What a Card: Ceti Eel

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. Now we're underground, and Kirk is close to screaming KHANNNNN, but first, a key card in Khan's strategy...

EXPANSION: The Motion Pictures

PICTURE: Those things are pretty ugly, and I think it would have looked better in the sand, or as a larva crawling on Chekov's cheek. As is, the background is as dull as that kind of thing gets, and the bloody creature is just about to be killed. Perhaps not all that bad, but could have been better. A 2.4.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: Not exactly equipment, these critters are played on the table to indicate they are in play, and they are pretty much linked to wherever Khan is by the game text. Unfortunately, they play for free. It seemed to me that it took a bit of effort to harvest them from their mother, certainly enough not to be played for free. We've never seen these used except by Khan, so he must be present for you to do so. Fair enough. They can't get into a hologram or android's skull, but sadly, changelings are once again left off the immune list (I won't even go into earless species). The Eel takes personnel over (you control them), their attributes take a drop (Integrity is definitely compromised, Cunning is addled, and I guess reflexes are down enough to impair combat skills represented by Strength) and they may work with Khan. That's not exactly what it says, but because they are not discarded by Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold, it is implied that they have "Khan" added to their lore, i.e. they work with (for) him (and together, of course, which is what is actually written). Not discarded, eh? That works for a while, but aren't Eels supposed to kill their host eventually? Not if you're Chekov apparently, but there just wasn't enough food up there ;-). Works the storyline fairly well, though it misses the mark in quite a few instances. A 3 and no more.

STOCKABILITY: A dedicated card, it pretty much only works in league with a strategy involving Khan. At its best, it's a kind of non-Borg assimilation, allowing you to take over (immediately brainwash) a personnel present with the tyrant, as often as twice per turn, and from an earlier free report. Khan even works with Feds if they've been taken over, despite a restriction against it otherwise. The personnel all take pretty big hits on all 3 attributes, which is certainly unfortunate, but they keep their skills and may help staff your Khan crew a bit better than the few personnel he actually has under his control. Fun for theme decks, not necessarily required in other deck types. If using Khan, you may well be using Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold. It allows your Khan-related personnel to report for free (and the Reliant to be downloaded), then gives you 30 points per turn if you've acquired the Genesis Device and have it aboard with Khan (only 15 if any Kirk is in play, of course). The downside is that all your personnel except the Khaners are discarded at the end of every turn. But Ceti Eel-infected personnel count AS Khaners! That means you can infect personnel you report yourself so they'll stay in the game, which is easier and more trustworthy a method than attacking opposing personnel. There is an incentive to do so, however: Mas'ud downloads one to put on just-stunned adversaries. Quick and easy. Have Sarod standing by too, and you may draw a card each time you infect a personnel. Maybe it's another Ceti Eel you can report for free! I'd use it to supplement my Khan personnel pool, but I wouldn't hide the Genesis Device at any mission requiring lots of attributes. That, and I'd take out as many opposing personnel as I could to stop them from getting at my Khan and stopping me from scoring points. That leaves a couple of problems, such as the vulnerability of the CF ship (remediable both normally and with its crew) and the Artifact's vulnerability to Disruptor Overload (maybe I'd infect Gurak'utak). Only as useful as the strategy it helps, but it's got a couple of "assimilation" bonuses. A cool 3.6.

TOTAL: 12 (60%) Shows I haven't been taken over... yet.