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Strategy Articles

Under Pressure

by Paddy Tye, First Edition Creative Manager

18th April 2018

"I've never trusted 2E cards, and I never will. I've never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy."

While I personally may not like using 2EBC cards, I have always been able to appreciate when they can do something useful and different in 1E.

Psychological Pressure (2E)

I first encountered Psychological Pressure back in 2015 at Aberdeen Anarchy. Stefan de Walf used it in a Hirogen deck - he captured personnel that matched his dilemmas and forced me to discard cards to overcome them. Combined with using Temporal Shifting offensively (the days before Quantum Incursions and Enterprise Block, so easier to get this to hit), the strategy effectively locked me out of my missions. I'd been well and truly punished, but I really admired the clever way in which he'd done it!

I'd kept the strategy in the back of my mind, and had considered using it with my [22] Klingon deck for Worlds 2017. At the time, I hadn't realised the important role Valuable Prisoner could play in 1) helping me acquire a captive of my choice and 2) downloading a [Pun] card, such as Psychological Pressure. A valuable trick indeed!

Valuable Prisoner

As part of a forthcoming design project we had discussed enhancing the capture mechanics for the [22] Klingon deck, and discussed the use of both Psychological Pressure and Valuable Prisoner as part of that. I decided to use our upcoming Regionals to test those mechanics within a deck design and see how it played out - using the 2E original (a novelty for me). The deck is attached below, albeit with the old Psychological Pressure, not the new one! I'd stacked the Valuable Prisoner / Psychological Pressure mechanic alongside some old classics of Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin to further deny my opponent's card draws.

It's worth noting that using a CLASSIFICATION to meet a dilemma requirement is not the same as using a skill to meet a dilemma requirement. As such, I was less interested in finding walls that needed lots of ENGINEERs or SCIENCE etc, but chose dilemmas based around something which is always a skill and never a classification: Navigation. Many other options are available!

It started badly with an unfortunate draw against Alex Dixon, with a deck full of draw engines - Lucas even started his Road to Worlds analysis with "Wow, that's a lot of draw engines". With Alex being virtually immune to losing draws, some bad dilemma placement on my part, and the usual mind-games you get with a mirror match up of [22] [Kli] vs [22] [Kli] - so in this game the deck did not go to plan...

Fortunately however, games 2 and 3 against Will and Gary went as intended - both opponents struggled to draw sufficient cards once Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin were in play (by end of turn 3 in both games thanks to a fair amount of good luck). And by the time they hit a Navigation dilemma (the skill I'd targeted with Valuable Prisoner) the required discards were greater than the cards they held in their hand, locking both opponent's out of those missions!

In conclusion, the strategy broadly worked, going 2-1. However the Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin tricks are unlikely to work consistently against the same group of players. Using a single seed slot on Valuable Prisoner (and converting what would otherwise be a kill dilemma like A Fast Ship Would Be Nice) to make dilemmas have a steeper cost seems a reasonable setup. It was also an effective way to capture the target skill and download Psychological Pressure into play, and it seems like a tactic that could be used in many decks! Will this strategy appear in the previously mentioned design project? Honestly, I don't know - it's still under discussions... so this could be a preview or a wild goose chase!

Psychological Pressure (1E)

Now, along comes Metamorphosis, and we have a converted version of Psychological Pressure! And as with a lot of conversions, there have been a few tweaks!

Firstly, it seeds or plays on table - so while I might still use it with Valuable Prisoner, others with a broader capture dilemma strategy can choose just to seed this as a hidden agenda until needed.

The second major change is that it no longer just punishes meeting dilemma requirements... meeting mission requirements will also require card discards! This should make it an even more tempting proposition now!

The third change is harder to interpret: "For each different regular skill"... having consulted with the Rules Gurus on this, the addition of "different" means that my original strategy (when targeting dilemmas needed 2 Navigation or more) to make an opponent discard 2 or more cards will no longer work. Instead, you are limited to one discard per skill (at whatever level). So instead of targeting dilemmas needing a depth of one particular skill, such strategies might now work better when targeting a breadth of skills. For example, ENGINEERs are likely to have similar skill sets: Astrophysics, Physics, Computer Skill etc - so using dilemmas like Nanobiogenic Fugitives and Sabotaged Plasma Conduit might be one approach you could use...

So, will you start splashing in some capture strategies into your decks? Will you start applying some Psychological Pressure on your opponents? Will they bend to your will and be forced to conceed that there are five lights?

Discuss this article in this thread.


Print DecklistCopy Deck

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:

Mission (6)
32 V1x Battle of Narendra III
P1x Distress Mission
8 U 561x Escape Gulag
R1x Explore Black Cluster
15 V1x Navigate Argolis Cluster
P1x Reported Activity

Seed Deck (30)
8 V1x "God"
2 R1x A Fast Ship Would Be Nice
45 VP1x A Fast Ship Would Be Nice
2 C1x Alice
3 R1x Astral Eddy
R1x Chula: The Door
5 V1x Dead End
U1x Extradition
7 V2x Fly by the Seat of your Pants
C1x Friendly Fire
4 V1x Jol Yichu'!
174 VP1x Medical Crisis
C1x Navigational Hazards
19 VP1x Personal Duty
166 VP1x Scout Encounter
U1x Stellar Flare
20 V1x Alternate Universe Door
C1x Q's Tent
1 V1x Quantum Incursions
9 V1x Finally Ready to Swim
C1x Klingon Outpost
26 V1x Expert Pilot
20 V1x Protect the Timeline
28 V1x Taking Charge
23 V1x Valuable Prisoner
C1x Assign Mission Specialists
41 U1x Defend Homeworld
42 V1x Operate Dilithium Gulag
Time Location
89 V1x Hall of Magistrates

Draw Deck (45)
34 VP1x Space-Time Portal
U2x Klim Dokachin
C2x Static Warp Bubble
R1x Arbiter of Succession
VR1x Klingon Death Yell
188 VP1x Wormhole
43 V1x Search and Seize
46 V1x Advocate Kolos
47 V1x Aklam
9 VP1x Antaak
48 V1x Bu'kaH
49 V1x Captain Goroth
50 V1x Captain Korok
52 V1x Captain Vorok
53 V1x Chancellor M'Rek
54 V1x Duras Son of Toral
27 V1x General K'Vagh
56 V1x J'Met
57 V1x Klaang
28 V3x Laneth
58 V1x Magistrate Gorvil
29 V1x Marab
60 V2x P'Mokh
62 V1x Prosecutor Orak
30 V2x Volok
51 V1x Phlox (Shades of Gray)
37 V1x Lissan
40 V1x Raakin
42 V1x Sarin
65 V1x Shobbi-Har
66 V1x Skalaar
32 V1x Arik Soong
41 V1x Daniels
84 V1x Battle Cruiser Bortas
P1x I.K.C. Chang
VR1x I.K.C. Fek'lhr
R1x I.K.C. Negh'Var
85 V1x I.K.S. Raptor
49 V1x I.K.S. Nguq'Yab

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
17 V1x Internment
3 R 491x Psychological Pressure
U1x Captured
24 V1x Klingon Imperial Court
25 V1x maH nlv
13 V1x Out of Time
47 V1x Escape Pod
31 V1x Klingon Bounty
59 V1x Morga
60 V1x P'Mokh
61 V1x Prisoner Archer
31 V1x D'Nesh
85 V1x I.K.S. Raptor

"Outside the Game" and/or Seed-Phase Downloads (2)
U1x Korris
C1x Vekma

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