the Star Trek CCG
I've been a Trekkie since just after the announcement that The Next Generation was going off the air (1994). I'd describe myself as a pretty hardcore fan. I don't just read the books, I read the technical manuals about the ships. I'm not content to just read about Star Trek either; I've written Star Trek articles for Wikipedia and Memory Alpha, too. I have two Star Trek shirts, a dozen or so Christmas ornaments, communicators that do and do not make noise, and a framed original Star Trek: First Contact movie poster.
It should therefore come as no surprise that I played the Star Trek Customizable Card Game (CCG) for some time. Scottish introduced me to the game sometime after it was first released in 1994, and we played all the time, usually on my dining room table. We would even go to school early so we could play before class in Ms. Nardiello's art room because she would let us use the large, wooden art tables. As I recall, Scottish frequently played as Klingons whereas I favored the Federation and Romulans.
In our heyday of playing, I would occasionally save up money and buy booster packs of new cards at the nearby Hobby Town USA. One time, I was there with my mother, who was probably looking for doll furniture or something similar, when I came across an entire case of booster cards for sale. It was either $40 or $50. On a complete lark, I asked my mother if we (she) could buy it, and to my utmost surprise she said yes! I shut my trap so as not to spoil the magic of the moment, and she actually went ahead and dropped the cash to buy me an entire box of boosters. Scottish stayed over that night and we were up late unwrapping each and every one. Alas, there was no Future Enterprise in the lot, but there were a lot of great cards opened that night.
After many years, we stopped playing some time in the early 2000s, if not before.
I came across my own CCG cards about a year ago, and had a blast pulling them all out and remembering everything I owned. Decipher stopped making the cards long long ago, but I learned that there's still a contingent of people online who continued the series. Not only do they keep playing what was previously published, they've also taken all the card art for those published cards and made them freely available to download and print. They've also published their own expansions for the series which too are free to print. It's a bonanza of Star Trek CCG, and I both love it and hate it.
I love it because I love Star Trek. This thing that I used to play has survived and continues to be loved and expanded by others. I browse all the cards, relishing their art and creativity, and I chat with the folks who play today. I hate it because it reminds me about just how unskilled I am at anything that requires a tactical mind to play. Scottish and I were middle-to-high schoolers when we played last, and we typically only played with each other for fun. I once tried to play in a local tournament and was wiped out in a matter of minutes because my opponent was actually skilled at the game whereas I was just enamored with it.
I'm still enamored with it, and I plan to visit with the CCG contingent when I attend Gen Con with Scottish this year. I'll take a deck box or two in case I feel up to playing a friendly game with somebody, but I just want to mingle with the folks there, not participate in any of the official games or tournaments.