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Two-Four-Six-Eight, Who Do You Affiliate?

by Ross Fertel, Yearing To Be

17th November 2017

One of the interesting side effects of pairing affiliations in expansions was the overlapping of strengths.  Look at Return To Grace, expanding what you can do with the discard pile and focusing on the Bajorans and Cardassians.  Two opposing forces in one expansion united by theme.  This came to form with Strange Bedfellows bring together Deep Space Nine and The Dominion.


Keiko O'BrienSuddenly, affiliation icons matter.  This has always been a hidden gem of many factions, chief among them Deep Space Nine but also Terok Nor and to a lesser extent The Next Generation as of late with Voyager starting to take up some prime real estate in the market.  The Common Cards, as they would collectively become known as, catapulted the faction to a fast if not arguably the fastest faction almost overnight.  To add to this effect, they got access to the Klingon and Romulan affiliations in addition to the ones they already had access to.  It wasn’t just gameplay that this trend was evident in; Abrasive Allies was a great dilemma to put in as you can fairly well presume that your opponent’s affiliation count will probably top off at two, maybe three.  But that wasn’t it, Profound Discovery and Loren III make it easier to play personnel you normally wouldn’t be able to with a single headquarters and put a rainbow of colors in play.  This isn’t to say that it was all that Deep Space Nine got.  Several Bajoran and Federation cards double down on each other, reinforcing the two main affiliations you probably have in play with one helping the other and the other helping the one.


Looking at individual cards, Indecent Proposal helps you against the higher cost personnel, and Precarious Position helps destroy events while killing personnel.  Expedient Opportunity helps you get from here to there, Mobilization Points makes you Jem’Hadar cheaper while Spiteful Strategy has the opposite effect.  Crippling Strike helped the Dominion keep your opponent spinning their tires, while Teplan Prime showed that missions don’t need fireworks to be amazing.  Kira Founder is a cheap personnel for the skills she has, Toman’torax is at ready to do your killing.  Hyperspanner and Coil Spanner add to your skills in the Gamma quadrant while The Die is Cast opened it up to the Cardassians and Romulans.  Plus, the Stakoron missions make the Gamma Quadrant dicier.


But it was the new Founders Homeworld that burst into the tournament scene.  A very powerful ability at an appropriately high cost, this has caused several players to attempt a third, sometimes fourth, mission.  Gameplay has adapted somewhat, but this did really shake up how the game was played and put more emphasis on the decisions you make in game.  After the splendor of the new Bajoran Homeworld, there was a lot of excitement for what these new headquarters could add to the game.


Not entirely focusing on two factions, with a focal point of coming to the Gamma Quadrant, everyone got a special treat as they looked into what would happen as they explore their unexpected companions.  The often overlooked versatility of affiliation icons does more than simply expand your mission profile.

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