Threshold Cards – Designer’s Notes

I thought I would talk about some of the ideas and methods I have been using to produce the Threshold Cards, but first a look back…

Image by blueprint2015 from Pixabay

The Beginning

I originally came up with the idea of Threshold Cards when we running “regular” Full Thrust as a participation game, to replace the somewhat cumbersome Threshold system in place (which slowed down our participation game).

I eventually sat down and produced a set of Threshold Cards for a new SFSFW game, Star Trek: Full Thrust. The cards you have in your decks are virtually the same (except that my deck is bigger than your deck).

The Covering

The deck of Threshold Cards we use in the participation game have been used for numerous games (too many to mention) which means they have had to put up with a lot of handling and dropping – and they have survived. Anyone who has played the participation game will realise that I have covered my cards in something… They’re not laminated, it’s clear sticky-back plastic, the stuff that Blue Peter loves! Each card is cut out and I cut out a sheet of the sticky-back plastic (I get mine from WHSmith), peel off the backing paper and stick the cards down, leaving about a half inch gap around the cards (especially) round the edge. I then get another same-sized sheet of sticky-back plastic and stick that over the top; so you now have two sheets of sticky-back plastic with all the cards in between. These can now be cut out with scissors (and it cuts very easily, almost sliding, so don’t bother using a craft knife). True you could peel the sticky-back plastic off if you so wished, but my cards have survived countless participation and personal games…

Threshold Cards Expansion Pack Two

These cards add an extra dimension in that there are a lot of species-specific cards, thus sometimes you’ll be lucky and sometimes you won’t. There are some more obscure events that we have seen in episodes of TNG, DS9 and the movies, as well as the original series. Personal favourite has to be the “Kaboom!” card (you can tell I like the “Bang” and “Boom” cards from the other two sets.

The Final Frontier Expansion Pack Two

I forgot I had this on disk already, I must have done the whole set when I did the first Expansion Pack. It includes the remaining original Final Frontier Cards to be found in the participation game deck. It includes the Klingon Civil War card, which when you have a team of Klingon ships just turns the game right round (and the Federation/Romulans) can just sit back and watch… (or join in). Captain Kruge, Captain Kang and Khan are all there as well.

The Deep Space Nine Final Frontier Pack

I realise that this show is not as popular as TNG was, but many people (myself included) really do like it. Its darkness does make a good foil to TNGs light and hope. These cards are mainly inspired by various episodes, including “Crossover” and “Through the Looking Glass”, in which we see an alternate “Mirror Mirror” world; therefore we have a card which introduces the alternate Major Kira. My personal favourite is the Voles card, which sees your ship infested with Cardassian Voles… Those players fielding a Maquis force, will be pleased to see the Maquis starship record card included with this pack, bringing some much needed firepower.

Season four of Deep Space Nine is bringing some dramatic changes, including the addition of Lt. Commander Worf, as Tactical Operations officer. Sisko is also promoted to Captain (and a card is included which has a Captain Sisko). This may mean that I’ll bring out another set of Deep Space Nine cards at a later date (it also depends on how popular the first set are, and the Felix Enterprises publishing schedule).

The Generations Expansion Pack

Inspired by the hit film these cards mirror events and personalities from the movie. Therefore, you can have a gravametric field playing havoc with the integrity of your ship; Soran can destroy a star; Kirk can save your ship from the nexus; and there is also the nexus… I also wanted to include at least two record cards, hence the inclusion of the Enterprise 1701-B and the Klingon D12.

The Voyager Pack

Get sent to the Delta quadrant, fight Kazon, have Janeway on your ship, etc, etc…

The Game

Playing the game is suppose to be fun, there is nothing written down to say that you must use all the cards in your decks. If you want to remove cards, then do so – it’s your game. For instance, when using my deck in a participation game, we keep all the “game over” Final Frontier cards in, whereas if we are playing a series of games at home, they’re taken out. So if you want a more violent game, take out all (most of) the minimal damage cards; vice versa, remove the warp core (and boom) cards if you prefer a less destructive game.

You can split your cards and have specific decks for particular players, which could be loaded in favour of particular races; an example, the Klingon player’s deck has more minimal damage cards to take account of the military role of Klingon starships over the exploration role of Starfleet vessels.

Disclaimer – This game is not licensed by Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Trilogy Entertainment, CBS-TV, J M Tuffley or Ground Zero Games. Star Trek – Full Thrust, the game, is a scholarly work intended to explore the possibilites of gaming within the Star Trek universe. STAR TREK®: THE NEXT GENERATION™: STAR TREK® is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures. Full Thrust is Copyright ©1992 J M Tuffley and Ground Zero Games. Such reference to these is for information purposes only, not for commercial gain and the use of names without mention of the Trademark should not be taken as any kind of challenge whatsoever to the Trademark status.