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Star Trek Expeditions

Posted by admin On June - 23 - 2011

Description:
“Lead your away teams to solve the major story arcs plus key side missions before the Klingon Fleet arrives or the lone cloaked Klingon Battle cruiser in orbit destroys the Enterprise and her crew. Three difficulty levels, random side missions, player strategies, and a unique branching mission tree ensure every game will be a unique memorable experience.”

Length: 1 – 1.2 hours (actually length: more than 2)
Age: 14+
Players: 1-4

Prelude:
Like many my age, I grew up with Star Trek reruns, I have a special place in my heart for old and new ‘Bones’ and I wholeheartedly enjoyed the newest Star Trek release.

So when I heard the board game was coming out, I was equally excited as many of the board game/trekkies i’m sure were.

I normally review only games I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing and have mostly positive things to say about. Mainly because I want this next bit of time to be enjoyable for myself, as the reviewer, and you, as the reader. That said, I played Star Trek Expeditions for the first time last night and I was having mixed feelings by the end.

This is a brand new game, and many of you wanted to know what all the hype was about, so let’s see where this goes…

“Fascnating!” – Spock, Star Trek, 2009. When I opened the box, I do have to admit there was a little bit of drool almost. The components are capital B-eautiful! It’s a non-collectible game, but it sort of feels like you’re tearing open that MIB James Kirk Limited Exclusive action figure sitting on your daddy’s top shelf in his office space that you’re not even supposed to touch, let alone open!

Everything is of exceptional quality! One thing in particular that really stood out to me was the cards (these include the ‘Captain’s Log’, “StarDate’, and ‘Engergize’ cards). They are made of a very thin material and textured on both sides. When you first mix them, they literally feel like you are playing in a nicely worn in deck of poker cards. Even the gaunt ‘StarDate’ deck was effortless to mix.

So the components are quite noteworthy. Now onto the game play.

Object & Shortening of the Manual:
You’re the genius. You figure it out.  – James T. Kirk, Star Trek, 2009. There is absolutely no way I am going to be able to shorten the Star Trek Manual, i’ll end up just rewriting it in my own words. Therefore:

The game is cooperative and can be played with 1-4 people, but all characters must be played, so you may have people doubling up. There are three tracks, easy, medium and hard you can choose from and you are working against the game to maximize points. Basically you have to complete the 3 crisis paths (energy, rebel, political), and keep the Enterprise from being destroyed by the Klingon Battle Cruiser. If you can do this in a timely manner, you’ll score the most points.

On each players turn, flip over a StarDate card and:

  • Advance the time marker that many numbers according to the StarDate card (you only have 30 advances total to complete the whole game)
  • Resolve combat, if any, shown on StarDate card
  • Take your number of actions according to the the number shown on the StarDate card

So read the above steps in addition to the 24 page manual and you’ll be on your way to playing Star Trek Expeditions! “Are you out of your Vulcan mind?” – Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, Star Trek, 2009.

Final Thoughts:
So where do my mixed feelings come about? In the cooperative part. I personally really enjoy some cooperative games while loathing others. For instance, I enjoy the high energy and social interactiveness of Battlestar Galactica. I recently played Forbidden Island and loved the quick turnaround of turns and simple theme. Star Trek has none of this. I found it was a quietly moving, silently calculating kind of sorts. Each player can talk with the other players to figure out what to do but I didn’t find much excitement in this. There were suggestions being made, but ultimately, there was a lot of down time & I found myself twiddling my thumbs until it got to my turn.

There is quite a bit of mathematical calculating and the theme of course is pretty cool. I think this game would bring a lot of pleasure to those who thoroughly enjoy cooperative gaming and don’t mind waiting their turn.

There is a decent amount of re-playability for those of you into this sort of cooperative game. There are a few different routes that can potentially happen based on the time in which you complete the crisis’. And it is definitely designed upon an expandable model where new missions and Crew can be added to allow for new play down the road.

However, if you are an interactive person who likes constant turnover, then this is not the game for you. So for me, “I’m fine without it” – Lt. Nyota Uhura, Star Trek, 2009.

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 5/5
Fun: 2/5 (based on personal opinion of this type of cooperative game)
Substance: 4/5
Re-playability: 3/5 (For others, not me)