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Screw the Ocampa, We're Going Home!

by Niall Matthew, Staff Writer

16th June 2014

It has been a recurring theme over the past few years that every expansion is block focused, but within each expansion there lies toys and goodies that can help other factions in other formats. In the latest expansion for First Edition, the focus is mainly on the DS9 Maquis faction. It is also known that TNG Maquis will get some help too, let us not forget that the Maquis in Voyager play a pivotal role in the show's early seasons.

The Only Way Home

So how did design take on the challenge of incorporating Voyager Maquis into the game?

The Only Way Home is a rare situation where we get to play out the 'what if' aspect Star Trek: Voyager. In the opening episode, Janeway decides that the well being of the Ocampa took priority over their need to get home. However, with this new card, we take on the role of Captain Chakotay and his Maquis crew and explore new, advantageous ways to return home.

So let us analyse what we can do with this card.

First, it seeds on table. It has no built in reporting function, but that is not a problem at all. One of the first cards spoiled for this set was They Call Themselves The Maquis, and that card allows reporting directly to the Liberty. We now need a way to get the Liberty out early, and that is very easy seeing that Liberty specifically states that it can be the seeded ship for Caretaker's Array. (Note that Home Away From Home won't give its free report bonus due to Liberty being an Alpha Quadrant ship).

Now that Liberty is in play, we need a way to keep it safe. Its attributes of 8-6-6 can make it a tempting target for Hirogen hunters or a Kazon battle fleet. There are plenty of ways to boost the ship and make your mission to 100 points a safer journey. You can use Quark's Isolinear Rods to get B'Elanna on turn two, giving your Liberty an extra + 2 to all attributes. You can also Defend Homeworld for Bareil and special download Ablative Armor to boost your defense. And don't forget the matching commander benefits of Captain Chakotay, adding + 3 to WEAPONS and SHEILDS.

So the Liberty is safe from initial danger. and we can now focus on completing this Objective. It requires your Maquis to complete a planet mission in the Delta Quadrant. This means you can keep your Liberty safe from destructive Dilemmas like Gomtuu Shock Wave or The Cloud. 'God' can cause a slight inconvenience to your mission attempt, but Captain Chakotay adds + 2 to all your Maquis personnel at the same location (he need not be in the attempting away team). When it comes to attempting Delta Quadrant missions, it is smart to have at least two Delta planet missions in play, you do not want the game to end early if you hit an unexpected Dead End do you?

Liberty

Now once we have completed the mission, the next part of the objective allows some fun things to happen. Your Maquis will now have acquired an 'invisible' way to get home (just think of all the opportunities Janeway squandered, but others would have more than gladly taken full advantage of). So your Maquis personnel immediately relocate to your Maquis ship, which we will assume is the Liberty, and then relocates straight to ANY Alpha Quadrant mission. This method of quadrant jumping can be more advantageous to use than others as it does not stop your ship. This way, you are free to begin attempting your next mission on the same turn. One thing to keep in mind here is that only your Maquis relocate to the ship. So you need to make sure that any non Maquis are already on the Liberty before you complete the mission to ensure you can use them for your other missions.

The bonus for completing a Delta planet mission using this method is something different. Your Non-Aligned personnel native to the Delta Quadrant are attributes + 2 and may report to your Maquis ships for the rest of the game. This way, you have access to powerful personnel like Arturis, Seven of Nine or Penk. Personnel like these will cost a card play, but they can essentially report direct to the Alpha Quadrant and can use their five million + skills to ensure your supreme victory. This objective can be stacked with Androids, Talaxians or Ocampa to get more personnel out in the Delta Quadrant early, or you can have Alpha based factions like Son'a or Orions, who can start busting through an Alpha mission early so there is less work for your Maquis to do by the time they arrive. You could even make the deck almost Delta exclusive; using the Objective to give the personnel in your Equinox deck a nice attribute boost.

So in concluding, we have a very distinct faction now available to First Edition players, and a unique/fun storyline to bring to the table. Just remember to hang your heads in shame after your game. After all, your Maquis probably destroyed a civilization just to get home.

Expect this to be my deck of choice in next month's online tournaments (most of you should know by now that I never play 'the norm'). So will no doubt see you lot online soon.

Stay sexcellent to each other.


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