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Ready to Die

by James Cream, Staff Writer

9th February 2011

Starfleet Deck :  Ready to Die

Seed Deck: (36)
Missions: (6)
Espionage Mission (Earth)
Control Plague
Automated Repair Station
Test Mission
Fissure Research
Aid Clone Colony

Dilemmas: (21)
Personal Duty
Friendly Fire
Kelvan Show of Force
Picking Up the Pieces
No Loose Ends
Duonetic Field Generator
Dead End
Edo Probe
DNA Clues
Chula: The Door
Framed for Murder
Medical Crisis
Mimetic Symbiot
Navigational Hazards
Q Gets the Point
Scientific Method

Facilities: (1)
Neutral Outpost

Time Locations: (2)
22nd-Century San Francisco

Augment Research Facility

Other Seeds:  (6)
Finally Read to Swim
Assign Mission Specialists
Defend Homeworld
Tribunal of Q
Alternate Universe Door
Q's Tent

In Q's Tent: (13)
Captain's Log
Defiant Dedication Plaque
Divert Power
Straight and Steady
Starship Enterprise (TWT)
Medical Kit
Starfleet Phaser Pistol
Engineering Tricorder
Masaka Transformations
Emory Erickson
Charles Tucker III

Draw Deck: (73)
For Free at Seat of Starfleet: (30%)
Maxwell Forest
Daniel Leonard
Jonathan Archer
Erika Hernandez
Charles Tucker III
Malcolm Reed(Straight and Steady)
Hoshi Sato (Straight and Steady) x 2
Phlox x2
Jeremy Lucas
Daniels x 3
Travis Mayweather
Elizabeth Cutler
Ethan Novakovich

For Free as Klingon Augments: (10%)
Volok x 3
Laneth x 3

Also Plays For Free: (32%)
Space-time Portal
Ready Room Door x 4
Temporal Vortex x 2
Vulcan Mindmeld x 2
Diverse Experiences x 2
Out of Time x 3
Mirror Image (as a Ref card)
Q the Referee x 2 (as a Ref card)
Villagers with Torches (as a Ref card)
Obelisk of Masaka (as a Ref card)
Access Denied (as a Ref card)
Treaty: Starfleet/Klingon (if Phlox in play)

Card Plays:  (28%)
Porthos x 2
General K'Vagh (unless downloaded)
We're Ready x 2 (unless downloaded)
Enterprise (unless downloaded)
Columbia (unless downloaded)
Sarajevo (unless downloaded)
I.K.C. Nguq'Yab
Res-Q x 3
Temporal Shifting x 2
Handshake x 5
File Annual Report
Grappler x 2

Technically in the Deck, but downloaded during the seed phase:
Danica Erickson
Seat of Starfleet

Recently, we had a new player join or local 2nd Edition playgroup, Andrew, whom some of you may remember from the old Decipher boards as Death by Monkeys. I convinced old Andrew to stick around for our 1st Edition tournament on the condition that I would build him a Starfleet deck. This article was written for Andrew to explain how to play the deck that I made for him. As such, it is written more for a new or returning player than for an experienced one.

One of the benefits of playing Starfleet is their personnel. Many Starfleet personnel  have a high number of skills and/or can download other useful cards. Playing ships for free in this game is rather rare, but the Starfleet affiliation has two personnel who can fetch ships. Admiral Forrest  can download either of the two NX Class ships (Enterprise   or Columbia  ), whichever is not in play yet. Admiral Leonard   can do one better by downloading any Starfleet ship. The best choice for Leonard's download is the Sarajevo  , not only because that ship cannot be downloaded by Admiral Forrest but also because the Sarajevo can fetch Emory Erickson  .

Deck Building Rule #8: If you can get it for free, don't pay for it. This rule holds true when you are holding two personnel in hand that can play for free at the same Headquarters. Play one this turn and save the other for next turn. This rule can be broken if you absolutely need both personnel out this turn or have no other cards that can be used as the normal card play. In this Deck, I prefer to hold at least one Starfleet and one Klingon Augment personnel in hand each turn to ensure that I will get the free plays and free draws on the next turn. Also note that I put most cards which can be downloaded in the Q's Tent. This is done to ensure that I don't pay for them prior to a free opportunity arising and that I don't draw them unnecessarily.

Three Starfleet personnel can download useful equipment. Malcolm Reed   can fetch a Starfleet Phaser Pistol  , which helps boost their poor strength. Jeremy Lucas   can get any Medical related equipment and Charles Tucker III   any Tricorder. For both of those downloads, I chose equipment which boost Starfleet in areas that they lack.

The Nine Non-dilemma Seed Cards

Nine is a pretty big number when it comes to non-dilemma seed cards, that only leaves room for 21 dilemmas. This means that I expect the deck to get out to the missions and hopefully complete them first. But let's take a look at what card just had to be seeded.

The two time locations are integral to the deck. The Augment Research Facility   allows all of the Klingons in the deck (except one) to report for free and that   Klingon has his own free way into play. 22nd-Century San Francisco   does not allow any cards to report for free but is able to download the Seat of Starfleet  , which allows any Starfleet affiliated personnel to report for free. This makes Porthos   the only personnel in the deck who cannot report for free.

Defend Homeworld   is used to download General K'Vagh   to the Augment Research Facility during the orders phase of the first turn. This means that, starting with the second turn, all further Klingons that are reported net a free card draw. Since this can only occur once per turn, one should never report two Klingons in the same turn.

Another seed card which served to get a draw engine going early is Finally Ready to Swim  . Much as General K'Vagh allows a player to draw each turn that they play a Klingon personnel, this card allows the player to also draw a card for free each turn that they report a 22nd Century icon card. Both draw engines will be up and running by the second turn.

Assign Mission Specialists   and the Neutral Outpost   serve the same function, to allow the player to start the game with two single skilled personnel, namely Dallas   and Danica Erickson  . The former card has the additional benefit of netting the player a bonus 5 points when either Dallas or Danica uses their skill to complete a mission. This is useful in counteracting any points that the opponent may have nicked away during the course of the game. The latter card has the additional benefit of being a normal time location for reporting any personnel. That is, if one happens to need a specific personnel in play to help solve a mission, is willing to spend a card play, and doesn't care to spend the time flying back to the proper Time Location. Then they can simply report said personnel directly to the Neutral Outpost and pick them up.

The Tribunal of Q   has one main function, and that is to fetch a Temporal Vortex   whenever personnel are ready to leave the past and attempt missions. This is done by replacing a card draw (which are plentiful) with a Q the Referee   and then discarding that in favour of a Temporal Vortex. I like to set up a Q the Referee or two  fairly early in the game to ensure that I can download a pair of Temporal Vortexes when needed. These also deter the opponent from trying anything cheesy as a decent number of Ref cards are included in the deck. The final benefit of the Tribunal of Q is that it allows those Ref cards to be cycled back under the deck and replaced with a new card when drawn.    

The Alternate Universe Door   and the Q's Tent   are a must in this deck. The latter requisitions cards which can be downloaded into play for free such that they won't be accidentally drawn and played at cost. The former allows all Alternate Universe icon cards to play. Most importantly, it allows the cards Out of Time   and Temporal Shifting   to be played. But as a bonus, it also allows all AU icon dilemmas to be used, and some of those are quite powerful.

The Missions

Two of the missions are required for their respective Time Locations. This isn't actually a liability, however, as both of those can be solved by the personnel who report to those Time Locations. Espionage Mission   has to be solved using the File Annual Report Objective  , which itself requires another mission to have been completed. I only stocked one copy of that Objective in the deck as; it cannot be destroyed and it isn't needed early game.

For the remaining missions, I specifically looked for ones that had the option of scoring bonus points from Assign Mission Specialists. Fissure Research   was a bit of a no brainer as it only requires Astrophysics, Physics, and any other three dudes that happen to be standing around with nothing better to do. A secondary goal was to find missions that could be completed by either the Starfleet or Klingon groups alone, in case the Treaty   is destroyed. Fissure Research is fairly easy for both groups.

I consider Automated Repair Station   to be the most important of the missions in this deck, and it is usually the one that I go after first. It is a fairly easy mission for 30 points, but can be cranked up to 40 points with a mission specialist and a Grappler  . The real benefit, though, is the download of Spacedock   as the player will likely want a quick and easy way to repair their ships later in the game. This is an almost necessary precaution as completing missions quickly and scoring lots of points usually succeeds in enticing the opponent to do battle.

Test Mission   is a classic cake walk. It can be solved for 35 points if one were to bring both a Mission Specialist and the Grappler. Aid Clone Colony   is the final mission both in the list and in importance. It does have a reasonable set of requirements for this deck, but real reason to include this mission is the special function. Upon completion, the player can download into play a copy of one of their personnel. There are a few options in the deck for this cloning procedure; Phlox  , Hoshi  , Porthos  , and Daniels   are solid candidates, but I also included a spare Charles Tucker III   in the Q's Tent, as that is Andrew's favorite Trek character.

The Dilemmas

As I mentioned, this deck was built for a returning player. As such, I decided to go a distinctly different route with the dilemmas. There are only two combos, everything else can be arranged in any manner depending on the player and the seed line. This should make it easier to remember.

Combo 1: (Space)

Personal Duty + Friendly Fire + Kelvan Show of Force + Maglock

I consider this to be the best of all my dilemma combos. There are plenty of ways to cheat past a good kill combo. In addition, some combos work great against most affiliations and do absolutely nothing against others.  This one has a 95% chance of locking out every opponent for 3 turns, and about a 90% chance of locking them out for 4+ turns. It starts with a Personal Duty   which stops all but one Leadership personnel present. If the opponent attempts to Red Shirt the mission and doesn't include any Leadership or Officer (or includes only one of either), then they are stopped immediately here.  If they have sent more than two Leadership or Officer personnel, then all but one will be stopped here. This leads into the second dilemma, Friendly Fire  , which requires 2 Leadership. Now unless the one person to get by Personal Duty happens to have Leadership x 2 (I have only seen that happen once, ever), then Friendly Fire will stop everyone and lock the mission for the next two subsequent turns. Since this is the most common scenario, the latter two dilemmas act as a wholly distinct combo in most games. With Kelvan Show of Force  , the player should choose to execute two Officers with Strength >5 in order to ensure that Maglock   will stop the away team. However, if the opponent's away team includes more than 3 qualifying Officers, then the correct choice is anyone needed to complete the mission or simply a solid personnel that the opponent is likely to miss (e.g. Guinan  ).

In the instance that the opponent does luck through the Personal Duty + Friendly Fire combo (or has read this article and planned ahead), they won't be able to get through Maglock as Personal Duty has stopped most or all available Officer. In this way, the combo never fails to shut out the opponent for at least a turn and often succeeds in shutting them out for far more.

Combo 2: (Planet)

Access Denied + Picking Up the Pieces + No Loose Ends + Duonetic Field Generator

You may be thinking, 'Access Denied   isn't a dilemma'. But if you did you would be wrong. It is one of the better dilemmas in the game as it is one of the few which do not require a seed slot. Instead, Access Denied will cost the player one early game card draw. (Swap the draw for a Q the Ref   and then Download Access Denied onto the planet containing this combo.) This serves two purposes. First, the presence of a an Access Denied is a severe deterrent to the opponent for attempting this mission (unless they are playing with Murdoch  ). This might mean that they are willing to fly farther (and waste time) to attempt an alternate mission. The best place to seed this combo is on the mission that you are convinced that they will want to complete most or simply the planet closest to their primary reporting site.

Like combo one, this starts with a dilemma that prevents most micro-teams and significantly screens macro-teams. This time it clears out all but one Geology or Computer Skill personnel. This is where Access Denied comes into play. Not only does it change the requirements of Picking Up the Pieces   to require Geology or Computer Skill x 2 to pass, but it also increases the likelihood that its screen will be sufficient. No Loose Ends  , is the real kicker. It can kill ALL Medical and Engineer personnel left in the attempt if there is no Computer Skill remaining. Access Denied ups that requirement to Computer Skill x 2, meaning that this will only fail if the opponent's personnel can gain skills or if the one personnel to have gotten through Picking Up the Pieces happens to have Computer Skill x 2. Duonetic Field Generator   is just there to rub it in. This prevents the opponent from beaming their personnel up if all of their Engineer personnel just died.

Unlike Combo 1, this is more flawed. Some of the Computer Skill and Geology personnel stopped by the initial dilemma might have Engineer to help the player overcome Duonetic Field Generator on their next turn. The opponent can also likely still complete the mission, even if they can't beam the completing away team  up from the mission. I like this combo only because it has worked so well in the past in locking down an opponent at a given planet mission for a few turns. If their only ship is in orbit and unstaffed, they will have a hard time bringing reinforcements to turn off the generator.

The remaining dilemmas are just generally hard to get by dilemmas. Certainly any given deck might have an easy time getting by any one of these, but when you combine three or even four of them under a single mission, there is much less chance of them getting by. Only late in the game when most players will have a decent number of personnel in play, do these dilemmas become easy to pass. If this deck hasn't won by then, it probably won't.

There are a few dilemmas that are obvious lead-ins for the others. Edo Probe  , DNA Clues  , and Horta   should all go ahead of walls to do maximum damage.

Getting Started

Your goal in seeding should be to get the two key planets (Earth   and Qu'Vat  ) near each other with one of the space missions (preferably Automated Repair Station  ) near or between them. Seed the Neutral Outpost   at this space mission and then download the two mission specialists to it from the deck.

On your first turn, you will want to avoid playing any Klingons (even though they report for free). During the play phase of the first turn, you can trigger Defend Homeworld   to download General K'Vagh  . This will allow you to draw for each subsequent Klingon  that you report. If you happen to get lucky and draw a General K'Vagh, then use him as your first turn card play and download Malcolm Reed   instead.

Finally, don't forget to convert one of your first or second turn card draws into a Q the Referee   and then swap that for an Access Denied  . Don't worry about the loss of a draw, there will be plenty more coming to you.

Draw Engines

This deck has no real lack of drawing ability. The seeded Event Finally Ready to Swim   allows the player to draw a card each time they report a Starfleet personnel or Klingon Personnel (or even a ship or Porthos), while General K'Vagh    allows a card draw each time a Klingon Augment is reported (each of these limited to once per turn). All of the personnel in the deck qualify for at least one of these two draws (except Daniels) and both cards are in play by the second turn. The third draw engine card is We're Ready  . It allows the player to draw an additional card at the end of the turn as long as they don't command a Non-aligned card. As you may have noticed, there is an obvious lack of Non-aligned cards in the deck. So the player will have a rather hard time nullifying this additional draw. (Note 1: Daniels   and the I.K.S. Nguq'Yab   do not qualify as Non-aligned cards as long as they stay in their respective affiliated modes.) Since I want We're Ready out as soon as possible but don't want to pay a seed slot for it, I stocked two copies of each it and the personnel   who can download it in the deck. Duplicate copies can be used as fuel for the fourth draw engine card; Temporal Shifting  .

The final draw engine card in the deck is Handshake  . I added this in only because I felt that the deck could use just a little more draw (particularly early on).  Unlike in my other decks, I use functions 1 and 2 here; but never function 3. This deck cannot easily get cards back from the discard pile. It does tend to have few cards in hand rather often early game, which permits Handshake function 1, but function 2 is the one that I use most often here. It is very useful to be able to set up the card draws such that those draws incurred by Finally Ready to Swim, We're Ready, and General K'Vagh are cards that are needed. I then like to utilize a download to shuffle the deck and eliminate the less desirable draws.

Note 2: Temporal Shifting can also be used as an offensive card. If the opponent is not playing with an Alternate Universe Door or AU Door equivalent, then playing Temporal Shifting on the opponent will force them to discard three cards. This move can be quite detrimental if they just countered your Handshake function 1 by discarding three cards.

Cheating and Card Which Help You Cheat

I included many ways to cheat the system in this deck. Out of Time   allows any away team that includes Daniels   and is located at either Earth or Qu'Vat to bounce back to their respective time locations. The card can be played at any time, which can help to pull your personnel away from a particularly deadly dilemma or to escape a combat situation. As a bonus, Daniels has this card as a special download.

Vulcan Mindmeld   allows T'Pol   to gain the skills off any other personnel present with her, while Vulcan "Death" Grip   allows her to save a personnel present with her from being killed. Both of these are useful to cheat the effects of a dilemma, and both can be downloaded with T'Pol. I stocked the Vulcan "Death" Grip in the Q's Tent. As a result of this, it can only be fetched by T'Pol's special download.

Phlox   is another solid cheater. He can prevent any of your key personnel from hitting the discard pile simply by being present and having two cards in hand that one doesn't mind parting with. I included two copies of Phlox as he tends to be present in away attempts and as a result of that has a high probability of dying (especially if the kill is the opponent's choice). Throughout the game, I cycle the ref cards back under the deck in order to replace them with card draws. At the end of the game, the deck is simply a stack of Ref cards. I then use those as Phlox fuel. Ref cards are perfect for Phlox's ability as they can always be recovered from the discard pile using Tribunal of Q and Q the Referee.

The final cheater card is Space-time Portal  . Now, you may have been thinking that I only stocked this card because of the amazing artwork provided by the 1E Art Team, but you would only be half right. That card has a once per game function of allowing the player to report an AU icon ship with crew. This is useful late in the game. Due to the amount of draw I put into the deck in order to get solid draws early in the game, the deck tends to have a rather large hand late game. Whatever personnel are in the hand at that time can simply be dropped onto the last ship (whichever isn't out yet) using Space-time Portal. This trick can really give the deck a few turns edge.  

The Expensive Cards (those which do not play for free)

Res-Q   is the most obvious of these. Its purpose is to get key cards back from the discard pile, though Daniels can be fetched with a copy of Out of Time.  Temporal Shifting is a fairly powerful card (that I wouldn't mind having twenty copies of). This card allows the player to discard one card to draw four, given that the card discarded has an AU icon. Fortunately, most cards in the deck have an AU icon. The best cards to discard for this are the spare copies of Daniels, Hoshi, and We're Ready. Especially since Daniels is easily restored from the discard pile.  Both We're Ready   and Treaty: Starfleet / Klingon   could cost a card play or could be played for free. They are both certainly worth a card play, due to their effects. For the most part, though, this deck will use the card plays to get out extra personnel and/or ships.

The Grappler   also has a cost, though it can be worth that cost as it will score the player an extra 5 points when they complete a Space mission and is necessary to overcome dilemmas which require a Tractor Beam, such as Radioactive Garbage Scow  . I included two of these, one for each of the NX class ships.

Cards in the Q's Tent

As a general rule, I use the Q's Tent as a kitty where cards can be relocated away from the draw deck. This is useful for cards which can be downloaded for free. The three equipment are downloaded by specific personnel in the deck. The Captain's Order cards (Straight and Steady  , Captain's Log  , Defiant Dedication Plaque  , and Divert Power  ) can be downloaded for free using the copies of (Ready Room Door   or either Captain (Erika Hernandez   and Jonathan Archer  ). Archer can only download the Captain's Log itself, so save that one for him. Use the early copies of Ready Room Door and Erika to download the other Captain's Order cards in order of usefulness (dependent upon game and opponent).

Emory Erickson   is downloaded by his ship, the Sarajevo  . Vulcan "Death" Grip   can be downloaded by T'Pol   if necessary. Masaka Transformations   can be downloaded in a pinch if the player has a particularly bad hand by spending a copy of Q the Referee to download Obelisk of Masaka  .

Three of the missions in this deck allow the player to download a card upon completion. Automated Repair Station   downloads the Spacedock  , Aid Clone Colony   can download Tucker  , and File Annual Report   the extra copy of Dallas  . Two copies of Dallas cannot both give a Mission Specialist bonus to a single mission, but it is nice to have a back-up in case one copy dies.

How Can I Get this Deck?

It was one of my goals to produce a solid Starfleet deck that required only two copies of the Enterprise Collection and a printer, as both Andrew and I only own 2X Enterprise Collection. I was fairly successful in this goal, however 24 cards in this deck do not meet this criteria. Thirteen of those are dilemmas, as such a player who wants to build this deck and does not have those can simply swap in some dilemmas which are printable. Eight of the remaining cards are uncommons or commons from Premiere (3X Res-Q, Medical Kit, Spacedock, Test Mission, and Masaka Transformations). If you don't have any of those, you can likely scavenge WB '95 versions off of any other local player. Similarly AU Door is plentiful in most closeted card boxes. Fissure Research, Aid Clone Colony, Engineering Tricorder, and Defiant Dedication Plaque could take more work to get. Of these, Defiant Dedication Plaque is the most useful and the most difficult to obtain. Until you happen to get one, just swap in another Captain's Order card. All missions are legally printable, though printing them can be a challenge (there is no easy to download .pdf file). Engineering Tricorder   was a common from Deep Space 9 expansion and a starter for the Voyager expansion. As such, it could be very easy to come by or quite challenging. If nothing else, this can be swapped out for some other tricorder, perhaps even for the printable Vulcan Tricorder  .


Print DecklistCopy Deck

This deck is legal in the following Card Pools:

  • Complete

This deck is legal in the following Rules Sets:

  • OTF
  • Open
  • Revised
  • Warp Speed

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:

Mission (6)
12 P1x Aid Clone Colony
16 V1x Automated Repair Station
17 V1x Control Plague
32 V1x Espionage Mission
R1x Fissure Research
C1x Test Mission

Seed Deck (30)
R1x Chula: The Door
C1x Crisis
5 V1x Dead End
5 R1x Denevan Neural Parasites
R1x DNA Clues
U1x Drumhead
U1x Duonetic Field Generator
U1x Edo Probe
U1x Framed for Murder
7 V1x Friendly Fire
9 R1x Horta
10 R1x Kelvan Show of Force
9 V1x Maglock
6 V1x Medical Crisis
4 V1x Mimetic Simbiot
C1x Navigational Hazards
R1x No Loose Ends
19 VP1x Personal Duty
13 V1x Picking Up the Pieces
9 C1x Q Gets the Point
C1x Scientific Method
C1x Alternate Universe Door
1 V1x Q's Tent
9 V1x Finally Ready to Swim
C1x Neutral Outpost
2 VP1x Tribunal of Q
C1x Assign Mission Specialists
28 V1x Defend Homeworld
Time Location
52 V1x 22nd-Century San Francisco
53 V1x Augment Research Facility

Draw Deck (72)
U2x Ready Room Door
31 U2x Ready Room Door
34 VP1x Space-Time Portal
2 V2x Temporal Vortex
7 V2x Grappler
5 V1x Mirror Image
C3x Res-Q
37 VP2x Temporal Shifting
11 V1x Treaty: Starfleet/Klingon
8 V1x Villagers With Torches
12 V2x We're Ready
44 P1x Seat of Starfleet
9 V1x Access Denied
62 U2x Handshake
6 VP3x Handshake
16 V1x Obelisk of Masaka
13 V3x Out of Time
18 V2x Q the Referee
15 V2x Diverse Experiences
24 V1x Oof!
U2x Vulcan Mindmeld
21 V1x File Annual Report
27 V1x General K'Vagh
28 V3x Laneth
29 V1x Marab
30 V3x Volok
39 V1x Porthos
45 P1x Charles Tucker III
39 V1x Dallas
49 V1x Danica Erickson
40 V1x Daniel Leonard
46 P1x Elizabeth Cutler
42 V1x Erika Hernandez
48 P1x Ethan Novakovich
43 V1x Garrid
44 V2x Hoshi Sato (Straight and Steady)
50 P1x Jeremy Lucas
51 P1x Jonathan Archer
46 V1x Malcolm Reed (Straight and Steady)
53 P1x Maxwell Forrest
54 P2x Phlox
55 P1x T'Pol
56 P1x Travis Mayweather
41 V3x Daniels
49 V1x I.K.S. Nguq'Yab
51 V1x Columbia
57 P1x Enterprise
53 V1x Sarajevo

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
C1x Engineering Tricorder
C1x Medical Kit
41 P1x Starfleet Phaser Pistol
U1x Captain's Log
R1x Defiant Dedication Plaque
U1x Masaka Transformations
C1x Spacedock
40 U1x Vulcan "Death Grip"
110 U1x Divert Power
23 V1x Straight and Steady
45 P1x Charles Tucker III
39 V1x Dallas
47 P1x Emory Erickson

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