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Unity: Lots More Little Pieces

by Charlie Plaine, Unity Lead Designer

28th November 2011

The Continuing Committee is proud to announce Unity, the next Second Edition virtual expansion (and the twenty-fifth overall) will be released worldwide on Friday, December 23, 2011. Freely available for all to download at The Continuing Committee’s website (www.trekcc.org), Unity introduces four new teams to the universe of Second Edition and adds new support cards for many of the game’s existing teams.

Although the concept of teams of cards has been around since the release of Second Edition, the modern “team era” began almost two years ago with the release of Allegiance. Designed as a virtual expansion based entirely around teams and teamwork, Allegiance proved to be popular and has forever altered the design and play of Second Edition. Since then, each virtual expansion has added a new team to the game and we’re proud to announce Unity as the direct successor of Allegiance.

When we announced Allegiance, we explained the concept of teams thusly:

Now, to answer what's probably the number one question we're asked: What exactly does "all about teams" mean, anyway? Well, let me give you an example: the [SF] MACO personnel from These Are the Voyages.

They all get better and more interesting when they are with each other. Sure, you can splash them in any old deck, but they won't be nearly as effective as if you kept them near each other. This means that - more often than not - you'll want to play them together. That's a team, and that's what we're talking about when we say teamwork.

Some teams have more unified themes (Delphic Expanse) than others (Bajoran Resistance) but they all serve to shake up game play and give new options to their affiliations. Many of the teams work well in existing decks and others beg to be played in entirely new decks, but they all like to be together. The four new teams in Unity are no different and represent almost all of the different types of teams to date. Let’s take a look at each one and talk a little bit about their origin and their mechanics.

The Children of Light
The first team we’re going talk about (although the last to appear in the file) is the long-awaited Children of Light. After the non-unique personnel were introduced in Infinite Diversity, it’s finally time for Iden, Kejal and Weiss to join their followers in Unity. In addition, they’ll be joined by a familiar face in a new color:

The latest version of The Doctor represents his time allied with Iden and the other Children of Light. Like his previous incarnations, he packs a standard set of skills and attributes and an appropriately high cost. His ability features the first of two new keywords in Unity, and one of the keys to the Children of Light’s operation: the Holoprogram. Unity features two Holoprogram events, each of which plays in your core and has an ability that triggers when you have a certain number of cards stacked on them. (If you’re familiar with Magic, you might recognize this as a variant on the threshold mechanic – that’s by design.)

All of the unique Children allow you to manipulate Holoprograms and the cards on them in some way. The Doctor allows you to “save” a Hologram that’s been stacked on a Holoprogram event by bringing them back into play – much like he did in the show by “repairing” injured Holograms.

The Children represent our first “modern era” Non-Aligned team, and as such, they technically work in any non-Borg deck; however, they’re also designed to work alone (much like the Androids) and I suspect they’ll be as popular as they are diverse in appearance.

Journey’s End
The Maquis find allies in an unexpected place with their first team, a suite of Native Americans from the “Journey’s End” episode of The Next Generation. Three unique and one non-unique [Fed] [Maq] personnel join the ranks of the Maquis, including their leader:

Anthwara, like all of his people, is a student of their history and features the Anthropology skill (including the two existing Native American personnel, Chakotay and Harana). Their knowledge of history is helpful, as Unity also features a few new cards for the Maquis that require Anthropology to be played. Anthwara and his people favor a less disruptive style of resistance, preferring to interfere in opponent’s mission attempts while enhancing their own, instead of the more tradition strategy of attacking opponent’s hands and decks.

Unimatrix Zero
Are you prepared to resist the Collective from within? Are you willing to end the tyranny of the Borg Queen? To do so, you’ll have to sacrifice many of the advantages of the Collective, but for the drones of Unimatrix Zero, their individuality is something that is worthy of the fight:

Each member of the rebellion is represented with the Dissident keyword, which opens up a few fun tools for them but doesn’t overcome the Borg’s inability to mix with other affiliations – so no crazy Terok Nor/Cardassian/Borg decks! Their other restriction comes in the form of their shared first line of game text, which prevents them from working with other Borg. Taking a closer look:

“While you command a [Bor] non-Dissident personnel…” is the trigger, and it will go off any time that there are Borg in the Queen’s thrall around. Note that this does not trigger in the presence of assimilated personnel, so the Dissidents play nicely with others. “…this personnel loses all of his/her skills and his/her next ability” means that you “turn off” in the presence of “unfriendly” personnel. If you were to command Borg Queen while you commanded Annika, you wouldn't get her attribute bonus and she wouldn't have any skills - instead, you'd just have an expensive blank personnel.

However, if you do the math, this restriction is going to be really harsh – after all, how many different members of Unimatrix Zero could there be? Well, the thing about dissention, especially in the face of an oppressive regime, is that it tends to spread, and Unimatrix Zero has a way to “recruit” others... which you'll find out more about in the coming weeks! But don't worry, the liberated Drones of Unimatrix Zero will have plenty of help... including a few very special guests!

One Word: Tulaberries
In July of 2010, Nathan Miracle (a.k.a. “GooeyChewie”) won the penultimate contest of Make it So with a [Dom] team based around the Dosi and the Karemma. His prize was the knowledge that his team would enter development and, barring any major disasters, would appear in a future expansion. While it was originally scheduled to appear in Tacking Into the Wind, it didn’t fit the expansion thematically and with Nathan’s approval, it was pushed off. Well, it’s time to bust out the tulaberries because Nathan’s “Tulaberry Team” finally makes its appearance in Unity.

The original version of Nathan's Tulaberry Team had them passing back and forth copies of a card called "Tulaberry Wine." However, the designers saw a lot of potential in the original Tulaberry Wine mechanic (passing a resource back and forth), and we’ve expanded it into a new keyword, the second to appear in Unity: Commodity. Representing goods for trade, Commodities are always events that play into one’s core and are meant to be passed back and forth in order to power abilities, such as that on this merchant:

There will be three (3) Commodities in Unity, two non-unique and one very special unique event. All of the Dominion merchants work with or reference Commodities, and while they’re the only ones for now, we have big plans for this keyword in the future.

Unity brings teams and teamwork to four new affiliations (or sub-affiliations) and bring new tools to many of the existing teams. But aside from the team-related cards, there's even more to look forward to when Unity is released on the 23rd of December. Almost everyone will find something they can use and enjoy in Unity, and we can wait to start showing it all off to you. Stay tuned for daily spoilers, articles, and more as we bring 2011 to a close with Unity!

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