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Everything's Alternate

by Paddy Tye, Creative Tinkerer and Warden of the North

29th May 2015

14 years ago, Decipher released the Voyager expansion: 201 brand new cards, exploring the Delta Quadrant and not ridiculously inflating the power curve of the game in the slightest. 

OK, there was a little lie there. Did you spot it? Yes, that’s right: "201 brand new cards"

Decipher wanted a fresh entry point for new players (the Voyager only environment), but there were existing concepts and cards that would be useful to retain in the game. So the set instead included 171 brand new cards, and 30 reprints of older cards, but with the images and lore updated to Voyager based stories to fit the Gametext and titles. 

Since that inception, the idea of alternate images has continued on in the Continuing Committee era. The highly popular tournament foils being one example. The other main one would be Homefront sets. Unlike the supplemental sets, which (with one exception) just offer straight up reprints of old cards to boost the functionality of new blocks, the Homefront sets will usually use an alternate image if reprinting an earlier card (ok, Homefront V was a big exception to that) and in some instances the alternate images will be based on an entirely different storyline. For example, Linguistic Legerdemain was originally taken from The Undiscovered Country, but the reprint in Homefront II was based upon a story from Deep Space Nine’s “Captive Pursuit” instead.
As part of the Creative team, every 6 months or so, we get asked for our input on the latest round of Tournament Foil Promos. Normally these cards will be specifically linked to certain episodes or series (for example, Lovok Founder is specific to “The Die Is Cast” from Deep Space Nine) and such cards normally only require an image suggestion from the Creative team (albeit ultimately Art will have the final say on the actual image used). However, sometimes cards come along that have the potential to come from a whole different series and storyline (such as What Does God Need With A Starship? Or General Quarters) and these usually also need an updated lore to fit with the revised story and image suggestion.

Homefront VI represents one of the “meatiest” selection of Alternate Image reprints we have had the chance to get our teeth into for a while. I thought I’d take the time to talk you through a few of the Creative team’s thoughts for a selection of the reprints found in Homefront VI.

Ancient Computer – Kirk seemed to repeatedly come up against computers with a screw loose. As such, it only seemed appropriate to re-imagine this dilemma using The Original Series (one of the most underused sources of 1E images) – and let’s be fair, “For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky” was always going to be too long for a card title!

Lack of Preparation – In what is now the third iteration of this card (having originally appeared in First Contact and having been reprinted in Voyager), we wanted to see what twist we could add to make it a little different this time. Both previous shots had featured crew’s “beaming in” and potentially being unprepared for the mission ahead of them – so we went with an Enterprise based twist and opted to represent the arrival of an away team via Shuttlepod instead. 

Primitive Culture – It was difficult to resist the idea of doing the same story, but instead taking it from a different universe! The mirror universe version of that famous first encounter between Humans and Vulcans (as seen at the beginning of “In a Mirror, Darkly”) shows just how tricky first contact situations can be!

Q – He was a constant pain for Picard and crew, and much the same was true for Janeway and her crew! As such, despite the change in property logo, no change in lore was really needed!
AU Door
Seismic Quake – Having recently been reprinted in Emissary: Supplemental, we were keen to freshen up the storyline here. In this instance, the artificial tremors on Ventax II (from The Next Generation’s “Devil’s Due”) provided a contrasting image to “people falling about” by instead showing the wider implications of seismic activity – damage to buildings (seen from the smoke rising from them) and people running in fear.

Alternate Universe Door – Despite the concept of “stepping through a door into another universe” being a major concept of the game since 1995, there are surprisingly few actual instances of this happening with a suitable “doorway” in the show for us to draw on. And given the existing image was fairly iconic within the game (having been the promotional poster for the first expansion). However, the Voyager episode “Deadlock” gave us one of the few instances where a character walked through a doorway from one quantum reality into another – and actually stayed there!

Holding Cell Door – The iconic Brig set from The Next Generation (possibly the most memorable holding cell in Star Trek) had yet to fully feature on a card – and I have to say that, given there wasn’t an image the Creative team could find of the Brig in a perfectly empty state, Art have done a wonderful job of creating that image. It really makes me want to play more capture decks!

Raktajino – Having covered the basic concept with the first version of this card in Emissary, we instead opted for a slightly more extreme version, with hungover Jadzia Dax in desperate need of her “morning fix” after a particularly heavy drinking session at her bachelorette party the night before! I think most of us can sympathise with that feeling!

Reflection Therapy – while still taken from the same episode, and the same scene, showing the “Reflection Therapy” in action (with the aspects of Riker’s personality represented by different friends and colleagues) seemed a very appropriate representation of the gametext, allowing Riker to tap into new skills and character traits. Unfortunately “sitting on a chair in a normal manner” is not a regular skill he can gain.

Hopefully these new stories and images in Homefront VI will add some new and interesting Trek-flavors to your 1E decks!

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