Friday, October 28, 2011

Star Trek Fleet Captain's, first game impressions

At a pivotal point in our Deathwatch game Ken and Steve  couldn’t make it. Rather than letting the rest of the party suffer torture and death at the hands of the Khorne possessed Space Marine Commander without their friends we decided to play Star Trek Fleet Captains instead.

We borrowed the store copy seeing that none of us had yet coughed up the $99.00 it cost to buy the game. Setup for the four player game was pretty quick and easy with the most time consuming part  being sorting out the massive bag of tokens and then after that the Command cards.
Chris and I played the Federation while Dave and Elliot played the Klingon’s. Right as we started to draw for our ship’s Steve wonders in to join us. Dave and Steve decided to share command of their half of the Klingon side.

Before I go any farther I should probably tell everyone that I like Star Trek. I’ve seen most of the episodes of most of the series. I’ve even been to Shore Leave a few times with some friends to marvel at the Trekky’ness of it all.  My favorite episode is that one where Captain Kirk is about to marry two crew members and before the ceremony they beam down to a planet and the groom is the red shirt of the away team. He dies, cause that’s what red shirts do, and at the end of the episode Kirk stops to see the ex-bride and basically say ‘This stuff happen all the time, get over it and get back to work.’ And then the next few minutes are him walking alone around the halls of his ship. I’ve always loved the symbolism of the solitude of his command , a great cinematic effect. Now that I’ve said all that you trekky’s know the name of the episode I mean but I have no clue what it’s called. Ask me about Dr. Who though….

Now that you know about me let me say that Dave, Steve, Chris and Elliot are pretty big Star Trek fans, much bigger than me. I think their reaction tells allot more about how close Whiz Kids came to making a great game then mine would. I didn’t hear one complaint, sure they complained about me looking up rules or not knowing how to do this or that but not once did I hear the “That could never happen ‘cause a Klingon bird of prey has two dorsal venting ports that….”.  Don’t pretend you don’t know who I’m talking about, you know him and you might even be him!

As out game played out us with the Federation jumped right out there and started collecting Victory Points right away. We we’re up around 10 (we we’re playing to the recommended 16pts) when the Klingon’s finally started completing missions. Need I say that it seemed, and rightfully so, that most of their mission involved hunting us down and inflicting some kind of damage on us.

One of the many nice parts of the game is that each turn you can discard a mission and draw a new one if you think you’ll never be able to fulfill it. I had one that I held onto for ¾ of the game that would get me 2 Victor Points if I destroyed a Klingon Starbase. Knowing that they we so slow at expanding their empire I discarded it for a new card only to have them build a Starbase the next round!

We played for about 2 ½ hours and with the store closing soon ended the game a turn before we of the Federation would have scored one more Victory Point and won anyway.
In the end we all decided that we really liked that game and that we’re going to have to play again soon. It sounded like Dave, Chris and I will end up buying the game at some point especially when more races come out (that was the teaser that Brett gave us ½ way through the game). Elliot though he loved it as much and maybe a tiny bit more than his new copy of Dread Fleet, that he keeps under his pillow. Steve said he’d defiantly buy a copy if it wasn’t for the fact that he couldn’t get anyone else but us to play it with him. Brett, keep 4 on hand and someday we’ll pick them up, honestly!

The game is designed to be a 2 player game expandable to 4 players, we all felt that after playing it as a 4(5) player game the 2 players would not be as much fun. With how fluidly the game plays we see no reason you couldn’t combine 2 sets and play with 6 or 8 players as long as you we’re mindful of play area size and how many actions each person could take a turn.

I think this is a great game; I’d give it a 5 out of 6. Once I get to play more and more races come out this games going to move up to a 6 for me. If you could get non-Star Trek fans to look past the theme and play the game I think they’d find a fun game that is quick to learn and easy to play.

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