The Good: Some great and intriguing images, No new rules or side decks or card types!
The Bad: Game continues to get more complicated and less playable, Annoying collectibility issues
The Basics: A lackluster Star Trek CCG set simply introduces Voyager to the gameplay. Meh.
Following in the tradition of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine CCG set (reviewed here!), which forced the change from the Star Trek: The Next Generation CCG to the more general Star Trek CCG, the Star Trek Customizable Card Game did a full revamp of the game to introduce the Star Trek: Voyager expansion. Available in both starter decks with a new rulebook and booster boxes with a higher concentration of rares, the Star Trek: Voyager CCG expansion introduced Star Trek: Voyager scenarios, characters and ships to the game.
Actually, the set did a lot of reprinting. In a strange and somewhat disappointing move on the part of Decipher, Inc, who made the gaming card sets for Star Trek, the Star Trek: Voyager set includes a number of previously released cards with Star Trek: Voyager images as opposed to their original (usually Next Generation) images. This is a bit disappointing as it makes one wonder what the difference - truly - between a "Female's Love Interest" is in the Alpha Quadrant vs. the Delta Quadrant.
The Star Trek Customizable Card Game Star Trek: Voyager set was the twelfth full expansion set of cards sold in boxes - both of booster packs and starter decks - 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.
Star Trek: Voyager is a 218 card set focusing on characters, ships, alien races and scenarios presented involving the adventures of the U.S.S. Voyager in the Delta Quadrant! The set consists of 60 common cards, 60 uncommon cards, 60 rares, 20 Starter Deck exclusives, 17 Dual-Affiliation alternate color cards and one Ultra Rare card with the most popular characters and scenarios being given rare status and the background supernumeraries filling out the more common cards. This set offers a new opportunity for fans and collectors to collect some of the most interesting and significant recurring characters in the franchise.
The 218 card set features 29 Dilemmas (cards featuring challenges the crews faced), 3 Doorways (cards representing passages, like the Barzan Wormhole), 13 Equipment (cards featuring generic, mass produced devices in the Star Trek universe, like a Vidiian Harvester or a Mobile Holo-Emitter), 9 Events (cards featuring long-standing challenges or concepts in the overall Star Trek universe, like recording Captain's Logs), 3 Facilities (cards that illustrate originating locations of major races, in this case Delta Quadrant races), 10 Incidents (cards that feature extended challenges to personnel or ships, like the deployment of a Vidiian Boarding Claw), 10 Interrupts (cards featuring phenomenon that quickly turn events, like the
Auto-Destruct System being engaged), 29 Missions (cards featuring basic plots from the series', these are used to create the "board" for the game), 5 Objectives (long-standing goals for players which establish alternate goals of the game, like harvesting organs [for Vidiian players!]), 94 Personnel (1 Bajoran, 1 Cardassian, 30 Federation, 2 Ferengi, 20 Kazon, 24 Non-Aligned, 3 Romulan and 13 Vidiian characters), and 13 Ship cards (5 Federation, 3 Kazon, 2 Non-Aligned and 3 Vidiian). This set introduces the Delta Quadrant and its races to the CCG, which offered an intriguing alternate location and its appearance did not alter gameplay significantly.
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 Star Trek: Voyager set continues the game with the thirteen types of cards introduced and revised with the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine expansion set. The Star Trek: Voyager set also utilizes the one of the two new card types introduced in "Blaze Of Glory" (reviewed here!): the Incident cards. The basic idea is to assemble a sixty card deck (for beginners), lay out the board (spaceline) and play against an opponent.
Star Trek: Voyager does not add any new card types, and it, in fact, does not use any Q-Cards or Tactics, nor any of the other weird side deck exclusive cards. This only introduces missions that occur within the confines of the Delta Quadrant and the alien races that live there. As a result, there are two new Affiliations, the Kazon and the Vidiians. Playing them does not alter the game in any way, they are simply a new affiliation.
This is a very complex customizable card game; the rulebook is now up to 37 (small) pages including the glossary. 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.
Anyone who has played the initial game will have no problem incorporating the new cards into their deck. Indeed, Star Trek: Voyager works as an opportunity for those who are just getting into the game because it essentially restarts it by reintroducing many of the original missions and scenarios in the new Star Trek: Voyager context. It is slightly less complicated for those playing simply with Star Trek: Voyager cards because the set does not overwhelm new players with lots of sidedecks or ship to ship warfare cards.
The basic rules for the Star Trek CCG were revised in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine expansion and are covered in my review. This set includes a rulebook in the starter decks and it lays out how to assemble a deck and any side decks that are introduced using Doorway cards. The rules describe how to lay out a "board" with Mission cards and Dilemmas underneath them. It then details how to staff starships, what comprises a player's hand and even has very convenient photographs illustrating how to lay out a playing area.
The rulebook details how to complete missions, fight battles hand to hand and ship to ship and how to win the game.
There are no new rules in this expansion, so the rulebook simply reiterates previous rules and establishes that Delta Quadrant cards are limited to use in the Delta Quadrant.
Players, collectors and fans of Star Trek: Voyager will appreciate the image quality of the characters and scenarios from episodes from the successful spin-off. The worthwhile cards in this set are all Personnel. Federation Personnel. While fans of the show will appreciate the Seven Of Nine card - which is available as both a Federation Affiliation card and a Non-Aligned Affiliation card.
But with choices like Captain Janeway, B'Elanna Torres, Kes and the entire rest of the U.S.S. Voyager bridge crew, it's hard to say what the true highlight of the set is. The common wisdom would be that it is the Ultra Rare, the Pendari Champion card featuring "The Rock" in his Star Trek: Voyager role. It's an all right card, but fans of the series who are not big on wrestling will not be enthused by the card.
I would actually go with the U.S.S. Voyager as the best card in the set. It's a simple, straightforward Federation starship, but it is truly the hoe away from home for the crew and the card looks good and it makes for a decent rare card. The ship is a powerful addition to the game and it offers players and fans something universally appreciated.
Star Trek: Voyager is a mildly challenging set for collectors because of the Ultra Rare Pendari Champion card, which averaged one in every six-box case. It's a tough card to find and it is usually the one that prevents collectors from assembling a complete set. Many collectors resent having to shell out big bucks for this particular Ultra Rare and wish that there had been a different one. In addition to the tough chase of the Ultra Rare, the fact that there are twenty cards exclusive to starter decks that require collectors to purchase at least one starter deck - usually two to three as each starter deck did not have fixed cards and not all twenty exclusives ended up in each starter deck - to pull the final cards.
While Decipher did not overproduce the Star Trek: Voyager product, much of the set was dumped as collectors simply tore through cases looking for the Ultra Rares (they still retail $40 - $50 in the secondary market!). The cards come in packs of 11 cards that feature one rare (or the Ultra Rare!), three uncommon and seven common cards. This means that even with a box of thirty packs collectors should be able to assemble even 1 - 2 common sets and usually one uncommon set (if you're lucky, often it took two boxes to pull all of the right cards to make an uncommon set). A full master set takes about six boxes and that would leave collectors with a lot to sell off!
Star Trek: Voyager cards were never reprinted or re-released in any other forms. Because of the mixed feelings on the subject matter, this remains a rather hit or miss Star Trek CCG expansion. So, for example, players and collector pretty much universally rejected the Kazon, just like those who watched the series did!
This set has some good images, but players were bothered by the worthless affiliation (the Kazon), the difficulty in making a diverse crew with the cool new affiliation (there are only sixteen cards for players creating a Vidiian ship and crew!), and essentially reprinted cards from prior sets altered slightly to be playable in the Delta Quadrant and many players felt the set lacked real punch as a result.
The result is a hit-or-miss set and because I'm not a huge fan of Star Trek: Voyager, I opted against this otherwise average set. And it is pretty perfectly average with nothing truly extraordinary to write home about.
This set culls material from the Star Trek: Voyager Season, reviewed here!
This set was preceded by "Mirror, Mirror" (reviewed here!) and followed by the Star Trek CCG expansion "The Borg," reviewed here!
This is a set of gaming cards I sell in my online store! Be sure to check out my current inventory of them by clicking here!
For other card reviews, be sure to check out my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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