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Strategy Articles

He Has The Lobes

by James Heaney, Assistant Designer

24th December 2017

"I don't care. I won't preside over the demise of Ferengi civilization! Not me! The line has to be drawn here! This far and no further!" --Quark

Assign Support Personnel

Back in the day, download rules were a little weird compared to today. Ever since the Decipher Era, in many playgroups, players were allowed to use cards like Assign Support Personnel and Defend Homeworld to download personnel during the card play phase. On August 29, 2010, the 1E Rulesmaster released a ruling that said, no, those downloads are orders, and must be used during the orders phase. This launched one of the greatest controversies in the Continuing Committee Era of First Edition. It lasted months, and I'm not nearly familiar enough with the rules from those days to say anything helpful about who was right. When the dust settled, though, it was definitive: a "once per turn" or "once per game" download of a personnel was an order and must take place during the order phase.

For the most part, the game moved on. Players learned to save their Support Personnel and Temporal Micro-Wormhole downloads until they were done with their other card plays, no big deal. Quark's Isolinear Rods became a guaranteed way to get a personnel into play by Turn 2 rather than Turn 1, but it continues to see very heavy use even with the speed bump. But one affiliation was left really badly wounded by the change: the [Fer] Ferengi.

1st Rule of Acquisition

The 1st Rule of Acquisition allows Ferengi players to download a V.I.P. and a Gold-Pressed Latinum to hand, once per game. [Fer] Ferengi, especially [DS9] Ferengi, have always depended heavily on this download to bootstrap their complex financial schemes on the first turn. Get Grand Nagus Zek to hand, play him to Tower of Commerce and start drawing with HQ: Ferengi Credit Exchange right off the bat. Or get Grand Nagus Gint and fetch The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. That, in turn, can get you 6th Rule of Acqusition, 35th Rule of Acquisition, or any other Rule you might happen to need.

When you can use the Rules download at the start of your turn, then play the card you get immediately, it's very powerful, and it's the signature Ferengi move. When you have to download the Rule to hand during the order phase, then play it on a subsequent turn, it makes each Rule play far more hit-and-miss (do you still need that 59th Rule now that your opponent has taken another turn?) and it seriously slows down your 62nd Rule two-mission win deck unless you are an exceptionally good (and quite lucky) planner.

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

It's not really surprising, then, that, ever since the 2010 ruling, [DS9] [Fer] have been hanging out at the bottom of the affiliation rankings with the Vidiians. ([TNG] [Fer] had a brief moment in the sun thanks to Ferengi Military Operations, but that has now been scaled back.)

Project Wisdom was already working on [22] [Fer], which we felt needed to be rounded out a little bit to finish what the small Quetsivoo faction had started way back in Straight and Steady. We played around a bit with the [22] [Fer], testers did the same, and pretty soon we were running into all the same problems we had with the [Fer] in [DS9] property logos. So we decided seven years is long enough for [Fer] to sleep under the basement stairs. It's time to set right what the 2010 download ruling did to them. The result is a new card called The Unrelenting Lust For Profit.

The Unrelenting Lust for Profit

Now that you know why we made it, Unrelenting Lust is a really simple concept: seed it on Quark's Bar or a Trading Post — be it a traditional Ferengi Trading Post or maybe a Tellarite one), and the old download rules come back for the two Ferengi cards that got hit hardest by the 2010 ruling. You can use your 1st Rule or Ferengi Rules of Acquisition downloads "at any time" during your turn. That means you can do it during your play phase. You can even use them now during your end-of-turn actions (before your final card draw), which is new. Want to get Zek out on turn 1 with 1st Rule? Now you can. Want to change the useless 47th Rule you just drew into a nice 75th Rule to play before you go attempt missions in the Gamma Quadrant this turn? It doesn't take a full turn anymore! Go nuts!

Since this is an additional seed card for [Fer] Ferengi, and we didn't want to significantly increase the cost of playing the already-weak affiliation, we made it so [Fer] Ferengi players can take 1st Rule of Acquisition out of their seed decks, because Unrelenting Lust will now download it for them. That should make using this card pretty much seed-neutral for Ferengi. If for some reason you don't want to use 1st Rule, you can instead download The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition directly to this card during the seed phase — not a bad move if you happened to draw the right Ferengi V.I.P. in your opening hand.

Guard your latinum! The [Fer] Ferengi have spent a long time in the poorhouse. Now they're back, and greedier than ever!

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