What is now known as First Edition (commonly abbreviated “1E” among players) is the original conception of the game, through various designers and iterations. It was first licensed only to cover Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the first three card sets were limited to that show’s universe. As such, the only affiliations created were the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, plus a group for other cards that didn’t fit into the three main affiliations called Non-Aligned. This narrow scope caused little attraction for players, and it was felt that only five more sets could be released before running the full course of available material.
In 1997, Decipher announced that a wider scope had now been licensed for the game: Deep Space 9, Voyager and The Next Generation movies would soon be depicted in new cards, thus the game’s name was shortened to the existing title. The First Contact set arrived late that year, based on the film Star Trek: First Contact; that set introduced the Borg affiliation, among other new concepts.
This was soon followed by several sets based on situations in Deep Space 9; these introduced affiliations for the Bajorans, Cardassians, Dominion, and Ferengi, along with enhanced systems for battling and capturing. The era of these expansions is considered by many players to be the ‘golden age’ of First Edition.
Two more sets featuring Original Series cards came next (when that property was added to the license), followed by sets drawing heavily on Voyager which introduced the new, but smaller Kazon, Vidiian, and Hirogen affiliations. It was after this that the game began a serious decline in popularity and sales.
Sales faltered during the release of the last two sets, based on the films and on holodeck scenarios. This dip in sales resulted in Decipher taking a serious look at the game’s future.
The solution was to reinvent the original game along the basic lines, still allowing a depth of gameplay but avoiding complex rules and concepts. The standard card types and gameplay would remain, allowing some new cards to be used with the original cards, known as backward-compatible cards, or First Edition Compatible (abbreviated as 1EC) and attempting to satisfy longstanding fans of the original game. These cards are able to be used in First Edition gameplay, though some key words need to be changed to fit the First Edition’s old rules and setup. Further information on how to use Second Edition cards in First Edition gameplay are listed in the First Edition Conversion Rules. Many cards central to the new form of the game can only conform to the new rules and setup. Second Edition, commonly abbreviated “2E”, was launched in 2002, and came to a close with its final expansion in December, 2007.
Because the game was essentially starting from scratch with the hindsight of seven years’ work, the initial Second Edition set was able to progress quickly. As a result, six affiliations debuted in that set compared to three for the original. It could be argued that the number was really seven, because of a unique new system that divided the Federation affiliation into groupings based on the shows’ casts. The focus of the Second Edition sets has been on characters and situations in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, though ‘supporting’ cards have images and concepts drawn from every part of the canon Star Trek universe. Furthermore, the scope of each card type could be realized in the early planning and a permanent seven card types were created: dilemmas, equipment, events, interrupts, missions, personnel, and ships. Decks would consist of five missions, at least twenty dilemmas in a dilemma pile (see below) and at least thirty-five cards made up of the other five card types.
Our event calendar system is currently in development.
In this modern day and age, you can actually play instantly (and completely free) online against other opponents without ever having to purchase any cards. There are several programs available for this, the most popular of which is Lackey CCG.