(24) Count Down – Crew Skills part 3

Victoria (VR) looked up from preparing the next meal for the crew.

Is that what I think it is?

Jees (Jia) was rolling something into the back corner of the mess hall.

Wrong Question!” Jees replied as Thabisa appeared behind her, almost like a procession!

Apparently having RICH parents has it’s advantages! Thabisa’s parents had pulled some strings (pun intended) and got a real antique piano aboard the starship ISS Vanguard. And Thabisa was unveiling it tonight as she spread the word “Piano Jam Session Tonight“… We need to shake off the anxiety that is filling this ship!

Count me in!

The loud voice came from the next person in the procession entering the Mess Hall… Mark Poulsen! “It’s been years since I’ve had a lively jam session!

As everyone sat down for their evening meal, Levi provided a blessing as usual:

Lord God, as we prepare for another evening meal aboard the starship ISS Vanguard, we thank you for these plentiful meals that are both satisfying and delicious (nodding to VR)
=> Vanguard Blessing 7 (full blessing – printable PDF with clickable links)

And after the evening meal … Mark made sure people stayed for some fun with an energetic piano jam:

Updated Crew Skills – in addition to knowing what their special skill is, it also is important to know how many times they can perform that skill during one planetary exploration mission. So I added a number after each skill indicating the number of charges they start with. Remember, during the mission it is possible to gain or lose charges! (see page 37 in the rulebook)
=> Crewmembers Skill Order v4 (includes the starting amount of charges)

Here are FOURTEEN more Crew Skills that help with a variety of tasks. I will put the starting number of charges after the Skill name. I am saving the Section Dice Skills for tomorrow!

Discovery Skills

Discoveries are important… you could even say that they were the ultimate goal. During our planetary exploration we often find leads … and multiple leads, well… lead us to discoveries! However, at times you might draw a lead from the bag that actually grants you an instant discovery. And some of the crew have skills that also aid in acquiring discoveries quicker:

  1. Insight (2) – gain a discovery from a deck with a total leads value of just 2 (instead of 3)
  2. Searcher (2) – gain a Discovery from a deck with 3 lead tokens (of any value, even values of zero)

    Yes, it does only take a total value of 3 in lead tokens to claim a Discovery card. But the key to this is the word “value”. If the final game is like Prototype 2, then about half of the lead tokens have a value of ZERO! True. There are 20 lead tokens. 9 of them in Prototype 2 had a value of Zero as seen by this photo of all the Prototype 2 lead tokens:

    With this in mind, a crewmember with the Searcher skill can claim a discovery card with three leads of any value, even all zero!

Event Skills

After the tutorial, each player ends their turn by drawing an Event card, which are … ummm … eventful (usually at least a hindrance to the mission). If an event is actually terrible, crewmembers with the Forecast skill can choose to just ignore it!

  1. Forecast (3) – ignore an event card

Injury Skills

Let’s face it… no matter how careful we are, crew on the Away Team WILL get injured… sometimes seriously! There are four different crewmember skills that help deal with these injuries.

  1. Endurance (3) – ignore the result of an injury die
  2. Grit (2) – ignore the result of ALL injury dice
  3. Protector (1) any crewmember in your sector may ignore gaining an injury
  4. Unbreakable (2) – replace any injury card with a Wounded injury card (this allows you to turn a serious injury into a minor injury)

Movement Skills

Moving from one Sector to another can sometimes be tricky… or even quite dangerous. There are two crewmember skills that help with this.

  1. Follower (3) – move with another crewmember when they leave your Sector (this can be quite handy in a pinch… too bad you can’t do this for the whole game).
  2. Reckless (3) – roll a Danger die (category A) to move to a connected Sector. While this sounds like a problem rather than a benefit, you need to understand how movement on some planets can be quite demanding! For example, the Path icon may require you to move two available dice to your spent pool in order to move to the connected Sector. The problem comes from another aspect of this well designed game. If you ever are required to move an available die to the spent pool and you do NOT have an available die, then you SACRIFICE (ie, LOSE) one die instead (see page 31 of the rulebook)! And this is bad because that die is OUT OF THE GAME (until you get back to the ISS Vanguard after the mission).

    But this is a good time to illustrate how the Away TEAM works together. If you roll a bad result on the Danger die, another crewmember with the ALERTNESS skill can choose to have that bad result ignored!

Section Card Skills

At times you will find that you have one REALLY REALLY GOOD Section card. A crewmember with the Competent skill can actually play that card and then discard it … and then just take it back into their hand to use again! The Well Trained skill is a quick way to get two new Section cards into your hand.

  1. Competent (2) – draw a Section card from your discard pile
  2. Well Trained (3) – draw two cards from your Section cards deck. If this brings the total number of cards in your hand over the maximum allowed, you then discard cards down to the maximum allowed (thus this skill lets you ditch some cards and replace them with new cards). The maximum cards depends upon the rank of the crewmember. Rank 1 can have a maximum of 2. Rank 2 can have up to 3. And Rank 3 maxes out at 4 cards.
  3. Trump Card (1) – this was discussed yesterday :)

Success Skills

Success tokens are quite important and can be acquired in a variety of ways during planetary exploration. You need enough success tokens at the end of a mission for your crew to rank up (see page 27 of the preliminary Ship Book). Plus, you can use success tokens to purchase additional dice (on the same page in the Ship Book).

  1. Storyteller (2) – gain 2 success tokens instead of 1

Supply Skills

Supplies are important on your mission, mainly as a way to refresh your spent dice back to your available dice pool (see page 30 of the rulebook). You use up one supply to refresh up to half of your total Section dice in the game (rounded up). Sometimes (often near the end of a mission) you may run out of supplies, and thus no crew can “rest” to refresh their dice… except crew with the Hermit skill.

  1. Hermit (1) – rest without losing 1 supply

Threat Skills

Threat time track progression was discussed in the Count Down 30 article. Basically, it is a bad thing to have a threat advance in its time track. A crewmember with the Soldier skill can choose to ignore one threat progression (yes, it is possible to have two or more threats active at the same time, and this skill only prevents ONE of them).

  1. Soldier (2) – ignore one threat time progression

Tomorrow will be DICE SKILLS! Yes, I know how much people love the dice! So, the final installment of this look at crewmember Skills will cover the Section Dice Skills! So … see you tomorrow! Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel!

Previous Count Down article=> Crew Skills Part 2
Next Count Down article=> Crew Dice Skills Part 4

Click => Full 3 Column Site

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