The Good: Some decent character cards, Easy enough to play, Collectibility
The Bad: Not very exciting, Annoying shortprint Common issue, Missing/Misnumbered cards
The Basics: What could have been a worthwhile Star Trek CCG set focusing on Star Trek: Voyager, "Captain's Log" is hampered by production problems.
There was an acceleration in product releases from Decipher, Inc. in the year before it lost the Star Trek Customizable Card Game license. When it finally came back with "To Boldly Go," there was a torrent of products attempting to capitalize on every aspect of the Star Trek franchise that it had not yet tackled. "To Boldly Go" had Enterprise, "Dangerous Missions" blew out old product with foils emphasizing Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and "Captain's Log" reintroduced Star Trek: Voyager characters and situations to the game.
"Captain's Log" hit the market relatively soon after the prior set and it was a fine, very average release for Decipher. The "Captain's Log" cards were only released in boxes of thirty packs, with packs possessing eleven cards each. Each pack included 11 cards: 1 rare (or foil), 3 uncommon and 7 common cards.
"Captain's Log" is a 139 card set of gaming cards, mostly focusing on characters and events from Star Trek: Voyager. The set consists of 60 Common, 60 Uncommon, 59 Rare, 18 Archive Foils and 2 Archive Portrait foil cards. The Archive foils are reprints of popular rares from the "Captain's Log" set and the 2 Archive Portrait foils are unique foils that foreshadow future cards.
The 119 non-foil cards consist of: 20 Dilemma (cards that feature obstacles from the series', like a Hull Breach or a Thermokinetic Explosion), 2 Equipment (cards featuring mass-produced objects in the Star Trek universe, like a Federation Compression Rifle or a Modified Tricorder), 15 Event (cards that feature extended circumstances for the ships or crews, like Voyager's Long Journey Home or having Destiny Reset), 8 Interrupt (cards featuring quick turns of fate in the game, like being abducted to Fajo's Menagerie or an opponent Targeting The Nacelles), 7 Missions (cards that act as the "board" for the game), 51 Personnel (3 Bajoran, 2 Borg, 1 Dominion, 26 Federation, 3 Ferengi, 3 Klingon, 9 Non-Aligned, 2 Romulan and 2 StarFleet characters), and 15 Ship (1 Cardassian, 7 Federation, 2 Ferengi, 1 Klingon, 3 Non-Aligned and 1 StarFleet) cards.
The cards truly do manage to focus on Star Trek: Voyager and taking their cue from such releases as the Lord Of The Rings Trading Card Game, some of the most popular characters and ships, like Janeway and the U.S.S. Voyager are released as common cards (there are, in fact, two Janeways in this set).
The Star Trek Second Edition CCG is essentially a cross between a role playing game and a board game with cards being set down to create the board and players assembling a ship and crew to then travel the "board" and earn points. This set follows the same basic rules as they were laid out in "Second Edition Premiere" (reviewed here!).
By this point, there is some complexity in terms of dealing with time periods for some of the cards (i.e. Enterprise characters are not, technically, supposed to interact in the game with the 24th Century Federation characters), but most of the cards designed for playing, like the Event and Interrupts include the necessary text to understand how they are appropriately played. Anyone who has been playing the game will find this game easy to play and the "Captain's Log" expansion does not offer any changes to game play, it just restores the Delta Quadrant to play in the game.
There are no changes to the rules in this expansion. One need only be attentive that the icons indicating which quadrant of space the card may be played in. As a result, Missions that are specific to the Delta Quadrant must be established there.
It might seem strange that in a Star Trek: Voyager-themed release, like "Captain's Log," that my favorite cards would be two Uncommon cards. These cards are not difficult to find, but 10U89 and 10U91 featuring Jadzia Dax and Worf in their wedding garb. They are decent characters, having a Klingon Affiliation Jadzia is quite cool, and they just look good in the photos.
But the grails are all in the rares. It is in the rares that one finds The Doctor, Kes and The Viceroy. There is even a Charles Tucker III, from Enterprise in this set. The rares make for the best highlights, but here some of the characters are represented as Uncommons or even common cards!
The highlight of "Captain's Log," objectively might well be the U.S.S. Enterprise-E card. 10 R 111 is the U.S.S. Enterprise-E, Flagship Of The Federation is a powerful ship card that makes for an ideal "home base" for ones fledgling crew. The Enterprise-E has great weapons, sturdy shields and is getting rather memorable for its range and ease of play. The ship's cost - in the game - represents an understanding of how powerful a ship the Enterprise-E is. As cool is the image on the card. The Enterprise-E appears releasing a volley of shots, an image caught perfectly on the card and the larger window makes much more visible, all around a great and powerful card!
The "Captain's Log" cards were only released in the one release, so they are fairly uncommon, which always helps to increase the value. Unfortunately, there are several problems which lower the overall value of this release and make it something of a pain to collect. There is a misnumbered card in the commons or uncommon set and two short-printed Common cards. Yes, the two cards that are new reprints of previous Archive Portrait cards are under-represented in the Common set as a result of another printing error.
The foil reprint cards help to thin the rares out some, but the grail for the collectors are the Archive Portrait cards, which pop up approximately one every three boxes. Unfortunately, in the "Captain's Log" set there is a mediocre Archive Portrait (the Romulan Commander Charvanek) and a highly coveted one, the alternate universe Hoshi, Empress foil card. I suppose it's because it panders to the audience, using the Archive Portrait's extended image to present a long, exposed torso of Hoshi, making is a very alluring card.
The Archive Portraits have the potential to turn an average set into something truly extraordinary. Unfortunately, they fall short of that with the less inspired one, cementing this as a mediocre set that appears to have been rushed to market as opposed to actually proof-checked. That seals its fate.
There are too many problems with this set that lower its appeal. Star Trek: Voyager being a fairly uninspired choice to try to use to reboot the game, the "Captain's Log" cards start with a thematic deficiency and plummet with the quality issues. There are better Star Trek Second Edition CCG sets.
This set culls images mostly from Star Trek: Voyager, reviewed here!
This set was released after "Dangerous Missions" (review pending) and was followed by "These Are The Voyages" (reviewed here!).
This is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store! For my current inventory, please visit here!
For other Star Trek gaming cards, please visit my Star Trek CCG Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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