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In the Beginning...

by Chris Heard, Decipher.com Writer

17th June 2022

As part of our release schedule for The Motion Pictures Remastered, and to celebrate 20 years since the original The Motion Pictures, we have decided to reprint several preview articles from the original The Motion Pictures release schedule on Decipher.com, originally printed back in 2002. We've got seven articles, one for each day of the preview week, plus a word search. These articles have been reprinted in their entirety, with links and images updated to point to Remastered cards. We hope you enjoy these "remastered" Decipher articles. --Daniel Matteson, Writing Team Manager

In the Beginning ...

by Chris Heard (uzo@unicomplex.org)

Genesis. Life from lifelessness. The power of creation... or universal Armageddon. An impressive tool... a potential weapon. And an epic plot device spanning multiple Star Trek movies, not to mention – now – a variety of Star Trek CCG deck archetypes.

"Genesis, I presume."

The Genesis DeviceAt the heart of all Genesis-oriented strategies lies The Genesis Device itself, represented in the game as a "use as equipment" artifact card. All alone, the torpedo can "terraform" planets, reducing a planet mission's point value to zero, or doubling it. The artifact's game text prohibits its use by the Federation, but don't let that bother you too much; just be sure to include David Marcus in your deck. That reckless scientist, whose ill-advised decision to use unstable protomatter in the Genesis matrix made the effect work in the first place, can partially overcome that level-headed restriction.

Clearly, The Genesis Device presents two important options for any deck. With The Genesis Device, the two-mission win moves closer into reach for a wider variety of deck types. Some players' eyes will probably glisten with thoughts of a one-mission win: just imagine doubling the 55-point value of Hunt For DNA Program or Restore Victims, or the 45-point value of Betazed Invasion, Cure Deadly Virus, and so on. Note, however, that The Genesis Device cannot change the value of a mission whose points have already been scored. In this respect, it is similar to The Sheliak's effect on a mission's point value and unlike the similar effects of I Tried To Warn You or Resistance Is Futile (both of which specify that they do effect points already scored). This means that you cannot use The Genesis Device to change the point value of the mission from which you retrieved The Genesis Device, so you'll probably need to complete two missions after all. Nevertheless, The Genesis Device introduces an entirely new dynamic into your calculus of mission selection and completion.

No, Kirk ... The Game's Not OverThen there's the opposite effect, for non-Federation decks. Take your Genesis Device to an opponent's planet, and terraform its points right out of the game. That, by itself, is an awesome power, but it's hardly the extent of Genesis' destructive capacity. The interrupt No, Kirk... The Game's Not Over extends the shock wave, destroying not only mission points, but also all planet facilities, landed ships, ships in orbit, and personnel on the planet when you change its point value using The Genesis Device. Utter destruction at one spaceline location. Since you can only change the point value of the mission at the beginning of your own turn (unless you play Samuel Clemens' Pocketwatch), your opponent has a chance to run away. Even so, they'd better have gotten the value they needed out of their headquarters (or high-point planet mission) before you came calling with your Genesis Device.

This really does change everything.

"Carol... Who's taking Genesis?"

KrugeWithout any help, The Genesis Device is intimidating. Combined with No, Kirk... The Game's Not Over, it's devastating. What more could there be? How about scoring points for not using the torpedo's destructive capabilities? Two personnel – Khan and Kruge – can use The Genesis Device to generate bonus points.

Kruge's point-scoring mechanism is straightforward. A special skill makes him worth 15 points while The Genesis Device is aboard his ship. That's like an extra half mission just for retrieving the artifact.

Revenge Is a Dish Best Served ColdAs is fitting, though, it's Khan who really benefits from acquiring The Genesis Device. The seeded objective Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold scores (note: "scores," not "is worth") 30 points for you at the beginning of each of your turns if your Khan and The Genesis Device are aboard your U.S.S. Reliant. You read that correctly; there is no misprint. Thirty points per turn just for getting Khan and The Genesis Device together aboard the Reliant. What's more, the objective even lets you download the Reliant itself, and lets Khan and his superhuman followers report aboard Reliant for free. There is, however, a price to pay: at the end of each of your turns, you must discard any personnel you have in play other than Khan, personnel naming him in their lore, or personnel you are controlling with Ceti Eel. Moreover, your opponent can hold you to 15 points per turn by getting any Kirk into play. (That sound you hear is dust being blown off thousands of copies of Hero Of The Empire.)

"I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications..."

Naturally, you don't want to let your opponent get their hands on all this power. At the same time, you can't wait to play God yourself. What's a body to do?

Ever since its introduction, Q's Planet has been a popular method of getting artifacts quickly. Be prepared for your opponents to drop a Q's Planet early in the game, with The Genesis Device underneath – especially if you see Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold on the table. You'll need to come to the table ready to seed powerful stopper dilemmas under Q's Planet; Dead End may still be the best choice, though you might want to start using two or three Q's Tent slots for dilemmas now. Savvy opponents will be prepared for this, of course, and may try to close your Q's Tent with a Revolving Door before playing their Q's Planet. Conversely, you need to be prepared to keep your Q's Tent open, perhaps by stocking Wrong Doors or Alternate Universe Doors.

Knowing that your opponent has read this article too and is prepared for your Q's Planet grab, you might consider some alternatives. Since you can't use Genesis on the mission where you acquire it, you might consider seeding your Genesis Device aboard a Cryosatellite. If you can thus retrieve The Genesis Device from a space mission, you can satisfy The Big Picture's requirements while still enabling a two-mission win. Then again, you might need two Cryosatellites and two Genesis Devices, in case your opponent seeds a Dead End at one of those locations. Then again, since The Genesis Device is a "use as equipment" artifact, you might seed Starry Night instead. Earn Starry Night at an appropriate location, and you can trade it for The Genesis Device plus one other "use as equipment" artifact, opening up all sorts of interesting possibilities. You might even try to acquire Genesis from a Secret Compartment, without attempting a mission at all.

The Genesis Device need not, however, strike abject terror into the hearts of Star Trek CCG players everywhere. Until the fuse has been lit (the artifact has been placed atop a mission), there is a nice, simple counter to The Genesis Device, and it's been around virtually since creation (the creation of the game, anyway): Disruptor Overload. Since The Genesis Device is used as an equipment card, it can be destroyed by Disruptor Overload whenever it is aboard a ship (as it must be to earn points with Khan or Kruge) or carried by an Away Team (e.g., when just earned on a planet's surface). To be sure, Disruptor Overload's random selection is never guaranteed to hit The Genesis Device unless it's the only equipment present. Nevertheless, you have a common interrupt that can potentially stop one of the most powerful effects in the game – and if you choose not to use it, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

On the other hand, you'll want to protect yourself from Disruptor Overloads if you're trying to use The Genesis Device to your own advantage. While you're considering the usual methods – Amanda Rogers, Goddess of Empathy, hiding the device amongst a bunch of other equipment you downloaded with Empok Nor to try to beat the odds on a Disruptor Overload random selection – don't overlook Reclamation. With Reclamation, your overloaded Genesis Device can be refurbished and re-used for any of its many purposes.

"There are always possibilities."

So there you have it. The Genesis Device is out there, capable of great good or great ill. The uses to which it is put are now up to you...

March 21, 2002

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