Author Topic: Retro Review: Star Trek Phase One  (Read 1371 times)

Offline Cleanse

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Retro Review: Star Trek Phase One
« on: October 24, 2014, 09:53:02 AM »
Random thoughts from a Trekkie and IW player on this promo set.

Under "Lore" I give my thoughts of the appropriateness of the card's effect and art to the character/thing in Star Trek canon.

Federation

Counsellor Troi

Gameplay - To date, Troi is the only way of revealing cards in your opponent's hand. This is a mechanic that I really hope gets explored more. Unfortunately, Troi's version is both extremely weak and overcosted.
Lore - Not surprisingly, the artists have elected to protray Troi in one of her "Counsellor Cleavage" outfits from the earlier seasons, when Troi was a pretty pointless character who only stated the obvious. ("He's hiding something, Captain!") This fits in quite well with her card's effect. Fortunately, Troi was both better written in the later seasons and received a proper Starfleet uniform as befitted a bridge officer.

Strangely, Troi was initially released with the lore-friendly subtype "Human Betazoid", as she is half and half. I really don't know why the "Betazoid" was removed as other Star Trek cards got subtypes for flavour only (Q and the Klingons)


Data

Gameplay - Obviously, Data works best as a commander in a hybrid deck with everyone's favourite robotic faction. The discount is not bad at all if you like spamming robots. Just a pity the artifact discount can't be used with Omnitron.
Lore - Data is definitely an android that could help you with your tech, so the effect is quite appropriate. Given Data's incredible strength, his stats are rather low though.


Picard

Gameplay - Meh. Its a reusable removal that can get around many forms of death protection. However, given the steep cost and the fact its limited to the battlefield, its not particularly useful. For one more resource, Patient Zero will steal a character for you. Like Zero, Picard is easy to dodge and will hurt a lot when he misses.
Lore - First, that's Captain Jean-Luc Picard to you, Lightmare. Second, I kinda get what they're going for here with the pacifist theme, and admit it would be pretty hard to think of a good effect to sum up Starfleet's finest captain.


Starfleet Ensign

Gameplay - This can be a really annoying card for your opponent. Continue to dodge attacks and stall (which helps the Diplomatic Exploration win condition). Or put her at the front of your Assault Zone and knock out the big defender. Just watch out for any form of AOE or you'll have a lot of dead ensigns. Unfortunately, there is a lot of popular AOE in IW.
Lore - I get what the Devs were going for, the whole "Phasers set to stun" thing. But isn't it a bit ironic that these Red Shirts are actually pretty difficult to kill?


USS Enterprise

Gameplay - One of the key cards for the Diplomatic Exploration win condition, USS Enterprise can be really annoying for your opponent by stealing their characters. Its insane 22 HP and flying also makes a good emergency blocker.
Lore - Obviously, they were going for the idea that the peaceful mission of the Enterprise attracts people from many different backgrounds. In the game, its just kind of weird the Federation ends up like the Sleepers (and often teamed up with them) stealing as many characters as it can to win. Also, sniper shots and death rays can destroy the Enterprise, good to know.

William T. Riker

Gameplay - Nothing too special to see here, but it is an okay effect if you get it going. He appears to have inspired Leader of the Charge, which completely outclasses Riker.
Lore - Riker's effect quite appropriately represents him leading away teams. In this case, to Reisch, the Untamed World, Avarrach and Talich.

Worf

Gameplay - Worf has pretty solid stats and you can boost his power. Having said that, nothing too special about him.
Lore - Worf's struggles over his identity as both a Starfleet officer and Klingon warrior is a huge story arc over the seven seasons of The Next Generation and four seasons of Deep Space Nine he appears in. (Fun fact: Worf was conceived as a glorified extra but ended up in more Star Trek episodes than any other character) The very nice art and his status as an "OR" purity card reflects Worf's character very well. Just don't call him a "mercenary" to his face.

Make It So.

Gameplay - This card is really quite great, effectively giving Haste to a character for 0 resources. Like all zone-moving cards, it also allows for clever plays to dodge enemy abilities when you don't have initiative or to sneak in a nigh-unstoppable attack when used in combination with Fear.
Lore - For those not in the know, this is one of Picard's catchphrases. Presumably we'll get a "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" card in Phase Two.

Red Alert

Gameplay - Its an interesting and unique ability but seems somewhat difficult to make work. It definitely has a synergy with stalling to Diplomatic Exploration.
Lore - Man, that's some badassery with Picard there. Also very interesting that Riker is wearing the DS9 uniform, suggesting this card is set around the film Generations, where for no particular reason the crew was swapping randomly between uniforms.

To Boldly Go

Gameplay - Another of the core cards in the Diplomatic Exploration deck, this is very handy for getting enemy characters on the field. Also allows fun with their abilities. Very fun card.
Lore - That's some great art based on the iconic opening sequence. You can almost hear the music when looking at this card.

Type-2 Phaser

Gameplay - Not a bad utility card at all, and again useful for stalling.
Lore - "Set Phasers to Stun!" I don't think the Enterprise crew in the show encountered anything quite as monstrous as the creatures depicted though. Probably shouldn't have gone through that Rift, Picard.

Diplomatic Exploration

Gameplay - Ah, what a cheese card. Allows for a very fun, if not particularly effective deck, particularly when used with a Sleepers of Avarrach splash. Its both free and starts in the game, so there's really no reason NOT to include it in any deck with 2 Starfleet purity. Interestingly, you can use it to reduce your deck's minimum size to 37 if you include 3. While I enjoy alternate win conditions, I think Opening is something that'd have to be used VERY sparingly if at all in the future, and at this stage really doesn't deserve a keyword. Hey, its also the only Mission card as well.
Lore - "Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds. To steal new life from new civilisations. To boldly stall where no one has stalled before..."

Klingons

Bird of Prey

Gameplay - Not a bad flyer at all, with conditional untouchable and a nifty damage/move ability.
Lore - As portrayed on the card, these babies have cloaking devices. Making an "invisible" card would cause problems, so conditional untouchable is a pretty good representation. Side note: Ambushing opponents with stealth has always seemed pretty dishonourable and not fitting at all with the Klingon culture, to be honest. But what would a human know?


Captain Kurn

Gameplay - Kurn trades slightly above curve stats for the drawback of not being able to enter Support. Its not a bad concept at all, though I think he needs slightly better stats to be worth not being able to dodge the many, many forms of removing characters on the battlefield.
Lore - Its a fair enough ability for Klingons in general and works fine with Kurn.


Gowron

Gameplay - Remember Diseased Zombie and Gowron?  :o (For newer players, Gowron used to work in Command and Diseased Zombie when previewed could target your own characters. You could play the Zombie from command on turn one, target Gowron, then have 11/10 Yan-Isleth EVERY TURN from TURN TWO. The Devs nerfed Diseased Zombie first, then Gowron later presumably because of similar potential exploits like Infectious Transfusion)
Lore - The art perfectly captures the CRAZY EYES of the Klingon Chancellor. His ability also quite appropriate, summoning bodyguards (which are correctly named after appearing in a single DS9 episode). Its just bizarre his attack is so low (lower than Troi!). Gowron is definitely treacherous and at times cowardly, but he's a decent enough fighter.


Klingon Warrior

Gameplay - Its a variant of a One of Many. To be honest, I'm not sure he's really much more useful than an 8/8, given that enemy cards will usually have an even 8 or 10 HP.
Lore - Cool art, not really much to say.


Bat'leth

Gameplay - Pretty nifty ability to guarantee an insta-kill.
Lore - Its a curved sword, it kills stuff. Works for me.


Duel

Gameplay - Its Fight! TIMES THREE! Combos well with Gowron, and also nice against enemies with low attack but high health.
Lore - Klingons like fighting...TO THE DEATH! Or I guess for a little while until they get bored. (Obviously the card couldn't be to the death because you'd be stuck in an infinite loop with two nobles)

Factionless

Q

Gameplay - King of troll cards. Just a pity he only has a few effects.
Lore - Q was trolling Picard and crew before the term "troll" existed on the internet. Deal with it.


Tribble

Gameplay - Look at the tribble, its so cute! You can summon it with Aleta Immortal Traveller in Infinite mode and instantly win. Only one of those last two statements is true.
Lore - Introduced in the original Star Trek, Tribbles are well known for two things: 1. Being extremely cute but doing nothing 2. Multiplying rapidly. The game captures 1 quite well, but I think some kind of breeding mechanic would have been better than just making them unlimited.

(NERD ALERT) Tribbles never appeared on The Next Generation. According to the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", Tribbles, an ecological menace due to their rapid breeding, were wiped out by Klingons well before TNG. They were reintroduced due to the time-travelling shenanigans of that episode, but that was after no one was wearing the TNG uniform shown in the art. This inconsistency makes me hate Lightmare and now I have to write angry letters to the Devs.

General Thoughts

I know the set was very controversial when launched, and many players like to pretend it doesn't exist. However, I'm glad they did it, and not just because I'm a fan of both universes.

I think it allowed Lightmare to experiment with some interesting new effects, of which some have already filtered into the wider game. Further, as noted in my comments, the faithfulness to the show is quite extraordinary, I think both the artists and designers really did their homework, which is nice even if its only appreciated by a small sub-set of players.

I really hope Lightmare does consider a few more fun non-ranked sets in the future (Star Trek or otherwise).
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 10:01:05 AM by Cleanse »

Offline Clearbeard

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Re: Retro Review: Star Trek Phase One
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2014, 01:50:55 AM »
Though it's not included in the card text anywhere, Tribbles do multiply.  Whenever one is played, it creates two tribbles in your opponent's deck.  If one of those is played, you get two back in YOUR deck.  Hijinks ensue, as seen in Chaz's screenshot in this thread:  http://forum.lightmare.com.au/index.php?topic=63722.0

I would also like to point out that the Starfleet uniforms on the card were still in use on starships throughout the DS9 series.  The DS9 uniforms were some sort of station branch variation, so there's no inconsistency.

Offline novato

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Re: Retro Review: Star Trek Phase One
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 01:21:41 PM »
nice to read this, another star trek fan here. think about it. i come to play IW cause star trek cards launch.

that quote about red shirt makes me laugh. thank you cleanse.

Yes, hope we have more Star Trek cards sets.

Offline Cleanse

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Re: Retro Review: Star Trek Phase One
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 10:11:05 PM »
Though it's not included in the card text anywhere, Tribbles do multiply.  Whenever one is played, it creates two tribbles in your opponent's deck.  If one of those is played, you get two back in YOUR deck.  Hijinks ensue, as seen in Chaz's screenshot in this thread:  http://forum.lightmare.com.au/index.php?topic=63722.0

Wow, you're right. :o Kind of nice if that was on the card text.

I would also like to point out that the Starfleet uniforms on the card were still in use on starships throughout the DS9 series.  The DS9 uniforms were some sort of station branch variation, so there's no inconsistency.

That was the official explanation and supported by a number of DS9 episodes, but Generations (where the TNG crew swap to DS9 uniforms during the course of the film) and Voyager (where the crew wear DS9 uniforms from the start) cause issues. But uniforms on Star Trek are horribly inconsistent anyway, Starfleet clearly has a Corps of Tailors on staff who like redesigning the entire uniform every few years.  ;)