It's Dead, Jim

I just read the news that Decipher's Star Trek Collectible Card Game is coming to an end with their last expansion, and I'd just like to take a moment to pay homage to that great game.

I remember the CCG craze very well, and I'm sorry, but I could never get behind Magic: The Gathering. What a DULL game. Sorry. Just little fantasy paintings fighting each other, stat vs. stat. So when STCCG came out in 1994, I started buying packs. At first because I was a Trekkie, and then because it had this fun story-telling mechanic. Your personnel boarded ships and completed missions at planets. Simple, but effective. Over the next 10+ years, they churned many quality expansions with great images pulled from Trek, and game play that reproduced every facet of the show. I bought them all and tried to collect as many as I could.

I became VERY involved in the game in their message boards over those 10 years, writing thousands of articles there, and creating thousands of "dream cards". Eventually, they even paid me to write articles for them, paid me in cards, and I would regularly get boxes in the mail. It was a glorious time. Since 'tis the season, here's the silvery Christmas card they used to send their freelancers back then. Cool, huh?
Then 2nd edition happened.

It looked GREAT, and Decipher had certainly learned from previous mistakes. They had to do it too, because the game's nifty story-telling aspects were modular rather than integrated, and STCCG had become a bloated beast with a loooooong FAQ and Glossary. The new game didn't just look cooler, it was much more playable, with rules that could stay the same and yet be adapted to new concepts. But it also read more mechanically. What I had termed "Trek Sense" became much murkier as rules superceded the storytelling aspect, at least in style. And it also meant that us old schoolers had to start all over again.

So like anything, after more than 10 years, I got tired. I was doing daily features across multiple boards at the time, and the projects, which had always been meant to be impossible to finish, were getting in the way of other projects I can't possibly finish. So after 7 years, I simply stopped what must be the longest daily card-of-the-day series in existence. Energies previously spent on Star Trek projects were given over to Doctor Who and a new job (see how I prioritized that?), and that was that.

But while all good things must come to an end, I still owe a debt of gratitude to Decipher for creating this game (and others after it), thus fueling 13 years of geekery (and counting). My Doctor Who CCG project is directly inspired by their games, especially the way the fake game company website is set up, but the whole storytelling style of the game as well. STCCG, we lost touch these past few years, but I salute you from the deepest part of my heart.