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Gift of the Tormentor

by Niall Matthew, Co-lead designer, and expert finger snapper

15th January 2020

Early in the playtest phase of Q-Who?, the latest expansion for First Edition, input started coming in regarding the lack of 'star power' in a TNG Borg deck. Not being able to use the Borg Queen or Seven of Nine meant that the only famous face would be Locutus.

One night, I started brainstorming ideas for a solution to this. I did think of the Borg baby, that we see in the Maturation Chamber. The Youth x 2 idea was tempting to do. So i started watching the episode again for inspiration. Then, it dawned on me. This 'star power' character was there all along, Q himself. I was worried my proposal would be dismissed instantly. Thankfully, the other designers dismissed certain skills I had on the proposed version, which meant they were up for bringing Q into the fold.

As testing went on, we needed a way to help this faction stand on their own with a single ship strategy. So the special skills you see now were born. Let's dissect this new addition to the Collective.

First off, the icons. His ability to ignore Cytherians, Conundrum, Emergent Life Form and other required action based Dilemmas is damn good. With no subcommand icons, if you want him in play, you have to earn him as a card draw/card play. The Alternate Universe icon seemed fitting for a God also. The Enigma icon naturally fits too. This same icon appears on the Borg Queen, and signifies that Q is neither universal or unique. This allows him to avoid cards that require universal or unique personnel as a target, such as The Arsenal Dilemmas.

So, time to fill up the skill box and attributes. As I mentioned earlier, this faction needed help in dealing with required actions, as a well placed Conundrum, Cytherians or Emergent Life Form would essentially cripple this deck type. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, he can hurl your ship directly to System J-25, whether it be for getting to somewhere quicker to scout, or to get a surprise attack on a ship that has strayed to far form its outpost.

We wanted to call back to Mortal Q, so Physics x 10 and CUNNING of Q were added. Remember that CUNNING of Q is a undefined attribute, meaning any cards will treat this as 0 (I remember back in the day, me and my friend thought this was unlimited CUNNING) I proposed a Q icon card which could take advantage of this long broken link on the design forums, hopefully it will get the green light one day.

To make him a tad more versatile against Dilemmas, we added two more regular skills; CIVILIAN and Treachery. He can help pass Exe-Q-tioner or Incentive Based Economics, if you have a spare in hand, Q can 'Flash away' as a target for Misinterpreted History. Combined with Locutus, his Borg ship can easily use Kurlan Naiskos, transforming your mobile base into an unstoppable fusion cube with no need to add skills. Speaking of Dilemma busting, his low INTEGRITY is useful against In The Pale Moonlight. As for STRENGTH, he's simply understanding the collective. Think of him as 'flashing away' if he gets discarded.

Finally, let's look at that special download; Q-Net. we wanted to hark back to the early days of Q, when he was happy tormenting other life forms. Now you, as the Borg player, can do just that. Your TNG Borg will likely suffer losses from the opponents kill Dilemmas, or hit a Friendly Fire, or even from an attack by space trolls. So some way to delay the opponent is always a bonus. Considering the synergy between Q and the Borg in Q-Who, this was very fun to add.

It's also worth noting that there are no abilities that require the TNG icon, this means that he is a powerful addition to a standard Borg deck. As I said above, he can be reported as a normal card play. However, he may also report as crew on a Borg Scout Vessel, along with as many other personnel as your hand allows.

The Borg have the power of a God on their side. How will you use Q to torment your opponent?

Q-Who? is available for free download on Friday.

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