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Insidious Dilemmas from the Delta Quadrant in Life From Lifelessness

by Austin Chandler, Staff Writer

14th June 2010

New dilemmas are exciting for First Edition players in a way that can't be compared with Second Edition. First Edition players have fixed dilemma piles, so we are always looking for a new combo that can hold our opponent back.

As you know, the Delta Quadrant is home to some of the best dilemma-busting decks in the game. With these new dilemmas, courtesy of Star Trek: Voyager episodes, those decks will face increased challenges to their speed and power.

There are four dilemmas from Life From Lifelessness that are pulled from Voyager. They are Damaged Reputation, Displaced, Distracted by Thoughts of Home, and Medical Crisis.

Damaged Reputation is a backwards-compatible card reprinted on a First Edition template. The card image has been kept. I really do think the dilemma looks better in a First Edition template than it did on the Second Edition one. The dilemma reads, If INTEGRITY>50, lose 5 points. To get past requires 2 Diplomacy OR any Intelligence and 2 Treachery OR STRENGTH>30 (STRENGTH>50 if this is a [Delta] mission).

With the high INTEGRITY of many Voyager-based Delta-Quadrant decks, this could hurt in the point area for many players. Intelligence-based skills (Obsidian Order, Section 31, FCA, Klingon Intelligence, Tal Shiar, etc., and the basic Intelligence) can be in short supply in the Delta Quadrant, so that can be a difficult requirement on its own. The best part of the card is that the STRENGTH requirement shifts if the dilemma is in the Delta Quadrant. While Hirogen could eat that requirement for breakfast, the other Delta Quadrant affiliations might not find it as easy.

Displaced is a great card image with a nice lore, inspiring players to go and look up the episode (Voyager, Season 3, if you're curious). The dilemma reads, One personnel present (random selection) relocated to nearest planet. To get past requires CUNNING>30 (CUNNING>50 if this is a [Delta] mission). Once again, if you are in the Delta Quadrant, you have to face a higher requirement, which might slow down the mission attempt. The fun part of this card is an unavoidable random relocation. Throw in other cards that do the same (Love Interest dilemmas and Hippocratic Oath come to mind) and you can scatter your opponent's crew 'round the quadrant. This is great for players who are focused on battle or capturing.

Distracted by Thoughts of Home is from one of my favorite episodes of Voyager. It was a great storyline, it was a great excuse for the Doctor to finally leave sickbay, and it was a time travel episode -- what more could I ask for? This dilemma reads: Place on mission. All personnel here are attributes all -1. Any player must discard a card from hand to attempt this mission. X = 4 if this is a [Delta] mission, otherwise 2. The X refers to the card's countdown box.

"Wow!" is the short word for this card. First off, combine this with The Clown: Bitter Medicine and you stand a good chance of making your opponent's attributes too low to complete the mission or other dilemma requirements. If you (or your opponent!) have Jonathan Archer from the Enterprise Collection, you can also make the countdown last an extra turn. Lastly, if seeded at a Delta Quadrant mission, it takes at least 4 turns to go away instead of 2.

Medical Crisis hails from the ideas of the show in the first couple seasons. Out in the wilds of the Delta Quadrant, communities don't have access to the best technology or supplies; they just try to survive. The dilemma reads, Randomly select a MEDICAL personnel. Killed if [Kaz] or [Vid], "stopped" otherwise. To get past, requires 2 Biology and (2 MEDICAL OR a Nurse).

This card gives us another MEDICAL-stopping card, useful since many kill dilemmas can be overcome by MEDICAL. Combine with Shot in the Back + Hippocratic Oath and you might be able to swing the heavy axe against MEDICAL in an away team. The Delta Quadrant Kazon and Vidiian affiliations are specifically targeted by this dilemma since their MEDICAL die instead of being stopped. While the Vidiians have plenty of MEDICAL, Kazon decks might be in trouble if they lose one of their MEDICAL personnel at a critical junction.

All the dilemmas in this set are terrific, but I picked these four because their design is so well-targeted. The designers of the new set weren't just content on giving us new filter or wall dilemmas. They wanted to give us dilemmas with some teeth against decks that would otherwise just fly by them. This should give First Edition players a feeling of satisfaction with this new set as well as making us salivate for the next set to come!

For now, PRINT, CUT, SLEEVE, PLAY!

-djl-


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