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Strategy Articles

I Know Why "The Cage" Plants Sing

by Matthew Zinno, Staff Writer

28th June 2019

This new Cage set looks great.  I want to build a new [Fed] [OS] deck.  What do I like?   

This new doorway Preserver Obelisk looks good.  I can seed it for two people -- like AMS, but better people.  And no, I can't stack both of them in the seed phase.  I can also play more copies of the Obelisk later, for more personnel downloads.  That's only one person per turn due to the downloading rule (AMS would get two, but again, they only have one skill), but it doesn't take my card play.  So let's load this deck up on Obelisk "native" people.  Who?  Well, they have to come along with their corresponding mission. 

Five Year Mission Janus VI comes with two natives (Giotto and Vanderberg), so let's use those.   And Talos IV comes with 3 natives (The Keeper, Jose Tyler, and Yeoman Colt), so those also.  That will mean General Order 7 to attempt it.

Also in the new set are some cards that seem essential to try out for a brand-new Cage [Fed] [OS] build.  The Final Frontier gives me two free plays.  Also some limitations, which will shape what we build.  No time location reporting, OK so Sherman's Peak and K-7 will not be helpful.  No Crossover, so no [MQ] people reporting to my AQ outpost.  That's okay, there are plenty of AQ people to choose from now.

Back to the new cards, Five Year Mission and Recreation Room give me draws and hand management.  To Boldly Go gives me a range boost for those out-of-date Constitution-class ships.  And Risk is Our Business gives me each-mission downloads of Prepare Landing Party, which in turn gives me each-mission downloads of equipment or universal SECURITY personnel.  Let's put all of them in -- and since those downloads go to the away team, I can actually lean on the [MQ] personnel here too.  [Univ] [OS] SECURITY for [Fed] and [NA] … that's the reliable Lt. Grant, and also the [MQ] Ensigns Davis and Gaffney and Kjolholm, plus the new Tyler and [NA] Tepo.  For now at least, let's throw 'em all in and see what we get.  Oh, and Prepare Landing Party gives us another new deckbuilding restriction: all our personnel need to be [OS].  Again, we can live with that.

Risk is Our Business We've chosen a few personnel based on connections with some of our cards -- now let's get some who are just good in their own ways.  The new Captain Kirk is a skill beast, and so is the original Mr. Spock.  Almost as dense are Christopher Pike and Number One.  I'm going to throw in Commodore Decker, because he's my card and also has three personnel types.  And of course, Dr. McCoy for dilemma-busting versatility.

Looking again at Prepare Landing Party, it gets better when you have unique personnel with many different classifications.  Let's try to have at least two of everything.  (Alas, ANIMAL isn't an option since we've restricted this deck to [OS].)  We already have OFFICERs and SECURITY.  For ENGINEER, I'll take the TWT version of Mr. Scott, who also comes with a ship boost and an equipment download.  That's one; my second will be Ensign O'Brien, with another equipment download.  He won't be a free play via The Final Frontier since he's not [AU] … but not everyone needs to be.  We have McCoy for one MEDICAL; the second will be Nurse Chapel: besides her good skills, she can be an extra free report.  (Plus, it's fun to put her next to Number One.)  We have Spock for SCIENCE; the second will be the new junior Lt. Sulu, again with an equipment download.

Prepare Landing Party That leaves VIP and CIVILIAN.  I'll use Vina for her skill versatility, and Nilz Baris with his dilemma-escaping download.  (That should probably be fixed, but while it hasn't been, I'll use it.)  Miramanee has good skills, and can be another native if I use her mission.  And another VIP … Daystrom or Stone?  I think I've got plenty of Leadership, and I could use more Computer Skill, so Daystrom it is.

Mission check.  We need Janus VI and Talos IV for their natives -- and Amerind as well.  Memory Alpha has no natives, but gets better with more classifications, an area we already chose to diversify for Prepare Landing Party.  That's four planets, so no more room even for Sherman's Planet (which would have made Nilz Baris a native … but it's 30 points, and 35 is more).  Okay, now space missions. Looking over the skills I have, Repair Mission goes well with my large amounts of ENGINEER, and Navigate Argolis Cluster goes with my OFFICER/Leadership/SECURITY.

Any skill gaps?  It looks like I'm lighter than I'd like on Diplomacy and Anthropology for mission skills, and MEDICAL, Navigation, and Transporter Skill for dilemma expectations.  I see three of these on Lt. Bailey, so we'll add him.  For MEDICAL, I could just choose to rely on Communicators and Classic Medical Tricorders, but to be safe I'll add Lt. Bashir (and his equipment download).  And for Transporter Skill, I see an interesting opportunity on Ensign Chagwiza, who even without Crossover can safely download via Assign Support Personnel.  For that matter, we can similarly add Farrell with I'm a Doctor, Not a Bricklayer, and James Tiberius Kirk with Going to the Top.

And there's a lot of our deck done.  Throw in some other supporting verbs you like, and your preferred style of dilemmas, and engage!


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This deck is legal in the following Card Pools:

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

Mission (6)
22 V1x Access Archives
25 V1x Examine Protected Culture
27 V1x Investigate Quarantine
15 V1x Navigate Argolis Cluster
C1x Repair Mission
31 V1x Review Mining Operation

Seed Deck (30)
3 R1x Artillery Attack
4 U1x Chula: The Game
3 V1x Climbing the Ranks
U1x El-Adrel Creature
7 V1x Friendly Fire
70 VP1x Hanonian Land Eel
191 VP1x Hippocratic Oath
14 C1x Implication
6 V1x Invidium Leak
6 V1x Koon-ut-kal-if-fee
12 P1x Male's Love Interest & Plague Ship
13 V1x Malfunctioning Door
7 V1x Misinterpreted History
3 V1x Multitronic Menace
11 V1x New Essentialists
19 VP1x Personal Duty
13 V1x Routine Physical
192 VP1x The Cloud
20 V1x Alternate Universe Door
12 V1x Preserver Obelisk
1 V1x Q's Tent
7 V1x A Real Game
13 V1x Five-Year Mission
15 V1x Recreation Room
16 V1x To Boldly Go
34 V1x Federation Outpost
19 V1x Risk is Our Business
20 V1x The Final Frontier
26 V1x Assign Support Personnel
35 V1x General Order 7

Draw Deck (34)
12 V2x Preserver Obelisk
11 C2x Classic Communicator
195 VP1x Going to the Top
39 U1x I'm a Doctor, Not a Bricklayer
15 V3x Prepare Landing Party
38 V1x Captain Kirk (The Cage)
73 VP1x Christopher Pike
8 V1x Commodore Decker
49 VP1x Dr. McCoy
59 R+1x Ensign O'Brien
60 R+1x Lt. Bailey
61 R+1x Lt. Bashir
42 V1x Lt. Commander Giotto
64 C1x Lt. Grant
43 V1x Lt. Jose Tyler
46 V1x Lt. Sulu (The Cage)
71 R+1x Mr. Scott
122 VP1x Mr. Spock
73 U1x Nilz Baris
48 V1x Number One
83 R+1x Nurse Chapel
49 V1x Richard Daystrom
51 V1x Vanderberg
52 V1x Yeoman Colt
57 V1x Miramanee
59 V1x Tepo
60 V1x The Keeper
49 V1x Vina
107 C1x Starship Constitution
108 R+1x Starship Enterprise

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
11 C1x Classic Communicator
12 U1x Classic Medical Tricorder
13 U1x Classic Tricorder
14 C1x Classic Type II Phaser
29 V1x Where No One Has Gone Before
U1x Incoming Message - Federation
15 V1x Prepare Landing Party
42 V1x Ensign Chagwiza
47 V1x Ensign Davis
48 V1x Ensign Gaffney
43 V1x Ensign Kjolholm
44 V1x Farrell
50 V1x James Tiberius Kirk

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