Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Getting Going With Star Trek Second Edition CCG: "Energize;" The Rogues Come Home To Roost!

The Good: Decent images, Good concept, Easy playability for those who got "Premiere"
The Bad: One of the less exciting expansions for sophisticated players/collectors
The Basics: "Energize" is ultimately an average set, which cripples the enthusiasm for the product, which introduces little new to the game.

When the Star Trek CCG rebooted with the Second Edition, it was met with a lot of resistance by long-time players and fans of the game, not to mention collectors who resented having to rebuy cards with similar images and/or identical characters and ships to those they had already purchased in the First Edition. There was a "who cares?" attitude among the old guard over the new larger images on each card and the generally easier game mechanic. Moreover, many of the First Edition loyalists resented that the Second Edition involved a "cost" for cards whereby the valuable cards depleted points in order to play and introduced an element of commerce to the game that had previously been lacking. This, the argument went, made the game more like Magic: The Gathering or the defunct Star Wars CCG and players resented that.

Still, Decipher, Inc. pressed on with the release of Second Edition Premiere and reasonably soon afterwards they introduced the first expansion set designed to keep the players who had adapted ahead and developing strategies and decks to keep the product going. That first expansion was "Energize" and in some ways it is impressive that the Second Edition survived the release. Why? There's just no gimmick . . .

"Energize" establishes the Second Edition as a place where expansions might have a more vague or player-oriented theme to them as opposed to plot concepts tying into the television shows that might appeal more to the collectors. Players, though, were generally energized by "Energize."

Basics/Set Composition

"Energize" is the first expansion and second Second Edition set of Customizable Card Game cards released by Decipher, Inc. Its dominant theme is rogues and the addition of a Maquis sub-affiliation to the Federation, Bajoran and Non-Aligned races. This set proudly included the first images from Star Trek: Enterprise for the CCGs (a few of the Dilemmas and such), but was mostly focused on the criminal elements in the Star Trek universe.

"Energize" is a 180 card set featuring 60 common, 60 uncommon and 60 rare cards. It was released exclusively in packs of eleven cards with one rare, three uncommon and seven common cards. Packs of "Energize" cards were found in boxes of 30 packs. With an ideal collation a master set could be completed with only two boxes as there were no foils or other gimmicks to dilute the rarity.

The set was broken down with: 28 Dilemma (cards depicting obstacles for the crew, like Houdini Mines or a DNA Security Scan), 1 Equipment (cards illustrating mass-produced items in the Star Trek universe, in this case a Bat'leth), 44 Event (cards that contain generally longer-lasting conditions that alter play, like an Assassination plot or the Prophets acting For The Sisko), 21 Interrupt (cards that have conditions that quickly turn gameplay, like a Coordinated Attack or a Vile Deception), 8 Mission (cards that create the "board" of the game and allow players to earn points needed to win the game), 66 Personnel (10 Bajoran, 5 Cardassian, 15 Federation, 14 Klingon, 14 Non-Aligned, and 8 Romulan characters), and 12 Ships (1 Bajoran, 1 Cardassian, 3 Federation, 1 Klingon, 3 Non-Aligned, and 3 Romulan starships). It is a fairly substantive set.


"Energize" follows the basic rules and setup of the Second Edition Premiere set (reviewed here!). Players establish a deck of sixty cards and they set down missions to accomplish which will earn them points, under which their opponent seeds Dilemmas, in the attempt to thwart their adversary's attempt to earn the points.

The goal of the game remains to earn 100 points. The only real change to the game is the addition of the Maquis, indicated by a small red Maquis symbol on the relevant cards. The Maquis are given a headquarters in this set, which allows players to truly play them as an affiliation.

Rule Changes

There is no supplemental rule sheet with this set and no change in the rules, which says how well the Second Edition Premiere was designed!


The problem with "Energize" is that there is no real focus to the set. For sure, the addition to the Maquis is interesting and that allows the addition of Chakotay, Michael Eddington and Rebecca Sullivan - one of the characters never presented in the First Edition. But there are also a number of Klingon character cards, including both Kahless from Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. But, because of the lack of focus and the fact that over half the cards are player-oriented (for the game only, not Personnel or Ships which are what motivates collectors to the CCGs), it's hard to pick a highlight.

For my money I would go with either Jake Sisko, Temporal Anchor or Ezri Dax, Station Counselor. The Jake Sisko card presents the alternate, future Jake from "The Visitor" (reviewed here!). It's a very popular episode and as a card for play, he has some decent attribute ratings and skills that can make some of the new missions relatively easy to combat.

As for Ezri Dax, there are so few cards featuring the younger Dax host and this one is a particularly interesting image. Moreover, she can be useful to many decks and that makes her a coveted card for players as well.


"Energize," like all Second Edition products, was never reprinted. However, it was included by the pack in the boxed sets of "Fractured Time" and "Adversaries Anthology" cards, in addition to the Deluxe Draft Pack product "Dangerous Missions." Cards from "Energize" were also included in the "Reflections 2.0" product.

"Energize" is one of the most fluctuating products in the Star Trek Second Edition marketplace. The price for boxes seems to alter radically, shooting up and plummeting without any real rhyme or reason. Most collectors avoid it because it is not a strong set with wide general appeal and it was produced in sufficient quantity to more than meet the demand for it.


Ultimately, that is what sinks the product. It is a remarkably average gaming card release and that makes it difficult to recommend. Are there cards in the set worth having? For sure. But this is not the greatest Star Trek CCG set ever and it is virtually impossible to get excited about a box of these cards.

"Energize" was preceded by Second Edition Premiere (link above) and followed by "Call To Arms" (reviewed here!).

This is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store! Check out my current inventory of them by clicking here!

This set culls images from:
Star Trek: The Next Generation
and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
(with a shot or two from both Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Voyager), most recognizably:
"The Maquis, Part 1"
"For The Cause"
"Gambit, Part 2"
and "Preemptive Strike”


For other gaming card reviews, be sure to check out my Gaming Card Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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