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Arak'Taral (Suspicious Second)

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

6th August 2008

With only 45 cards in Favor the Bold, the designers had to be careful to make sure that everybody gets some "love." Setting aside the keyword dilemmas, you'll notice that the Borg get another Drone, the Ferengi get a Kirk (sort of) and the Bajorans get yet another Kira. So what is in store for the Dominion? The observant among you will have gained a clue from the title of this article. The impatient among you will have already scrolled down to see the picture. That just leaves the patient un-observant people. I'll keep you waiting no longer... the Dominion gets a new Jem'Hadar.

Arak'Taral (Suspicious Second) is going to evoke strong opinions among players. Anyone who thinks that the ability of Remata'Klan (Unit Leader) – to exclude personnel from random selections – is too good, is going to have a fit when they see Arak'Taral because he does something very similar. As long as he is eligible for a random selection, you can exclude a Command icon personnel present from that selection. This means that you no longer have to worry about Weyoun (Instrument of the Founders), who has all of the mission skills, being randomly selected to be stopped or killed at Rescue Prisoners of War. You won't have to worry about Goran'Agar (Trusted Commander), with his high cost of five counters, being randomly selected by Hard Time. You can even be more confident that your U.S.S. Defiant (Commandeered Warship) isn't going to be de-staffed if you protect Odo Founder (Adept Imposter) or Luaran (Cautious Inspector) from random selections.

While these are all nice observations, you are probably thinking that the Dominion already has a Jem'Hadar who could do this anyway. The real strength though, is when you combine both of them to exclude up to two personnel from each random selection you face. The most obvious dilemma to take a hit will be Personal Duty, because you could end up with three Leadership or Officer personnel continuing past it. There are also many other popular dilemmas that will be less effective. Take a quick moment to think about A Pattern of Lies, Assassination Attempt, Chula: Echoes, Chula: The Chandra, Racial Tension and Temptation. These are just a few of the dilemmas that will be less effective when they come up against the combined might of Remata'Klan and Arak'Taral.

Final thought: If your opponent decides to play dilemmas that are not based around random selections, Arak'Taral will still be useful because he also has some skills! Astrometrics and Physics are both required by Where No One Has Gone Before. Officer and Transporters will be useful in overcoming Whisper in the Dark, and Physics will help with We'll Never Know.

Final, final thought: If your opponent decides not to play dilemmas altogether, then Arak'Taral will still be useful because he has eight Strength. Apparently, you can complete most Dominion Strength-based missions with between three and five Jem'Hadar.

Final, final, final thought: Um, I just lost my train of thought.

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