The Good: Intriguing characters, well presented
The Bad: Good initial investment, It's only two cards!
The Basics: With only two cards, the Away Team Pack may not seem worth much, but the cards are interesting and nice enough.
Every now and then, I find myself - metaphorically - hoisted on my own petard. I strive to be efficient and evaluate all of what is available for what I am reviewing. So, when reviewing the Star Trek first edition CCGs, I have become determined to create a final article that has a complete product listing in it available for those who are truly interested in the game to have an easy point of reference to jump off to my reviews from.
That means that I have to review things like the "Away Team Pack," a two-card product that was initially given out at Decipher events and is now a pretty cherished collectible in the secondary market. But, at the end of the day, it's just two cards!
As previously mentioned, the Away Team Pack was a collection of two cards and in its mint, unopened form, it is two cards surrounded in cellophane. The cards are The Emissary, a Bajoran Affiliation version of Benjamin Sisko, and The Traveler. Released prior to the Deep Space Nine CCG set release, The Emissary actually becomes the first Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character to be presented and is also the technical introduction of the Bajoran Affiliation.
Benjamin Sisko as The Emissary is a great idea and it makes perfect sense given his dual status as a StarFleet officer and a Bajoran religious icon. The Emissary is actually a dual-affiliation card: Bajoran/Federation, but it bears the maroon of the Bajoran affiliation and it makes sense that this card would be played more in Bajoran decks than Federation ones. The Emissary premium offers the chance to have a powerful Bajoran leader ready for any Bajoran decks and one imagines that the high attributes of The Emissary made many players excited about the set that would be released after this pack was given out.
The Traveler is a powerful card as well and his Cunning score is enough to make him an asset to any deck. The Traveler is one of those touchy cards (like a immortal Q, which was never made) that is a great concept but is ridiculously powerful. The Traveler, as a recurring guest character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, appeared and displayed incredible abilities to manipulate time and space. Rightfully, then, this card allows players to move their ship limitlessly and the only sacrifice is the card itself!
It may only be two cards, but they are two interesting cards.
The Emissary and The Traveler are both Personnel cards and Personnel cards are often the meat of any gaming deck. In this case, The Emissary's integrity and strength make him invaluable. Moreover, having the Emissary in hand for a Bajoran deck instantly strengthens the player's position by providing the hand with a definitive leader and one who is skilled and can take on some missions that no other Bajoran personnel can.
The Traveler is an asset to any hand with his high cunning - finally non-Federation decks have a chance to play a card that can outwit Data! - and his special skill. If one were to find their ship imperiled, so long as there is a character with Youth aboard the ship, The Traveler may act as a "get out of jail free" card and move the ship away from the danger instantly.
But together, the cards play off one another well, especially if one considers creating a sensible deck using related cards. The Emissary is a dual-affiliation, so he may be played as a Federation personnel card. If The Emissary is aboard a ship with his son, the Jake and Nog card from the "Deep Space Nine" CCG set, and The Traveler as a non-aligned character is brought along, suddenly, one has a pretty incredible ship's crew out of only three cards!
There are no rules changed by these cards, though technically, The Emissary introduces the Bajoran affiliation.
With a choice of two, it seems strange to do highlights. That said, despite my love of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and of Benjamin Sisko, I'd have to say that the real winner in this set is The Traveler. Playable with almost any deck, this personnel card enhances any crew and gives a purpose to some of the cards that portrayed youthful characters which before now might have been used as cannon fodder. No more!
The Traveler is inherently valuable with its 12 points of Cunning, but it has a synergistic effect making it worth quite a bit more when characters with Youth are present because those cards become endowed with an ability to utilize the Traveler's skill to live to fight another day. That type of power in a strategy game is pretty awesome.
The packs came sealed together, so collectors either got them or they didn't. There is no hunting for this set. Both Eric Menyuk (The Traveler) and Avery Brooks (Sisko the Emissary) do conventions so fans will enjoy the potential of getting these cards autographed if they are interested in that. The image on each one is a good representation and not the typical shots that are commonly seen on things like 8X10s.
For investor/collectors, this set seems to have reached its capacity. When they were originally given out, fans shelled out about five dollars for the pair. Now the two card "Away Team Pack" tends to sell around $10.00. Those who were in on the action early seem to be quite happy with their investment. Unfortunately for those late to the game, pun intended, this set seems to have topped out at its reasonably and likely final resting price.
Players will like these cards and if they can find them on the cheap, they can enhance Bajoran, Federation or completely non-aligned decks. Fans will like the cards because they depict two wonderful characters in a way that they are not available anywhere else. Collectors will hunt them down just because they need to have everything.
But casual fans will want more for their time and effort and two cards is hardly enough to get out of bed for, much less write a review of.
This set culls images from:
and "Remember Me"
This set was preceded by the Official Tournament Sealed Deck Product (reviewed here!) and followed by the expansion "Deep Space Nine," reviewed here!
For other card reviews, please be sure to check out my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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