Tyler Durden
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Star Trek: Fleet Captains

Trekkies have been waiting for ages for the ultimate Star Trek game. Just recently they listened up as it was said there would be a cooperative Star Trek game from a famous designer. When the Trekkies heard that it would be a Knizia they were already disappointed since they were expectating again a rather abstract mathematical dominated game and so it proved. The Star Trek license, a license to print money be, but only if done& implemented properly. So far there have been many games that were okay, but nothing that really stood out from the crowd. But then, Captain Fleet was announced. 24 miniature spaceships - that alone should see give a real Star Trek feel to it. When the prize was announced it was initially put off a bit. Almost $ 100 for a single game? Maybe just beeing only be another moderate merchandising product? This could be interesting. In this review I will present in detail the components of the game and also the game play and possible actions, so everyone interested can get an idea of what he gets when he buys the game and how the game plays. Following this note I discuss my thoughts about the game and what I liked most and what not in the hope of being able to offer all interested in the game some help. Be prepared for a long review! Have fun reading (and watching)!

Components

Gamebox

The box of Star Trek: Fleet Captains is big. And I mean big: 47 x 36 cm. That's not quite as big as the Fantasy Flight big box, but significantly larger than the normal square box that you normally get. If you want to transport the game and you might geht problems since it is much too large for any normal backpack.
Apart from that, the front shows an Enterprise that is attacked by two Klingon vessels and destroys one of them, what gives us a first indication of what the game is all about: the confrontation between Federation and Klingon Empire. There is also an indication that the game contains HeroClix figures.



The back of the box contains the usual information. If you look exactly you get a first impression of the miniature figures.The game is suitable for 2 or 4 players and lasts 90 - 120 minutes.



If you throw a glance into the interior the first thing you note are the many spaceship miniatures that make up a large portion of the box contents. On the picture the cardsare in zipper bags, actually they are unprotected and there is a terminal device, where they fit in more bad than good. If you get the game you will maybe search the command post, they are hidden under the inlay. All in all, the components can be stored comfortably in the box - in theory.



In practice, many copies of the game comes with damaged spaceship miniatures or cards. This is often because the have the card decks habe become loose in the box and then damaged the miniatures during transportation. Fortunatley WizKids offers a very good customer service. On the side http://heroclix.com/replacement/ everyone can toorder to 20 cards or two miniatures for free without problems. If you have more damaged components you need to send photos via email. This is primarily intended that WizKids has the ability to analyze the problems of the package and make things better in future editions or games



Game Components

Let's start directly with the most interesting components of the game, the spaceship miniatures:

Miniatures
Star Trek: Fleet Captains contains 24 miniature space ships, 12 federation ships and 12 klingon ships . These show well- and lesser-known spaceships of the series and you'll probably more familiar with the federation ships e.g. USS Enterprise NCC 1701-A and the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-E. The miniatures are unpainted, the ships of the Federation are made of gray plastic, the Klingon ships of green plastic. They aren't scaled properly, the Defiant is just as big as the Enterprise NCC 1701-A or the Voyager. The Klingon ships are even scaled wrong, but only hardcore fans of the series should notice that. The figures are connected to the base with a transparent connection.

The ships of the Federation



The ships of the Klingons



Clix-base
Each ship has a Clix-base. These can be rotated and then show the current values ​​of the spacecraft systems. It shows the values ​​of weapons, shields, shields and engienes. There are four colors, white, yellow, red and blue. White means that the ship is currently undamaged, yellow corresponds to the yellow alert, indicating that the ship was hit once, and red indicates two hits. Another hit would destroy a ship. Once per round can redistribute energy from some systems and transfer it to another system If you require a lot of energy in the weapons you can divert energy from the drives. If you need fast engines the energy can be redirected from the sensors. You only have to stay within the correct color. White offers the most options for the ship while you have a lot less options in yellow, and red in alarm condition some of the ship's systems are disabled . Only ships with a cloak device have a blue setting. If you execute a cloak action , rotate the base in the blue region of the corresponding color, after which the ship is removed from the board and is replaced by a cloakmarker. As long as it's cloaked it can just move and is not able to attack or perform sensor test'.. With the help of the Clix-base can quickly identify which values ​​the ship has just.
Unfortunately, the bases cause big problems. Most can rotate without trouble, but others are proving to be almost non-rotatable. Here you have to repair itself, build the base apart and sand the appropriate places. More information can be found here.



Klingon Ship Deck
This deck shows all klingon ships in the game. Most strinking are here the colored areas that correspond to the colors of the Clixbases. So you can already plan ahead and then just clix the base to the appropriate values ​​instead to look at each possibility on each clix base. The ship size and special abilities are also noted on the card. In the upper right corner there are also four important values. Beside the ship size there is information about what mission cards this ship allows you to draw at the start of the game (Science, Influence and/or Combat).



Federation Ship Deck
The Federation Ship Deck equal to the Klingon ship deck, except that here the spaceships of the Federation are shown.



Rules
The structure of the rules is sometimes a little confusing. For example, the components are introduced only after the declaration of the rules and often the rules relate to the mechanisms that are explained later, so the rules may be a little confusing at first reading. But after reading the complete rules you know how the game works, it's not that difficult once you get used to it. Looking something up is a bit more complicated, partly because an index is missing and there is no clear structure. The player aid printed on the back should have been printed on two extra sheets of paper, so every player has one in front of him and you don't have to give the rulebook back and foth while learning the game.

Location Deck
Star Trek: Fleet Captain has no conventional gameboard. Before each game the gameboard is constructed randomly with hex location tiles. There is only a recommended size, but the players can basically make the game board as big or small as they want it to be. Thus, the Galaxy looks different in every game. The hexes show the different places all Star Trek fans should well know. It starts with the empty space, uninhabitable and habitable planets, various classes of various interstellar nebulas, worm holes, quasars, black holes ands ub space rifts. Sometimes in the right half of the hex there are some special options for that particular hex, such as whether the planet is habitable or not, such as wormholes are connected, some may a negative effect on sensors or weapons and so on and so forth.
The number in the bottom left-field stands next to the word Encounter indicates at which dice roll value the spacecraft exploring this hex has or has not an encounter. Bottom right is the size value of the sector. This value is important for the movement of spacecrafts.
It should be noted that the hexes are in the horizontal plane 87mm diameter and 84mm in the diagonal only. Furthermore, they are only a few millimeters thick. Who es expecting stable thick paper tiles as in Twilight Imperiumwill be disappointed, even thin playing cards are more stable and thicker than the hexes in Star Trek: Fleet Captains



(12 empty space, 15 planets (ten habitable, uninhabitable five, 12 Nebula, 11 other systems)

Command Post
There are two Federation Command Posts and two Klingon Command Post. The second of each is for the four player game only, in a standard two player game you are only using one command post by side. This area represents the starting point of each players fleet. Additionaly it serves as a storage space for collected victory point cards or maker. On the left side the mission deck is placed, and the personal command deck is placed on the right side. The actual missions are placed at the bottom of the command post. The command post suffer the same quality characteristics or defects as the hexes.



Command Deck
The command deck is represeting the action cards of every player. There is a special deck for the Klingons, and one for the Federation which are clearly distinguishable by their back. Each deck has 100 cards, and is divided into ten subdecks, each consisting of 10 cards. The Subdecks have names like "Hidden Enemy Deck," "Captain Kirk deck" or "Code of Honor" deck. Each of these Subdecks has its own theme. Before starting the game every player selects four of the his eleven subdecks, which then form his own personal command deck. The other cards are not used in this mach and should be returned to the box.



There Combat, Ops and Crew cards. A Combat card can only be played in a combat . Ops cards are used either to increase the values ​​of certain ship systems or can be played as event cards. A crew card shows a character from the Star Trek series . If you have such a card in your hand you can assign them to any ship. This gives the ship a permanent bonus as long as this charakter is part of the crew of the ship. Some cards are only of one type, others are usable as one of two types and a few cards cover all three areas. For example it is also possible to play a card first as a crew member on a ship and to discard it later to use it's combat value.

Mission Deck
The mission deck is divided into three areas: Influence, Combat and Sience. It represents the missions or orders the fleet recieves from ther their respective high command . If you fulfill a mission you get as many victory points as indicated on the card. At the end of the game, most of the victory points were collected this way. The objectives of the deck, clearly differ. The influence missions are related primarily at supremacy in space. The Combat Missions give victory points for certain tasks they are fulfilled in battle. The Science missions are the most versatile and varied and can be largely fulfilled completely without fighting.



Encounter Deck
Whenever a ship explores a new area it can have an encounter. Those encounters can be events or persons well-known from the Star Trek universe: Q, hostile races, ambassadors, a massive Tachyon Impulse, parallel universes, Latinum, Tribbles, distress signals, abandoned space stations, interstellar traders, Ferengi, cold sleep capsules, aliens take over your ship, unstable wormholes, time distortion, the Nexus and very much more. These events can have very different effects. Some of them give victory points, others are negative, others are positive, some make you pass a test and the result is deciding wether the event is positive or negative. These cards contribute much to the atmosphere of the game, so you should always read it complete and not just say "I need to make a level 20 sensor test."



System Marker
Each ship has four systems: weapons, sensors, engines and shields. Some effects in the game can improve a system by takeing an appropiate marker. This marker is then simply placed on the appropriate map spaceship and must be considered when determining the values ​​for the system. They are printed on both sides and both show different values and may even refer to different systems.



Scan Marker
Diese Marker zeigen an, welche Fraktion ein noch unentdecktes Weltraumteil bereits gescannt hat. Im Spielverlauf darf sich ein Spieler jederzeit alle verdeckten Weltraumfelder ansehen, auf denen einer seiner Scanmarker liegt. Auch sie sind beidseitig bedruckt.



Installation Marker

These markers are printed on both sides and are used to indicate that there is either an outpost, a colony or a star base. Building a Starbase gives a victory point, besides you can repair ships in all installations controlled by you.


Control Marker
These markers are indicating which side has how much influence in a sector. They are printed on both sides. Smply place it with the corresponding side on the board when you gain influence in a region.



Action Marker
These markers are used to indicate how many actions a player still has. Each player has six of these markers, however, only three used in the standard game, as each player has only three actions per turn. If you play on more than 10 victory points, players can also perform more actions per round, and in that case you use the other action markers as well.



Victory Point marker
In certain cases, you simply take a victory point. Those markers are printed on both sides (+1VP / +2VP)



Cloak Marker
Whenever a ship activates his cloaking device, take the miniature from the board and instead puts such a Cloakmarker on the board. The echo markers are looking on their back just like a normal Cloakmarker and thus represent Fakemarker, so that the opponent does not know where your ship is exactly.



Mission Deck & Encounter Deck Console

All cards not used by the players are placed at their appropiate place next to the specific console.



Dice
Ultimately, two very small six sided dice.



Gameplay Setup

1.) Setting up the universe

First, the universe is prepared. There is no specific rule how it must be built, so players can build their very own universe. However a recommendation for a standardgame is shown below. All Location tiles are be mixed and laid out face down. Then the players place their command post on their side of the table. The Mission Console and the Encounter console can be placed next to the board. Then every player draws the mission cards according to their fleets mixing them and places them face down on their place next to the Command Post. The Encounter deck, and the remaining tiles are placed at locations corresponding to their place next to the Encounter console.



2.) Putting the fleet together
Then ech playertakes his ship deck and mixes it. We remember each ship has given up in the corner right size. The number of Victory points you play to finish the game determines the fleet size. If you play to 10 VP your Fleet Size ist 10. You draw cards from your ship decks until the summed up size of all ships is equal to your fleet size. If you a draw a ship that would make you exceed your Fleet Limit you simply discard it and draw the next card until you have the appropiate fleet size. In a standard game with 10 victory points the following fleet composition would be possible:



Should it not be possible to get at the required fleet size, you can either keep the current fleet, or discard all the cards and drawing from scratch. Then you seeks out the appropriate miniature spaceships and placed it on his command post.

3.) Compile command deck

Each player choosesfour out of his 10 Subdecks, shuffles the cards very well, draws his starting hand of four cards and places the remaining cards next to the storage area of ​​his command post.



4.) Recieving missions
In the last step of game preparation every player recieves his orders from his fleet command. Each ship has in the upper right corner of three values: Sci (ence), Inf (luence) and Com(bat). You are adding the sum for each area for all ships and accordingly draws cards from the deck. The number of cards you can draw per ships is the same as the ships size and the total cards you are drawing hasto be the same as your fleet size. While preparing your commando deck you should consider what mission cards you will draw and build your commando deck that it gives you a favor in your strongest category.



If everything is set up correctly it should look like this:



Gameplay

Gameplay: System Check
Before we get to the actual possibilities for action in a game, an essential element of Fleet Captains has to be presented and understood, the system checks:
There may be situations in the game where you pass a test on a given system must, for example, a sensor test.
To perform this test we look at the value of the ship is being adjusted.
Then the bonses given by crew members or other permanent modificators are added to that value.
Then you have the possibility to play a card from his hand, if it increases its value.
Then you roll a dice and sum up all values. If you have reached or exceeded the required value of the test, it is successful, otherwise it failed.
If two players pass a test against each other, each player performs the steps described above and the player with the higher value wins the test.
Several ships in the same sector can also perform a cooperative system testing. In that case, the output values ​​+ crew bonuses crew , action cards and the dice roll will be added. There is still only one die rolled, regardless how many ships are participating in the test.



Gameplay: Flow of Play

The gameplay is something getting used to, because there is no fixed sequence of actions. You have several options you can perform, but in any arbitrary order. Therefore you have to watch well what you have already done or moved, and what you still can do. If it's a players turn, he completes his entire turn. Only when he says he is ready, it is the opponent's turn. On a turn a player can do the following:

Movement

In his turn a player may moves every ship of this fleet excactly once. Once this movement is interrupted by any action or other action by an encounter it is finished and the vessel may not be moved again until the next round. Each ship has an engine value. This indicates how far the spacecraft can move through space. At the beginning of the movement, it costs one movement point to enter an adjacent space field. If you want to fly anywhere from here you have to substract the size of the location from its movement points. If you have still movement points left, you can move to the next location and if you want to move any further you have again so substract the location size from your left over movement points. if your points are used up, movement ends.

Whenever a ship enters a still undiscovered space field it is reveald and adice is rolled determine whether there is an encounter or not. If the dice rolls the encounter number on the location tile you draw a card from the encounter deck and perform the encounter. Otherwise, continue to fly, if you have enough movement points remaining. Enemy ships can limit or completely block the movement possibilities.



Power Adjustments
As mentioned above a a Power Adjustment is may be performed with any vessel of a fleet once per round. You take the appropriate ship and turn the base to the desired value.

Play Command Cards
You can play as many Command cards per round as you want or can. Whenever you have played a command card, you immediately draw a replacement card.

Cycle a Mission Card
Once per round you can drop on of your three mission cards and draw a new one. If you have drawn every card from you mission deck you can draw a card from any area from the public draw pile. This way you can discard missions that seem to difficult or even impossible to do.



Discard 1 Command Card
If you only have useless command cards in your hand, you can discard one card per round and replace with new one.



Take 3 Actions
In your game round you can take three actions. However if you are playing to more than 10 VPs that number increased, up to six action in 36 VP Game. The most important thing is that each ship may carry only one action. If two ships perform a cooperative system test, each ship must sacrifice an action, so the player then has only one action left.


Those are the actions you may perform:

- Cloaking Action
If a ship has a cloaking device you can cloak it if you spend one action. To do so, you simply turn the clix base to the blue area of the current alarm status and put a cloak marker on the location your ships is, and take the ship off the board. If a ship alreadyis cloaked you can spend your Cloak Action to create a Sensor Echo, which then is placed on the location tile where your cloak marker is . The Sensor Echo can be moved as the other cloak maker. They are looking the same at the front side, so your opponent does not know which one is your ship and which is just a Sensor Echo. If you want to de-cloak a ship you just to a Power Adjustment without spending an action.



- Combat Action
You can attack one ship on the same tile as one of your shups. To do so you have to spend an action and perform a weapons system test. Your opponent has to perform a shield system test. If the shields are holding, nothing happens, is the Weapons test value is higher than the shield system test it takes damage and increases his alarm status. If the determined weapon value is twice as high as the determined shield valuet the ship taktes two hits and if the value is three times higher the ship takes three hits and normally would be destroyed.

- Influence Action
With this action you can spread your influence in a system. You can also build an outpost, a colony or a star base, if you have enough influence marker in that system and is only possible on habitable planets. If there is an opposing marker present you can remove one opposing marker per influence action you perform. If an installation is present built by your opponent and you controll the system you also controll the installation. There can only be one installation per system



- Reinforcement Action
If you lose a ship, the current fleet is raised by one, so in a ten points game it would bet eleven. With a reinforcement action you can choose one of your unused ships from your ship deck and bringt it into play at your outpost if you don't exceed your fleet limit. If you last a Size 4 Ship you can bring two Size 2 ships into play or one Size 3 and one Size 1 ship. You can bring ships into play as long as you don't exceed your fleet limit but just one ship per reinforcement action.

- Repair Action
If a ship is damaged you can repair it (improve it's alarm status) at an installation or at you commando post.

- Scan Action
Mittels einer Scan Action kann man sich entweder ein benachbartes, verborgenes System anschauen oder nach getarnten Schiffen suchen. Schaut man sich ein System an, legt man einen Scanmarker auf das Feld. Man darf sich zu jedem Zeitpunkt alle Hexfelder ansehen, auf denen ein eigener Scanmarker liegt. Möchte man nach getarnten Schiffen suchen, muss man einen Level 15 Sensortest durchführen. Ist dieser erfolgreich darf man sich den Cloakmarker in diesem System anschauen.

- Transporter Action
With this action you can beam crew members or cargo onto ships or planets or you can kidnap crew members of hostile ships or beam cargo on their ships, This is the only way to get rid of Tribbles.The first-mentioned possibilities can be performed if you want to and they happen , if you want to interact with an enemy ship you have to perform a sensor test, which must reach at least the shield value of the opposing ship.



- System Tests
Whenever you perform a system test needs, eg to fulfill a mission, this counts as an action.



What I do think?

You can't get more star trek in a game !
This game is a trekkies dream. It covers both, all series (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) and the movies. You'll discover many familiar characters and everything else what Star Trek represents: tachyon pulses subspace rifts, Ferengi, Picard Maneuver, worm holes, modified photon torpedoes, Q, warlike alien races, temporal anomalies, abandoned space stations, alternate realities, dilithium crystals, Tribbels, sensor anomalies , the Nexus and still very, very much more. You get the impression that the game designer are passionate Trekkies and have really tried to pack a lot into the game.

And they succeeded.

The succeeded in a way that this game is not overloaded. You don't get every encounter and you don't meet every crewmember in a game that would probably be very boring. The spaceship miniatures alone would create a good Star Trek atmosphere, but if you can send well known characters from the series as crew on a ship that's very cool. You can't put together a crew consisting of Janeway, Odo, Worf and McCoy in any other game. This may be a little confusing in the beginning, to mix persons from different series. Just imagine you are a soccer fan and have the possibilty to watch a soccer game where Pelé, Beckenbauer, Messi and Zidane are in the same team. A dream! And so it is in this game!
And finally, of course, there are the encounters. If you the Star Trek film music score in the background and not just take the card and say that you have to do a Level 12 sensor check and either get a victory point or suffer a point damage , but if you really tell which one came across an unusual event and before the ship a particle fountain that region of space flooded with dangerous subatomic particels and you want to investigate this phenomenon closer that creates a nice atmosphere and mood.
As background music to this game, I would recommend the soundtrack of Star Trek: First Contact.

But of course there is not everything in this game. The Romulans are not present, neither are the borg, for example. A rogue who does not think of as an extension. Even though many characters are included in the game, but definitely not all, even here we can offer good scope for expansion. But we are talking about this later on.

The game tells a story
Each game of Fleet Captains tells its own story. It will be recalled even after a few weeks to the game in which the Enterprise was caught in a time warp and could not free itself on it's own. If they weren't rescued, she had lived through over and over again the same hours. But suddenly a klingon battlecruise appeared and saved the enterprise (and gets a victory point), only to destroy itself and then damaging the Enterprise (thereby fulfilling a secret mission and getting another victory point). Such moments occur from time to time in a game, and if you don't break the game just down to it's mechanics, but actually celebrate a game and can really engage it, you will see very many of these moments.

Balance
While the Klingons are a little more combat-oriented than the Federation, once both players are familiar with the game system itself, the game is very well balanced, each player has a real chance to win. Of course it is in the nature of thing that there a lot not only random encounters, but also randomly selected missions or a randomly created game board repeatedly is creating situations that sometimes prefer one player, and sometimes the other. Maybe one player is prefered in such a way that he win's without the other player being able to do anything about it. This is just luck and balances out over several games and its not because there are mechanisms in the two factions that give one side an obvious disadvantage.

Flow of Play
The game play is very, very relaxed. Initially you mabye will have some problems since there are opportunities and events to watch. While a player takes his whole turn the other player can do nothing except play a card from time to time and watch what the other player is doing. This can make the game feel slow a bit in the begining, espacially if one player is just learning the game. The player sheet on the back of the rules may help to speed thing up, but it would have been better if the printed them on two pieces of paper and gave on to every player.
The Americans would say that it is almost a Beer & Brezl game. This is often the game is divided into three phases:
At the beginning of the card is first cleared, to make encounters, gather as vlt. already the first victory points. In the second phase, the main focus lies in the fulfillment of missions, then during the end of the game to accumulate the number of fights.Although one should never forget that it comes at Fleet Captains not to fight (even if one brings one victory point each destroyed ship), but to fulfill missions, and thus to gain victory points.

Beer & Pretzels
Speaking of beer and pretzels, I've been looking for ages for a fun, wonderful exciting adventure game that you can simply play with a friend without much brain burnig, but i should have some miniatures, some dice throwing, it should not be too highly strategically not to luck-heavy, have a good atmosphere, do not take hours, offering a bit of competition without being just all about the fighting. maybe even tell a story: in-principle just a good adventure game.
I have tried a number of games in the last years, from Axis & Allies over Arkham Horror to Middle Earth Quest, but they all haven't fulfilled my expectations. I haven't played Star Trek Fleet Captains that often right now, but it seems that this is the adventure game i was looking for! I don't think that it's the best game i know, i don't know if it would make it to my personal top 10. But if I want to play a game that will provide the above criteria, then Fleet Captain - at least if we are to two - the first choice.

Strategy vs. Luck
The game is pure Amitrash. Dice are rolled, random cards are drawn, which can be good or bad, the locations tiles are random and can be good or bad, the amount of luck in this game is naturally relatively high. Strategic decisions still have to be done often enough: Chosse the settings of the ships system, or whether you will scan locations adjacent or not, how many units are moved together , which mission cards you discard or keep.
You just have to live with the fact the sometimes the luck is on the side of your opponent. The game itself is so much fun that this is not so bad, and if you develop a plan you may stop your opponent even if the game favors him.
Everyone who is toying with this game should consider that it's not a pure strategy game where you can't plan everything. Eitherway, this wouldn't be in the sense of Star Trek. Spaceships are constantly confronted with unexpevted things that can be good and sometimes can be bad.

To clix or not to clix - that's the question here
Beside the anger with the clix bases itself the are sensful. You can identify the values of all ships on the board without problems. I have seen some people who don't clix at all, they use wooden cubes which they are placing on the appropiate column on the ship card. This can be a good solution if you have miniatures which are hard-to-clix or you are a bit lazy

Game length
If you are familiar with the game you can finish a 10 VP match within 60-90 minutes. The more familiar you are with the game the faster you will finish it. If you like bigger more epic games you can simply adjust your the VP goal and don't play to 10 VP but to 15 oder 20 oder 30 VP. The more VPs the longer the game will last and the bigger your fleet size will be. You can play a hole evening, a hole day or even a whole weekend!

Replayabilty
Fleet Captains is a game that you can play very often. The Location Tiles are shuffeld and are randomly set up at the beginning. You can even choose to build a complete different galaxy every time you play. You always have a different fleet, you can try to build different subdecks, you get other missions, you have other encounters, you can adjust the VPs and so on and so forth. Every game is unique. every game tells another story. I think you won't want to play the game everyday, but one or two games once a week would be nice.

Expansions
Currently there are no expansions anounced, but this game yells after expansions. If WizKids would release a romulan, cardassian or dominion expansion this game would become a wonderful three player game or even a true four player game and not "only" a two on two team game. Even a solitaire version would be possibilty by bringing the Borg to the game or a Voyager Homecoming Scenario. You can also expand the base game by bringing new encounters, new miniatures, new missions and new subdecks. Stargazer? Missing! Deep Space Nine? Missing! Benjamin Sisko? Missing! The level of expansion seems just as high as the replay value.

Variants
Some of the just discussed possibiliies for expansions are out yet, but fanmade. There are some suggestions for solo variants or even for the Borg. I don't like houserules at all, but this game invites the players to try out new thing and look how it works. Just have a look into the Boardgamegeek Star Fleets Variants board if you are looking for some concrete suggestions.

Quality of components
I talked a bit about the quality of components and there was a lot of discussion about in on the internet and on the BGG already, but this must be a specific part of a first edition revie
The component quality is a double edged sword:
On the one hand it's very well made. You get the well known Star Trek design, all cards are showing pictures of the series oder motion pictures. The photos are sometimes a bit old fashioned but that is what TV was at that time. The marker are of good quality and the miniatures are very well made. From the optical point of view there is not much to worry about.
On the other hand the quality of the components it self is very bad. The cards are thin. They are very thin, a standard poker card set is thicker an much more stable than the cards of Fleet Captains. Everyone is expecting that the location tiles would be the same quality as the Twilight Imperium hexes but those here in the game just a thin as the cards. They can easily buckle and can be damaged very easily. The game is playable the way it is, but you want to sleeve the cards and maybe laminate the location tiles. The storage possiblities in the box itself are not very good, so you want toe put the cards in zip bags.
The clix base of the miniatures can cause problems and many games suffer of damged miniatures. This shouldn't be a problem of any game, but especially not if the game price tag is within $100. If this would be an exception, okay. not nice at all, but mistakes can happen. Unfortunately this is standard. Shame on you WizKids, but good bless you for your replacement service, so nobody has to play with a damaged game. All those deficits are annoying, but positive is that they are not negative for the fun the game offers.



What do others think?

It's not just my opinion that counts! Let's have a look at the comments of other Boardgamegeekusers. First the positive voices:

- Favorite game in collection now. If I had to get rid of all my games and only keep one, this would be it.
- Only one word: A M A Z I N G!
- The best Trek experience out there! Everything what Star Trek is about -It has it all, Expolaration, Adventure, Starship Combat, amazing Characters and A GREAT STORY to tell with ever single play. Easily the new favorite game in my collection!
- Fantastic marriage of theme and mechanics. A great game on its own but a must-own for any fans of both Star Trek and board games.
- The only time I wouldn't play this is if my mom's playing - I love the woman, but she just doesn't get the mechanics.
- Definitely a game to talk about: great theme (obviously for a Trekkie like me!), lot of cards, lot of mechanics (cloaking, scanning, encounters, etc.), great miniatures, etc. The setup concept of random space tiles, fleet draft, theme-deck choices and missions determined by your fleet is kind of genius! And the replayability is... limitless! A must-buy for any science-fiction fan, or someone who likes a boardgame that makes a story each time.
- This game has surprised me - so many options, great theme, fantastic immersion. It plays quickly, and setup is fast too. Can easily play 2 games or more in a row. More than anything, it is just plain fun!
- Great game!!! It's fast-paced and fun. The rules are not always well explained in my opinion. But I found most of the answers to my questions on BGG. I will most definitely play again soon. BTW: they offer fantastic customer support. Thanks Bryan!
- Initial rating = 9. Love the variety, the theme, the level of randomness. Can't wait for expansions that allow 'proper' 4 player play. Daughter is a huge fan
- 4 player is a little rough, but two player game play is awesome


There is also criticism that want's to be heard, but since the game is out for just a month and a bit right now there ain't a lot of it:

- They need to do a lot of rereading and fixing of there rules there are many things that are uncertain and not clarified.
- Poor components and inbalanced game play harm what could have been a fantastic Trek game. I will revisit rating after another 10 games but at this time I feel ripped off and misguided by fanboys who fail to accept the game has serious problems both with components and balance. Feds = Science missions (Boring) and avoid Klingons. Klingons = Rush accross the board not scanning (lets hope you dont hit a black hole) and attack Feds at every possible opportunity if they haven't won already. Map layout can decide who wins or loses, a few bad tiles as Klingons and your stuffed.. Some missions are simply ridiculous as well.
- Comment based on one play. Way too arbitrary for a game of this weight and flimsy components. How is this a $100 game? Theme is great and rescues the game a bit however.
- Somewhat disappointing game that loses points for some gamey/fiddly rules though the basic engine of the game is decent. I like the idea of the varied missions and secret missions. There seems to be just enough combat without it devolving into a free for all. The resetting of the clicks on the highly fragile and hard-to-handle pieces is tedious and the presence of a stack of modifiers cuts into what should be a more elegant resolution system. To be fair, I've only played once so perhaps it would low more smoothly with further play.
- Has good star trek elements. However the components are no where near worth 100 dollars. Also the game is way to fiddly with lots of components and a long deckbuilding set up time.



Recommendation

This review has become longer than i expected it to be. I hope it gives you an idea about what you get if you purchase Star Trek: Fleet Captains and what the game is about. Someone once wrote that Fleet Captains is like the wet dream of every Trekkie - and he's abolutely right in my opion. Maybe the price is a bit high, but if you are a trekkie you won't regret it as long as you have a fellow player that shares your enthusiasm. I don't know how people that are no trekkies will think about the game if have to try to find one and play the game with him. If you are a Trekkie you maybe have tried on of the over 30 games related to Star Trek released right now, but Fleet Captains is the game you want to play. So both thumbs up from me. If you watched Tom Vassels Video review and you wonder if his enthusiasm is justified i can tell you: It is!

This review was taken from my german boardgameblog :http://www.brettspielblog.net

P.S.: I am not a native speaker and haven't done much english reviews in the past. So please be gentle and overlook the errors.

Thanks for reading (if you have made it to this sentence. If you have just scrolled here, shame on you, go back and read from the beginning )
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Tyler Durden
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Re: Comprehensive pictorial review of Star Trek Fleets Captains: Somebody told you this is the wet dream of every trekkie - and you wonder if he's right or not? Here you'll find the answer
i know the pictures are still a bit large, but after days of work i wanted this review to get online.
In my next review in this manner the picture will be a bit smaller, i promise

if you like my review you may consider scrolling back to the top or push Pos1 and ...
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David
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Re: Comprehensive pictorial review of Star Trek Fleets Captains: Somebody told you this is the wet dream of every trekkie - and you wonder if he's right or not? Here you'll find the answer
That is a sensational review.



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David Anderson
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Re: Comprehensive pictorial review of Star Trek Fleets Captains: Somebody told you this is the wet dream of every trekkie - and you wonder if he's right or not? Here you'll find the answer

Thanks for the well written review. I appreciate that you mentioned the component issues with broken ships. It lends credence to your positive review.
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Anthony DuLac
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@ turtleback - I don't think anyone was claiming that it wasn't happening, by any means. Just that it may not have been as "widespread" as the vocal minority was leading people to believe...
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J. Atkinson
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Grant
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toerck wrote:
Diese Marker zeigen an, welche Fraktion ein noch unentdecktes Weltraumteil bereits gescannt hat. Im Spielverlauf darf sich ein Spieler jederzeit alle verdeckten Weltraumfelder ansehen, auf denen einer seiner Scanmarker liegt. Auch sie sind beidseitig bedruckt.


Don't understand German:-)

Overall, great review. You did an excellent job!
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Purple Paladin

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A very well written and fair reveiw! thumbsup
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Mike Elliott
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I can't weigh in on the content of the review since I would be considered biased, but great work on documenting every aspect of the game in pictures. It felt like a stop action version of an unboxing video.

Mike

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Ender Wiggins
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Re: Comprehensive pictorial review of Star Trek Fleets Captains
I think I recognize this review!


thumbsup
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Michal U
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I really like the "Scan Marker" part
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Tyler Durden
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EndersGame wrote:
I think I recognize this review!


thumbsup

you should
i have deep respect for all work and wonder how long it takes you to make such a review. i took me not only hours but days (with the greatest part being translating it into english ^^). Nevertheless it is fun!
thanks for your inspiration!
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Tyler Durden
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is it "trekkie" or "trekker" in english?
in germany we say trekkie
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Michael Cox
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trekkie#Trekkie_vs._Trekker
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Helge Løkås
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Ender is an inspiration to us all
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M. S.
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thank you for the comprehensive review!
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Dan Dedeaux
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toerck wrote:

Dice
Ultimately, two very small six sided dice.




Those look pretty big to me laugh

Great review. The pictures help a lot! Half way through I was ready to buy the darn game! But, I promised myself I wouldn't!!! Not...Yet...
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Robert Kuster
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Great review, although I already bought the game since I am a Star Trek fan, not neccesarily a Trekkie, just enjoyed the shows and movies. I have yet to try the game, have been painting the ships to give them more detail with some inks and drybrushing. Looking forward to trying it and appreciate the effort you put into this review.
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Simon Webster
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EndersGame wrote:
I think I recognize this review!


thumbsup


You should sue whistle
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Ian Gill
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Mansfield
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As I already bought the game I've only skim-read the review but I think i saw all the points I might have highlighted myself had I the drive to do it. Well done.

The game is quite random, but the ability to make your power adjustment at an appropriate time does work, both in game terms and thematically.

I love the board movement method, ie the first hex always costs one but then the hex size kicks in (I dont know if this has been used elsewhere but i like it muchly !)

Cloaking is handled well, in that being cloaked stops you doing useful stuff without an appropriate card.

The only thing I didn't particularly like was that crew members just appear on any ship. I dont claim there is a better mechanic but it does jar slightly.

I have one other gripe - it would have been nice if each deck had been given a description in the rules as to its main focus/purpose. When selecting 4 decks for each side in our first games, there are some titles (particularly the Klingon ones) that dont give any hint as to their contents/bias. Thus you have to read through each deck and make a judgement on its usefulness.

I found the rules very easy to read the first time but then a nightmare when you want to track down a particular rule during a game. War of the Ring rules were heavily critised by some, but I find both sets similar in that they are well written to ensure that the initial read through is understandable and pain free, then fall short in the "quick-check" department.

A major debate has been on quality of components/Value for money. This will get to the table a lot at my local club so in those terms is a winner - its fun, if not necessarily for those who like to win by very detailed/clever planning, but if you like games where you enjoy "a story full of highs and lows" being created, then this is very good.
I actually dont mind the tiles as they are easy to shuffle (but could get creased - i'll agree). I had two broken ships which have been replaced today so - whilst annoying - its been dealt with.

Overall, I like this game a lot. It screams out to be expanded.

As to Star Trek Expeditions.....
I thought Fleet Captain would totally outshine Expeditions but now I'm unsure.
Expeditions is very good mechanically (well it is an "RK" game) and I found that I could almost picture how all the events in the game would appear in an actual episode. The weakness in the game is that is does require you to make that mental translation, so is much weaker theme-wise for those who dont love Star Trek. It does need more missions as well.
Fleet Captains appears to throw more into the melting pot, but, by having characters from different series in the same game, it just detracts a bit from the overall goodness for me.

I think the randomness in Fleet Captains will mean that some games are real nail-biters and some are a little spoilt by totally random events - but most will be great fun.
Expeditions will give a more consistent Star Trek "episode" feel if you can add some visualisation yourself but will never create the Memorable game moments that Fleet Captains will

I own both
I'm very happy with both games
Definitely keen if they expand Fleet Captains
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Leo Zappa
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Aliquippa
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Damn it. I have gone on about my complaints about components and price and all that, and then you show up with this review. Now I am going to have to buy this after all.
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Ian Gill
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Quote:
Here you have to repair itself, build the base apart and sand the appropriate places. More information can be found here.


Where ? I cant see a link or similar

Having received two replacements, i'm tempted to try to repair the two faulty bases that wont turn (I wasn't prepared to pull them apart until I had actual replacements in case there was any dispute). If i can repair them, I can then try painting the two models to see if it will look ok.

Thanks

Ian
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Jeff Mitchell
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Super awesome review! Good job.
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David Anderson
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wytefang wrote:
@ turtleback - I don't think anyone was claiming that it wasn't happening, by any means. Just that it may not have been as "widespread" as the vocal minority was leading people to believe...


I'm not disputing that. However, some major reviewers here seem to get cherry picked free review copies. Games like Survive: Escape from Atlantis! had many reviews prior to the game's widespread release that did not mention the mismatched meeples or other component issues. I'm not saying those reviewers were hiding the component issues, but I believe they were given copies of the game that had been gone through by hand to ensure there were no issues. I'd rather read a review like this that is of a game just purchased of the shelf (this is an assumption on my part).

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Tim K
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Hands down the best Star Trek game out there. Yes there are component issues - the big two for me are the map components being two thin and issues with some ships being broken. I'd much rather see TI3 quality map pieces myself but I can live with these. Wizkids will replace broken ships. I purchased online for $70. For the number of minis I thought that was very reasonable. I've played with my two kids and their friends and actually got them to star watching the original 1960's TV series on Netflix streaming based solely on playing this game. Doomsday machine and Mirror Mirror are my hands down favorites.

It just feels like a Star Trek movie. You have all the ships, cloaking, missions, battles, power transfers, and characters. I can't wait for a Romulan expansion and the Borg. Have the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans battle a giant Borg cube which attacks on converts starships - that would be sweet.

TK.
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I read your german review first and had no idea you wrote an english one as well! So now I have to say I really like reading it (now that I can understand it! :) ) and, to be fair, I have to give you thumbs up and GeekGold here too for a great review!
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