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Strategy: Out of Time

by Tim Davidson, Staff Writer

19th October 2010

Temporal Mechanics 101

With Out of Time, we get a new way to travel to and from a time location. A time location, a very useful card type particularly for Original Series and Enterprise era decks, is placed by itself on the table creating its own location separate from the space line. You must also include the corresponding mission in your deck which refers to the same location in the lore. Time locations typically bring free card plays or bonus points to your deck.

The only reliable way for your personnel or ships to travel to and from a time location is using Out of Time or one of the other time traveling cards. If you plan on using a time location as a key playing mechanic, or if your deck includes more than one time location, then you will want to use at least two of these methods.

Temporal Vortex
This doorway allows ships to travel freely from a time location to the corresponding space line location, and vice-versa. It does not seed, it only lasts for three of your turns, and your opponent can use it too. However, the Referee-icon makes this card very accessible, reliable, and recyclable when used with Q the Referee and Tribunal of Q.

Temporal Wake
This interrupt allows a second ship or Away Team to follow a crew or Away Team using one of the other time travel methods.

The Guardian of Forever
A free seed with no countdown, this Doorway allows personnel to travel from the Historical Research mission to a time location, or vice versa. It’s also a powerful drawing mechanic if you have enough copies to stock several in your deck (which will be everybody as soon as the virtual copy becomes printable). The down sides are that it does not work for ships and requires a planet mission. Because headquarters and time locations all also require specific planet missions, using The Guardian of Forever in a balanced space/planet deck might mean you’ll have to cut one of those playing mechanics. Open format players also need to watch out for Revolving Door (a card currently banned in the Official Tournament Format).

Orb of Time
This artifact allows your Orb-icon personnel’s ship or Away Team to time travel freely, from any mission (in any quadrant) to any time location (and vice versa), or from one time location to another! It’s an Orb and a “use as equipment” artifact so cards like Starry Night, HQ: Return Orb to Bajor, and Kai Opaka make the Orb Of Time one of the more accessible and reliable artifacts, but you’re still going to have to get by an opponent’s dilemma combo (in most formats). That makes this card more of a convenience for later in the game than a reliable method to get your crew together.

Wormhole
Not “time travel”, but a pair of Wormhole interrupts (or a Wormhole and a Space-Time Portal or a Wormhole mission) is a great way travel to or from a time location in a pinch. It’s more costly and less re-usable than the regular time travel methods, but it can be useful to get a ship directly to where it’s needed, like the I.S.S. Enterprise to the Alpha Quadrant to help your other Federation personnel solve missions.

Out of Time

Speed is everything in this game. Who wins a game usually comes down to who can get a crew out and beat missions faster, or who can cripple the opponent with battle or capturing before the opponent starts beating missions. When using time location play mechanics, as you will likely be in any Enterprise deck, you don't want to run out of time trying to get your crew from the time location to the regular space line.

The new card Out of Time allows you to time travel with personnel who have a new trait: temporal agent. It also includes a second function which returns up to three temporal agents in your discard pile to your hand. There are three temporal agent personnel currently in the game, all from the new Straight and Steady virtual set: Ensign Jameson for the Federation, the Non-Aligned Silik, and the Starfleet/Non-Aligned Daniels. Ensign Jameson and Daniels both download Out of Time, and Silik has a special skill to report to any time location. The "agents of the Department of Temporal Investigations" Dulmer and Lucsly are not temporal agents.

The card plays like an interrupt at any time, except during another action or mission attempt; it is not vulnerable to nullification because it's actually an incident. If your temporal agent is at a time location or a corresponding mission location, he may time travel from one to the other. The card allows the agent to bring along his or her ship or any number of personnel present. If a ship is not brought along, the temporal agent and any personnel travel to the planet location itself. The card does not permit time traveling onto your opponent's ship or outpost located at either end.

Compared to the other time traveling cards, Out of Time has some advantages. Two of the three personnel it works with also download it. It gives you the versatility of choosing exactly who time travels. It may be played more than once in a turn, and during your opponent's turn. It's also re-usable if you choose to stop your temporal agent and return it to the top of your draw deck.

The other function of the card, rescuing temporal agents from the discard pile, gives you a way to get your highly skilled temporal agents back in the game to tackle more dilemmas; it makes Daniels and Silik ideal fodder for the powerful drawing mechanic Temporal Shifting. If you are able to get three temporal agents in your discard pile, then Out Of Time has the interesting effect of magically turning one card in your hand into three cards in your hand. This can be converted to extra card draws with Renewal Scroll, Masaka Transformations (downloaded by Obelisk of Masaka), and the third function of Handshake.

For your Enterprise-era decks who may be using Daniels and Silik already, Out of Time is a useful way to travel from your time locations when you need to get up and go. The creative player can also use Out of Time to make some drawing mechanics more effective.

Card Combos

Defend Homeworld + Daniels + Out of Time
The seedable Q the Referee card Defend Homeworld downloads Daniels' SECURITY, and he downloads Out of Time.

Out of Time + Temporal Wake + a temporal agent at a time mission
The old wormhole stranding strategy was Q-Refereed and then fixed with an erratum, but with this combo, you can send your opponent's ship caught at a corresponding mission location back in time, where they will be stranded unless they can find a way to time travel back. Play Temporal Wake to force your opponent's ship to follow your temporal agent. Borg Ship and The Sheliak are currently banned in the Official Tournament Format, so there's a good chance your Alpha Quadrant opponent who did not plan on time traveling will not have the Referee card Temporal Vortex to get them out of this jam. (Remember, your opponent can use your The Guardian of Forever if you have one.)

-djl-


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