RR #107: Major Rakal, Reporting For Duty! | openCards

RR #107: Major Rakal, Reporting For Duty!

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 10th, 2000.

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

Aefvadh! The release of Mirror, Mirror, with its new "Mirror Quadrant," has revived quite a few questions about where and how personnel and ships can report for duty. When do "native quadrant" rules apply and when can I ignore them? Does downloading override the quadrant rules? Do I need an Alternate Universe Door to report mirror personnel? Let's look at the rules you have to account for before you can declare...

Major Rakal, Reporting For Duty!

Anyone who's been around since premiere will remember this quaint rule for reporting your personnel. (I won't speculate on how many - or how few - players actually followed that rule.) Reporting was simple in those early days: there were no quadrants or Alternate Universe icons, downloading wasn't even a gleam in the designers' eyes, and outposts were the only place you could report anything. By the time the Major arrived on the scene (the card, not me), we had Alternate Universe icons, and we've added a few more complications since then. For simplicity, the following will deal with personnel and ships; equipment reports the same as personnel (but with no native quadrant or affiliations to worry about).

Where Can Cards Report?

Before you can report a card for duty, some card must give permission for the card to report to a specific place. The possible places for a personnel to report are aboard a facility (including the sites of a Nor), aboard a ship, or on a planet surface. The possible places for a ship to report are docked at a facility (including a docking site on a Nor), undocked in space (either at a space location or in orbit at a planet location), or landed on a planet surface (allowed only by explicit game text).

A "specific place" may be a specific ship, facility, site, or planet; wherever a specific card is present; or just "here." (If a site or a card played on a site says "here," it means to that site. If any other card says "here," it means anywhere at that location. Same applies to "there.") A special download icon means "here" (at this location).

Three kinds of cards give permission for cards to report to specific places by rule (it's not written on the card).

  • Your outpost allows your compatible personnel to report aboard, and your compatible ships to report docked.
  • A headquarters allows both players' compatible personnel to report "aboard" (inside), and compatible ships to report in orbit.
  • A time location allows both players' cards that are native to that timeline (and only those cards) to report there - ships in orbit, personnel anywhere at the location.

Note that I did not include stations! Unlike outposts and headquarters, stations have no built-in (rule-based) reporting allowances. Deep Space Station K-7 does not allow cards to report for duty (but Sherman’s Peak does). Nors do not allow cards to report for duty (but the texts of their site cards do).

Any other card must explicitly specify a place where a card can report. If it doesn't, it's not giving permission for the card to report anywhere - you need some other card (like an outpost) to give you a place to report that card. For example, Type 18 Shuttlepod says "may report with crew... to your Defiant-class ship." That's a specific place (in space, wherever your Defiant-class ship is located). On the other hand, Bajoran Raider just says "may report with crew." It doesn't say where, so you need a outpost, headquarters, or docking site to give it a place to report (the ship's text just allows you to report it with crew aboard).

Native Quadrant Rule

All personnel and ships are native to a specific quadrant. (Equipment is native to all quadrants.) If they have a Gamma Quadrant, Delta Quadrant, or Mirror Quadrant icon, they are native to the Gamma, Delta, or Mirror Quadrant, respectively. If they have no quadrant icon, they are native to the Alpha Quadrant. For normal, basic facility reporting, cards must report in their native quadrant. But there are lots of other ways to report without that restriction.

When must you follow the "native quadrant" rule, and when can you report a card outside its native quadrant? It all depends on what card is giving permission to report to a specific place - not on where the card is reporting to, or whether it's being downloaded. Ask yourself one question:

"What card gives me permission to report this card to the place where I plan to report it?"

  • If that card is a facility or a site, then both the reporting card and the facility must be in their native quadrant.
  • If that card is anything else (not a facility or site), the quadrant doesn't matter, even if your personnel or ship happens to be reporting aboard, or docking at, a facility or site.

That's all there is to it. But what about downloading, you say? Doesn't that override the native quadrant restrictions? In a word, no. Downloading a card into play just means you're playing (reporting) that card. Some downloads do give permission for reporting to a specific place; if so, then it still depends on whether the card allowing the download is a facility or site (quadrant matters) or some other type of card (quadrant doesn't matter). If the download doesn't give a specific destination, then some other card must be giving permission to report that card somewhere, and that determines whether quadrant matters.

Let's look at some examples. These assume I have a Romulan/Dominion Treaty in play.

  • I want to report Mopak to the Office of the Proconsul. That facility gives permission to report him there (by rule). Both Mopak and the Office are in their native Alpha Quadrant, as required.
  • I want to report Mopak to my Primary Supply Depot in the Gamma Quadrant, using the facility's "rule" permission to report compatible personnel aboard. This isn't legal, however; while the outpost is in its native quadrant, Mopak isn't.
  • I want to download Mopak (a SECURITY personnel) with Defend Homeworld to that Primary Supply Depot. Still not legal. Defend Homeworld doesn't say where I can download him - it's not giving permission to report to a specific place. So I have to have another card to give him permission to actually report somewhere, and I can't use the Depot's "rule" permission because Mopak is not native to the Gamma Quadrant.
  • I want to play Assign Mission Specialists and download Mopak and Selok to my Primary Supply Depot. This is legal! Assign Mission Specialists (an objective) is giving me explicit permission to play these cards at my outpost - Primary Supply Depot is an outpost, and they are compatible with it due to the treaty. I'm not using the Depot's "rule" permission, so they don't have to be in their native quadrant.
  • I want to download a D’deridex with the Spacedoor on that Primary Supply Depot. This is also legal! Spacedoor (a doorway card) is giving permission to report the ship. Again, I'm not using the Depot's "rule" permission, so the ship doesn't have to be in its native quadrant.
  • I have a Cardassian Mirror Deep Space 9 / Terok Nor in the Mirror Quadrant. Can I report Enabran Tain to Guest Quarters? No, because the permission to report personnel to Guest Quarters is given by a site card, and Tain is not in his native quadrant.
  • What if I want to download Tain to Guest Quarters, using the Ops: Mirror Universe game text? He matches the Nor's affiliation... but it's still not legal. The card giving permission to report the downloaded personnel to a specific place is Ops: Mirror Universe - a site card. Native quadrant is still a requirement.

Alternate Universe Icons

One other reporting issue is that of "alternate universe origin." While Mirror Quadrant cards are from another universe, that doesn't mean they have an "implied" Alternate Universe icon; the designers chose to represent their "other universe" origin with their Mirror Quadrant icon instead. So what are the implications for reporting?

If a card has an Alternate Universe icon, you cannot play it at all unless you have a card in play that allows it.

  • Alternate Universe Door allows you to play as many Alternate Universe cards per turn as you can legally play, including multiple personnel and ships under Red Alert! interrupts, etc.
  • Space-Time Portal lets you play one Alternate Universe card per turn; if you play an Alternate Universe interrupt, you can't play an Alternate Universe personnel that turn.
  • A time location allows Alternate Universe cards to play at that location if they are native to the timeline. No AU Door or STP is required for this.

Mirror universe cards require one of these cards only if they also have an Alternate Universe icon (as all the original series cards do). An Alternate Universe icon has no effect on the native quadrant rule.