RR #50: Hippocratic Oath | openCards

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RR #50: Hippocratic Oath

    Hippocratic Oath

    On stardate 49066.5, rogue Jem'Hadar detained Julian Bashir on Bopak III. He was compelled to seek a cure to their genetically engineered addiction to the drug Ketracel-White.

    Dilemma Dilemma - Dual dilemma Dual
    Special icons: Countdown 3

    To get past, most CUNNING MEDICAL present must help aliens (relocated with dilemma to nearest planet at another location). MEDICAL is "stopped" until countdown expires.

    Characteristics: Countdown icon dilemma, relocate dilemma, wall dilemma.

    Rule hint for this card

    This card has an clarification:

    This dilemma may not relocate across quadrants except when the Aid Fugitives mission is in play (in which case, it must relocate there). See movement between quadrants. If there is no other planet on the spaceline where this dilemma is encountered (and Aid Fugitives is not in play), discard the dilemma for lack of a target planet.

    To pass this dilemma, the most CUNNING MEDICAL personnel must be able to relocate to another planet and still have MEDICAL skill after relocating. If he is unable to meet these conditions (e.g., a holographic personnel without a Mobile Holo-Emitter, or a Borg which has MEDICAL skill through skillsharing), or if there is no MEDICAL present, the Away Team or crew is “stopped” and the dilemma is replaced under the mission. (You may not choose to relocate a MEDICAL of lower CUNNING.) If the most CUNNING MEDICAL is an OFFICER enhanced by a Medical Kit, the Medical Kit must relocate with him. See quarantine.

    Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.5.

    Card logging info: Logged by openCards team at May 1st, 2009.

    Hippocratic Oath

    This Card-Review article was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Jun 2nd, 1998.

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

    Aefvadh! For my 50th review, I decided to do something with what has become my "trademark" topic, dilemmas. Although I've written a lot on dilemmas in general, I've written very little on specific dilemmas. The cards in the new Official Tournament Sealed Decks have a lot of interesting nuances, and the dilemmas in particular have triggered many questions because they put together familiar dilemma components in new and frustrating ways. In an attempt to answer some of those questions, my next few reviews will analyze each of the OTSD dilemmas in turn, starting with...


    Any dilemma that starts with "To get past..." or similar phrasing (e.g., "to continue") is a "wall" dilemma; it acts like a wall keeping you from your mission attempt until you overcome it by meeting its conditions. While conditions may look more familiar as "unless XXX is present," a "to get past" wall dilemma has conditions also, as if it read "Cannot get past unless XXX is present."

    In the case of Hippocratic Oath, you not only must have a MEDICAL present, but he must help the Jem'Hadar, by being relocated to another planet for three turns. This is very similar to Tarellian Plague Ship, where the dilemma's effect (killing all your crew) may only be averted by "beaming over" (discarding) a MEDICAL to the plague ship. But for Hippocratic Oath, just any MEDICAL won't do; it must be the most CUNNING one in your crew or Away Team who packs his bags.

    One subtle aspect of the dilemma is that it contains a not-so-obvious "trigger," the absence of which means the dilemma will be discarded without effect. The trigger is the presence of another planet at a different location. While this does not come at the beginning of the dilemma as triggers usually do ("if there is a planet at another location"), it is still a trigger, just as the presence of a ship used to be considered an implicit trigger for a "place on ship" dilemma, which would be discarded when a space mission was attempted from an outpost (no longer legal).

    Also note that "helping the aliens" is not a choice for you to make. Just as you automatically overcome Hologram Ruse if your Away Team contains INTEGRITY>30 and CUNNING>30 (you cannot "choose" to be stopped instad), you will automatically overcome Hippocratic Oath if your Away Team contains a relocatable most CUNNING MEDICAL. (Sarjenka presents a true choice and has no conditions; either you ignore Sarjenka OR you help her and earn 5 points by being stopped. Sarjenka does not say you must help "to get past.")

    Here's an example of the resolution of Hippocratic Oath. I attempt a planet mission with Taris (MEDICAL skill, CUNNING 8) and Takket (MEDICAL classification, CUNNING 7) in my Away Team, and encounter Hippocratic Oath. There is another planet on the spaceline, so I must relocate Taris there with the dilemma. (If I had Lower Decks in play, the universal Takket would have CUNNING 9 and would be relocated instead.) She is "stopped" for the remainder of this turn and my next two turns (countdown ), and the dilemma is discarded when the countdown expires (Taris remains on that planet until I pick her up). Since I overcame the dilemma, the rest of my Away Team continues the mission attempt.

    If I have a Medical Kit and OFFICERS present, each OFFICER will have MEDICAL skill. If the most CUNNING MEDICAL present happens to be an OFFICER, he will have to relocate rather than a personnel with the MEDICAL personnel type printed on his card; the catch is that he has to take the Medical Kit with him.

    Suppose I have no MEDICAL present, or for some reason that MEDICAL cannot be relocated (more on that in a moment). That means I cannot meet the dilemma's conditions, so my Away Team is "stopped" and cannot get past the dilemma. Because it has no "discard dilemma" clause, it is replaced under the mission to be encountered on the next mission attempt.

    Why would I not be able to relocate my most CUNNING MEDICAL? Here are a few possible reasons:

    • My most CUNNING MEDICAL is Jera, a hologram. When I attempt to relocate her, she becomes separated from the controlling ship, and deactivates back to the ship, just as she would if she encountered a Female’s Love Interest. She will automatically reactivate at the start of your next turn, so your solution, if you are attempting a planet mission and have another MEDICAL, is to leave her on the ship next turn. If you are attempting a space mission, however, you will have to remove her from the ship and leave another, more substantial MEDICAL to relocate. Or, you could play Distortion of Space/Time Continuum to unstop the rest of the crew and ship (Distortion does not reactivate a hologram) and continue the attempt before she reactivates.
    • Suppose I am playing Borg, and my crew (at a space mission) consists of a Bio Med Drone (MEDICAL, CUNNING 5), an Interlink Drone (CUNNING 5), and a Transport Drone (CUNNING 7). With the Interlink Drone enabling skill sharing, all of them will have the shared MEDICAL skill, and the most CUNNING MEDICAL will be the Transport Drone. But if he attempts to relocate, he will leave the hive and be disconnected from the skill-sharing, so he will no longer have MEDICAL at the destination. The Jem'Hadar have no use for him without MEDICAL skill, so you cannot successfully relocate your most CUNNING MEDICAL. The solution is to remove the Interlink Drone to shut down skill-sharing, and relocate the Bio-Med Drone who has MEDICAL in his skill box.
    • My Away Team is in quarantine from a previously encountered Hyper-Aging dilemma. They may not leave the planet. Not much you can do about this one, short of bringing in the required SCIENCE and 2 MEDICAL to cure yper-Agingand lift the quarantine; anyone else you bring to the planet will be quarantined also.

    But doesn't the dilemma compel me to relocate a MEDICAL, overcoming the quarantine? Not quite; it only compels me to relocate a MEDICAL if I want to get past the dilemma. If circumstances such as a quarantine make it impossible to do this, I'm stuck.

    The Romulans have so few MEDICALs that this may always be a disastrous dilemma; if you have Taris, she will be taken unless you have Lower Decks in play or are using a Soong-type Android MEDICAL.

    Klingons don't fare any better. A dim-witted lot at best, but Kitrik, the best MEDICAL (with SCIENCE skill as well) will likely be conscripted by the Jem'Hadar; though he is tied with Vekor for CUNNING of 7, don't forget that your opponent gets to decide a tie.

    The Federation, of course, has the most to lose. The Beverlys (and Dr. Selar) are the most CUNNING at 8; the other likely Fed doctors to see are Alyssa Ogawa (Prem) (6 premiere or 7 FC) and Katherine Pulaski (7).

    This is particularly troublesome for the Borg for the reason mentioned above - you will be forced to disable skill-sharing by removing the Interlink Drone from the hive in order to send away a drone who actually has MEDICAL skill in its box (all Borg MEDICALs have CUNNING of 5).

    The Major's Combos:

    • Hippocratic Oath + Tarellian Plague Ship: Your doc may have no one to come pick him up.
    • Hyper-Aging + Hippocratic Oath: You didn't want to actually complete that mission before everyone grew old and died, did you?
    • Hippocratic Oath + Matriarchal Society: Against Feds or Rommies, this is likely to mean quite a delay.