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Strategy Articles

Shades of Gray: Duck Blind!

by Chris Castagnetto, Guest Writer

11th April 2011

Today’s article is going to take a few minutes to dive in and take a closer look at Duck Blind, the newest draw engine in the 1E card pool. Duck Blind is by far one of the most diverse seedable draw engines in 1E due to its ability to fit easily into almost any deck. That's why I want to take a few moments today to talk about how you can quickly and easily fit this new card into your favorite deck or into that pesky decktype you’ve been trying to build for years but never had quite enough draws.

One of the first questions you may ask yourself when reading this card is, "How can I quickly and efficiently get this draw engine powered up and ready to go?" Nearly all affiliations have access to Assign Mission Specialists, Assign Support Personnel and Defend Homeworld. These three cards are the easiest and fastest way to be able to download two personnel who have anthropology to your facility or ship who you can then transport over and down to the planet where you seeded your Duck Blind.

All affiliations (except Borg) have access to the non-aligned mission specialist Kathleen Tonell who has Anthropology. The only drawback to playing with her is that you would need to seed an outpost since Assign Mission Specialists downloads the two personnel to an outpost. On the upside, if you do seed this you can download Darian Wallace as your second specialist--thus getting you to the two Anthropology you need to utilize the Duck Blind. Another plus to using this strategy is that you can also seed Spacedoor, which will allow you to download any universal ship that matches the facility's affiliation. With this doorway, you can quickly download a non-aligned ship, fly your specialists over to the Duck Blind, and start drawing your cards. This can be splashed into any non-Borg deck using the Husnock Outpost and an appropriate mission. You can also use this strategy with a Federation Outpost or on any outpost that matches any Federation treaties you have in play.

If you don’t play Federation, don’t run a Federation treaty, or don’t want to splash a Fed into your deck with a Husnock Outpost, you can also utilize Assign Support Personnel to grab one of the 13 different Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Bajoran, or Dominion support personnel who have Anthropology. These support personnel, along with your Kathleen Tonell can also quickly get two Anthropology to your Duck Blind.

A third option for downloading a second personnel with Anthropology is to use Defend Homeworld to quickly grab any one of the 29 different Security personnel with Anthropology.

Finally, you can use Quark’s Isolinear Rods, which can download 4 different personnel with Anthropology to your hand so you can play them on your next turn.

One of my personnel favorite ways to get two people with Anthropology on turn one is to seed the Son’a Observatory at Insurrection along with Duck Blind and then download Rae’alin and Gallatin (or just two copies of Rae’alin) to get an instant two personnel on the Duck Blind planet without using a ship.

What about the Delta Quadrant, you say? This strategy can also be used for Delta Quadrant decks. You do need to burn a mission slot, a facility, and possibly another seed or two but you can still quickly get your personnel to the planet to start collecting on those much needed draws.

You should be aware of the biggest drawback to this card: your personnel need to survive on the planet. It’s really easy for your opponent to fly a ship full of angry Klingons (or another fierce species) and start killing off your anthropologists. Be sure to provide adequate defenses for your personnel! One of the easiest ways to do this is to place the Duck Blind on the furthest planet from your opponent so it’s hard for them to get their battle group to you. Another strategy is to place it on the Insurrection mission so you can quickly walk into the Son'a station and cloak it when your opponent is flying over. You can also provide your personnel with a bodyguard and a few equipment cards to give them the edge over your opponent. However you choose to do so, be sure to defend them because you would hate to have your draw engine cut off by a bunch of angry Klingons.

With all of these tricks, there are many ways you can splash Duck Blind into your deck for a quick and solid draw engine. Whether you download Anthropology specialists or play one of the 100 different personnel with Anthropology, you will quickly be able to get this draw engine powered up and pumping out one free card a turn!

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