The Good: Some very nice foils, With price depressed the boxes are a great deal for collectors
The Bad: Rarities, Everything in the set was done before, A ton of filler!
The Basics: With foil reprints of choice cards from only the first six sets mixed in with a ton of singles from those sets,"Reflections" ultimately cheats players, collectors and investors in the Star TrekCCG.
Star Trek "Reflections" was Decipher's most blatant and shameless effort to dump old Star Trek CCG stock to date. After five years of producing the Star Trek CCG, Decipher warehouses were apparently still plugged with old inventory from the first six sets, so they came up with an interesting solution; repackage the cards and reprint some as foils. Yes, it's Malibu Stacey, but she has a new hat.
The Star Trek Customizable Card Game "Reflections" set was the tenth full expansion set of cards sold in boxes created by Decipher to continue the Customizable Card Game. Players saw the game as a strategy game that is like a Role-playing game with cards. The players got to use characters, vessels, and scenarios are all already conceived by others. The original concept was to find a way to make play socially acceptable for an older audience and it generally worked. Collectors saw this as another thing to collect to show their love of Star Trek and while the cards have very different images from the trading card releases, many collectors were turned off by how small the images were and how much space on each card was given to game-related text.
"Reflections" is a 105 card set that is entirely comprised of foil reprint cards from the first six sets of Star Trek CCG cards (see links at bottom of page). There are no new cards at all in this set and the foils are straightforward reprints of previously released cards with a mirrored finish to them. The set consists of 46 very rare foils, 50 super rare foils, 4 ultra rare foils, 4 boxtopper foils and 1 casetopper foil reprint cards, with the most popular characters and scenarios being given the more rare status and the lesser cards filling out the more common foils.
The 105 card foil reprint set features 7 Artifacts (cards featuring unique devices, like Data's Head), 10 Dilemmas (cards featuring challenges the crews faced), 1 Doorway (cards that depict passages that allow the playing of side decks, like the Devidian Door), 9 Events (cards featuring long-standing challenges or concepts in the overall Star Trek universe, like enhancements to the weapons systems made by the Bynars), 6 Facilities (cards that represent a "home base" for an affiliation), 2 Interrupts (cards featuring phenomenon that quickly turn events, like Klingons letting out a death yell), 6 Missions (cards featuring basic plots from the series', these are used to create the "board" for the game), 2 Objectives (long-standing goals for players which establish alternate goals of the game, like the Borg assimilating an enemy's homeworld), 44 Personnel (3 Bajoran, 3 Borg, 4 Cardassian, 4 Dominion, 13 Federation, 7 Klingon, 5 Non-Aligned, and 5 Romulan characters, only the most recognizable ones from each affiliation), 16 Ship cards (1 Borg, 2 Cardassian, 4 Federation, 4 Klingon, 1 Non-Aligned and 4 Romulan), 1 Time Location (cards representing a temporal location, in this case the Montana Missile Silo where the Phoenix was launched), and 1 Tribbles card.
To add insult to injury for feeling the compulsion to purchase these cards just to assemble a 105 card foil card set, the packs of 18 cards only have one foil card per pack. The other 17 cards are all regular, repackaged cards from the prior sets. There are commons, uncommons and rares from the first six sets of Star Trek CCGs.
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. The "Reflections" set incorporates the thirteen types of cards introduced and revised with the "Deep Space Nine" expansion set and adds one of the cards from the "Trouble With Tribbles" set as a box topper.
"Reflections" does not add any new affiliations, because it does not add any new cards. These truly are the leftovers repackaged all pretty like with the addition of foil versions of the top one hundred cards from the first few sets.
This is a very complex customizable card game, but it represents a level of gaming sophistication designed to appeal to younger adults and actually challenge them, which is a decent idea given the thematic complexity of the Star Trek universe. The problem, of course, is that most people who would be most stimulated by this game do not have the time or effort/interest to learn to play it. As a result, the mid-teens that basically run the CCG players world seem to have had mixed impressions about this game.
This is very much a collector's set as players who seriously play the game will already have everything that is in these boxes of cards and would be unlikely to play with the more valuable foil cards anyway.
The basic rules for the Star Trek CCG were revised in the "Deep Space Nine" expansion and are covered in my review (see link below).
There are no rule changes in this expansion, again, because there are no new cards.
The "Reflections" set sets out to wow fans and it manages to do some of that with its impressive list of foil reprint cards. The entire command crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and space station Deep Space Nine are reprinted, along with many of the favored recurring guest characters like Martok, Weyoun, and Sela. The foils look good and the four box toppers - Gowron of Borg, Admiral Riker, Dr. Telek R'Mor, and the 100,000 Tribbles (Clone) cards - represent some of the most visually interesting selections from the Star Trek CCG up until this point. And being able to pull regular characters like Deanna Troi, Beverly Crusher, Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax makes this a pretty wonderful collection. It's the "Greatest Hits" of the Star Trek CCG's first few sets.
The obvious choice for the highlights would seem to be either the Ultra Rares - Borg Queen, Jean-Luc Picard, Future Enterprise and U.S.S. Defiant - or the casetopper of Seven Of Nine simply because of their rarity. Each of those cards represents a powerful card that has effectively held its value in the market from $25 - $50 each, making them the most valuable.
But of the foil reprint cards, the best in this case is actually one of the most common. The Very Rare Foil "Investigate Rumors" card is the one that best utilizes the foil nature of the cards. A simple Mission, reprinted from the "Deep Space Nine" set, "Investigate Rumors" is a card that has a nebula on it and the foil aspect makes it shimmer and shine in a way that looks great. the card looks good and that's the best one can ask from a foil reprint. It shimmers, it shines, yes, it's pretty. And that's exactly what it is supposed to be and this card takes the image presented and actually enhances it with the foil aspect. The others simply make the cards shiny.
"Reflections" is all about the collectors and it's all about pleasing the collectors who need everything. The Ultra Rare foils average one in every other box, so even a six-box case is not likely to net an entire master set of these cards. That means one usually has to but eight boxes just to pull all four Ultra Rare foils and that leaves the collector with a ton of leftover singles from the prior sets.
The result is that the "Reflections" set actually had the inverse effect of what collectors and especially investors want out of a set. The "Reflections" set itself remains quite valuable. Most collectors did not have the patience or money to sift through all the garbage to pull the card per pack they needed to try to assemble the 105 card set of foils depicting cards they already had, so many simply let dealers do all the work and purchased their sets from dealers.
The problem is, the dealers who opened them ended up flooded with commons, uncommons and rares from the first six sets, which depressed the value of the sets of cards that had already been out. All six sets plummeted in value upon the release of "Reflections" and only the last three recovered some footing in the marketplace. Decipher managed to mortgage their prior material for the new set with the release of "Reflections."
The only positive aspect of the "Reflections" set from a collectibility perspective is that the set wisely focused on reprinting the most popular ships and personnel cards. These two card types tend to have more universal appeal and as a result, they do increase the overall sense of value to the set, even if it does not add new characters or even new images of them.
In other words, it's a long way to go for little pay off.
The foil reprint set that was "Reflections" represents the best cards already in the marketplace when the set was released and while the shiny cards look neat, the appeal is lessened when one looks at the prior sets and realizes they are worth less as a result. The difficulty in assembling a full set and the lack of collectors looking for single foils and willing to pay what is needed to justify the purchase of a box of "Reflections" cards makes this, ultimately, a lemon.
At least it's a good looking lemon.
This set culls material from the following Star Trek CCG series:
Star Trek: The Next Generation Premiere
"Deep Space Nine"
As well as one foil card reprinted from each of:
Enhanced First Contact
"The Trouble With Tribbles"
This set was preceded by "The Trouble With Tribbles" (link above) and followed by the Star Trek CCG expansion "Mirror, Mirror," reviewed here.
This is a set of gaming cards I sell in my online store, be sure to check out my current inventory by clicking here!
For other card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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