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Strategy Articles

Virtual Starter Decks III: Starfleet

by Matt Zinno, Guest Writer

5th September 2011

This deck and article takes a slightly different approach than previous decks in the Virtual Starters series. It was built to be an introductory deck for players new to First Edition (1E), particularly players who are familiar with Second Edition (2E) and would like to give 1E a try. It uses predominantly cards which are legally printable: virtual cards, missions, errata, and universal 2E personnel. Several of the cards are "First Edition Compatible" (1EC) cards from 2E, which a 2E player might have already.

Card Availability

For trying this deck, go ahead and print whichever of the cards you don't already have. Most of the cards can then be used in any game. Some others will need to be replaced with physical equivalents, or other cards that you choose to replace them with.

All of the cards listed are legally printable (meaning that printed copies of the cards are legal in tournaments), except for:
  • ISS Avenger. This is to have more than 2 ships. If you have any 1EC ship besides the Sarajevo and Columbia, use it; this was included because it's uncommon and so the easiest to obtain. I'll replace it with Enterprise when it becomes printable.

    1EC cards and conversion rules

    The conversion rules state that all 1EC Starfleet personnel gain the "22nd Century" icon (). This icon is therefore present on all your ships, all your personnel (except Daniels), and all your Equipment.

    Some of your 2e cards -- D'Vela, and the Avenger if you use it -- have Past and AU icons, since they're from the mirror universe. Although 1E does have a "mirror universe", the AU icon does not translate to it. Instead, both your Past () icons and your 2e-AU () icons translate to the 1E-AU () icon, and all your mirror universe personnel and ships are treated in 1E as regular universe personnel and ships.

    The 2E skill of Astrometrics translates to both 1E skills Astrophysics (used by some dilemmas) and Stellar Cartography (used by some dilemmas and one of your missions).

    If you're coming from 2E, note that downloads in 1E get put into play immediately, instead of only going to your hand. (There are exceptions to this, but not in this deck.)

    Gaeta's ability refers to a "headquarters mission". In 1E, this means a "mission with a headquarters facility on it."

    Seed phase

    Setup in 1E is called the seed phase, and it actually consists of four steps:

    Doorways. This deck has two doorways that seed: Space-Time Portal and Temporal Micro-Wormhole.
    Missions. You seed your 6 missions as a spaceline (along with your opponen't 6 missions).
    Dilemmas. In 1E, there is not a dilemma pile. At the beginning of the game, in the seed phase, you choose which dilemmas will be encountered at which mission, and in which order. Most of the dilemmas are taken from the "Homefront" and "Homefront II" expansions, which conveniently provide color-coded icons in the lower right corner. Under your opponent's missions, place "combos" of three dilemmas: green (on the bottom, to be encountered first), then yellow, then red (on top, to be encountered last). And remember to only put space dilemmas under space missions, and planet dilemmas under planet missions ... while space/planet dilemmas can go under either.
    Facilities. You place your facilities now, which for this deck is your Neutral Outpost. It seeds at any space mission. This is also the step which players generally use to seed all their other cards which don't specify which step, so you could think of this seeding step as "everything else." Two of your other seeds will immediately download cards into play from your deck: the time location 22nd Century San Francisco downloads the Seat of Starfleet facility onto it, and Assign Mission Specialists, which downloads Dallas and Danica Erickson to your outpost. You will also seed Defend Homeworld, which you can use after play starts to download one of your SECURITY personnel.

    The Alternate Universe icon

    Many of your cards have an "Alternate Univese" icon (), representing the fact that they come from the "past" as seen by the main First Edition setting of the Next Generation era. In 1E, you need permission (from a card) in order for these to enter play. In this deck, this permission is provided by the Temporal Micro-Wormhole and by the Space-Time Portal, but these impose certain restrictions on how many of AU cards can be played in a single turn. You are welcome to play any number of personnel or equipment, thanks to the Temporal Micro-Wormhole. (Don't discard it, or you'll lose this ability!) And any card can ignore the restriction, if you report it at the time location, because the rules for a time location allow its "native" cards to report there regardless of any AU icon. For your other AU cards, these require the ability of the Space-Time Portal, and so they are limited to one per turn. Specifically, this means you are limited to one card per turn from this list:
  • We're Ready (Event)
  • Starbase One (Facility)
  • Out of Time (Incident)
  • Diverse Experiences (Interrupt)
  • any ship that you report somewhere besides at the time location
    For example, suppose on one of your turns, you play (as your regular card play) Starbase One, at Prevent Rebellion which you completed on an earlier turn. (It can only play there, since outposts can only play at a mission with a matching affiliation icon.) This AU card entering play is not covered by Temporal Micro-Wormhole, which only grants permission for personnel and equipment, so this uses the one-per-turn allotment of Space-Time Portal. Then you use Starbase One's special download to get Hoshi Sato -- she's covered by Temporal Micro-Wormhole. Then you can't, on the same turn, use her special download to get We're Ready, because it also would need to use Space-Time Portal, and you've already used its once-per-turn ability.

    Notes on play

    On each turn, you will usually play two cards at the beginning, and draw two at the end. Here's why:
    (1) normal card play (in this deck, that's anything except your interrupts)
    (2) you can play a free personnel to Seat of Starfeet
    (3) If you have D'Vela in hand, she can report to the Free Orion Slaves mission for free.
    Once per turn, when you play a card with the "22nd century" icon (and remember, that's on all your nouns except Daniels), you can draw a card. If you somehow get one of these cards into play on your opponent's turn (for example, Daniel Leonard downloads a ship), that counts too. [This draw is because of your seeded Finally Ready to Swim. But note that this card also means that you have to discard something when you report Daniels.]

    All of your ships, personnel, and equipment may report to the outpost, or at the time location, either inside or outside of the facility.

    To travel between the time location and the spaceline, you use Out of Time, which requires (and, once per game, can be downloaded by) Daniels.

    Erika Hernandez can download a "Captain's Order" card. Besides Straight and Steady, which is seeded, the only one in the deck is Captain's Log.

    At the end of your turn, you get to draw one card. Once you play We're Ready (which can be downloaded by Hoshi), you get to draw 2 cards. (You can choose to have Daniels always stay as Starfleet, so he won't count as NA and prevent this draw.)


    (also available in Deckbuilder)

    Cultural Observation
    Espionage Mission
    Free Orion Slaves
    Investigate Incursion
    Observe Stellar Rebirth
    Prevent Rebellion

    Green (we suggest you put at beginning) -- Cardassian Processing, Chula: The Lights, Flim-Flam Artist, Gomtuu Shock Wave, Maglock, New Essentialists
    Yellow (suggested middle) -- Dal'rok, Forsaken, Fractured Time, Murder Investigation, Picking Up the Pieces, Restricted Area
    Red (suggested end) -- Dangerous Climb, Dead End, Dignitaries and Witnesses, Now Would Be a Good Time, Subspace Shock Wave, The Whale Probe

    Other seeds
    Space-Time Portal and Temporal Micro-Wormhole (before the missions)
    Finally Ready to Swim
    Neutral Outpost
    Assign Mission Specialists
    Defend Homeworld
    File Annual Report
    Straight and Steady
    22nd-Century San Francisco

    Draw Deck
    7 V 1x Grappler
    41 P 1x Starfleet Phaser Pistol
    8 V 1x Vulcan Tricorder
    U 1x Captain's Log
    16 V 1x Isomagnetic Disintegrator
    18 V 1x Space Boomer
    12 V 1x We're Ready
    44 P 1x Seat of Starfleet
    21 V 1x Starbase One
    13 V 3x Out of Time
    27 V 1x Warp Speed Transfer
    15 V 3x Diverse Experiences
    U 1x Q2
    39 V 1x Porthos
    12 C 110 1x Amanda Cole
    52 V 1x Burrows
    53 V 1x Charles Tucker III
    14 C 108 1x D'Vela
    39 V 1x Dallas
    49 V 1x Danica Erickson
    40 V 1x Daniel Leonard
    42 V 1x Erika Hernandez
    8 C 101 1x Gaeta
    43 V 1x Garrid
    44 V 1x Hoshi Sato (Straight and Steady)
    15 V 43 1x Jonathan Archer (Heroic Diplomat)
    46 V 1x Malcolm Reed (Straight and Steady)
    47 V 2x McDermott
    12 C 115 1x Sean Hawkins
    48 V 1x T'Pol (Straight and Steady)
    54 V 1x Travis Mayweather
    51 V 1x Phlox (Shades of Gray)
    41 V 3x Daniels
    51 V 2x Columbia
    13 U 121 1x I.S.S. Avenger (Admiral's Ship)
    53 V 2x Sarajevo

    Besides (or instead of) what's listed here, feel free to add whatever other 1E or 1EC Starfleet cards you are fond of. One particularly good addition, if you have him, is Emory Erickson; one of the ships can download him.
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