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Hirogen Basics (Part 1 of 3): They Come in Peac...

by Andreas Rheinländer, Special Delta Quadrant Correspondant

16th August 2018

The Hirogen were one of the fiercest enemies Voyager ever encountered. Being on the hunt for their lives, their main goal is to reward themselves with trophies to impress women and children. Their homeworld is unknown, as is their origin. Their massive ships use monotanium-based alloys that can barely be scratched by Federation weapons. One of them once went through the corona of a dying star to hunt a silicon-based life-form. That must have been a m-m-m-m-monster kill.

Pros and Cons

Let's start with the pros and cons of the Hirogen affiliation as a whole.

Pros

Relics of the Chase

Cons

This list of pros and cons shows that the Hirogen are a very powerful affiliation with only a small handful of drawbacks.

Play Engines

Hunting Group


The Hirogen's only native free play engine is Hirogen Hunt: any Alpha Hirogen or a personnel naming an Alpha Hirogen already in play may report for free once each turn.  This is similar to the Kazon's native play engine; however, their Majes cannot report for free.

For most Hirogen decks, especially the Standard Hirogen deck, I recommend using Holodeck Door to download a hologram every turn. Not only are there excellent Hirogen holograms with good skills (Kejal, Iden, Weiss) as well as other holograms extremely useful (Vic Fontaine, Leonardo Da Vinci), having the ability to download personnel with certain skills is also very useful when using War Council, Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining (see below). All three require certain skills and some holograms offer at least two of them.  Since Hirogen are short on MEDICAL, I recommend seeding Vidiian Sodality to report any MEDICAL-related equipment for free. Most likely Medical Kit, Medical PADD and Medical Tricorder, but also Engineering Tricorder, Science PADD and Hypospray.

Additional personnel downloads can come from Assign Mission Specialists, Assign Support Personnel and card plays of personnel providing another personnel download (Penk, for example). I also recommend using Scout Encounter with a Vidiian ship, one Vidiian personnel and one non-aligned personnel aboard, so the non-aligned personnel can add to the Hirogen's manpower.  Finally, a standard Hirogen deck using all play engines (see above) can make good use of Devidian Door due to the high number of card draws. Using The Foragers and Samuel Clemens is a good idea because The Foragers allow three personnel to be played at a planet (via their special download of Ophidian Cane) and Samuel Clemens gives the player 10 points for the cost of a copy of Devidian Door.

Draw Engines

Kejal

Hirogen have no specific draw engine, but all generic draw engines available to any affiliation are available to them.  I recommend using War Council. The second function of the card is sometimes forgotten, but it has a lot of merits in comparison to Kivas Fajo-Collector: it cannot be nullified, it cannot be 'shared' using Mirror Image and 4 Treachery can be there in turn 2.  Since ships in this deck do not require a card play, thanks to Hirogen Hunt, War Council can be played every turn, providing 7 card draws per turn, best case.

The second draw engine in question is Ancestral Vision. I recommend using Ancestral Vision when planning to stay in the Delta Quadrant. One place to seed it is on Establish Home Planet. However, I strictly recommend never having only a single personnel down on the planet. Such single personnel can easily be killed or disappear using Thine Own Self, so there has to be more than one personnel and they have to be protected. One way to do that is seeding Bluegill Infestation and having a copy of the personnel in question under Bluegill Infestation. Also, those personnel cannot be used for other purposes, so they are somehow trapped. Therefore, it is a advisable to have personnel down there that is not supposed to be involved in mission attempts anyways. Be aware that personnel under Bluegill Infestation can be holograms!

It is advisable to also seed Process Ore: Mining on the planet, so that both can be combined. However, Process Ore: Mining does not need to be seeded; it can also be downloaded using Taking Charge. If a player plans on using a variety of objective cards on missions, it is always recommendable to seed Taking Charge and downloading the objective cards later instead of spending a seed slot on each of the cards. Ideally, the personnel down on the planet who are there to stay and serve for Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining also have the skills for War Council. I recommend having three personnel down on the planet to be safe from Thine Own Self.

This means that a three person away team should have Honor and Integrity >7, 2 Geology and 4 Treachery. How is this possible? Why, make good use of Rituals of the Hunt, targeting personnel that add the necessary skills. Here are two examples:

Donik

Rituals of the Hunt targets a personnel with Geology and Treachery.  Additional personnel needed:

Rituals of the Hunt targets a personnel with Geology and Honor. Lower Decks is in play.  Additional personnel needed:

If you bring Kukalaka into play, the number of different variations increases, especially when using Hirogen personnel with Anthropology (and Honor), but Integrity 7, who can then get Treachery from an opponent's personnel.

If a player only plans to have the personnel necessary for Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining and that player plans to have holograms on the planet early in the game, a recommended hologram download is Taya who can download Odo from The Trouble With Tribbles.  Odo is a personnel with Integrity 9 and Honor, and Taya already has one Geology, so one hologram download alone already provides the skills required for Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining.

Another draw engine that is a "must" in any Hirogen deck is New Arrivals. Since there is only one free play per turn (plus hologram downloads, not counting as free plays), it provides an additional card draw at the end of the turn with no drawback and the card cannot be nullified. Cards played using Devidian Door do not count as free plays as well, so they do not discard New Arrivals either.  In addition to Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining, that card makes four card draws at the end of a turn.

Thanks for reading part one of this three-part series.  Part two of the series will look at some of the standard Hirogen decks available to you.


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