What's New Dashboard Articles Forums Achievements Tournaments Player Map Trademanager The Promenade Volunteers About Us Site Index
Article Archives
First EditionSecond EditionTribblesAll

All Categories Continuing CommitteeOrganized PlayRules CommitteeDeck DesignsVirtual Expansions
Card ExtrasSpecial EventsTournament ReportsEverything ElseSpotlight SeriesContests
Strategy Articles


by Lucas Thompson

6th January 2023

Welcome to Timeless, the set that celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Continuing Committee. This set contains:

Personnel cards were planned for this set from the start. I believe the initial pitch was formed jointly between the Art Team and Richard New (Head Designer), based on the Art Team's great work on the new Archive Portrait templates. It makes sense; a 15th anniversary set is going to be a smaller, boutique-sized set, so you're not going to be able to fit in much of the way of big gameplay themes. Why not focus on some clean and simple personnel, ones for affiliations (some of which have been in the game from the first set) that have never received an Archive Portrait card to date?

That's where I come in. Simple personnel are great. It's amazing how a personnel without an ability can change the landscape of the game, just by having the right combination of skills and attributes. However, we've made a decent number of simple personnel over the years, both Decipher-era and virtual. And, as cool as the Archive Portrait template is, personnel in Second Edition spend so much time face down in a pile. What card type can be (A) impactful without ability text, (B) something we haven't done much since the very first set of the game, and (C) face-up for most or all of the game?

Missions! The Art Team had not (yet) produced a template for Archive Portrait missions, but I mocked one up quickly to show the design team roughly what it would look like. You could get three lines of requirements, or two lines and some keywords, or fewer and you get some lore. And there sure is some pretty space phenomena available that could benefit from the increased picture space. Additionally, we've seen very few missions without non-keyword abilities since the first set, yet many of those cards still see play today. There was plenty of design space and plenty of art space (the Art Team liked the idea and created a much nicer real template for Archive Portrait missions) to work with here.

Voth City Ship

Next, we approached the selection of what missions we wanted for the set from two directions. On the one hand, we had to see which missions naturally had good pictures. That, unfortunately, left out the Gamma Quadrant, since, as much as I love Deep Space Nine, they reused the same grainy shot of the same partial planet a lot (for planets in both the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants). However, the other series and movies had some pretty amazing options, including stories that Second Edition has never used from series pilots and other fan favorites.

At the same time, we needed to look at what missions were missing from the game. I started trying to figure out which two-skill combinations had never appeared together on a mission before, but there are a large number of combinations for checking out manually. I asked Markus Eberlein, the Continuing Committee's Chief Programmer, for assistance, and he delivered! Only two "common" skill combinations have never appeared before in a single mission requirement: anthropology and navigation, and honor and treachery. Additionally, a checklist was developed with fun-to-have mission options, like "Diplomacy Space mission that requires cunning for the Explorer", "a mission that requires 2 Transporters", or "a 40-point Alpha Quadrant Telepathy mission."

Making the missions was then a process of finding the overlap in the Venn diagram of "cool mission images", "unique requirements", and "open deckbuilding space." It was a fun process, and I'm quite happy with the results. In the end we have:

I hope you have as much fun exploring this set as I had in producing it!

(As an aside, looking through the images I dug up, the one I'm saddest to have not used is Planet 829-IV (Bread and Circuses). I remember spending hours reading Trek reference books as a kid, including Worlds of The Federation which had planetary maps for each of the species contained within. Many of the near-Earths that TOS visited had Earths with slightly altered geography that strongly appealed to me, though it turns out they weren't really shown that way on screen - until TOS remastered, which included that one. It just didn't line up with the gameplay requirements I'd set up for the project.)

Discuss this article in this thread.

Back to Archive index