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Up Yer Shaft!

by Paddy Tye, Hand of the Praetor and Warden of the Neutral Zone

23rd March 2020

The one thing you probably weren’t expecting in a set focusing on Original Series Romulans was a site for a Nor! Well, we are trying to squeeze more non-block cards into sets these days but the origins of this card stem from two separate paths…

Primary Turbolift

Back in 2013 when Emissary and the DS9-Block launched, Reshape the Quadrant had the familiar look and feel of Continuing Mission from TNG-Block, but missing one key point: the card draw. Of course, players had other ways to draw cards in DS9 decks. Morn going for a drink, Ore Processing, Celestial Temple, Renewal Scrolls, etc. However, all those draws always used some sort of resource: extra seed cards to set up, use of a card play, downloading the right personnel, etc – and this was a resource that equivalent TNG based decks didn’t need to expend as much of. It always made DS9 decks feel a bit hard done to, and more seed intensive – needing to expend extra resources to get what other decks get given more freely.

The other factor was Nors. Often considered complex, with obvious downsides vs the more liberal rules of outposts or headquarters which allow any compatible personnel to report. We wanted to encourage and reward players to use a Nor! Many sites also go beyond simple reporting functions, adding layers of gametext which can result in longer and longer turns! If we were going to reward Nor usage, we wanted to reward simple Nor usage – i.e. using the sites which mainly focus on reporting – Infirmary, Security Office, etc. Yes, Science Lab and Promenade Shops also have side functions to them – but at its core (pun intended) a Nor remains a place to report personnel.

The lovechild of these concepts is the Primary Turbolift!

This site rewards Nor users in the same way Finally Ready to Swim or Continuing Mission does – for playing a personnel with the Deep Space Nine logo. You do need to report them to an appropriate site though – so if your Nor contains Ops, Commander’s Office, Primary Turbolift, Quark’s Bar, Cargo Bay, and Docking Pylons, then don’t expect to be getting many draws from it! However it will also allow any compatible personnel to report here – so if your Nor contains Ops, Primary Turbolift, Infirmary, Promenade Shops, Science Lab, and Docking Port – then you can earn a card draw if you report an OFFICER, MEDICAL, CIVILIAN or SCIENCE personnel to their corresponding site. But for the ENGINEERS, SECURITY and VIPs in your deck, then the other function lets your station behave like an outpost and those personnel can report via the Turbolift (drawback is that won’t you don’t earn a card draw that way).

So now the sites you choose have more reason to be correlated with your deck construction, and not just which additional functions they bring. So maybe it’s time to dust off those DS9 decks! Will the card draws from Primary Turbolift help you to keep pace?

Test for Weakness

Meanwhile, in the 23rd Century, the Romulans are up to something in the Neutral Zone! A string of Earth Outposts located along the edge of the Neutral Zone begin to fall silent. After 100 years, the Romulans are back – are single ship with a deadly new weapon, invisible to the naked eye, is sneaking around and testing for any signs of weakness from the Federation.

Earth Outpost

One ship taking on a whole outpost? Surely not?!

If they manage to take out a Federation Outpost and send word back to Romulus, there will be great celebrations and much rejoicing! And it earns 10 bonus points too, 15 if S’Salk comes along for the ride – he does love seeing Federation encroachments getting destroyed! Now, being an objective you can get more copies with Taking Charge, although the uncontrolled outpost download is only once per game. Surely your opponent would never be so brazen and so bold as to build an outpost within striking distance for you to target? Or would they?

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