The Alternate Universe expansion set is the first expansion set for the Star Trek: The Next Generation: Customizable Card Game.
122 New Cards in All
40 Common Cards
40 Uncommon Cards
41 Rare Cards
1 Ultra-rare Card (see below)
The cards were printed in Belgium by Carta Mundi, the same company which produced the original card set.
The cards are printed on Superlux card stock with the same premium quality paper and slippage used in the original Alpha set of ST:CCG. Some people have said that the cards seem thinner than the first set. We have checked and confirmed with Carta Mundi that there is no physical difference between the cards from the first set. However, we speculate that all cards do change slightly with age and use: Exposure to light and air, shuffling, handling, and storage can all have subtle effects on any paper product, and the overall result seems to be that the cards stiffen a bit over time. So while your older cards are not really thicker than the new ones, they are somewhat stiffer than the new ones, giving the impression of extra thickness. (In fact, we have been told that every time Wizards of the Coast released a new set of Magic cards, there were comments that they seemed thinner.)
Packaging of the cards is in 15-card expansion packs and uses the same randomizing method used for the original set. (No secondary sorting).
In each expansion pack you should find:
1 Rare (or ultra-rate)
(See "Ultra-Rare" and "Ophidian Cane", below)
The overall print run for the Alternate Universe set was 76,838,760 cards (23,715.66 cases).
Broken down in terms of rarity, this includes:
|Ultra-rares||42,335 of the ultra-rare card|
|Rares||127,006 of each rare card|
|Uncommons||381,019 of each uncommon card|
|Commons||1,408,711 of each common card|
|Ultra-rares||42,335 total ultra-rares|
|Rares||5,207,255 total rares|
|Uncommons||15,240,746 total uncommons|
|Commons||56,348,424 total commons|
The Future Enterprise (from the episode "All Good Things...") is an "ultra-rare" card, which in this case means that it is found in the packs just like a normal rare card, except that it is exactly three times as scarce.
This is because it appears only once on the rare printing sheet, whereas the other 40 rare cards appear 3 times each. (There are 121 "slots" on the rare sheet). Thus, the rare cards each appear 3 times on that sheet, but the ultra-rare only once. Therefore you will, on the average, get one ultra- rare in every 121 packs you buy or trade for. If you get one, hang on to it because they are sure to be valuable!
The above paragraph accounts for 40 of the 41 rare cards. The 41st rare card is actually printed on the Uncommon card sheet. The Ophidian Cane appears once on the uncommon sheet in the 121st slot, and the other uncommons are there three times (similar to the rare sheet). Since the uncommon sheet is printed in a ratio of 3 to 1 compared to the rare sheet, this card has the same frequency of a rare card. When you get the Ophidian Cane, it will appear among the uncommon cards, but it is actually a rare, and you are essentially receiving 2 rares in that pack.
Unlike the rare and uncommon printing sheets discussed above, the common sheet has only 120 "slots" on it, and utilizes a special arrangement intended to minimize duplication of common cards in the same pack. Each of the 40 common cards appears on it 3 times. This works fine in theory, but was not done correctly by the printer, causing some collation problems. For more on this issue, see the document called A.U. Collation Problems available from the same source as this document.
The Alternate Universe set contains several new features, including a new category of cards called "Doorway" cards, some new terms, and some new wording conventions. Details of this were printed on a sheet of Rule Notes which came with cases of the display boxes. For an electronic copy of this document, see "A.U. Rule Notes" available from the same source as this document.
For more info on Alternate Universe or upcoming expansions, contact Q@decipher.com