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Balance of Terror: Unconventional Consideration

by Kris Sonsteby, Staff Writer

6th September 2014

As the countdown to Balance of Terror's 9/12/14 release date ticks ever closer to zero, another piece of the puzzle is revealed today in the shape of a progressive new dilemma, Unconventional Consideration. Given this expansion touts both the fear inducing presence of Species 8472 and the ultimatums posed by a unified Terok Nor, it seems nothing will be sacred in the paranoia fueled play environment going forward, least of all a shrewdly crafted skill matrix. Under the guise of Homeland Security, boundaries will undoubtedly be blurred and conservative thinking abandoned as four of the game's rarest disciplines push to the front lines amidst the chaos.

Unconventional Consideration

Those of us who have been around since the dawn of Second Edition have witnessed the release of several dilemmas that cater to the elite skill trackers among us. From Golden Age favorite Counterinsurgency Program, to the Draft participant's MVP Infinite Diversity, to the recently invented rising star that is "Rapid Progress", players of all talent levels have tested their mettle and their memories with these options in the hopes of punishing opponents' skill deficiencies. And yet, all the while the opportunists in our midst have been unable to pick on four relative aptitude afterthoughts; Acquisition, Intelligence, Law, and Telepathy. Unable, that is, until Balance of Terror hits the streets and Unconventional Consideration finds its way into the proverbial toolbox of these brazen card sharps.

Since the changing of the guard from Decipher, Inc. to The Continuing Committee in 2007, the doctrine upholding these four distinct talents as somehow holy has been indirectly questioned a handful of times, most notably in the forms of the old standby Unwanted Guests and the newly minted Pawn Against Pawn, yet neither submission is as overt an affront to the antiquated line of thinking as Unconventional Consideration. Comparatively speaking, whereas any of the three dilemmas mentioned previously can fizzle should an opponent find a source of said named skill(s), this alternative will offer risk takers a bit of a bail out via a non-random stop of at least a single individual with uncommon gifts should the remaining personnel press onward. In addition, unlike its three predecessors, Unconventional Consideration does not carry such burdensome stipulations as events in hand or discard pile diversity, leaving the only limitations on its effectiveness tied directly to user memory.

Unquestionably, the moment Balance of Terror becomes tournament legal deck designers of all abilities will be forced to balance the cost of using personnel armed with these four noteworthy proficiencies against the terror of facing a lone Unconventional Consideration from the expert skill trackers within our ranks. Whether the result of heightened anxiety associated with Earth's Changeling threat or the ill-tidings flowing from fluidic space, the pandemonium which ensued has clearly left an exceptional weapon for the eidetic memory player in its wake. And as time marches steadily toward an imminent release date, the only safe bet for the future is that the once hallowed concise skill matrix is sacred no more.

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