RR #17: Major Rakal's 5-Step guide to Dilemma resolution | openCards

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RR #17: Major Rakal's 5-Step guide to Dilemma resolution

    This Strategy-Note article was written by Kathy McCracken (aka Major Rakal) and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Apr 15th, 1997.

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

    Aefvadh! In my last review I described the components of dilemmas and gave a few simple rules for determining how each dilemma works. For those who are more comfortable with following a flow chart, here is...


    1. Does the dilemma require a TRIGGER?

      NO: Go on to step 2.

      YES: Is the trigger present?

      YES: Go on to step 2.

      NO: Discard the dilemma. It has no effect. You must continue to the next dilemma.

    2. Can you NULLIFY the dilemma with a personnel or equipment in your Away Team, with an Event that is in play, or by playing an Interrupt?

      NO: Go on to step 3.

      YES: Discard the dilemma. It has no effect. You must continue to the next dilemma.

    3. Does the dilemma have CONDITIONS?

      NO: Carry out the instructions on the dilemma for its effects. Your Away Team is NOT stopped and must continue to the next

      YES: Can you overcome the conditions?

      YES: Discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value). You must continue to the next dilemma.

      NO: Carry out the instructions on the dilemma for its effects. Your Away Team is stopped. Go on to step 4.

    4. Did the dilemma "enter play" by playing on personnel, a ship, the table, or the spaceline; or does it have a lasting effect on personnel (usually equivalent to "playing on" the personnel)?

      NO: Go on to step 5.

      YES: Leave it in play until you cure it, it expires naturally, or it is destroyed. At that time, discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value).

    5. Does it say "Discard dilemma"?

      YES: Discard the dilemma (or place it in your bonus point area if it carries a point value).

      NO: If the dilemma had conditions, replace it under the mission to be encountered again on the next mission attempt. Discard it when finally overcome. If it had no conditions, discard it.

    That's it. Well, almost. Keep in mind that...

    • The text of the dilemma may override some of these rules. For example, Chinese Finger Puzzle has no conditions, but states that it stops the Away Team.
    • A dilemma may have two possible sets of effects. You may make a choice (Edo Probe), or circumstances may dictate which set to follow (Outpost Raid). Once the set is chosen, ignore the other set of instructions.
    • Some dilemmas just don't fit this pattern. Simply do exactly what the card says. It's usually clear.

    Let's look at a few examples.

    "Three Nausicaans pick a fight. One Away Team member is killed (random selection) unless STRENGTH >44. Discard dilemma."

    1. There is no trigger required to be present.
    2. Nausicaans can be nullified by an Interphase Generator, or by Zon. If you have one of these cards in your Away Team, discard the dilemma and go on to the next one. If not, go on to step 3.
    3. The dilemma has conditions: it takes effect "unless STRENGTH >44". Add the STRENGTHs in your Away Team, including modifiers such as Phasers. If the total is 45 or more, you overcame the dilemma; discard it, and go on to the next one. Your Away Team is not stopped. If you don't meet the conditions, select one personnel to be killed and discard him. The rest of the Away Team is stopped.
    4. If you didn't overcome the dilemma, you must decide what to do with it. This dilemma does not enter play or have a long-term effect (well, I suppose death is a long-term effect, but we're talking about diseases and such here), so go to step 5.
    5. It says "discard dilemma." Do it. You won't encounter this dilemma again.

    Chalnoth (5 Bonus Points)
    "Kills one Away Team member (opponent's choice) unless 3 SECURITY OR STRENGTH>40 present. Discard dilemma."

    This works virtually the same as Nausicaans, except for the bonus points, so I will only discuss the differences.

    2. Nullifiable by Interphase Generator. If nullified, you don't get the bonus points.
    3. If you overcome the dilemma, place it in your bonus point area instead of discarding it.

    Empathic Echo (AU icon)
    "One personnel present with Empathy (random selection) is killed unless SECURITY and MEDICAL present."

    1. No trigger is required. "One personnel present with Empathy" is a target; the dilemma kills one randomly-selected personnel, just like Nausicaans, but the personnel selection is limited to those with Empathy.
    2. Could be nullified by Mr. Homn or Madame Guinan in the Away Team (if Madame G. hasn't already nullified an AU-icon card this turn), or by playing the Plexing interrupt. If so, discard the dilemma now.
    3. The conditions are SECURITY and MEDICAL. If they are present, discard the dilemma and go on. What's that? It doesn't say "discard dilemma"? True, but you overcame the conditions, which always means you discard it. This bears repeating: IF YOU OVERCOME A DILEMMA WITH CONDITIONS, IT ALWAYS GOES AWAY. YOU NEVER ENCOUNTER IT AGAIN. Now, suppose you didn't overcome it. Separate your personnel with Empathy and randomly select one to die. If you have no personnel with Empathy present, no one dies. But what happens to the dilemma? Go on to steps 4 and 5 to see.
    4. The dilemma does not enter play. Go on to step 5.
    5. Aha! The dilemma does not say "discard dilemma," AND it had conditions. Put it back under the mission, where it will be encountered again by the next player to attempt the mission. In effect, this is not only a killer dilemma, but also a "wall" dilemma. Because it doesn't say you can discard it, you must have SECURITY + MEDICAL to get by it, whether it actually kills anyone or not.

    Maman Picard (AU icon)
    "If this is a Federation ship, immediately transport it to any end of the spaceline (opponent's choice)."

    1. The dilemma must be encountered by a Federation ship to trigger it. If you attempted from your outpost, or if the ship is non-Fed, discard the dilemma.
    2. Madame Guinan could nullify this if she is aboard. If not...
    3. It has no conditions. The ship is instantly transported to the end of the spaceline. The crew is not stopped, so the ship can move if it has RANGE remaining.
    4. The dilemma did not enter play. It simply has its effect and is done.
    5. It does not say "discard dilemma." BUT, it had no conditions, so you discard it anyway.

    Cytherians (15 Bonus Points)
    "Place on ship. Ship must do nothing but travel to far end of spaceline at normal speed. When reached, discard dilemma. Score points."

    1. It says "Place on ship," so a ship is required to trigger this dilemma. If you attempted the mission from your outpost, the trigger is not "present" (even if there is a ship there, the crew wasn't on it when it encountered the dilemma), so discard the dilemma and go on to the next. If you were aboard a ship, go on to step 2.
    2. Nothing else can nullify Cytherians.
    3. This dilemma has no conditions. It "just happens," and there is no combination of skills, etc., that you could have had there to prevent it. So your crew is not stopped and must begin their journey to the far end of the spaceline immediately, assuming the ship has any RANGE left. (They cannot go on to the next dilemma because the card overrides this.)
    4. The dilemma enters play, on the ship. Reaching the end of the spaceline may be considered a "cure", so at that time you will place the dilemma in your bonus point area. The ship may then go about its business.

    If you'd rather not have to figure this out for every dilemma, just go to my webpage at the URL listed below for a concise table listing all current dilemmas and how they work. Because some of my readers on the mailing list may not have Internet access, I am also sending out the same information in two email text files which should be printable as tabular files if you display them in a monospaced font (like Courier).