Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Ideal Way To War In The Star Trek CCG: Call To Arms Combo Box!

The Good: Decent images, Good concept, Easy playability for those who got "Premiere," Great new affiliations!
The Bad: Heavily oriented toward players.
The Basics: "A Call To Arms" is ideally purchased with the combo box to get both the starter deck and booster pack cards!

It is tough to make a game from a popular franchise, like Star Trek because there is such a rich collection of variables to call from. For a role playing game, creators have to figure out what essential affiliations and groups to include, something made easier only by trying to define which time period in the Star Trek universe the game is being set in. Unfortunately, setting a game in the Star Trek: The Next Generation/Star Trek: Deep Space Nine/Star Trek: Voyager time frame does little to minimize the races and affiliations that a player might want to play. As a result, when Decipher, Inc. rebooted the Star Trek CCG with Second Edition Premiere, some elements had to be cut. Most notable among these were the popular Dominion and Borg affiliations.

"Call To Arms" introduced the Borg and the Dominion cards into the Second Edition and it offered an opportunity to reinvigorate the game. This attempt worked and the Second Edition took off in popularity. "Call To Arms" was available in booster pack boxes, starter deck boxes and combo boxes that featured four starter decks and twenty-four booster packs. For those buying the combo boxes, they received the best possible mix of cards as it included both the starter deck exclusive cards and the increased proportion of rares represented by the booster packs!

Basics/Set Composition

"Call To Arms" is the third Second Edition set of Customizable Card Game cards released by Decipher, Inc. Its dominant themes are the Borg and the Dominion. The introduction of these two affiliations adds some additional strategic elements to the game and the images featured are largely themed around those two groups.

"Call To Arms" is a 208 card set featuring 60 common, 60 uncommon, 60 rare, and 28 starter deck exclusive cards. With an ideal collation a master set could be completed with only one combo box and a booster box.

The set was broken down with: 31 Dilemma (cards depicting obstacles for the crew, like Gomtuu's Shock Wave or a Rogue Borg Ambush), 1 Equipment (cards illustrating mass-produced items in the Star Trek universe, in this case a Jem'Hadar Disruptor Pistol), 36 Event (cards that contain generally longer-lasting conditions that alter play, like a Borg Cutting Beam or use of a Jem'Hadar Birthing Chamber), 12 Interrupt (cards that have conditions that quickly turn gameplay, like a Founder Trap or a Security Sweep), 30 Mission (cards that create the "board" of the game and allow players to earn points needed to win the game), 87 Personnel (7 Bajoran, 23 Borg, 9 Cardassian, 24 Dominion, 8 Federation, 2 Ferengi, 5 Klingon, 5 Non-Aligned, and 4 Romulan characters), and 11 Ships (3 Borg, 1 Cardassian, 3 Dominion, 1 Federation, 1 Klingon, 1 Non-Aligned, and 1 Romulan starships). It is a fairly substantive set.


"Call To Arms" 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 significant change to the game is the addition of the Borg and the Dominion. Rules governing these two affiliations are included in the starter decks. This set is very easy to use to learn to play the game and the only serious problem on the level of playing the game is that with "Call To Arms" introduces two Ferengi Personnel cards. They cannot be played at this point, though, as there are no ships, missions or other Ferengi cards. They are strangely pointless in this expansion.

Anyone who has played a Customizable Card Game wherein cost for cards is involved ought to be able to adapt rather quickly to playing this game.

Rule Changes

Because of Decipher's commitment to not adding any new card types to the Star Trek Second Edition CCG, the addition of the Borg and the Dominion required some additional text on some of the cards, most notably the Event cards. Functioning like Objectives, Incidents and Tactics from First Edition, Events gain all sort of command words in the Second Edition and in "Call To Arms there are specific rules governing such things as countdown (decay) cards.

The most significant rule change involves the Dominion and their use of Founder infiltrators. This set includes rules for replacing opponents' personnel cards with Founder dopplegangers.

Outside that, there are no significant rules to clarify. Fortunately, the starter decks in the combo box come with a rulebook.


In a set focusing on beefing up the game through the introduction of the menacing Borg as seen from Star Trek: Voyager and allowing players to recreate a bit of the most bloody war in the Star Trek franchise with the addition of the Dominion, it is natural to have some wonderfully popular cards. As always, personnel and ships always focus the collectors and they are of vital interest to the players. In this set, there are fan favorites like Locutus, Seven of Nine and the Borg Queen right beside the Founder Leader, Weyoun and the Martok Founder!

Despite all that, I find myself most drawn to the obscure Alexander Rozhenko, Good Luck Charm card. Finding anything with an image of the Alexander portrayed in two episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a bear and this is a very cool image of him, as well as a useful card for players of the Klingon affiliation. Sure, most people would bank on Locutus' Borg Cube, but I'd rather have Alexander Rozhenko!


"Call To Arms," 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 "Call To Arms" were also included in the "Reflections 2.0" product.

"Call To Arms" is one of the most popular products in the Star Trek Second Edition. The price for the combo boxes has continued to be strong in the $75.00 range as many collectors want to be able to assemble complete sets without having to hunt down the starter decks which are included in the combo boxes. The popularity of the set keeps the master sets valued in the $150 range.


This remains a solid set and one that is likely to bring new players and collectors to the game given the popularity of the subject. In many ways, this was an easy gamble for Decipher; the Borg and Dominion were extraordinarily popular and because the game remains true to the promise of Second Edition, it remains a winner.

"Call To Arms" was preceded by Energize (reviewed here!) and followed by "Necessary Evil" (reviewed here!).

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

This set culls images from:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
(with a shot or two from both Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation)


For other gaming card reviews, 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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