RR #75: Major Rakal's revised 6-Step guide to Dilemma resolution | openCards

RR #75: Major Rakal's revised 6-Step guide to Dilemma resolution

This Strategy-Note was written by Kathy McCracken (aka Major Rakal) and was published first on "Decipher's Website (decipher.com)" at May 12th, 1999.

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

Aefvadh! In my last review I described the components of dilemmas and gave a few simple rules for determining how each dilemma works. For those who are more comfortable with following a flow chart, here is...

MAJOR RAKAL'S REVISED 6-STEP GUIDE TO DILEMMA RESOLUTION

  1. Does the dilemma require a TRIGGER?
    NO: Go on to step 2.
    YES: Is the trigger present?
    YES: Go on to step 2.
    NO: Does it have an "otherwise" clause?
    YES: Go on to step 2 (use the "otherwise" clause for all remaining steps)
    NO: Discard the dilemma. It has no effect. You must continue to the next dilemma.
  2. Can you NULLIFY the dilemma with skills, personnel or equipment in your Away Team, with an Event that is in play, or by playing an Interrupt?
    NO: Go on to step 3.
    YES: Discard the dilemma. It has no effect. You must continue to the next dilemma.
  3. Does the dilemma have CONDITIONS?
    NO: Carry out the instructions on the dilemma for its results. Your Away Team is NOT "stopped" and must continue to the next dilemma (unless this dilemma prevents them from doing so). Go on to step 4.
    YES: Can you meet the conditions ("overcome" the dilemma)?
    YES: Discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value). You must continue to the next dilemma.
    NO: Carry out the instructions on the dilemma for its results. Your Away Team is "stopped." Go on to step 5.
  4. Does the dilemma have a CURE?
    NO: Go on to step 5.
    YES: Are the skills etc. needed for the cure still present?
    NO: Go on to step 5.
    YES: Discard the cured dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value). You must continue to the next dilemma.
  5. Did the dilemma "enter play" by playing on personnel, a ship, the table, or the spaceline; or does it have a lasting effect on personnel (usually equivalent to "playing on" the personnel)?
    NO: Go on to step 6.
    YES: Leave it in play until you cure it, it expires naturally, or it is destroyed. At that time, discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value that you earned).
  6. Does it say "Discard dilemma"?
    YES: Discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value).
    NO: If the dilemma had conditions, replace it under the mission to be encountered again on the next mission attempt. If it had no conditions, discard it.

That's it. Well, almost. Keep in mind that...

The text of the dilemma may override some of these rules. For example, Chinese Finger Puzzle has no conditions, but states that it stops the Away Team.

A dilemma may have two possible sets of results. You may have to make a choice (Edo Probe), or circumstances may dictate which set to follow (Outpost Raid). Once the set is chosen, ignore the other set of instructions.

Some dilemmas just don't fit this pattern. Simply do exactly what the card says. It's usually clear.

Let's look at a few examples.

Nausicaans
"Three Nausicaans pick a fight. One Away Team member is killed (random selection) unless STRENGTH > 44. Discard dilemma."

  1. There is no trigger required to be present.
  2. Nausicaans can be nullified by an Interphase Generator, or by Zon. If you have one of these cards in your Away Team, discard the dilemma and go on to the next one. If not, go on to step 3.
  3. The dilemma has conditions: it takes effect "unless STRENGTH > 44". Add the STRENGTHs in your Away Team, including modifiers such as Phasers. If the total is 45 or more, you overcame the dilemma; discard it, and go on to the next one. Your Away Team is not stopped. If you don't meet the conditions, select one personnel to be killed and discard him. The rest of the Away Team is stopped.
  4. There is no cure, so this step does not apply.
  5. If you didn't overcome the dilemma, you must decide what to do with it. This dilemma does not enter play or have a long-term effect (well, I suppose death is a long-term effect, but we're talking about diseases and such here), so go to step 5.
  6. It says "discard dilemma." Do it. You won't encounter this dilemma again.

Chalnoth (5 Bonus Points)
"Kills one Away Team member (opponent's choice) unless 3 SECURITY OR STRENGTH > 40 present. Discard dilemma."
This works virtually the same as Nausicaans, except for the bonus points, so I will only discuss the differences.

  1. There is no trigger required to be present.
  2. Nullifiable by Interphase Generator. If nullified, you don't get the bonus points.
  3. The dilemma has conditions: it takes effect "unless STRENGTH > 44". Add the STRENGTHs in your Away Team, including modifiers such as Phasers. If the total is 45 or more, you overcame the dilemma; discard it, and go on to the next one. Your Away Team is not stopped. If you don't meet the conditions, select one personnel to be killed and discard him. The rest of the Away Team is stopped.
  4. There is no cure, so this step does not apply.
  5. If you didn't overcome the dilemma, you must decide what to do with it. This dilemma does not enter play or have a long-term effect (well, I suppose death is a long-term effect, but we're talking about diseases and such here), so go to step 5.
  6. If you overcome the dilemma, place it in your bonus point area instead of discarding it.

Empathic Echo
"One personnel present with Empathy (random selection) is killed unless SECURITY and MEDICAL present."

  1. No trigger is required. "One personnel present with Empathy" is a target; the dilemma kills one randomly-selected personnel, just like Nausicaans, but the personnel selection is limited to those with Empathy.
  2. Could be nullified by Mr. Homn or Madame Guinan in the Away Team (if Madame G. hasn't already nullified an AU-icon card this turn), or by playing the Plexing interrupt. If so, discard the dilemma now.
  3. The conditions are SECURITY and MEDICAL. If they are present, discard the dilemma and go on. What's that? It doesn't say "discard dilemma"? True, but you overcame the conditions, which always means you discard it. This bears repeating: IF YOU OVERCOME A DILEMMA WITH CONDITIONS, IT ALWAYS GOES AWAY. YOU NEVER ENCOUNTER IT AGAIN. Now, suppose you didn't overcome it. Separate your personnel with Empathy and randomly select one to die. If you have no personnel with Empathy present, no one dies. But what happens to the dilemma? Go on to steps 5 and 6 to see.
  4. There is no cure.
  5. The dilemma does not enter play. Go on to step 6.
  6. Aha! The dilemma does not say "discard dilemma," AND it had conditions. Put it back under the mission, where it will be encountered again by the next player to attempt the mission. In effect, this is not only a killer dilemma, but also a "wall" dilemma. Because it doesn't say you can discard it, you must have SECURITY + MEDICAL to get by it, whether it actually kills anyone or not.

Maman Picard
"If this is a Federation ship, immediately transport it to any end of the spaceline (opponent's choice)."

  1. The dilemma must be encountered by a Federation ship to trigger it. If the ship is non-Fed, discard the dilemma.
  2. Madame Guinan could nullify this if she is aboard. If not...
  3. It has no conditions. The ship is instantly transported to the end of the spaceline. The crew is not stopped, so the ship can move if it has RANGE remaining.
  4. It has no cure.
  5. The dilemma did not enter play. It simply has its effect and is done.
  6. It does not say "discard dilemma." BUT, it had no conditions, so you discard it anyway.

Cytherians (15 Bonus Points)
"Place on ship. Ship must do nothing but travel to far end of spaceline at normal speed. When reached, discard dilemma. Score points."

  1. There is no trigger required to be present. You must attempt a space mission from a ship, so a ship to place the dilemma on will always be present.
  2. Nothing else can nullify Cytherians.
  3. This dilemma has no conditions. It "just happens," and there is no combination of skills, etc., that you could have had there to prevent it. So your crew is not "stopped" and must begin their journey to the far end of the spaceline immediately, assuming the ship has any RANGE left. (They cannot go on to the next dilemma because Cytherians says they can't.)
  4. There is no cure.
  5. The dilemma enters play, on the ship. The dilemma resolves when the ship reaches the end of the spaceline, so at that time you will place the dilemma in your bonus point area. The ship may then go about its business.

Rascals
"All unique crew members (maximum of 4, random selection) are kids. STRENGTH=2 and Youth replaces first-listed skill. Cure with 2 MEDICAL and Biology."

  1. There is no trigger.
  2. Nothing can nullify this dilemma.
  3. This dilemma has no conditions. Separate your unique crew members and randomly select four (place the dilemma on them). If there are no unique crew members, you have no targets for the dilemma. What happens to it? Go on to step 6 (since it didn't play on anyone, there is nothing to cure and it has not entered play, so you skip 4 and 5).
  4. After replacing the first-listed skill of each of the four withYouth, do you still have 2 MEDICAL and Biology left? If so, the dilemma is cured and you discard it. If not, go on to step 5.
  5. The dilemma entered play (though it doesn't say so explicitly, it has a long-term effect on the personnel and must play on them as a marker of that effect). It has no countdown icon or other way to expire, so it will stay there until you cure it by bringing 2 MEDICAL and Biology to the affected personnel. Then you discard it.
  6. Since it had no conditions, discard the dilemma if it had no valid targets.