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Strategy Articles

Holding Cell

by Johannes Klarhauser, Staff Writer

27th August 2010

If you've had a look at the cards that have been revealed so far, you'll have noticed that Sent Back, a support card for the mean green Romulan machine, allows you to surgically remove a specific personnel – at least, for a time.

In Peak Performance, Romulans are not the only affiliation who will get some form of scalpel with which they can get rid of those staple personnel that make it into any deck because they are just that good. Today's card, Holding Cell, does something similar for our brave defenders of the wormhole. But that's not all...

At the hefty cost of four counters, Holding Cell has a steep price, but it can work as a serious roadblock against some of the most-played personnel. Just call out the offender's name, and the likes of James T. Kirk (Original Thinker) or Reyga (Young Scientist) or Evek (Agent of Cardassian Justice) or the Borg Queen (Guardian of the Hive) or Korath (Duplicitous Tinkerer) or Mara (Science Officer) will be put on ice. As they're still in play, your opponent will not be able to play another copy of them as long as the event is in play. Also, note that while personnel on Holding Cell are still commanded, the card explicitly says that abilities cannot be used anymore. Sorry, Brunt (FCA Liquidator), maybe next time, Fifth (Neonatal Drone), but we'll have to keep you here for a while...

So, why not just destroy your Holding Cell so I can play another copy of My Favourite Personnel? Easier said that done. Here, the Holding Cell's secondary function kicks in: it eats interrupts. As long as there is room in the cell, any interrupts your opponent tries to play (maybe a Grav-Plating Trap to break Kruge (Instinctive Commander) out of prison?) will be absorbed by the force-field until the Decay count of three is reached and the event destroyed, releasing the cards it held to the discard pile(s).

Note that you can have multiple Holding Cells in play, so you can hold up to three key personnel captive at the same time, while being immune to up to six interrupts. Of course, in order to play Holding Cell in the first place, some Defensive Upgrades can help to make sure your expensive event isn't countered right away.

In a way, this is even better than placing your opponent's key personnel in your brig, where a simple Rescue Captives would be enough to bail them out again. With Holding Cell, [DS9] can once more show its signature theme of protecting our stuff to make sure the prisoners won't escape. Cards like Number One (Reputable Officer) or Skalaar (Bounty Hunter) won't be of any use trying to get through that force field to free their friends; if your opponent wants to play those personnel in the cell again, they will have to destroy the event. Of course, Miles O'Brien (Repair Chief) won't like this. The easiest way to get rid of the event seems to be to waste some interrupts and force Holding Cell to decay. That will do the trick, but is it worth it?

Finally, don't forget that Holding Cell is not limited to the [DS9] crew. It only requires three [DS9] personnel to play, so besides the given Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9), Bajor (Gift of the Prophets) and Earth (Home of Starfleet Command), even [TOS] and [Fer] decks can take advantage of it without too much trouble.

So, who is going to be the first personnel you're going to arrest? Let us know on the message boards!

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