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Botany Bay? Botany Bay?!

by Charlie Plaine, Poor Chekov Impersonator

24th March 2017

A Miner Confrontation

You might have seen a curious little icon on Faux Pas, one of the new dilemmas spoiled when we announced Broken Bow. This icon, right here:

Botany Bay icon

It's sitting all by itself on the title bar, where you might expect an [AU] icon or a countdown icon. If you can't tell, that icon is an image of Khan's face mask from Star Trek II, right before he dramatically reveals his face to the audience. Fitting, since the new icon is officially knows as the "Botany Bay" icon. For reference, here's an image of the icon's inspiration:

No doubt I've satisfied at least part of your curiosity (the source of that image). Now, allow me to satisfy the rest of it. The Botany Bay icon represents a dilemma with extra danger associated with it. It is a loaded icon, much like the [AU] icon, that carries with it additional rules text not printed on the card. I'll be the first to admit this is not ideal, but it's also not unprecedented in First Edition, especially with text space on dilemmas at a premium. If you're curious about the details, here is a summary of how the icon works, courtesy of our Rules Team:

Botany Bay icon - A card with the icon represents an unpleasant surprise for players who try to uncover what is better left buried. If a player examines a card with the icon any time other than during a mission or scouting attempt, place it on the mission where it was seeded. That player may not attempt or scout this mission until another mission has been completed or scouted by either player, then re-seed the dilemma at the same mission. If multiple dilemmas are to be simultaneously re-seeded in this way, re-seed them so that they are encountered in the original order.

First things first: the Botany Bay icon only triggers when you examine a dilemma with the icon. If you encounter the dilemma normally during a mission or scouting attempt, the icon doesn't carry any extra weight. You only need to know the extra rules when you "peek" at the dilemma out of order. So if you're a fan of Ocular Implants, Science Lab, or any other card that lets you sneak a peek at an opponent's dilemmas, beware uncovering a dilemma.

The Ghost of Cyrus Ramsey

But what does the Botany Bay icon dilemma actually do, when triggered? It goes on the mission and acts like the first option on the Edo Probe. A player may not attempt (or scout) a mission with a dilemma atop it; at least not until another mission has been completed (or scouted). This triggers if you complete another mission, or if your opponent scouts one of his or her own missions. At that point, the Botany Bay dilemma is re-seeded under the mission and you're free to attempt at will.

That's it! I applaud the Broken Bow design team and the Rules Team for how they made this work. The loaded rules themselves are mostly simple and only occur in a narrow set of circumstances, which greatly reduces the knowledge burden of players, new and old alike. I'm especially impressed because they managed to make the dilemmas with the Botany Bay icon good dilemmas on their own. They just carry a little extra weight in a scan heavy environment.

Hmmm... isn't Scan banned?

*checks the OTF Ban List*

It is! So are Full Planet Scan and Zefram Cochrane's Telescope! I wonder why the Broken Bow designers would make a mechanic to interact with scanning so heavily, when so many of the scanning cards are banned? I wonder if there's something to it.


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