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The Bajoran (Equinox) Resistance Team

by Charlie Plaine, Extreme Measures Assistant Designer

31st January 2011

Today, I'm going to attempt to regale you with a tale about the new Bajoran Resistance team, and find out how a trio of mild-mannered (i.e. uncreative) designers were inspired by (i.e. ripped off) the Equinox to make a team unlike any other (that isn't really a team, strictly speaking.)

It all started back in 2009 when the design team was working on Infinite Diversity. I was a member of that team, and was tasked with finding a cycle of non-aligned personnel that could be part of the draft kit, when I happened across the Children of Light. I thought it might be an interesting riff on their First Edition versions (that were all dual affiliation) if they "changed" from Non-Aligned into their "original" affiliation based on what you decided to draft.

In all honestly, it was a fairly cool idea (that turned out really well) and one of which I'm fairly proud. The only downside is that adding the non-unique Children of Light pretty much "locked us in" to doing the unique Children of Light at some point in the future.

As we wrapped up our draft product, I got a text message from Brad DeFruiter, our retiring Lead Designer and someone I consider a close friend:

Brad: I want you to work on Jordan. You'll be finishing the Children of Light.
Charlie: Well, what if I don't want to?
Brad: ...
Charlie: ... What? ... It's possible, isn't it?
Brad: ...
Charlie: ... I'll do it.
Brad: That's right. You will. *dun dun dun*

*cough* Anyway... so that's how I ended up on the design team for Extreme Measures. And about a year later, and many, many, many revisions of Iden, Weiss and their support cards, they ended up in the play test file for Jordan. To paraphrase TNG, "The fight did not go well, Enterprise." Testers thought the cards didn't gel well together and there wasn't a reason to use them together.

Discouraged but not defeated, we made revisions and updated the file. They felt more like a team, and there were definitely reasons to use them together - but now, they couldn't win a game. They couldn't even solve a mission. It was a well-thought out, cohesive, piece of crap deck.

Brad and I hopped on Skype, and realized we had to make a hard decision. The Children of Light weren't working, and we had to decide if we wanted to devote the time and energy to re-engineer them, or cut our losses and try something new. It was right about then that we got the submission from 2010 Second Edition World Champion Tobias Rausmann's design-a-card - an Artifact that supported a Bajoran Resistance deck. I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure a choir of angels erupted into song and a light shone down from above - although it might have been the street light outside.

With Tobias' card in hand, we had our new team: Bajoran Resistance. And actually, we owe the entire idea behind the BR Team's mechanic to him - his original card allowed the members of the Bajoran Resistance to trade in their weapons of war (Hand Weapons and Assault events) to get past dilemmas.

Sound familiar?

The Equinox team from Allegiance brought a new concept to Second Edition - cost conversion. The Equinox herself allowed the team to play one cost in place of a different, more expensive cost. In the case of "evil Voyager," you could discard Nucleogenic cards instead of losing 5 points.

Looking at the Te'nari, you could argue that it's derivative of the Equinox. Maybe it is. But cost conversion is an interesting area for design to explore, and as long as it isn't overused, I think it could make for some even more interesting teams in the future.

But here's the really exciting part - Te'nari allows you to avoid losing 5 points by destroying your Hand Weapons or your Assault events, but it doesn't require you to do so. I personally think that Bajorans have one of the best ways to score points in the game. So you have a choice - do I substitute my Assault events to power my abilities? Or do I lose some of the points I earned in battle? Choices are essential to fun and exciting game play, and for all their flaws, if there's one thing the Bajoran Resistance team offers - it's choices.

So dig out your Second Edition and your Necessary Evil binders and start working on your Bajoran Resistance decks. We've got a lot of great cards to show you ahead of Friday's release, and we can't wait to see what you guys can do with the new cards in Extreme Measures!
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