What a Card: Sherman's Peak

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. No, Sherman's Peak wasn't in Arena, but the picture was sourced from it!

EXPANSION: Mirror, Mirror

PICTURE: We never saw Sherman's Planet. It's only mentioned. But it's a stroke of genius to pull an image of Vasquez Rocks where so many original Trek episodes were filmed. Encounter with the Gorn? Here. "Shore Leave" planet? Here. The events of "The Alternative Factor" and "Friday's Child"? All here. It's even featured in later series, such as in "Who Watches the Watchers" in TNG. Ok, enough of that. The point is that so many planets in Trek have this distinctive "Peak", I think it's a wonderful tip of the hat to Trek history to give Sherman's Planet the same one. Sure, a planet where grain actually grows might have been a bit more appropriate (bit arid, ain't it?), but great ideas like this deserve a 5.

Lovely! Man, Time Locations get very short lore and when they pull something like this, I gotta give them a 5. Yes, you heard me, another 5. The line, of course, is pulled from "Trials and Tribble-ations", referring to the uncanny ability of the Temporal Investigation twins to figure out how long ago, and when in the week, any date is from the current day. Sure, the information isn't accurate unless your game takes place on the very same day Sisko got his visit, and only on that day, but who cares? A 5!

2267 is what they've chosen to be the native time location of the OS era. It's in the second season of that series, so some personnel should be dead or disabled already (Christopher Pike and Dr. Roger Korby come to mind), but these are few. With the main spaceline, we just don't get a date, so this issue doesn't come up, though of course, some personnel and ship cards are tied to a specific timeline, and you wouldn't expect, for example, Jadzia Dax to be on the USS Sao Paulo. The game is an alternate universe when it comes to such events, so it's not too bothersome. The OS personnel that are from this time are those that also have an AU icon (differentiating them from the DS9 crew who infiltrated them) and excluding Mirror universe personnel (who come from a Mirror TL). The card is linked inextricably to "The Trouble with Tribbles" storyline, requiring, first of all, that you download Deep Space Station K-7. This is where the action actually took place, not on the planet. At this time, the Organian Peace Treaty was in effect (ever since the first season of TOS), so you may download that too. May? Given that the Klingons and Feds were still at odds and the Organians weren't making weapons "hot" anymore, I like the option of ignoring the Treaty idea. Following the added plot layer of "Trials and Tribble-ations", examining and nullifying the Tribble Bomb here also negates Hero of the Empire. It's basically an addendum to the game text of those cards telling us that once the Bomb is taken out of play, Waddle's plans fall apart and he doesn't get a second chance. That the text is here rather than there is academic. Ties in well with the two episodes associated with the planet, though of course, the era (this IS a Time Location) was the home of many more events. It's very well done. I'll go as high as 4.5.

STOCKABILITY: While you can play OS personnel without the benefit of this Time Location, either through simple AU Door/Space-Time Portal reporting or Spacedoor/Crew Reassignment with a universal OS ship, doing so does offer some advantages. First, the Time Location downloads Station K-7, to which OS cards can report for free at a rate of one per turn. The TL also allows you to download the Organian Peace Treaty, giving you Klingon cards to play with in addition to Federation cards. Arne Darvin is especially good here, giving you card draws each time you report a Klingon card, as well as each time your opponent dares report a Fed here. Romulans are included, but there are so few, it might be good to consider skipping the TL entirely and treating them like Telek R'Mor and the rest. If they do start here, they can have a Romulan Cloaking Device reported to them at this location. Otherwise-affiliated personnel can also make use of the equipment if they have 2 ENGINEERs aboard their ship, so any ship starting here could get a cloak before traveling through time. For your Fed and Klingon OSers, it's quick reporting before heading into the 24th Century for mission attempts. The first mission might as well be Agricultural Assessment, which you must seed to use Sherman's Peak, and it happens to be extremely easy for OS personnel. Just two skills, or optionally, either of two OS Feds. Additionally, the Klingons can use Captain Kirk at K-7 to initiate Hero of the Empire with the Tribble Bomb. Blow him to kingdom come, then start solving your [Kli] missions in the Alpha Quadrant with or without any OS personnel. They're all worth +10 points! If your opponent is mainly in the Alpha Quadrant, all their missions there are -10 points! And it's retroactive. Not as simple as all that, since you need a Tribble side-deck, need to get a group of Tribbles on K-7 (not hard, small groups report anywhere), and need to get Barry Waddle to the station (he's required, but also downloads the Bomb). An opponent can come here to scan for the Bomb with a Tricorder, nullifying it and your Hero of the Empire, but it's not a foregone conclusion they can get there in time or even succeed in finding it on the first try. A bit card intensive, but the rewards are well worth it. Just don't get bogged down in the timeline disruption for too long. A good place to start for OS personnel, ships and equipment (which are generally good cards), it's also the launching pad for a couple of strategies. I say a 4.4.

18.9 (94.5%) There's only one other card I ever have a higher score to.



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