Captain's Blog: The Naked Now
Posted September 7th 2019 by dragoncymru1
“I was reading a history of all the past starships named Enterprise.” – Will Riker, 'The Naked Now'

Welcome to my next piece about creating a solo version of Star Trek 1e CCG. This time I’ll detail some of the main house rules I use, my TNG card-pool and ways I make solo games look more visually appealing.

With the 2019 version of the solo project I have been trying as far as possible to keep it as close to the rules of the normal game, and making only a few concessions to solo play – and keeping it the same yet making it different was very much the theme of 'The Naked Now', TNG’s second ever episode.

Although I’ve been a collector, player and fan of STCCG since it came out, I’ve very much ‘dipped in and out’ as other projects and life outside gaming (yes, it does exist...) took priority. So when you return to a game project you have to do some catching up on what you’ve missed. Over the last couple of weeks whilst I’ve been play-testing solo games, I’ve been asking a few questions on the TrekCC Forums to get a feel of what is currently in fashion and why certain concepts do or don’t work. I’ve had a great time exploring the card pool and getting a better feel for the amazing expansions and cards the CC have created.

So here are a few house rules that have worked well in my games. I’m sure they have problems in the real game, but in the solo game they work well and give loads more ‘Trek flavour’ to the experience. They also add a bit more challenge to compensate for randomly seeded, rather than opponent seeded, dilemmas:

Beaming Limit: All ships may only beam down 6 Personnel each turn for a Mission attempt (so assemble your Away Team carefully). I always rule that Mission attempts at Outposts have no restriction to the amount of Personnel attempting it as the Personnel are at the Outpost rather beaming down from a Ship.

Ship Personnel Capacity: A ship may only carry maximum Personnel equal to: Printed SHIELDS +1, +1 per Staff Icon, +2 per Command or any Starfleet/23rd century Icon). AU icons have no effect on capacity. I have found this to be an excellent rule and really make you think about how you distribute your crews.

Shuttles/Runabouts: These have Engage Shuttle Operations and Establish Landing Protocols as implicit rules rather than the need for specific cards, as it should have been designed like this initially.

Successful Mission Debriefing: If any Personnel uses a regular skill during a successful Mission attempt that Personnel is ‘stopped’ for the remainder of the Turn. Not quite the same as Mission Debriefing but it does stop a ‘mega-Turn’ where you can score loads of points in one go.

TNG Card Pool: The physical card-pool for the game is enormous and encompasses all eras of Star Trek. When I was collecting actual cards I knew I couldn’t keep up, nor did all eras of the show interest me as much, so I restricted myself to the ‘default’ setting of the game – the 24th century Alpha Quadrant. Since then of course, the CC has designed some brilliant cards from eras where I haven’t got a large card pool, but I still want to use them. So I have re-themed a few of the most interesting cards, such as Prepare Landing Party from the Star Trek 50 set has become ‘Assemble Away Team’, replacing the icons with TNG. Similarly, Explore New World from Broken Bow has Starfleet icons replaced with TNG.

Visual Appeal: I’m a big fan of making a game look as good as possible on the table, so I have invested in a beautiful (and cheap) galactic nebula poster as a play-mat (a real pity that no official ones exist anymore – at least for sensible money) and I’ve bought some dice packs for Star Trek: Ascendancy as point markers on Missions. These are available in 6 different Affiliation colours (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Ferengi, Borg and Cardassian) and are incredibly useful for marking completed Missions and bonus points from Dilemmas, Mission Specialists and other Events or Objectives:

Next time I’ll discuss how I try to control the Opponent deck in terms of what it tries to do and how that it can be different between Affiliations, plus since ‘Code of Honor’, the next episode of TNG, has NO 1st Edition cards taken from it, I’ll share 2 new Dream cards. I'm also still doing a re-watch of TNG and am just about to start Season 6. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter- so if you're interested in what I think about the episodes, Follow me - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”