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November's Balance Team Update

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

2nd November 2020

Welcome to the First Monday of the month, November 2nd, the day that the Department of First Edition issues balance updates. Typically, this includes the release of errata, updates to the OTF Ban List, and changes to the Watch List. Today we have a big batch errata, but that shouldn't scare you. We're also adding one card to the OTF Ban List. Let's go over all of the information you'll need to understand these changes.

Errata Updates
Today is our first batch of clarifying errata, encompassing eight (8) cards. Clarifying errata are issued via the Rules Team and are meant to remove or otherwise clarify rulings from the glossary by updating the affected cards. In most cases, these errata make very small functional changes, if at all, and simply update the cards wording to be more modern. Eight of the nine (9) cards changed today fall into this category, all based around the "cure" rules. You can read more about these changes, and the reasoning behind them, in the rules article by Rules Manager James Heaney (BCSWowbagger).

Alien Abduction, Alien Abduction: Test Subjects, Computer Weapon & Hyper Aging, DNA Metamorphosis, Hyper-Aging, Menthar Booby Trap, Nitrium Metal Parasites, and REM Fatigue Hallucinations all receive updated wording. All of these dilemmas now use the word "cure," so all the exceptions from those rules can be removed. Additionally, the three dilemmas that used the older "at the end of your Nth turn" wording now have countdown icons.

Here is the new text of the eight (8) updated dilemmas:

Alien Abduction
Most CUNNING Away Team member (owner's choice if tie) is held atop mission. Cure with 3 Leadership. Nullified when mission completed.

Alien Abduction: Test Subjects
Three personnel (random selection) are held with dilemma atop mission. Cure with 2 Physics OR a Holodeck and CUNNING>40.

Computer Weapon & Hyper-Aging
Iconian Computer Weapon: No changes.
Hyper-Aging: [4] Entire crew or Away Team is quarantined (dies when countdown expires). Cure with SCIENCE and 2 MEDICAL.

DNA Metamorphosis
Place on one personnel present (random selection). At the end of your next turn, that personnel is placed in stasis. Cure, before then, with MEDICAL and I.P. Scanner.

[4] Entire Away Team is quarantined (dies when countdown expires). Cure with SCIENCE and 2 MEDICAL. [Point Box: 5]

Menthar Booby Trap
Place on ship; it cannot move. Unless MEDICAL present, one crew member killed (random selection). Cure with 2 ENGINEER.

Nitrium Metal Parasites
[3] Place on ship. Ship is destroyed when countdown expires. Cure with 2 SCIENCE OR 2 ENGINEER.

REM Fatigue Hallucinations
[4] Personnel who encountered dilemma die when countdown expires unless cured by 3 MEDICAL OR boarding your outpost. [Point Box: 5]

The final errata for this month is to Rayna Kapec, one of the new [OS] android personnel from The Neutral Zone. She was designed to have SCIENCE-classification, with MEDICAL and ENGINEER as her skills. Unfortunately, she was printed with MEDICAL-classification, unintentionally giving her double MEDICAL. While useful, she has been updated to give her the classification she was intended to have.

OTF Ban List Changes
After spending some time on the Watch List, we have made the decision to ban the tactic Breen Disruptor Burst. We originally placed it on the Watch List out of concern that it was warping tactic choice. By being so much better than almost any other tactic, it was pushing out other options. Time has proven this to be true, and the Design team found themselves under pressure to make "magic bullet" counters to deal with this specific tactic. For these reasons, we're making the decision to ban this card in OTF play, effective immediately.

By removing Breen Disruptor Burst from organized play, we are hoping to get data on the remaining tactics and how often they see play. Once we have that information, we can make more informed choices about adding new tactics and/or re-balancing existing tactics to ensure there are viable choices for players. That would not be possible with BDB still in the available card pool.

Regular updates to errata, the OTF Ban List, and the Watch List are scheduled for the First Monday of each month. The next scheduled update is Monday, December 7th, 2020.

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