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Bend It, Bend it Good

by Ross Fertel, Generous Writer

24th December 2015

We’re in the middle of Peldar Joi 2015!  Tribbles Art Manager and general awesome person Andrea Heywood-Lobban is keeping us up to date with the overall efforts, but for some reason, it seems that the Bend the Rules format is not all that popular?  At least not in terms of discussions.  Or even Tournament Reports, for that matter.  Has there been a word spread out about the neat things you can do in that format?  Not a whole lot as we’ve seen.


By now, we’re all familiar with the format, you bring some non-perishable food items and once per game (Or round in Tribbles), you can use a special power.  Granted, some are better than others, but let’s look at them and see how they stack up?


In First Edition, we start off with taking any card from your Q’s Tent into hand.  Any card.  That essentially gives you the ability to download any card into your starting hand from nearly the start of the game.  You know that personnel you want out initially but can’t seed because that would make them too powerful?  Now, you can just put them into your opening hand.  That really awesome whip that you can’t seem to draw?  Get it right away.  Or you can save it for an interrupt that seems to be elusive.  If it sounds like a download, it isn’t; the specific term is take.  So you can laugh at Computer Crash or Dial-Up.


The format does a great job of making abilities that aren’t necessarily too good not to use, but this is really too good not to use.


Next you can use a Kivas Fajo - Collector without having to play that specific card.  Having more cards is never a bad thing, particularly if you find yourself outplaying your hand and need to catch up.  It is important to note that this does not specify a card type,  so there’s nothing preventing you from, say, drawing three more tactics.


Unstopping a crew or away team that includes a cook or waiter is fun mainly because it includes highlights such as Emissary’s Benjamin Sisko, Premiere’s William T. Riker, Neelix, a whole slew of Ferengi affiliated personnel and a surprising amount of Starfleet.  Anyone from most quadrants can get in on the fun, mainly because the Gamma Quadrant characters aren’t big fans of eating, apparently.  There’s a nice selection you have to choose from and the benefit of unstopping an entire away team or crew can make all the difference in a game.


You still have your Chula: The Drink promo from regionals, right?  Then you can download and seed it or your Replicator Accident to get yourself off to a better start.  Granted, not the best dilemmas out there, but they do not count against your seed limit and, Lets face it, Chula dilemmas can be very nasty. Both can be very potent when prepared correctly.  


Finally, you can get a freebie of Raktajino (Boost someone or get stuff back from your discard pile), Cellular Peptide Cake (Bounceable event destruction), Gagh Tek Or? (Fun downloadingness for your Klingon pleasure), cook (See above) or waiter (Ditto).  To make things even better, these are once per turn, not per game.  This is most beneficial to the Ferengi, but since these are rules, only cost a can, and do not require a card play or other game related resource.


Second Edition starts off with, well, Unexpected Difficulties.  The ability is familiar, but don’t forget that you don’t need to draw it.  Granted, the event is free, but it still needs to be played.  Plus, it stacks on top of your copies of Unexpected Difficulties.  You can have your super huge draw deck and not worry about getting this specific card out in time.


Drawing three more dilemmas and spending three more on them is nothing new, but it certainly is welcome.  Suddenly, I Don’t Like to Lose becomes more likeable when you have a free Complications for your use.  Granted, this and the above won’t always save your hide, but they’ll sure help when needed.  If you still end up wiffing, go play the lottery, because your luck is bound to come at some point. 


Spending a counter to draw three cards is even better than being on our own Lush and Beautiful Home.  You don’t want to fill your hand too much, but a draw of three can help your weenie deck out when need be.  Not that great for high costers, but if you find yourself in need, it’s there for your use.


Continuing the trend of using cards without actually playing them, I would love a free trip to Romulas!  It’s usually a pain because you need a card that you can only have in limited supply in your deck, but can have several iterations of commanders and their ships ready to go.  Now you don’t have to wait or if you do, you get a free use during the game.   Suddenly, the Unicomplex Zero crew is much more viable.  There’s never been a better time to take Kathy McCracken’s classic Romulan Commanders Log deck and bring it into Second Edition!


Reselecting a random selection can save your personnel that you need to solve the mission.  You’ll need a bit of luck since they can be selected a second time.  Note that it’s once per mission attempt, so feel free to keep of unstopping as the need arises, provided that it arises once per mission attempt.


Tribbles has fun stuff to begin with, but they start off with being able to recycle any player; including yourself.  Need a card back?  Want to mess with a  Rescue player?  It can be rough to lose a card when you didn’t go out, but now the sting of that is a little bit lessened.


Then there’s a free Freeze.  You know your local meta and you know what powers your appoints are using.  You can easily combat Fizzbin by freezing Mutate or Battle.  Go nuts and prevent a player from playing a card with the power that annoys you the most.


Remember the problem with Masaka being an all or nothing proposition?  It’s been made even better with  being able to select that number of cards you want to shuffle and draw that number of cards. It’s not the be all and end all pancea; for one, since you are shuffling, not placing beneath your draw deck, you could draw the same cards, at least in theory, but at least you have a modicum of control over what can go and what stays.


Should you come to a point where it just seems that everyone else at the table has better powers than you do, you can copy any power at the top of a players play pile including your own.  You have to possess the correct denomination, but go ahead and copy a draw or whatever else you can find that your opponents were able to stock and you just plum forgot.  Note that it kicks in after you play, so you can’t make your card Fizzbin and Advance, or something especially weird like that.  Normal weirdness is okay.


We round out the cool things you can do by resetting the Trouble deck.  This is once per game, but it sure beats waiting for someone to miss, play a specific Tribble power, lose points, or draw cards in a game designed to empty your hand.  Note that you can end up with the same tribble power coming up again, but if you are willing to see what happens, the power is yours, but only once per game. 


In all three games, there are some really neat options available at all times.  The tournaments will be over before you know it, for this year at any rate.  We always welcome discussion on the neat tricks the format enabled you to pull off.  Feel free to be creative, it's for charity after all.

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