Captain's Blog: Coming of Age
Posted December 28th 2019 by dragoncymru1
“Well, personally, I hate losing. So you'd better be ready next year, Wesley. I won't be easy to beat.” – Oliana Mirren, ‘Coming of Age’

Welcome to the latest article on the solo version of STCCG First Edition where I’m going to look at Coming of Age, the expansion released by the TrekCC in 2018, and in particular the 4 Affiliation Starter Decks they created.

Coming of Age: This expansion was released 6 years after The Next Generation set that celebrated 25 years of The Next Generation. Apart from some new and reprinted cards, the expansion also offered updated versions of the Starter decks released in 2012 with The Next Generation. These were designed specifically to revive older Next Generation cards so they were playable in a more modern environment as well as helping to re-introduce the game to returning players and teach the basics to new players. They really did a great job in 2012 and the updated decks from Coming of Age only improved them even more.

However, for me personally, I believe they don’t quite hit the mark. The draw deck for them is almost totally comprised of Personnel cards with virtually no other card types. This might be competitive, but certainly it doesn’t represent all the different basic card types that are available in the game and I would have liked to see a few more Affiliation-related Events and Interrupts than just the one included, so players can experience them in a game. In addition, for a Starter deck that purports to be a particular Affiliation, there are several Non Aligned Personnel included in each one. Surely there were other Affiliation Personnel they could have chosen with the same skill set? To compound this, some of the Non-Aligned Personnel chosen are confusing for first time players, such as including NA Data and Riker in the Ferengi Starter. There are 18 nicely balanced Dilemmas in each Starter but from a variety of different sources. I think if this was a TNG focussed deck, I would have selected chosen all the Dilemmas from TNG sources – there are certainly enough!

Federation See on TrekCC
It’s certainly great to see all 7 TNG main Bridge Crew in the set and the inclusion of Spock is another fan-pleaser, especially if he can indulge in some Cowboy Diplomacy. The low number of Ships is concerning however, even if you can get one out quickly. The Missions are nicely diverse although sometimes reference cards not in the deck. The Dilemmas are pretty nasty though which could turn off new players.

Klingon See on TrekCC
Some odd choices for Personnel with Picard, Riker and Worf making an appearance, which could be a problem if playing against the Federation Starter. I’m really surprised that Gowron didn’t make the cut or, since Duras is in there, why Lursa and B’Etor are absent. Klingon Death Yell is great fun and the Mission selection is sound. The Dilemmas feature some duplication from other Starters and some non-TNG sources.

Romulan See on TrekCC
The Personnel choices are confused here, with the standard ‘treacherous’ Romulans being mixed with Dissidents and Ambassador Spock – as well as another Picard! The choice of 2 Science Vessel Ships is a bit wimpy for the strutting Romulan Empire and the Mission Recover Prisoner has a Capture reference which might complicate things in a Starter deck environment. There is again some Dilemma duplication.

Ferengi See on TrekCC
It’s great to see Quark and the other Ferengi, Lwaxana Troi is fine, but both Riker and Data are featured, as well as yet another Picard (so he features in all 4 Starters)! The Mission selection is very good, with standard and easily gained requirements for Ferengi, but Ships are unimpressive again. The Dilemmas feature some duplication and non-TNG sources. I would have included more copies of Ferengi Ambush.

To discover more about the Coming of Age expansion, the cards and the starter decks in more detail, check it out on TrekCC:

On a personal note, after writing about STCCG First Edition for the last 5 months, this expansion and its starter decks (plus all the people over at the TrekCC Forums), have really deepened my knowledge of the game, popular card combos, and current play strategies, so I’m very grateful to the design team.

Next time I’m going to pack my Bat'leth, eat some heart of Targ and jump into my Vor’cha cruiser as I discuss all things The Next Generation Klingon, from the Affiliation in general to base Missions and other important cards.

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’m about to embark on both Season 7 of The Next Generation and Season 2 of Deep Space 9. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter - so if you're interested in what I think about them, Follow me - @DWSSG01. Finally, I’d like to wish all the readers of this Blog a very happy 2020!

“Make it so...”