just like in the show. It might turn out to not be effective enough, but it will be interesting to try.  

Referee cards

Tribunal of Q is unavailable in this format, so I seeded two copies of Q the Referee in hopes that that would give me sufficient access to defensive cards I'd need during the game. In the draw deck I put Villagers with Torches, to punish redshirting; Containment Field, in case of a download-heavy opponent; Obelisk of Masaka (and Masaka Transformations), to slow down ship swarms and in case I needed a mulligan draw; In the Zone, to guard against victory theft; Reactor Overload, to slow down the Cardassian opponent who was guaranteed to be in the tournament somewhere; and another copy of Q the Referee. These could all be played for free, or cycled away to replace the card draws which got them into my hand. In my Q's Tent I also placed Mirror Image, in case of an opponent heavy in Kivas Fajo: Collector, or something else similarly useful; The Juggler, in case of probe rigging (especially from Borg), and Oof!, in memory of another Talos game where Ken Tufts had beaten me with Fightin' Words. Although I had put in the largely affiliation-specific Reactor Overload, I passed on White Deprivation, on the judgement that it just didn't impact its target as much. A Dominion opponent will have Ketracel White, and in the absence of the Ref card will simply get less careful about where the equipment goes; a Cardassian opponent who finds he can Process Ore with doubled efficiency will take a larger card advantage.

Seeds

U.S.S. Voyager Achieving the vaunted Delta Quadrant engines (both draw and play) occupied a lot of my seed slots. As mentioned earlier, I seed Caretaker's Array (1) at Liberation, with U.S.S. Voyager (2) and Home Away From Home (3). The ship would also download Blue Alert and a Bio-Neural Gel Pack during the seed phase, but those don't count against my allotted 30 seed cards. I have a Nekrit Supply Depot (4) where I can report additional ships. Several cards download personnel early for a jumpstart: Assign Mission Specialists (5), Assign Support Personnel (6), Defend Homeworld (7), and Quark's Isolinear Rods (8). For a draw engine, I used the Delta-effective Ancestral Vision (9). Two seeds for my side decks, Q's Tent (10) and Battle Bridge Door (11). And two copies of Q the Referee for defensive coverage (12, 13). That left 17 seed slots for dilemmas and the like. 

Dilemmas

For dilemmas, I opted to chase an achievement: "Balancing Act", where you don't use dual (space/planet) dilemmas. That notion alone limits the flexibility of a seeding strategy. Using only space and planet dilemmas means I'm locked into how many dilemmas are underneath the opponent's space and planet missions; if they have less balance (typically a 4/2 split), then one type will be left with a large average number under each mission, but the other type will have a very small average. So, to give myself some added flexibility, I found some room in my seed cards for something which also obstructs mission attempts, and can go at either planet or space, but isn't a dual dilemma (and so doesn't count against the achievement): Kobayashi Maru Scenario. (Q-Flash and The Nexus would also meet that description, but I find Kobayashi to have much more bang for the seed slot.) In fact, I made room for three copies; note that the OTF limit of 2 is only for cards that seed like dilemmas. That way, an unfortunate split of space vs. planet missions might result in only 1 dilemma under some mission, but a KMS can be there as well. And whatever the balance is, I can place the Kobayashis to completely occupy one mission type, making the opponent face at least one or else run afoul of the Big Picture rule.

For the dilemmas themselves, I selected a mix that included a variety of skill-based walls, in the hope of delaying teams until they can find the personnel they need.  In the right circumstances, such a dilemma might bar the way for several turns.  Here are the dilemmas I used; they're not really arranged into combos, since I needed to be flexible and distribute them differently depending on the opponent's space/planet split.

Space:
Ankari "Spirits" - The Cloud - Navigational Hazards - Gravimetric Distortion - Maglock - Astral Eddy - Emergency Conversion

Planet:
Founder Secret - Denevan Neural Parasites - Hanonian Land Eel - Horta - Seismic Quake - Executive Authorization

Final Considerations

The Gift That's much of the deck.  Besides what I've already mentioned, I also added:


That completed my deck.  I hope you've enjoyed this discussion of its construction.  Its story continues in the tournament report!
 


Discuss this article in this thread.



Decklist

Print DecklistCopy Deck



This deck is legal in the following Card Pools:

This deck is legal in the following Rules Sets:

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:


Mission (6)
Mission
81 U1x Answer Distress Signal
82 U1x Assist Cooperative
92 U1x Liberation
95 U1x Reinitialize Warp Reaction
40 U1x Repair Null Space Catapult
103 C1x Study Interment Site

Seed Deck (30)
Dilemma
1 R1x Ankari "Spirits"
3 R1x Astral Eddy
R1x Cytherians
5 R1x Denevan Neural Parasites
7 C1x Emergency Conversion
4 R1x Executive Authorization
R1x Founder Secret
C1x Gravimetric Distortion
11 R1x Hanonian Land Eel
9 R1x Horta
C1x Maglock
C1x Navigational Hazards
R1x Seismic Quake
25 R1x The Cloud
Doorway
C1x Battle Bridge Door
C1x Q's Tent
Event
46 R1x Ancestral Vision
Facility
Non-Aligned
56 S1x Nekrit Supply Depot
Incident
59 R1x Caretaker's Array
63 C1x Home Away From Home
7 P3x Kobayashi Maru Scenario
29 U2x Q the Referee
R1x Quark's Isolinear Rods
Objective
107 C1x Assign Mission Specialists
39 C1x Assign Support Personnel
41 U1x Defend Homeworld
Ship
Federation
194 R1x U.S.S. Voyager

Draw Deck (52)
Doorway
13 U2x Holodeck Door
C1x Q's Tent
Equipment
33 C3x Bio-Neural Gel Pack
R1x Kukalaka
Event
U1x Masaka Transformations
R1x Ocular Implants
R2x Regenerate
54 C1x Villagers With Torches
Incident
58 C1x Blue Alert
60 C1x Containment Field
62 U2x Handshake
31 C1x In the Zone
27 U1x Obelisk of Masaka
29 U1x Q the Referee
U1x Reactor Overload
Interrupt
U1x Hidden Fighter
39 U1x I'm a Doctor, Not a Bricklayer
73 C2x Nanoprobe Resuscitation
C1x Thine Own Self
Personnel
Federation
120 R1x Harry Kim
122 R1x Kathryn Janeway
70 U1x Naomi Wildman
132 R1x Samantha Wildman
133 C1x Stadi
136 R1x Tom Paris
137 R1x Tuvok
Federation/Bajoran
112 R2x Tabor
Federation/Non-Aligned
68 C1x Angelo Tassoni
114 C1x Ayala
115 R1x B'Elanna Torres
117 R2x Chakotay
104 R+1x Icheb
164 R2x Kes
123 R1x Lon Suder
108 R+1x Marika
125 U1x Marla Gilmore
167 R1x Neelix
131 R1x Rudolph Ransom
171 R1x Seven of Nine
Non-Aligned/Federation
124 C1x Mariah Henley
Ship
Federation
190 R1x Delta Flyer
Federation/Non-Aligned
131 R+1x U.S.S. Dauntless
192 R1x U.S.S. Equinox

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
Equipment
C1x Engineering PADD
C1x Medical Tricorder
40 U1x Mobile Holo-Emitter
Event
U1x Mirror Image
22 C1x Quantum Slipstream Drive
Interrupt
U1x Oof!
75 U1x The Gift
U1x The Juggler
Objective
48 U1x Omega Directive
Personnel
Federation
134 R1x The Doctor
Federation/Hirogen
74 R+1x Weiss
Non-Aligned
106 U1x Lansor
112 U1x P'Chan

Battle-Bridge Side Deck (10)
Tactic
U1x "Crimson Forcefield"
116 C1x Breen Disruptor Burst
C1x Evasive Maneuvers
R1x Maximum Firepower
C1x Phaser Banks
U1x Plasma Energy Burst
C1x Pulse Phaser Cannons
C1x Quantum Torpedo
C1x Target Shields
R1x Target These Coordinates



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