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Broken Link

by Daniel Giddings, Broken Record

1st October 2019

Last time, in Danny’s Sacrifice of Angels article:

This was a long walk for a short punchline: “It could even have a Star Trek episode name: ‘The Great Link’.

The first reply I got came from Sacrifice of Angels designer John Corbett that read “You can strike those two off after Gannicus [Sacrifice of Angel’s code name]”.

I was even more heartened by John’s follow-up sentence: “But you'll be able to add one more...

And now, the conclusion…

Without further ado, Hikaru Sulu, Cunning Tactician, commander of the (new broken link) Starship Excelsior.

Hikaru Sulu

Before I continue, I understand that some of you will have questions and comments about naming conventions, but this article isn’t going to provide them. Seriously, best save those for the Q&A Thread.

I’m here to compare and contrast this Sulu with Sulus past and examine his one man wrecking crew game text.

Starship Captain vs. Loyal Captain

Hikaru Sulu

Firstly, what do they have in common? Well, they both sport the same cocktail of Command, TOS, Past, and Earth icons – this tracks as they’re both representations of the same Sulu from the same period (2293 – explosion of Praxis).

But what about the differences? Well, the new Starship captain is a little cheaper than his Loyal counterpart (3 cost vs. 4 cost), a little weaker (Strength 5 vs. Strength 6), packs fewer skills (5 vs. 6), has a different skill set (swapping out Archaeology and Honor for Physics) and doesn’t have a ship in this set to call his own.

So, why choose New Coke over Original?

The answer to that has already been alluded to: for his “one man wrecking crew” game text -

At the start of your turn, if an opponent’s ship is at this mission, you may place the ship this personnel is aboard at a different mission to download a Damage card and place it on that opponent’s ship.

Now, there are two interesting things about the above text.

The first is “place” as in “you can place the ship he is aboard at a mission”: this means, when the ship he’s aboard gets dropped off at another mission, it hasn’t moved there, it was placed. So the ship hasn’t used its Range, and is free to fly elsewhere afterwards. Place it back at the HQ to make an Uber pick-up or drop-off, or place it at the mission you want to attempt, then fly home upon completion.

The second is the word “the” in the sentence “you can place the ship he is aboard at a mission”, instead of the word “your”.

This means, if Sulu were to find himself aboard your opponent’s ship (say through Shifting Dimensionally), he could place the OPPONENT’S ship at a different mission, then download a Damage card to place on it. This could result in the ship getting placed in a Span 4 Nebula where a Precise Attack or two renders it stranded. And he could do this at the start of each of your turns, regardless of where your ships are because, by being aboard an opponent's ship, there is definitely an "opponent’s ship is at this mission".

He could even leave your opponent's Voyager or Equinox at a non-[DQ], with no way to get personnel played. Ouch.

Who knows? Maybe Sulu will get touched by the errata stick at some point. But at the time of going to press, he’s a better saboteur than William Patrick Samuels. The Maquis and Dominion infiltrators have nothing on him!


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