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Ships of the Line

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

4th August 2023

U.S.S. Sovereign

Arguably, one of the most beloved aspects of Star Trek is the ships. From the distinct and sleek designs of the Federation, to the aggressive lines of the Klingons, to the geometrically perfect Borg, ships are a major component of any Star Trek story. Today, we're thrilled to announce Ships of the Line, an 18 card First Edition virtual expansion all about ships. From today until release day on Friday, August 11th, you'll get daily spoilers and content from this expansion. And in 2 weeks, on Friday, August 18th, these cards will be legal in any format where virtual cards are allowed. Programming note for those players attending European Continentals or Worlds, these cards will not be legal for Kaiserfest but will be legal for Worlds. However, this will be the last change to the card pool before the World Championship in Leeds in September.

Before we talk about the cards, we must take a moment to thank all of our volunteers that helped make Ships of the Line a reality. Without the efforts of all of our designers, playtesters, creative volunteers, rules team members, artists, proofreaders, and writers, there would never be any First Edition products for you to enjoy. Please make sure to share your appreciation as you discuss these cards, for they wouldn't exists without the hard work of dozens of volunteers.

So how do you make an expansion all about ships? Well, we found there were 4 ways to make a card relevant to ships; here they are, in order from most straightforward to most unhinged:

  1. Make a literal ship.
  2. Make a card that plays on a ship.
  3. Make a card that cares about ships.
  4. Make a card that cares about a card that cares about ships.

You will find examples of all 4 in Ships of the Line. Starting with the literal ship cards, there are 8 in this expansion across 7 different affiliations. One of them, the universal U.S.S. Sovereign was "stolen" from Nemesis to make room in that expansion for a few more things. It's Sovereign-Class ship with base stats of 9 RANGE, 8 WEAPONS, and 9 SHIELDS. Staffing requirements are 2 gold command stars and a single silver command star, which isn't always the easiest for an [Ent-E] deck. However, in exchange, you'll get a +1 boost to attributes if you bring an [Ent-E] personnel aboard, making for a 10-9-10 monster. Each one comes equipped with a Holodeck and a Tractor Beam as well.

Vulcan Observation

The next type of design, cards that play on ships, are the next most straightforward way to design ship-related cards. We have 3 of these cards in Ships of the Line, but I'm afraid I don't have one to show you today. You will see the first one as the daily spoiler on Sunday. But I will give you a couple of clues: one card gives a ship a WEAPONS bonus, another gives a ship a RANGE bonus, and the final card gives a ship a skill.

The 3rd category, cards that care about ships, is probably the category with the most design space. There are a lot of ways to care about ships. A card can give bonuses for having a ship at a specific place or a penalty for not having one. A dilemma or an objective can require a ship to overcome or complete. A mission can require a ship to complete, or grant more points if a ship is present. You'll find a few examples of this type of card in this expansion, but one of my favorites is Vulcan Observation. This card allows Vulcan ships - almost all of which have a skill on them - to lurk at opponent's planet missions and make those missions harder. If the mission happens to feature a [FED] or [SF] icon on it - even if you aren't playing those affiliations - this card adds double the ship's skills instead. And this adds the skills of each [Vul] ship there, meaning you can add a lot of extra requirements to a mission.

Another example of this type of card is one of our new dilemmas - The Arsenal: Weapons Demonstration. This planet dilemma requires you to have a ship at the mission in order to pass the dilemma; it even calls out cloaked and landed ships as being targetable. Once you have a ship at the mission, you're faced with a tough choice: your opponent gets to [Flip] [Flip] your chosen ship. Or, you can lose 10 points to prevent one of those flips, or 20 points to prevent both. And because the dilemma targets cloaked or landed ships, your opponent can't use those to hide and evade this dilemma. There's some cool gamesmanship enabled by this card, and we hope you'll love using it!

The final category is the most roundabout - cards that care about cards that care about ships. I don't have an example for you today, but there are 3 examples in Ships of the Line. One of them, a dilemma, will be spoiled on our social media. It is the most "out there" of the possible cards in this category, as it doesn't directly interact with ships at all; but, it will make sense when you see it. The other 2 cards are both missions, each of which references another card which cares about ships. You'll see one of these missions as the site's daily spoiler on Wednesday.

We hope that you will enjoy Ships of the Line when it comes out next Friday, August 11th. In the mean time, I'll leave you with some clues to the rest of the cards in the expansion. Below are 15 clues, one for each card I didn't spoil in this article. They appear in no particular order - enjoy the speculation!

The Arsenal: Weapons Demonstration

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