So what is the Galactic Empires Card Museum? Well, I've scanned most of my Galactic Empires card collection into the computer, some 2,100 cards. This took a rather lot of work, both to scan and then to organize the cards. It's a symptom of my insanity, and you get to benefit from it! Thanks largely to the efforts of Joe Collins and Craig Sentz I've now managed to post almost every GE card ever released - something on the order of 2,500 cards.
The community that used to exist around Galactic Empires
has sort of broken up, but a couple of us are trying to rebuild that community.
be rebuilt and reborn at some point in the future, but for now we
have a FaceBook group you can join us at:
Galactic Empires CCG Players, Collectors, and Sales. Or drop me an e-mail at email@example.com
Galactic Empires was perhaps the second CCG ever released, right on the heels of Magic: The Gathering. Companion Games released the original set in late 1994 and continued releasing new cards through the end of 1996. At that point Companion Games declared bankruptcy and the rights to the game were acquired by one of the creditors who let the game die.
Galactic Empires is largely a Ship combat game, though there are a number of different kinds of cards which can can be played to affect the ships or the combat. Terrain provide resource points which you used to "engage" the Ships, Bases, and some other cards. Bases are played to Terrain cards to help protect them. Crew and Equipment can be played to Ships or Bases providing benefits. Ability cards can be played to Crew or various other cards to enhance their abilities. Hazard cards represent various space anomalies which can damage Ships and sometimes other types of cards, while Monsters represent space creatures which can attack Ships, Crew, or some other cards. Luck cards represent particularly lucky or unlucky things happening, while Occurrence cards represent significant events which affect the game.
Each player builds a play deck themed around one of many released empires. They can add ships of some minor empires to support their deck as well as cards of the various other types to flesh out their deck. Decks must have at least 40 cards, however the deck stocking rules are somewhat restrictive and to be able to stock the more powerful cards the deck will need to be much larger. Most tournament decks were 100-150 cards, meaning that the slimed down fast play deck of other games are less useful in this one.
Series I is the label collectively given to the first two sets released, often called Alpha Edition and Beta Editions. The original sets were based largely on empires, artwork, and lore that had originally been developed by Companion Games for use with the Starfleet Battles wargame. These sets were released as test sets; Alpha contained 91-cards while Beta made some changes to the artwork and rules on a few cards, and had only 90-cards. These sets contained cards from two major empires – the Argonian First Republic and Krebiz Capitalist Alliance. It was released in 10-card booster packs and 50-card starter decks; the starters had a fixed selection ships from both empires. Each empire's ships had unique abilities as well as unique cards which could be played to their ships to improve them. It had a couple minor empire cards as well; the distinction being that major empire cards could only be used in decks built around that major empire while minor empire cards could be used in decks built around them or they could be used as support cards in decks of other empires.
Primary Edition (Series II) was the first true core set which followed shortly thereafter. This 440-card set greatly expanded the number of cards and included cards for playing several new empires including the Argonian and Krebiz from the first set plus two new major empires, the Mechad Holdfast and Corporate Aggressors, as well as adding several minor empires to the game – the Bolaar Pirates, Indirigan Nomads, Vektrean Mercenaries, and Space Dragons. Cards came in various rarity levels; Common, Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare, and Entity. Common and Uncommon seemed to have the same distribution in expansion packs, but Commons also appeared in starters (thus making them more common). It was released in 36-pack booster boxes, with each pack containing 12-cards. Two 50-card starters were released, Basic Deck A came with Argonian / Krebiz like the Series I starters while Basic Deck B contained Mechad / Corporate ships. 45 of the cards in each starter were pre-selected, with 5 semi-random cards.
New Empires (Series III) was the first big expansion, containing 210-cards and adding four new major empires, the Clydon Empire, Plasma Occupied Territory (P.O.T.), Scorpead Dominion, and Tufor Protectorate as well as adding a minor empire, the Nagiridni Pirates Indirigan Nomads Tribe. A new starter called Basic Deck C was released which contained P.O.T. / Scorpead cards. Like the previous starters this 50-card deck had 45 pre-selected cards and 5 semi-random.
Powers of the Mind (Series IV) had 152-cards and introduced three new major empires - two Psy based empires, the Psycanti and Visonic, and a parasitic race called the Filarian Infesters which could infest and take over opponent ships. This expansion was perhaps the weakest of all the expansions, with the new empires playing very differently than any of the other ship-based empires. There were also no starters for these empires ever released, meaning in order to track down enough cards to play these empires you had to buy booster boxes of cards. It also introduced a set of new rules for playing Psy's and using their abilities.
Time Gates (Series V) had 157-cards and was perhaps one of the strongest expansions due to the number of powerful "time" cards it contained. It introduced two new minor empires the Time Knights and time traveling Tranoan Empire. Cards from these empires worked quite well as support cards in other decks. It introduced a set of new rules for a new play area called the "Time Origin" where Time Knights, Tranoan ships, and a select few other cards would be moved to when destroyed in the main play area.
Universe Edition (Series U) was a major core set with 564-cards, designed to replace Primary Edition and New Empires. It largely drew on cards from Series II & III, with a few cards from Series IV & V. It had ten different 100-card starters, each relatively playable and themed for a single empire. Each starter had a window in the back allowing you to see one of the empire specific cards in the deck, allowing you to differentiate which empire the deck was for. Going forward all starters would be labeled "Universe Edition" no matter which set they belonged to. Approximately 80 of the cards were semi-random while 20 of the cards were fixed for the empire of the deck. There were decks for Argonian, Clydon, Corporate, Krebiz, Mechad, P.O.T., Scorpead, Space Dragons, Tufor, and Vektrean.
Advanced Technologies (Series VI) contained 152-cards which were mostly "power" cards and ships for the various empires as well as upgrades for their ships. It introduced the Vacaters of Bolaar V Indirigan Tribe.
Piracy (Series VI) was a 205-card expansion themed around pirates. It reprinted and added to the Bolaar Pirates and Nagiridni Pirates as well as adding a new major empire, the Leopan Conquistadors and two new minor empires, the Corporate Pirates and the Vicious Six Indirigan Pirate Tribe.
Comedy Club on the Far Side of the Galaxy (Series VIII) was a 177-card expansion released in four different 100 card starters. Each starter had a pre-selected set of cards many of which had up to four versions which only differed by having a different quote on them. Intended largely as a joke set, it introduced a new major empire based around ancients Installations called the Comedy Club Network.
Persona (Series IX) was a 205-card expansion themed around the Persona class of cards - cards that were unique and only one of which could be in play at a time. It introduced a crew based empire the Nobles and the Lone Wolf Indirigan Tribe, and had a decent mix of useful and powerful cards.
Galactic Invaders (Series X) was a 258-card expansion which introduced several new empires and had five new starter decks for the major empires the Aqaaran, Gekonauak, J'xar, and Zedan as well as the minor empire the Orgon. It also introduced the minor empire the Treglean and the Andromeda Bound Indirigan Tribe. This set is generally well regarded with the new empires being unique and fairly well balanced, if a little powerful.
Allied Forces (Series XI) was a 145-card expansion which was released in a set of twelve starter decks. A few of the decks were for previously released empires, including the Bolaar Pirates, Corporate Pirates, Leopan, Nobles, and Treglean. Decks for these empires contained both reprinted cards and new cards. The remaining seven starters introduced new Allied empires – minor empires which were allied with one of the major empires. While they could be used as minor empire cards in decks of any empire, they had some game mechanical benefits if used in a deck of their allied empire. These empires included the Drone (Allied - Mechad), Erodi (Allied - Tufor), Pakta'don (Allied - P.O.T.), Paraloid (Allied - Clydon), Shon-ti (Allied - Zedan), Tarra'ki (Allied - Argonian), and the Trochilidae (Allied - Leopan).
Primary Tactics was an audio drama released on cassette and CD. It came packed with one of two promo cards, the C10 Battle Advisor or the E7 Megasonic Phase Distorter.
The Play Mat was released near the end as well. It came with a promo card,
Beyond these sets there was a and an audio tape and CD called Primary Tactics, each of which came with a promotional card. There were at least seven promotional card runs which were printed for the game, containing approximately 366 cards. A number of Space Dragon, Bolaar Pirates, and Nagriridni Pirate ships were released as promotional cards, as well as the Aesthetics minor empire. A number of Indirigan Tribes were introduced as parts of these promotional sets, including the Council of Six, Garshain, Gray Death, Infected, Insipid, Meerkats, Propagationist, Vinciennes Pirates, Violator's Pirates. Galactic Empires had the distinction of having released the most Promotional cards of any CCG for at least a decade after the company went out of business, largely because the company had started allowing people and companies to special order Promotional Cards with their name or business name, phone number, or other contact information on them. Many game stores and distributors ordered cards and handed them out or sold them as a form of business card or premium card to players and collectors.
Most CCGs use a separate print plate to print a sheet of cards for each rarity level, with each sheet for each rarity level being printed a different number of times. For instance, for every Rare sheet there might be four Uncommon sheets and ten Common sheets printed. Typical print sheets having 10x10, 10x11, or 11x11 cards on a single plate. A standard deck of playing cards has 13 cards of four suits, for 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers and 1 Rules card for a total of 55 cards. Thus two decks of playing cards are printed on a single 10x11 print sheet.
For most, if not all, of its run Galactic Empires used a 10x10 print sheet. For smaller sets the cards would be printed twice on a single sheet. For larger sets each card might be prited only once on a print sheet. The exact layout varied from set to set. Entities were typically printed once on a Very Rare sheet while Very Rare cards were printed twice on the same sheet, resulting in Entities being twice as rare as Very Rare cards.
One other thing that I will note is that in offset printing (large printing presses) the most expensive part of the process is in setting up the printer for a run. Especially on 4 or 7 color printers, where each color needs its own set of plates, so it is cheaper to try to lay the cards out in a way where you reduce the total number of different print runs you must do. Most CCGs need at least one run for each rarity, but it is possible to "cheat" a little by printing some cards from a lower rarity multiple times on a higher rarity sheet. For instance, if you print 3 or 4 copies of a card on a Rare sheet then you've effctively decreased the rarity of that card to an Uncommon.
All of the print plate/print sheet layout descriptions I give here are purely conjectual, which I've discerned using my knowledge of the printing process and rarity levels of Galactic Empires cards. It is possible I am incorrect on some of the information presented below.
When Primary Edition was printed the Starters were created with a fixed set of 50 cards each, plus 5 random Uncommon cards. These cards were considered Common cards by Companion, and taken into consideration when determining which cards were designated as Common for the entire set. This means that a large chunk of the Common cards were packaged into the two starter decks, with relatively fewer being packaged into the Booster Packs. In Booster Packs these cards were slightly less common than the Uncommon cards, and were intermixed with Uncommon cards in the pack position.
Cards marked as CA were Common cards found only in Basic Deck A. Cards marked as CB were Common cards found in Basic Deck B. Cards marked as CAB were Common cards found in both Basic Decks A & B.
The original card list from Galactic Inercom #2 listed 15 cards as Very Common (VC) and 70 cards as Common (C). If the Very Common cards each appeared twice on a print sheet and the Common each appear once this would make a 100 card print sheet. This is kind of odd, since the Very Common cards mostly, but don't comletely, line up with the CAB cards found in both Basic Decks. There is also one C card that doesn't go in either Basic Deck, even though the easiest way to make the two decks would have been to print all 50 cards for each deck on a single sheet, then split the sheet with 50 cards going in to Deck A and 50 into Deck B. It is, however, possible that this single card appeared twice on the Uncommon print sheet, however there are already exactly 100 Uncommon cards, so there's no room to do this.
All in all, I just don't know and can't know without seeing a print sheet how exactly the cards were organized. I've listed these Very Common cards as both VC as well the appropriate deck they appeared in, e.g. VCAB is a Very Common that appeared in both Deck A and Deck B.
There were 100 of each of the Uncommon and Rare cards, meaning they were certainly each printed on their own sheet. Starters has 5 random Uncommon cards (if properly packaged; some weren't). Booster Packs each had 12 cards. Starting with position #1 with the cards face up, cards positions Uncommons were in position 1-6, Commons in position 7-9, Rares in position 10-11, and Very-Rares or (1 per box) an Entity in position 12. Booster Boxes contained 36 packs, so you should get 35 VR and 1 Entity per box, though some packs seem to have replaced an Uncommon with the Entity, meaning you could get 36 VR per box plus the Entity.
In Primary Edition the Very Rare cards were produced in two distinct groupings. Each booster box would contain Very Rare cards from only one grouping or the other. Group 1, designated V1 by me in my card lists, consists of 45 Very Rare cards containing mostly non-empire specific cards. Group 2, designated V2, consists of 100 Very Rare cards which contained almost all of the more powerful empire specific ships and some other empire specific support cards in the set.
This was likely caused by a number of miscommunications between Companion Games and the company that printed the cards. The cards were printed using printing plates which contained 10x10 cards on them, for a total of 100 cards on a sheet. Group 2 contained 100 unique cards, but Group 1 cards were likely printed on a sheet which contained two copies of each of the 45 V1, the 9 Entity cards, and most likely the C4 War Veteran filling the last spot on the sheet. When the cards were cut the Entities and War Veteran were set aside. At this point the two groupings of Very Rare cards should have been mixed together before packaging them into booster boxes, but instead the printer packaged booster boxes with Very Rare cards from only one grouping or the other in them.
To make matters worse Booster Boxes filled with Very Rare cards from Group 2 seem to be more rare than Booster Boxes from Group 1. It is possible this was caused by a number of factors, first being that the Printer may have printed an incorrect number of each grouping. Since Group 1 had two sets of each Very Rare on it this group should have been printed in half the quantity as Group 2 was, but it looks like the two groups may have been printed in equal numbers, making V1 cards twice as common as V2 cards. If this did indeed happen it is likely that Companion Games kept the two groupings of Booster Boxes separate and tried to sell them at a rate that kept the two groupings of Very Rare cards equal when the game was new. This would have resulted in their Warehouse having considerably more Group 1 boxes than Group 2 Boxes when the company went Bankrupt. This may have been further exacerbated by the liquidators and buyers of the remaining stock not realizing there were two groupings. In the late 1990's and early 2000's a number of suppliers dumped Primary Edition Booster Boxes and Cases on eBay for a very cheap price, and it is likely that whomever picked up most of the Group 2 booster boxes was one of the people who sold cheap back then. The cheapest case I bought in 2006 was from a vendor selling Group 2 booster boxes for around $36 including shipping. This seems to have resulted in a situation where most resellers today, in the year 2022, have Booster Boxes which contain only Group 1 Very Rare cards.
Note that the distribution of other cards - Common, Uncommon, regular Rare, and Entity cards - was not affected by this bifurcation of the Very Rare cards.
Each of the four base rarity levels (Common/Uncommon/Rare/Very Rare) in New Empires had exactly 50 cards, meaning that the print sheets likely contained two copies of each of the 50 cards. This leaves the Entities to be placed on their own print sheet; likely the sheet also contained many of the 29 Promotional cards that were printed in this time frame, some of which were printed with differing "rarities," for example given away with magazines with 7 out of 8 being one card and the 8th being another card. Or they may have prined one copy of the Very Rare cards, one copy of each Entity, and filled the other 40 slots with Promotional cards. It's impossible to know now without either talking to somebody to worked there or finding an uncut print sheet for the set.
Powers of the Mind had three base rarity levels. Uncommon and Rare each had 50 cards, with each appearing twice on their respective print sheets.
There were 48 Very Rare cards, each of which appeared twice on the VR sheet, leaving space for the 4 Entities. This made distributing the Entities much easier, as they could just be pack cards from the VR sheet into boosters in order and for every 100 cards they would fill 100 boosters, which filled 2.77 booster boxes with 36 boosters each, ensuring that every booster box had at least one entity, with some boxes having two. In fact, 11 out of every 25 boxes should have contained two entities.
Booster Packs have 12 cards. The Very Rare or Entity are in Position 1. Uncommons are in Position 2-8. Rares are in Position 9-12. This means that the ratio of cards printed are 1E:2V:8R:14U. That is, for each copy of each Entity printed there were two copies of each Very Rare, eight copies of each Rare, and fourteen copies of each Uncommon.
Like the other sets, Time Gates was printed on sheets of 100 cards. Common and Uncommon each had 50 cards, meaning that each card appeared twice on a print sheet. For the Rare cards 45 of the cards were printed twice, while 10 of the cards appeared only once making them Extra Rare compared to the other Rare cards. These 10 cards were the 10 versions of the Shipping Delays card; so while each individual card is twice as Rare as the other Rare cards, the card as a whole was 5x more common than the other Rare cards. These cards are designated as R1 in my card list because they appear once on the print sheet; the other 45 Rare cards are designated as R2 because they appear twice.
There were 48 Very Rare cards, each of which appeared twice on the VR sheet, leaving space for the 4 Entities. This made distributing the Entities much easier, as you could just package cards on a VR sheet into boosters in order and for every 100 cards you'd fill 100 boosters, which filled 2.77 booster boxes ensuring that every booster box had at least one entity, with some boxes having two. In fact, 11 out of every 25 boxes should have contained two Entities.
Booster Packs have 12 cards. The Very Rare or Entity are in Position 1. Uncommons are in Position 2-8. Rares are in Position 9-12. This means that the ratio of cards printed are 1E:2V:4R1:8R2:14U.
Universe Edition was an extremely large core set, so to help ensure that cards were more evenly distributed across all booster packs Companion Games set up theme positions within the packs. Each booster box contained 36 packs. Each pack contained the following:
While this seems very complex and potentially problematic, the result was actually a fairly well balanced distribution of cards. Much better than Primary Edition had. This does, however, make it difficult to discern how the print sheets were laid out. However, there is a little that can be figured out:
Starter Decks are divided into two sections of cards; 20 cards which are empire specific, and 80 cards which are a mix of Group 2 Terrain cards and other card from the general pool of Universe Edition. This is true of Galactic Invaders and Allied Forces Starter Decks as well, which also contained Universe Edition cards in the second section.
Like the other sets each print sheet held 10x10 cards. The Uncommon print sheet had two copies of each of the 50 Uncommon cards. The Rare print sheet has two copies of each of the 48 Rare cards and four copies of the single Common card in the set; since it was located on the Rare sheet this is why it sometimes replaces a Rare in a booster pack. The Very Rare sheet had two copies of each of the 47 VR cards and one copy of each of the 6 Entities. Each booster pack is supposed to contain 6 Uncommons, 4 Rares (or Common), and 2 Very Rare. This leads me to believe that every booster box contains 2 Entities, and 4 out of every 25 boxes may contain 3 Entities. Booster Boxes had 36 packs.
Piracy contained only two rarity levels, each of which had exactly 100 cards and would have each been given their own print sheet. So here, again, the Entities were put on their own print sheet, likely with some of the Promotional cards that were produced in this time period. Piracy changed to having 6 cards per booster, with 1 Very-Rare and 5 Uncommon cards. Booster Boxes contained 80 boosters, with one booster containing an Entity.
All of the Piracy cards used UV reactive ink, resulting in some interesting looking cards when held under a blacklight. In fact, the UV ink looked significantly better than the "night glo" visuals used in Universe Edition. Promotional Set 3 & 4 along with some cards from Comedy Club also had UV ink, so there may have been some cards from those sets printed along with the Piracy Entities.
This set consisted of Starters with exactly 100 cards; 1 Entity and 99 other cards. There are 4 different Entities and 101 functionally different cards. However many of the cards have up to four different versions with differnet quotes on them and one of the cards has two different image versions. These different versions were placed in different starters. It is likely that each Starter had its own print sheet. I do not know whether or not there was any randomization of the entities or other cards between starters, but it seems unlikely as that would introduce more steps (and cost) for what could have been a very simple expansion to print and package.
Like Piracy, the Persona set contained only two rarity levels, each of which had exactly 100 cards and would have each been given their own print sheet. So, like Piracy, the Entities were put on their own print sheet, likely with some of the Promotional cards that were produced in this time period. Persona Entities also have UV reactive ink.
The set was released as five Starter Decks, one for each of the five empires introduced in this set. Cards were also released in Booster Boxes.
I don't have enough information on this set to guess as to the card layouts. There are 2 Common, 105 Uncommon, 21 Rare, 125 Very-Rare, and 4 Entities. Some of these cards likely only appeared in the Starters; the two Commons, for instance, are both J'xar Starter ships which I believe appeared 4x each in the starter while all of the 21 Rares are empire ships, some of which I know appeared 2x each in their respective starters. I'm guessing that there are 100 Uncommon and 100 Very-Rare cards which were on the standard print sheet used to stock the boosters. I don't know if the starter specific cards were mixed into the boosters like the theme cards from Universe Edition were or not.
The two starters I recently opened each has 20 empire specific cards in a grouping in the starter and then the Sector Headquarters card placed in another position in the starter. The other 80 cards in the Starter came from Universe Edition, as described for the UE Starters above.
Allied Forces was relesed as a set of 12 Starter Decks, one for each empire in the set. Each starter contained 20 empire specific cards. In most of them one of the cards was the Sector HQ and another was a rules cards; the Noble empire contained a number of generic ships and a second Sector HQ instead of a rules card. The Bolaar, Corporate Pirate, and Leopan each contained a number of cards from the Piracy set plus 2 new ships each unique to their Allied Forces starters.
I have a complete card list available to download, in Excel 2000 or Excel 2007+ format. In each file is two sheets; has the Quantity columns blank while the other is filled out with my cards (including cards I'm seeking and cards I'm willing to trade. The leftmost three columns contain a number sequence for sorting; if you sort by the first column each set will be seperated out into different sections. The second column sorts all cards together by type then strength. The third column is the same as the second, except that the German Gold Border set is moved to the bottom of the list instead of being mixed into the rest; the third column is the default sorting method the sheet starts in. Of course, you can sort the tables in any other manner you wish, and these three columns will allow you to return them to the default sorting order.
|Excel 2000 Format||Excel 2007+ Format|
My first new addition to the website in over a decade is the Card Gallery. This page allows you sort the cards by Set, Type, Strength, Rarity, Empire, Class, and other special abilities. Similarly, the Card List is a sortable list of every GE card complete with information for all cards - including the image artist.
Listen to Primary Tactics Audio CD on YouTube.
Primary Tactics was an audio "tutorial" produced in 1995 which served as one part audio drama and one part introduction to the major empires of the game. It was released on CD and Cassette Tape, and came with one of two different promotional cards, one of which appeared in 1/8 packages. It featured Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) as a battle advisor who gave brief advice on each empire and Joni Ortman as Desiree, the computer who guides you on the adventure between the various empires.
|01 - Introduction to Desiree||04 - Mechad Holdfast||07 - Vektrean Mercenaries|
|02 - Argonian First Republic||05 - Corporate Aggressors||08 - Space Dragons|
|03 - Krebiz Capitalist Alliance||06 - Indirigan Nomads||09 - Bolaar Pirates|
Watch me crack open some booster boxes.
In early 2022 I made some videos cracking open various packs of Galactic Empires cards, including some boosters and starters from Alpha/Beta, Primary Edition, Time Gates, Universe Edition, and Galactic Invaders.
Galactic Intercom was a Newsletter produced by Companion Games in support of Galactic Empires. It contained some FAQs, card lists, tournament rules updates, and other information. Galactic Fire was a full fledged magazine which continued support for Galactic Empires as well as supporting some of Companion Games other products. Below are PDF scans of some of these magazines; some of the pages are pretty poor quality.
|Galactic Intercom #2 December 1994||Galactic Fire #1 May 1996|
|Galactic Intercom #3 February 1995||Galactic Fire #2 August 1996|
|Galactic Intercom #4 May 1995||Galactic Fire #3 November 1996|
|Galactic Intercom #5 September 1995|
This PDF includes a number of articles that were released in 1995 in various magazines introducting Galatic Empires, including The Destruction of Argon VIII which was a premium article in Cantrip Magazine #1, then a series of articles which appeared in several issues of Scrye Magazine. It also includes all of the Advertisements which I have found.
Galactic Empires is a collectable card game, long out
of print due to the demise of Companion Games. However, the game has never
quite died due to a dedicated (though small) fan base on the internet. You
can still find cards for sale on eBay,
and can also visit
I've been working on editing the unofficial Universe Edition v2.1 rulebook revision, which is an attempt to collect rules from various published sources into one place.
"Dragons of Space" Puzzle
© 1994 Ed Beard Jr.
|Indirigan Touring Game|
|Quick Learners Guide|
|Universe Edition Rulebook v2.1|
|Universe Edition Rulebook v2.1 w/Header|
|Universe Edition Rulebook v2.1 w/Table Of Contents|
|GE Play Mat (PDF)|
|All of the above in one ZIP file (~1MB)|
|Universe Edition Rulebook v2.0 (PDF)|
Note the thin white card border and wide colored image border. This card is from the Series II - Primary Edition.
Note the wider white card border and thin beveled image border. This card is from the Series U - Universe Edition.
It is difficult to tell cards from the various expansions
from one another, even to someone familiar with these cards. Companion Games
never tried to make it easy to differentiate the various expansion sets as some
other companies did. A quick rundown of the major differences:
Series I (Alpha & Beta) have a textured/dimpled surface; later sets had a smooth surface much like most other CCGs.
Series II (Primary Edition) & Series III (New Empires) have a narrow white card border measuring 1/16th inch, with no border between the white border and the card itself. The card images also have a wide colored border around them.
Series U (Universe Edition), Series IV (Powers of the Mind) and all later sets have a wider white card border measuring 1/8th inch. In addition there is a thin beveled border between the white border and the card. The image border was also replaced with a thin beveled edge for most of the cards reprinted in later sets, though a few cards retained the larger colored border.
Differences between individual cards which were reprinted from one of the later sets into one of the other later sets are difficult to tell and usually must be done on a card-by-card basis, identifying minor art changes or rules corrections. As of the most recent update I have posted scans of almost all cards from every edition to make it easier to distinguish between them.