RR #40: First Contact Dilemmas | openCards

RR #40: First Contact Dilemmas

This Strategy-Note was written by Kathy McCracken (aka Major Rakal) and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Dec 23rd, 1997.

This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:

Aefvadh! I know a lot of people have been waiting for me to update my dilemma facts list for the new dilemmas in First Contact (and one from Fajo). Although I haven't gotten the two lists integrated yet - and that may take a while - I have produced a separate listing of the dilemmas for my website, in the same format as the previous table. A few explanations are in order, so here is what you need to know about...


There are a few new twists in some of the new dilemmas.

A number of them are so-called "filter" dilemmas, which filter out and stop (or kill) certain classes of personnel, while forcing others to continue. While not totally new (Chinese Finger Puzzle and Parallel Romance are examples of filters), there are many more in FC than we have seen before. Blended, Don’t Call Me Ahab, Shot In The Back, and Strict Dress Code are all filters. In general, filters will not say "discard dilemma", because under the general dilemma rules, they don't need to; if there are no conditions, the dilemma will always be discarded (as long as it doesn't enter play). And because there are no conditions, the rest of the Away Team (other than the specified targets) is not stopped and must continue. (Blended is actually a combination of a wall dilemma and a filter; you must bring certain personnel to the mission to get past it, and then those targets are stopped while the others must continue.)

Two dilemmas, Scout Encounter and Undetected Beam-In, have no direct effect on the Away Team or crew, but instead allow the opponent to download a scout ship and crew, or Borg drones or Rogue Borg. Undetected Beam-In provides an exception to the rule that dilemmas only affect the ship and crew, or Away Team, that encounters the dilemma, because the download is "to this location," which may include other ships (of either player), an outpost, or the planet (if any). Again, with no conditions, these dilemmas do not stop and are automatically discarded after use.

Balancing Act is designed to promote balance between planet and space missions, and thus has no effect whatsoever on the atempting Away Team or crew. If you choose to play with mostly planet or mostly space missions, you risk losing 50 points each time one of these dilemmas is triggered by either player. A 4-2 split is safe (barring Supernovas or Black Holes), but 5-1 and 6-0 are not. The penalty affects Borg players as well as non-Borg.

Dead End is a wall dilemma with three twists. First, the "conditions" to pass it are not skills or personnel; the only condition is that you already have at least 50 points. If you do, you discard it and proceed. The second twist comes into play if you don't have 50 points: not only are you stopped, but the dilemma is placed on top of the mission and stays there indefinitely, preventing anyone with less than 50 points from attempting the mission (though Borg may scout). The third twist is its "unique" designation. Fortunately, its uniqueness prevents you fromreaching a Dead End at all your missions; any subsequent ones encountered that were seeded by the same player are discarded.

My First Raygun even relies on a probe to determine its outcome. If your deck is full of Events, Interrupts, Alternate Universe icon cards, or U.S.S. Enterprise-E personnel, you run a high risk of getting a personnel killed. The lesser penalty, if no probe icons are encountered, is that one personnel is stopped.

The other burning question about dilemmas is how they affect the Borg. I'm still investigating this question, and will publish my results when they are ready, but for now remember that most dilemmas affect the Borg just as they affect anyone else. A few exceptions:

  • Gender-related text has no effect (e.g., Love Interests). Such dilemmas would be discarded.
  • If the dilemma refers specifically to a mission attempt, that text has no meaning to the Borg, because they don't attempt missions. Edo Probe, for example, would be discarded.
  • Bonus points have no meaning to the Borg, but play the dilemma out normally otherwise. If they meet the conditions for Barclay’s Protomorphosis Disease, the dilemma is discarded; they do not earn the points.
  • Royale Casino sidegames might win or lose points for the opponent, but not for the Borg. The Higher... The Fewer would simply be discarded.
  • The Borg Queen (FC) is neither unique nor universal, so she cannot be trapped in a Cardassian Trap or Rascal-ized.
  • The Borg may pass dilemmas they have encountered on a previous turn with Adapt: Negate Obstruction.