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Strategy Articles

Into the Final Frontier, Part 5 - Choosing a Headquarters (3 of 4)

by Chris Heard; Updated by James Hoskin, Staff Writer

2nd March 2009

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Ferenginar (Financial Hub). Ferenginar is an uncommon card from the Strange New Worlds expansion. You may play [Fer] Ferengi cards, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Ferenginar.

As in the television series, the Ferengi's greatest strength in the Star Trek CCG is resource management. Several Ferengi cards, including Rule of Acquisition #144, Ishka (Moogie), Zek (The Grand Nagus) and the Ferengi Computer allow you to store cards beneath your Ferenginar, or retrieve them from beneath your Ferenginar, to achieve various effects. For example, when your Ferengi personnel is about to be stopped by a dilemma, you can slide your Ferengi Computer under Ferenginar to prevent that. In turn, the Ferengi Computer that you just placed beneath Ferenginar feeds the ability of Kazago (First Officer), whose attributes gain +1 (with a limit of +3) for each card beneath your Ferenginar.

The Ferengi are business-savvy, and as such they know how to turn a profit. In game terms, this translates into getting the most out of your Play and Draw Cards phase. Many decks of all types stock more ships than will ultimately be needed on the table; for example, a deck may only need to get one or two ships into play, but may include four or five ships to ensure that one is drawn in a timely fashion. The Ferengi personnel Lurin (Renegade DaiMon) allows you to "sell" your extra ships to get additional counters to spend each turn. Similarly, Par Lenor (Lascivious Emissary) gives your event cards "100% resale value," enabling you to destroy one of your events in play to spend additional counters equal to that event's cost. A good return on investment is a major Ferengi theme.

Founders' Homeworld (Home of the Great Link). Founders' Homeworld is found in the Dominion starter deck from the Call to Arms expansion. You may play [Dom] Dominion cards, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Founders' Homeworld.

If you want access to the full depth of the Dominion's [GQ] Gamma Quadrant resources, Founders' Homeworld is the headquarters for you. On the Deep Space Nine television series, the Dominion's masterminds are shape-shifters, adept at changing their appearance to mimic other forms. This ability allows them to infiltrate the Federation and wreak havoc in the [AQ] Alpha Quadrant. Similarly, in the Star Trek CCG, a number of the Changeling personnel - characters like Bashir Founder (Nefarious Saboteur) and Lovok Founder (Puppet Master) - bear the keyword "Infiltrator." These cards, and a number of others, also reference a related keyword, "Infiltration." The Infiltration events and interrupts can give you some powerful effects. For example, the event Misdirection causes opposing personnel who are present with your Infiltrator to take a -1 penalty to their attributes (Integrity, Cunning, and Strength). The interrupt Pseudopod is more vicious: by playing this interrupt you can randomly kill an opposing personnel present with your Infiltrator, at the cost of returning that Infiltrator to your hand. Playing either of these cards, or one of the many other Infiltration cards, can have ripple effects depending on which Infiltrators you have present with your opponents' personnel. If, for instance, you play Misdirection to your core while you have Bashir Founder (Nefarious Saboteur) present with your opponent's personnel, then not only does Misdirection make those personnel attributes -1, but Bashir Founder himself allows you to draw a card.

If the subterfuge of infiltration does not appeal to you, consider the raw combat power of the Jem'Hadar, a species that serves as the Dominion's soldiers and shock troops in the Deep Space Nine television series. In the Star Trek CCG, Jem'Hadar personnel tend to have Strength 8, and a few, like Goran'Agar (Trusted Commander), even have Strength 9. This consistently-high strength makes it easy for the Jem'Hadar to win combat. Moreover, a number of missions - Destroy Iconian Gateway, for example - have requirements like "Strength>32" or "Strength>34," an easy standard for four or five Jem'Hadar to meet. If you prefer ship-to-ship engagements over personnel combat, you're in luck with the Dominion as well. Even their smallest ship, the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, has Weapons 8, and the bigger Jem'Hadar Warship has Weapons 9 with only one additional staffing icon. In fact, the Dominion's ships have the best ratio of staffing requirements to ship attributes of any ships in the game. Better yet, cards like Jem'Hadar Ambush and Jem'Hadar Strike Force reward you for winning combat and engagements by giving you points and other benefits.

Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9). Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9) is found in the Deep Space Nine starter deck from the Second Edition Premiere set. You may play cards with the [DS9] Deep Space Nine reporting icon, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9).

One of the distinctive features of Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9) is that it - like its namesake on television - can be a kind of "melting pot" for a variety of species and affiliations. The Deep Space Nine reporting icons appear on a variety of personnel from the Federation and Bajoran affiliations, as well as a few from other affiliations, most notably Quark (True Ferengi), Rom (Younger Brother), and Elim Garak (Plain, Simple Tailor). If you're using Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9), you can access a blend of the Federation's mission-completing prowess and the Bajorans' ability to retrieve or otherwise use cards in your discard pile, at a cost of choosing from a narrower range of personnel within each affiliation. Most Deep Space Nine decks end up being straightforward mission-completing decks that use plenty of skill manipulation cards to access exactly the right skill set at exactly the right time.

In addition to their eclectic "best of both worlds" feel, the Deep Space Nine personnel can access some abilities less easily available when playing other affiliations, even when using Bajor (Gift of the Prophets) or Earth (Home of Starfleet Command). For one, the headquarters mission itself makes it much easier to get into the [GQ] Gamma Quadrant, making cards like Distant Exploration that much easier to use effectively. While Medical Teams - a card that saves Deep Space Nine personnel from death - can be used with decks based around Bajor (Gift of the Prophets) and Earth (Home of Starfleet Command), the variety of Deep Space Nine personnel available when using Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9) gives you a better return on your investment in that event.

Mouth of the Wormhole (Terok Nor). Mouth of the Wormhole (Terok Nor) is an uncommon card from the Call to Arms expansion. You may play cards with the [TN] Terok Nor reporting icon, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Mouth of the Wormhole (Terok Nor).

Terok Nor is the Cardassian name for the space station that the Federation christened "Deep Space Nine," and the Mouth of the Wormhole (Terok Nor) headquarters mission represents that time period when the Dominion, allied with the Cardassians, retook the station. Most cards that bear the Terok Nor reporting icon belong to the Cardassian or Dominion affiliations, including Terok Nor versions of popular characters such as Dukat (Liberator and Protector), Damar (Useful Adjutant), and Founder Leader (Beguiling Teacher). Cardassian/Dominion Terok Nor decks tend to be somewhat eclectic, focusing on completing missions or game themes that are strengths for both Cardassians and the Dominion, such as ship engagements.

Of course, there were still Bajorans and other characters on Terok Nor during the Dominion War, and those personnel are well represented in the Star Trek CCG. Indeed, Terok Nor decks need not focus on the Cardassians and Dominion. Another popular Terok Nor deck archetype focuses on personnel who bear the keyword "Dissident." The roster of Dissidents with Terok Nor reporting icons includes Kira Nerys (Reformed Collaborator), Quark (Resistance Informant), and Odo (Wayward Link). Dissident decks tend to move through draw decks rather quickly, since discarding a card from your hand or the top of your deck is frequently a cost or effect of playing Dissidents and their associated events. In fact, using Jake Sisko (Reporter Behind the Lines) to strip down your opponent's draw deck is a popular Dissident strategy. Cards like The New Resistance and Allies on the Inside help you get your dissidents into play faster, though sometimes at a high cost to your hand size.

continued on page 4 >

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< Part 4 - Customizing Your Starter Decks � Into the Final Frontier Index � Part 6 - Choosing Missions and Personnel >

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