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What McKenzie Can Do For Starfleet...

by Stephen R Sanders, Staff Writer

17th July 2009

Fiona McKenzie is the only First Edition-compatible card that will be appearing in This Side of Paradise. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about how she might fare in a First Edition deck based on the Starfleet affiliation.

As always, the litmus test for any Second Edition personnel looking to make it into a First Edition deck is whether the personnel’s skills and abilities outweigh his or her below-average (by First Edition standards) attributes. Because of this standard, unfortunately, many Second Edition personnel simply do not make the cut. I think this is especially true of Starfleet personnel. When Decipher released the First Edition Enterprise Collection, they hoped and intended that those personnel would be the core of the affiliation and that Second Edition personnel with the backwards-compatibility icon would fill-out the affiliation. Though other players might disagree with me, I’ve never found much reason to run any of the Second Edition personnel. With the exception of the MACOs, who can be useful if you can get them all on the table together, the rest of the backwards-compatible Starfleet personnel simply aren’t good enough compared with the First Edition Starfleet personnel to justify being stocked in a competitive deck. Fiona McKenzie, I think, changes that.

First things first, Ms. McKenzie’s attributes are not great, but they aren’t terrible either. She will be able to get past both The Weak Will Perish and a Flash Plasma Storm. She is susceptible to a Kazon Bomb, but that dilemma has ample ways to be overcome without her getting rubbed out. Let’s also not forget that as a Starfleet Security personnel, all of her attributes are +1 when Malcolm Reed is present.

McKenzie has some pretty solid skills. Navigation, Transporter Skill, and Security are only found on two other personnel from The Enterprise Collection. Of those skills, Security is vitally important for Starfleet because of the card Homefront. If a crafty opponent were to seed this The Trouble with Tribbles-expansion uncommon on your Earth, the Starfleet affiliation is in serious trouble. While this incident is annoying for any player to deal with, it totally shuts down the Starfleet deck until four Security are on the planet. This is because the facility, Seat of Starfleet, is what establishes that Earth is the homeworld for Starfleet personnel and that they may attempt Federation missions. If that incident were to be dropped on Earth, the Seat of Starfleet text would be not be useable and no Federation missions could be attempted unless four Security are parked on the planet. Clearly, a Starfleet player is going to need Security in excess because such a player does not want to have to leave both Reed and Admiral Forrest (along with two other Security) on Earth to be able to attempt missions. Having good, extra Security personnel, like McKenzie, in your deck is vital.

Finally, Fiona McKenzie’s special skill (ability to all the Second Edition readers) is what really justifies her inclusion in almost any First Edition Starfleet deck. As long as she is present with three MACOs, you may discard one card to pump any Starfleet personnel’s attributes by two when facing a dilemma. Previously, the MACOs did some cool things when they were together, but the ability to increase any Starfleet personnel’s attributes by two by discarding a card is, I think, enough of a justification to run squads of four or five MACOs plus McKenzie in most Starfleet decks. She simply allows Starfleet to muscle past a lot of dilemmas that would otherwise have stopped them for a turn or two.

Imagine a crack team of Hideaki Chang, Amanda Cole, Fiona McKenzie, Sascha Money, Nelson Kemper, and Sean Hawkins (all common/virtual personnel). Alone, each has the following attributes...
Chang: 5-5-6
Cole: 5-6-6
McKenzie: 6-5-6
Money: 5-5-6
Kemper: 4–4-4
Hawkins: 5-5-6

...But, together, they have...
Chang: 6-6-7
Cole: 8-9-9
McKenzie: 7–6-7
Money: 6–6-7 (can’t be killed by dilemmas)
Kemper: 10–10–10
Hawkins: 6-6-7

...and now with McKenzie, you need discard only one card from your hand to give any one of these personnel a boost of +2/+2/+2 when facing any dilemma. Not bad for five commons and a virtual print out!

I can’t wait to start throwing some commando squads, with McKenzie in the lead, into my Starfleet deck!

-djl-


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