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Into the Final Frontier, Part 1 - Deciding to Leave Spacedock (1 of 2)

by Chris Heard; Updated by Darren Lacoste

16th February 2009

These days, the gaming world is filled with a bewildering variety of choices. In your local gaming store, you will find customizable card games and collectible miniatures games in almost every conceivable genre: be it fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, modern warfare, or even professional wrestling. When you add the multitude of role-playing games and computer games into the mix, there's a lot from which to choose. Gaming is a buyer's market at the moment. So why is the Star Trek Customizable Card Game (CCG) worthy of your attention?

It may be that you're already a Star Trek fan, so the thought of a Star Trek game has inherent appeal for you. That's certainly why I bought my first starter decks twelve years ago. Playing the Star Trek CCG has proven to be an engaging way for me to indulge my love for all things Trek ever since. For Star Trek fans, the Star Trek CCG puts you in command of the action. You take control of a fleet of ships and a roster of personnel; sending them out to face unforeseen dangers as they try to complete their missions. Unlike most computer games or pencil-and-paper role-playing games, the Star Trek CCG lets you guide the actions of many characters all at once. And the "customizable" part of the Star Trek CCG wonderfully embodies the Vulcan ideal of "infinite diversity from infinite combinations." Your Star Trek CCG deck can focus on Kais and Vedeks, Guls and Legates, Androids, Jem'Hadar, Founders, Cadets, Diplomats, Ferengi traders, Borg assimilation, or most anything you can imagine in the Star Trek universe. You can even forge alliances between unlikely partners, such as teaming up the Cardassians with the Maquis, should you be so bold. The only limits are the cards in your collection. Within those parameters, you can experiment with Trek variety to your heart's content, and then some.

It may be that you're more of a gamer than a Star Trek fan, and you want to know what the Star Trek CCG offers that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. Most of the collectible/customizable card and miniatures games available today follow a dueling model. That is, most games pit the players' resources in battle against one another, with each player's soldiers, monsters, superheroes, or pirate ships trying to reduce the other player's life, health, or endurance total to zero. Gameplay in the Star Trek CCG, however, more resembles a racing model. In the Star Trek CCG, your resources (chiefly personnel and spaceships) earn points by completing missions or other tasks. The first player to complete a mission in space, complete a mission on a planet, and score 100 points (many of them coming from the missions themselves) wins the game. The flavor of the game thus leans more to a parallel competition than a head-on confrontation.

That doesn't mean, however, that there is no conflict or interaction in the Star Trek CCG. In fact, the Star Trek CCG actually provides a wider variety of interaction than most card or miniatures games. In many games, the entire "interaction" between players comes in launching attacks by your resources aimed at the other player's resources. Battle is widely available in the Star Trek CCG too, of course. Various Star Trek species and factions, especially the Klingons and the Dominion, thrive on ship-to-ship engagements and face-to-face combat. Other groups, like the Cardassians and the Borg, prefer to abduct your personnel and either hold them as captives or brainwash or assimilate them into switching sides. Still other groups, such as the Romulans and the Maquis terrorists, work behind the scenes to deny your opponent access to their personnel by manipulating their hand or draw deck. Above all, in the Star Trek CCG you have an entire second deck of cards--the dilemma pile--that does nothing but inhibit your opponent's personnel from completing the missions they have undertaken.

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Into the Final Frontier IndexPart 2 - Getting Oriented in the Galaxy >






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