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 Dec 14th, 2000.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 108): "RR #108: Downloading Update (Part 1)".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 110): "RR #110: Crew Reassignment".
Aefvadh! Last time I went over the basic downloading rules, up to the point of actually playing the downloaded card. Just where can you report a downloaded personnel or ship? Do you need an open AU Door to download an AU personnel? What conditions apply to downloading a facility? A site? For answers, let's move right into ...
Updating Downloads (Part 2)
Where Can I Report a Downloaded Card?
Probably the MFAQ (Most Frequently Asked Question) about downloading is where you can report a downloaded personnel or ship. The "native quadrant restrictions" are the most confusing aspect of this, because of a widespread misconception that "downloading overrides the quadrant rules." Well, that's not really the case. Some downloads allow you to ignore native quadrant, others don't - because it's not downloading that makes the difference. Remember from Part 1 that downloading is not a special kind of reporting; reporting is just a sub-action of downloading. What matters is (1) what kind of card allows the download/report (a facility or site, vs. some other card type), and (2) whether or not it tells you where to play the card.
1. What Kind of Card?
If the card allowing you to download/report a personnel, equipment, or ship card is a facility or a site, then all normal rules apply to reporting the card, including the rule that both the facility and the reporting card must be in their native quadrant. This is simply the standard "reporting for duty" rule I talked about in Review #107. Downloading doesn't affect that rule.
If the card allowing you to download/report that personnel, equipment, or ship card is not a facility or site, then you move on to the next step...
2. Does it Tell You Where to Play It?
If the card allowing the download doesn't say where to play it, then you must play it wherever you normally could play that card - it's not giving you permission to play it anywhere else. Think of it as if you were playing it from your hand - wherever you could you play it as your normal card play is where you can play it when downloaded.
This generally means to your outpost, headquarters, or an appropriate site, in their native quadrant, or to some other place that you can normally report cards. For example, a Borg Cube allows Borg personnel to report aboard, so when you download a drone with the Borg Queen (FC)'s skill, it may report aboard that cube regardless of quadrant. Likewise, Luther Sloan "may report anywhere" normally, so if you download him with a card that doesn't say "where" (like Defend Homeworld's SECURITY download), he can still report anywhere.
If the (non-facility/site) card allowing the download does tell you where to play it, that's where you can play it, and quadrant is irrelevant.
"Where to play it" could be very specific ("download to one of your ships" or "download to your Away Team on a planet"), or more general ("download here"). "Here" means "anywhere at this location", unless it's a site card (or a card that plays on a site, such as Weapons Locker), in which case it means "to this site." And don't forget that special downloads always mean "download here".
- If you have an Away Team on a planet in the Mirror Quadrant, you can download an Alpha Quadrant ship to them with Hidden Fighter ("downloads one ship... to your Away Team on a planet").
- If you have a Spacedoor on an outpost in the Alpha Quadrant, you can download a universal Gamma Quadrant ship (Spacedoor says "download to here").
- Assign Mission Specialists says to download the personnel "to one of your outposts" - AMS is not a facility or site, and it tells you where to download the specialists, so again, quadrant doesn't matter.
- Anya has a special download for Salia. That tells you where to play Salia; special downloads mean "here" or "at this location". So while you probably want to report Salia to Anya's crew or Away Team, you don't have to - if Anya is aboard a ship in orbit in the Gamma Quadrant, she could download Salia to report aboard the ship, aboard another ship or facility at the same location, or on the planet surface there.
What else can you ignore besides the native quadrant, when you're told where to play the downloaded card? Generally, requirements that relate to "where" you can play the card. For example, normally, SECURITY-classification personnel and hand weapons may be reported only to Security Office on a Nor (that is, if you're using the site's text to allow the report). But Sleeper Trap allows your opponent to download three universal Cardassians and a hand weapon to "one site here". He gets to choose the site, regardless of what classification those Cardassians may be, because the site isn't what's letting them report there - the dilemma is.
This doesn't let you ignore other requirements for playing the card, that are printed on the card you're downloading. If a card has an icon, you must have an open Alternate Universe Door or Space-Time Portal to play it (unless you're reporting a card to its native time location), whether you're downloading it or not. If a ship says it "reports damaged" (U.S.S. Enterprise-C), downloading it won't prevent it from being damaged.
Downloading Facilities and Sites
Some cards (usually a mission or an objective that plays on a mission) allow the download of a facility. While facilities do have a native quadrant, and cannot be seeded anywhere else, they may be built in any quadrant - provided that they can be built at all (for example, Husnock Outpost can only be seeded). If a facility has no text telling you how to build (play) it, then you can't download it, because downloading includes playing the card.
You must follow other requirements for playing the facility as well. Some are in the rules, others are printed on the facility. The rules require that affiliated outposts must be built only at missions with a matching affiliation icon, and never at a homeworld. Also, the rules do not allow you to build any facility where you already have a facility. Many facilities specify where you can play them (for example, a headquarters may be played only on the specified homeworld).
The only thing that will override that "matching affiliation" requirement is an outpost that says it may be built at any location ("any" should be in italics, and be aware that all the early outposts have errata - they now say "build where you have a XXX ENGINEER", not "at any location"), or specific permission from the card allowing the download. For example, Subjugate Planet targets only a non- mission - that gives you permission to download that Remote Supply Depot to a non- mission, because otherwise you could never do the download. On the other hand, Establish Dominion Foothold is not limited to non- missions, so its download of a facility doesn't give you permission to put a Rempte Supply Depot at a non- mission. If you want to be able to builf that Depot there, better target a mission with the objective.
Nothing overrides those other requirements except very specific game text. If you already have a facility at a location, you cannot download/play another facility (unless one of them says another facility can co-exist there). You can't download a headquarters to any mission except the designated homeworld, and you can't download an outpost to a homeworld.
If a card allows you to download a site (currently, only Empok Nor, when you commandeer it), you can't ignore the text on the site that says what kind of Nor you can play it on. If it says "DS9 or Deep Space 9 / Terok Nor", you can't download it to Empok Nor.
Downloading Other Card Types
Since most other types of downloadable cards don't have native quadrants, "where to play them" is pretty straightforward. Events, incidents, objectives, doorways, and interrupts generally tell you whether they play on table, or play on a target (such as a ship or mission). If they just "play", or have text such as "nullifies X" (typical of interrupts), this normally means that the card has its effect and then you discard it. This is the default for interrupts, and will be stated explicitly for other card types.
As with facilities, downloading won't let you use a "seed only" function of a card. Space-Time Portal can download Alternate Universe Door, but only to play it using one of the AU Door's normal "play" functions. Placing an AU Door on table is limited to seeding, so you can't download it to table.
Can a Downloaded Card Be Nullified?
Downloading a card into play is simply playing a card (with special timing and special permission to get it from your deck). Like any card play, it can be responded to with any valid response. For example, if you download an Event card and play it, I can nullify it with Kevin Uxbridge. It doesn't enjoy any special immunity due to the download.