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Kathryn Janeway (Regretful Leader)

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

19th December 2008

Following Wednesday's edition of "Tales from the Raise the Stakes design team", certain persons in authority have expressed their concern that the codenames used in that fictional story were rather easy to crack. This reporter is determined to get his story out, though, so instead of pulling this entire article, the codenames have been altered. For the second time this week, I present a completely unrelated and fictional story:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there were three people who were working together to design an expansion for an unnamed customizable card game. While set #15 was still being tested, the team members were thinking about cards for not just set #16 but set #17 as well. Koval began the set #17 personnel discussion by suggesting "reflections-style" personnel for affiliations that didn't already have one, but Sirna replied saying those personnel were created to shake-up mission selection and he wasn't sure that the other affiliations needed it. This gave Sirna an idea though, and he suggested creating "artifact personnel" (so called because they are usually better to play once you have completed a mission - like Artifacts) for those affiliations that didn't already have one. The Garrid, who had been quiet up until this point, then added to the conversation by cracking a joke about one of the card suggestions.

The discussion went quiet for a couple of months while the tumbleweeds cliche'd by. It didn't start again until Sirna suggested, on the 1st of April, "old lady Admiral Janeway" for the Voyager artifact personnel. It seems the team didn't think this was an April Fool's Day joke, and they went with the idea. Koval took the first stab at her, and came up with an outline for the team to work with. The skills and attributes were different from the final version you can see here. There was also an additional icon, and the download only let the Voyager player fetch a Temporal event, but the artifact ability was the same.

It was shortly after this that Sirna read about the Lego tower, and invited Jake to join the design team. While playing catch up, Jake did look over "old lady Janeway," but he was looking over so many ideas that his one and only contribution to the final version of Janeway hadn't yet popped into his head. It wasn't until Janeway made the first cut, and Jake was looking over the cards, that the revelation hit him: Why would anyone play that version of Janeway when Forceful Captain existed?

Over the next few weeks, Jake continued with his "why play this Janeway?" mantra. While her skills, attributes and icons were eventually tweaked to become the final version you see here, it was her ability that was the challenge. With two lines of text taken up by the skills and a further two (plus a bit) lines used by the keyword and "artifact" ability, there was less than three lines of text remaining for her other ability. If there was to be any lore, then that would gobble up another line. So, the design team had less than two lines to add something to tempt players away from Forceful Captain.

The Temporal event download was changed to an equipment download. Then the equipment download was expanded to work for each player. It wasn't until the download was expanded again to give each player the choice of downloading an equipment card or a Temporal card that Jake stopped asking why she would be played. Jake had played Voyager decks in the past and liked the option of downloading an Emergency Transport Unit against battle decks, or an event for Chakotay in pretty much any other situation. He also liked Janeway's cost of four counters because there were soon to be even more dilemmas that target cheap personnel, and he especially liked being able to play her for free as soon as Caretaker's Array was completed.

The end.

The moral of the story: repeating the same comment over and over again really can make a difference.

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