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A Threat That Must Be Answered

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

30th September 2016

Shinzon

The New Romulus from Face of the Enemy is, to me, the most intriguing upgraded Headquarters. Most of the new HQs offer a straight power upgrade in exchange for not using Non-Aligned cards, but the Patient Stronghold is different. It offers a boost to a particular play style, in exchange for not using Non-Aligned cards.

Since the other new HQs are flat power upgrades, they tend to have simply eclipsed the old HQs, but this new Romulus only outshines the old one when you want to actually fly around and disrupt your opponent... like a Romulan.

Now, Nemesis is one of the more deeply mined properties in Second Edition, in no small part due to the Premiere set coming out just one week after the movie's release and hoping to ride on its coattails. Choosing a person or concept to put into card form from the movie was shaping up to be quite a challenge since so much of it had been done before. Fortunately, though Shinzon has already seen three different versions, none of them see much play - only six decks over the last six months have used any of the three. Additionally, none of the existing Shinzons played into the lurking strategy promoted by the new Romulus!

Thus, we ended up with both a game concept we wanted to explore, and from a top-down perspective, a character with which to match that concept. We actually tossed around a number of ideas as to how Shinzon's threatening presence should be represented - the one that we settled on actually grew out of a cost reduction for damage dilemmas. When you're leaving your personnel at an opponent's mission, you might as well engage in some sort of military action, so tying Shinzon's brazen aggression to cheaper damage dilemmas seemed like a good fit.

In practice though, the damage discount was just too narrow to justify keeping a personnel tied up elsewhere, and story-wise Shinzon's ultimate threat was not just to the U.S.S. Enterprise-E but to Earth itself. That's how Shinzon's threatening presence ended up translating into a decrease in cost to both planet and space dilemmas.


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