Set within the universe of the new revived series of Doctor Who, Battles in Time is a collectable trading game sold in connection with the Battles in Time part work and in seperate booster packs.
Anatomy of the Exterminator Set
The Exterminator Set is made up of 275 cards, wiht an additional two unnumbered cards. Of the 275 cards there are 231 common cards, 28 rare cards, 10 super rare cards, and 6 ultra rare cards.
The Base Set
The 231 common cards are your standard trading card, with images from the first and second series, including The Christmas Invasion (the pictured card is 052 - Damaged Dalek, below left). In each pack of cards 8 out of the 9 cards are common cards.
The 28 rare cards are foil cards (the pictured card is 001 - 10th Doctor, above right). There is one rare card in every pack of cards.
The super rare cards (pictured above) do not have one particular kind of card. The ten cards contain one glow-in-the-dark card, two scratch-and-sniff cards, two embossed cards, and five jazzy reflective cards. The super rare cards are randomly inserted at an average ratio of 1 in every 6 packs.
The ultra rare cards (pictured above) are lenticular moving image cards. Sadly the picture does not do these wonderful cards any justice. The ultra rare cards are randomly inserted at an average ratio of 1 in every 24 packets.
The Unnumbered Cards
In addition to the base set of 275 cards there are two unnumbered cards - Psychic Paper and the Golden Ticket Super Rose.
The Psychic Paper was distributed with pack along with the first issue of the Battles in Time magazine. The card is needed to read the coded bonus cards that were distributed in the initial packs of cards (see variant cards).
The Golden Ticket Super Rose is the rarest of the rare. This unnumbered bonus card, which boosts all your ratings to 9999999, is distributed at an average ratio of 1 in every 1,000 packs. Sadly the picture above does this card no justice at all.
Variant and Error Cards
It as been noticed recently tha the six coded cards are being issued as decoded varients. The reason behind this is not clear, although it is likely that with the psychic paper no longer being distributed that the coded cards are being phased out in favour of the decoded variant.
The six variant cards are 079 Unlimited Credit, 082 Satellite 5, 083 Platform One, 251 Newsfeed, 268 Mobile Phone, and 273 Sucker Attack.
Something to also look out for are error or mis-cut cards. In an age of high quality control such production errors are kept to the minimum and usually do not leave the shop floor. However, as with everything some of these make their way into the packs.
Decks within the Exterminator Set
As well as dividing into common, rare, super rare, and ultra rare cards, the Exterminator Set also breaks down into eight decks with each deck being made up of a mixture of card rarities.
The eight decks are:
The Alien deck made up of 27 cards, comprising of 25 common, and 2 rare.
The Bonus deck made up of 49 cards, comprising of 39 common, 3 rare, 1 super rare, and all 6 ultra rares.
The Cyberman deck made up of 8 cards, comprising of 3 common, 4 rare, and 1 super rare.
The Dalek deck made up of 15 cards, comprising of 7 commons, 6 rares, and 2 super rares.
The Hero deck made up of 44 cards, comprising of 38 common, and 6 rares.
The Human deck made up of 53 card, all of which are common.
The Monster deck made up of 64 cards, comprising of 52 common, 6 rare, and 6 super rare.
The Robot deck made up of 15 cards, comprising of 14 common, and 1 rare.
The Odds and Completing Your Collection
Each pack of cards costs £1.50 and contains as a minimum eight common cards and one rare card. On top of this there are 10 super rare and 6 ultra rare cards to find, randomly inserted in 1 in 6 and 1 in 24 packs respectively.
To complete a set of all common cards you would, as a minimum, have to open 29 packs totalling £43.50. This allows for only one duplicate card.
In opening these 29 packs you should also get, if distribution was correct and there is no duplication, a full set of rare cards, four super rare cards, and one ultra rare card.
Sadly this is unlikely to happen and it is more realistic that you will not even have a complete set of common or rare cards.
The Point of Diminishing Return
There is a point where it stops being economical to continue looking for a particular card(s) through opening packets, the point where there are more duplicates being obtained compared to cards needed. This is especially true if you are chasing super and ultra rares.
This is where eBay comes into its own. Where as before you would have had to keep on buying cards and hoping that you get the card you want, or have swapped your duplicates with school mates, you now have the opportunity of buying individual or groups of cards in order to complete your collection at a fraction of the cost you would have to pay if you continued to open packs.
Finding The Cards You Need
There are two option open to you on eBay.
The first is eBay shops, like The House of Alex, that stock cards on a Buy-It-Now basis. These are always worth a look since you are able to get the cards that you need with the risk of losing out at auction.
The second option is a specific eBay search. Rather than just looking for Doctor Who Battles in Time, which will give literally thousands of results, try searching under card name and number, i.e. 272 Wolf Vision. This will give you more specific results list rather than having to wade through pages of listings.
Hopefully this guide as been of assistance. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line and I will try and answer it.