What a Card: Columbus

Being a look back at cards from the Star Trek CCG, and what I thought of them back when they were fresh and new... in EPISODE order. The Galileo Seven didn't give us the Galileo, bur rather THIS shuttle...

EXPANSION: The Trouble with Tribbles

PICTURE: Fun what you can do with a milk carton, no? Sure, the design looks terrible, but seems to me Decipher may have enhanced the picture some (either that or the local station's episodes are getting grainy). The NCC-1701 / 2 is clearly visible on the back of the shuttle (it's the Enterprise's secondary shuttle?), which is well worth the back shot. Fun enough for a 3.5.

Well, first of all, I can't really agree with the title. Yes, this is a shot of the Columbus, but making the ship universal, it should have borne the name of its class (maybe Classic Shuttle or something), not that of a specific craft. The lore makes it more universal, but I think the word "seven" should have been spelled out the same way the episode title did. Using the shorter "7" makes little sense when there's still lots of space left in the lore box (like, where's the period?!). Of course, that may be the ship's full name because close-ups of the Galileo show its registry as NCC-1701 / 7, but that would make it Enterprise support craft 7, no? Unless the Enterprise was a kind of Voyager that lost plenty of shuttles and the Galileo would have been the seventh one with that name. Seems improbable. A substandard 2.1, I'm afraid.

Title aside, the lore tells us this is a "typical" shuttle, so universal. Shuttlecraft back then were quite underpowered compared to "today's" and certainly didn't have transporters. The Range may be a bit fast here since shuttles had a very limited power supply (in The Menagerie, Kirk quickly hits the point of no return while following the Enterprise... but at least it seemed to keep pace, which helps here). Didn't really think they had Weapons either, but 1 is small enough to be believable. And the low Shields are fine. As for the special ability, this is the kind of thing they might have done well to include on all the shuttles to make them more interesting. As complement to Constitution-class ships, it is perfectly matched in this case. They had the guts to create a rather underpowered card, and it's quite close to Trek Sense. A 4.

In an OS deck, you can get a shuttle directly to your ship, whether it's at a Time Location or not, once you've time traveled forward with your Starship Constitution or Enterprise. The built-in Engage Shuttle Operations-like ability is good, but won't let you land so you'll need Establish Landing Protocols to do that. You'll certainly need it if you're going to use the shuttle to attempt planet missions. Without transporters, you can't get personnel to the surface otherwise. Now, while I don't deny that a purely OS deck might want the option of landing one of their ships to a protected position (given the relatively low WEAPONS and SHIELDS of OS ships), the lack of transporters still hurts, as do the very weak attributes (including a RANGE that can't reach some missions). This is probably made worse by the fact that no OS personnel can actually boost the shuttle through a special skill or matching commander status. I understand the ship's function in the game, but just don't think it's too useful. A 2.4.

12 (60%) You know what? The explorer it's named after was pretty terrible too.



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