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The Trouble With Tribbles

by Nathan Miracle, Designer

7th September 2016

“One million seven hundred seventy one thousand five hundred sixty one.  That’s assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of ten, producing a new generation every twelve hours over a period of three days.”

-Spock, The Trouble With Tribbles

Iota Geminorum IV

Tribbles. Voles. Nanites. Klingon festival attendees. Infestations come in all shapes and sizes, and once you have one you cannot seem to get rid of them. As such, Infestation breaks the rules of dilemmas in Second Edition. Your personnel can spend an entire attempt facing Infestation after Infestation, mission attempt after mission attempt.


With such rules-breaking power, Infestation could define an entire dilemma pile strategy. But it only stops one personnel, likely the least useful personnel in the mission attempt. You might stop a mission attempt with enough copies of Infestation, but such a strategy will not hold out long against a canny opponent.


When the focus of Hard Time turned to creating new dilemma pile archetypes, my thoughts turned to Infestation, and how it falls just short of creating its own dilemma pile. A simple boost could at least make Infestation playable, but that boost would need to stick around for the entire game. Since missions start the game in play and never leave play, I decided to pitch a mission which gave a direct boost to Infestation. To my surprise, the rest of the team loved the idea so much we expanded that one mission into three separate missions which all boost Infestation in different ways.

Kavis Alpha

“That’s not so good. I thought Chief O’Brien trapped the last vole on the station months ago.” “Well, obviously he missed a couple. A married couple. They breed like tribbles.”

-Quark and Dax, Ferengi Love Songs


Iota Geminorum IV, Relocate Polygeminus Grex keeps your opponent from preventing Infestation. Krim, Thoughtful Tactician may still be an exterminator-extrodinaire, but you no longer have to worry about cards like James T. Kirk, Original Thinker. If you want to reduce the cost of Infestation, Maranga IV, Ecological Crisis allows you to stack Infestation at a cost of 1 each. I often find myself in the situation of needing to attempt a mission with just one more personnel than there are dilemmas beneath the mission. With Maranga IV, top-decking an Infestation can stop such an attempt. But in my opinion, the best of these mission is Kavis Alpha, Research Binary Star. It effectively doubles the stopping power of each copy of Infestation. Now you can stop mission attempts with half as many dilemmas! Or better yet, set up an opponent for a crushing dilemma like Where No One Has Gone Before.

Maranga IV

“Captain’s log, supplemental. Doctor Stubbs has used his influence to have planet Kavis Alpha Four designated the new home of the nanite civilisation.”

-Captain’s Log, Evolution


If you have taken a look at these missions, you have probably noticed something interesting about them beyond the Infestation-related gametext. Each of these three missions requires “any attribute.” Any affiliation might have to deal with infestations, but not every affiliation focuses on the same attributes. In order to open up the Infestation missions to more affiliations, you can use any attribute to complete them. Klingons? Use your Strength to kill those pesky Tribbles! Romulans? Outsmart those nanites with Cunning! Next Generation? Talk those voles into leaving with Integrity! All your personnel have to use the same attribute, but you get to pick the one which works best for you.

Discuss this article in this thread.

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:


Print DecklistPrint ChecklistCopy DeckDownload Into DeckPADD

1S191•Qo'noS, Heart of the Empire
38V15•Iota Geminorum IV, Relocate Polygeminus Grex
38V17•Maranga IV, Ecological Crisis
21V14•Alpha 5 Approach, Transport Crash Survivor
38V16•Kavis Alpha, Research Binary Star

Draw Deck (35)
24V132x Christening
13R322x Sabotaged Transporter
25V161x Tacking Into the Wind
15V371x •Azetbur, Visionary Chancellor
14U901x •Chang, Gorkon's Chief of Staff
14R911x •Gorkon, Visionary Chancellor
1C2983x J'Dan
4R1521x •Jadzia Dax, Sworn Ally
2U1371x •Kahless, The Greatest Warrior of Them All
1C3013x Kahmis
34V363x Kamok
12R891x •Kang, Vigilant Commander
12U901x •Khod, Conniving Captain
12R911x •Koloth, Ingratiating Captain
12R922x •Kor, Courageous Governor
11P221x •Kruge, Instinctive Commander
12U963x Ro'suv
1C3163x Vorax
4R1551x •William T. Riker, Exchange Officer
12U1203x D-7 Battlecruiser
Dilemma Pile (100)
13U10100x Infestation

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