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Can You Hear Me Now?

by Ross Fertel, Word Pusher

18th October 2017

The Universal Translator.  A one cost equipment that gives all your officer Diplomacy.  Oh yeah, it’s also unique.  Pretty basic, right?  Not much to call home about.  Most officers have Diplomacy already, right?


Universal Translator

Turns out the two are not as attached at the hip as you would think.  In fact, there’s 85 personnel that have the two skills together and over a hundred that have Officer but not Diplomacy.  The Borg have the biggest deficiency, but the addition of Diplomacy is of use to everyone as no one faction is entirely immune.  Chances are that if you look through a random deck of yours right now, there’s at least one personnel that fulfils this criteria.


How could we go about determining who has the most use?  Well, we can take a look at the missions.  These pay the bills and if you don’t have the skills, you can’t get too far in the game.  There are eight that require both and while some offer ways around Diplomacy specifically, it’s generally the easier path to take, unless you have a very specialized deck.


Obviously, the biggest winners in this are the Federation.  Every faction has several personnel for want of this skill.  A lot of the missions focus more on the integrity side of things, meaning that the deck is starting to build itself.  For the most part, they have fairly low requirements and are worth 35 points.  You probably won’t go through the agonizing reality of putting them all in your deck, but they are a good deal for the most part.


After the Federation, Starfleet puts up a good showing as do the Romulans and, oddly enough, FerengiDissidents are also poised for a great gain as well.  The only ones left out in the cold are the Borg, but they are pretty good targets for you to include in your deck.


But skills don’t exist entirely on missions, they are on dilemmas as well.  By now, you know that having a skill can be as much of a liability as not having it, but once you go through the list of dilemmas specifically requiring Diplomacy, the case for including the Universal Translator becomes much more poignant.  Unlike missions, there’s nothing that’s a natural pair on dilemmas in terms of a skill, but given the proclivity of your officers, carrying it around can save you more often than it can be a liability.


One of the first things you think of when it comes to Trek related equipment is the Universal Translator.   It is rarely called out on the show, usually working silently in the background.  It’s been shows maybe all of five times, if that.  The card itself is so basic, you might not see its usefulness right away or even after a few weeks.  But it can really help you save your personnel and score points when it counts.

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