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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#556642
This thread is where I will document my Warp Speed Cube: it's goals/philosophy, the current list, and the changes I'm making and want to make. It's also a place to collect feedback.

I don't have time to get deep into that right now; since we're playing tomorrow(/tonight...), I just wanted to make the rules and cardlist visible so folks could take a look beforehand.

Rules (Updated Feb 2022 for version Beta 3)

Lists are broken down by affiliation. "Outside the game" cards are piggyback cards that come bundled with other cards (see Rules above). Note that missions show up multiple times: the full list is under Non-Aligned, while each other affiliation contains a list of the missions it can attempt.
(Updated Feb 2022 for version Beta 3)
Starter Deck for each player
Federation
Romulan
Klingon
Non-aligned
Dilemmas

Because Warp Speed has fewer missions and one free "Regenerate," dilemmas are less focused on walls and more on just killing lots of personnel. There still are a few walls, and currently to pass all of them you will need:
(Updated Feb 2022 for version Beta 3)
2 OFFICER
2 ENGINEER
2 SECURITY
MEDICAL
SCIENCE
2 Diplomacy
2 Computer Skill
Leadership
Navigation
Last edited by PantsOfTheTalShiar on Thu Feb 24, 2022 3:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#556643
Changes I am hoping to make for tonight's draft:

- Federation ship TBD
-1 I.K.C. K'Vort
- T'Pau
+ Admiral Hayes
+ Martok
+ Senator Cretak
I got feedback that there were too many ships, so let's cut some and add some spice. (Though Martok might be TOO spicy...)

- Aquiel Uhnari
+ Hawk
Hawk has wall-relevant skills and a more relevant special skill, while Canar is just nonsense.

-3 Incoming Messages
+ Transwarp Conduit
+ A Missing Day
+ Preparation
In theory Incoming Messages are at their best here with limited affiliations your opponent could be playing, but testers still didn't like the odds. At best they are "opponent loses a turn," so I think these new interrupts will be more interesting.
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#556746
The event on June 26th provided some more feedback for the cube. It took roughly 3 hours for 6 players to draft (two players had coaches), build a deck, and play 3 rounds. I didn't enforce any time limit for drafting or deckbuilding. As players remember how to play 1E (it had been over a year for some) and become more familiar with the cube, it could go even faster.

There are some bigger changes I'm hoping to make eventually, but here are some quick and easy improvements:

- Affiliation Attack Restrictions
Romulans need to be able to attack without worrying about the one Romulan on their opponent's ship. I don't want Fed battle to be a thing, but Feds will be discouraged from attacking simply by being bad at it. This brings Warp Speed Cube more in line with regular Warp Speed rules, but I'm still keeping the affiliation compatibility rules.

- HQ: Defensive Measures
+ Romulan-related card TBD
Unnecessary because there will be no affiliation attack restrictions.

-2 Shades of Gray
+2 TBD
The dilemmas these enhanced hit often enough without the SoG, so players would rather just seed another dilemma.

- Captain's Log
- Make it So
+ Divert Power
+ Bynars Weapon Enhancement
Matching Commanders are too hard to assemble, especially when most of the ships and commanders are good picks by themselves. There are still enough Captain's Orders and commanders to keep RRD, though, at least for now.

- Mondor
- Grebnedlog's piggyback We Look For Things
+ TBD, but not an NA ship
It's just so rare for the Mondor to even get staffed. The Pakleds themselves are still fun, though. I should have cut an NA ship in the last update, so let's cut one here.
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Writing Team Manager
By OKCoyote (Daniel Matteson)
 - Writing Team Manager
 -  
1E World Quarter-Finalist 2021
2E World Quarter-Finalist 2021
Specialist
Donor
1E North American Continental Semi-Finalist 2021
2E North American Continental Quarter-Finalist 2021
#556748
I'll be paying a lot of attention to this thread, this sort of thing is right up my alley.
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 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Socialite
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
2E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
#556762
Mark and I spent a bunch of time on the drive home talking about it and we think that it would more fun if there was a bit more push/pull on seeding more dilemmas vs more non dilemmas. Not sure how you want to do that but what I can say is that asp, the shades, etc are just not good draft choices when you are so limited on seed slots. My personal opinion is that you should go up to 13 seeds and put more tempting seed cards in such as the asp, shades, maybe a Dyson sphere, etc
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Director of Organized Play
By LORE (Kris Sonsteby)
 - Director of Organized Play
 -  
1E World Semi-Finalist 2021
Fleet Admiral
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
W.C.T. Chairman's Trophy winner 2014-2015
#556763
Thanks to Jason for putting the cube together, and for hosting such a great Saturday night event. This was, in my opinion, the perfect way for us all to get back together again after months off due to the pandemic.

You are awesome, dude. A real asset to the group in MN and the community! :cheersL:
 
By phaserihardlyknowher (Ben Daeuber)
 - Alpha Quadrant
 -  
#556786
Agree with Kris on this point. It was relaxed enough that I could get to know a few people. And where else can a pleb like me beat Kevin?

I think your cube worked well. I was able to draft and execute a strategy (Vulcans + Mindmeld) and -- judging from my colossal bad luck in my final game against Kris/Steve where they parleyed a dilemma into blowing up my ship -- so were they. I think that speaks to a good set of cards. I'm not sure I have enough experience to speak to much else, but there was definitely some synergy happening, which I assume is what you're going for.

I speculated on this briefly, but I don't know if "pre-seeding" some early blocks with certain cards would help? It was more or less chance that I realized I had a couple of Vulcans and then saw Vulcan Mindmeld come around and got a bit lucky grabbing some more. On the other hand, that might take some of the fun out of drafting since everyone gets pretty focused pretty early, taking some of the competition out of that process? To follow on from Kevin's point, perhaps some of those early "pre-seeds" should be some seed strategy type cards, that might keep some of the competition in drafting, but allow some more strategic selection. Drafting Missions first is definitely right choice.
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#556850
Hoss-Drone wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:45 am Mark and I spent a bunch of time on the drive home talking about it and we think that it would more fun if there was a bit more push/pull on seeding more dilemmas vs more non dilemmas. Not sure how you want to do that but what I can say is that asp, the shades, etc are just not good draft choices when you are so limited on seed slots. My personal opinion is that you should go up to 13 seeds and put more tempting seed cards in such as the asp, shades, maybe a Dyson sphere, etc
Thanks for your guys' thoughts. Yeah, I would like players to feel like they can seed non-dilemma cards. (Huth stocked his copy of AMS in the draw deck.) At one time I had considered 12 or 13 seed slots, but decided for now that I wanted to minimize my modifications to the Warp Speed rules. But I'm also imposing a Treaty tax so you get even fewer dilemmas than regular Warp Speed. I'm also not a fan of having cards seed for free, but finding a way to seed Treaty + Q's Tent + something fancy + a reasonable number of dilemmas is definitely on my radar.
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#557011
phaserihardlyknowher wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:09 pm Agree with Kris on this point. It was relaxed enough that I could get to know a few people. And where else can a pleb like me beat Kevin?

I think your cube worked well. I was able to draft and execute a strategy (Vulcans + Mindmeld) and -- judging from my colossal bad luck in my final game against Kris/Steve where they parleyed a dilemma into blowing up my ship -- so were they. I think that speaks to a good set of cards. I'm not sure I have enough experience to speak to much else, but there was definitely some synergy happening, which I assume is what you're going for.

I speculated on this briefly, but I don't know if "pre-seeding" some early blocks with certain cards would help? It was more or less chance that I realized I had a couple of Vulcans and then saw Vulcan Mindmeld come around and got a bit lucky grabbing some more. On the other hand, that might take some of the fun out of drafting since everyone gets pretty focused pretty early, taking some of the competition out of that process? To follow on from Kevin's point, perhaps some of those early "pre-seeds" should be some seed strategy type cards, that might keep some of the competition in drafting, but allow some more strategic selection. Drafting Missions first is definitely right choice.
Yeah, it was important to try to encourage some synergies and different deck types. I'm glad some of them worked out!

I'm glad missions first felt good. When I first did some simulated drafts (I think this was before I decided to switch to Warp Speed), I had all the card types mixed together, and found myself opening packs that had both a good mission and a good personnel that worked well with the mission. I wasn't happy taking either because I knew I wouldn't get both. That led me to split up the card types, and I thought it made more sense to start with missions as that gave drafters a clearer target to aim for.

It is possible to make packs that aren't completely random, either by collating or as you suggest "pre-seeding." After all, MTG boosters aren't completely random; there are print runs that ensure that the color distribution is never too skewed. The thing is... that's a lot of work, lol. I like being able to show up to a draft frazzled and barely on-time, and when the other players ask how they can help, I can just say "shuffle these cards and make 8-card packs." I called this Low Effort Trek, and my eventual goal is for this to be low effort for me, too. :)
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#557304
These are some questions for people who have played this in any capacity. Thirteen questions is kind of a lot, but don't feel obligated to answer everything. Any feedback is helpful. And feel free to tell me if anything sucks, because that's also helpful.

Drafting:
1. Did you ever change plans or affiliations in the middle of drafting?

2. Did you ever consider which cards you expected to wheel when taking picks?

3. Was it easy enough to acquire the skills you needed for missions/dilemmas?

Gameplay:
4. What was your strategy for attempting missions? Did you ever change your strategy?

5. Did you ever consider battling? Why/why not?

Card-specific Questions:
6. Were any of the attribute enhancement cards (ship or personnel) relevant?

7. Were any of the piggyback cards relevant?

8. Were there any cards that exceeded your expectations or disappointed you?

9. Were there any cards that seemed overpowered or inappropriate for this format?

10. Did your deck have an MVP?

11. Is there any card (whether currently existing or not) that you wish you had access to?

The Bottom Line:
12. Did you have fun? Would you want to play again?

13. Any other comments?
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#572490
I made a pretty big update for January's draft. I'm getting close to version 1.0. I just need to replace a bunch of S dilemmas with S/P dilemmas, cut some of the remaining chaff, and then play it some more times myself before I make that declaration. I'm also close to the limit of what I can do with the format without creating new cards. The biggest changes this time were replacing a few of the dilemma themes and adding Non-Aligned personnel to the starter decks. I also increased the size of the seed deck to 12 cards, and adjusted the affiliations to give defined skill weaknesses. Overall, I'm happy with all of these changes.

Links to the new lists, version Beta 3: (I'll also update the original post)
Starter Deck for each player
Federation
Romulan
Klingon
Non-aligned
Dilemmas

New list of requirements to pass all dilemmas:
2 OFFICER
2 ENGINEER
2 SECURITY
MEDICAL
SCIENCE
2 Diplomacy
2 Computer Skill
Leadership
Navigation

Commentary about the changes:


Dilemmas:
- Gender Dilemmas
Gender dilemmas had not worked out for anyone, and really have lots of problems for a limited format like this. One of the biggest problems is that gender dilemmas typically ONLY care about gender. Matriarchal Society ONLY wants female personnel, and so it only combos with dilemmas like Female's Love Interest, which is ONLY effective at removing female personnel. Contrast this with one of my new additions, Hanonian Land Eel, which was added to make STRENGTH more relevant, but also makes SECURITY and SCIENCE relevant. Another problem is that gender requirements max out at 2 female, but if "female" was a skill, it would be the most common skill in the cube, more so than even Treachery. So in order to make gender dilemmas more effective, I would need to intentionally reduce the number of female personnel in the cube, which leads me to the last problem with gender dilemmas: they can be a little awkward. If I had to tell players to make sure they had at least two females, I would feel like a Ferengi. I would rather tell them to make sure they had 2 SECURITY. That's not just a woke 2020's thing -- even by the standards of 90's Trek, from Janeway to B'Elanna, Kira and Dax, to all of the lady admirals in TNG and the confused guy in the skant, there was this idea in Star Trek that gender didn't matter, so it's odd to have gender matter a lot in a game about Star Trek. Gender dilemmas are at their best when they're really romance dilemmas, because it's hilarious to ship random characters together, but then we're back to the first problem where all existing romance dilemmas are basically just random selections that don't combo well with other dilemmas. Anyway, the Love Interests might return as Combo Dilemmas, because I do like the fact that they relocate personnel instead of just kill them, but Combo Dilemmas aren't really high on my list of things to try. So in the end, gender dilemmas are gone, and I don't really miss them.

- Honor OR Treachery
This theme I was actually sad to cut. I really want to include incentives for players to go deep on certain skills instead of getting a broad smattering of everything; that makes for more differentiation between decks. So for this, you would prefer having an Honor deck OR a Treachery deck, not half and half. Unfortunately, 3 dilemmas isn't enough, and it would have taken a lot of work to balance each affiliation properly. (Feds currently have 0 Treachery and just 1 more Honor than Romulans.)

+ Attributes
A lot of the piggyback cards were hand weapons, and hand weapons were mostly irrelevant. To fix that, I added a few decent STRENGTH dilemmas like Land Eel and Dangerous Climb. Dogs of War and Second Star gave us a few attribute-drain dilemmas that also seemed like good fits. I considered adding some even harder attribute walls like Ferengi Infestation and Shuttle Crash, but decided against it, and games ended up being plenty long without them.

+ SECURITY
Since I was planning to make SECURITY a weakness for Feds, I needed to make it relevant for dilemmas. I didn't have a lot of suitable dilemmas to work with, so I'm not totally satisfied with how it worked out. This theme ended up a little space-heavy, when I really would want it to be planet-heavy to balance out the naturally space-heavy ENGINEER and Navigation themes.

Starter deck personnel:
My goal when I started this project was to have as small a starter deck as possible, so that decks would be defined as much as possible by the drafting process. I started with only treaties, outposts, and doorways. Compared to Magic, though, STCCG decks need a more sensitive balance of components: i.e. all the necessary skills for dilemmas plus your missions. I worried about players overlooking critical skills or getting bad packs and ending up with a deck that literally can't win against certain dilemmas. For that reason I wanted a safety net. I briefly considered Soong-Type Android or Suna/Reflection Therapy, but felt those would become auto-includes. Instead, I assembled a set of underwhelming non-aligned personnel that covered every necessary skill exactly once.

I was very pleased at how this worked out. Players used only a few of these personnel, and which ones varied from player to player. If a few starter personnel can help prevent a draft disaster, increase the viability of single-affiliation decks, and increase the pool of dilemmas I'm willing to consider (dilemmas being the hardest part of this whole project), then that's a total win.

I also added an NA ship, Mercenary Ship, to the starter deck for similar reasons. I am worried now that it might actually be too good for it to just be a safety-net card. I had also considered Zibalian Transport or Rigelian Freighter, but was feeling generous at the time.

Affiliation Skill Weaknesses:
The plan was to differentiate affiliations by defining a weak skill for each affiliation. Weak means both low quantity and low quality. Both are necessary so that for example a Klingon/Fed deck would prefer Klingon SECURITY over inferior Fed SECURITY, and would pass the few Fed SECURITY along to any mono-Fed player who would need it. Affiliations would have 6 of their weak skill and 9-12 of most other necessary skills, so I did need to tweak the personnel in all three affiliations.

Federation's obvious weakness would be SECURITY. OFFICER was too common among the main characters of each affiliation, and I didn't want to cut any back. SCIENCE was lacking in enough dilemmas to be an actual weakness. That left MEDICAL and ENGINEER, which could go either way, but I decided that Romulans had better and more memorable ENGINEERs, so ENGINEER would be the Klingon's weakness.

Did this actually work out in any noticeable way? I don't know! I didn't get to actually draft it this time. If you played this back in January, let me know.

Misc:
I previously said I would cut the Shades of Gray, but I left them in for now. Part of that was lack of time to find a replacement, but it was also worth another shot now that I had increased the number of seed slots.

Close Call was cut for being too difficult, and Spaceborn Entity was cut because I'm phasing out Self-controlled dilemmas. I'll probably cut Borg Ship soon.

I'm a Doctor, not a Bricklayer was added because drafting it changes the value of subsequent Geology personnel, and one of the hallmarks of a good draft format is that the value of cards changes from draft to draft. It's also nice as additional counterplay against Horta.

Experience Bij! is the new card I was most excited to add. Dead End and Edo Probe don't work in Warp Speed, so it was great to get a similar effect that does work.


I could also post a card-by-card changelog, but I don't know if anyone is following this project THAT closely.
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Director of Organized Play
By LORE (Kris Sonsteby)
 - Director of Organized Play
 -  
1E World Semi-Finalist 2021
Fleet Admiral
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
W.C.T. Chairman's Trophy winner 2014-2015
#572500
Thanks again, Jason, for all your efforts on this. It has been a very fun way for us to play low-pressure / low-effort 'trek. :cheersL:
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By Iron Prime (Dan Van Kampen)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Moderator
#572501
Awesome effort! :thumbsup:
This looks pretty slick.
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By Ausgang (Gerald Sieber)
 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
#572597
This looks very fun indeed! Thanks for the effort!

Quick question: are the cards supposed to be as-originally-printed or with the current state/errata?
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By PantsOfTheTalShiar (Jason Tang)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Contender
#572685
Ausgang wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 10:58 am This looks very fun indeed! Thanks for the effort!

Quick question: are the cards supposed to be as-originally-printed or with the current state/errata?
With errata. I actually tried to minimize the number of cards in the cube that had errata, though. I think Vulcan Mindmeld, Bynars Weapon Enhancement, and Borg Ship are the only ones with significant CC-era errata, and I'm probably going to cut Borg Ship. I only included it for the idea of self-seeding it and then having it show up at your opponent's outpost, but I don't think that's even worth it.

I saw you're planning to give it a shot at Kaiserfest; that's awesome! I hope everyone enjoys it. Feel free to be brutally honest about it, though. :) Hopefully I can get things a little more polished by then.

Just a heads up that this cube is only designed to support up to 6 people, so if more are interested, you'll have to have multiple sessions, or sleeve up multiple copies of the cube, or have players tag-team. I wasn't thinking about side events at major tournaments when I put the cube together, I was thinking about just getting some people together some random evening to play some Trek, so that's why I designed for a small number of people.

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