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Hirogen Basics (Part 2 of 3): The Typical Hunt

by Andreas Rheinländer, Special Delta Quadrant Correspondant

17th August 2018

The Hirogen have a wider variety of decks available to them than either the Kazon or Vidiians. This article will take a look at some of the typical things you can do with them.

Standard Hirogen Deck
Corner Enemy Ship Every aspect of Hirogen play discussed in part one of this series applies to the construction of a Standard Hirogen Deck. Such a deck mostly stays in the Delta Quadrant, where a three-mission-win is possible using high point missions.

Here is one example of a mission composition:
Establish Home Planet (for 55 points) + Investigate Quantum Singularity (for 50 points, including a mission specialist, attemptable either using Non-Aligned personnel or Hunting Group) + Corner Enemy Ship (for 45 points including the Navigation mission specialist as well) = 150 points. Corner Enemy Ship is semi-not stealable due to the requirements to attempt (!) the mission.

As one can see, especially when using mission specialists, missions with lower printed points can be included as well. When using Devidian Door and Samuel Clemens (see part one of this series), fewer points are required. Even a two-mission-win is possible when using several bonus point cards. Here are some examples, besides Samuel Clemens:

Rituals of the Hunt
Rituals of the Hunt is the key card to the Hirogen's ability to choose skills and report aboard ships. It can be returned to hand at any time and downloaded again using the normal card draw at the end of the turn (thanks to Hirogen Hunt). However, when the targeted personnel dies or otherwise leaves play or is returned to hand, the card is discarded. Therefore, include at least three copies of it in your deck!

When choosing a personnel, there are three different approaches:

Venatic Hunter

  1. choosing a personnel that is extremely unlikely to leave play or die in order to make sure reporting aboard ships work
  2. choosing a personnel for his/her/its skills
  3. choosing a personnel to capture him/her/it

Going for option one is oftentimes easy nowadays. There is a variety of key personnel no one should risk losing, depending on the deck. The most important example is Deyos – no Dominion player should risk losing him or even return him to hand, just to get rid of Rituals of the Hunt. This is mostly because it will cost a card play.

Other decks have this kind of key personnel as well. Here are some examples:

Any personnel with important cards played on him or her are valid targets. Additionally, important mission specialists are good targets, since they are usually not wasted, but instead put somewhere safe and sound until needed. Choosing certain personnel for their skills is relatively easy: use the personnel whose skills are needed at the time and return the incident to hand if not needed anymore. However, remember to download it again at the end of the turn, otherwise, your personnel cannot report aboard the ships next turn.  Last but not least, choosing a personal that you want to capture is based on your preferences. Since it requires some work to get your personnel present with such a personnel, using this option is always part of a Standard Hirogen Capture Deck (see below). Note that Rituals of the Hunt shares printed regular skills (including classifications), but only those in the skill box, NOT the classification in the classification box!

Hirogen and Holograms
Establish Home Planet The Hirogen are the only affiliation with outposts regularly equipped with holodecks. That means that any compatible Delta Quadrant hologram may report there and be activated. No Holodeck Door is required to be seeded.  I have already described the role of holograms in Hirogen decks. There is virtually no deck type where they shouldn't be used. Since Hirogen are better suited to attempting space missions (thanks to Hunting Group), holograms are always useful. Establish Home Planet can serve as a mission improving the effectiveness of any efforts in that regard. Hirogen holograms have staffing and command icons, so they can fly Venatic Hunters by themselves, even when the flesh and blood Hirogen are out there to dissect any opponent's personnel. Copies of Holodeck Door, which are required to download holograms and report them there, can also be used to play them on a Hirogen Hunting Vessel, if necessary.

Alpha Quadrant Decks
Generally, a Hirogen player can start – without much work – either in the Delta Quadrant or in the Alpha Quadrant.  In the Delta Quadrant, the player seeds Hirogen Outpost and that's it. In the Alpha Quadrant, a player can use Neutral Outpost or Husnock Outpost and seed Spacedoor there. Reporting aboard the facility is not required.  Be aware that you should always place such an outpost at a relatively well-chosen position, since ships can only be downloaded there. The ship download on Hirogen Hunt cannot be used outside the Delta Quadrant, since those ships download, but not to a specific location, so quadrant restrictions apply! That means Olarra cannot be used in an Alpha Quadrant-only deck.

In an Alpha Quadrant deck, the process is always the same:

The latter is a relative disadvantage. If you have the first turn and your opponent did not download any personnel (e.g. mission specialists), you have no target for Rituals of the Hunt, and so you cannot report any Hirogen personnel on turn 2.  In any Alpha Quadrant deck, instead of using Ancestral Vision, Duck Blind is required, which makes it easy since Anthropology is a standard skill amongst Hirogen.

Let us try to answer one of the more important questions: why should anyone start directly in the Alpha Quadrant?

First of all, it's easier to bother your opponent when starting directly in their front yard. Download a ship, get your mission specialists and one Hirogen and even if you don't have enough personnel to attempt a mission yet, attack your opponent for the time being. Alpha Hirogen being matching commanders to the Hirogen ships allow for a quick boost of the Venatic Hunter, which is already 9-10-12 in printed form. Captain's Log makes it a 9 – 13 – 15 ship for virtually no costs.  You can also use Sleeper Ship in the Alpha Quadrant as a good way to get a few extra personnel out there without having to discard New Arrivals, since Sleeper Ship reports are not free reports.

Please see the Kazon article (Multi-Quadrant Decks) for more information on how to easily increase a ship's attributes.

Multi-Quadrant decks

A Hirogen player can only start in the Alpha or Delta Quadrant directly, because there are no non-aligned or neutral outposts that can be seeded in the Mirror Quadrant or in the Gamma Quadrant. When a player plans to go to other quadrants, for various reasons, they have to start there in the Delta Quadrant or in the Alpha Quadrant. When trying to go to the Mirror Quadrant (see part 3 of this series), a player should start at an Alpha Quadrant mission in a region that has a corresponding mission in the Mirror Quadrant.

Alpha Quadrant Rampage

The Nexus

One of the advantages of staying in the Delta Quadrant is that the spaceline in the Alpha Quadrant becomes much smaller. That means a player can wreak havoc in the Alpha Quadrant using certain dilemmas, events like Gaps in Normal Space, The Nexus and Self-Controlled dilemmas. In such a deck, I recommend having four Delta Quadrant missions (two planet, two space) and two Alpha Quadrant missions (one planet, one space), so that your opponent is denied the opportunity to favor a certain mission type.

A deck of that type should always be built in a way that it allows to travel to the Alpha Quadrant in order to, well, finish what was started there, in case the dilemmas and all the dirty event cards were unable to achieve that. One highly recommended missions in that regard is Save Stranded Crew. It allows downloading All-Consuming Evil to download a variety of Armus dilemmas which, used at the right time, makes any mission attempt a lot harder.  Oftentimes, a player will be forced to stop there, especially when the spaceline is crawling with moving (The Nexus, Self-Controlled dilemma) or not moving (Gaps in Normal Space, Q-Net) cards in their way.

The Nexus is a rather bloody dude. Since the spaceline is so much smaller, it will hit very fast. As it moves on both player's turns, your opponent will have to plan everything for the current turn and your turn. An opponent will lose one or even two ships, especially when Gaps in Normal Space or other events of that kind are placed on the spaceline. He or she might be able to save the personnel aboard, but not always – especially when a ship and its crew is being stopped by a dilemma following the reveal of The Nexus.

Of course, The Nexus offers the ability to relocate personnel consumed by it, once it left the spaceline, to any planet. However, since the spaceline is so much smaller, you are not giving your opponent that much of a tactical advantage. The risk of your opponent attacking your Hirogen on a planet in the Delta Quadrant are also rather small, thanks to the Hirogen's high printed STRENGTH, their beasty hand weapons, especially the Hirogen Talon, which reports for free from hand.  Perhaps you are using Bluegill Infestation with Hirogen personnel under it.  They get an additional STRENGTH +5 and cannot be stunned.

Using Female's Love Interest & Garbage Scow will make sure your opponent has to move a lot and move often in order to place the dilemma where it isn't bothering him or her at that moment. Thanks to the smaller spaceline, this will happen more often.

Standard Hirogen Capture Deck

Captured

A Standard Hirogen Capture Deck is defined by its goal to use Rituals of the Hunt and Relics of the Chase to capture personnel, make points and kill other personnel in the process.  The Hirogen can do that by damaging another ship and downloading Hirogen Hunt onto that ship. However, this only works with ships, so the Hirogen have no way of doing the same thing with facilities. Due to that, one of the core concepts of a Hirogen Capture Deck (unlike a Dominion Capture Deck using Invasive Transporters, being able to beam through any SHIELDS), is to stop ships at space missions and to make sure that personnel on planets are stopped as well. Therefore, in such a deck, stopping is considered much more important than killing when it comes to dilemma effects, because the killing will happen after an opponent's mission attempt. Including a few copies of Captured is recommended to increase the number of personnel captured. Other than that, all rules and concepts regarding capture-related decks apply.

Possible Additions

There are three cards that are not a must-have in a Hirogen deck, but can be a nice and cozy addition. The first two are especially important in regard to Delta Quadrant-only decks. The first one is Study Protonebula. It allows downloading One to your ship there. In itself, One is a personnel with rather good attributes (and a nice special skill) who allows personnel to be reported again using Nanoprobe Resuscitation. As I have explained earlier, a Standard Hirogen Deck in the Delta Quadrant – without War Council – will draw 3 to 4 cards per turn, without having a card play spend on anything. Therefore, it can be considered to include some of the non-aligned Borg into the deck, with One being the personnel sharing their skills. I recommend General Korok, Seven of Nine (League Promo) and Orum, since those personnel have SECURITY and MEDICAL printed in their skill box. General Korok can even get MEDICAL using a Medical Kit and share MEDICAL x2 with One, which applies to other personnel with the appropriate classification and a suitable equipment card present as well.

Another card that is worth considering is Prison Break, allowing two Delta Quadrant personnel to be seeded and retrieved there, when the mission is solved. It costs two seed slots, but provides additional personnel at the time of the mission being solved. I recommend seeding Penk and Captain Proton who can both download an additional personnel. Using mission specialists, this mission is worth 40 points.

Virtually any Hirogen deck is suited to use Ready Room Door and Captain's Order cards. The more the deck is built to fight, the more cards should be included. However, other Captain's Order cards are also nonetheless useful, even in a "peaceful" deck: Lower Decks, Yellow Alert, Divert Power, and Mission Debriefing.

This wraps up our look at some of the typical tricks you could find in a Hirogen deck.  In the final installment of this series, we will discover some of the more outrageous hunts that the Hirogen can embark on.


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