What a Card: The Genesis Device

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. We just talked about it some, but here it is again, and since it wasn't covered in the original Rolodex, this is my belated take...

EXPANSION: The Motion Pictures

PICTURE: The Genesis Device on Reliant's transporter pad has the virtue of just starting to be acivated, which gives it a cool flare. One might want the picture to be more centered, but the asymetry gives it a bit more energy, and thematically, I like how one side of the picture is dark, and the other lit up. It's a little like the card's two choices, or the transition between lifeless and life. A 3.7.

LORE: It's all there. Nothing bad to say about it. A 3.5.

TREK SENSE: The game's second edition did well to eliminate Artifacts from the game because they were either objects that carried an Event/Interrupt-like effect, or for the most part, were unique pieces of Equipment (as here). It was always weird to act like archaeologists and find... The Genesis Device?! A recent Picard episode actually makes this a little more true (although Daystrom Station is not a planet and Artifacts must be seeded under planets), but to the crew of the original Enterprise, it was just contemporary tech found at a Starfleet facility. That weirdness aside, the Device can be carried around on ships. but is a bit big for personnel to carry it. Its effect seems contingent on whether the place where it explodes has no life or does. At least that's how I interpret the points getting doubled or zeroed. If the place is lifeless, the mission becomes more valuable, higher stakes etc. because there's life there now. If there WAS life, it is destroyed and the mission parameters are void (and the mission is undone if it had already been completed). It just about works until you realize that mission locations already have life or not, according to the show's lore, which the card doesn't care about. Furthermore, it takes another card (No Kirk... The Game's Not Over) to actually destroy ships, facilities and personnel there, so it's incomplete. And then there's the fact that Feds can't use it. You can't have ANY Feds in play, in fact! Well, why not? They certainly wouldn't zero a mission, but they might double its points. What about the original experiments? Weren't they a mission using a Genesis Device? Well, David Marcus allows you to use it that way. But in most cases, we must accept that this is the Device AFTER it is banned by the Federation, even though much of the cards that support it tell a more contemporary story. I do appreciate the implicit countdown, but I'm afraid it's dropping to a 2.

SEEDABILITY: Artifacts are a pain to dig out, but an easy strategy is to seed it where you already score a lot of points, then drop the Genesis Device to double that mission's points. You could set yourself up for a quick 2-mission win. For the Federation, who are prime mission solvers, David Marcus would be crucial to this mission attempt, and he's the only Fed personnel who can use the Device. But will you get him into play fast enough to make this worthwhile? Other affiliations don't have that problem, and some actually benefit more from the card. The Klingons, for example, can use Kruge. While the Device is on his ship, it is worth 15 points. A small bump, but you're not making full use of it. Khan's Non-Aligned sub-affiliation actually has a dedicated strategy for The Genesis Device. If it's on the USS Reliant with Khan, it scores 30 points per turn thanks to Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold (or 15, if that spoiler Kirk is in play). It's a lot of set-up, but once it's done, your opponent will have to rush to counter it. And then there's the aggressive option of zero-ing a mission's points, taking them away from an opponent, preferably AFTER they've scored them so that it wastes their time. Play No Kirk... The Game's Not Over on top of that and you've destroyed all their cards there (but yours too, so it's a suicide mission, and a bit of a nuclear option if you just doubled your own mission points). A devastating weapon against facilities, homeworlds and Nors especially, and all it cost was a universal on a shuttle... There's balance there, but still rises to 4.2.

TOTAL: 13.4 (67%) Do some tables thematically ban it?