The Good: Interesting character combination cards
The Bad: Obvious dumping of product, Most cards combined for players are blase at best.
The Basics: With 21 unique cards, "Enhanced Premiere" feels like yet another attempt to dump old product by Decipher!
The "Enhanced Premiere" Star Trek CCG set is only 21 cards and there's very little good to say about it! Indeed, it was hard for me to muster up the interest in reviewing this little set because unlike the "Enhanced First Contact" set - which was an even smaller set, reviewed here! - the "Enhanced Premiere" is just an obvious dump job and it's of little interest to card collectors and most players.
"Enhanced Premiere" was yet another attempt by Decipher to get rid of its massively overproduced, white border Premiere set, which had already been released in packs of its own (reviewed here!) as well as repackaged with the hope of reselling the volume of cards with eight new singles as part of "Starter Deck II" (reviewed here!). In its third attempt to resell the overabundant packs of Premiere cards, they repackaged them in what eventually became known as draft boxes. There were six different draft boxes (differentiated by the first exclusive card visible through a window in the box) that fronted a further sell-off of four packs of white border Premiere each. In other words, in order to complete a full set of "Enhanced Premiere" cards, Decipher, Inc. knew it would be able to unload twenty-four packs of their overproduced gaming card set. Good for Decipher, less great for the fans.
The "Enhanced Premiere" singles include twenty-one cards and a complete set is comprised of the unique cards that were in special cellophane packs at the front of the draft box. The set includes 6 Dilemmas (cards that have obstacles for players to force their opponent to face, these are all dual-dilemmas which have two different obstacles per card!), 9 Missions (cards that generally describe episodes, these form the "board" for the game, all of these are revised versions of previously released missions), and 6 Personnel cards (2 Federation, 1 Ferengi, 1 Klingon, 1 Non-Aligned, and 1 Romulan card each depicting two characters per card allowing them to play as a team).
The whole point of "Enhanced Premiere" seems to be making it easier to play the Star Trek CCG using less cards. At its most basic level, this is a board game where one constructs the board and pieces out of a selection of cards. The starting purpose of the game is to get 100 points, points most often are derived from completing missions by thwarting dilemmas using the unique attributes of your ship and crew. Because deck size is usually limited to sixty cards per deck, the dual-Dilemmas and dual-character Personnel cards allow players to get more bang for their buck by concentrating the power into fewer cards. This makes the game (rules and basic playability is in the article on the "Premiere" set) faster to play and certainly allows players to assemble decks that are more powerful because they essentially have cards that act as two cards each!
This little expansion does not change the rules. It does, however, allow players to play cards that have characters working in tandem which may enhance some of their abilities. The only thing close to a "rules change" here is that the revised missions include altered parameters, including changing which affiliations may play some of the missions. While there are no restrictions on playing the older versions of the missions, most players prefer to use the revised versions.
The only reason most people will even bother with this set are for the Personnel cards. These cards have pairs of crewmembers that are great combinations. The six Personnel cards include the combinations of Data and Geordi, Jean-Luc and Beverly (from "Attached"), The Trois (from "Menage A Trois") - which strangely is a Ferengi Affiliation card despite the fact that Deanna and Lwaxana were prisoners of the Ferengi in the episode, not in collusion with them! -, Worf and Kurn (as the "Sons Of Mogh," from "Sins Of The Father"), Beverly and Will Riker, and Data and Picard undercover as Romulans (from "Unification, Part I")!
These character combinations are great for players because they involve powerful character combinations, like Picard and Crusher together providing all sorts of needs for a commander and a doctor on missions. Similarly, the Sons Of Mogh is a formidable strength combination and The Trois can seriously enhance a Ferengi deck (if anyone were playing with Ferengi decks!). While the game may appear to be made more complex by the dual-Dilemmas and the options presented by the dual-Personnel cards, they are very exciting to players.
But they are also interesting to fans of the series as well. The images are not the typical ones that fans see over and over all the time and the choice of some of the personnel combinations, like Data and Geordi and Data and Picard does illustrate some insight on the part of the people at Decipher about who truly worked well together. (It does seem bizarre that Riker and Beverly were immortalized in a card instead of Riker and Troi, but . . .)
This set is a rare mix of being cool for the players and intriguing to the collectors, but ultimately a tough sell to either. Unless someone knows the only collector still hunting for white border premiere cards, most of what one shells out for in this set is worthless. At a MSRP of $9.95 for each of the draft boxes, assembling a set of 21 cards for $60 seems steep and is bound to make players pick and choose which characters they are most interested in and dissuade casual collectors from purchasing this set. Investors gave this set a resounding "no" and their wisdom seems to have paid off. The set of 21 cards sells for - at best - $30 these days and boxes of the draft decks - which have 24 decks (2 of each of the personnel combinations) - continue to depress in price.
This was an intriguing concept and with virtually any other vehicle, it might have been worth it (like if they had included one of each of these cards in the Reflections packs instead!).
This set is one where the initial reaction was probably the right one. It's just not worth it. Unless you have an obsessive need to have everything, these cards are essentially clever reprints/reworks of old cards fronting packs of the most available Star Trek CCG release of all time.
Usually, I would commend recycling, but having to pay to take Decipher's garbage just to get a few new cards each time, it a lot of waste with little benefit!
This set culls material from Star Trek: The Next Generation, most notably the episodes:
"Menage A Trois"
"Sins Of The Father"
"Unification, Part I"
This set was preceded by "Trouble With Tribbles" (reviewed here!) and followed by the Star Trek CCG expansion "Reflections" reviewed here.
This is a set of cards I proudly sell in my online store! For a current inventory and to make a purchase, check out them out by clicking here!
For other card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing of them!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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