What a Card: Artillery Attack

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. And now, Arena!

EXPANSION: Mirror, Mirror

PICTURE: That's obviously Kirk's stand-in running through a minefield (sorry, an artillery attack), but it's still an impressive pic. The size of the character gives the explosion the right scale, and the outdoors location is (literally) a nice change of scenery. A good 3.8.

LORE: There's no real reason to mention the Gorn if we're not going to get a Dathon-like personnel that can nullify Gorn-related dilemmas (that's me lamenting the fact that we never got a Gorn Commander personnel). But note the subtle use of "landing party" instead of the more contemporary "away team". Original Series terminology for OS cards. I like. A 3.6.

TREK SENSE: Artillery would no doubt kill members of an Away Team. How many would be the x-factor, yes. That number is more-or-less appropriately left up to chance (i.e. probing your draw deck for icons). More because there's something fairly random about dropping a bomb in the middle of a group off people and hoping it'll hit the right ones. Less because the skill of an attacker and/or defender might have been controlling factors as well. Probe results fall into the conceptual sphere, but are often well chosen (as we've seen on a number of Borg objectives). How about here? Well, the number of skill dots on a probe card would be the killer result, and that would be a way to make mention of the attacker's skill... EXCEPT the personnel belongs to the player getting attacked. Still, there's at least the mention of skill. An Equipment card would indicate no deaths, but I can't for the life of me figure out what equipment would actually protect you from an Artillery Attack. No duranium umbrellas in the game. The "Otherwise, X=1" is just arbitrary. So while the idea is interesting, and the crosshairs look of the game text isn't lost on me with all those X's and red dots, the probing stuff is just too convenient for a very high score. Still think it's a 2.8.

SEEDABILITY: An almost sureshot killer, Artillery Attack will, most of the time, at least clip off one personnel. Equipment is very rarely the dominant card type in a deck, but personnel often is. That means a "no-kill" result will be somewhat rare, while a multiple kill will be more frequent. Mission specialist decks don't have as much to fear perhaps, but you'll often grab yourself 2 to 4 kills if not more. Indeed, as affiliations become smaller (and the Voyager environment adds a number of smaller affiliations), skill concentration on personnel rises. The Ferengi, for example, could very well lose as many as 8 personnel on a really unlucky probe. The trick, of course, would be to rig the opposing deck before it encounters Artillery Attack, so that the probe IS a personnel card with mucho skill dots. Rigging can be accomplished with Thought Maker (which we haven't seen a lot of since downloading was introduced), or by leading with New Essentialists to put an Away Team member atop the draw deck (effectively using that member against its own team) or with Handshake. If you have the right personnel present, you may be able to use the 47th Rule for the same effect. It's like an Armus with a slight chance of failure, but a good chance of multiple kills. A nice dilemma that penalizes the use of super-characters. A clear 4.4.

TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) You can run, but you can't hide.



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