Thursday, January 10, 2013

Simple Repack Theater Vol. 8, "Adversaries Anthology:" Star Trek Second Edition CCG Gets Lazy.

The Good: Interesting foils, Decent overall value for collectors who might not have already gotten everything.
The Bad: LOTS of product that has already been released in order to get the good stuff!
The Basics: The Star Trek Second Edition CCG pawns off more previously released cards with only a few new foils with the "Adversaries Anthology."

When a company begins to experience financial problems, it is seldom a surprise to the attentive customers of that company. The first thing a company in trouble tries to do is dump its inventory; make cash, become liquid in order to pay the bills. In the case of Decipher, Inc., the gaming card company that held the license for the Star Trek gaming cards, when it got into trouble, it was pretty obvious. The company became obsessed with repackaging the first three Second Edition sets any way they could to try to raise money.

As a result, Star Trek CCG customers were bombarded with "Fractured Time" (review pending), then "Reflections 2.0" (review pending), both of which offered a number of new cards and new foil cards in order to try to unload some of the stock of the earlier released cards. "Fractured Time" included packs and starter decks to sell a forty card exclusive set, "Reflections 2.0" was a collection of foil cards mixed in with nine times as many cards plucked from earlier sets. By the time Decipher got to "Adversaries Anthology," the financial mess Decipher was in had become pretty obvious. With the third attempt to milk fans for money in order to start producing new, original material, Decipher lost a number of collectors who saw this as another pointless attempt to get their dollars.

Basics/Set Composition

"Adversaries Anthology" is a boxed set of Star Trek Customizable Card Game Cards that features a starter deck from "Call To Arms" (reviewed here!), as well as two packs each of boosters from "Call To Arms," "Energize" (reviewed here!), and "Second Edition Premiere" (reviewed here!). Because this would be a pretty transparent and pathetic attempt to raise money, the "Adversaries Anthology" boxes also include a twenty-card foil set featuring prominent leaders and their ships.

The Adversaries Anthology foil set attempts to capitalize on the most popular characters, ships and circumstances by reprinting popular cards as foil cards. There are sixteen pure reprints: 2 Dilemmas (cards that create obstacles for your opponent to overcome, like an Assassination Attempt or a Nanite Attack), 1 Event (a card illustrating a longer objective for a player, in this case, "How Would You Like A Trip To Romulus?," which puts the player on a mission straight for the Romulan homeworld and any opposing players who have a ship there, 2 Interrupts (cards that depict quick changes of fortune for the players, like the appearance of Amanda Rogers or Kevin Uxbridge), 8 Personnel (1 Bajoran, 1 Cardassian, 1 Dominion, 2 Federation, 1 Klingon, 1 Non-aligned, and 1 Romulan), and 3 Ship (1 Cardassian, 1 Federation, 1 Klingon) cards. Pairing the commanders with their ships gives players an immediate bonus, so this is a clever tactic on the part of Decipher to try to raise money.

The other four cards are semi-exclusive to this boxed set. The two Personnel and two Ship cards are what most people were hunting when they bought this set. The Borg Queen's Ship is a reprinting of the foil that was released as part of the Tenth Anniversary Incentive Program. Outside lacking the X logo in the upper right corner, this card is identical to the prior release, making it easy for casual fans who already have that set to pass over.

Then there is the Scimitar, the massive Romulan warship from Star Trek: Nemesis (reviewed here!). This foil card features a different image of the ship than was used in any other release and fans tended to gravitate to this card for the image and the powerful playability of the card.

It also helped that one of the two other foils was Shinzon, the commander of the Scimitar. Shinzon is one of two exclusive foil cards in the set which begins Decipher's elongated images that preview forthcoming cards. These cards are called Archive Portraits and they are definitely designed for collectors more than players! The image is about double size, allowing for close to a full body shot. This does not make so much of a difference with the Shinzon Archive Portrait foil. . . .

. . . But it makes a world of difference for the final exclusive card in this set: the Borg Queen Archive Portrait. The special elongated window allows the collector to be treated to the image of the Borg Queen being lowered into the bottom half of her Borg suit! Were it not for the elongated window, there would be a simple bust and above shot of the villainous Borg Queen. Instead, there is the head and bust section, the metallic spine and the female body below, making for a very cool card with a very tough-to-find image.


The Star Trek CCG is essentially a cross between a board game and a role playing game. The "Adversaries Anthology," because it features a starter deck is guaranteed to have enough in it to be able to be played right out of the box. Fortunately, the "Call To Arms" starter deck includes a rulebook, so the process is painless.

Rule Changes

There are no rule changes in this expansion, as it is mostly recycled product. The Second Edition was remarkably good at not creating new card types, so anyone who knows the game already will find it easy to pick up this set, as there is nothing new to learn.


While many of the foil reprints are interesting, the high point of the set has to be either the new image of the Scimitar or the Borg Queen Archive Portrait card. The Scimitar is one of the most intriguing ships in the Star Trek universe and because the design was kept secret for as long as possible, there is very little artwork of the ship on the trading or gaming cards. As a result, the close up of the main section of the Scimitar makes for a very valuable card.

Similarly, the Borg Queen card is just plain fun. Because the game text is minimized, the elongated image is prioritized. The Borg Queen and her surroundings in the Borgified Engineering section of the Enterprise-E lends itself well to the foil nature of the card. This is the card people tend to buy the whole boxed set just to get.


"Adversaries Anthology," like many of the Decipher repackaged products, is something of a crapshoot. There are a number of collectors who simply wanted the three truly exclusive foils in the set and as a result, a lot of the other foils and the supplemental packs were dumped. The exclusive foils have managed to hold their value in the secondary market, making it a surprisingly good investment. Indeed, dealers tend to be able to recoup their entire cost on the foil set or even just the exclusive three foils, making the contents of the packs and starter deck pure profit!

Still, it is somewhat disappointing that Decipher did not include any sort of deluxe checklist in this boxed set to let collectors know each card they had made before this set (this had been done in many of the prior boxed set releases in First Edition).


Ultimately, I can't justify the expense just for the three cards. In subsequent releases, Archive Portraits were of characters who had not yet been featured in the Star Trek CCG. There are ample (at least two of each) copies of Shinzon and the Borg Queen in prior sets, so making them Archive Portrait cards starts the trend on the wrong foot. Fortunately, Decipher recovered enough to start doing the products right again.

This set was released after "Reflections 2.0" and before "Strange New Worlds" (reviewed here!).

This is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store. For a current inventory list, please visit the Adversaries Anthology inventory page!


For other card reviews, please check out my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the card reviews I have written!

© 2013, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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