Created by Rollie Tesh and Darwin Bromley, the Star Trek Customizable Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Star Trek universe. The name is commonly abbreviated as STCCG. It was first introduced in 1994 by Decipher, Inc., under the name Star Trek: The Next Generation Customizable Card Game. The game now has two distinct editions, though both forms of the game have many common elements.
First Edition Edit
What is now known as First Edition (commonly abbreviated "1E" among players) is the original conception of the game, through various designers and iterations. As mentioned above, it was first licensed only to cover Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the first three card sets were limited to that show's universe. As such, the only affiliations created were the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, plus a placeholder for other groups called Non-Aligned. This narrow scope caused little attraction for players, and it was felt that only five more sets could be released before running the full course of available material.
In 1997, Decipher announced that a wider scope had now been licensed for the game: Deep Space 9, Voyager and The Next Generation movies would soon be depicted in new cards, thus the game's name was shortened to the existing title. The First Contact set arrived late that year, based on the film Star Trek: First Contact; that set introduced the Borg affiliation, among other new concepts.
This was soon followed by several sets based on situations in Deep Space 9; these introduced affiliations for the Bajorans, Cardassians, Dominion, and Ferengi, along with enhanced systems for battling and capturing. The era of these expansions is considered by many players to be the 'golden age' of First Edition.
Two more sets featuring Original Series cards came next (when that property was added to the license), followed by sets drawing heavily on Voyager which introduced the new, but smaller Kazon, Vidiian, and Hirogen affiliations. It was after this that the game began a serious decline in popularity and sales.
Sales faltered during the release of the last two sets, based on the films and on holodeck scenarios. This dip in sales resulted in Decipher taking a serious look at the game's future.
Some of Decipher's concerns included the complexity and bloat that the game had built over seven years; there was no balanced 'cost' system for cards, causing stopgap and complex systems to be added to the game over time. As well, the game had embraced many different and not fully compatible ideas over time; this made for long, corrective rules documents and a steep learning curve for beginners. In addition, the number of cards types went from nine to over seventeen in just a couple of years, which made the game much more difficult to learn.
At first, the game designers sought to introduce an entire new game based on Star Trek; it would be simpler and be targeted to beginners, while the original game still produced expansions, but on a slower schedule. This concept was abandoned when the sales figures showed that the original game could not continue on its own merits.
Second Edition Edit
The solution was to reinvent the original game along the basic lines, still allowing a depth of gameplay but avoiding complex rules and concepts. The standard card types and gameplay would remain, allowing some new cards to be used with the original cards, known as backward-compatible cards, or First Edition Compatible (abbreviated as 1EC) and attempting to satisfy longstanding fans of the original game. These cards are able to be used in First Edition gameplay, though some key words need to be changed to fit the First Edition's old rules and setup. Many cards central to the new form of the game can only conform to the new rules and setup. Second Edition, commonly abbreviated "2E", was launched in 2002, and came to a close with its final expansion in December, 2007.
Because the game was essentially starting from scratch with the hindsight of seven years' work, the initial Second Edition set was able to progress quickly. As a result, six affiliations debuted in that set compared to three for the original. It could be argued that the number was really seven, because of a unique new system that divided the Federation affiliation into groupings based on the shows' casts. The focus of the Second Edition sets has been on characters and situations in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, though 'supporting' cards have images and concepts drawn from every part of the canon Star Trek universe. Furthermore, the scope of each card type could be realized in the early planning and a permanent seven card types were created: dilemmas, equipment, events, interrupts, missions, personnel, and ships. Decks would consist of five missions, at least twenty dilemmas in a dilemma pile (see below) and at least thirty-five cards made up of the other five card types.
The standard central goal for a player of STCCG is to obtain 100 points, primarily by completing missions or objectives. This is done by bringing personnel, ships and equipment into play, then moving them to mission locations in space or on planets. Once a mission attempt starts, players encounter dilemmas which will challenge them in some way. Often, if the personnel have the required skills or attributes, they can overcome certain dilemmas' effects. Once the required dilemmas are passed, the personnel still active in the attempt must have the skills and/or attribute totals required by the mission to solve it. If the mission is solved, the player earns the printed points.
Other aspects of the game increase player interactions: ships and personnel can battle, or otherwise affect each other; cards like events, incidents, and interrupts can alter the environment for one or more players; and points can be scored using methods other than mission solving.
One of the most attractive themes of the game is affiliations. These are groupings of ships and personnel based on the major interstellar powers of the Star Trek universe, and decks are based around one or more of these groups.
The Continuing Committee Edit
On December 5, 2007, Decipher announced that it would no longer be releasing new sets or officially supporting the game. Decipher had also since removed all star trek related content from their website. A group of players came together and began work on The Continuing Committee. The name itself comes from the Romulan Continuing Committee, introduced in Deep Space 9, as the name was appropriate for the non-profit work being proposed. Since then, most of the game's faithful community has moved its activities to the new site and work has gone into producing "virtual sets" of cards to provide continuous new blood to the game. These activities are not unprecedented, as another Decipher game, the Star Wars Customizable Card Game had ended its run in January 2002 and had established its own players' committee to deal with the same type of issues. While the Star Wars Players' Committee was introduced by Decipher, the Continuing Committee was not, but the CEO of Decipher has reportedly endorsed its stated goal of support for both versions of the game, though not through official channels.
One of the most positive reactions from the game's community has been the improvement of timely responses to questions and suggestions. Many problems that players found lacking when the system was run by a company could be solved more quickly by volunteer players who shared the goal of a responsive and active community.
The Continuing Committee: Virtual Expansion Releases Edit
The Continuing Committee has released several "Virtual Expansions" with even more already in various states of production. Virtual Expansions are image files that are made available for players to download and print. These virtual cards continue to expand the game with new characters and situations from Star Trek and seek to eliminate abusive strategies that are often found in tournament play.
Virtual Expansions include:
The Undiscovered Country - A 45-card expansion that featuring cards dealing with the bottom of the deck as a resource. It's a solid first virtual expansion for Star Trek CCG Second Edition, with a major portion of the images come from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Favor the Bold - The second 45-card expansion for Second Edition. It focuses on dilemmas and dilemma interaction.
Raise the Stakes - A double-sized 90-card expansion for Second Edition. A major theme of the set was the encouragement of "go big or go home". Gameplay encouraged heavily investing in a single affiliation or sub-theme.
Referee Reprints - A reprint of all the referee cards + Q's tent from First Edition, which are generally seen as essential to play competitively in First Edition. Although offering no new cards, it featured updated text and icons on existing cards that, until then, required errata documents to keep track of gameplay changes.
Identity Crisis - Another "set" that offered reprints of dual-affiliation personnel and ships from First Edition with alternative background colors.
More Trouble, More Tribbles - Additional cards for use in the Trouble With Tribbles Card Game.
This Side of Paradise - A Second Edition set of 45 cards featuring beautiful women from Star Trek.
A new First Edition Virtual Set - The first original 1E virtual set is in the works and is slated for November, 2009. A single preview card, "Tribunal of Q" has already been released. The card improves on the Referee mechanic (to prevent abusive strategies).
Note About this Wiki: Edit
Although I have listed information here about Second Edition, for historical purposes, the remainder of this Wiki will limit it's scope to First Edition rules and cards. In the future, that may change. Until such time, there will be no other mention of Second Edition (to include the Backwards-Compatible cards.)