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Allegiance: Reloading

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

24th November 2009

"We examined the remains and discovered it could be converted to enhance our propulsion systems. It was already dead. What would you have done? We traveled over ten thousand light years in less than two weeks. We'd found our salvation. How could we ignore it?" - Captain Rudolph Ransom

By now, you know that the crew of the U.S.S. Equinox have abandoned their Federation-inspired morality and have been using alien life forms as fuel for their trip back home to the Alpha Quadrant. In Second Edition, this is represented by the characters using "Nucleogenic" cards in place of losing points, killing the creatures to fuel their abilities.

One flaw with Equinox that was pointed out during testing was that they lack the "free plays" that Voyager gets, which means that they start out a bit slower than their honorable counterparts. However, while their ship doesn't grant them two free personnel, they do have a way to leverage their resources and accelerate their deployment a bit:

[Int] Forcing Their Way
Order - To play this interrupt, you must not command U.S.S. Voyager. Discard a Nucleogenic card from hand to place a [Voy] Treachery personnel aboard your U.S.S. Equinox.
"Stay the course!"

As many of the Equinox crewmembers are skill-heavy and a bit on the higher cost side of the scale, Forcing Their Way will help you accelerate your play and increase your cost-to-counter ratio for your personnel. But getting your personnel in play isn't the only key to the Equinox strategy. You also need a steady supply of either points or the Nucleogenic cards.

Many of the crew - such as Captain Ransom - either lose 5 points/discard a Nucleogenic card to get an immediate benefit. But there are a few other members of the crew that serve as the supply officers for the team: finding ways to get their Nucleogenic cards when they need them, or recycling them when they have to have them back.

Last article, we talked a lot about how we didn't want Voyager and Equinox to be inherently compatible. There was discussion about creating a new "Equinox" icon for the crew, making them totally separate from Voyager, but that direction was ultimately rejected. After all, there was a certain amount of cooperation and crossover between the crews. For example, take a look at one of the non-unique Equinox crewmen:

[Fed] 2 Angelo Tassoni
[Stf] [Voy] Human
•Biology •Navigation •Security •Treachery
When you play this personnel you may choose one: take a Nucleogenic card from your discard pile into hand; or place a Nucleogenic card you own that has been removed from the game on top of your deck.
[Integrity 4] [Cunning 6] [Strength 5]

Mr. Tassoni is meant for the Equinox deck, but he can also help out the Voyager crew, especially if you find a use for one of the Nucleogenic interrupts (in normal, "cheater" mode, that is). He will help you get back your Nucleogenic interrupts after you use them, but he will also give you a bit of protection from Dukat (Pah-Wraith Puppet). He doesn't help you get a Nucleogenic card when you need one, though. However, there is someone who will:

[Fed] 3 •Maxwell Burke (Arrogant First Officer)
[Cmd] [Voy] Human
•Anthropology •Leadership •Officer •2 Programming •Security •Treachery
Commander: U.S.S. Equinox.
Order - Discard two cards from hand to choose one: download a Nucleogenic card; or take a Nucleogenic card from your discard pile and place it on top of your deck.
[Integrity 3] [Cunning 6] [Strength 6]

Hopefully, you're starting to really see the beauty of the Equinox mechanics. You get to use Finding Our Way to grab your ship, and once you're aboard, Maxwell Burke can grab you the fuel you need to power your game text. He can also help to recycle your interrupts (along with Angelo Tassoni), but there's also another way. Stay tuned later this week to the Section 31 podcast for an exclusive spoiler of another way you can recycle your Nucleogenic cards.

The Equinox is the total package: skillful, loyal to one another, focused, and they have the tools they need to really be a powerful, competitive force. Check back tomorrow to see the rest of the team, and see a deck that shows how they can function in action.


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