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Conversions: An Analysis - Resistance is Futile (Part 1 of 3)

by J, Staff Writer

9th November 2011

One thing that particularly interests me each time a new First Edition virtual expansion is released are the converted cards. It's not only because they represent that many fewer 2E cards messing up my play style, but also because I have an interest in how cards are converted between the two games.

When Decipher announced its intentions for the end of the First Edition (as it was suddenly called) and the introduction of the Second Edition, I was relieved. Until that point, I had maintained my collection by buying enough product to ensure that I had at least one copy of each card in the game plus duplicates of those cards which were particularly useful in play. But 2E meant that I could bail. After all, I was in college by that time and money was tight. This idea of a backwards-compatible card pool didn’t interest me in the least.

Until, that is, it became obvious that the Romulans and Remans from Nemesis would be in Second Edition. I bought up packs of Second Edition Premiere just to get these Romulan cards. It was around this time that I realized how little effort had been made to make these cards compatible.

The conversion rules were as simple as possible, and which cards made the cut for compatibility seemed arbitrary or, at best, not fully thought through. The last blow to my 2E purchasing was the reveal that For the Cause was not backwards-compatible and as such 1E would still not have the Maquis as a playable faction. Since then, I have only ever used two Second Edition cards in First Edition decks and in both cases I inevitably found 1E cards which could serve their purposes better.

One of the major flaws of the backwards-compatible cards is that their gametext is written in the language of Second Edition. Rather than converting the cards by simply playing them as they are played in 2E, converting a 2E card is as simple as reading the gametext and asking oneself what that means in terms of 1E rules. It’s a bit like reading a novel from another country which speaks the same language (e.g., from Australia, or from the U.S. if you happen to be Bobbo) and taking all of the slang literally instead of researching the meaning of the book.

Another, perhaps more major, flaw of the backwards-compatible cards is that the two games have distinct cost systems. A backwards-compatible Second Edition card with a strong ability and a high cost to match has no such high cost in First Edition, and might even be able to play for free.

But let’s get to the cards. In this series, I'll take a look at each conversion in this set as it's revealed.

Queen’s Borg Sphere

Likely my favorite of the choices to convert here, the Queen’s Borg Sphere is now the 6th card to be converted from Genesis; a set which was marketed as a wholly First Edition one, though in my opinion wrongly so. That set was successful in putting the Referee Icon into Second Edition, where it has no meaning whatsoever but to confuse new players. You can consider that our little revenge, 2E.

This card actually more closely resembles the existing 1E Queen’s Borg Sphere rather than the 2E one being converted. The attributes are far lower than the 2E card, and more in line with the 1E Spheres. However, it still has higher attributes than the First Contact QBS, even though they are the same ship from the same moment in the same movie (perhaps an attempt to make Spheres more playable.)

To counteract this, it is now worth more points when destroyed, and 20 bonus points sure does look tasty. That could be the difference between a 3 mission win and a 2 mission win and the good Lord knows that I was already heading over there to prevent the probe, might as well score a little BP on the side.

Fixed is the issue of this ship only being able to be piloted by the Borg Queen. Now it can be piloted by two Nav Drones (like the original version) or by the Queen herself.

The only other difference between this version of the Queen’s ship and the former version is the Special Download, and I suspect that more often than not it will be the deciding factor on which version to put into a deck. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be spoiling Optimize Drones here. But I am fairly certain that it has something to do with dismantling drones and then rebuilding them as new superior drone configurations.

…continued in part 2 of X. Yes, speculative card list makers, there are more converted cards.

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