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Know Thine Enemy

by Michael Shea, Staff Writer

20th August 2020

Memenda CHARVENAK: There is Mister Spock's unspoken truth. You knew of the cloaking device that we have developed. You deliberately violated Romulan space with a blatant spy mission, by order of the Federation.
CHARVENAK: We have not even begun! There's no force that I can use on a Vulcan that will make him speak. That is a fact. But there are Romulan methods completely effective against humans and human weaknesses.
SPOCK: You would not resort to them, Commander. They would prove ineffective against the captain.
CHARVENAK: Then they will leave him dead, or what might be worse than dead. But I will know your unspoken truths.

 - Star Trek, The Original Series; Season 3, Episode 2: "The Enterprise Incident."

Today's card is the flagship of Charvanek, Fleet Commander - or Charvanek, Neutral Zone Commander if you prefer. Like the Gal Gath'thong, Pride of the Praetor the Memenda, Chavernak's Flagship requires two [Pa] [Rom] personnel to play. Like Charvanek, Neutral Zone Commander or Keras, Creature of Duty or Nanclus, Co-Conspirator or T'Auethn, Obedient Centurion or Tal, Alert Subcommander this ship continues the theme of gathering knowledge about an opponent's intentions and then using that knowledge to your advantage.

The text of the ship is simple enough. When you play this ship, reveal an opponent's hand. For each equipment and ship revealed, it is cost -1. At just under four lines of text, it's a clean card. For four counters and two [Cmd] staffing icons - something even the [Pa] Romulans have plenty of - if you're a deck purist - you get a Range 8 ship with a Cloaking Device. And even if you pay full price, you still get to look at your opponent's hand. And the information you gain from doing so can tell you a lot.

As other cards in All Our Yesterdays already revealed, this card present the player with some interesting choices. While it does not get the Range pump of the previously over-powered Bird of Prey; nor does it have the discard ability of the aforementioned Gal Gath'thong, Pride of the Praetor. But, like other [Pa] [Rom] cards in their TOS cycle, this ship can help you to know whether that Deep Hatred you have in your hand is worth playing or holding on to. Or, more directly, suppose you're facing a Tactical Disadvantage dilemma pile and you'd like to get some benefit from an opponent's fist full of ships. Or, maybe you threw an Equipment Malfunction at your opponent on their last turn and now you'd like to rub salt in the wound.

But, I know some of you are asking, "Is this interactive?" If one's definition of interactive is conservative enough to include only those instances when players' cards actually touch, then no. However, I think most players view interaction as somewhat more broad than that. To me, this ship fits in with the Romulan theme of altering your own strategy based on what you can learn about an opponent's intentions. In other words, your game - or the tactical decisions you make during your game - change based on the information you gather on your opponent's hand. It can also influence the way an opponent plays - or even the way an opponent builds his or her deck. For example, how many of you have actually avoided putting a lot of interrupts in your deck because you felt you were going to face an opponent relying on Tal, Alert Subcommander shenanigans? That kind of interplay starts to fall within the third category of interaction described in the release article for All Our Yesterdays. I expect there will be debate on whether this actually qualifies as interaction - and that's okay. As players, we may not always agree on issues like this. But, hopefully, we can agree that the design team for this set has given us something interesting and fun in this card that will easily find a home in many Romulan decks.

Stay tuned for more from All Our Yesterdays.


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