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Legacy - Left Behind and Repressed Message

by James Hoskin, Assistant Designer

29th October 2009

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, when I was helping design the Raise the Stakes expansion, one of my aims was to create a meta-defining dilemma - something along the lines of Gomtuu Shock Wave or Where No One Has Gone Before. Unfortunately, my idea never saw the light of day as it was overpowered and got cut after a couple of weeks. Fortunately (for me), someone decided it would be a good idea to let me loose and design any card I wanted for the 15th Anniversary Collection.

Something that I thought that needed addressing was the number of players who only use one ship throughout an entire game. My first attempt to address this in a meta-defining dilemma, with story from the Voyager episode Basics, Part I, could devastate such a player, but would be little more than an inconvenience to a player with two ships in play:

[S] Kazon Ambush

Unless you have 2 Engineer, 2 Medical, and 2 Science or 2 Security, 2 Hand Weapons, and Strength>32, randomly select a personnel to be killed and your opponent chooses a planet mission in the same quadrant as this mission. Place all your personnel (including stopped personnel on the same ship) on that mission. Those personnel are stopped.

"I AM going to make you play a second ship" - James, Feb 09

A couple of weeks later, I saw the card in template form and it had been given a cost of nine. I realised it would probably never get played at such a cost, and asked if the cost would be reduced if the random kill was removed. Brad's reply was as follows:

"I couldn't make it double digits is why it is nine. Moving all those personnel away from the mission without means to go to a headquarters or ship means they should be costed like kills or maybe even captures. So removing the kill would not change the cost but would cut down on the words on card. It is my opinion that this should cost between 8 and 20 depending on how hard it would be to rescue these personnel."

The thought of a dilemma costing 20 did put a grin on my face, but common sense dictated that I should scrap the card and replace it with something slightly more sensible. Shortly before this happened, the Rogue Borg Ship (in a different form than what it ultimately became) had been suggested, and I thought that it encouraged the use of multiple ships better than my idea did. With this in mind, I began thinking about another idea. It was quite simple: face your own dilemma(s).

The Voyager episode, Repression, that inspired this dilemma, involved Tuvok being brainwashed and attacking his own shipmates. I will admit that I couldn't think of a good alternative, but I do think that this storyline really fits well with the idea. The wording went through various changes during testing, but the intent always stayed the same: face your own dilemma.

Now the story should end there, but it turned out that someone else on the Legacy design team really liked my Kazon Ambush idea. They asked "could I find a way/story to reduce the number of personnel being relocated, and thus lower the cost?" Immediately, I thought about Kahn being abandoned by Kirk on Ceti Alpha V (from the Original Series episode Space Seed), and Janeway and Chakotay getting left on a planet after contracting an incurable virus (from the Voyager episode Resolutions); and pitched a few ideas. The one that got picked was as follows:

[S] Incurable Virus

Randomly select two personnel. They cannot use their skills while facing this dilemma. Unless you have 3 Biology and 3 Medical or 2 Navigation, Transporters, and Shields>8, your opponent places those personnel on a planet mission in the same quadrant as this mission.

The first set of requirements represent The Doctor's inability to find a cure for Janeway and Chakotay, while the second set represents the struggle Voyager's remaining crew went through with the Vidiians to obtain the cure.

Two changes happened during testing. The first made the dilemma slightly easier to overcome by reducing the first set of requirements to 2 Biology and 2 Medical - although The Doctor still can't meet these requirements by himself. The second change happened as a result of testers pointing out that the dilemma did nothing if you don't have a planet mission in the same quadrant. Consequently, the two selected personnel now get stopped before being potentially moved, so even if there is nowhere to move them, the dilemma still has some effect on the attempt.

The end.

The moral of the story: If you watch a lot of Voyager episodes before pitching cards, you're going to pitch a lot of ideas based on the Voyager storyline.

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