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Strategy Articles

Cry Havoc!

by Michael Shea, Designer

9th October 2017

As a young Star Trek fan, I remember watching the Season 2 finale episode “The Jem’Hadar” and thinking how the Dominion, and particularly the Jem’Hadar, were truly frightening. They wiped out an entire Bajoran colony in the Gamma Quadrant and destroyed a retreating Galaxy Class starship just to make a point. Throughout the next several seasons, anytime the Jem’Hadar are mentioned it is with a mixture of fear and awe – even by other citizens of the Dominion. In them, the races of the Alpha Quadrant were confronted with a frightening, bloodthirsty, and implacable foe with a lust for battle and carnage that made the Klingons look docile by comparison. Preferring my science fiction a bit darker than TNG standard fare, the thought of the Jem’Hadar discovering and reactivating an Iconian Gateway and using it to inflict carnage without warning, virtually anywhere in the known galaxy, was nothing short of terrifying (and exciting!). And yet, the Star Trek 2e Dominion player never really has had a way to build a deck that appropriately incorporated that kind of potential for combat and destruction until now. In the Nth Degree, the Dominion adds [card]Vandros IV, Restore Iconian Gateway[/card] to its mission suite and the pVandros IVossibility of building a truly frightening Dominion combat deck becomes a reality.

The Dominion has always had ways to initiate combat with potentially devastating results: Bred for Battle, Limara'Son, Fierce Soldier, Invasive Transporters, Toman'torax, Obstinate Second, and others have been available throughout the history of 2e. But, putting it all together in a reliably effective way has alwDevastating Meleeays proven more than a little difficult. When it comes to noun-based mayhem, ironically [TOS] has always been the stand-out player: cheap ships and personnel + reliable ways to get the verbs needed to initiate battle + a tight Tillman pile = virtually guaranteed destruction. The Klingons are similarly good at murder. But the Dominion, sadly, has always lagged a bit behind and from a Trek-sense standpoint, it never made any, well, sense. With Vandros IV, and supporting cards like Devastating Melee, now the Dominion player willing to devote the needed resources to carnage and create a combat deck that rivals any other faction or affiliation for the ability to “cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.”

The story behind the creation of Vandros IV is an interesting one. Both initial competing design teams, working separately and without communicating, came up with remarkably similar ideas for bringing the Iconian Gateway to 2e: one team created a mission that put personnel and equipment anywhere when completed, the other created a unique Artifact event that played on a completed mission and allowed the owner to move personnel and equipment from that mission to any other during the Execute Orders phase. What finally made it through the production process of design, playtest, and revision was a powerful, elegant, and deadly marriage of those two ideas. Vandros IV allows the Dominion player, upon completion, to place “any number of [his or her] Jem’Hadar and/or hand weapons from this planet on any player’s ship or planet mission.” Will the Dominion player use this text to instantaneously appear to another of his own missions, say Teplan Prime, Subjugate Planet or even The Siege of AR-558 and try for the two-mission turn? Or, will the Dominion player use this text to put her Jem’Hadar aboard an opponent’s ship and decimate the crew? With both options available, Vandros IV gives the Dominion player a way to finally build an effective combat deck that still allows the flexibility and versatility to keep it competitive.

The attached deck is a simple riff on the theme of the Jem’Hadar combat deck: Mobilization Points allows for the more expensive personnel to be discounted; Bred for Battle, Devastating Melee, and Limara'Son, Fierce Soldier each allow the Dominion player to begin combat; and the equipment are there to help fuel Devastating Melee as well as Toman'torax, Obstinate Second. Our Death is Glory to the Founders is there for needed control/prevention, Invasive Transporters is there to get your nouns off a ship (or on it, if you can’t solve Vandros IV in time), and Shrouded in Light is there to help your Jem’Hadar to avoid random selection. Building the dilemma pile is simple: put together your best attempt to stall your opponent until you can build up the necessary forces to begin your assault.

Discuss this article in this thread.


Print DecklistPrint ChecklistCopy DeckDownload Into DeckPADD

33V26•Founders' Homeworld, Contingent Refuge
33V31•Teplan Prime, Subjugate Planet
41V15•Vandros IV, Restore Iconian Gateway
28V23•Provoke Interstellar Incident
26V26•Stage Covert Fleet

Draw Deck (48)
3U323x Jem'Hadar Disruptor Pistol
33V83x Kar'takin
3R372x Bred for Battle
41V103x Devastating Melee
33V143x Mobilization Points
33V252x Invasive Transporters
3R742x Our Death is Glory To the Founders
32V72x Shrouded in Light
4C1253x Amar'itak
22V341x •Amat'igan, Founder Bodyguard
16V341x •Arak'Taral, Suspicious Second
13U551x •Deyos, Ruthless Administrator
39V91x •Dukat, Dominion Puppet
7R611x •Goran'Agar, Trusted Commander
6P471x •Ixtana'Rax, Honored Elder
3U1571x •Keevan, Conniving Liar
0P91x •Kudak'Etan, Arrogant First
3U1601x •Limara'Son, Fierce Soldier
4U1281x •Luaran, Cautious Inspector
7R621x •Omet'iklan, Steely Disciplinarian
0VP1731x •Remata'Klan, Unit Leader
14C731x •Talak'talan, Keen Third
33V371x •Toman'torax, Obstinate Second
3C1683x Tozara'Kesh
15V301x •Weyoun, Scheming Negotiator
3U1721x •Yak'Talon, Deadly Patroller
3R1731x •Yelgrun, Blunt Negotiator
3S2022x Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
3C2033x Jem'Hadar Warship

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