Every time a Starship or Fleet discovers a new Planetary System, the player will draw a card from the Exploration Deck. These cards add to the thrill of discovery and tell the story of what the ship’s crew encounters in the new system. They may find an untouched, pristine world, ready for colonization or they may encounter a fully-formed independent civilization that has already developed the planet. They may make a fascinating scientific discovery, earning an immediate benefit for their society or they could face a deadly crisis which will test their crews and threaten their Starships!

If your Ship or Fleet discovers a Hazardous Planetary System, all Ships must Brave the Hazard first.  If your Ships do not survive entry into the new Hazardous Planetary System, place an Exploration Card face down on the System.  The first player to Brave the Hazard will be able to resolve the card.

If any of your Ships survive entry into the new Hazardous Planetary System or if the discovered System is not Hazardous, draw an Exploration Card and resolve the effects.  You do not draw an Exploration Card when you discover a Phenomenon.

There are four types of Exploration Cards.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

Virgin World 

A number of cards in the Exploration Deck are Virgin Worlds. These are planets which are perfectly suitable for habitation but devoid of sentient life that would need to be accommodated or conquered.

Star Trek: Ascendancy


Crisis Cards present some sort of problem or difficulty. Some of these Crisis Cards add a Hazard to the Planetary System that must be overcome (in effect, you may have to make two Hazard Checks in the same turn if you have a Crisis in a Hazardous System). Some Crisis cards may remain in play if the player fails to resolve them upon the first encounter; set the card face up on the System until it is dealt with.  Any Ship or Fleet entering the System will have to face the Crisis.

Star Trek: Ascendancy


New worlds hold the promise of never before seen wonders, technological revelations and contact with new lifeforms and species. The effects of most Discovery cards are immediate. As with some Crisis cards, there are some Discovery cards that may remain in play if the player cannot resolve them upon the first encounter; set the Discovery card face up on the System until the criteria is met.

 Star Trek: Ascendancy


Some Systems your Starships will discover are already inhabited, creating a First Contact opportunity. These Independent Civilizations range from primitive, Pre-Warp societies to fully Warp-Capable advanced cultures. When you draw a Civilization Exploration Card, the card will direct you to either place Production Tokens on the System, marking it as a Pre-Warp Civilization or Warp Tokens and Resource Nodes, marking it as a Warp-Capable Civilization. These worlds may join you after diplomatic overtures or you may chose to conquer them, bringing them under your control.

There are 45 Exploration Cards to encounter in Star Trek: Ascendancy. Future expansions will add even more Exploration Cards to the game!  What will you discover when you set out to explore the Galaxy?