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"If I Were Federation Commander..." Part II

by Kevin Jaeger, Creative Consultant

1st December 2009

Welcome back. I was able to dodge the Day Kannu search party and anticipate being free and clear the rest of the way. Let's get back to building this deck to mount our siege resistance.

As I was able to hint at yesterday, "Allegiance" features a low-cost O'Brien, and boy is this a good O'Brien.

[Fed](2) *Miles O'Brien (Vastly Outnumbered)
[Stf][DS9] Human
Astrometrics Engineer Honor Transporters
While an opponent commands a Maneuver event, the ship this personnel is aboard is Shields +4.
[Integrity 7] [Cunning 6] [Strength 6]

His two cost is enticing because it gives you his Integrity of seven at a more 'speed friendly' price. Sure, he still has Honor, and that will hurt against An Issue of Trust, but you get Astrometrics which is more mission friendly. Plus, his ability means that you could give your U.S.S. Ganges a potential Shields value of twelve, or your U.S.S. Centaur Shields of eleven, or mainly your Defiant-class ships a nearly impenetrable Shields value of fourteen. That will further slow down an aggressive opponent. So, even when your opponent gets past the Defiant's gametext, he will still have Shields of fourteen to try and break through. That won't be easy even with Point Blank Strike. This O'Brien will go in the deck for all those reasons. Suck it, Kruge.

Covering our proverbial flank will be a new Odo.

[Baj](4) *Odo (Vastly Outnumbered)
[Cmd][DS9] Changeling
Honor Law Programming Security
Shape-shifter. While an opponent commands an Assault event, this personnel cannot be killed or stopped by dual dilemmas.
[Integrity 7] [Cunning 7] [Strength 8]

Odo is 'da bomb' and is another stop and kill preventer which, when combined with the other ones Deep Space 9 (DS9) has, you can put together a pretty good team - and that's the point of Allegiance right? Then, of course, this Odo has some beefy stat's too. So Odo is in.

Speaking of prevention, kill prevention has been known to come in handy every so often. :)

[Fed](3) *Julian Bashir (Vastly Outnumbered)
[Stf][DS9] Human
Biology Exobiology Medical Science
Genetically Enhanced. When a dilemma that has a cost of 1 or more and does not require a skill is about to kill your personnel present, if an opponent commands an Assault event, you may discard a card from hand to prevent that.
[Integrity 5] [Cunning 8] [Strength 6]

I don't think there will ever be a Bashir with a printed cost of two, so we'll just accept the cost of three as a given minimum and look at the rest of him. We give up a Medical to add Science, which I personally think is a plus. When it comes to the Federation, I'd rather have more different skills and assume I've got Security Drills to cover multiples. I don't need that second Medical when Science opens up more mission possibilities. Bashir's true worth, though, is in his ability. I'd use Under Siege just to open up Bashir's and Quark's abilities. If you combine Bashir with say, Ezri Dax (Resourceful Counselor), you can be completely Necessary Execution proof. So let's put Bashir in the deck to handle the Dal'Rok and Unfair Terms from getting kills and Final Adventure, Clown: Guillotine, and/or the aforementioned Necessary Execution from being able to go after your mission skills.

So we have our Allegiance core group of Li Nalas, Odo, Quark, O'Brien and Bashir. We'll toss in three copies of Under Siege to get the ball rolling, too. What those three have going for them is that three of the five have solid Integrity. So let's focus the deck on Integrity missions. Since DS9 is a span-one headquarters, and all of our ships have (or can have) eight Range, we can definitely take a look at a mission set that could favor three-span space over planet. One thing though, let's make sure that ideally we get 100 points on three missions. Let's go with a solid Investigate Destruction-Host Metaphasic Shield Test-Investigate Maquis Activity-Track Survivors manageable Integrity mission set. With this set, we can take advantage of a tight skill set, low attribute requirements, 100 points in several different ways, and some obvious choices for sprinkling in some Non-Aligned personnel if necessary. Also, four of the Allegiance five have skills for the missions, and Quark does too if you complete Investigate Destruction using the Navigation/Security/Treachery route.

Now let's get the rest of our personnel cards selected. First, I'm going to double dose Quark to take full advantage of his ability to get the deck rolling reliably. Second, I'm going to select a Sisko and a Kira. The Sisko I have in mind for this deck is Benjamin Sisko (Defiant Captain). If I want to fully utilize my switchblade of ships against varying opponent's deck types, he will allow me to do so more effectively than Vastly Outnumbered Sisko. (I'm looking at the Defiant in particular here.) I'll double dose him also to make it more likely that I can pull the right ship out of my deck early. The choice of Kira is a lot harder; there are so many to look at and choose between. Well, I need more Diplomacy and Leadership for a reasonable price, so Blockade Commander, Colonel Kira, and Lela are my choices. The bonus attribute would fit perfectly with the strategy of the deck, but Lela's Law might be necessary to the skill matrix and the card retrieval would certainly come in handy for when I Energize, use Bashir's ability, or play some Tongo. So I'm gonna choose Lela. In essence, she costs two since you get a free card to hand to account for the third counter. I like that, plus I like that she could get back say, an At What Cost? I used the same turn to get two uses out of it. So let's note that for the verbs section, that Tongo/At What Cost?/Energize is the planned strategy for acceleration and keeping the speed of the deck up.

The rest of the support personnel require a lot more maneuvering than the rest to get a solid skill matrix for dilemmas, but the main guys (for strategy purposes) I'll go with are Melora Pazlar and her ability to make use of those five points from Tongo to act as a quasi-stop/kill preventer by taking an attribute or pair of skills; Weyoun ("Defective" Clone) for his skills and ability to also act as a Quasi-stop/kill preventer; Nog (Little Green Man) to work with Tongo and actually be a self-stop preventer; and George Primmin for the same latter reason. They will work synergistically with Odo and Bashir to up the likelihood of key preventions, providing first-attempt mission completions. All the above also have a minimum six Integrity and minimum seven when paired with the Centaur.

The verb section starts with what was discussed before, the acceleration strategy. I'm just gonna go full bore into it and do three of each in order to make sure it rolls early in every game. Not to mention needing three copies of Tongo for things like Causal Recursion and/or the Phoenix (Risen from the Ashes). Naturally, we'll include the three copies of Under Siege to make the core Allegiance group's abilities work. The other thing I will do is, after looking over the skill matrix, include a way to cheat some skills in since I have reliable attribute inflation and stop prevention. Security Drills is the likely first choice, which I will go with since the dilemmas likely to hurt me (Breaking the Ice, Gomtuu, Tsiolkovsky Infection, Occupational Hazards) require skills in multiples such that Rite of Emergence, etc. won't help enough. Not only that, but with skill horses like Jadzia Dax (Science Officer) and William Ross, most of the bases will be covered. The real issue with the skills is the openness to An Issue of Trust and Personal Duty. The idea here, though, is to have just enough ways to prevent stops and/or have attributes to force additional dilemmas. This leads me to the final strategy/weapon idea that will work perfectly with the deck synergy. Suprise Amity.

With At What Cost? acceleration, and Melora Pazlar spending the points, and Tongo providing them if necessary, the deck has some leeway with its points strategy. Should you score five points with Tongo, you spend them for a speed burst or a Melora burst. Should you score a mission, you can burn five points off of it from either and put yourself at, say 25, total points. When your opponent scores a mission, hit him or her with Surprise Amity, and unless the mission was a 20 pointer, he or she will be stopped and losing time. You get a burst, your opponent is slowed down... fun stuff. Then later, you can use the Tongo to get the points back. It's all about the timing. The thing I like best about Suprise Amity is that it's unbiased. It hurts all opponents equally. Well, maybe not equally since that pesky Goval opponent will feel it more.

So there is the deck. Feel free to try it out and modify it to your own liking and to the meta you play in. Specifically, consider pulling the copies of Suprise Amity and/or Security Drills in favor of some event destruction, dilemma manipulation or even some dilemma attrition if it suits you. Try Desperate Sacrifice, Worth the Price, and The Crystalline Entity for event destruction, and consider Machinations, Delirium, Storage Compartment, or Stir Crazy for dilemma manipulation. As for dilemma attrition, if you target space missions over planet ones, and have extra points to spend from Tongo, you might want to consider going with a copy of Field Studies.

Enjoy the DS9 team found in Allegiance. I know I will since, if I were Federation Commander, I wouldn't abandon DS9 so easily. Let's just hope they keep getting some more love and continue to get even more competitive. Hmmmmm...maybe I should challenge our esteemed Chairman to a game pitting this deck against his Equinox deck?


Missions

•Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9)
•Investigate Maquis Activity
•Track Survivors
•Host Metaphasic Shielding Test
•Investigate Destruction

Draw Deck (43)

Event
3 At What Cost?
3 Energize
2 Security Drills
3 Tongo: Confront
3 Under Siege

Interrupt
2 Surprise Amity

Personnel
1 Kira Nerys (Lela)
1 Kurn (Bajoran Security Officer)
1 Li Nalas (Vastly Outnumbered)
1 Mardah (Quite a Writer)
1 Odo (Vastly Outnumbered)
2 Benjamin Sisko (Defiant Captain)
1 George Primmin (Starfleet Security)
1 Jadzia Dax (Science Officer)
1 Julian Bashir (Vastly Outnumbered)
1 Melora Pazlar (Independent Personality)
1 Miles O'Brien (Vastly Outnumbered)
1 William Ross ("Temporary" Ally)
1 Worf (Defiant Commander)
1 Nog (Little Green Man)
2 Quark (Vastly Outnumbered)
1 Rom (Little Green Man)
1 Ambassador Gral (High-Ranking Official)
1 Persis (Loyal Daughter)
1 Shran (Reluctant Diplomat)
1 Weyoun ("Defective" Clone)

Ship
2 U.S.S. Centaur (Patrolling Ship)
1 U.S.S. Defiant (Patrolling Warship)
1 U.S.S. Ganges (One of the First)
1 U.S.S. Sao Paulo (NCC-75633)

-djl-


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