RR #15: Space
The final frontier...
Mission - Space
Rule hint for this card
This card has an clarification:
This mission counts as half a card. In other words, two ❖ Space missions plus five other missions count as six missions. (Other universal missions count as a full card.)
It is not attemptable. See mission attempt.
“May insert into spaceline” means that you may seed this mission anywhere on the Alpha Quadrant spaceline, either between two missions already seeded, or at either end of the spaceline as usual. It does not allow you to add the mission to the spaceline during the game. If inserted into a region, it does not become part of that region. See regions of space.
Span calculations are based on the number of directly adjacent universal mission cards (not just ❖ Space missions).Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.2.
This Card-Review was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Mar 24th, 1997.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 14): "RR #14: Major Rakal".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 16): "RR #16: Everything you always wanted to know about Dilemmas".
Aefvadh! I see I've been neglecting missions something awful. But instead of doing one that you can actually complete and get points for, I'm going to look at the peculiar little nothing mission...
Hmm. No affiliations, no requirements, no points. No wonder it only counts as half a card! So what can you do with it?
First let's clarify its odd text a bit and talk about what you can't do with it.
- "Counts as 1/2 card" means that you replace one normal mission from your deck with two of these. Those two count as one seed card out of the maximum of 30 you are allowed, and one card toward your 60-card deck.
- "May insert into spaceline" means you aren't restricted, as you are with all other missions, to placing it on either end of the spaceline as it is created card by card. You can insert it between two missions already placed.
- "Universal icon" means the same diamond-shaped array that appears on universal personnel and ships, and it has the same meaning here: you can have more than one of them in play at the same time, whereas normal missions must all be unique. There are two mission cards with the universal icon, Space and Nebula.
- The span is variable, depending on how many of them you have in a row. A single Space has a span of 3. If a Space has one universal on one side, its span is 3+1=4. If it has a universal on both sides, its span is 3+2=5. To illustrate, in the following spaceline diagram, M is any normal mission, S is the universal space mission, and N is the Nebula mission (which has a fixed span of 4). The span of the Space and Nebula missions is indicated below each mission. M - S - M- S - S - M - S - S - S - M - S - S - S - N - S - M - M
3 4 4 4 5 4 4 5 5 4 4
- You can't place an affiliated outpost here (either seeded or built later), because they can only be placed at a location with a matching affiliation bar. You can place a Neutral Outpost here, because the Neutral Outpost has no affiliation and thus is exempt from needing a matching affiliation bar, and because you can seed it at any space location.
- You can't "attempt" or "complete" this mission, because there are norequirements. There's nothing to complete. And while you could seed dilemmas or artifacts here, there is no way for anyone to encounter the dilemmas, and artifacts can only be retrieved by completing the mission, which can't be done.
So, again, what can you do with it?
First and most obvious use: as a space-filler (pun unavoidable) and stall tactic. Stick even two of these side by side between two of your opponent's missions, and you make it more difficult to get around by introducing an extra 8 span to pass. That's an extra turn for most ships. Put three in a row and you introduce 4+5+4=13 extra span. That will take a ship with Range 9 one extra turn; with Range 8 or less, at least two extra turns (possibly three, depending on the next span).
This works best against the Federation, whose only ships with range greater than 8 are the U.S.S. Enterprise (9) and Future Enterprise (13). Klingons will not be hampered too much if they're playing Vor'chas, as the universal and most uniques have Range 9, but it can help keep those pesky K'vort armadas (mostly Range 8) at arm's length. On the other hand, Romulans don't have it so good with universal D'deridexes (8), but most of the uniques, and the universal Scout Vessels, have Range 9, which can give them an edge.
The second use is not so obvious: the ultimate mission-stealing deck. Use 10 or 12 Space missions plus 1 or 0 real missions. Just keep inserting Space missions between your opponent's missions in rows of 4 or 5, isolating his missions into 3 pairs. If you use one real mission, try to put it off on one end of the spaceline, separated from your opponent's nearest pair by two Space missions. Chances are he will opt for one of the center pair for his outpost, as giving him the best shot at reaching either of the other pairs. But it's still going to be tough, as four Space in a row have spans 4+5+5+4=18, and will take three turns to get past even with a Range of 9. Keep a Disruptor Overload and a Baryon Buildup or two ready to get rid of Plasmadyne Relays and slow his ships even more.
Now that you have your opponent effectively restricted to only two easily reached missions, you need to solve some yourself. Not that single one (available only to your affiliation) you placed at the end - it's going to be so loaded with dilemmas that you won't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. No, that one's a backup position for you to build an affiliated outpost, in case the Neutral you seed at a Space adjacent to your opponent's mission is destroyed, and he has none with your affiliation's icon. You will need an all-purpose generic mission-solving crew that can tackle a wide variety of missions (I'll go into the makeup of such a crew either in a later review or in a theme deck), with a lot of non-aligneds and dual-affiliates, and some espionage cards (with Palor Toffs) in case your opponent favors one-color missions. Also include some point dilemmas like Barclay's in your seed deck to beef up the point values of the missions you intend to solve.
So how does this strategy stack up for the different affiliations? If you've read the article "Q-Factoids" recently posted on Decipher's siteby game designer Tom Braunlich, you may have noticed a cryptic reference to the Space mission having a subtle advantage for Romulans. That might be the stall tactic noted above, but it's hard to say they really have any advantage over the Klingons there. No, the real advantage comes with the mission-stealing.
Romulans can espionage both Federation and Klingon missions.
Feds can only espionage Klingons. They may be able to do Romulan missions with Major Rakal and non-aligneds, but that particular form of mission-stealing is still easier for Romulans, because it's tougher for Feds to come up with all the Treachery that so many Rommie missions need, while Romulans have plenty of the Diplomacy and Leadership required by so many Fed missions.
Klingons really have the worst of this; they can only espionage against Fed missions, and have no dual-affiliates (yet). Their one advantage is the skill-shifting K’chiQ, but they can still have only one at a mission site.
The Major's Combo:
- 10 Space + Major Rakal + NAs + Espionage.