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Symbiosis Treasures

by Ross Fertel, Second Edition Brand Manager

23rd March 2018

With a new expansion comes new cards.  Each of those cards has a story.  Some are more interesting than others.  Here are some that you might like.  Or might not.  Think of it as some behind the scenes extras on a DVD.  Enjoy.

Deneb Approach

Q's Planet 

Deneb Approach, Exploratory Quandary /Q’s Planet, Enticing Diversion – These two missions were late additions.  Very late additions.  Usually the team makes cards, they go to testing and when the merge happens, design has a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.  In this case, testers had a single cycle to test cards before the merge.


Thankfully, they did manage to solve problems that the revealing personnel from your opening hand inherently presented.  One flat out forces you to have a smaller deck.  It doesn’t encourage you, it makes the choice for you.  If you’re going to have a card that is advantageous in your starting hand, you’ll want to have a smaller deck, right?  The other gives you personnel from your discard pile.  A lot of cards from the cycle got cut, but they did go into the discard pile to activate, meaning that you could either use the ability, or play the card, but not both. At least not on your first turn unless you had them in multiple which probably isn’t the case.    These two took a  good concept and made it better.


Interstellar Exigence

Interstellar Exigence – One of the themes of Symbiosis was multiple Headquarters decks getting a bit of love.  In the initial pitch, this was specifically called out via icons, such as a Romulan who was good with Klingons and such.  As it turned out, this would get mileage on both personnel and events, eventually expanding to specifically calling out specific headquarters missions at times.  This dilemma was a neat surprise to come out in the end, the only one not tied to specific affiliations.  Whatever you can think up for wonky combinations, even if not specifically supported by other cards, you have some teeth with this dilemma.



Olamu – The image brief for this card was a Bajoran hologram from Flesh and Blood who isn’t Iden.   Apparently, such a personnel does not exist. Thankfully, Creative noticed and direction was given to Art to get around this.  We’re all bug trek fans, but sometimes things slip through.  Be sure to tip your Art Team on the way out.


Qatai, Determined Hunter – This personnel is one of those that just got cooler when he got his story.  He’s one of those guys that you haven’t been clamoring for, but when you see him, it is pretty cool.  The ability is a fun one and helped guide creative in the right direction.  A lot of times cards go from okay to pretty neat when they get story put on them.


Sfreett, Desert Flower – Oh dear.  Way back in Tacking into the Wind, there was a design goal the ended up appearing on a total of one card.  These are things that just happen every now and then.  Sfreett is the only card that remains of a much larger whole.  There was a lot of support, I mean a pretty good amount of cards that didn’t make it, based on Old School Federation, Klingons and Romulans.  It was feasible but the cards themselves really needed to be all in.  They really weren’t all that great on their own merits.  In the end, this was the one that could stand best on her own.

The Stars Are Made of Latinum 

The Stars Are Made of Latinum – This was the card that had the most changes to it during design.  It stared out doing much more than what you see, to the point that you could cut out seven cards with this one.  It needed to be cut down, but as it is, you still get a boost to the Commodity archetype.

U.S.S. Oberth

U.S.S. Oberth – One of the consequences of smaller sets is that you have less slots for each of your themes in an expansion.  The ‘Jumpstart’ mechanic had a lot of work to do in six card slots, and two of those slots are missions.  One way to get a better value for a card was to do something used once before; allowing a ship to play at Earth.  You get Deep Space Nine Earth, The Next Generation, The Original Series and even Starfleet, if you can wing it.  Not bad for a single card, right?


Of course, that meant that the card spanned hundreds of years.  That’s a lot of work for the story to do, even before the lines are cut down by gametext.  Creative did a great job of condensing the storied history of the ship into a few lines.


Symbiosis releases today and is legal one week later on March 30.  Have fun getting a jump on the game, mixing and matching your headquarters and coming from behind.

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