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Audaces Fortuna Iuvat

by Michael Shea, Officer of the Empire

11th April 2020

"Our entire assault fleet wiped out by a rebel attack. Thousands of your fellow Starfleet officers dead. If the Defiant hadn't arrived when it did, all of you would be among them. And who are we to blame for this? Not the brave men and women who gave their lives for the Empire. The criminals who are losing this war are sitting in their comfortable offices back at Starfleet Command. Their weakness invited our enemies to strike, and their corruption and arrogance have brought the Empire to the brink of defeat! I've been a soldier all my life, and I will not stand by and let these people destroy an empire that has endured for centuries! I ask you, all of you to join me. We cannot put down this rebellion so long as our forces are commanded by dishonorable men. Before we can defeat the rebels, we must defeat them. That ship out there is the key to our victory. With the Defiant on our side, there will be nothing to stop us."

Today, the Terran Empire gains an opportunity to seize victory over its enemies. Today the Terran Empire has an opportunity to realize its true greatness. I give you Vintaak System, Seize Tactical Advantage.

Vintaak System

Let's begin by examine this mission. It's worth 50 points with a Span of 3 and it's in the Alpha Quadrant. It requires 2 Leadership, Navigation, Security, 3 Treachery, and (Cunning>44 or Strength>44), and these skills line up very well with Gorlan Sector, Crush the Rebellion. But, the real benefit comes with the mission's completion text: When you complete this mission, if each of your personnel at this mission is an [AU] personnel, you take up to three of your overcome dilemmas and return them to your dilemma pile. In the right deck, that's an amazing benefit - it could essentially reset an opponent's mission attempt. So, what kind of deck might make the most of this mission?

First, let's talk about the potential mission suite: Vintaak System, Seize Tactical Advantage, Gorlan Sector, Crush the Rebellion, Control Plague, and Secure Strategic Base. These missions all line up very in terms of the skills they require. They all require Leadership and Security, and three of them require Treachery. This does make you vulnerable to Agonizing Encounter but it also means that you should never find yourself lacking the necessary skills to attempt a mission, unless something has gone horribly wrong. One possible down-side to this mission suite is that it biases the deck in favor of Jonathan Archer, Covetous Commander rather than Jonathan Archer, Defiant Commander. But, as both personnel are really quite good, and because you're likely to be using Strength rather than Cunning to complete these missions, this may not matter too much. In this version of the deck, I'm using Covetous Commander to get the Navigation, access to Watch Dog, and to make Call to Arms more reliable. But, you could switch them out if you find you really miss the Cunning boost or find you just can't live without Bridge Officer's Test.

The verbs in this deck fall into a few categories. Guardian's Advice, Lineage, and Seasoned Leader are all designed to help you streamline the deck and get it moving fast. Watch Dog, Brutal Experiments, Agonizer, Universal Translator, and Standard Punishment are are there to help you either in completing missions or in dealing with dilemmas. Call to Arms and War Without End will help you win some engagements for 20 points a piece and get you over the hump to a two mission win if you complete Vintaak System and either of your planet missions (assuming the Pheonix hasn't hit the table). Lustful Distraction is there for a little control. My favorite part about the verb selection in this deck is that Vintaak System, when completed, let's you undo three turns of free counters from Guardian's Advice by letting you pull those overcome dilemmas back into your dilemma pile.

All of the [AU] [SF] personnel make an appearance here. As I said above, Jonathan Archer is invaluable in this deck because he gets you Watch Dog but also because he has all of the skills to complete Gorlon Sector (Leadership, Navigation, Officer, Security, 2 Treachery) by himself. He also has all of the skills required by Vintaak System, so he gets you a good way to completing that mission as well. And, his 5-point generation ability might just come in handy if The Phoenix hits the table or if an opponent is playing with the new Founder's Homeworld. Perhaps second to Archer in importance for this deck is D'Vela, whose skill gain may prove essential against those dreaded doubler piles or in case an opponent dusts off one of those Science denial stategies or a Species 8472 dilemma pile, but more importantly her ability to destroy your own events means you can "turn off" your own Guardian's Advice if it's starting to be more trouble than it's worth. T'Pol, Maximillian Forrest, and Phlox are all there to help you out with Seasoned Leader and Call to Arms, but don't overlook their fantastic skill complements and their abilities. Indeed, one of the strengths (and defining features) of the unique [AU] [SF] personnel is that they've got loads of skills. Logan Black downloads ships for you if you're stuck for a ride and his Law can always come in handy as well. Brennan Scott is a workhorse that helps you get those attribute totals up, as does Malcolm Reed, Hoshi Sato, Benjamin Sisko, and Slar. Charles Tucker III protects your events, and Travis Mayweather can help protect your most valuable personnel. Finally, while you've got three different ships in the deck, the one you really want is Starship Defiant, Ripe for the Taking. Not only does this ship make most of your [AU] [SF] personnels' abilities kick off, it also gives you an extra amount of control in one-time event destruction, which can be crucial. Don't hesitate to use Logan Black to get this ship if you need to.

Speaking of those dreaded doubler piles, since Guardian's Advice will have you giving your opponent's overcome dilemmas (at least until you complete Vintaak System or use D'Vela to destroy it), this deck is paired with a dilemma pile that does its very best to make sure as few dilemmas are overcome as possible. Pattern Loss and Underlying Influence are there to play on the missions, and they double the skill of nearly other dilemma pile in the deck, of which Bread and Circuses really stands out as the star. Dereliction of Duty is also in the deck to deal with pesky skill-gain abilities your opponent might have on their personnel, and Swashbuckler at Heart is there to deal with anti-stop verbs like Bridge Officer's Test or Central Command. He Wasn't Nice is the rare overcome dilemma in the pile to deal with key personnel or multiple copies of non-uniques.Tried-and-true favorites like Adopted Authority, Hard Time, and The Weak Will Perish round out the pile.

With these weapons in your deck-building arsenal, go forth and claim victory for the Empire. Fortune favors the bold!


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Decklist

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Missions
Headquarters
0VP270•Earth, Humanity's Home
Planet
8U54•Control Plague
12U42•Secure Strategic Base
Space
49V34•Gorlan Sector, Crush the Rebellion
50V9•Vintaak System, Seize Tactical Advantage


Draw Deck (48)
Equipment
41V41x •Agonizer
41V91x •Universal Translator
Event
13U252x •Call to Arms
13R282x Guardian's Advice
28V91x Lineage
13U312x Predicament
13C331x •Seasoned Leader
35V122x War Without End
13C411x •Watch Dog
Interrupt
13R421x Brutal Experiments
22V212x Lustful Distraction
13U432x Standard Punishment
Personnel
Non-Aligned
5P331x •Benjamin Sisko, Outlaw
46V332x Errol
13R961x •Slar, Gorn Slave Master
Starfleet
13C1033x Brennan Scott
13C1041x •Charles Tucker III, Competent Engineer
14C1083x D'Vela
13U1051x •Hoshi Sato, Captain's Woman
13R1072x •Jonathan Archer, Covetous Commander
14C1091x •Kelby, Industrious Engineer
13C1083x Logan Black
13C1091x •Malcolm Reed, Enthusiastic Major
13R1101x •Maximilian Forrest, Confident Captain
13R1111x •Phlox, Sadistic Physiologist
13U1121x •Soval, Idealist
13R1142x •T'Pol, Not a Slave
13U1151x •Travis Mayweather, Opportunistic Sergeant
Ship
Starfleet
13U1211x •I.S.S. Avenger, Admiral's Ship
13R1221x •I.S.S. Enterprise, Terran Flagship
24V543x •Starship Defiant, Ripe for the Taking
Dilemma Pile (32)
Dual
29V12x Adopted Authority
40V13x Bread and Circuses
41V22x Dereliction of Duty
0VP91x Hard Time
17V62x He Wasn't Nice
0VP2351x Polywater Intoxication
12R172x Swashbuckler at Heart
0VP1641x The Weak Will Perish
Planet
1C133x Captain's Holiday
38V103x Surface Defense
38V113x Underlying Influence
Space
38V83x Pattern Loss
31V102x Pest Control
2U222x Stolen Computer Core
38V132x Vanishing Act


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