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For I Am A Pirate King

by Nathan Miracle, Staff Writer

29th April 2021

"Mister Worf, do you know Gilbert and Sullivan?"
"No sir. I have not had a chance to meet all the new crewmembers since I have been back."
"They're composers, Worf, ...from the nineteenth century."

-Picard and Worf, Insurrection

Data may have studied that infernal nonsense H.M.S. Pinafore, but it seems William T. Riker prefers The Pirates of Penzance. Today we discuss his apparent change in profession with Piratical Boarders and its planet counterpart, One More Brush Fire.


Based on the calamity caused by the pirates of Penzance, I can only assume they believe cats are amongst the loudest creatures on Earth. Likewise, when you use either of the dilemmas in Heroes and Demons, your personnel will make their presence known to your opponent in the middle of their mission attempt. Since these dilemmas require some support from your draw deck, you will want to come into the game with a plan. You have two major options.


Both dilemmas offer the possibility of stopping all your opponent’s personnel, based on a particular skill. If you want to increase your odds of making your opponent fail the dilemma, you can place personnel with higher levels of the appropriate skill. Riva presents a formidable diplomatic foe; Ty Kajada proves difficult to repel. Supplement either of these with a second personnel, and your opponent will need four or five Diplomacy or Security to avoid being stopped. One More Brush Fire has a bit of an advantage over its space counterpart in this regard. The requirements of the dilemma are not tied solely to the personnel you place, so you can boost them further by leaving Diplomacy personnel at your opponent’s planet missions.

Sending your personnel to your opponent’s missions means not using them to help complete your own, or at least devoting some time and resources towards getting those personnel back. If you use these dilemmas solely to stop all your opponent’s personnel, then placing your own personnel acts as a cost in exchange for hefty dilemma requirements. But there’s another way to approach these dilemmas.


One More Brush Fire Some personnel prefer to hang around at your opponent’s missions. Assassins, Infiltrators, Romulans and some other assorted personnel view that first line of text as an opportunity rather than a cost. Sometimes you might actually prefer that your opponent does meet the requirements, so that you can follow up these dilemmas with something even harsher, such as Unsound Logic. You can choose not to send anybody with Diplomacy or Security to increase the chances your opponent faces that next dilemma. In this respect, you can view the placing of the personnel as the effect, and the potential stop as a risk. You may want to send Assassins who specifically do not have Security in order to minimize the chance that your opponent fails the requirements, but you still run the risk that your opponent has none of the appropriate skill.

Used in this manner, Piratical Boarders has a bit of an advantage over One More Brush Fire, since it allows you to place the personnel on an opponent’s ship. Normally you need a card like Dimensional Shifting to accomplish such a feat. Just be warned that the dilemma provides a one-way trip, so you will need to plan an escape route in case your opponent simply abandons the ship - perhaps through abilities that return the personnel to hand, or perhaps through the aforementioned Dimensional Shifting, or perhaps just by waiting for another opportunity to use Piratical Boarders or One More Brush Fire.


I love when cards give you choices, and these dilemmas provide you several of them. Do you focus on stopping your opponent? Do you give them an easy dilemma in exchange for a bigger set-up? Maybe a mix of both, hoping to stop your opponent with the dilemma and hit them with the personnel afterwards? I would love to hear which personnel you plan to send over to your opponent!

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