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What's up with the three games?

In the wake of the popularity of Magic: the Gathering, Decipher, Inc. acquired the rights to create a customizable card game based on the Star Trek property in 1994. They released the game under the name of Star Trek: The Next Generation CCG. Jim Shimoda (1E)

This game required players to lay out a space line of missions, then play personnel and ships to outposts. Those personnel (one of whom is pictured at right) would fly the ships to missions to win the game. Each player would also try to defeat their opponent by setting dilemmas under those missions or battling them to blow up their ships. Originally, Decipher only had access to Star Trek: The Next Generation, but, as the game grew in popularity and more sets were put out, they acquired access to all five TV shows and the first ten movies. By 2001, it had become apparent that the complexity of the game and a number of broken decks were causing players to leave the game. The decision was made by Decipher to reboot the game in a Second Edition. The end of 2001 saw the last physical expansion of First Edition.

In late 2002, Decipher released Second Edition. This new version of the game featured a streamlined version of the rules that fixed some of the complaints about the original game. Second Edition produced fourteen sets between 2002 and 2007. At that point Decipher lost the license to Star Trek and discontinued the game. The Continuing Committee (CC) was formed in December 2007 to continue the production of Second Edition. Eventually, the CC started producing new sets of First Edition and Tribbles as well. The Continuing Committee has now produced more sets of cards than Decipher did, and has addressed many of the issues that caused First Edition to fail originally.

Oh, wait, what about this Tribbles game? Well, in 2000, Decipher released the first set of cards using images from the original Star Trek. At this time they produced a side game called the Tribbles CCG, which was meant to be a fun, fast Uno-style game that parents could play with their kids. The Continuing Committee started producing new tribbles cards in 2009, with new sets coming out about once per year.

So, which game should I play?

There are some very big differences between First Edition and Second Edition. The decision to play one or both of the games depends on what style of game you like to play. First Edition has often been described as a Star Trek Role-Playing Game featuring cards. Second Edition has been described as a card game that features Star Trek.

A large part of First Edition is the seed phase. You lay out a line of missions (the space line) that you share with your opponent. Then you place dilemmas under those missions. You play facilities, which allow you to play personnel later on, and several other types of cards that allow you to do specific things. After the seed phase is the play phase, for which you use your draw deck. You have one card play (free plays are allowed as well) to get personnel, equipment, ships and other cards into play. Then you can fly around the space line to attempt your missions. Once you overcome your opponent's seeded dilemmas at a mission, you can try to complete it to score points. At the end of your turn you get one card draw. You need 100 points to win the game.

Jim Shimoda (2E) Second Edition (example card at right) still requires you to win the game by completing missions and scoring 100 points. However, the seed phase doesn't exist in this version of the game. You lay out at least one Headquarters mission, which allows you to play personnel, ships and equipment, and then up to four missions and you start the game. There is a cost system that allows you to spend counters at the beginning of your turn to play or draw cards from your draw deck. You still attempt missions, but instead of dilemmas being set at the beginning of the game, your opponent chooses combinations of dilemmas from their dilemma deck to try to prevent you from completing your mission.

Everyone should play Tribbles because who doesn't like fun?

How do I get my hands on these cards?

While it's still possible to buy physical cards from distributors and eBay, the Continuing Committee has made it possible to print every card from every set, virtual and physical. You can do this in two different ways. Every virtual set has an associated high resolution PDF file that you can take to a print shop to be printed. Alternatively, you can build a deck in the deckbuilder for each of the three games. When the deck is done, you have the option to print the deck. The deckbuilder will generate a PDF file of your deck that can again be printed anywhere.

What if I can't decide which game to play?

Play all three! Seriously, though, you can go to our forums and ask about each game or look up to see if there's a player base near you. Oftentimes, local groups will focus on First Edition or Second Edition exclusively. Check here to see if there's an ambassador in your region who can help you out.

How much will this cost me?

Nothing! Well, OK, unless you have a good printer at home, you will need to spend money for color printouts at a store.

1 Tribble - Party

Can I send my virtual cards to get them printed on cardstock to make them look like Decipher's cards?

Please don't do this! It will bring down the wrath of Paramount/CBS on us. No one likes a Cease and Desist letter.

Can I sell my virtual cards?

Please don't do this! It will bring down the wrath of Paramount/CBS on us. No one likes a Cease and Desist letter.

So, what else does The Continuing Committee do?

We run organized play for all three games, maintaining a player rating system and organizing large tournaments, including the World Championships, for all three games. Tournaments are played at both physical locations, organized by local players, or online through the Lackey CC software. Additionally, we have an achievements system, run raffles for hard-to-get promos and generally promote the games through a series of articles. Overall, there's a lot of great stuff on the site.