Seeds or plays on table. (Unique.) Place on your personnel who is about to be killed; relocate (as a captive) to opponent's crew or Away Team in same quadrant; worth points if rescued. OR Place on an opponent's personnel who is about to be killed; relocate (as a captive) to your crew or Away Team in same quadrant (or to Internment Camp 371); you may download Impersonate Captive or a card.
Point-Box on card: 10 bonus points (you score points, when you play or use this card).
Seeds or plays on table. For each different regular skill in dilemma or mission requirements that is also on your captive, opponent must discard a card from hand to use that skill to meet those requirements (or choose not to).
This Card-Review article was written by Paddy Tye and was published first on "The Continuing Committee (trekcc.org)" at Apr 18th, 2018.
"I've never trusted 2E cards, and I never will. I've never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy."
While I personally may not like using 2EBC cards, I have always been able to appreciate when they can do something useful and different in 1E.
I first encountered Psychological Pressure back in 2015 at Aberdeen Anarchy. Stefan de Walf used it in a Hirogen deck - he captured personnel that matched his dilemmas and forced me to discard cards to overcome them. Combined with using Temporal Shifting offensively (the days before Quantum Incursions and Enterprise Block, so easier to get this to hit), the strategy effectively locked me out of my missions. I'd been well and truly punished, but I really admired the clever way in which he'd done it!
I'd kept the strategy in the back of my mind, and had considered using it with my Klingon deck for Worlds 2017. At the time, I hadn't realised the important role Valuable Prisoner could play in 1) helping me acquire a captive of my choice and 2) downloading a card, such as Psychological Pressure. A valuable trick indeed!
As part of a forthcoming design project we had discussed enhancing the capture mechanics for the Klingon deck, and discussed the use of both Psychological Pressure and Valuable Prisoner as part of that. I decided to use our upcoming Regionals to test those mechanics within a deck design and see how it played out - using the 2E original (a novelty for me). The deck is attached below, albeit with the old Psychological Pressure, not the new one! I'd stacked the Valuable Prisoner / Psychological Pressure mechanic alongside some old classics of Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin to further deny my opponent's card draws.
It's worth noting that using a CLASSIFICATION to meet a dilemma requirement is not the same as using a skill to meet a dilemma requirement. As such, I was less interested in finding walls that needed lots of ENGINEERs or SCIENCE etc, but chose dilemmas based around something which is always a skill and never a classification: Navigation. Many other options are available!
It started badly with an unfortunate draw against Alex Dixon, with a deck full of draw engines - Lucas even started his Road to Worlds analysis with "Wow, that's a lot of draw engines". With Alex being virtually immune to losing draws, some bad dilemma placement on my part, and the usual mind-games you get with a mirror match up of vs - so in this game the deck did not go to plan...
Fortunately however, games 2 and 3 against Will and Gary went as intended - both opponents struggled to draw sufficient cards once Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin were in play (by end of turn 3 in both games thanks to a fair amount of good luck). And by the time they hit a Navigation dilemma (the skill I'd targeted with Valuable Prisoner) the required discards were greater than the cards they held in their hand, locking both opponent's out of those missions!
In conclusion, the strategy broadly worked, going 2-1. However the Static Warp Bubble and Klim Dokachin tricks are unlikely to work consistently against the same group of players. Using a single seed slot on Valuable Prisoner (and converting what would otherwise be a kill dilemma like A Fast Ship Would Be Nice) to make dilemmas have a steeper cost seems a reasonable setup. It was also an effective way to capture the target skill and download Psychological Pressure into play, and it seems like a tactic that could be used in many decks! Will this strategy appear in the previously mentioned design project? Honestly, I don't know - it's still under discussions... so this could be a preview or a wild goose chase!
Now, along comes Metamorphosis, and we have a converted version of Psychological Pressure! And as with a lot of conversions, there have been a few tweaks!
Firstly, it seeds or plays on table - so while I might still use it with Valuable Prisoner, others with a broader capture dilemma strategy can choose just to seed this as a hidden agenda until needed.
The second major change is that it no longer just punishes meeting dilemma requirements... meeting mission requirements will also require card discards! This should make it an even more tempting proposition now!
The third change is harder to interpret: "For each different regular skill"... having consulted with the Rules Gurus on this, the addition of "different" means that my original strategy (when targeting dilemmas needed 2 Navigation or more) to make an opponent discard 2 or more cards will no longer work. Instead, you are limited to one discard per skill (at whatever level). So instead of targeting dilemmas needing a depth of one particular skill, such strategies might now work better when targeting a breadth of skills. For example, ENGINEERs are likely to have similar skill sets: Astrophysics, Physics, Computer Skill etc - so using dilemmas like Nanobiogenic Fugitives and Sabotaged Plasma Conduit might be one approach you could use...
So, will you start splashing in some capture strategies into your decks? Will you start applying some Psychological Pressure on your opponents? Will they bend to your will and be forced to conceed that there are five lights?
See corresponding deck here!
by Paddy Tye, First Edition Creative Manager