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Strategy Articles

Loosed Upon the World

by Ross Fertel, Second Edition Brand Manager

9th June 2017

With Zero Hour being legal soon, there are some fun little stories about the cards from various departments, as well as my own noggin. Each would not enough for a full fledged article, but together, that might be worth your time. Think of them as DVD extras.  
If you're looking for card strategy, that's fine, there are several other articles for your attention.
Andoria – So who’s your favorite non-aligned telepath?  Personally, I’m loving Kes, Experienced Ocampa since she can then download another telepath and just keep that chain going. But to each their own, as there are plenty of choices available.

Bread and Circuses – This is set 40 but there are still episodes that haven’t been touched in terms of images! That’s amazing, even if you include the other two games made by the Committee and Decipher before them. Creative had a bunch of ideas for episodes that have yet to be used in any edition. At all. Including Promos. Oddly enough, every single weekly live action series has yet to be entirely mined in some form; there are still more places to boldly go.
Oh yeah, this isn’t the only card in the set that is an episodic debut!
Flashpoint – This card started out with just the past icon. It was nice and all, but didn’t hit all that much. Yeah, sprinkling the Past with others was prevalent, but so were Alternate Universe and Future, particularly with Relativity. With the ability to choose the Era icon, suddenly the added flexibility helped it gain more teeth.
K’Ehlyr – As of late, you’ve seen faction icons spreading to other affiliations. The Cardassians recently got Voyager while the Klingons and Romulans got Deep Space Nine. Now, Deep Space Nine will always be the king of the Affilaiiton shuffle, but with K’Ehlyr and Stefan DeSeve, The Next Generation doesn’t have too bad a claim into that territory. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the metaverse.

Kadis-Kot – Going through design, this card was recognizable, but there was a key difference. It started out with the player facing the dilemma naming the number and their opponent having to make the decision. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but playtesters chose one hundred. Which made it almost an entirely different, not to mention near useless, dilemma since at that point, it’s either an all stop or a simple pass. It was a weaker version of Up the Ante. By swapping who names the number, the card suddenly worked several degrees better.

L.M.H Mark I – Most cards in this game have a quote for lore. Others have something written out. Still others simply have no lore at all. You might think this card is the first to combine something written with a quote but it’s not. Used frequently it is not, but it has happened in the game more than once.
Michael Jonas – Lots of times, cards go through changes. Sometimes those changes are early and other times, they can be late.
Take Maquis War Hero as he was called in development. After Creative took hold, he became Cal Hudson and there was much rejoicing. Then Design had a meeting and decided to make him literally anyone else in the pantheon of Star Trek but Cal Hudson. And thus, I will always think of this personnel not as Michal Jonas, but as Not Cal Hudson.
Michael Jonas – Yes one card, two awesome stories. The image brief for this was … not pretty.   In the privacy of my mind, I didn’t want Art to spend like, billions of hours on this card when they could do twenty others in the same time. There were outs we could take with this if Art felt that the juice was not worth the squeeze, so to speak, but they delivered. They’ve done some amazing work in First Edition and probably at least half a dozen other cards that I’m simply not thinking about at this moment, but they ‘worked their tails’ off for this and it looks amazing!
Scimitar – There’s something that everyone has in common be it Rules, Creative, Playtesters, Art, proofing, my mom. They all give their first impressions of cards the first time they see them and often enough, that is in rough form. While all the comments would almost require an article unto itself, one in particular stood out to me.
The playtest subtitle of this card was Full of Reman… which someone briefly thought said Full of Ramen.
Weight of Command – This started out as the Romulan version of Discommendation which was the Klingon version of Moral Choice. Yeah, it was your same old basic boring affiliation stopper that was nothing to write home about.
Then, one designer realized that even if a Romulan player was simply stopped, they could still wreck havoc on a mission attempt during your turn. That’s kind of what Romulans do. Stopping them was great and all, but you still have to deal with the stuff they were designed to do. Now if they were sent back home somehow, that was something everyone could get behind.  
Hard Time introduced Sibling Dilemmas, this is more of a cousin variety.
Zefram Cochran – Not all cards have lore. It’s a fact of life that we’ve more than gotten used to. Take this fellow; it didn’t seem like there was room so he went all the way through design and development without having anything down there.  But through the amazing work of Art during production, there was room for a line of lore!  A frantic flurry of PMs later, you’re welcome, and the card is better off for it.
Zero Hour is legal today.  Enjoy.

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