Seeds or plays on table. Once each turn, you may play one card for free OR discard (or place beneath draw deck) one of your cards from hand or in play to draw a card. Also, you may suspend play while you download any other card (ignoring Computer Crash), then discard incident.
Rule hint for this card
This card has an erratum:
Delete the second sentence as irrelevant, as these cards now all have the icon.
Game text on first print: "Seeds or plays on table. Intermix Ratio, Mirror Image, Oof!, Intruder Alert!, Temporal Vortex, Scorched Hand, and The Juggler have icon. Once each turn, you may play one card for free OR discard (or place beneath draw deck) one of your cards from hand or in play to draw a card. Also, you may suspend play while you download any other card (ignoring Computer Crash), then discard incident."Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.5.
This card has an clarification:
When you use this incident to play a card with a Hidden Agenda icon for free, you must show the card to your opponent to verify its status before playing it face down on the table. Activating this incident does not suspend play and is not a valid response to any action. You may activate it only between other actions. The incident must already be face up before you may suspend play to download another card. See icons in game text.Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.5.
Card logging info: Logged by openCards team at May 1st, 2009.
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 17th, 2000.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 100): "RR #100: Major Rakal's STCCG Mission Rating System".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 102): "RR #102: Ops".
Aefvadh! Since The Dominion we've been waiting to see what that funny little striped "referee" icon on Fair Play and Operate Wormhole Relays was going to do. Blaze of Glory and Rules of Acquisition each added more cards with the icon, but still no way to make use of them (other than as a probe icon on Chula: Crossroads). Now, in The Trouble With Tribbles, we finally find that the icons are in the hands of...
Q the Referee
Since First Contact, we've seen counters appear for a variety of over-used and abused strategies. Montana/Gamma field trips, rampant scanning, mission theft, Q-bypass, bonus point decks... the further a strategy strays from the basic game concept of solving your own missions after encountering your opponent's mostly-unknown dilemmas, the more likely that a counter will pop up. And as many have noticed, recently most of those new counters have had icons.
But while many of these counters are seedable, including all of them in your seed deck will leave you so few dilemma slots that your opponent will walk through your dilemmas with ease, and the seed is wasted if your opponent isn't playing the particular strategy that you prepared for. Including them (and the ones that aren't seedable, such as Intermix Ratio) in your Q’s Tent or deck means having to keep the Tent open long enough to pull the card you need, or cluttering your deck with temporarily useless cards that keep you from drawing the cards you really need and risk getting your hand scorched. Furthermore, many of the counters are events or incidents that require a card play - not much help if your opponent is barreling through a fast bonus-point strategy and is going to win before you can get The Big Picture into play, and uses up card plays that you need for personnel and ships.
Q the Referee solves all those problems neatly with a bundle of inter-related functions. Forget seeding a multitude of counters or trying to second-guess what might turn up at your next tournament; seed a couple of Q the Referees and throw all your cards into your deck or your Tent. For starters, they all play for free now, so you don't need to expend a card play for Fair Play protection against mission theft, for example. Even if you're not sure if your opponent might be packing Wormholes with field trips in mind, if you draw your Operate Wormhole Relays it costs you nothing to send a clear message to your opponent: don't even think about it because I'll be right back.
Second, once each turn (if you don't play a card for free) you can recycle an unneeded card to your discard pile (if you're sure you won't need it again) or under your draw deck (if you're not sure), in exchange for a fresh card draw. The recycled card can come from your hand or from play, so whether you chanced a seed slot against a prevalent strategy that your current opponent isn't using, played the card for free, or want to get rid of an unneeded Wake of the Borg interrupt to make room for another card (while staying below scorching level), you can turn that card into something you're more likely to need.
Finally, because you don't always draw the cards you need when you need them (at least, I certainly don't), you can download any card (except Q the Referee) at the cost of discarding a copy of Q the Referee. The download can't be Computer Crashed, and it suspends play for literally "any time" play - your turn, your opponent's turn, during a mission attempt, just as your opponent's tenth Kova Tholl is ready to die a grisly death - any time at all. Just include a couple of extra Q the Referees in your deck so you can play them (for free) to replace the discard.
Oh, and what about those pre- counters, like Intermix Ratio or Temporal Vortex? No problem; Q kindly adds a icon to seven cards that you may have often wished you could pull out of your sleeve on a moment's notice.
The Major's Combos:
- Q the Referee + Reactor Overload: Reactor Overload might be a wasted seed slot if your opponent isn't into Rogue Borg slaughter or ore processing. So play it for free or download it instead, if the need arises. If not, you can opt instead for Access Denied, or Fair Play, or Writ of Accountability, or... you get the idea.
- Q the Referee + The Big Picture: Once your opponent has solved his two requisite missions, The Big Picture won't do you any good - and will be a decided disadvantage if you haven't managed to solve your two yet. It can't be nullified, but it can be discarded, and you even get a card draw out of it.
- Q the Referee + Intermix Ratio: The card that everyone has wished could be seeded is now "seedable" in the form of Q the Referee. Just download the event and discard the incident.
- Q the Referee + Temporal Vortex: Scanning missions is risky with Scanner Interference out there, but you can't always wait to attempt a mission until you've got a Temporal Vortex in hand. Now you can pen up that Borg Ship or Sheliak even if the Vortex is still buried in your deck.