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Why Would We Be Involved With These People?

by Paddy Tye, Dogs of War designer

26th March 2021

Alliance With the Son'a

Sometimes making new cards is really hard work!

Alliance with the Son'a was an example of a card which caused trouble throughout the production process! In the last month or so, it's been a 4-line event, a 5-line event, an incident, had two different titles and two different images. It's even had a small tweak since we released it last week! But (hopefully) the version you can print from today should now be the final version!

Let's wind back to the start of this whole process!

When we started developing the "Alpha Quadrant only" Dominion faction, one thing we wanted to eliminate was the overhead that goes with Ketracel-White management. New players don't want to have to manage the countdowns on a bunch of equipment cards in addition to everything else! We wanted a "simple to use" version of the Dominion to tempt newer players to "pop their brown cherry"... so to speak!

Ketracel-White doesn't play a big role in the final arc of episodes, but there was a one-line reference to the Son'a producing Ketracel-White for the Dominion. But how do we make a card with no image available? The Son'a weren't seen in DS9, just Insurrection. But we have a tonne of cards with created images, such as Treaties!

So for a long time, the card was called "Treaty: Son'a White Production". It granted immunnity to White Deprivation so long as you had a Son'a in play. And to ensure that didn't cause Reshape the Quadrant to discard, we added a clause to give your Son'a cards the DS9 icon. We'd also added a "May not leave play" clause to ensure players couldn't use The Devil to break your Reshape the Quadrant. There was something beautiful about that half brown / half yellow treaty image....

That all seemed fine, until one diligent tester compared this to the only other card which artificially adds a property-logo-based icon to cards: These Are The Voyages (which added the TNG icon to a bunch of Enterprise based personnel). Only thing was it requires Continuing Mission to be in play. So we should do the same with this right? Require Reshape the Quadrant to be in play? The shortest way to fit that on was to make in play on Reshape the Quadrant. But then that "May not leave play" line started to cause problems!

Eventually (after going to a 5-line event template) the 1E department collectively agreed that an incident would be a better solution, with a non-treaty based title. And once that title changed, so of course did the image! Fortunately an "emblem-style" image could be adopted instead!

Then on Saturday, we watched Kevin Jaeger's video, who helpfully pointed out that the Invasive Beam-In restriction wasn't working as we intended. After all, we don't want experienced Jem'Hadar players being able to engage in unrestricted personnel battle with novice players, without at least the minor inconvenience of managing their Ketracel-White properly!

So many thanks to Charlie, Johnny, and everyone who's helped alomg the way, so that the card now reads as "Your Invasive Beam-In is nullified" instead!

Enjoy the new cards! It's been a labor of love!

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