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Strategy Articles

The New Brig

by Richard New, Design Manager

1st October 2021

"This is the Holo-Shed. It can simulate anything you desire and nothing can hurt you. Except when it malfunctions and the holograms become real."

"Well, that probably won't happen this time."

--Kif Kroker and Amy Wong, Futurama "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch"

It happens a lot, right? A hologram gains sentience or the holodeck malfunctions and all of a sudden the safe, leisure activities of the crew become a deadly, all-too-real game of survival. Sometimes, the doors have to be locked to keep the characters playing along, but often, fellow crewmates act as bait, and at least once get stuffed full of crumpets.

How do the Holograms in Second Edition take their hostages, you ask? Capture? Too Cardassian. Their own version of Holding Cell? Too many moving parts. Instead, they trap them right where they did in the show: in the Holoprograms themselves.

Photonic Turncoat

Behold Photonic Turncoat. This new headquarters-specific dilemma breaks the mold in a couple of ways. First, the requirements are a little higher than the old ones, hopefully leading to a bit more usability. Second, if you aren't playing a Hologram deck, it doesn't even stop anyone. (It wasn't like the previous dilemmas were ever used outside decks featuring the headquarters listed on them anyway.) Instead, it does the Hologram version of capture by placing the personnel on your Holoprogram. (Though, to be honest, since the opponent loses command of the personnel, they can play another copy, so it's more akin to assimilation in gameplay terms.)

We Require Your Expertise

There are several positive aspects of Holoprogram abduction. First, Holoprograms are designed to stack cards on them. All Holoprograms so far provide a bonus once the number of cards on top pass the threshold of three. With several Holoprograms in play, Iden (Lustrous Demagogue) can only support so many before he starts using up more precious resources that are needed in your hand. In addition, hand size has to be maintained in order to keep that engine going. Having a second, even sporadic source of cards can be beneficial. Second, there are no cards that reclaim your personnel from an opponent's event (besides destroying the event and recycling the personnel from the discard pile, but Holoprograms are hard to eliminate with Kejal (Radiant Mender) hanging around). And third, Holograms love to reference cards on your Holoprograms.The Doctor (Brilliant Template)can be given the job of acclimating the opponent's "liberated" Holograms to a new world outside their programs (a kind of built-inCondition Captiveif you're so lucky as to nab one). But even if the personnel isn't a Hologram,James Moriarty (Awakened Nemesis)can question them for intelligence as if he were designed to do just such a thing.

We Require Your Expertise tells a similar tale (actually two; B'Elanna was kidnapped by both Iden's crew of light and the Pralor automated personnel) and gives the perpetrators full access to the skills of the abductee - and mid-attempt, to boot. I mean, let's face it: persecuted Androids and Holograms often curry favor with sympathetic Federation types. Someone should tell Moriarty that honey crumpets attract more flies than vinegar crumpets.

Sainte Claire Wargame

But that's not all. A new Holoprogam,Sainte Claire Wargame, makes even more use of the abductees ... by pummeling them in one of Earth's bloodiest conflicts. (Thank Q the Hirogen never got around to trying out that Wolf 359 simulation!) Just abduct a personnel into WWII-era occupied France (with enough other program material to keep the killing game interesting) and you could be racking up 5 points per turn. Whether you use that to round the corner or to pay for some powerful point loss effects is up to you.


Endangered is a good all-around card to hold off the opponent starting in the midgame, but if you go Revised-heavy, Equinox Doctor (Unethical Medical Hologram) might see his ability get some use too. Not to mention,Quinn could put a damper on an opponent's plans while Kejal keeps your society running like the good engineer she is. Finally, you could set up a couple of Blue Matches to try to get some discounts, but what you're really hoping for is a Target of Opportunity to really nail down that non-Borg assimilation feel.

Finally, we'll give you one more way to abduct an opponent's personnel into your Holoprogram: Lonzak (Loyal Henchman). Picking a fight with this guy is pretty simple. A resource of your choice from your Holoprogram begins combat that will, if you bring enough minions, end with replacing that resource with an opponent's personnel. In a pinch, you could always trade up an abductee, but my guess is that the Hologram player will have several options to trade for tying an opponent's personnel to Doctor Chaotica's death ray. Then, his liege will have his revenge!

I myself am looking forward to trying out some of the promise Holograms are showing for a fun, interactive deck. The best pairing up until now has been Species 8472 and I think the opportunity to abduct the opponent's personnel and make them play characters in my story, as well as several new missions with them in mind, will nudge this headquarters in a new direction.

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