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Voyager Week: Top 5 cards

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

10th June 2008

What makes a card worthy of inclusion in a top five list? I tend to value a card which helps you do something other than just complete missions more than a plain-old, mission-solver-type card. The latter may win you world championships, but I don't think they offer that same satisfaction as when you assimilate half of your opponent's personnel, or when you blow up your opponent's only ship. As an affiliation, Voyager doesn't offer much in the way of satisfaction-inducing cards. You can pretty much either complete four space missions or Caretaker's Array and three planet missions. I have heard of some crazy Voyager ship-destruction decks (hailing from Germany – would you believe?), but they use generic cards not specific to the Voyager affiliation. Because of this lack of non-mission-solving type cards, most of this week's top five is of the mission-solving variety. I have excluded U.S.S. Voyager (Home Away From Home) and Finding Our Way because they feel more like some sort of headquarters, and I haven't included any headquarters in my other top five lists. Here, in no particular order, are my Voyager top five cards:

The Chuckles Brothers
No, this isn't a reference to those two children's entertainers on television in Britain. Chakotay (Bridge Between Two Crews) and Revised Chakotay (Imposturous First Officer) combine to help make any Voyager deck breeze through dilemmas. Because of the ruling earlier in the year, you can now only use Chakotay to unstop one personnel when one or more are being stopped at the same time, but that's still helpful against a lot of dilemmas. With Revised Chakotay on hand to make sure Chakotay doesn't get stopped, you have an awesome combo. Kes (Experienced Ocampa), recently released in The Undiscovered Country, also makes a great addition to any deck with Revised Chakotay, as her ability gives you the opportunity to download one of the brothers when she uses a skill to complete a mission.

Samantha Wildman (First Mother on Voyager)
This personnel doesn't look like much when you first see her, but she has hidden depths. She provides two of the three skills needed to complete Caretaker's Array, which is always useful when you want to attempt your first mission on turn three. If you don't draw her during the early part of the game, then her ability is also very useful later on as well. As many Voyager personnel cost three counters to play, I have found Energize to be a great help in playing them for reduced cost. Samantha Wildman lets you extend the use of Energize by a turn (giving you four cheaper personnel instead of the usual three), and she also gives you the opportunity to retrieve a card placed on Energize by the Decay. Whether an event you need to fuel Chakotay, or a spare Chakotay you need to fuel Revised Chakotay, this card gives you options.

The Long Journey Home
Despite currently favoring the planet approach over the four space missions approach, I have to acknowledge this card as being game changing. When Captain's Log first released, I tried a Long Journey Home deck, and all of my opponents commented that they found it incredibly difficult to give me any dilemmas on my final mission. What with a Voyager deck not having a headquarters mission, and my only attempting space missions, I was rendering almost 50% of the dilemmas in my opponents' piles useless against me. The only problem with this card is that it can be nullified if you play it early, and is susceptible to being discarded by The Dreamer and the Dream if you keep it in hand. Still, nothing is perfect.

B'Elanna Torres (Straightforward Engineer)
BLT makes this list for being able to repair ships. Making It Work never really worked for me as a card because I found it cluttered-up my hand, but B'Elanna has no such issue. Aside from having one skill (Science) required by Caretaker's Array she also has a Command icon. I can't tell you how many times I have completed the mission but have then been unable to staff U.S.S. Voyager. The other interesting fact about her is that she is one of only two personnel – both with the Voyager icon – who has five Integrity and Treachery. Surely, that is some kind of mistake? I don't know, and don't call me Shirley. (Sorry, but I love that joke.)

Marie Kaplan (Observant Officer)
Completing my harem of Voyager women is one of two Ensigns on Voyager named Kaplan. Without looking at memory-alpha can you name the other? Leaving aside that rather uninteresting factoid, and having read the rest of this article, I think it should be fairly obvious why Marie makes my list: She has two of the three skills required by Caretaker's Array. Attempting early is crucial to both winning the game, and forcing your opponent into attempting a mission before they may be ready to. Marie helps you do this, and as a bonus she doesn't cost three counters to play.

This week, there are three cards hitching a ride with Voyager (that's honorable mentions to a non-Voyager fan.) Following the errata to Cluttering Irrelevancies, The Void Alliance is now my favourite skill cheater. Kathryn Janeway (Forceful Captain) doesn't quite make the harem, but does get a mention for being almost able to overcome Gomtuu Shock Wave by herself. That's a slight exaggeration, but that's what it certainly feels like when I'm facing an opponent with her in play. The final mention goes to Marquay. He's the other half of the "five Integrity with Treachery" club, but more importantly he only costs two counters to play.

Which cards would you pick in your Voyager top five? Let us know on the message boards here.


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