after a long absence (yes, even STCCG Ambassadors want to have their summer holiday ;-) ) I am back, in real, more failure-proof than the Emergency Holographic Wesley which seemed to have had a pretty short lifespan - guess you can't just program that much STCCG into a stable holocharacter ;-)
So where did I leave off before I left? Oh right, Internet Expansion 4. But that one seemed to have run its course. So what was before that? Umm (checking old logs) - Anthology preview cards. Let's jump back in there...
First, it's a beautiful implementation of the theme. Rare is the STCCG card whose title translates this nicely into a game effect. We have the "Orb" (which has to be a non-duplicatable Artifact as it is a unique item of incredible value) "of Prophecy" (you get to see which card you are going to draw next) "and Change" (and you can actually change your future by moving this card to a place in your draw deck where it suits you much better.
So your basic net effect is you get the better of two cards into your hand at the end of each turn (if you guess right). This is quite a powerful effect, however it looks a bit pale compared to the Traveler where you actually get both cards, not just the one you like better. However, the Orb still has its advantages. First, in the middle to late game you are no longer much concerned about drawing many cards, actually you will usually want to avoid drawing too many cards in order to make sure you do not draw out too soon. But you will quite often need that one crucial card (a replacement for a lost classification, a ship or whatever). So with the Orb, you can double your chances at drawing the crucial card and yet keep your deck exhaustion rate at one per turn.
What else? One good use is to move two Q's tents to the bottom of your deck and then start to tent at random. If you can construct a 28-card draw deck with all necessary cards, you can draw these 28 at an amazing speed using Kivas and then take up to 26 turns with your complete deck available as resources in which to win by tenting at random and redrawing the tent. If your tent provides a steady stream of good personnel for example, this strategy can prove to be very powerful. Or, speaking of Q's tents, if you tent at random and got the card you wanted, why not use the Orb to move the just-returned tent a few places down to make sure you draw something more useful on the next turn...
But whatever use you take, the Orb pales a bit compared to the Betazoid Gift Box. To be a fully comparable Artifact, the Orb would have to have twice the power - look at two cards and put them into any place in your deck. Well, not completely crappy, and a BGB replacement for those who don't have this power card and it has a few special uses. But then, not a top notch card either. Oh, one last use: You just Kivased and drew a tent and are now faced with the decision "Tent or draw?" Well, the Orb might help you make that decision...
Wesley's rating: 5.8 Cpt. Stasis' rating: 9.5 Cpt. Targ's rating: 8.0 Data's rating: 8.9 Dr. R'Mor's rating: --- EHCCGPP's rating: 7.5 Gowron's rating: 8.4 Hal's rating: 9.4 Humuhumunukunukuapua'a's rtg.: 9.1 John's rating: 7.0 Jon Walker's rating: 7.5 Jono's rating: 8.9 Locutus' rating: 9.0 Mot's rating: 8.5 Nanite's rating: 7.0 Picarde's rating: 7.0 Ranger's rating: 8.5 Rothspar's rating: 7.6 Sirna's rating: 8.0 Tebok's rating: 9.6 Tony's rating: 9.7 Worf's rating: 8.0 ---------------------- AVERAGE RATING: 8.6
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