What a Card: Test Propulsion Systems

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. New Contact was derived from WNOHGB, but this was the actual mission on the episode...

EXPANSION: Official Tournament Sealed Deck

PICTURE: This basically-invented mission sports some rather nice artwork because it reminds us of a river or other passage between the stars. As long as we're testing engines, we might has well travel! I find the odd blur of the smoke cloud slightly off however, like some kind of unnatural Photoshop pixilating effect. A still-competent 3.3.

LORE: I suppose remote sectors are frequent, what with a third axis to work with in 3-dimensional space, so as a universal mission, the appellation works. The lore is otherwise pretty standard. No mistakes, but nothing flashy either. Another competent score at 3.1.

TREK SENSE: The first thing that disturbs me is that you can only attempt this exact mission once. Since the mission parameters are a question of a ship's drive components, NOT of the region in space, why couldn't you test your upgrades there in perpetuity? That mechanical snafu aside, the mission's not bad at all. Any crew may attempt as indeed all affiliations use ships and must sometimes upgrade. Too bad for our Gamma and Delta quadrant brethren, there are apparently no remote sectors to do this in outside the Alpha quadrant (a fault I find in all universal missions). You require an Engineer to install the components, Physics to monitor the changes in velocity and Navigation just to fly the around. Good stuff. You also require a ship, but then you always do when attempting a space mission. Here, the requirement is a universal ship. They are more easily transformed into whatever you need I suppose, and may act as guinea pigs, but we've seen instances where unique ships have been used for this, most notably the Enterprise in "Where No One Has Gone Before". There's a special reward aside from the 25 points for solving this mission (making the 25 adequate), and that's getting +2 RANGE to all your ships. The upgrade never tests negatively I guess (hmf), because you're ready to implement the change instantaneously (double hmf) on all your ships, even those not belonging to your affiliation (triple super-duper hmf). No going "hmf" at the Span, which should rightly be a long one, nor at the cumulative nature of the game text, since upgrades are constantly made. Cute, but no cigar, at 2.8.

SEEDABILITY: A good mission to seed in multiples if you're going for speed. One, it makes your ships faster (+2+4+6...) and your opponent's slower (those long Spans). And two, using the same mission over and over again makes mission solving much simpler by narrowing the amount of personnel required. Geordi can do this one blindfolded on a Type VI Shuttle, and lots of other personnel have these ultra-common skills. The universal ship can even be had quickly through Spacedoor. What you have to watch out for is your opponent stealing the missions from you. Any crew may attempt and those skills are common to most affiliations. Fair Play would definitely be in order if it wasn't proscribed! If you seed and complete 4, your ships'll be +8 to RANGE evading any armada (if you're smart or cloaked), but you might not get to 100 fast enough. Mission specialists? Sure, the Feds in particular have one for each of those skills. An excellent universal effort at 3.9, but risky.

13.1 (65.5%) A passing grade on the test.