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Promo Friday: Chula: The Game

by James Heaney, First Edition Rules Master

4th September 2020

Today's contribution to the Promo-a-Week program is a dilemma that has hung out in the Top 20 for years. Chula: The Game doesn't look like much at first glance -- I mean, heck, it's a Chula dilemma, and those are notoriously weak -- but two ticks later you start to see how powerful it is.

Chula: The Game

Unless one personnel present has Greed and Treachery OR Greed and CUNNING>7, crew or Away Team is "stopped" until end of your next turn. Discard dilemma.

I've always been secretly jealous of 2E for its treasure of Bortz65 card-of-the-day features, so let's take a look at this the way he would.

 

Negatives: It only stops one away team, then goes away forever. It's not a wall and has no lingering "place on mission" effects. If someone redshirts into this, it's practically a whiff.

 

Positives: Nobody can pass this thing! Greed is a rare enough skill, but a requirement that includes Greed and something else on the same personnel? That's just crushing. Here's all the Greed + CUNNING > 7 personnel in the game, and here's all the other Greed + Treachery personnel. For many factions, you've only got one choice -- or none! Playing Enterprise-E? Better have Lisa Azar out! Playing Bajorans? Hope you drew into Jaro Essa and he didn't die yet! Playing Vulcan? Um, good luck!

And then, when it does hit, it knocks out the Away Team for a full turn AFTER this turn. In a 6- or 7-turn game -- or even a 9- or 10-turn game -- this can often mean an important crew or Away Team is effectively taken off the table during the endgame.

And it's a dual dilemma (space/planet for you terminological diehards), so this can slip into any combo -- or into a Squire's Rules deck for the lazybones out there.

Hitting with Chula: The Game isn't automatic, and top players tech smartly against it, but it's about as surefire a two-turn stop as the game has.

 

Classic Combos: 

Forsaken + Chula: The Game - Why not just make extra-special sure that nobody in the away team has both Greed and Treachery?

The Clown: On His Throne + Chula: The Game - Yeah, good luck finding Greed + INTEGRITY > 7 on one personnel!

Dead End + Chula: The Game - A nice way to make sure that Chula comes out toward the endgame, when your opponent is throwing megateams at missions desperately trying to beat the clock.

A New Game + Chula: The Game - No, you can't download CtG with ANG -- but the "stops one personnel first" effect still works!

 

Thoughts: This is a beautiful dilemma. If it were just a little stronger, it'd be in the Top 10, which I call "the field of broken dilemmas." But it haunts the Top 20 consistently, remaining a solid dilemma long after the stronger ones get banned, errata'd, or hard countered. It's a beautiful balance and a terrific use of the "Discard dilemma" text, something we in the CC era have gotten away from using because we love designing walls instead. This is a 10/10 design, and that's that.

 

P.S. Thank you, Brian Sykes, for being the only person in the past 18 months to post a combo I could steal for this article. Post your dilemma combos! It's helpful for new players AND article writers. :)


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