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Strategy Articles

A Bolian and a Borg Walk Into a Bar

by Michael van Breemen, Freelance Writer

25th September 2008

I love gimmick decks which, by my definition, either work really well or fall flat on their face. They’re the decks that make you ask, “How did you come up with this?” or say, “I would never play a deck like that.” I know I heard that a lot during Day One at this year’s World Championship at GenCon. This is the deck that brought-up all the talk among most of the people there by the end of the day, flaws and all.

It all started with Mot (The Barber), really. He is a zero-cost personnel with game text that acts like Running a Tight Ship. That is pretty difficult to counter, plus he has attributes to complete missions with, so... sign me up. Next, I considered how I could get as many attributes with as few personnel as possible. Goval (Follower of the One) came to mind, if I was willing to pump him up. The last problem was getting the skills for missions I could complete with this potentially-potent twosome. I didn’t want another person in the attempt if I could avoid it. Since I had to use a third personnel to utilize Tampering With Time for dilemma pile manipulation, I looked into all the ways that I could add skills for more than just a mission attempt or a dilemma. Salvation came in the form of Picking Up the Basics, an oft-ignored event from Energize which allowed me to stop a The Next Generation personnel to get all of his or her skills until the end of the turn. Between Data (Lucasian Chair) and Geordi La Forge (Retired Engineer), it was a no-brainer. After all, why spend five counters for an effect when you can spend three for the same effect? Lastly, in order to get to three missions on the same turn, I needed to gain some Range somehow. I decided on Exceed Engine Output because it was an easy way for my ship to make it to my space mission.

All of that sounds great in theory... if only it was that simple in practice. In order to complete the three missions during the turn Mot receives his skills from Geordi, I have to deal with my opponent’s dilemma-manipulation. That’s why this deck has a copy of practically every dilemma-manipulation event that came to mind, and One-Upsmanship to return the ones in play that I don’t want to deal with. Since One-Upsmanship requires me to download the card I'm trying to counter, if I have a copy of the event in my hand already, I use Optimism to cycle the card into my deck, and then use One-Upsmanship to get my opponent’s card (or cards) out of play. If bouncing events isn’t enough of a problem, I also have to deal with Surprise Amity stopping me, which is why Amanda Rogers is in the deck. I have five extra points earned from my missions just to pay for Amanda Rogers. Finally, due to needing 35 Cunning in order to complete the missions, I need 13 events to discard on the turn that Mot receives his skills from Geordi. At the bare minimum, I'm going to spend all seven counters drawing up events; ideally, this would result in six events in hand and Amanda Rogers (in case of Surprise Amity). However, Guinan (Listener) is there to combine her five points to spend with At What Cost?, so I can spend all of my seven counters drawing cards. This practically guarantees having the necessary 13 events to discard for completing my missions.

The last part of the deck to talk about is the dilemma pile. Honestly, there’s nothing particularly special about it. I think that my dilemma pile is the deck’s weakest point. The nice thing about the build is, as long as you don’t rely on dilemma manipulation yourself, you can insert whatever dilemma pile you’d like. I know that, if I were to play this deck again, I would focus on Swashbuckler at Heart, in order to get more cards in my hand. This also provides the extra benefit of removing all interrupts from an opponent's hand, including any copies of Surprise Amity that might be there. I would also avoid going with a Tragic Turn-based dilemma pile because of the number of cards that are overcome each mission attempt. This is partially due to the Consume aspect of the card, plus at least one additional dilemma used to stop on the first attempt. Most attempts my opponents made were with six to eight personnel and, unless they encountered Old Differences, two dilemmas on top of Tragic Turn had to be used. Placing four dilemmas under a mission to stop a mission attempt is a problem for most decks, and this deck is no exception. Thankfully, I was able to have the rest of the deck work fast enough to overcome these problems.

Tournament Record:

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


Print DecklistPrint ChecklistCopy DeckDownload Into DeckPADD

1S161•Earth, Cradle of the Federation
9R5•Avert Solar Implosion
13U45•Gateway, Historical Research
8U62•Survey New World
1S187•Mining Survey

Draw Deck (36)
4R402x At What Cost?
13R231x •Bigger Tattoo
2R361x •Complications
10U261x Destiny Reset
4R491x Endangered
7R203x Exceed Engine Output
2R491x Machinations
12U261x Not Easily Avoided
12U283x •Optimism
2U533x Picking Up the Basics
3C581x Stir Crazy
5P142x Tampering With Time
2C691x Unexpected Difficulties
14U441x •Vacation from the Continuum
1R1211x Amanda Rogers
4U923x One-Upsmanship
14C802x •Geordi La Forge, Retired Engineer
4R1382x •Guinan, Listener
14C822x •Mot, The Barber
4U1592x •Goval, Follower of the One
10C1172x •Baxial, Salvage Ship
Dilemma Pile (32)
10R21x An Issue of Trust
4C62x Back Room Dealings
14U41x Chula: The Chandra
4C152x Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
14C71x Moral Choice
14C102x Old Differences
1S431x Pinned Down
3U281x Skeleton Crew
13R201x The Dal'Rok
2C252x Timescape
5P33x Tragic Turn
7U12x Charged-Particle Precipitation
10U52x Compassionate Interference
8C81x Cultural Differences
1S331x Kolaran Raiders
14U81x Neurogenic Field
1C571x Triage
1S171x Command Decisions
10C82x Hull Breach
1C361x Magnetic Field Disruptions
14U91x Night Terrors
1R421x Personal Duty
8C191x Warp Bubble Mishap

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