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"Somewhere, a Place for Us"

by David Runyon, Staff Writer

26th September 2008

To play the Star Trek CCG successfully (at least without using a fringe rogue strategy, that is), you’ll need to have some way to get your cards into play. The simplest and most common ways to do this are through facilities, although there are some exceptions. Before you select your starting point, though, make sure you have a good idea about what you want your deck to do so you know which personnel and ships you’ll need to bring into play. Once you’ve done that, make sure you review the rules about how reporting works so you don’t end up with a deck full of Delta Quadrant personnel and a reporting mechanism consisting of Nors and time locations.


Outposts

Every affiliation (with the exception of Starfleet) has at least one outpost. The very simplest way to get your ships, personnel, and equipment into play, outposts purely allow your cards to report for duty. Nearly all outposts are both seedable and playable later (with the exception of the Dominion’s Remote Supply Depot, which does not seed). There are a few outposts with special game text, but most have the basic outpost text.


Headquarters

All Alpha-quadrant affiliations (except non-aligned and neutral) have Headquarters. These facilities seed on homeworlds (Earth, Qo’noS, Romulus, etc.) and all allow some form of special reporting (in addition to standard reporting). These special reporting options vary in utility, but getting any free personnel into play can be valuable.

AffiliationCard NameWhat plays for free
BajoranChamber of MinistersMinister, Vedek, Kai
CardassianCentral CommandGul, Legate
FederationOffice of the PresidentAmbassador, Admiral, Vice-Admiral, President
FerengiTower of CommerceVIP, Civilian, Hupyrion
KlingonGreat HallEmperor, Chancellor, ”High Council” personnel
DominionThe Great LinkFounder
RomulanOffice of the ProconsulGeneral, Admiral, Senator, Proconsul, Sela, Tomalak
Continuing CommitteeTal Shiar, Neral
StarfleetSeat of Starfleetany [SF] personnel
Mirror TerransTerran Rebellion HQany non-[AU] [Terran] personnel


Nors and Stations

Nors and stations do not allow reporting on their own, but Nors (a special type of station introduced in the Deep Space 9 expansion) feature a variety of sites that allow certain personnel to report at that location. Up to six sites can be seeded for free if you decide to seed a Nor, making these the only stations (with the exception of Deep Space Station K-7) that are significant starting points in the game. Unfortunately, Nors are too complex to explore in depth here; look for a later article just about Nors!


Caretaker’s Array (Voy, R)

This is the key card for Delta Quadrant-based Federation and Klingon decks. It also works like an outpost, allowing ships to report there with three cards aboard. It seeds at the Ocampa planet (Liberation, Voy, U), so make sure you include this mission in your seeds. To play these traditionally Alpha-based affiliations (without joining forces with the Vidiians or Kazon), you’ll need the seedable incident Home Away From Home (Voy, C) which allows your matching personnel and equipment to report aboard (for free if [Stf]) your ship (I believe U.S.S. Voyager, U.S.S. Equinox, and I.K.C. Voq’leng are the only valid targets for this use of Home Away From Home). Of course, you’ll have to seed one of these ships if you want to use Home Away From Home.


Time Locations

The five time locations provide interesting flavor to the reporting mechanic. While the Federation gets the most use out of these cards, Klingons, Romulans, and non-aligned personnel (along with the neutral whales) can also report at these locations, often for free. Even though these locations allow many cards to report for free, the requirement to seed the corresponding “real-time” location and the difficulty of moving personnel from the time location to the actual spaceline make these cards more challenging to use than other reporting mechanisms. However, several of the time locations have bonus point opportunities related to them (rescuing the whales, launching the Phoenix, etc.), sweetening the deal for the player bold enough to travel through time.

There are many ways to get your personnel in play from the beginning of the game, some of which I haven’t discussed. Some ships (notably the Borg cubes but also the Olarra, Liberty, Mirror Ferengi Shuttle, and others) allow personnel to report aboard. Many of the strategies discussed have weaknesses (an Olarra-based deck to Lokirrim Vessel; Caretaker’s Array to Strategema), so build your decks carefully. The combinations of starting options available to the player are extensive; find the ones that work best for you and don’t be afraid to try something new. Whether you use basic outposts, Nors, or time locations, bring in your ships and personnel and show your opponent the meaning of going boldly.


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