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Subject: Romping Through the Quadrant with Lursa and B'etor rss

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Robert Leonhard
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This is a replay of a solo conquest mission with Lursa and B'etor aboard the Bird-of-Prey. It was an interesting game and different from all the others I've played. For one thing, from the start I had a hard time moving. I spent the entire game fighting to move through obstacles and enemies. The problem was mitigated somewhat through the Skill of Retreat and the Undiscovered Spatial Anomaly.

When Lursa and B'etor can set up an improved long-range attack, or, alternately, a diplomatic blitz on an away team, it works great. But throughout this game, I also had a scarcity of data. We managed to get by with some crystal/token-producing skills and visited the occasional research station, but I never had a bounty of data.

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. I love the hard decisions and the imaginative breakthroughs when you orchestrate just the right powerful attack (and have to check it three times to be sure you didn't cheat). Again I felt that this game system just fits this genre to a T.



Round 1

(1) Pursuant to the officer exchange program, I have the dubious honor of being posted as the first officer aboard the Bird-of-Prey, captained by the infamous Lursa and B’etor. I will try to lend some rationality to the ship’s mission.

We emerged from the wormhole into Mu Quadrant. The entire region has gone silent, possibly due to Borg interference or perhaps some natural disaster. Although there are numerous factions present in the quadrant, a measure of cooperation has developed in the face of the Borg threat. The Romulan Empire is nearing a political crisis, however, as the hawkish faction continues to forge a policy of isolationism, insisting they will neither work with their enemies nor give up any territory in the quadrant, the entirety of which they claim for the Empire. The opposing faction, including not a small number of veteran officers and political elites, have thrown in with the Federation and Klingon Empire to fight the Borg.

As we entered the quadrant, we scanned Sectors 9 and 11. It is obvious that the Dominion and the Romulan hawks are attempting to isolate the wormhole. Our path deeper into the quadrant is blocked by no less than three starbases strategically aligned with a black hole, a class-H planet (Bharanos), and asteroid fields.

With our ship barely able to maneuver, Lursa ordered us to close with the Dominion starbase in Sector 9. Scanners showed it was a formidable installation—with shields resistant to both standard phasers and photon pulse weapons. Its own photon pulse weapons included an energy dissipater as well. Lursa was undeterred. She ordered full shields and then threw every bit of energy into our weapons, destroying the base. We’ve already begun to acquire a reputation in the quadrant. We learned the Dominion’s empathic skills. (Level 2.) Skill: Opening Salvo. Advanced Action: Picard Maneuver.

(2) In a startling display of empathy, Lursa beamed onto the wrecked starbase and negotiated to bring the Cardassian Dukat onboard. Our reputation improved considerably.

(3) With one military and one diplomatic success under our belts, we have yet to achieve a breakthrough deeper into the quadrant. A Romulan base near the black hole in Sector 9, the planet Bharanos, an asteroid field, and the class-K planet called the Capo Colony continue to block our path forward. Lursa ordered us to close with the Romulan base. It had powerful disruptor weapons, and we took damage. But we then used the Picard Maneuver and improvised an attack that destroyed the base. (Level 3.)

(4) From our new position we were able to scan Sector 10…and found another Romulan base within weapons range. There is a large sun in the sector, Rayeus, with a class-H planet (Rayeus-4), and a class-L planet (Rayeus-5). Rather than risk further damage to the ship, Lursa ordered the Bird-of-Prey into the nebulae, from where we could scan Sector 8. We found a Federation outpost, another class-H planet, and a Romulan warbird in the sector.

(5) We synthesized data.

(6) Lursa ordered the ship to dock at the Federation Outpost in Sector 8. From there we will be in a position to destroy the Romulan warbird, or perhaps beam an away team onto the Capo Colony. We may also find additional crew to recruit.

Round 2

(1) Lursa and B’etor are apparently hatching some secret plot. They ordered us to hail the warbird, and when it responded aggressively, we opened fire with long-range phasers, destroying it.

(2) We repaired some of our battle damage and synthesized data.

(3) Our third day docked at the outpost, and Lursa recruited the Romulan N’vek.

(4) We are in a difficult situation, for lack of movement options and data. Lursa made the difficult decision to beam an away team down to the planet, Capo Colony, and she personally led the mission. The Ferengi on the planet turned hostile and wounded N’vek. Then the Bird-of-Prey opened fire and destroyed the attackers. (Level 4.) The away team learned about how to manipulate spatial anomalies that will assist us in moving through the quadrant and, according to B’etor, could even be used as a weapon. Skill: Retreat. Advanced Action: Unconventional Tactics.

(5) B’etor ordered the Bird-of-Prey into action. We used the spatial anomaly to warp back into Sector 11, whereupon we launched a surprise attack on the Dominion starbase there. We performed the Picard Maneuver to further disrupt their defenses and attacks, but they managed to damage us slightly. Dukat launched photon torpedoes and destroyed the base. We obtained classified data on how to get system access into enemy computers.

(6) Finally, we maneuvered back toward the Sector 10 Romulan base and launched a long-range attack after gaining fleet system access and used an opening salvo to destroy the base. (Level 5.)

Round 3

(1) Loaded for bear, we warped into a nebulae near the starbase and beamed an away team down to the class-L planet, Rhaeus-5. The situation was volatile, and a diplomatic solution was clearly absent. Instead, the Bird-of-Prey conducted the Picard Maneuver and launched a long-range attack that destroyed our enemies. We came away with much needed data.

(2) We returned to the Romulan base, and Lursa used diplomacy, intimidation, and bribes to bring the Romulan Tomalak and the Klingon Worf onboard. The wounded N’vek was left on the base to recover. Our reputation is now worse.

(3) We again employed the spatial anomaly to warp to a position from which we scanned Sectors 2 and 4. A Romulan warbird in Sector 4 approached our position. The enemy vessel had biogenic weapons, but Worf raised shields while Tomalak destroyed the vessel with phasers.

(4) Lursa ordered the ship to make best speed to the Federation Research Station in Sector 2, where we picked up some key information.

(5) Lursa ordered the Bird-of-Prey forward to a position from which we scanned Sector 5, finding another warbird, and the class-M planet Sicara-Prime. (Level 6.) She then provoked the second warbird by ignoring their hails and proceeding to the Federation Research Station in the sector. The warbird attacked, but a combination of unconventional tactics and improvisation defeated the enemy’s strong weapons. Dukat then launched photon torpedoes, destroying the attackers. Skill: Technical Advance; Advanced Action: Teamwork.

(6) A busy day. Teamwork repaired our ship’s remaining damage and Tomalak was rested and ready for duty. We then synthesized data for command information. Afterward we moved toward Sicara-Prime and scanned Core Sector 2, finding a Dominion starbase and a Borg Sphere…but no Cube.

(7) We beamed an away team to Sicara-Prime and showed empathy as we negotiated with the planet’s officials, boosting our reputation (0+). They shared an engineering breakthrough with us.

Round 4

(1) B’etor led a delegation back to Sicara-Prime and intimidated them to release Gor to our ship. He replaced Tomalak.

(2) We challenged the Romulan warbird blocking our path. It damaged us slightly (immediately repaired), and then we destroyed it.

(3) We performed a complex maneuver to get past the Borg Sphere and warped to the dry dock in Sector 2. From there we scanned Core Sector 7, finding a Borg Cube. A Romulan starbase blocked one path to the Cube, and an asteroid belt blocked the other. The class-L planet Elles-2 has issued a distress call in the sector. Lursa ordered us to ignore the Borg Sphere and instead engage the Romulan base. We blocked their attack, and Dukat launched a pulse torpedo attack, destroying the base. (Level 7.) From the destroyed base, we are within transportation range from Elles-2, and we were able to scan the Cube.

(4) With resources from the base, we are primed for battle. We recruited the converted Borg, Lansor, to our crew. Our empathic approach helped our reputation.

(5) We commenced our attack on the Borg Cube (Gold). With unconventional tactics, we performed a long-range phaser attack. We gained access to the Borg system to strengthen the attack, destroying a section of the Cube. Gor raised photon torpedo shields to block an attack, but then the Bird-of-Prey took slight damage. We repaired the damage, and Dukat was returned to duty.

(6) We attacked again. Lansor and Worf raised our inefficient shields against the enemy’s photon torpedoes, blocking the damage, but enemy phasers did some damage. Dukat then organized a combined photon torpedo and phaser attack, destroying a second section.

Round 5

(1) My hopes of completing our mission quickly have been all but dashed. I have little doubt that we can finish off this first Cube quickly, but we then have to find the second Cube and defeat it. Hard to imagine how to do that quickly. We attacked the damaged Borg Cube. We began by synthesizing data, gaining key information for our Borg crew member. Lansor strengthened Gor’s long-range photon torpedo attack, and we added an opening salvo of long-range phasers to destroy the remaining section of the Cube. (Level 8.) Skill: Target Lock (from the Enterprise); Advanced Action: Seasoned Away Team. We also repaired our battle damage and readied Lansor again.

(2) Lursa ordered the ship to carefully maneuver to the Core Sector 2 Research Station, from which we scanned Core Sector 8, finding the second Borg Cube (Red). It is guarded by two Spheres—one with disruptors and biogenic weapons, and the other with shields that are resistant to phasers and photon torpedoes.

(3) We then proceeded into a nebulae and closed with the Cube to scan it. Naturally, its defenses are formidable. We now face the difficult decision of how to proceed. The Enterprise is pressuring us to finish the mission, but we lack effective defenses and attacks. The people of Elles-2 have advanced shield technology that would greatly assist us in the attack on the Cube, but there appears to be little hope of a diplomatic solution there, and we have no long-range attack capability to defend any away team. Thus, we must either face serious damage in an attack on the Cube, or waste time and endanger the crew on Elles-2.

Lursa led an away team to Elles-2. She improvised a diplomatic concession to one of the factions fighting, but the other attacked and wounded Worf. Lansor attacked and destroyed them. They gained the Advanced Shield technology and some useful data.

(4) We attacked the Cube. Lursa ordered the Picard Maneuver (strong), and then we gained system access to one section, destroying it. Next, we employed exploding shields against a second section, defending the Bird-of-Prey from its attack and destroying the section. The remaining two sections fired, and Dukat defended against some of the incoming attacks. But our ship sustained moderate damage. (Level 9.)

(5) Finally, we used an engineering breakthrough to ready our ship for battle. We used unconventional tactics (strong) to long a long-range phaser attack with a target lock and opening salvo, destroying the third section of the Cube. The remaining defenders inflicted another two hits on our ship.

Round 6

(1) We beamed an away team aboard the Borg Cube and were able to disconnect the remaining assimilated defenders from the hive. (Level 10.) Skill: Manipulation; Advanced Action: Compassion.

(2) For our final move, we engaged a Borg Sphere. After repairing ship damage and healing Worf, we gained fleet system access to the Sphere and fired long-range phasers, destroying the vessel.

SCORE:

Knowledge 15 (6 x Advanced Action; 4 x Undiscovered; 1 data crystal)
Leadership 10
Conquest 10
Adventure 6
Disaster -6
Experience 109
2 Cubes 20
All Cubes 15
Dummy 12
No End Round 5

TOTAL 196

In retrospect, it was a mistake to get Seasoned Away Team. I misunderstood the card, expecting it to give all my crewmembers a diplomatic ability, but it actually only adds to abilities already there. My crew had no diplomacy abilities. So...waste of a card.
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