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Grade Jason
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My friend and I had questions about how to execute Rekar's ability to steal another player's ship. I searched, but didn't find an answer. My questions are:

1.) If Rekar is removed from the stolen ship as a result of the original owner's transporter action taken on the original owner's turn, the ship Rekar had stolen returns to the original owner's control. Does it have its movement, power adjustment, and action for the turn?

2.) Rekar's card says that it is played "as an action". Which ship spends the action to play Rekar? Does it have to be one of the Romulan ships already in play? Or, since Rekar's action is kind of like a reinforce action, is the ship being stolen the one that performs the action? If so, and Rekar's attempt fails, is the action applied to a ship that isn't even on the board?

3.) If Rekar is removed from the stolen ship during combat (by, for example, playing another crew card from your hand to replace him, or by playing another card that allows/forces you to discard/trash a crew from the applicable ship), how is the combat resolved? The ship should return to the original owner's control, but does the combat resume? If the combat does resume, and the stolen (now recovered) ship is destroyed, who gets the victory points?

4.) Does destroying the ship stolen by Rekar even award a victory point?

EDIT: Rekar's card text:
Quote:
"As an action, pick a ship in your opponent's reinforcement pool and roll a die. If your roll is equal to or exceeds the target ship's size value, that ship comes into play at your command post under your control, with this crew assigned. Only one attempt can be made per game. If this crew card is removed from the captured ship, control returns to the player it was taken from (the ship remains in play under the original player's control). Ignore this ship for determining fleet size for the remainder of the game.

CAPTAIN: +1 Sensors"
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Carl Bussema
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I don't know that we can get official rulings, but I would rule as follows:

1) The closest analogy is reinforcement, where the ship coming into play spends an action, but then has its move and power adjustment. I would say that since a different ship spent an action to get Rekar's ship back, Rekar's former ship may still take an action (and move and power adjust).

2) Again, like the reinforce action, I definitely think that the successful action is applied to the stolen ship. I think the failed action can just be a general action, not tied to any ship; it's already a pain to lose an action, no need to make it worse.

3) It's been a while since I played; are there actually combat cards that can change crew around? Assuming there are, I would say that you should stop combat like any other combat card with that effect. Thematically, as soon as the new captain is there, he hits the abort button; or if Rekar is just removed, the rest of the crew / ship's computer takes back over.

4) This seems clear in the rules; "If a ship is destroyed in combat, the aggressor receives a +1 VP Token for destroying the enemy ship (add it to your Victory Pile)." The FAQ even adds: "Note - ships that have been taken over so they are an enemy ship you may destroy freely."

A question that I would raise is: "What happens to other crew members assigned to a ship that comes under enemy control?" You might consider them hostages (they should not provide any benefits certainly, since they would be unwilling to work for the enemy) that could be transported, subject to the normal rules for that, or maybe they just abandon ship to the discard pile when they decide that all hope is lost.
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Grade Jason
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Quote:
4) This seems clear in the rules; "If a ship is destroyed in combat, the aggressor receives a +1 VP Token for destroying the enemy ship (add it to your Victory Pile)." The FAQ even adds: "Note - ships that have been taken over so they are an enemy ship you may destroy freely."


This actually does seem to make the issue pretty cut-and-dry. However, the FAQ also says that attacking your own ship(s) is not in the spirit of the rules (though they don't deny that you can do it). It would seem that it doesn't matter who owns the ship, the aggressor gets the VP regardless.

InfoCynic wrote:

3) It's been a while since I played; are there actually combat cards that can change crew around? Assuming there are, I would say that you should stop combat like any other combat card with that effect. Thematically, as soon as the new captain is there, he hits the abort button; or if Rekar is just removed, the rest of the crew / ship's computer takes back over.


There's a couple ways. The same Romulan Tal Shiar deck (same one that Rekar is found in) contains the "Disciplinary Action" card, which reads:

Quote:
COMBAT: When you play this card, trash a crew card from this ship to give it +3 weapons and +3 shields.


If that card were played during a combat involving Rekar, the Romulan player could remove Rekar from the stolen ship and trash him, which according to Rekar's card, would return control of that ship to the owning player (prior to the resolution of combat). So, by the time the combat ends (and VPs are awarded), the ship is technically the other player's ship now. So depending on the ruling, the Romulan player might keep this card in his hand for insurance, in case the opposing player tries to destroy Rekar's stolen ship.

Also, hypothetically, if the Romulan player could obtain a copy of the Klingon's "Discommendation" card, which has a similar effect:

Quote:
COMBAT: Trash a crew card from this ship to give it +4 weapons or +4 shields.


There's also the Romulan "Price of Failure" card in the Imperial Honor deck, which has the effect:

Quote:
COMBAT: If this ship were to otherwise deal no damage in combat, you may trash any number of crew cards from this ship to add +5 to your weapons test result."


I think, by the rules, you could play this card as a defender, in which case, Rekar's stolen ship would deal no damage, and Rekar would be discarded after the dice are rolled, but before the final resolution. Though I could see somebody making an argument that this card is intended to only be played when the Romulan ship is the aggressor (since it references a weapon test).

The Dominion's Gul Dukat card also has the combat ability:

Quote:
"COMBAT: Destroy a crew card on an opposing ship."


So the Dominion could play this card in combat against Rekar's stolen ship, which would force Rekar to be removed (thus returning control of the ship to the original owner) prior to the die roll and resolution to the combat. This I think is the only situation in whcih the opponent can force Rekar to be discarded. If this is a 3-player game, then the Dominion might not be the original owner of the stolen ship, in which case, does combat count as being between the Dominion and the third player? If so, should that third player now be able to play a card to protect their ship? Whatever ruling is decided on should take 3 or 4-player games into account.

Tangentially, what does "Destroy a crew card" mean? Does it mean discard, or trash?


InfoCynic wrote:

A question that I would raise is: "What happens to other crew members assigned to a ship that comes under enemy control?" You might consider them hostages (they should not provide any benefits certainly, since they would be unwilling to work for the enemy) that could be transported, subject to the normal rules for that, or maybe they just abandon ship to the discard pile when they decide that all hope is lost.


That is also a good question. I don't think there's any other rules precedent for that.

Another follow-up question, there's the Changeling opportunist, which reads:

Quote:
SABOTEUR: (shapeshifter) Place this card on a crew card assigned to an enemy ship. This card's text replaces its text.


If this card replaces Rekar, does the stolen ship return to its original owner's control? Rekar is still on the ship (he hasn't been removed). This would also apply to Plague planet, Biogenics Weapons, and other cards that would turn Rekar face-down. If so, this is a really easy way for the Dominion to completely neutralize Rekar. Biogenic Weapons and Iconian Portal also seem to be very easy ways to neutralize Rekar. So in summary, don't use Rekar against the Dominion!
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Carl Bussema
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So the options for combat seem to be:
1. Finish combat as if Rekar's ship was still under Rekar's owner's control, then revert control of it (if it's not destroyed) to the original owner. If it's destroyed during combat, the opponent who destroyed it scores a point.
2. Combat ends immediately with no shots fired if after both sides have an opportunity to play combat cards, Rekar is not still present on the ship. The action is lost, as it would be in any other scenario where a combat card ends combat early.

I think trying to do anything else, like having the ship be under the original owner's control but still attacking (another one of the owner's ships, for example) would be confusing and lead to more rules headaches. Between the two of these scenarios, I personally favor 2, since it's cleaner, and as I said in my earlier post, I like the thematic interpretation that without Rekar actively working to subvert the ship's crew/control, it won't attack against normal orders. That said, I think 1 is a perfectly fine ruling, and it's probably best just to agree before you play.

As far as shapeshifters, I would say while the shapeshifter is covering Rekar, the ship is back under its original owner's control. If the shapeshifter is removed, Rekar's control takes over again. Same would go for any other temporary removal.

I think on the matter of crew, it seems to make the most sense that they would be prisoners. Stealing an opponent's ship and not having it count against your fleet size is very powerful, but also very risky; so I guess think carefully about whether you want to expose crew cards to the additional risk that comes with it.
 
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Grade Jason
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InfoCynic wrote:


As far as shapeshifters, I would say while the shapeshifter is covering Rekar, the ship is back under its original owner's control. If the shapeshifter is removed, Rekar's control takes over again. Same would go for any other temporary removal.



Or maybe the shapeshifter gives control of Rekar's ship to the Dominion? (in case of a three or four player game in which the Romulans stole a non-Dominion ship).

I'm not sure about this one. Rekar's card does say that the attempt to steal another ship cannot be performed again. To me, this seems to imply that the intent is that if the stolen ship is recovered, it is permanent, and the Romulans can never re-steal it. That was probably designed to prevent Rekar from artificially inflating the size of fleets by stealing a ship, losing it, cycling Rekar back into your command deck, drawing Rekar into your hand again, and then stealing another ship. In the case of regaining control of a previously-stolen ship, it's a little more fuzzy.

It's hard to say what the designers would intend, since the Romulan exp (as I understand it) was released before the Dominion one, and the Dominion rule sheet doesn't clarify.

I kind of lean towards the stolen ship remaining in Romulan control while Rekar is under shapeshifter influence, since Rekar's card only says that the ship is returned to its original owner's control if Rekar is "removed from the ship". In the case of a shapeshifter, Rekar isn't removed. You'd just lose the +1 sensors from his passive captain ability. Thematically, this would mean that the shapeshifter Rekar continues to operate the ship as if he were the original, in order to not give away that he's a changeling until it comes time to activate him as a sleeper agent. Rekar's card is a one-time ability, not really a passive, ongoing effect. I think the closest analog to this would be Duras' card. His card reads: "CAPTAIN: when this card is assigned to a ship, choose one of your opponent's assigned crew cards. That card must be discarded." Duras has a one-time effect when the crew is assigned. If a shapeshifter were placed over Duras's card, you wouldn't give the discarded crew card back to the other player. Similarly, I don't think that replacing Rekar with a shapeshifter would take control of that ship away from the Romulans, since the one-time action was already triggered, and Rekar hasn't been removed.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Hmmm. I can see that argument, just losing the sensors so the changeling doesn't reveal himself. I'd probably file it under rules to clarify before play begins though. The difference between Rekar and Duras, though, is that Rekar creates a persistent ability conditional on his continued presence, whereas Duras' one-time benefit has no relation to his continued presence on the ship.

Certainly, once you use Rekar's action once to attempt stealing a ship, you can never do that again, but it's very nebulous what happens in a lot of these cases where Rekar is temporarily disabled.

Perhaps the best middle ground is: if Rekar leaves the ship for any reason, it permanently reverts to its original owner's control. If an effect temporarily disables Rekar without removing him from the ship, it stays under Rekar's control.
 
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