Greet the Gazelle
I received my first physical copies of the Gazelle Mini Ship Pack Tuesday. Due to the interval between working on the cards and having them in hand and because this is our first foray into print on demand with Traveller, I had that feeling of new possibilities that I’ve felt playing other people’s customizable card games.
While there may be a mini pack we put out where I would save talking about the new until later, I need to start with the Gazelle.
Besides the promo Broadsword, this is the first focused published. That feature drives the contents of the rest of the pack.
The Gazelle just sounds so good. While intended to be the pinnacle of anti-piracy in the game, given the current card pool, it’s an obvious idea to see how good of a piracy strategy one can come up with running a that starts with both and , a solid Rating, two and two slots.
The two big drawbacks in its weight class are limited slots and only one slot. The single slot is notable in that loading up on RVD Overtuned Thruster Plates doesn’t make a lot of sense like it does for some piracy decks, while pursuing decks that may want something like Modular Hold run into what the Type S Scout faces with constraints without having the Scout’s ability to pay nothing for Bwap Advisors.
I am quite fond of the Warfare special ability. Besides expanding trait use in the game, the existing Warfare cards have solid synergies with pro-piracy or anti-piracy. Not exactly surprising, to be sure, but still worthy of investigation.
I’ve been playing against piracy decks a lot this year. Dance Among the Heavens is an expected play for several reasons. Piracy decks are already running Tactical Display, thus running crew with . Forcing a two card discard is both disruptive to current plans and provides additional economic pressure for a bankruptcy strategy. Then, getting ahead on turns on the bonus from RVD Overtuned Thruster Plates for you and turns it off for others.
Already mentioned Tactical Display as a piracy staple, but the synergy with appears again with Prey on the Weak. Predatory Tactics is another common play that gains additional value as piracy decks also spend lots of , potentially quite a bit from the tax. Strategic Serenity is another way to make bigger attacks.
But, every single method of increasing and/or has application against piracy. I have a deck that runs Tactical Display as an anti-piracy play. While I’m not running Prey on the Weak to defend against piracy, Defensive Mines and Glancing Shot have both shown up in my non-piracy decks.
Before segueing, just want to note that Aggravated Assault has been known to show up in piracy decks as control plays help slow down -oriented decks.
So, there’s another Captain’s Deck Warfare card that arrives the same time Gazelle does. Want serious ? Gazelle plus two times RVD Superdense Armor is a massive static that makes all of your difficult to remove thanks to Hardened 2. While I’m sure piracy players will try out being Superdense, the reason for this was to give more options for defending against piracy. Let us know whether you think the balance is right with versus .
Drop Capsules has more history than most cards. Went through pretty significant changes due to being around longer as an idea. A way for any deck to generate , perhaps want to use a cost reducer when putting it into play if that’s the primary purpose you put it to.
Not much point in putting out ships with without also putting out more adventure cards that use . Red Team and Weapons Testing came out of plans for other ships. Red Team is the straightforward adventure card that encourages a commitment to . Weapons Testing is easier for ships without to interact with, but has a complication side that attention should be paid to. Rhal’Kais Corsairs is not the same as Luxury Tax. Many a time, the only impact of Luxury Tax in my games has been to reveal cards to opponents. Rhal’Kais Corsairs is more likely to hit captains’ hands.
A five card set isn’t going to accomplish everything, and we hope to expand on in the future. But, we hope that even just with these cards that your options have been expanded mightily.
One last thing to keep in mind is that the Gazelle’s place in the game will evolve as other cards get published, in particular as more come out … assuming everyone doesn’t just run Gazelle piracy all the time.
As a mostly solo player I’ve not dabbled much in the piracy aspect of the game. What are the advantages to doing piracy? If I understand it correctly you just do damage to the other ship and/or crew. I don’t believe you can “loot” the other ship. And gaining infamy just makes things harder for you. Thanks! – Ric
Bankruptcy is often a real threat without someone else inflicting additional expenses upon you. Piracy as a bankruptcy strategy can bypass some of the challenges in the game, e.g. worrying about resolving complications, while building up a high AV to push someone into bankruptcy before the opponent can reach 20 VPs. There are also ways to use piracy and/or Infamy Tokens to gain additional VPs or to reduce the number of VPs needed to win for a hybrid piracy/contract strategy.
Having the honor of playtesting some of these, I’m very excited to see them finally being offered. I’m even more excited that this POD (Print On Demand) approach to getting new ships/cards out should prove the viability of keeping the game refreshed periodically!
BTW – saw the BOUNTY HUNTER ship with a few supporting cards in the full card list section. Will this next expansion set contain a full set of 18 cards?
(can you tell I’m excited about this?)
Received my cards today – they look great! One observation, one question.
Observation: will you ever be putting expansion symbols on any of your sets? You technically don’t HAVE to as the ‘all cards’ page lists which set each card comes from…
Quesion: If I’m running my Gazelle, all my WARFARE cards gain +1R (making my RVD Superdense Armor – which is a 1R card – ‘worth’ 2R). If I run up against the Rhal’Kais Corsairs (which requires me to “discard all cards with R of 1”. Is that 1R printed or 1R actual? If printed, my RVD is gone. If actual (or augmented if you prefer), my RVD is safe. What shall I tell the kids I play with this weekend at the Con?
I recently got this mini deck and want to put together deck soon. One thing that I was initially confused by was with the HARDENED attribute of the RVD Superdense Armor card. In the printed rules I have from the game there is no mention of this attribute and only in the rules posted in the TravellerDB website did I find an explanation. Is there anyway to get a printable version of the rules posted there? Printing the rules as is, none of the icons show up in the printed version. Which really makes the printed version less then adequate. I really like the rules as posted in the TravellerDB, and they are different from the rules as posted here in the downloads.