RR #53: Armus - Sticky Situation | openCards

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RR #53: Armus - Sticky Situation

    Armus - Sticky Situation

    Armus, a remnant of the Vagrans, engulfed Commander Will Riker in his skin of evil. Only the finesse and skillful negotiation of Jean-Luc Picard resulted in his release.

    Dilemma Dilemma - Planet dilemma Planet

    Strongest Away Team member is "stopped" if another personnel present has Diplomacy and CUNNING > 7, killed otherwise. Discard dilemma only if any personnel remain.

    Characteristics: "Armus" dilemma, killer dilemma.

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

    Armus - Sticky Situation

    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 5th, 1998.

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

    Aefvadh! It's not too often that more than one dilemma is made from the same situation. Microvirus and Yuta are one such pair. The sealed deck has brought us another. If you like to kill your opponent's personnel with walking tarpits, you now have a choice between the old skin of evil and the new...


    The original Armus - Skin of Evil was the quintessentialy simple dilemma. No conditions, no cures, no special targets, just a straightforward "Kills an Away Team member (random selection)." The new Sticky Situation is a bit more complex.

    Like the original Armus, it has no conditions. The strongest Away Team member will be either stopped or killed, no way around it. Normally the lack of conditions would mean that the dilemma did not stop anyone, and that it would be automatically discarded. In this case, the only personnel stopped is the specified target, and all others must proceed to the next dilemma as expected; however, the specific language of the dilemma overrides the discarding rule. If your lone redshirt is killed, the dilemma is not discarded, but returns under the mission to be encountered again. That makes it a better "setup" for various followup dilemmas than the original Armus.

    Let's look at a couple of examples. First, I attempt the mission with Galathon. Since he's alone, there is no other personnel with Diplomacy and CUNNING>7 to get him out of this, and he succumbs to the tarpit, just as he would have with the old Armus. The dilemma is replaced under the mission.

    In order to get rid of this thing, I have to send down a minimum of two personnel, and if I want them both to survive, the weaker one had better have Diplomacy and CUNNING>7. That lets out the two Tomalaks; Pardek, Sela, or Sirol will do, as long as their partner, who will be stopped, is stronger. Another Galathon, along with Sela, leaves Galathon stopped, discards the dilemma (because Sela remains), and Sela walks straight into the Zaldan seeded next.

    Note that if I start with two non-Diplomats (or two personnel including a Diplomat with insufficient CUNNING, or a stronger Diplomat), thestronger will be killed, but the dilemma will be discarded anyway, because one personnel does remain.

    While the Federation has more than its share of Diplomats, most of the lesser lights (the ones you would want to risk on the next dilemma) don't have the CUNNING. If you're using Picard or Spock, an Exobiologist (probably not Data (Prem), who is likely to be the stopped "strongest") to accompany them would be a wise idea.

    Big trouble for the Klingons. They're not exactly overwhelmed with Diplomats, and only K’mpec and K’mtar qualify. Dathon might be handy to have around, if you don't want to sacrifice another personnel to the tarpit.

    The Romulans have high enough CUNNING that they shouldn't have too much trouble, as long as they don't try to cut the Away Team to the bone - a Takket for Exobiology, or two Treachery, will get them past Zaldan.

    The Borg will lose their first lone scout every time. Their simplest way past on the next turn is Adapt: Negate Obstruction; otherwise they will have to delay a turn while they send down two scouts, one each turn, and get rid of the dilemma.

    I said above that there was no way around this dilemma. That's not quite true. If you have an Interphase Generator in your Away Team, it nullifies Armus, and that includes both dilemmas with "Armus" in the name.

    The Major's Combos:

    • Armus - Sticky Situation + Zaldan: A natural. If you try to get past Armus with a minimum of personnel, Zaldan will almost certainly pick off the Diplomat. (And Zaldan doesn't go away either.) Good reason to start carrying disruptors.
    • Alien Parasites + Armus - Sticky Situation: Fail to supply the INTEGRITY, with your ship in orbit or at your outpost location, and I can send down your crew one at a time for a guaranteed kill every time, with Armus back under the mission.
    • Armus - Sticky Situation + El-Adrel Creature + Malfunctioning Door: You're going to be a long time behind that door.