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Rokassa (Tampering Vessel) and Nador (Curious Commander)

by Johannes Klarhauser, Staff Writer

12th January 2009

In Second Edition, the Cardassian fleet was never one to strike fear into the heart of an opponent. While ships like the Queen's Borg Cube, the U.S.S Prometheus, or the U.S.S. Defiant (Commandeered Warship) can be the centerpieces of extremely powerful decks, the Cardassian ships simply lack that certain something. Apart from the Naprem ("Machine Gun"), an integral part of a brilliant away team-decimating strategy cooked up in Ireland some time ago, the only two unique Cardassian ships that see regular play have been the Aldara and the Trager (Patrol Ship). The Aldara's Cunning bonus is nice if you can get ahead in points, and the Trager's Range reduction makes some substrategies a bit easier to pull off, but they are certainly not in the league of the ships mentioned above. Think: when was the last time you used A Few Minor Difficulties on a Cardassian ship?

The latest addition to the spoonheads' fleet is another example of a subtle and situational effect: All your [Car] personnel aboard gain [AU] while the ship's corresponding Commander is aboard. Assuming you can keep your Commander alive, what good does the [AU] icon do for you? There aren't exactly a whole lot of cards that make use of this icon, but the few that do certainly justify stocking the Rokassa.

Standard Punishment is one of the best cheater interrupts in the game: no “to play this card” requirements, you do not even have to face a dilemma (the drawback of cards like Rule of Acquisition #33 and Covenant) to play it. All your [AU] personnel are attributes +1. That often allows you to complete missions with one less personnel, which might very well make the difference between winning or losing.

Reflections is a space dilemma that potentially gives you choice stops. The more [AU] cards you have in play, the bigger your chances to get stops. If you can play the Rokassa and a few Cardassian weenies early on, you should have a decent number of [AU] cards in play to fuel a deep dig with Reflections by the time your opponent starts to attempt missions. Since you can choose the personnel who will be stopped, sometimes one or two events or interrupts revealed will be enough to take out the personnel who have the skills required by the mission (or by Where No One Has Gone Before, which you have wisely chosen to be next in your dilemma stack). By the way, don't forget about the scouting aspect of Reflections; with so many [AU] cards in play, you can have a look at the cards your opponent will draw next and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you know that they won't draw an Escape for the next two turns, go ahead and play those killer dilemmas you love so much!

To take advantage of these cards, it's necessary to have the corresponding Commander aboard. Fortunately, Favor the Bold introduces one in Nador (Curious Commander). Besides his status as the Rokassa's Commander, he's also the Cardassian “Artifact personnel,” which means he can be played for a significantly reduced cost after you have completed a mission that requires Officer or Treachery (as if you needed another reason to stock Kressari Rendezvous…). But even if you pay the printed cost, Nador is worth the price: no less than eight skills, including Geology and Physics to help against What Lies Beneath and We'll Never Know. Moreover, if you have completed a mission worth 40 or more points, he gives an additional boost to [AU] personnel present, a nice synergy effect with his ship. Try combining the Cardassian [AU] personnel and some regular Cardies with Non-Aligned [AU] personnel, and you are on your way to building one mean cheating deck. Here are some ideas for [Car][NA][AU]combos, First Edition style:

Elim Garak (Crafty Underling) plus Mardel (Overseer) in play plus Julian Bashir (Rebel Captain) in hand equals: use your spare copies of Bashir to get either a skill of your choice or a whopping attributes +6 for Mardel!

Rokassa plus Slar (Gorn Slave Master) plus Cardassians equals: it never hurts to have a 10-Cunning/10-Strength guy around.

Nador plus Comfort Women plus any [NA] personnel present equals: gain a skill, and while you're at it, add another attributes +1 to your Guls and Legates for good measure.

Nador plus Khan Noonien Singh (Bold Man) plus Martia (Duplicitous Chameloid) equals: make sure you don't lose your Commander during mission attempts…what's that you say? Khan and Martia aren't [AU]? True, and we don't want to keep those two from joining the Standard Punishment fun, so The Play's the Thing will do the trick.


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