|The Ferengi Alliance Player Expansion for Star Trek: Ascendancy introduces new opportunities for profit and loss with ten new Exploration Cards to add to the Exploration Deck. While the main focus of Player Expansions is adding everything required to play as a new civilization, every player has the benefit of playing with new System Discs and Exploration Cards.|
|The Exploration Cards in this expansion introduce a new mechanic, Diplomacy Tests. A Diplomacy Test is passed when the player rolls a die and adds their Ascendancy to the result, if the total is higher that the Diplomacy Number printed on the card, the test is passed and that faction has established diplomatic ties or avoided a political crisis.|
|Most of these new Exploration Cards are a new card type, Ally. When a potential Ally is encountered, that civilization must pass an immediate Diplomacy Test in order to establish a beneficial agreement with that Ally. If the Diplomacy Test is passed, the Ally card is placed in front of the player. If the Test is failed, the Ally card is placed on the bottom of the Exploration Deck; it is not discarded.|
|Ally cards either count as a Trade Agreement or have their own Special Rule. Ally Cards that are Trade Agreements are placed with other Trade Agreements you have received from rival societies and are subject to the same rules. For example, suspicious Romulans will spend extra time vetting Ally Trade Agreements just as if they were Rival Trade Agreements, so they will be exhausted on the turn they are received. Some Ally Trade Agreements allow a player to choose which resource they receive during the Recharge Stage. These ‘third-party’ agreements are a powerful boost to the bottom line of any faction.|
|Other Ally Cards have a Special Rule; these unique Allies are eager to offer their services to all the great civilizations of the Galaxy, once they determine a market exists. When the Diplomacy Test is passed, these Allies are placed in front of the player and their Special Rule is in effect. Once these Allies complete their transaction with their current customer, they depart to open new markets or to revisit existing clients. In game terms, these Ally Cards are passed to the player on the left during the Maintenance portion of the Recharge Phase. Once they enter play, it would be prudent for players to budget for their arrival to take advantage of their lucrative opportunities.|
The Ferengi Commerce Authority is responsible for enforcing Ferengi Trade Laws and regulating interstellar commerce, they are an example of the dreaded bureaucracy that can threaten to unravel carefully negotiated relationships between tense rivals. The Liquidators of the FCA are especially feared, their sweeping power to seize assets and freeze accounts can bring entrepreneurs to ruin. When a Liquidator serves a Writ of Accountability, all business dealings are suspended while the FCA reviews all financial records, profit and loss statements, and hidden ledgers. It can take years to financially recover from such an invasive audit.
These new Exploration Cards are sure to sharpen players’ diplomacy skills. Look for the Ferengi Alliance Player Expansion in stores in the coming months. In a few weeks we’ll assess the rules for Trade Agreements and the special Trade Agreements of the Ferengi Alliance.