The Good: Limited quantity, Interesting subject, Decent enough concept, All foil
The Bad: Somewhat pointless affiliation, Not limited enough
The Basics: Despite only having eighteen cards, making it practically difficult to play, this resurrected first edition limited edition set is pretty cool.
So, here it is at last, the final expansion to the Star Trek CCG First Edition, "The Enterprise Collection." Delayed for almost a year as Decipher, Inc. waded through its financial troubles, this direct-to-consumers product was released as what is assumed to have been a hail mary on the company's part to save its drowning ship and bring in enough money to get other Second Edition cards in the docket printed and cut. The maneuver worked and this product and the subsequent Second Edition releases helped revitalize the Star Trek gaming card front.
It is strange to think that such a simple concept could do it; eighteen cards from Star Trek: Enterprise, a series begun well after the final Star Trek First Edition CCG set had been released and the Second Edition was well underway. So, what made Decipher willing to go back to the format one more time? One presumes that the almighty dollar was involved and one suspects that the fans of the First Edition CCG who had adamantly refused to buy into Second Edition had something to do with it as well. Regardless, the Enterprise Collection was from the moment it was released a strong seller and one that continues to appreciate in value, making it wonderful for collectors and investors, even if it is not the most practical set for players.
The Enterprise Collection is the final - they mean it this time! - expansion from Decipher, Inc. in the First Edition format. Focusing on the crew, starship and scenarios of Star Trek: Enterprise, this eighteen card limited edition all foil set was initially released directly from the manufacturer exclusively to the U.S. marketplace. Rapidly gobbled up through the secondary market by overseas players and collectors, these eighteen cards represent the only time Star Trek: Enterprise was immortalized in First Edition.
With eighteen cards, this set certainly is discreet. Each pack has the same eighteen cards (one each) and follows the numbering system from the Premium cards in the "All Good Things" set with 41P - 58P. The set is comprised entirely of foil cards, which adds some additional inherent value to the set.
The set is broken down with eighteen premium cards thus: 1 Equipment (cards illustrating a mass produced item, in this case, the Phase pistol), 2 Events (cards depicting long-standing challenges within the game, like temporal shifting), 1 Facility (cards depicting a headquarters for an affiliation, in this case the StarFleet affiliation), 12 StarFleet Personnel, 1 StarFleet Ship, and 1 Tactic card (cards depicting starship combat actions, in this case the T'Pol/Soong Maneuver).
The Enterprise Collection introduces and utilizes the StarFleet Affiliation. Academically, this is a wonderful set as it gives players all they need to play a unique and intriguing new affiliation, which can stir up the dust on the old game. Academically, this is a great idea and one that is overdue. Practically, this is a players nightmare. The StarFleet affiliation is weak in its ability to defend itself as it is severely limited by only having twelve options for staffing. It will not take long for players to learn the weaknesses of this affiliation and exploit them.
Moreover, the sole starship for this affiliation, the Enterprise NX-01, is not a powerful ship and the crew is not the ideal one for taking on many of the challenges presented by the game.
But, the Enterprise Collection also begs simple playability questions; unique to the timeframe of Star Trek: Enterprise, technically other affiliations have nothing to play against the cards in this set because they are not native to the timeline. Or are time and space restrictions lifted? If so, what stops a Hirogen deck player from mopping the floor with the feeble Enterprise crew? Based on the cards, it seems like nothing.
Moreover, there are no missions for the StarFleet affiliation to complete, so the instant question is "How do players score points?" This is a crucial question for players of the game. The Star Trek CCG is, after all, essentially a card game where players construct a unique "board" for play out of missions and when they overcome the obstacles of said missions, they earn points with the goal being 100 points.
This little set came with no rulebook or official rule changes. Presumably, because the StarFleet affiliation is unique it is not supposed to mix with other affiliations and because it is native to its own timeline, it technically has no adversaries or allies to depend on. As a result, this seems rather impractical, and uncomplicated, for play. If the Event cards allow the Affiliation to be played in the subsequent Star Trek eras, this seems to correct the playability issues.
Either way, there are no official rule judgments on this final set and there are no corrections of earlier errata either.
Fans of Star Trek: Enterprise would be hard pressed to pick a favorite card out of this set. With only eighteen cards, most of which are personnel, this is a wonderful set for the fans. Truth be told, it's a pretty great looking set when one does not consider how frequently lame the series depicted actually was! As a result, The Enterprise Collection may well be coveted by anyone who is a CCG fan or a fan of the Star Trek franchise.
And it is a tough choice to pick the winner as the complete command crew of the Enterprise NX-01 is represented here. There are cards of Archer, T'Pol, Tucker, Reed, Sato, Phlox and Mayweather, as well as Admiral Forrest and various supernumeraries (all but one of whom are still available for getting these cards autographed!). With the foil luster, these cards look fabulous, so it's hard to pick a winner on that front.
Ultimately, it seems like the best of the bunch (and a tough call between this one and the Jonathan Archer card!) is the Enterprise (NX-01) card. The Enterprise is depicted in spacedock coming out for its maiden voyage. The ship is strengthened simply by adding most of the normal crew and that can take this seemingly primitive ship and make it a match for most of the potential adversaries. And hey, it just looks good!
Well, this is the good and bad thing about this set. Players will find the Enterprise Collection to be eminently problematic to play with as far as the game mechanic goes. Collectors will thrill over how limited this set is. Fortunately, after the much delayed first printing, the second (more common) printing was released and the sets are not so hard to come by as to make them impossible to find, though this certainly was not an overproduced or overprinted set. Instead, this seems to have struck the right balance as it is easy to collect - as it is all in one place - but not so common as to make it worthless.
Investors seem to be betting on this set as well as it hit the marketplace at the $35.00 range and is being bought regularly at that price, a steal for getting the entire command crew of a series. Those who like to get the First Edition cards autographed (good luck finding Bakula to get the Archer one signed in person!) will delight in collecting this set and hunting down those who are depicted to get them signed. It's a strong set in that regard, though the untimely and early death of Kelly Waymire (Cutler) makes completion impossible.
Time will tell on whether or not this was a good investment, but it has all the makings of one.
Despite being eminently impractical from a players standpoint, the Enterprise Collection looks good enough to sustain the interest and value of the cards for years to come. Collectors and investors will delight in this little foil set and those players who want to see just how challenging the game can be from an underdog position could hardly do better than to try playing from this set.
After all, playing the limited StarFleet Affiliation is still better than playing Kazon . . ..
This set is the final set, following on the heels of "All Good Things . . ." (reviewed here!) and followed by . . .. bbzzzzzz (insert color bars here!).
This set culls images from all four seasons of Star Trek Enterprise, reviewed here!
This is a set of cards I proudly sell in my online store! Check out my current inventory of these cards here!
For other card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |