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For a Few Counters More ...

by Ross Fertel, Second Edition Brand Manager

9th February 2018

The series that started a franchise we all worship, The Original Series faction in Second Edition is a bit of a paradox.  It was the first to air but the last to be added to the game, at least formally.  But being late to the party didn’t mean that they couldn’t make a splash and excite everyone when they showed up.

 

Coming in late gave them an advantage.  Being able to see what came before gave designers a lot more ideas of what worked and didn’t within the course of the game.  Granted each faction in the game had a distinct look and feel to them, but looking at the Ferengi who mind their resources to the Voyager who doesn’t have a place to call home, we have an entire faction that has an upcharge.  Their entire concept is such a premium, it’s included in their HQ!  You’re not obligated to pay the surcharge, to paraphrase the designers when These Are the Voyages was previewing and someone asked about what Spock and McCoy bring to the table.  It is useful if you need it.  The advent of the upgrade lent itself to cards with a low cost, pretty much leaving them out of the ‘four-or-more’ mechanic so the idea of a downgrade came up.

 

U.S.S. Enterpise, Where she Belongs

Introduced in Allegiance, The Original Series evolved into The Motion Picture.  Eight cards for the mechanic appeared in this set and they are all based around having high cost personnel around.  You’re not under any obligation to, say, get the TMP Enterprise with Sulu, for example.  You can certainly get Kirk out who will protect your other similarly expensive personnel from random selections.  They are all designed to work with high cost personnel, even your non-aligned personnel that are along for the support.  Best of all, you have Illia who can be a bump in the road for your opponent and Decker who can recur her to be a continual pain.  They’re not fool-proof; you’ll need some support from outside the theme, but they can help get your personnel out and keep them out while you traverse the galaxy solving missions.  The team got some additions to their ranks with Uhura, helping get your commander out earlier and Chekov, helping your ships get better.

 

Allegiance also added in four other teams to the mix.  The crew of Deep Space Nine hold their station while their enemies openly fight them, a Quartet of Ferengi use old-fashioned tactics, an Enterprise travels back in time to meet their ancestors and a crew stranded in the Delta Quadrant does what they need to do to get by.  But the older groups that work well together are not ignored.  The Remans get some fun recursion in the right deck, you can go outside the requisite icon in a Terok Nor deck and your infiltrators can use their brains to get around problems.  But it is the Cardassians who are able to plow through dilemmas in a pinch at a cost.

 

As In A Mirror, Darkly proved, you can base a set around teams.  They drove design for some time and while they faded away as a concept in favor of Phase II, they made their mark on the game.  While modern design is based on cohesion and affiliation identity,   There remain benefits in the framework of the game with The Motion Picture team helping propel The Original Series forward, similar to what happened to the franchise in real life.


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