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Into the Final Frontier, Part 5 - Choosing a Headquarters (2 of 4)

by Chris Heard; Updated by James Hoskin, Staff Writer

2nd March 2009

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Earth (Cradle of the Federation). Earth (Cradle of the Federation) is found in the Next Generation starter deck from the Second Edition Premiere set. You may play cards with the [TNG] Next Generation reporting icon, [E] Earth cards, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Earth (Cradle of the Federation).

This version of Earth - the first of four - is keyed to the Next Generation crew. As on the television series, the Next Generation personnel in the Star Trek CCG find their greatest strength in completing missions. Next Generation personnel tend to be highly-skilled, and many have helpful special abilities. Several of the Next Generation personnel and ships grant you extra points or other special bonuses whenever you complete missions requiring specified lists of skills. For example, Daneeka (Reassuring Physician) scores you an extra 5 points whenever he uses Biology to complete a mission. In a powerful synergy, Jean-Luc Picard (Vintner) - a future version of Jean-Luc from the series finale All Good Things - allows you to download (search your draw deck for the specified card(s) to place in your hand) three Next Generation personnel when he is played (if all of your missions require Biology). Daneeka and Jean-Luc Picard can form the backbone of a Next Generation deck focused on completing Biology missions, but if you're not interested in Biology, you can focus on other skill sets. For example, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D (Explorer) gives you 10 extra points whenever you complete a space mission requiring Diplomacy, while its counterpart from the future, U.S.S. Enterprise-D (Personal Flagship), gives you 5 extra points when you complete any mission requiring Honor or Leadership (10 for both). With the vast array of skills available to Next Generation personnel, you can build your deck around a medical, engineering, diplomatic, or leadership theme quite easily.

In The Next Generation television series, the Federation has a reputation as a bunch of do-gooders, and several of the Next Generation's supporting cards in the Star Trek CCG reflect this characteristic. Quite a few Federation cards actually provide benefits to your opponent as well as to you; the key is to tune your deck so that you actually gain greater benefits from these cards. Sometimes this is easy, as when using the event Mutual Advantage; when you play Mutual Advantage, every player (including you) discards a card from hand and then draws a card, but then you get to draw an extra card. In other cases, you have to work a little harder to gain a leg-up from your Next Generation cards. If you use Shared Problems, for example, you and your opponent receive precisely the same benefits, so you should tune your deck to take better advantage of those benefits than your opponent.

Earth (Home of Starfleet Command). Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) is an uncommon card from the Second Edition Premiere set. You may play [Fed] Federation cards that have the [DS9] Deep Space Nine reporting icon, [E] Earth cards, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Earth (Home of Starfleet Command).

Players interested in the Deep Space Nine crew have a choice to make between this headquarters and Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9). The former emphasizes the Federation ties that bind Sisko, Bashir, and the rest of the Starfleet personnel who administer Deep Space Nine to the larger Federation, while the latter emphasizes the multicultural melting pot aboard the space station itself. This version of Earth allows you to play with the Federation Deep Space Nine personnel, but not with Deep Space Nine personnel who are not Federation affiliation (like most versions of Kira and Odo).

The do-gooder reputation of the Next Generation crew does not extend to the Deep Space Nine crew. In fact, they emerged in the series as a much more sullied and conflicted group of Starfleet officers, as reflected in the game by the presence of Treachery as a skill among their ranks: Benjamin Sisko (Man of Resolve) and Julian Bashir ("Unnatural Freak") don't have Treachery among their normal printed skills, but each can easily gain it using their own special abilities, as can any version of Jadzia or Ezri Dax using The Rite of Emergence. Once these personnel have Treachery, they can access Confessions in the Pale Moonlight to gain additional skills for overcoming dilemmas or completing missions.

Earth (Humanity's Home). Earth (Humanity's Home) is an uncommon card from the To Boldly Go expansion. You may play [SF] Starfleet cards (don't get these confused with [Fed] Federation cards), [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Earth (Humanity's Home).

This version of Earth brings the Starfleet affiliation - with Jonathan Archer, Trip Tucker, and the rest - into the Star Trek CCG universe. Earth (Humanity's Home) is also one of the few headquarters that has a built-in special ability: it grants you an extra 10 points if you are the first player to complete a space mission. This bonus fits in with the Starfleet theme of "firsts." The television show Enterprise was a prequel show, giving viewers a glimpse at the first contact with the Klingons, the first warp five starship, and the first steps toward the Federation; accordingly, the Starfleet affiliation in the Star Trek CCG gains a number of benefits from being first at doing various things, especially completing space missions. In addition to Earth's extra points, for example, Elizabeth Cutler (Eager Entomologist) gains extra skills if the first mission you completed was a space mission, while Maxwell Forrest (Starfleet Executive) gains attribute bonuses under similar circumstances.

Since the default time frame for the Star Trek CCG is the twenty-fourth century - the era of Picard, Sisko, and Janeway - all of the Starfleet crew (with the sole exception of the time-travelling Daniels (Temporal Agent)) bear a special symbol called the [Pa] Past icon (Daniels has a [Fut] Future icon). The ubiquity of the Past icon on Starfleet personnel gives this affiliation the easiest access to event cards that exploit the power of the past. One of the most popular of these is Tampering With Time, which allows Future and Past personnel to manipulate an opponent's dilemma pile. Also not to be ignored is Temporal Test Subject, which provides a great way for a player to recover Starfleet personnel from the discard pile.

Earth (Lush and Beautiful Home). Earth (Lush and Beautiful Home) is an uncommon card from the These Are the Voyages expansion. You may play cards with the [TOS] Original Series reporting icon, [NA] Non-Aligned cards, and equipment cards at Earth (Lush and Beautiful Home).

The fourth version of Earth introduces the Original Series - featuring Kirk, Spock, McCoy and others - into Star Trek CCG. The majority of the Original Series personnel and ships have an "upgrade" mechanic whereby you can do something for the regular cost, or you can do something extra for an additional cost. For example, you can play the U.S.S. Enterprise (Beautiful Lady) for three counters, or you can choose to "upgrade" and play it for seven counters and score 5 points in the process. Even the headquarters has an "upgrade"-like ability, giving you the opportunity to spend one counter to draw two cards when you play a personnel with the [TOS] Original Series icon there (once per turn).

Much like Starfleet, all of the Original Series personnel have the [Pa] past icon to signify that they are not from Star Trek CCG's default twenty-fourth century timeframe. There are also versions of many Original Series personnel that have the [AU] Alternate Universe icon, to signify that they come from a different (often "mirror") universe. These characters are variations on their regular counterparts and their upgrade abilities reflect this. For example, Leonard H. McCoy (Fiendish Physician) can be played for two counters, or you can choose to "upgrade" and play him for five counters and kill an opponent's personnel of your choice at the same time.

continued on page 3 >

Page 1 � Page 2 � Page 3 � Page 4
< Part 4 - Customizing Your Starter Decks � Into the Final Frontier Index � Part 6 - Choosing Missions and Personnel >

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