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The Evolution of Starfleet - Part II

by Stephen R. Sanders, Assistant Designer

6th October 2010

On Monday, we told you all about the new Starfleet Time Location and how that will interact with the revised Headquarters. In addition, we told you that all [SF] personnel from the Enterprise Collection would gain the 22nd Century icon. Based on that, you can make a few assumptions! First of all, any new [SF] card that we introduce will need the icon printed on it, and we're happy to oblige:

If you read between the lines, however, you could assume that means there might be some [SF] personnel that don't have the 22nd Century icon. The often speculated Chef Riker might be one such personnel (should he ever get made). Another is this fellow:

But you'll find out more about him in an article in a week or two!

In the meantime, we can talk about what the 22nd Century icon does, and will do, in the future. Like many other icons in First Edition, it doesn’t do anything by itself, but rather creates a team of personnel that other cards will key off of. The most obvious benefit is that it allows the creation of cards that give some benefit for playing personnel of the same era together, regardless of affiliation. With the introduction of Romulans and Klingons from the 22nd Century, this icon creates the potential for multi-affiliation decks based in the 22nd Century. In the coming days, you will be seeing a few cards that specifically play off of this icon, giving benefits for using ships and cards from the early days of space exploration.

Tractor Beams, Repairing, Treaties, and Second Ships
Up until now, Starfleet has had to make do without some of the conveniences that 23rd and 24th Century technology has to offer. When the Enterprise encountered a Radioactive Garbage Scow it was unable to tow it away, since none of its ships had tractor beams. Because Starfleet lacks an outpost, unless you seed a [NA] outpost like the Husnock Outpost, it has a very difficult time repairing its ships. Starfleet lacks diplomatic contacts with the other alien species in the Alpha Quadrant, and so it lacked treaty cards. Finally, Starfleet has also always had a bit of a ship shortage.

These limitations - brought on by being a nascent power in the galaxy - make Starfleet unique. But just as Starfleet grew and evolved during the course of the TV series, now they do the same in First Edition. Soon, they will have some tools that will make it a little easier for Starfleet to face the dangers in the galaxy. If you saw yesterday's spoiler, you know one already - The Grappler:

It’s no tractor beam, but it will allow you to tow away any pesky space trash that you encounter. It can also come in handy as long as you pick the right missions, giving you a chance at some bonus points. In the same way, in the coming days, you’ll see cards that address some of the other aforementioned limitations in creative ways, while still maintaining the hardscrabble pluck that makes Starfleet unique. Just a hint: Starfleet even gets its own treaty!

One of the changes made to Starfleet is that Earth is no longer their homeworld. On Monday, we gave you a cryptic hint that this is a temporary problem - and let us confirm for you now that eventually, Starfleet will get its very own Earth to call home. But, for now, they will have to rely on their Time Location for protection from battle.

However, there is another reason many decks rely on their homeworld - as an attemptable mission using HQ: Secure Homeworld. Well, Starfleet may not be able to secure Earth from alien threats (yet), but they do have a way to attempt the otherwise dead mission. After all, you'll have to use Earth in order to use 22nd Century San Fransisco...

File Annual Report lets you attempt Earth for a more affiliation-appropriate 30 points instead of the printed 40. After all, Starfleet's story is all about venturing forth into the galaxy, exploring strange new worlds...

Right Out of the Box...
The Enterprise Collection is great because of how self-contained it is. A new player can pick up two copies of the set, mix in a few Federation missions and some dilemmas, and have the foundation of a very viable tournament deck. Straight and Steady builds off of the cards in the Enterprise Collection. These virtual cards give Starfleet new options and resources that make it a very powerful entry point into the game for a new player.

We look forward to seeing what you can do with Starfleet on October 22, 2010 when Straight and Steady releases! If you have any questions about Starfleet or this virtual expansion in general, feel free to post to our Designer Q&A thread or discuss the cards on our Gameplay forum!


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