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Into the Final Frontier, Part 2 - Getting Oriented in the Galaxy (1 of 5)

by Chris Heard; Updated by Darren Lacoste, Editor in Chief

17th February 2009

Now that you've purchased a starter deck or two, or downloaded and printed two copies of the sample deck available online, you're ready to try your first game of the Star Trek CCG. This article will walk you through a sample game and, in so doing, will help you quickly learn the rules of the Star Trek CCG. I don't know which starter decks you have available, so for this example I'll turn to a classic Star Trek face-off, and pit Jean-Luc Picard and a Federation crew (one of the Second Edition starter decks) against the Borg collective (one of the Call to Arms starter decks). We'll let Jane play the Federation deck, and Bill will take the Borg deck in this race to earn 100 points from completing missions.

Setting up for a game of the Star Trek CCG is very easy. First, Jane and Bill take the three rare cards (indicated by the R in the collector's information box in the bottom right-hand corner of the card) and set them aside. The three rares packaged in each starter deck are inserted randomly, and may not actually work well with the preconstructed starter decks they accompany. (If you're using two copies of the downloaded sample deck, skip this part.) Next, Jane and Bill each take the cards in their starter decks and divide them into three groups.

The first group is the dilemma pile. Bill and Jane look through their starter decks and remove all the cards that have the word "Dilemma" in a gray box right under the photograph on the card. Each starter deck comes with twenty dilemmas. Jane and Bill shuffle their dilemmas, and each of them sets the shuffled dilemma pile face down on the table, off to the left.

Five cards in each starter deck are missions. Missions don't have the word "Mission" printed on them. Instead, they can be identified by the quadrant icon halfway down the card on the left-hand side, and the span number centered at the bottom of the card. The quadrant icons are colored circles with Greek letters superimposed on them—blue for Alpha, green for Delta, and red for Gamma—representing three of the four "quadrants" of the Milky Way in Star Trek lore. Jane and Bill take their missions and lay them out in front of them on the table. Since space is three-dimensional, it doesn't really matter how the missions are ordered on the table.

Finally, Bill and Jane shuffle their remaining cards (thirty-five each) and set them face down off to the right. The cards form Jane's and Bill's draw decks.

Bill and Jane are now ready to begin their first game of the Star Trek CCG. They flip a coin; Jane is randomly selected to go first. To begin the game, Jane and Bill draw seven cards each as an opening hand. Let's imagine that Jane's opening hand consists of Davies, Lian T'su, Worf (Security Detail Leader), D'Arsay Archive, Tricorder, Render Assistance, and a U.S.S. Nebula. Each player's turn has three segments.

During the first segment, the play and draw cards segment, the current player is entitled to spend seven counters to draw cards from the draw deck and/or play cards from hand. In fact, a player must spend all seven counters if possible. At this point in the game, Jane has several good cards to choose from. She realizes that she's going to need personnel to complete missions, and ships to move those personnel from mission to mission. Therefore, she decides to start by playing a ship, the U.S.S. Nebula, from her hand.

Your headquarters mission is the card that gives you permission to play your personnel, ship, and equipment cards from hand. Jane's headquarters is Earth (Cradle of the Federation). The game text in the middle of the card tells Jane that she may play Next Generation cards (the oval communicator icon), Earth cards (the Earth icon), Non-Aligned cards (the yellow icon), and equipment cards at Earth, Cradle of the Federation.

The U.S.S. Nebula has an Earth icon just to the left of the large gray box that occupies most of the bottom half of the card. Since Earth (Cradle of the Federation) gives Jane permission to play Earth-icon cards there, Jane takes the U.S.S. Nebula from her hand and places it on the table below Earth. In order to do this, Jane must also spend five of her seven counters for the turn, as defined by the cost number in the upper left-hand corner of the card.

Looking at the ship card, Jane notices three icons superimposed on the picture of the starship: one is a six-pointed gold star, called a command icon, and the other two are staff icons, which look like four-pointed silver stars. These staffing icons define the minimum crew that can pilot a starship. Most personnel cards have one of those two icons on them as well, just to the left of the game text box on the bottom half of the card. In order to move the U.S.S. Nebula to a different location, Jane must staff the ship with personnel who, among them, have at least one command icon and at least two staff icons. (A command icon can "cover" a staff icon, but not the other way around; that is, Jane could pilot the U.S.S. Nebula with two command-icon personnel and one staff-icon personnel, or with one command-icon personnel and two staff-icon personnel, but not with three staff-icon personnel.) Jane notices that Worf (Security Detail Leader) has a command icon, but the U.S.S. Nebula cost her five counters, leaving her with only two more to spend this turn. What should she play?

Jane quickly surveys her four non-headquarters missions. In the gray game text box on the lower half of each card, the first two or three lines define the mission requirements, or skills and attributes that Jane's personnel will need in order to complete the mission and claim the mission points (which are specified about midway down the card on the right-hand side, directly opposite the quadrant icon). Jane notices that one of her missions, Geological Survey , requires Geology, Physics, Science, and Cunning>30. In Jane's hand is Davies, a personnel whose skill box shows Geology, Physics, and Science (demarcated by little red dots). Next to his game text box, Davies has a staff icon and a Next Generation icon. The Next Generation icon allows Jane to play Davies at Earth (Cradle of the Federation). Jane takes Davies from her hand, tells Bill that she is playing Davies at Earth, and places Davies face down and crosswise, on top of Earth. Since Davies costs one counter to play, Jane has one counter left for this turn. Another personnel in Jane's hand, Lian T'su, also plays for one counter, so Jane goes ahead and plays Lian at Earth.

The second segment of each turn is the execute orders segment. During the execute orders segment, players use their cards to accomplish various tasks. Right now, there's not much for Jane's personnel to do (Davies and Lian T'su can't fully staff the U.S.S. Nebula by themselves), so she does nothing during this segment on her first turn.

continued on page 2 >

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< Part 1 - Deciding to Leave SpacedockInto the Final Frontier IndexPart 3 - Expanding Your Power in the Universe >

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