The Good: Decent foils, A complete set, Good images, Easy playability
The Bad: Lack of focus for the set, Ferengi affiliation
The Basics: "Strange New Worlds" underperforms as a vague, somewhat pointless set of Star Trek Second Edition gaming cards.
The Star Trek gaming cards by Decipher were an interesting product and in its original incarnation - First Edition - there were many successes and failures. Perhaps the best example of a conceptual problem in First Edition was in the Ferengi affiliation. The Ferengi live by a very different philosophy than most every other Star Trek race and it does not lend itself well to playing a mission-based game, like the Customizable Card Game. When the Ferengi were introduced into the First Edition in the "Rules Of Acquisition" expansion set (reviewed here!), it proved to be one of the least popular endeavors for Decipher. Players of the CCG overwhelmingly avoided playing the Ferengi and it became something of a pariah within the community.
So, when Decipher rebooted the Star Trek CCG with the Second Edition, it was no surprise that the Ferengi were not one of the first affiliations in the initial offering. Unfortunately, popular characters like Quark and Rom from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine necessitated a Ferengi affiliation and cards of those characters popped up in earlier sets, virtually unusable to players. They were unusable until "Strange New Worlds."
"Strange New Worlds" is an expansion set for the Second Edition that is so vague and heavy in Non-aligned Personnel that it is almost difficult to remember that the purpose of the expansion is to reintroduce the Ferengi to the Star Trek CCG. Sadly for Decipher (and players and collectors looking for something decent to collect), "Strange New Worlds" proved almost as unpopular as its First Edition counterpart. The "Strange New Worlds" 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.
"Strange New Worlds" is a 140 card set of gaming cards, mostly focusing on Ferengi characters and other rogues in the Star Trek universe. The set consists of 40 Common, 40 Uncommon, 40 Rare, 18 Archive Foils and 2 Archive Portrait foil cards. The Archive foils are reprints of popular rares from the "Strange New Worlds" set and the 2 Archive Portrait foils are unique foils that foreshadow future cards.
The 120 non-foil cards consist of: 15 Dilemma (cards that feature obstacles for opponents to overcome, like a Financial Pitfall or a Psych Test), 2 Equipment (cards featuring mass-produced objects in the Star Trek universe, like a Ferengi Computer or a Ferengi Whip), 18 Event (cards that feature extended circumstances for the ships or crews, like Delicate Negotiations or a Provoked Attack), 9 Interrupt (cards featuring quick turns of fate in the game, like the appearance of a Clandestine Agent or getting trapped in an Impromptu Prison), 9 Missions (cards that act as the "board" for the game), 61 Personnel (2 Bajoran, 2 Borg, 2 Cardassian, 3 Dominion, 7 Federation, 25 Ferengi, 2 Klingon, 15 Non-Aligned, and 3 Romulan characters), and 6 Ship (5 Ferengi and 1 Romulan) cards.
To its credit, "Strange New Worlds" is heavy in Personnel cards, which tend to be the most coveted and most valuable cards in a CCG set, so the components of this set are fundamentally good. If only they had been something other than Ferengi.
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!).
Anyone who has been playing the game will find this game easy to play and the "Strange New Worlds" expansion does not offer any changes to game play, it just restores an old affiliation to the new game.
There are no changes to the rules in this expansion.
Being that this is a Ferengi-driven set, it is odd that some of the best cards have nothing to do with the Ferengi or even Star Trek rogues. There is a Klingon affiliation Picard and a Romulan affiliation Spock. Scotty and the ancient Dr. McCoy appear to give Federation players something to crow about. There is even an uncommon Kira and the appearance of the EMH! For those trying to make their decks a bit more dangerous, Dr. Tolian Soran is also included.
The highlight of "Strange New Worlds," might well be the B-4, Dangerous Simpleton card. As one of two non-aligned Soong-type androids in this deck, B-4 allows any player to bulk up their deck by adding the strength and resourcefulness of an android. He is easy to play, relatively inexpensive and supplements almost any crew quite well.
The two Archive Portraits: T'Pol and Seven Of Nine make for excellent foil cards and their rarity gives them special value. Moreover, starting the Archive Portrait set with the two popular, busty women in the Star Trek franchise virtually guaranteed this set would be a sell out.
The "Strange New Worlds" cards were released only by the box in a single run, so they remain one of the harder to find sets. The Archive Portraits, though, being of two popular women helps to keep the value on this set high. The Archive Portraits have the potential to turn an average set into something truly extraordinary and here they do that. Despite the emphasis on the Ferengi, collectors have shown an interest in the set, if for no other reason than their desire to have one of everything.
It is, however, not quite enough to earn this average set a "recommend." Instead, the set is too broad to please most players or collectors. Investors in the set are not likely to lose money in the long run, but at this point, it remains one of the least desired and least desirable Second Edition sets.
This is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store! For my current inventory, please visit my Strange New Worlds Inventory Page!
This set was preceded by "Reflections 2.0" (reviewed here!) and followed by "To Boldly Go" (reviewed here!).
This set culls material primarily from Star Trek: The Next Generation (reviewed here!) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!)
For other trading and gaming card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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