What a Card: I'm a Doctor, Not a Bricklayer

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. As intimated last week, this is The Devil in the Dark' second card:

EXPANSION: Mirror, Mirror

PICTURE: Rich blues highlight this alternative pic for Dr. McCoy, and though it kinda had to be the moment where he says the line, you have to guess that's cement on his hands. And some might not find the limited color palette that interesting. Well, it isn't, you're right. On the average side with an even 3.

LORE: Great title, of course, with the lore itself adequately describing the relevant incident. Nothing flashy, but no problems. A 3.

TREK SENSE: There are three functions, and each is an interpretation of events from "Devil in the Dark". For the first 2 functions, someone tells McCoy, or another attendant doctor, that bricklayer or not, he can do this, "this" being whatever geological task needs be done. In the strict literal meaning, that's healing the Horta thereby eliminating that dilemma with such a  show of good faith. Unfortunately, anyone can do this; no Medical actually needed. More liberally, it means that a Medical personnel could act as if he or she had the Geology skill for a task (unless it gets to use Geology for a number of tasks until the end of the turn). Now this one, in some cases, could work. Think of Odo's Cousin, for example, which already requires the medical skill Exobiology, but in most cases, you'd have to technobabble an explanation as to why a personnel could apply their medical training to Geology. "A planet is like a living organism, with its life cycle and diseases," is what you'll end up saying. Hey, it's Star Trek. For the last function, the doctor in question tells Kirk (or whoever) to stuff it, and the commanding officer calls down a real Geologist to their location. This is well done: You need a commanding Officer to make the request and a Medical to refuse, and since not that many Geologists would be waiting in the wings, you can only do it once per game. It's the kind of card that fudges a few things, but does surprisingly well. A 4.

A deck without Mindmeld might just use Bricklayer to nullify the Horta, and that's not a bad option to have against a dilemma that requires 6 skills to snuff. Otherwise, any Geology dilemma or mission may get a boost from a MEDICAL personnel present. If you're flying through the dilemmas, you might even get to use that Geology multiple times. Still, that's not an excellent effect because of the time limit. It gets better with Dr. McCoy. He can suspend play in the middle of a mission attempt to get a copy, just when you need Geology (or to kill a Horta). Now, if you need Geology, and already have a MEDICAL, why not go for the last option? All you need is an extra OFFICER (not too rare) to download an entire Geology personnel. He doesn't just have the skill, you also gain a classification, possible other skills and some attributes to add to your totals. Of course, that's just once per game, but hopefully it'll help you build up your Geology base so that you don't need to add it to your MEDICAL later on. Note that some OFFICERs also have MEDICAL, which certainly cuts corners when it comes to that download. Stock it for the personnel download (they don't only have that skill, they may serve other, better, purposes), and maybe use your backup copy later for one of the other functions. A 3.8, methinks.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Certainly helped Geology personnel come into their own.



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