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First Edition Project Status Update - September 2021

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

13th September 2021

Greetings and felicitations, my friends! Today is Monday, September 13th and it's time for an incredibly overdue Project Status Update for First Edition. I thought the six months between updates last time was too long, so it's very clear than nine months now is not acceptable. I don't know how I lost track of so much time, other than the general malaise of 2020 and 2021. I hope to give you a preview of what to expect for the rest of 2021 and a look ahead at 2022. And with that, let's go over where we are:

Dominion Command

Completed Projects

Dogs of War a.k.a. Project Storm
STATUS: RELEASED
(Project Storm is a stand alone expansion based on the end of the Dominion War.)

This is old news, but Dogs of War was released back in April 2020. Except for some controversy around The Devil during the release event, this expansion has been well received. I've seen people giving Dominion-occupied Cardassians, the Staging Ground alliance, and Dissident Cardassians a try in tournament reports. Play is still down, worldwide, because of the ongoing issues, but there are several high level events coming in the back third of the year. We're all eager to see which Dogs of War cards end up making a splash.

Official Tournament Sealed Deck Remastered a.k.a. Project Conestoga
STATUS: RELEASED

We didn't announce this one ahead of time in order to keep it a surprise, but I'm happy that we were able to put out the remastered versions of these classic cards. The original OTSD fixed cards were given high resolution updates, with streamlined gametext to remove rules overhead and modernize their wording. And we managed it all with only very minimal functional changes, preserving the intent of these classic cards. Plus, now it's even easier to recreated the OTSD sealed experience, since the physical product is harder and more expensive to find.


Current Projects

Beware of Q

The Trial Never Ended a.k.a. Project Quarantine
STATUS: PRODUCTION
(Project Quarantine, now officially known as The Trial Never Ended brings a much needed refresh to the Q Continuum / Q-Flash mechanics, complete with some fun new Q cards.)

In the first of several name-related announcements today, I'm thrilled to tell you that work on Project Quarantine is complete, and will be releasing in the near future as The Trial Never Ended. We've shuffled the schedule around a bit, and these nine (9) new Q-related cards will be coming as the next First Edition expansion. The design team of of Dan Hamman (SirDan), Thomas Vineberg (Exon), James Monsebroten (Orbin), and myself have put together some fun cards for you to explore. Working in tandem with the Rules and Balance teams, we've also done a lot of work to move the rules of Q-Flashes onto the cards; as such, there will be some errata releasing along side of this expansion. We've additionally seeded some things here that will pay off in the future, most likely next year's Project Mandalorian.

In the mean time, I have a text spoiler for you - sorry, no images yet. Players in attendance at North American Continental Championships in Orlando this past weekend got to see this early; if you want to see it, click on this link:

Click here to see a spoiler from The Trial Never Ended!

[Q] INTERRUPT {ST: Voy}
Image: Janeway about to be assimilated by a Borg drone, with Q-Flash appearing as he is about to disappear from “Q2” (VOY 7x19)
Don't Provoke the Borg!
"If the Continuum has told you once, they've told you a thousand times..."
If any [Bor] ship or Borg Ship dilemma is on this spaceline, opponent (even if playing Borg) scores points (once per game) and you may relocate one such card up to double its printed range.

Please keep in mind this is an early preview and not a finalized card, so while it's unlikely, the card may change before release. Also, stop by and check out the First Edition tournaments at GenCon this weekend. There might just be another spoiler or two for you to check out!


Project Rogue
STATUS: DEVELOPMENT
(Project Rogue is the first of two expansions in the Movie Block, focusing on the [CF] era of the first six movies.)

U.S.S. Enterprise-A

Project Rogue has been in testing for months, and is in a pretty good place overall. The team Paddy Tye (KazonPADD), Allen Gould (AllenGould), Derrick Marsh (HoodieDM), Jason Robinette (JasonRed3), and Niall Matthew (sexecutioner) have found ways to augment the [CF] cards Decipher gave us as well as add in some new ways to play those cards. Finding ways to play [CF] decks without requiring time locations, and without repeating the mistakes of the Original Series block, has been a fun and exciting challenge.

Originally we'd hoped to release this expansion in Summer or early Fall, but development has been a lot of work. With the biggest kudos to our testers, they've found a few interactions that have required going back to the drawing board on some of the expansion's themes. This is a good thing, even if it means things take a little longer. But we realized that about half the expansion's cards were more-or-less ready to go, while the other half could use more time. So, today I'm happy to announce that one expansion is becoming two:

Second Star to the Right a.k.a. Project Rogue A
STATUS: PRODUCTION
(Second Star to the Right is the first of two three expansions in the Movie Block, focusing on the Federation and the Klingons of the first six movies.)

Paradise Lost a.k.a. Project Rogue B
STATUS: DEVELOPMENT
(Paradise Lost is the second of two three expansions in the Movie Block, focusing on the followers of Khan and Sybok.)

Second Star to the Right is in the final days of the Creative and Rules review, and will be heading off to proofreading soon. While it does heavily focus on [CF] [Fed] and [CF] [Kli], there is other content in the expansion as well. Likewise, while Paradise Lost features most of the Khan and Sybok content, you'll get more than just [NA] cards in this expansion. These cards just need a little more time in front of the testers, hence the split. You can expect to see Second Star to the Right before the end of 2021, and Paradise Lost in the first quarter of 2022.

Federation Flagship: Relaunched

Fortunately for you, I'm still feeling extra guilty about taking so long to write this update, so I'm also bringing you a spoiler from the first of these two expansions. Check it out:

Click here to see a spoiler from Second Star to the Right!

[Fed] Pavel Chekov {ST: Gen}
[Cmd] [AU] [OFFICER] [CF]
Lore: After a long career, Ensign Chekov was a guest of honor at the U.S.S. Enterprise-B launch. Assisted as a nurse due to the lack of medical staff.
Navigation Anthropology Biology
Your ❖ [Stf] [Fed] [CF] personnel present gain MEDICAL.

[INTEGRITY 8] [CUNNING 7] [STRENGTH 5]

Again, this is a text-only preview spoiler and is not yet finalized, so it's possible for the card to change before release. Stay tuned for more spoilers at our upcoming high level events! We hope you don't mind the wait for some of these cards, and can understand the need for some extra development time. Hopefully, getting half the set now and half later is an acceptable compromise.


Project Solo
STATUS: DESIGN
(Project Solo is the third of three expansions in the Movie Block, pulling from Generations through Nemesis, with a large focus on the latter movie.)

With Dan Hamman's (SirDan) work on The Trial Never Ended complete, he's turned his attention to Project Solo. Of course, the splitting of Project Rogue has given him and his team - made up of Jason Robinette (JasonRed3), Brian Sykes (Armus), Daniel Matteson (OKCoyote), and Cristoffer Wiker (Smiley). Most of this expansion will be pulled from Nemesis, which is largely unrepresented in the game. They are also looking at First Contact from a different point of view, which is fixing to be an overall theme in this expansion. Given Dan's personal fondness for the other Star franchise, it's unsurprising he's looking at things "from a certain point of view."

Project Solo will be heading to testers once they finish up their work on Paradise Lost, and hopefully will be released to all of you in the second quarter of 2022.


Bralek

Project En Garde
STATUS: DESIGN
(Project En Garde aims to provide a pair of balanced decks design to give great games against each other, and fit into modern tournament play.)

As one of our oldest unreleased projects, I'm happy to report there has been significant movement on Project En Garde. Paddy, Dan, Niall, and myself are leaning into the themes from the two-part TNG episode "Chain of Command," designing new [TNG] [Car] and [TNG] [Fed] cards for the two duel decks. We've even sent these cards for several testing cycles, wanting to make sure they fit nicely into the game as a whole before building the constructed decks themselves.

The goal is for these two decks, one Cardassian and one Fed, to be well-balanced and play well against each other. This way, you and your friend can print them and play them at home, on the kitchen table, and not immediately get bored with them. It's also our hope that these will be solid enough decks that a player can take them to a tournament if they're short on time. Along with the new cards and the decks, we'll be giving you detailed notes on how they play and ways to modify them.

My goal is to get this project off of our pending projects list and release it to you in the first half of 2022, before the usual convention/demo season. Testing is an invaluable, limited, and precious resources however, so there is always the chance something else will pull focus.


Project Mandalorian
STATUS: PRE-DESIGN
(Project Mandalorian will be non-block, standard size expansion, that is a spiritual successor to both Alternate Universe and Q Continuum.

Future Enterprise (Virtual Promo)

In my last update, I was extremely vague about this project. Well, I'm going to tell you a lot more about Project Mandalorian today, but as it's still early in its lifespan, I can't get too detailed. This expansion is what I'm referring to as a "spiritual successor" to the game's first two expansions, Alternate Universe and Q Continuum. The latter, of course, also makes it a follow up to The Trial Never Ended, which ended up with more ideas than we were looking for. To help keep that continuity, Dan Hamman and James Monsebroten are on this team, being joined by Brian Sykes. I am taking the lead on this project, my first full-sized expansion as design lead since 2017's Live Long and Prosper.

As a "sequel" of sorts to AU and QC, you can expect to find lots of [AU] and [Q] content when this project releases. However, we aren't limiting ourselves to just TNG as Decipher needed to in 1995 and 1996 - there will be Alternate Universe and omnipotent being encounter stories from all of the series we have access to. We're very early in the design process, mostly generating ideas, but there's no shortage of them: anything from DS9's "Children of Time" to Voyager's "Timeless" to Enterprise's "Twilight" is on the table. And that's not to say we won't be making more TNG cards, either; after all, both "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "All Good Things" fit the bill.

The goal is for this expansion to be released in between Project Solo and the first expansion of the Delta Quadrant block. Right now, that's looking like the third quarter of next year. We are excited to bring this "old school" expansion to you and hope it will be worth the wait.


Project Viking
STATUS: DEVELOPMENT
(Project Viking is a boutique style expansion "booster shot" for the Vidiian affiliation.)

In the first half of 2021, Project Viking has gone from a slow moving project to one that's done with its first phase. After playing with the cards internally and refining them, James Heaney (BCSWowbagger), Brian Sykes, and I have "turned in" a file of twenty-two new cards for the Vidiians, giving them much needed affiliation flavor, mechanical space, and reinforcement. We've also delivered an extensive design document along with these cards, explaining our decisions, goals, and motivations. Now, a second team will take the cards and our document, and run these through their paces. This second team will be able to change the cards, even cutting and adding as needed, to make sure we're doing what we said we were trying to do. Then, and only then, will we send these cards to testers.

It's probably a bit of a long shot, and it's going to depend on the working pace of the second team, but I'm going to be optimistic and say we'll be able to get this out sometime in the second half of 2022. If we do run into big delays, this set of cards will probably be absorbed into one of the Delta Quadrant block projects. I'll have more to say about that in my next status update.


Unscheduled Future Projects

Dr. Pel

Project Parachute
STATUS: DESIGN
(Project Parachute will be an independent boutique style expansion disconnected for any particular release schedule or theme.

Project Parachute is intended to be an "emergency" project - one that we can design, test, and have ready to deploy when there is a larger than intended gap in our schedule. I 100% completely stole this idea from Wizards of the Coast, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The goal is for this to be a boutique-style expansion that isn't tied to anything around it. Instead, it's just going to be some fun cards we can put out when we all need a dose of fun cards.

The first draft of Project Parachute was put together by yours truly, working mostly from the cut file. (If you weren't aware, we keep all of the cards we "cut" from expansions in a master file. Often designers go through them and rescue cards.) Right now, the file is just over twenty (20) cards and is ready for testing whenever Playtest Manager James Monsebroten and I can find time for it. By the very nature of the project, we can't tell you when to expect it. It's much like the Spanish Inquisition that way.


Project Babylon
STATUS: EXPLORATORY DESIGN
(Project Babylon is an exploratory design project looking at the problems with Nors, and potential solutions to those problems.)

So far, this team under the leadership of Paddy Tye, has brought some much needed improvements to Nors in First Edition. They have written some new cards that have seen print, and implemented the first quality-of-life improvements to these labyrinthian rules. Now, they have been working on testing a host of other changes designed to further simplify these complex facilities and make them easier to use. We're expecting a report from this talented team in October, which will shape what comes next. In the mean time, they will keep working


Project Keiko
STATUS: ON-HOLD
(Project Keiko is a scripted learn-to-play experience for new players.)

We're happy with Project Keiko as a scripted, learn to play experience designer for people familiar with games and gamers. But unfortunately, we haven't figured out the best way to use this product and thus haven't put much time and energy into finishing it. Having a "teach yourself at home" product is very important, and I'm pretty confident we'll end up using Matt Zinno's (commdecker) work here, it's just not moving forward right now.


Martok

Project Argentum
STATUS: ON-HOLD
(Project Argentum will be a boutique-style projects themed around the [DS9] [Kli] episodes of Star Trek.

Right now, this [DS9] [Kli] (as voted on by you, the players) is on-hold. There aren't any issues with it, rather we just haven't had the time and staff to focus on it with so many other irons in the fire. It's at the top of the list of projects to fire-up as soon as we clear some even got to keep the name of the project the same. We're working hard to bring you further adventures of the crew of the I.K.S. Rotarran, but it's way too early in the process to talk about it much right now. Though I will say, if you've been following Will of the Collective, it's a good bet that card can find a home here!


Project Warrior
STATUS: ON-HOLD
(Project Warrior is an exploratory design project looking for ways to do to ground combat what Tactics did for ship combat.)

Project Annika
STATUS: ON-HOLD
(Project Annika is an exploratory design project looking for ways to play Borg along with other affiliations.)

There has been no progress on either of these projects in some time, so I'm officially placing them both on hold. I don't know when, if ever, it will be reactivated. But, there have been some good discussions and ideas generated from these projects, so I'm hopeful we'll gain something from the effort.


That's all for now. I hope this information helps you understand where we are, and how we're constantly striving to improve. What projects were you hoping to hear about that you didn't? Let me know so I can make sure to update you next time. What do you think of the news revealed? Are you excited for The Trial Never Ended, Second Star to the Right, or Paradise Lost? Sound off and let us know what you like and don't like, both regarding the content and format of this update.


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