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Star Trek Away Missions - the Q Campaign

Star Trek Away Missions - the Q Campaign

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Game 1: Just Playing With Q

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The first game follows the normal setup and rules, with Q adding a bit of chaos in the form of a random Immortal Q card drawn at the beginning of each round. Additionally, at the end of the game each player rolls a die and consults a chart that will adjust their score either up or down depending entirely on chance. That’s Q for you…

The stage is set.The stage is set.

We’ve decided to choose our first match-up randomly from the available away teams, with one exception: we’re saving Kirk vs Picard for last, so we can finally settle that question once and for all. Our first game will be me playing Locutus and the Borg vs. my opponent playing Scotty’s team, which includes Sulu, Uhura and the ubiquitous Mr. Leslie.

Our Immortal Q card for round 1 is Mis-Q, which allows each player to place an opponent’s character in any empty space on the board, then pick a different opposing character to start the round with a Stun token (which takes one of that character’s two actions for the turn to remove). Additionally, each player has to discard a random mission card, so if either of us was placing our characters with a particular mission in mind, those plans might go up in smoke. It’s possibly not the most interesting card to draw for the first round of the game, since we won’t really have been working towards any particular goals yet. On top of that, the Borg start with only two of their six characters on the board, with the rest showing up on rounds 2 and 3.

From here it’s a normal game of Away Missions. Gerry and Justin did a good Let’s Play for the game, but in short: players take turns activating characters one at a time. Each character can do two actions: move, attack, take cover, or a special action, usually related to solving a mission. Missions are how you get points, with most of them involving going to a certain type of terminal space on the board and then passing a skill test.

In this case, our game highlights the strength of the Federation faction and the weaknesses of the Borg. The Borg are incredibly slow; their movement rate is only two (as opposed to every other character’s 4), and as mentioned above they start the game with only two characters in play. The game does make up for this with Bonus Action tokens — at the beginning of each round, the player with fewer characters on the board gets Bonus Action tokens equal to the difference. Each Bonus Action can be spent to give any one of your characters an extra action, even if they’ve already taken their turn this round. But they can’t be saved up between rounds, so it’s use them or lose them.

Normally Away Missions is focused on mission solving rather than combat, especially for the Federation, but my opponent has decided to demonstrate the difference between the cowboys of the original series and the diplomats of the Next Generation by coming out guns blazing. Sulu and Leslie quickly move into action and take out one of my Borg drones. It’s especially tragic as this drone had been outfitted with an equipment card that makes Engineering tests easier, and the mission I was going for is an Engineering mission.

Mr. Leslie shoots first and doesn't bother with the questions.Mr. Leslie shoots first and doesn't bother with the questions.

The rest of the game unfolds in a similar fashion. Our round two Immortal Q card changes all the terminal types, making us scramble to get where we need to be to solve our missions. I get to add two more Borg to the board, but my opponent is using her away team extremely well; Scotty and Uhura are hiding out on the bridge solving missions, while Sulu and Leslie are on the offensive, picking off my Borg drones one by one.

The Borg corpses are piling up...The Borg corpses are piling up...

At the start of round 3 (games of Away Missions only go for three rounds), our Immortal Q card lets us each recover a damage from one of our characters, plus we each get two Bonus Action tokens. I get to drop two more Borg Drones in, so I decide to go on the offensive myself in what will turn out to be a vain attempt to assimiliate the bridge, a “go somewhere and pass a test” mission that requires 5 total successes over multiple actions and/or turns. Along the way I take a swipe at Scotty, since if I can deal him enough damage he’ll be assimilated as a drone, and provide me with another character to use. No luck though, Scotty manages to elude my grasp.

Scotty refuses to be assimilated.Scotty refuses to be assimilated.

The game ends in crushing defeat for the Borg. We both roll a “1” on the score adjustment chart, which forces each of us to discard our highest-scoring mission. This leaves us with a final score of 65 for my opponent’s Federation and a paltry 15 for my Borg. In this case I don’t think the wrinkles provided by Q had all that much effect on the game, other than a somewhat arbitrary change to the score at the end that couldn’t really be planned for.

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