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Apocalypse Now Rising

by Charlie Plaine, Project Manager for Apocalypse Rising

30th October 2020

Founder Leader

"We captured some of the terrorists, but they're not soldiers. They're ordinary citizens."
"Are you telling me the Cardassian people are rising up against us?"

- Broca and Founder Leader, "What You Leave Behind"

Do you love the smell of Ketracel-White in the morning? Even if you don't, there is a lot to like in Apocalypse Rising, a brand new, twenty-seven (27) card virtual expansion for Second Edition. Apocalypse Rising is the second expansion in the Interaction Cycle, following up from All Our Yesterdays, and with a focus on different kinds of interactive play. This new expansion will be releasing two weeks from today, on Friday, November 13th, 2020. Until then, you'll be treated to daily spoilers both here on trekcc.org and on our social media channels. But before we talk about the cards in Apocalypse Rising, I need to thank the hard working volunteers that made this expansion come to life.

Meet the Team
While the three-man design team will get the most publicity out of their work, none of it would have come to light without the hard work of dozens of dedicated volunteers. For months, there have been testers, rules masters, creative thinkers, artists, and proofreaders toiling to make the cards in Apocalypse Rising the best they can be. Design's work is meaningless without the people that bring it to life, from concept to finished product. All of you have all of our thanks for the hard work you have done, and will continue to do. And with that said, please allow me to introduce you to the three (3) designers that worked on this expansion:

Michael Shea [The Prefect], Lead Designer
Designer Profile: Michael Shea
With Apocalypse Rising, Michael has taken the lead on his second project and contributed to his seventh overall. I've worked with Michael a few times, albeit indirectly, and it's been great to see him grow and develop as a designer. His dedication to listening to and responding to tester feedback is unmatched, and I know it's appreciated.

Benjamin Sisko

Nathan Miracle [GooeyChewie], Design Director
Designer Profile: Nathan Miracle
Nathan has completed work on his ninth design project as of Apocalypse Rising. In addition to his hard work as Second Edition Design Director, Nathan has contributed to both expansions in the Interaction Cycle so far. I've enjoyed working with Nathan each time I've had the privilege to do so, going back to 2014.

Lucas Thompson [edgeofhearing], Assistant Designer
Designer Profile: Lucas Thompson
Lucas earns his eighth design credit with Apocalypse Rising, but his work and passion for 2E far exceed those credits. Not only has he contributed to both sets in the Interaction Cycle so far, Lucas is well-known for his work on demo and beginner decks for the game. Lucas is meticulous and incredibly dedicated, with quite the ability to argue based on his beliefs and the data from his work. The game is better off for his work with it, and that's no less true here than anywhere else.

Focused on Deep Space Nine
The Interaction Cycle was originally designed as three sets - later split into four - all focused on interactive play. You can read a lot more about the kinds of interaction in Richard New's (The Guardian) article for the previous expansion. All of the sets in the cycle would focus on interaction, but then they were dived up by series/groups of series. Where All Our Yesterdays was Enterprise, The Original Series, and the associated movies, Apocalypse Rising would be based on Deep Space 9 content. In actuality, the original plan was for Project Clark to focus on both DS9 and TNG content, but it would be split into two separate pieces. The TNG content has become Project Connor, which won't be seen until 2021. That left the designers to comb through DS9 and look for new content they could create with an interactive bend.

Their first and biggest idea was to implement Dominion-occupied Cardassia into the world of Second Edition. They've done so with a new Dominion Headquarters - Cardassia Prime (Subjugated Planet)! This is the third option for [Dom] headquarters missions, but the first in the Alpha Quadrant. Much like many of the new HQ missions, it doesn't allow Non-Aligned cards to report and it restricts you from playing other HQs to go along with it. But I'll let Nathan Miracle (GooeyChewie) talk more about this new HQ, and some of the personnel and mechanics you'll find there, in his article that also posted today. And don't worry - you'll be seeing lots more Dominion themed cards very soon.

Nadia Larkin

Next, the designers turned their eyes to the [DS9] Federation and found inspiration in the episode from which this expansion got its name. In "Apocalypse Rising," the opening episode of the 5th season, Sisko, Odo, O'Brien, and Worf go undercover to infiltrate the Klingon Empire and expose a Changeling posing as a high-ranking Klingon. You'll find all four of those personnel, in full Klingon guise, in Apocalypse Rising - including Benjamin Sisko ("Jodmos, Son of Kobor"). As you would expect, he's an Infiltrator - but he's a [Fed] [DS9] personnel when you might have expected [Kli]. Well, in Second Edition, Infiltrators get the affiliation of their "sponsor" and not of whom they're infiltrating; this is why all the [Dom] Infiltrators are [Dom] and someone like Lovok Founder isn't [Rom]. Thus, Sisko, O'Brien, and Worf are [Fed] - Odo gets to be [Baj], as he is in most of his incarnations.

Jodmos Sisko's skills and attributes are typical for many Sisko personas, with the notable addition of Intelligence - an apt skill for someone on a covert mission. He has the ability to report directly aboard a [DS9] ship, which can let any [DS9] deck get some versatility when redeploying during the game. Finally, he grants an attribute bonus to all of the [DS9] Infiltrators present while at a [Kli] mission. That's a cool and flavorful ability that should shake up the mission selection in DS9 decks. And while there might only be one native [DS9] Infiltrator prior to Apocalypse Rising, there are about to be more. And ,if you're willing to pair up with the original Cardassia Prime, you can always use the Naprem to make all your [DS9] personnel Infiltrators.

Finally, the team decided to introduce the soldiers of "The Siege of AR-558" to the game. And while the Infiltration crew wants you to play Klingon missions, these Federation soldiers care about being at a [Dom] mission. Nadia Larkin (Dutiful Soldier), lets you start a fight at a [Dom] icon mission. If your opponent happens to run a [Dom] mission, then you can bring the fight to them; if they don't, you can lure them to your own mission. She'll grant you a kill with her text, but there are plenty of existing cards in the game that trigger off of winning a combat or engagement. And while there are lots of fun new cards playing around with the [Dom] mission theme in Apocalypse Rising, it's a theme that's been dabbled with before.

But it's not just Dominion, Infiltrators, and solders, oh my no. Sprinkled throughout this new expansion there are some fun things. Plus, a lot of the cards that fit into the themes outlined above fit nicely into other decks, too. But for now, I'll leave you with a small list of things you might find as you peruse the spoilers over the next two weeks. In the mean time, don't forget to check back here every day for spoilers until the release day of Friday, November 13th. Until then, please enjoy the preview of Apocalypse Rising!


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