Star Trek Chrono-Trek FAQ

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Q: When playing Chrono Trek, why is it that when we play an Assignment without the necessary Artifacts, we get to draw 2 cards, but when playing a Fracture incompatible with the timeline, it just gets discarded?
A: There’s a big difference between a Fracture and an Assignment. An Assignment is meant to give you a bonus, whether or not you have the specified items. Think of it has having two levels of reward. Playing an Assignment without the special items just gets you the lesser reward: you draw two cards and the Assignment goes in the discard. A Fracture, on the other hand, if it can’t be placed on the timeline, is just sort of a “dud” and is just discarded.

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Q: Can a Memo be used to cancel an Event?

A: Yes! Events are a thing that can be canceled with a Memo From Your Future Self.

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Q: For the Event called Fractures Happen, if you can play a Fracture, how many cards do you draw?

A: You get to draw 2 cards: one to replace and one as a Fracture reward.

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Q: Is there a solitaire version of Chrono-Trek, like there’s a solo version of Chrono and EAC?

A: No, there are significant differences between the way Chrononauts and EAC work vs. Chrono-Trek. For one thing, most of the Goals in Chrono-Trek involve Items in addition to Timeline events. Only five have no Items required (and one of those is Q, who, despite having no Items required, has a… unique win condition). Five IDs, or more like four, is not enough to play a solitaire game à la Solonauts.

There’s also the unknown factor of how a Solonauts-type game would play without Patches. In Chrono-Trek we used the model developed for Back to the Future, where the alternate event is included on the backs of the Ripplepoints. In Solonauts, Patches are one of the card types which make up the play-deck, and it’s not clear how that would affect the game.

But you’re welcomed to try to work something out yourself! Please be sure to let us and the community know if you come up with something fun!

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Q: Is there any time-limit for how long someone can take on their turn?

A: There’s no time-limit on how long someone may take for their turn, but annoying the other players by taking forever to make decisions may make them decide they don’t want to play with you very often. In other words, the only time limit is the tolerance of your fellow gamers.

We’d suppose this applies to… almost any game, though what is considered a reasonable amount of time for a turn probably varies from game to game. As long as you are within what is considered average for that game, you’re probably fine.

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Q: In Star Trek: ChronoTrek, there are five Devron Anomalies in the timeline, but only four Event cards which flip them, so how can Q win (or everyone lose)?

A: You’re not wrong… there are indeed 5 Anomalies to be flipped, and only 4 Event cards that will do the job. The trick is that there are ways to get a card played more than once.

Also, at some point, the deck will get re-shuffled and those 4 cards will come back into the equation. Yes, that can take a while, but being Q is all about playing the long game. And if you don’t want to wait, you can use Rewinds to play Event cards again, though that can be tricky because it can make other players suspect your identity. Best to be patient when you’re Q.

Oh, and there is one other card of note here: the Inverter called Q Snaps His Fingers, which has a secondary function: it also flips an Anchorpoint. Of course, you can use this to undo the spread of the Devron Anomaly instead of increasing it – and other players will suggest you do just that – but you can often get away with doing “what Q would want” with this card without giving away the secret that you actually are Q.

All of this is to say that yes, being Q is tricky — that’s why he’s got 4 pips.

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Q: Are there some explanations of the characters goals in Star Trek: Chrono-Trek?

A: For some of them, yes! Check out this piece Andy wrote for his blog at The Mysteries of Kirk and Spock.

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Q: For Assignment cards in Chrono-Trek, when it says you can “discard one to draw five more cards,” is that the cards you just drew, or the Artifacts in front of you?

…The text reads: “Step 1: Draw 2 cards. Step 2: If you have BOTH of these Artifacts in play, you may choose to discard one and draw 5 more cards.” We’re trying to determine whether it’s saying to discard one of the two cards you just drew, discard one of the two Artifacts, or just discard one from your hand (including the two you just drew).

A: It means discard one of the two Artifacts you have in play.

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Q: In Star Trek Chrono-Trek, if you play Quick Trip Into the Future (or Rewind) and add that card to your hand, do you have to reveal it?

A: No. Players are on their honor not to take a Power Action if they choose not to immediately play the card they retrieved.

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Q: Can Invitation to Join the Q be stopped by a Memo?

…It kind of gets played after the game has ended, so does that work?

A: Yes, a Memo CAN stop the playing of that win card, even though it’s a kind of a little bit after the game ends. Memos, like Surprises, are meant to be that powerful.. provided they’re used in a timely manner. It’s meant to work in much the same way as the Secret Cultist Surprise, which can be stopped by another Surprise.

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Q: If a Fracture is in play, can the timeline after that event still be affected?

A: Fractures are similar to the UberParadox (WW3) from Chrononauts, in that you won’t be able to win with any timeline events after that point. However, unlike the UberParadox, a Fracture does not prevent time-travelers from going to events beyond it and altering the future.

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Q: Can the Time Loop card be used like a Surprise on an Artifact play to prevent someone’s win?

A: To review, the Time Loop Power Action in Chrono-Trek says:

Play at ANY TIME to repeat the most recent game action taken by another player. If they played a card, perform that function again as if you had played that card. If they played an Artifact, replay that Artifact as your own.

It may depend exactly what action you’re copying, but certainly in the case of an Artifact play, the Time Loop is functioning EXACTLY like the Surprise called That’s Mine! and, as such, we would rule that its “any time” play and the resulting outcome would result in a successful prevention of someone’s winning play. Just like a Surprise, however, it must be played IMMEDIATELY after someone plays their Artifact for the win. If you wait too long, only playing it AFTER you realized that was their winning play, it’s too late.

There are probably other cards you could copy the action of in this Surprise-like interrupt way which could also prevent a win, but we’ll address those in other questions as they arise.

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Q: We drew a card which referred to the “latest Anchorpoint.” How do we determine which that is?

…No one had done anything with any Anchorpoints yet.

A: Anchorpoints are part of the timeline, so “latest” in this case means “latest in time” (farthest down the timeline). At the start of the game, the latest Anchorpoint will be D9. When that is flipped, it turns into an Anomaly, and the latest Anchorpoint is now D4.

As the game progresses, Anchorpoints continue to get flipped and turn into Anomalies, always the latest Anchorpoint in the timeline, such that the Anomaly “spreads” backwards in time from the end of the timeline towards the beginning.

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Q: If you use Rewind to retrieve an Event from the discards, can you put it in your hand – and then play it (as that is mandatory) and draw to replace it?

A: Think of Events as similar to Creepers. When you draw them on your turn, you have to play them immediately, and this doesn’t count as either your Draw or your Play. So if you’ve drawn one, you get to redraw. If you acquire the card some other way that wasn’t drawing (like pulling it out of the discard pile via a Rewind), there’s no “replacement” draw you need to make.

It’s similar to this situation:
Q: When I use Zap A Card on a Creeper, do I get to put it in my hand, then play it and draw to replace it?

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Q: The Power Action ‘Invitation to Join the Q’ is weird – it only works when the game ends, and if you play it before then, it does nothing, and is discarded. Does that mean you win by having it in your hand when A1 flips, without playing it?

A: Yes, it’s a bit odd, but yes, that’s how it works. Although you’d have to assert its existence, i.e. play it, in order to claim that win. But if you have it in your hand you become eligible to play it when the game ends.

It is functionally similar to the Secret Cultist Surprise card in Cthulhu Fluxx (although, unlike the Secret Cultist, there’s no penalty for using/revealing it early). Since Chrono-games don’t have Surprises, there’s no standard framework to describe a card you can “play at any time directly after a specific play you’re reacting to (including a game-ending one)” but if you’re familiar with the Secret Cultist, that should be your frame of reference.

For those not familiar with the Secret Cultist, it is a Surprise card found only in Cthulhu Fluxx which says:
Out of turn: Reveal this card any time an Ungoal causes the game to end. You win!
During your turn: If you play this card, you are revealed as a secret cultist, and miss your next turn!

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Q: When using Memo From Your Future Self (or any of its analogues) to cancel a Rewind or similar card, do you have to cancel that card, or can you wait to see what was pulled before canceling?

A: You can wait. If someone plays a card like a Rewind, you can choose to cancel the Power Action itself, and save that player the trouble of going any further, or you can wait until they choose a card, and then cancel the card they selected as they use it.

In the Back to the Future card game, similarly, you can stop someone from ever even going on a time trip by canceling the Time Machine card outright, or you can wait to see what they do with it, and then cancel that. Either way, the Time Machine goes in the trash and the Timeline remains the same.

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Q: Is it possible to use a Memo (or similar Items) to discard an Artifact/Item that another player has on the table?

A: No. Cancellations only work on cards as they are being played, not cards that are already in play.

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Q: Can I use a Memo From Your Future Self to stop an Artifact/Item ability?

A: Basically, yes. In cases where you’d discard that card from play in order to use its power, you could target that card with the Memo, causing it to be discarded without effect. That’s pretty straightforward. For example, in Chrono-Trek, the Artifacts which could be discarded from play to be used as an Inverter would simply be discarded without effect.

For Back To The Future (BttF) only, note that if a Time Car is being memo’d it’s that card which would go into the discard pile without effect, but any required fuel item would remain (Plutonium, Lightning Prediction, Overpowered Locomotive, or the card discarded to use v4 would go back into the players hand).

Most Artifacts in Chrononauts don’t have powers, but a few that do would be affected: promo card Carl Sagan’s Joint, for example. In this case you’d normally give away the Joint and gain an Artifact from another player. If that forced trade is memo’d, the Joint would go in the trash (you were going to lose it to the other player anyhow) and the other player’s Artifact would remain with them. (I guess there weren’t a few puffs left after all…)

More complicated are Items/Artifacts/Gadgets whose power is passive. These include the (BttF) Gray’s Sports Almanac, Mr. Fusion, The Jade Statue of Tirade, any and all Gadgets. In these cases, you cannot stop the usage of their powers. If their power allows or involves the play of another card, THAT card may be targeted for cancellation via memo, but those cards already in play are not themselves affected by memos.

For example, when attempting to “feed” Mr. Fusion a card from your the table to gain two cards in your hand, it’s that card which would be targeted by the memo, and discarded with no corresponding benefit, and Mr. Fusion would remain on the table.

When “using” the Jade Statue of Tirade to get the extra bonus for Sell and Artifact or Perform A “Miracle”, it’s those Action cards which would be targeted and discarded, and the Jade Statue would simply remain in play, unsold, or unused as a “Miracle”.

The only time these cards with passive powers could be targeted by a Memo is when they themselves are actually being played to the table, in which case, instead of going into play, they’d go into the discard pile.

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Q: Can someone Memo a Memo?

i.e. can you stop someone playing a “Memo to Your Future Self” by playing a Memo or using the Cake card’s Memo ability?

A: Yes, a Memo can indeed be used to stop another Memo. And it’s mighty satisfying when you do! This also applies to the similar cards found in the Back To The Future card game.

“Looks like I Got There First to your dinosaur trap, and captured that Stegosaurus you thought you had.”

“Oh no you didn’t, because I sent a Memo to myself, telling me that you’d get there before me, so I got there 15 minutes before you, so actually, I still have Steggy.”

“Oh yeah? Well I sent myself a Memo telling me that you were going to get there 15 minutes before I got there before you, so I got there 15 minutes before you got there 15 minutes before me getting there before you, so actually, the dino is mine…”

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Q: Since the Whaleships Fracture doesn’t depend on the timeline, what happens to the underlying Ripplepoint when the timeline is changed?

A: The Ripplepoint C1 is flipped whenever one of its linchpins requires it to change, regardless of whether or not the Whaleship Fracture is on top of it.

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Q: Are players required to show how many cards they have in their hand?

A: The number of cards in each player’s hand is supposed to be open information, so, while a player may wish to obfuscate how many cards they have, by stacking them, or trying to minimize their appearance, if directly questioned, they should give an accurate answer.

They may feel free to try to discourage you from taking or utilizing their cards, of course: “Yeah, I have a big hand, but my cards all suck…” for example. That’s allowed – it’s just opinion, of course.

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