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 Jun 6th, 1997.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 27): "RR #27: End Transmission".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 29): "RR #29: The Ins and Outs of Outposts, Part 2: Everything Else".
Aefvadh! After a long hiatus (and no, I wasn't on vacation the whole time!), I'm going to talk about the most mundane of card types. They're common, they're boring, there are only four of them so far, you're required to have at least one in your deck (maybe more), and they seem to generate more questions than anything else except maybe dilemmas. Let's look at...
THE INS AND OUTS OF OUTPOSTS, PART 1: HOW MANY?
ROMULAN (KLINGON, FEDERATION) OUTPOST
"Romulus is one of the two homeworlds for the Romulans. The Romulan Star mpire establishes outposts throughout its territory."
"The Klingon Homeworld is Qo'noS. The Klingon Empire establishes utposts throughout its territory.
"Earth is a member of the United Federation of Planets. The Federation stablishes outposts throughout its territory."
Common Outpost, Shields 32 (R, K) or 30 (F)
Seed one if playing Romulan (Klingon, Federation) OR build later at any ocation where a Romulan (Klingon, Federation) ENGINEER is present.
"A common space station design used by many races for research or trade. Personnel and ships from all affiliations are frequent visitors at such acilities."
Common Outpost, Shields 24
Seed one at any Space location OR build later at a Space location where any ENGINEER is present. No repairs here.
To understand the correct use of outposts, it's not enough to just read the cards. Outposts are such a basic part of the game that many of the ules governing their use are in the rulebook, back in the early pages hat no one ever refers to. In addition, the Neutral Outpost did not exist in the premiere set, so a few rules had to be modified and clarified in the FAQ when it appeared. Let's go back to basics, starting with:
1. How many outposts MAY you SEED, and of what affiliation?
THE most asked question about outposts. Two simple rules, and you must satisfy both:
- You may seed one outpost for each affiliation you control. "Non-aligned" is not an affiliation, so an outpost may not be seeded based on non-aligned personnel in your deck.
- You may seed a maximum of one of each type of outpost, that is, one Romulan, one Federation, one Klingon, one Neutral. A Neutral Outpost may be substituted for any one affiliated outpost. However, it is still Neutral and may be used by any affiliation; it does not "become" Romulanif it is substituted for a Romulan Outpost.
So, if you are playing Romulan, you may seed one outpost, either Romulan or Neutral. If you are playing Romulan and Federation, you may seed two Outposts, in one of the following combinations:
1 Romulan, 1 Federation
1 Romulan, 1 Neutral
1 Neutral, 1 Federation
You are not required to seed the maximum number of outposts; in fact, you may seed no outposts at all if you have another way to play personnel.
Remember, these restrictions apply only to seeding outposts--placing them during the seed phase. You may build as many outposts as you wish, of any appropriate affiliation, during the game; building an outpost counts as your card play.
2. How many outposts MUST you include in your deck?
The opposite side of the first question, and becoming more frequently asked as affiliations proliferate. One rule here:
- You MUST include at least one outpost in your deck for each affiliation you decide to control.
So if you play Romulan, Klingon, and Federation, with or without treaties, you must include at least three outposts in your deck. They don't have to be seeded; they can be in your draw deck, and you are not required ever to build them.
3. What does it mean to "control an affiliation"?
You control an affiliation by including at least one non-outpost card (personnel or ship) of that affiliation in your 60-card deck. Cards in a side deck do not count, but seeded personnel (e.g., in a Cryosatellite, or Mirasta Yale) do.
4. How do dual-affiliation personnel fit into this equation?
That depends on whether you want to maximize your seeded outposts, or minimize the number of slots taken by outposts in your deck. Depending on your strategy, you may want to do either. Regardless, here's what you do:
- Before the seed phase begins, decide on an affiliation for each personnel in your deck. (For single-affiliation personnel, obviously you have no choice.) Based on the affiliations selected:
- You MAY seed one outpost for each affiliation. (You may seed fewer.)
- You MUST include one outpost in your deck for each affiliation. (You may include more.)
Important: The affiliation you select for a personnel at this time has NO bearing on what affiliation you assign them when you report them for duty, or how you may use them during the game.
Here are some examples of how many outposts I must include, and how many I may seed, if my deck contains *only* the listed personnel.
- Tomalak and Roga Danar. I must include at least one outpost in my deck. I may seed one outpost (R or N). Roga Danar has no affiliation and neither requires that I include an outpost for him, nor allows me to seed a second outpost.
- Tomalak and Major Rakal. If I decide Major Rakal is Romulan at seed time, I must include one outpost in my deck, and I may seed one outpost (R or N). Major Rakal may still be switched to Federation mode during the game if I wish. If I decide Major Rakal is Federation at seed time, I must include two outposts in my deck, and may seed up to two outposts (R+F, R+N, or F+N). Major Rakal may still be reported for duty as a Romulan, at either a Romulan or Neutral Outpost.
- Tomalak, Major Rakal, and Garak. If the affiliations are:
R R C seed max of 2 (must be R+N)
R F C 3 (must be R+F+N)
R R N 1 (R)
R F N 2 (R+F, R+N, or F+N)
(The outpost seeded for a Cardassian Garak must be a Neutral Outpost at
this time, because there are no Cardassian Outposts yet. A non-aligned
Garak does not allow seeding an outpost.)
- Major Rakal. I may seed only one outpost, regardless of the affiliation I choose. She must be one or the other at any given time; she cannot be both at once.
- Tomalak, Gowron, Jean-Luc Picard, and Roga Danar. I must include at least three outposts in my deck, and may seed a maximum of three.
- Tomalak, Gowron, Jean-Luc Picard, and Garak. I MUST include at least three outposts in my deck (if Garak is non-aligned at seed time), but I MAY seed a maximum of four (if Garak is Cardassian at seed time).
- Tomalak, Gowron, Jean-Luc Picard, Garak, and Quark Son of Keldar. For now, same as the last example: at least three required (if Garak =N and Quark SOK =K), but my maximum seed is still four--because there are only four outpost types available and seeding of two Neutral Outposts is not allowed. When either Cardassian or Ferengi Outposts become available, I could seed five.
- Gul Dukat and Garak. OK, I'm extrapolating here; Gul Dukat doesn't exist yet in the game, but let's assume the first version of our favorite Gul is pure Cardassian affiliation (not C/N like Garak), and that by then a Cardassian Outpost is available (both good bets). I may seed ONE outpost, either Cardassian or Neutral. But, you say, Garak is dual-affiliation; why doesn't he permit the second outpost like Makor Rakal does for the Romulans? Because in Garak's case, "dual affiliation" is a bit of a misnomer. His second "affiliation" is not an affiliation; it's non-aligned. So with just these two personnel, you still have only one affiliation in your deck.
In Part 2, I'll look at other common outpost questions, including where you can establish them, where they are located, how their Shields work, and what you can do at a Neutral Outpost.
The Major's Combos:
- I think there were quite enough combos back there. :-)