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Strategy Articles

On the Hunt

by Charlie Plaine, First Edition Designer

7th November 2018

Hirogen Hunt: Coordinated Effort

Something I've often heard over the years is that the Hirogen don't need a ton of new toys, but they really need a second way to play people. A common request is also to provide a way for Hirogen to play without relying on the usual crew of Non-Aligned personnel. Today's card from The Gift, Hirogen Hunt: Coordinated Effort, is an intersection of those two requests, although it delivers much more on the free report than the all-Hirogen aspect.

Hirogen Hunt: Coordinated Effort, is a nice and simple event. Once it's in play (you can seed it or play it), it allows you to play a [Univ] [Hir] personnel for free as long as you meet one of two conditions; either all of your ships need to be [Hir], or there needs to be a [Self] card on the spaceline. All of this appears on just over two lines, leaving room for the event to be immune to Kevin Uxbridge - so your play engine is safe. Why these particular restrictions? They capture the story of the Hirogen hunters pretty well! They work best when they work together (all [Hir] ships), or when there is big prey ([Self] cards) to hunt.

Self-Controlling Cards [Self] - A card that represents a ship, entity, or other phenomenon that operates under its own power and its own will. These cards act at the end of every player's turn, often attacking ship and then moving down the spaceline. Examples include the classic Borg Ship dilemma and the more recent Silent Enemy.

One of the things I really like about this card are the options it provides. Any card that you can seed - if you really need it early - or play gives versatility to deck construction. This particular card comes with extra utility because it takes advantage of the colon rule. If you aren't familiar, in First Edition, cards that have a name before a colon ":" or a dash "-" are all affected by that same name; in this case "Hirogen Hunt." Any card that says references "Hirogen Hunt" will affect both the original and this new Hirogen Hunt: Coordinated Effort. Specifically, that means the special download on the Hirogen Outpost can grab either card, and you can use the original Hirogen Hunt to get this new card.

This neat trick gives you incredibly versatility a to how to get these cards into play: seed them both; seed one, download the other; download both. Since both Hirogen Hunt cards are play engines with restrictions, you can even wait until your draw your opening hand to choose which one to download, picking the one that best fits your hand for the first turn. An unorthodox, but interesting, trick!

Speaking of restrictions, how big of a restriction is it to have only [Hir] ships or have a [Self] card on the spaceline? It turns out, it's not too bad. Hirogen have plentiful ships, and a Hirogen player can use Hirogen Hunt to download one each turn. It does mean that using U.S.S. Equinox with Home Away From Home won't work, but that is trading one free play for another. And while the [Univ] free play is more restrictive than the one from Home Away From Home, it's going to be nice for Hirogen. They have nine (9) universal personnel; six (6) of those can also report for free via the original Hirogen Hunt, but only if the appropriate Alpha-Hirogen is in play. HH:CE gives you another way to play these guys if Karr hasn't shown up yet!

Finally, you might be asking yourself why the [Self] clause is on this card. There's only five (5) such dilemmas, and while you can seed one at each opponent's mission, you can't control when they attempt missions. And only one can be on the spaceline at a time. Self-seeding, at least in OTF, doesn't really work out well either, since it would be last. So why put this clause on this card? Well, the answer is that this card was made with some knowledge of what's coming down the pipeline in the future. There are a number of famous space monsters that haven't yet appeared on cards. Maybe they will in the future?

In any case, The Gift is arriving this Friday, and Hirogen Hunt: Coordinated Effort is one of the cards you'll find therein. Hirogen players have asked for a supplemental play engine for a long time; I hope that this card doesn't disappoint.

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