What a Card: Talosian Cage

Being a look back at cards from the Star Trek CCG, and what I thought of them back when they were fresh and new... in EPISODE order. Here's the other card from The Cage.

EXPANSION: Holodeck Adventures

PICTURE: There's some blurring on one of the three Talosians, but in general, this is a fun pic. We're looking up at them, making giants out of diminutive people, and the cave wall helps with the foreboding atmosphere. And "The Cage" didn't get enough play, so it's always nice to see something from the original pilot. A 3.6.

LORE: I like that they've brought the Talosians into the 24th Century with that last line. Otherwise, no problems. Bonus points for the title that remembers to pay homage to that original episode. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: The Talosians grab your personnel for their little petting zoo, which discards them without prejudice (i.e. does not count as killing). They're too powerful to have those personnel trapped on the planet to be rescued, so there's no chance of that. On the show, we saw them kidnap Christopher Pike, represented by the best possible male specimen, i.e. the one with the most skill dots. That's one way of seeing it, though attributes are probably a better gauge for this. The episode also showed the Talosians grabbing a choice of females for Pike, which would be the 2 random females here. I'm not sure I like that, since it makes assumptions about what's already in the zoo. Male or female, there should be no difference in the way the personnel is picked (at least it's opponent's choice). Pike was able to overcome this dilemma, so he's mentioned, though I can't believe no one gets stopped in that case. Think about it: It took the entire episode to deal with the situation. Still, he has that force of will, and you could say that he's been here before, so they know him and retreat once again. Matching the Talosians on telepathy (Empathy in the game) also helps, fighting them on their level and disbelieving their illusions. In any case, the dilemma creates a problem by being found off Talos (it has to), so specific is it (certainly thanks to title and lore) to a single, forbidden place. A lot going on, and it thematically checks out, but I can't go above a fair 3.1.

SEEDABILITY: With those requirements, Talosian Cage packs a punch. Christopher Pike is an AU/OS Fed personnel from a boutique product (All Good Things), and certainly won't be found in every deck. As for the other requirement, most affiliations are deficient in Empathy, and even those that do have that skill may not have 3 instances of it. I mean, you keep a personnel around for the likes of Cardassian Trap, but 3? That's a full telepath plus an empath right there. Possible (it's still only 2 personnel), but generally, you should get a hit without trying too hard. If you hit, you get your choice of discards. Females are less common than males, so with some affiliations, you might be taking out their entire female base, setting things up for Matriarchal Society. Alternately, you can take out the male with the most skills, which is probably a big skill horse, and certainly impair the mission attempt. So it hits often and has pretty devastating consequences over which you have some control. A high 4.5.

TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) Worthy of the historic pilot.


Jonathan Linneman said...

Just want to note that I love that you're doing these. I always enjoy seeing fellow geeks talk about old CCGs, even if it's one that I didn't really play!

Siskoid said...

Glad you approve!

The feature is called What a Card, not STCCG, so I could switch it up in time, but STCCG is definitely the game I know the most about. Not sure I could honor others in such a way.

Drinkplentyofmalk said...

I can't believe you've managed to come up with a feature that rivals One Panel in terms of 'has enough material to run until the entropic death of the universe after this one.'


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