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Second Chances

by Paddy Tye, First Edition Creative Manager

22nd June 2018

Continuing Mission

In 2012, the Continuing Committee released The Next Generation. That 99 card virtual set achieved what Decipher had failed to do – making all those personnel from Premiere, Alternate Universe and Q-Continuum (which had previously cost a precious card play) competitive with cards from later sets - full of "free plays" and with higher skill density. The concept of personnel playing “for free” didn’t really exist until 1998's Deep Space Nine expansion introduced Headquarters, and draw mechanics weren’t normally seedable – but The Next Generation retconned the history of the game and brought TNG based decks to the forefront of modern play! This ushered in an era of revival for 1E, helping to re-introduce the game to many returning players and teach the basics to new players.

We’ve come a long way since then – revisiting Nors, the Gamma Quadrant, the Mirror Universe and the 22nd Century – each adding their own complexities. However, the TNG era remains a good starting point both for new players and those who remember the early days of the game – maybe even tempting them to free that Premiere Bridge Crew from an old dusty binder for use in a modern competitive deck…

Descent

However it hasn’t been a smooth journey. A series of errata to reduce power levels (let’s be fair, the original cards in The Next Generation were very good) hurt many of the TNG era decks. The starter decks, which had been built assuming that multiple universals would all count as free plays, were no longer balanced. In particular, the Ferengi lost the ability to use multiple copies of the skill-dense Gozar, and the Klingons were hurt by the limits it placed on their best universal personnel, Zegov and B’Somgh. While Federation TNG decks remained fairly strong in OTF games, others needed some help.

In addition, TNG era remained a solid and uncomplicated point of entry for new and returning players. With a few planned overhauls to the website in the pipeline and the need for more materials to support new and returning players, a refresh of the TNG era starter decks seemed like a logical thing to do!

Coming of Age

Allow me to introduce Coming of Age – a new 27-card virtual expansion, revisiting the TNG era. The set includes a mixture of reprinted cards and new cards designed to update and refresh TNG decks. The starter decks have had an overhaul, to balance the 4 different affiliations – they all have a consistent number of free plays, new dilemmas, different missions and a few other changes to the support cards. In some cases we’ve simplified certain elements to help with teaching the game to new players – so these starters have no cards with the Alternate Universe icon and no confusing shared missions between the starters! But don’t think it’s just Federation, Klingon, Romulan and Ferengi who get help. A few other TNG factions get boosts from this set too! The set also introduces a new way to play Block format – using a TNG-Block card pool!

Before we start looking at the cards, and our first revised starter deck, allow me to introduce the team:

Paddy Tye (KazonPADD) – As First Edition Creative Manager, I knew that scouring the remaining images from TNG would be vital to ensure design didn’t produce something which wouldn't be too much of a headache for Art to deliver. When Charlie offered the chance to work on the TNG starters I volunteered straight away! Coming of Age represents the third virtual expansion I’ve worked on and my first as lead.

Alan French (adf8) – Alan has been working behind the scenes for years and I’m happy to reveal (with his permission) that he’s been a playtester for 1E sets. Without the vital feedback Alan and his group have provided on so many sets, we wouldn’t have anywhere near the depth of cards we currently do in 1E. I’ve worked alongside Alan when he tested previous sets I’d worked on, so I was happy to work with him on his first virtual expansion as part of the design team!

And now, let’s take a look in more detail at the first of the four starter decks – the Federation deck. You’ll get 3 more decks leading up to Friday next week (29th June) at which point the full set will release (and be tournament legal on week later on Friday 6th July).

Lower Decks

Anhaica

To make all the starter decks balanced, we needed to give them an equal number of free reports – in this instance Universal personnel reported via Attention All Hands. If you counted the number of “non-duplicated” universal personnel in the original TNG starter decks this varied between 3 (for the Klingon deck) and 7 (for the Federation deck). Compared to the Mirror Block starter decks (between 8-10 non-duplicated universals as free plays), while all the decks needed boosting, the Federation deck was probably the one that needed the least help. We settled on 9 free plays across all four decks as a minimum level – that means each starter deck now includes 9 non-duplicated universal personnel.

For the Federation deck, two straight up additions were Herbert and Lieutenant Ballard from Warp Pack: Emissary – while this hadn’t been an original part of “TNG Block”, that release was designed to support the two Blocks which had been current at that time. As such, we’ve made a special home for that set as part of TNG Block so those characters can remain part of the available card pool. You’ll also notice that Davies has been dropped from the starter.

This left space for one new universal personnel – Anhaica.

Firstly, you’ll notice he’s dual Federation / Non-Aligned with a Maquis icon – this represents the conflict in the episode – a Federation citizen whose colony was passed to Cardassian control – prompting him to join the Maquis. Given the limited card pool for TNG Maquis, this seemed an obvious opportunity to give them a boost! SECURITY and Archaeology are skills that were in short supply in the original Federation starter deck, and he retains the Geology previously found on Davies. Astrophysics was also in short supply for the Federation starter deck, being a requirement for one of their planet missions (which also explains why there are now two copies of Lian T’su in the starter deck). ENGINEER and Physics were two of the many skills in short supply for the TNG Maquis, and Anhaica gains these when with any Maquis personnel. While he isn’t a skill horse in the starter deck, when combined with another Maquis personnel such as Ro Laren (or a second copy of himself) he does become much more useful!

Transfigurations

Other changes in the Federation deck bring more familiar faces – William T Riker (from The Sky’s The Limit) sees a Generations logo added to the deck and adds a stronger OFFICER to help with Maglock. Sunad also helps with Maglock, and increases the level of SECURITY in the deck; like Vekor, Vash and Koral, he becomes an addition to all 4 starter decks. The removal of Temporal Micro-Wormhole (from all four decks) meant that both Dr. Syrus and Tasha Yar – Alternate needed removing from the Federation deck, so more familiar faces were brought in. Alyssa Ogawa was frequently seen in sickbay, and a reprint of her in Coming of Age allows her to fill the role of a second mission specialist. Also, Worf replacing Tasha (where have I heard that before?) retains the level of SECURITY in the deck and means the 7 main TNG characters all now appear in the Federation starter deck!

Aaron Conor

Nagilum: Test Subjects

The last addition was also a familiar face to anyone who’s played since Premiere – appearing on the classic Female’s Love Interest dilemma. Aaron Conor finally makes it on to a personnel card – and adds another “romantically involved” option for anyone trying to have a love-fest in Holoprogram: Café Des Artiste! Not only does he bolster a few skills for the Federation deck, he can also make a Female’s Love Interest twice as troublesome!

Other changes in the decks include the removal of Surprise Party (and dropping Get It Done from 2 copies to 1). The starter decks have a built-in draw mechanic in Continuing Mission (provided you play the right personnel), such that the deck should broadly play 2 cards per turn and draw 2 cards per turn. Under the pre-errata version of Continuing Mission, you’d often draw 3 cards per turn – making Surprise Party pretty much redundant, and leave a player’s hand to grow in size! The errata to Continuing Mission balanced this (although you’ll probably want a few more draws in Block or Complete environments) so removing these support cards made space for the extra personnel already mentioned.

Missions have also been subject to some tweaking. One piece of feedback we received was that shared missions should be removed to simplify the spaceline process for new / returning players. As such, in the Federation starter Amnesty Talks has been replaced with Assist Damaged Vessel. In some of the other starters, the change to the mission line-up has been a little more tricky however, due to a shortage of 40 point missions in the available cardpool.

The dilemmas have also been updated and strengthened! While we were limited to the dilemmas available across the Homefront sets and TNG Block sets, hopefully we’ve made the combos pose a bit more of a problem for an opponent. One new dilemma added to the available pool to help with this is Nagilum: Test Subjects, which is guaranteed to get at least one kill!

Hopefully you will all find this update to the Federation starter deck (and the other three) useful when teaching new and returning players!


Discuss this article in this thread.



Decklist

Print DecklistCopy Deck



This deck is legal in the following Card Pools:

This deck is legal in the following Rules Sets:

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:


Mission (6)
Mission
22 V1x Assist Damaged Vessel
37 V1x Avert Solar Implosion
15 V1x Botanical Research
39 V1x Host Metaphasic Shielding Test
41 V1x Investigate Destruction
44 V1x Salvage Borg Ship

Seed Deck (22)
Dilemma
2 V1x A Bad End
2 V1x Antedean Assassins
5 V1x Armus - Sticky Situation
2 V1x Chula: The Chandra
4 V1x Devastating Communique
3 V1x Diplomatic Intervention
5 V1x Do You Smell Something Burning?
6 V1x Flim-Flam Artist
7 V1x Friendly Fire
6 V1x Invidium Leak
10 V1x It's Green
12 V1x Lack of Preparation
9 V1x Linguistic Legerdemain
9 V1x Maglock
1 V1x Nagilum: Test Subjects
11 V1x New Essentialists
17 V1x Subspace Shock Wave
10 V1x Trilithium Raid
Facility
Federation
11 V1x Federation Outpost
Incident
21 V1x Attention All Hands
22 V1x Continuing Mission
Objective
18 V1x Assign Mission Specialists

Draw Deck (32)
Event
16 V1x Cowboy Diplomacy
Incident
26 V1x Get It Done
Personnel
Federation
8 V1x Alyssa Ogawa
53 V1x Barron
54 V1x Beverly
55 V1x Daniel Kwan
56 V1x Data (The Next Generation)
58 V1x Deanna Troi (The Next Generation)
59 V1x Dr. Christopher
60 V1x Geordi La Forge (The Next Generation)
66 P1x Herbert
19 V1x Jean-Luc Picard (Chain of Command)
61 V1x Kosinski
62 V2x Lian T'su
67 P1x Lieutenant Ballard
63 V2x Lopez
64 V1x Martin
65 V1x Seth Mendoza
23 V1x Spock
33 V1x William T. Riker (The Sky's the Limit)
25 V1x Worf
Federation/Non-Aligned
9 V1x Anhaica
Klingon/Non-Aligned
93 V1x Koral (The Next Generation)
Non-Aligned
19 V1x Aaron Conor
35 V1x Sunad
94 V1x Vash (The Next Generation)
37 V1x Vekor
Ship
Federation
39 V1x U.S.S. Enterprise (Chain of Command)
40 V2x U.S.S. Oberth



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