RR #60: AU Door & Space Time Portal | openCards

RR #60: AU Door & Space Time Portal

Space-Time Portal

Doorway Doorway

Seeds or plays on table. Your Alternate Universe cards may seed and play (one per turn). At any time, you may discard this doorway from table to download Alternate Universe Door OR nullify Temporal Rift OR plays as second Wormhole interrupt OR return one of your ships in play, and all cards on it, to owners' hand OR (once per game) allow one Alternate Universe ship to report with crew (each must be Alternate Universe) at any location.

Rule hint for this card

This card has an clarification:

This doorway allows you to seed Alternate Universe dilemmas, artifacts, or other seed cards. It does not allow seeding of Alternate Universe cards that are not normally seedable, such as personnel or ships (unless another card makes them seedable, such as Cryosatellite). See Alternate Universe icon.

It allows you to play only one Alternate Universe card per turn, even if you have multiple Space-Time Portals in play (see once per turn). Its text does not restrict a seeded Alternate Universe Door, which allows you to play multiple Alternate Universe cards each turn (e.g., interrupts, doorways, or multiple card plays allowed by a card such as Red Alert!). Because this doorway allows you to seed or play only one Alternate Universe card per turn, you may seed only one Alternate Universe card under Q's Planet, and only if you have not already played an Alternate Universe card that turn.

You may discard the doorway from the table “at any time” for any one of its functions – during either player’s turn, before or after your card play or executing orders, between other actions or as a valid response to an action. It is not a valid response to the initiation of a battle or the encounter of a dilemma; thus, you may not escape from battle or a dilemma encounter by returning a ship to your hand. See actions - interrupting, actions - step 2: responses.

You may report an Alternate Universe-icon ship with Alternate Universe crew by discarding a Space-Time Portal even if you have already played the one Alternate Universe card allowed by the Portal for the turn. (See report with crew.)

An Alternate Universe Door may be downloaded only for one of the “play” functions of that doorway; it may not be downloaded “onto the table.” A Space-Time Portal discarded to “play as a second Wormhole interrupt” may be nullified by Amanda Rogers. It is still a Doorway card, and may be closed (if the Wormholes are kept open with Operate Wormhole Relays). See card types.

Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.2.

Card logging info: Logged by openCards team (Telak at May 1st, 2009).

Alternate Universe Door

Doorway Doorway

Plays on table during seed phase. Door is now open, allowing your Alternate Universe cards to enter play. OR Stock in deck and use as follows: Plays to nullily one Revolving Door or Subspace Schism. (Discard doorway.) OR Allows one ship to pass through Q-Net. (Discard Doorway). OR Nullify one Temporal Rift, and return doorway to your hand.

Card logging info: Logged by openCards team (Telak at May 1st, 2009).

This Card-Review was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Oct 5th, 1998.

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

Aefvadh! Since the Alternate Universe expansion released with the very first Doorway card, the seeded Alternate Universe Door has been a staple in most decks, because until recently it was required if you wanted to use any Alternate Universe Alternate Universe icon cards at all. Even if you weren't interested in a deck heavy with Alternate Universe personnel and ships, most players wanted to make use of cards like Major Rakal, Tasha Yar-Alternate, K’chiQ, Lakanta, Devidian Door, Frame of Mind and Thought Fire. Unless you were willing to completely do without these cards, you needed an Alternate Universe Door. The recent release of the Official Tournament Sealed Deck gave us another choice - an alternate Alternate Universe Door, so to speak. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and you can even use both. So consider how you want to bring your Alternate Universe cards into this universe, through

Doorway #1... ALTERNATE UNIVERSE DOOR  ..or Doorway #2... PACE-TIME PORTAL

The first notable difference is in how the doorways come into play for their various functions. The Alternate Universe Door (AU Door) may only enter play on the table (to enable seeding or playing of Alternate Universe cards) by seeding; you may not play it from your hand to the table. Its "stock in deck and play" functions all involve playing the card directly from your hand. The Space-Time Portal (STP), on the other hand, may be seeded or played on the table, and either way, it both allows Alternate Universe cards to seed and play and enables a variety of secondary functions that are triggered by discarding the doorway from the table. Seed several, and you can use several of the functions during your game without ever having to worry about drawing an STP when you need it.

The second big difference is the number of each doorway that you may have on the table. You may only seed one AU Door, and because that is the only way it gets on the table, you may lose your ability to play Alternate Universe cards if it gets closed and you cannot reopen it - there is no way to play another for that function. But the STP has no such restriction. You may seed any number of STPs, within normal seed card limits. If one is closed, another may still allow Alternate Universe cards to play. Your second one need not even be seeded, because you may freely play it from your hand to the table, on your own turn.

How many Alternate Universe cards can you play each turn? The AU Door allows your Alternate Universe cards to enter play without limits (other than the normal limits on number of cards you may play per turn). So, for example, you could play the Decius, Commander Tomalak and Lakanta under Red Alert!, as well as several Brain Drains or Dead in Beds, on a single turn. The STP allows only one Alternate Universe card per turn, so if you report the Decius, you cannot play a Brain Drain later in your turn. (Cards are seeded "one per turn" by definition - you and your opponent takes turns placing seed cards - so either card allows seeding of multiple Alternate Universe dilemmas, artifacts, Cryosatellite personnel etc.)

What if you have both doorways in play? You can play whatever is allowed by the most liberal card - the AU Door. It's important to note that the STP does not restrict you to one Alternate Universe card per turn. The general rule, in fact, is that you cannot play Alternate Universe cards at all - unless you have a card that lets you play them. So rather than restricting your card plays, each doorway gives you permission to play Alternate Universe cards, one for one card per turn, the other for as many as you can legally play.

The "play" and "discard" functions of the two doorways are quite different. The AU Door is limited to nullifying three specific cards, and allowing a ship to pass a Q-Net without Diplomacy aboard. Useful (especially the Temporal Rift nullification, because unlike Amanda Rogers it works later than "just played," and because the AU Door returns to your hand so you never "use it up"), but limited, and because it is a doorway, you may only play it on your own turn. While you would never be trying to pass a Q-Net anytime but your own turn, it means that if your opponent Temporal Rifts your "opposing ship in the Neutral Zone" during his turn, he can now complete Patrol Neutral Zone, while you are unable to nullify the Rift until your turn (unless you have an Amanda Rogers handy, of course).

The STP, on the other hand, really shines here. Not only does it have five possible functions, some very useful, but the text "at any time" means you can discard an STP from the table even during your opponent's turn (between other actions, or as a valid response to an action). Let's look at those functions:

  • "Download Alternate Universe Door." Because a downloaded card may be placed immediately into play, this overcomes the "your turn only" doorway restriction, so you can in fact nullify that Temporal Rift. The AU Door would still return to your hand. Or perhaps your opponent, suspecting a Scout Encounter coming up, just placed a Revolving Door on your Tent to prevent you from downloading a scout ship from there. Youget the next action - discard that STP to download an AU Door, and reopen your Tent.
  • "Nullify Temporal Rift." If you don't have an AU Door to download, you can still get rid of that pesky Rift. It's just not re-usable the way the AU Door would be.
  • "Play as a second Wormhole interrupt." One of the problems with Wormholes is that you need two of them; one in your hand is just plain worthless if its mate is at the bottom of your deck. Not any more; think of the STP as your seedable "second Wormhole." Or if you do have two, the STP can be a backup in case your opponent Amandas one of them.
  • "Return one of your ships in play, and all cards on it, to owners' hands." Probably the single most useful function of this card, it can get you out of all kinds of nasty situations. If your ship has Theta-Radiation Poisoning (and no Medical Kit), or a Coalescent Organism aboard, or "Junior" attached, and is heeding a Cytherians call to the far end of the spaceline, let's face it - they're never going to make it before (a) everyone dies, or (b) the ship blows up. Don't wait for everything to go to the discard pile; simply discard your STP and take everything back to your hand (except the dilemmas, which will go to your opponent's hand, assuming he seeded them). Now you are free to replay the cards.
    Or, suppose your opponent just Wormholed you to the Gamma Quadrant or Montana Missile Complex, and you're fresh out of Wormholes yourself. You don't have to sit out the game stuck in the boondocks; discard your STP and everything returns to your hand again.
    It's not an all-purpose remedy. Since you can't interrupt a mission attempt or a battle with any action that is not a valid response (except for dilemmas and doorways played between dilemmas- but discarding a doorway from the table isn't playing it), you can't escape from a Borg Ship dilemma you just turned up (or an attacking Borg ship, for that matter) by taking your ship back to your hand. In fact, it is not a valid response to encountering any dilemma at all. It just lets you get out of situations where a dilemma plays on your ship for an ongoing effect, after the mission attempt is over.
  • "(Once per game) allow one Alternate Universe ship to report with crew (each must be Alternate Universe) at any location." This one is a bit exotic, and you would need to plan your deck around it. "Report with crew" requires, first, that you play all cards from your hand (it's not a download), and second, that you report at minimum the crew needed to staff the ship. The STP additionally requires that all the crew reported must be Alternate Universe. So, for example, while the Decius nominally requires only one Alternate Universe icon for staffing, you also must have Alternate Universe personnel to supply the Command and Staff icons. You could supply these requirements with Commander Tomalak, Dr. Telek R’Mor and Stefan DeSeve. Additionally, you could report Major Rakal, Lakanta, Garak etc. as long as you had all these cards in your hand. Clearly, this will take some planning, and you may have to wait a while for the cards you want to turn up.

So, which doorway will you choose? You don't have to choose; if you can afford the seed slots, seeding both an AU Door and one or more STPs could provide you with tremendous flexibility. But if you want to be selective, consider your Alternate Universe card usage carefully. If your Alternate Universe needs are confined to dilemmas and artifacts, go for an STP; the multiple-Alternate Universe card playing ability of the AU Door will be wasted. If you use only a few Alternate Universe personnel, rarely bother with Red Alert!, and don't use Alternate Universe interrupts, then an STP may still be adequate to report your Major Rakal or K'chiQ. But if your whole deck is built around Alternate Universe cards and you want to use Red Alert! (or make use of your opponent's Red Alert! via Mirror Image or Spacedoor), to be safe you will probably want the old standby AU Door.

The Major's Combos:

  • Space-Time Portal + Red Alert! + your ship with Birth of "Junior" + Cytherians: Pull everything back to your hand, and replay them all next turn. Add a Palor for the STP, and play it back to the table. Repeat as needed.
  • Space-Time Portal + Alien Parasites: Maybe he thought you couldn't do anything with his ship because it was out of RANGE. While you control it, it's treated as "your ship" (though you are not the "owner"). If your opponent isn't playing with Red Alert!, just return his ship and crew to his hand...so he can play them again, one card each turn. You can even leave a few of his personnel on the planet, where you can attack them or play Thine Own Self on them.