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The Green Is Better When It's a Little Purple

by James Cream, Staff Writer

16th January 2015

Recently, I completed the Exalted Diplomat achievement. That's the one that requires you to play fifteen of the sixteen different treaties in First Edition. But I would have loved to have this week's series of cards around when I built the Romulan/Cardassian Treaty deck. There are a few treaties which work quite well and give clear advantages to make up for the expended extra seed slots. As of January 30th, when The Gamma Quadrant releases, the green and purple treaty joins the ranks of those that are rather easy to build and incredibly fun to play.

The Play Engines:

Joint Operation

The obvious centerpiece to this deck is Joint Operation, the new warp core which not only fetches the Romulan/Cardassian Treaty, thereby saving a seed slot, but also allows a free once per turn report. As a Reactor Core card, this is downloaded out of the deck when you seed Reshape the Quadrant and it allows one personnel with an intelligence skill to report for free each turn, if they are Romulan or Cardassian affiliation and have the DS9 property logo. More specifically, this means personnel with either the skill of Obsidian Order or Tal Shiar. There are currently eight different qualifying personnel with the former skill  in the game and there will be eleven of the latter once The Gamma Quadrant releases. 

While Joint Operation allows reports to happen in the Orias System (to a ship, oddly), it does not specify that the free report that it allows must happen in the Orias System. That means that any Cardassian or Romulan facility will do, while the treaty is in play. An obvious pairing with this, for a second free report, is the Continuing Committee. While Obsidian Order personnel had no previous play engine, Tal Shiar personnel did. By choosing two free play engines that overlap, we increase the likelihood that any drawn personnel will be able to play for free on any given turn and that every turn will see the most free plays utilized.

The third free play engine is the seeded Dominion War Efforts + Assign Support Personnel. These allow a different support personnel to download to a matching facility or ship with at least two staffing icons, once per turn. Given that this deck has to limit itself to personnel with the Deep Space 9 property logo, per the stipulations of Reshape the Quadrant, there are ten possible personnel for this engine. That's pretty good considering that most current First Edition games do not last for ten turns. But there are also two big benefits to this play engine. First, you get to choose the personnel that you play, since they are downloaded straight out of your deck (or Q's Tent, or hand). Second, you didn't have to draw that personnel. This means that this deck only really needs an average of three draws per turn (one for each of the first two play engines and one for the card play) to keep going at a regular pace. I recommend getting the support personnel out of the deck first, to increase the likelihood of drawing the right personnel for the other draw engines. Those in the Tent are more for dialing specific skills based on what wall dilemmas are encountered.

The Ships:

Well now this is the fun part. When running a deck which is primarily personnel with the skill of Tal Shiar or the skill of Obsidian Order, the choice of which ships to run becomes rather easy. The D'deridex Advanced is one of the most impressive ships, in terms of starting stats, but it takes a pretty big stat reduction if there are no Tal Shiar personnel aboard. That shouldn't be much of an issue in this deck. The Keldon Advanced is exactly the same, but it needs to keep an Obsidian Order personnel onboard. The Serrola becomes quite impressive in the Gamma Quadrant and when it has one of it's matching commanders onboard, as I mentioned in Wednesday's article.

The Missions:

Combined Strike

Another easy set of choices. I needed to run Romulus for the Continuing Committee, but there wasn't a necessity to have the Orias System for Joint Operation. Still, that mission was just so enticing. It's worth 40 points and it's possible to report your personnel right to it. I recommend seeding the Cardassian Outpost there with the Spacedoor on it, so you can start building up your super secret fleet on turn 1. Use the first turn card play to get a Keldon Advanced and then keep it docked at the outpost while playing and downloading forces right to it. 

The Founder Homeworld just had to be next. Hopefully you all have already seen these episodes and know that the purpose of building up this fleet is to attack the homeworld of the Founders. But great story isn't the only reason to run it. A 40 point space and a 40 point planet mission add up to a potential two mission win. I put a second mission in the GQ, also worth 40 points, in case one of these two gives a bit of trouble in the way of dilemmas. 

Now, the question you should be asking is: how to get those other 20 points. Well, there's Enabrain Tain's special download of Combined Strike. It nets the player 5 extra points for solving Intelligence Operation or Chart Stellar Cluster, and gives 5 draws, and also allows personnel to start reporting to the Gamma Quadrant - incase you need help getting through more missions. But the real ticket to free points is Dabo!

I figure, as long as we're flying through the Bajor Region to get to the Gamma Quadrant, might as well stop off for a few drinks and some fine gambling. The First Stable Wormhole is a seed slot and downloads the three ends of the Bajoran Wormhole (from outside the game), then Terok Nor is needed to get Quark's Bar. If the opponent is not playing a copy of Deep Space 9, then Terok Nor can also allow for some nice Ops downloads to fetch key skills at just the right time, but even if they are it doesn't matter much. Guest Quarters and Promenade Shops can net extra draws, while Quark's Bar itself allows Aluura, Leeta, and Quark to report for free. Aluura has a few skills which are needed in this deck, but Leeta can't even work with the main affiliations in the deck and exists solely to fetch Dabo. Three copies in the deck make it highly likely to find her early and the extra copies can just be tossed away to fuel Handshake (Function 3). Quark also helps with draws, since Dabo allows extra draws (one per Dabo girl present) when gambling has occurred if he is in the bar. Still, Quark is pretty good for attempting missions and I wouldn't be too certain he'll be hanging around the bar much.

Protip: if you suspect that the opponent might be playing a battle deck, seed Terok Nor as Deep Space 9 at Bajor. Then you can protect your facility with Stratagema while collecting up the Dabo points. 

The Cheats:

There are a few popular and powerful dilemma combos out there and it is always smart to consider them when building a deck. One of the best is Access Denied + Ferengi Ingenuity + Dejaren, which essentially requires a player to have at least five Computer Skill on four to five different personnel to get by. It can be particularly troublesome since personnel with Computer Skill x 2 tend to be rather Cunning and have a high risk of being stopped by the Ferengi Ingenuity. We'll see if the appearance of Rurigan can decrease the number of decks that this combo is used in, but until then I'm planning to see it in at least a few games. To deal with this, I have stocked a couple copies of Agent Garak in the deck, who cannot play for free with Joint Operation or to his Tailor Shop, but can be downloaded into play with the Promenade Shops (if the station is purple). In addition to having Computer Skill x 2, this Garak has a special download of a personnel who also has Computer Skill x 2: himself!

The trick here is that Garak, attempting a mission, will be caught by the Ferengi Ingenuity for being far too clever. But then, he can suspend play and bring Elim into play. As this isn't a persona swap, Elim will not be held by Ferengi Ingenuity, while Agent Garak is discarded. He has essentially slipped out of the trap and can now go on to confront Dejaren with two of the required Computer Skill. 

The next cheater is Quark, as I mentioned above. His special download of Natima Lang can suspend play and bring in Diplomacy (needed for V'ger, The Clown: Guillotine, and Gomtuu Shock Wave), Honor, or Leadership (needed for Friendly Fire). This can potentially break up the popular Personal Duty + Friendly Fire combo.

Other Solid Support Cards:

Defensive Measures

There are three Ready Room Doors in the deck, and their main purpose is to be drawn early in order to fetch Lower Decks. This solid card, which can be had for the low low price of free with a Ready Room Door, adds +2 to all the attributes of universal personnel. This deck isn't particularly heavy in universal personnel, but most of the Support Personnel will get this boost. Captain's Log and Defiant Dedication Plaque, in the Tent, are just options to use those extra Ready Room Doors on. They both help boost the Serrola, but are overall fairly situational.

HQ: War Room also affords attribute boosts to personnel, in this case Romulans with SECURITY, Officer, or Leadership. It plays for free to the Continuing Committee and is a solid play late in the game when you won't necessarily want to travel all the way back to Romulus to pick up extra personnel. 

Having three 40 point missions does leave one open for mission theft, which is why HQ: Defensive Measures is seeded. This card seeds as a hidden agenda and is flipped when your opponent tries to initiate an attempt on one of your missions, as a valid response. It then prevents that attempt and gives you three turns to solve it yourself. I put a second copy of this in the tent, and it can be fetched using Tribunal of Q or a Q the Referee to get Defend Homeworld. For this deck, I would greatly recommend saving the Defend Homeworld download for late in the game, in case you need to protect your missions from theft or download a key skill to solve one of your missions at just the right time. 

Conclusion:

Well that's about it. Just a fun little deck to relive one of the best stories from Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I made it qualify for a few extra achievements, so try playing it as is and then tweak it a bit and see what improvements can be made. 


Discuss this article in this thread.



Decklist

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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
29 V1x Alter Records
R1x Chart Stellar Cluster
30 V1x Cloaked Mission
20 V1x Establish Medical Complex
22 V1x Expose Secret Buildup
34 V1x Intelligence Operation

Seed Deck (30)
Dilemma
2 R1x A Fast Ship Would Be Nice
2 V1x Chula: The Chandra
5 V1x Dead End
U1x Duonetic Field Generator
4 R1x Executive Authorization
U1x Ferengi Ingenuity
5 V1x Forsaken
6 V1x Founder Secret
C1x Friendly Fire
R1x Harvester Virus
U1x In the Pale Moonlight
9 V1x Linguistic Legerdemain
C1x Navigational Hazards
7 V1x Oh No!
R1x Orion Syndicate Bomb
10 V1x Precision Piloting
R1x Seismic Quake
R1x The Three Vipers
Doorway
C1x Battle Bridge Door
93 VP1x Q's Tent: Civil War
P1x Spacedoor
15 V1x The First Stable Wormhole
Event
18 C1x Dominion War Efforts
Facility
Cardassian
C1x Cardassian Outpost
R1x Terok Nor
Romulan
27 V1x Continuing Committee
Incident
30 V1x Reshape the Quadrant
2 VP1x Tribunal of Q
Objective
39 C1x Assign Support Personnel
U1x HQ: Defensive Measures

Site (6)
Site
U1x Docking Pylons
R1x Garak's Tailor Shop
U1x Guest Quarters
C1x Ops
U1x Promenade Shops
R1x Quark's Bar

Draw Deck (61)
Doorway
U1x Ready Room Door
31 U1x Ready Room Door
2 V1x Ready Room Door
Event
U1x HQ: War Room
15 V1x HQ: War Room
17 U1x Isomagnetic Disintegrator
16 V1x Isomagnetic Disintegrator
U1x Treaty: Romulan/Cardassian
Incident
62 U5x Handshake
6 VP5x Handshake
16 V1x Joint Operation
Interrupt
77 C3x The Power
U1x Wormhole Navigation Schematic
Objective
U1x HQ: Secure Homeworld
Personnel
Bajoran/Ferengi
R1x Leeta
Cardassian
U1x Dejar
R1x Elim
27 V2x Emok
R1x Entek
C2x Jural
R1x Korinas
59 V1x Rogesh
30 V1x Turo
Cardassian/Federation
26 V2x Agent Garak
Cardassian/Ferengi
58 V2x Quark (Emissary)
Cardassian/Romulan
29 V1x Enabran Tain (The Gamma Quadrant)
Ferengi/Bajoran
16 V2x Leeta
Non-Aligned/Ferengi
R1x Aluura
Romulan
47 V1x Karina (Homefront II)
R1x Lovok
R1x Parthok
121 R+2x Praetor Neral
48 V1x Ruwon (Homefront II)
49 V2x Selveth (Homefront II)
R1x Senator Vreenak
R1x Vakis
98 R+1x Velal
Romulan/Federation
P1x Koval
Ship
Cardassian
R2x Keldon Advanced
Romulan
R3x D'deridex Advanced
53 V1x Serrola

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
Event
U1x Captain's Log
R1x Defiant Dedication Plaque
U1x Lower Decks
U1x Masaka Transformations
Incident
C1x Dabo
Objective
26 V1x Combined Strike
U1x HQ: Defensive Measures
Personnel
Cardassian
58 C1x Aramax
49 V1x Belva
59 C1x Dorza
U1x Jasad
55 V1x Jerax
R1x Natima Lang

Battle-Bridge Side Deck (13)
Tactic
C1x Photon Torpedo
C6x Plasma Torpedo
C3x Quantum Torpedo
C3x Spiral-Wave Disruptor

Q the Referee Side Deck (13)
Doorway
2 V1x Temporal Vortex
Event
17 V1x General Quarters
U1x Mirror Image
20 V1x You Are a Monument
Incident
U1x Access Denied
31 C1x In the Zone
27 U1x Obelisk of Masaka
29 U1x Q the Referee
8 P1x Strategema
Interrupt
U1x Oof!
U1x Scorched Hand
U1x The Juggler
Objective
41 U1x Defend Homeworld

"outside the game" (3)
Doorway
U1x Bajoran Wormhole
4 VP1x Bajoran Wormhole
13 U1x Bajoran Wormhole: Mirror Universe



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