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Life’s a Piece of…

by Sean O'Reilly, Staff Writer

10th February 2019

When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

James Moriarty, Awakened Nemesis

That little ditty from Monty Python brings us to today’s love theme: loving life.

The majority of people are conceived out of love by two parents looking to bring new life into the world. This applies whether you are living in 2019 or 2365.

But what if you aren’t a humanoid? Does your “creator” still love you?

In the 1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, Dear Data” we see Geordi LaForge and Data entering 19th Century England in the holodeck.

The best friends are interrupted by Inspector Lestrade while looking through Sherlock Holmes’ office. Data quickly solves the case he is presented with after deducing which Arthur Conan Doyle holoprogram story he is in.

Geordi angrily stormed out of the holodeck. With a little help from Katherine Pulaski, he then got the idea to ask Enterprise’s computer to devise a Holmes mystery and a character “capable of defeating Data.”

Presto!

That’s how the evil Professor James Moriarty got created with photons.

Throughout the episode Moriarty appears to grow beyond his original programming. He eventually asks Captain Picard for the ability to exist outside the holodeck only to learn that's impossible  – at least until Voyager’s Doctor got ahold of a device using the 29th Century technology.

The Professor returned four years later. This time he took control of the Enterprise as he again tried to find a way to leave the holodeck.

What drove Moriarty? Love. Specifically, the love of life. Despite being “just” a hologram, he wanted the ability to live his life like any other life form and not be stuck inside a room with four walls.

Nothing to Lose

That brings us to today’s card from the Qpid expansion: Nothing to Lose.

The 4-cost dilemma has two tough requirements to overcome. All your personnel are stopped unless you have a personnel with Acquisition and Integrity<4 or you place a Hologram present in the mission attempt in your discard pile.

Let’s start with the first requirement.

Currently there are 26 different personnel who meet the requirement. As you would expect, most are Ferengi or Non-Aligned. But, if you look closer you will find two humans (one Dominion and one TOS), a Bajoran and a Klingon who can get you to overcome the dilemma.

The second requirement is slightly easier. All you have to do is play some holograms and discard one of them (such as James Moriarty) when they are facing the dilemma. There are currently 35 different hologram personnel you can play.

Nothing to Lose may shake up deckbuilding among players. Without adding personnel who can easily pass the dilemma, you might find yourself being stopped by it three times – especially if you are playing Maquis, Romulan, Cardassian, Federation or Starfleet.

You will find the dilemma is a very good tactic to use against players using headquarters missions that don't allow Non-Aligned personnel to played: Bajor (Blessed of the Prophets), Founders' Homeworld (Contingent Refuge), Romulus (Patient Stronghold), and Unimatrix (Root of the Hive Mind).

Beside certain Acquistion personnel and holograms, there are several cards you can use to overcome the dilemma including Bridge Officer’s Test, Borg Queen (Bringer of Order), Adapt and Inversion Mystery.

Disarming Dream

Here are four dilemma combinations you might want to try out:

Disarming Dream and Nothing to Lose: Stop your opponent’s only hologram and then stop the rest of their personnel.

The Dreamer and the Dream and Nothing to Lose: Stop your opponent’s personnel and then make them discard their hand.

Cultural Differences and Hired Muscle and Nothing to Lose: Stop an opponent’s Acquisition personnel, then place their Non-Aligned hologram on top of their deck, and finally stop all their personnel.

Cultural Differences and Unusual Simulacrum and Charismatic Mimic and Nothing to Lose: For players trying to win the game using Terrasphere 8 (Starfleet Command Re-creation), this combination will most likely end up stopping all your opponent's personnel and putting two Species 8472 dilemmas into their opponent's core.

One last thing. Always remember to look on the bright side of life!


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