What a Card: Lt. Sulu

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. The Corbomite Maneuver may not technically be Sulu's first appearance, but we're going by picture sourcing here.

EXPANSION: The Trouble with Tribbles

PICTURE: Despite the name of the expansion, Sulu wasn't in "The Trouble with Tribbles", so they had to go elsewhere for the pic. While I wish they hadn't limited themselves like this for the other mains, it's not like they found a really interesting image of Sulu either. He's at his post, the subdued background doesn't distract from the subject matter, and everything's in sharp focus. It's just that "The Corbomite Maneuver" isn't much of a Sulu episode, it's just his first time at the helm. I see the logic, but would have hoped for a bare-chested swashbuckler instead ;-). Still a good 3.5.

LORE: They haven't forgotten his origins as senior physicist, but more importantly, his many, many hobbies, which was a fun element on the show. A colorful 3.8.

TREK SENSE: As the Enterprise's helmsman, he's an Officer with Navigation. I was thinking Nav x2, but his legendary status may just be an echo I have from reading too many Star Trek novels. At this point in his career, he probably hadn't done anything too cool with his piloting skills. Is that behind his special skill though? While the helmsman did shoot phasers in the original series, is the Weapons boost more of a maneuverability bonus? I agree the Range boost would go to Chekov since he plotted courses (Range is a function of warp travel, not combat piloting). Since he used to be a physicist, Physics and Science remain part of the package. Biology is for his interest in botany. Antique firearms should have given him Archaeology, but there's just no room. Maybe they should've done a separate "Sulu, Senior Physicist" card to liberate some space in the skill box, eh? There's simply no way to represent a character with such diverse expertise in a normal-sized box. My only problem with the attributes is that the Strength might be a bit low. While he was a wuss most of the time on the show (Kirk had to look good), the fencing incident and later movie appearances ("Don't call me Tiny") point to a well-trained combatant. An understandably incomplete 2.5.

STOCKABILITY:
In an OS deck, every main character counts, and Sulu's OFFICER/SCIENCE combo is excellent. With Spock and Chekov, you get just enough redundancy to plan your missions around the same skills. Physics is better on mission attempts than for facing dilemmas, but there's still a need for it. Navigation and Biology, on the other hand, are useful in all cases. Good skills with fair attributes. As for the special skill, he's a great addition to your Starship Enterprise. The ship's not as weak as its attributes first lead you to believe, not with matching commander bonuses and such boosts as those afforded by Sulu, Chekov and Scotty. +2 WEAPONS is a great tactical advantage when your matching commander can initiate battle against non-Federation ships. No reason why the Starship Enterprise couldn't play marauder for a day. Note that there's also a CF (Classic Films) Starship Enterprise, which Lt. Sulu can also readily boost, and you can get him on that ship using his CF self, Captain Sulu, and turning back the clock with a persona switch. A must for Enterprise-related strategies, he lands on a flat 4.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) A favorite, so I would have liked a better showing.

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