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Can You Spot Me?

by Maggie Geppert, Executive Officer

27th December 2019

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

          -Data from "Schisms"

Spot

The original version of Spot came from the Fajo Collection. She was a neutral personnel with the classification of ANIMAL, who had nine lives and could pounce on other people to stun them. Second Edition doesn't have animals as personnel, so I was absolutely delighted to see her as a dilemma. Sean "Jono" O'Reilly designed her and we sat down for a chat about her design. 

MG: What inspired you to bring Spot to Second Edition?

SO:  The idea for Spot can be directly blamed on an old 1E player from Buffalo; Valinda "Borg Queen" Rogers. In the late 1990s, she played a Spot/Kova Tholl/Rogue Borg/Devidian Door deck. She even took it to Origins one year.

The deck idea was to use Devidian Doors to play Kova Tholl and kill him 10 times with Rogue Borg for 100 points. The Devidian Doors would also be used to play Spot to "pounce" on the opponent's best personnel every turn to slow down their mission attempts. The only frickin' way to deal with Spot was to toss her out an Airlock and so space (and not you) would kill the cat 9 times.

I once played Borg against that deck and the only way to deal with Kova Tholl and Spot was to blow up Deep Space Nine. The problem? I moved my two Borg Cubes and two Borg Scout vessels together from the Delta Quadrant to the Alpha Quadrant. Val played a Devidian Door to play Bashir Founder onto my Cube, blowing up all four of my ships with the special download of Supernova. Suffice to say, the deck was fun for her to play and very annoying to play against.

MG: How did you decide to tackle an ANIMAL from First Edition?

SO: It couldn't be a personnel since Animals aren't "personnel" in Second Edition. I felt the best way to represent Spot and her "pounce" ability and 9 lives in 2E was through a dilemma. The original version was:

[9] Spot

Planet/Space DILEMMA

Persistent. For each stopped person at this mission, the cost of this dilemma is -1. Choose an android to stop. If you cannot, your opponent chooses two [Cmd] personnel with Security or Engineer to stop.

Spot

Some of that exists in the final version. Spot still costs 9 (for the nine lives), is still Persistent (since she can keep coming back after being "killed," i.e. overcome) and still can stop a Security or Engineer ("pouncing" on Geordie or Worf as they try to take care of her). The change to Space was made because Spot is always seen on the Enterprise. She's not a feral planet kitty. The cost reduction was bumped up to -3 and to try to encourage players to use fewer dual dilemmas, the dilemma's reduction is by space dilemmas overcome under the mission. Androids are not part of it anymore to make the dilemma simpler to understand. Spot still can stop two personnel (of an opponent's choice) -- but only if they have Security or Engineer. Got none of them? You're fine.

MG: Neither Engineer or Security are in bold. Did you mean to make it so that she's not a skill dilemma?

SO: The dilemma is intentionally worded just like Moment of Doubt. There is no penalty if you can prevent the stop (think of putting the cat in the kitty carrier). For that reason, the following personnel's abilities will all work on Spot: Donatra, Honorable Commander; Giotto, Security Chief; Helen Noel, Enterprise Psychiatrist; Reyga, Young Scientist; Robin Lefler, Pragmatic Specialist.

On behalf of the Continuing Committee, it is my great pleasure to thank the designers of this set, Lucas Thompson (edgeofhearing), Danny Giddings (Danny) and Sean O’Reilly (Jono), for bringing forth twenty-five (25) excellent “punch-ups” of popular First Edition cards.  I would also like to thank all the members of Playtesting, Rules, Creative, Art (OMG, did you notice the picture on Spot?!?), Programming and Proofreading who had a hand in developing this set.  Inheritance releases today and will be legal for tournament play on Friday, January 3rd.


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