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Are You Compatible?

by Matthew Zinno, Staff Writer

27th February 2014


The notion of compatibility is an interesting one, which some block-era cards have been playing with recently. Let's see what's out there, shall we?

Certain types of cards, which we'll think of as "nouns" -- personnel, ships, and facilities -- can have affiliations, and the notion of compatibility indicates when two of these cards can work together. In most decks, compatibility is not a big issue. In general, any cards that have the same affiliation are compatible (in fact, having the same affiliation makes them matching), and any cards which are from the [NA] or [Neu] affiliation are automatically compatible with everyone.

Of course, there's an exception to this -- without exceptions, would it really be 1E? Some personnel cards have a restriction box, indicating that they "do not work with" some other group of people (often an entire affiliation). Lore, for example, will not work with any [Fed] cards -- he can't report to a [Fed] outpost, or be on a [Fed] ship, let alone be in a crew or Away Team containing any [Fed] personnel.

Some cards will also extend compatibility among your nouns. The important text to look for is "mix and cooperate". This means that your cards become compatible with each other, and can work together -- that is, the personnel can be in the same crew or Away Team, and they can be on that ship or outpost or headquarters, and the ship can dock with the outpost. The oldest group of cards which make certain nouns compatible are treaties, which generally make your cards of two different affiliations compatible. Without a treaty (or some other card that grants compatibility), your two affiliations cannot cooperate: your Klingons can't board your Romulan ship, and your Bajorans can't report to Central Command. With a treaty, things like either of these can happen.


(Want the edge case of an edge case? If a card says not only "mix and cooperate", but also "regardless of affiliation", then it even overrules affiliation-based restrictions from restriction boxes. So if you report Lore by discarding a Temporal Micro-Wormhole, then he can work with your [Fed] cards.)

Now, issues of compatibility frequently get confused with the related notion of "house arrest". This term, which has an unfortunate prominence in the Glossary, is nothing more than what happens when your cards used to be compatible, and so were together in a crew aboard a ship or facility, and suddenly are no longer compatible. (Typically, the only way for this to happen is for your Treaty to get nullified, by Quinn or The Devil.) Normally, your incompatible cards simply can't get together -- specifically, you can't take any action that puts them together -- but in this case, they already were together. "House arrest" is the unusual state that arises here. It's not what happens when your cards weren't compatible in the first place -- in that event, you simply can't put them together.

Some cards newer than treaties also make small groups of cards compatible, by saying that they can "mix and cooperate". The Emblem cards from the Mirror Universe unify each of the two factions according to their faction icons, [KCA] and [TE]. The [KCA] comprises various cards from the [Kli], [Car], Fer, and [Baj] affiliations. The [TE] contains mostly [Fed] and [NA] cards, but also a [Baj] and some [Fer]. They all become compatible with each other, thanks to the Emblem ... but not with other cards you might be using: if you are using Leah Brahms to Process Ore, then Mr. Brunt is going to need to report somewhere else! (Note: somewhere else can be a different site on the same facility.)

It's important to note that some cards which extend compatibility do so in a very limited fashion. Children of Light and Gegis make your holograms compatible with each other, and with Ferengi personnel (respectively) ... but neither of them grants anyone any new compatibility with ships or facilities.

Scientific Diplomacy

In the Next Generation set, we got another cross-affiliation compatibility card: Scientific Diplomacy. It makes the personnel of its team "mix and cooperate" (i.e. be compatible) with your [TNG] cards ... which according to Continuing Mission is your personnel and ships, as long as all such that have been played are from Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). So that team can be with any of your people, and it can be on any of your ships. But it doesn't extend compatibility to facilities, since they didn't get the icon. Therefore Agyer is not compatible with a Federation outpost; he can't report there, or beam there, etc. (It's also worth remembering that even with Scientific Diplomacy, Beverly is not compatible with The One, because Scientific Diplomacy doesn't have the additional "without regard to affiliation" phrase which is required for overcoming an affiliation-based restriction box.)

Now with Emissary and Homefront V, there is a renewed focus on Nors. There are a lot of ways that your nouns can interact with Nors, and not all of them require compatibility.


Gagh Tek Or?

Emissary contains one new card that adds compatibility where it didn't exist before: Gagh Tek Or? Whoever you download with it becomes compatible with your [DS9] cards. This might be Yeto and T'Kar, or [Baj] Kurn, or a [Fed] [DS9] Worf that hasn't actually been made yet. Like with Scientific Diplomacy, these personnel are now compatible with all of your [DS9] personnel and ships. That's a familiar concept, we've looked at other examples like that before. But there's another card type that has the [DS9] icon: Reshape the Quadrant adds it to your Nors as well. What does it mean that your Gagh Tek Or Klingons are compatible with your Nor? As a minor point, T'Kar can use a Defense System Upgrade. It doesn't help with Nor docking, since the only compatibility that helps with that is between the ship and Nor, not personnel.

It turns out to affect where the personnel can report when you download them with Gagh Tek Or. Obviously, if you have (or get) the Klingon Restaurant, they can easily go there (even if the "any [DS9] Klingon" isn't from the Alpha Quadrant ... who'll be the first to do this with Regent Worf?). The same is true for other places where your Klingons can normally report, such as a [Kli] facility or a Neutral Outpost. It might also be interesting to get off-color cards: Bajorans can use this to get Kurn, and Ferengi can use it to get Quark Son of Keldar reporting normally, along with Grilka through a Temporal Micro-Wormhole. Getting back to compatibility, if you have a way of reporting aboard ships, it may help that those Klingons are compatible with more ships now. (Think of Wo'Din and Assign Support Personnel.) And getting back to the fact that the Nor has the [DS9] icon, your downloaded Klingons are now compatible with it, which means that you can download them and report them to the site that's appropriate to their classification. Martok can go right to Ops, or Yeto to the Science Lab.

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