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Star Trek: Fleet Captains is a thematic strategy game put out by WizKids that is set in the Star Trek universe where you can play as the Federation, Klingons, Romulans (expansion), or Dominion (expansion).

Players: 2 or 4 (2 - 8 with expansions)
Time: 1-5 hours (players choice)
Complexity: 6 out of 10



Point of view of Reviewer


I believe it is very important to know the point of view the reviewer has, so you can better understand how that relates to yourself. That being said, this reviewer is a big fan of Star Trek. This reviewer is also a big fan of boardgames. This is the only Star Trek boardgame the reviewer has ever played (though he has played the Star Trek card games). This reviewer also mainly enjoys boardgames that are thematic or tells a story. Keep that in mind while reading this review.

Components


If you like components, you are going to love Star Trek Fleet Captains. I am not going to go too in depth, but just to give you an idea, this game comes with these items for each side:

Ships
Cards to represent ships
Deck of cards (includes actions and characters you can place on ships)
Tokens to represent your team
Tokens that represent changes to your ships
Tokens to represent cloaked vessels
Tokens to keep track of score

The game itself has many components that are independent of whatever team you play:

Tokens to keep track of score
Tokens for bases
Deck of cards for random encounters
Deck of cards representing missions
Tiles for space locations
2 d6

Setup

Setup for this game is almost a game itself. In this portion of the game you get to choose:

Size and layout of the Space tiles
Size of your fleet (how many ships you get and how many points you are playing to)
What kind of player deck you are going to have

The setup for this game is where you decide if this game is going to last 1 hour or 5 hours. The size of your fleet also determines how many points to win, so this is directly tied to the amount of time you want to play.

Once you have picked your fleet size and decided on the size of the board, you will randomly pick cards representing your ships until you have a number equal to your fleet size. This guarantees randomness each game. Once you have your ships they will tell you how many of each mission type you will receive. There are 3 mission types (4 if you include the expansions)

These mission types are:



Science (green)
Influence (yellow)
Combat (red)
Espionage (green) from the expansions

You do not get to see exactly what the missions are, but you do know how many of each type you get. This will give you an idea of what type of deck to build for game play. Each team gets 8 ten card decks to pick 4 card decks and mix together into their own deck to use during play.



The title for each 10 card deck gives you an idea of what type of missions and situations each deck would be good at. Knowing what type of missions you have the most of, you can use that information to pick 4 of these decks and make your own in game deck. These decks have cards you can use during actions, and also characters you can place on any of your ships.

Now that you have your fleet, your deck, and your mission cards, you are ready to go.

Gameplay


I don't want to spend too much time on the mechanics, but instead focus on the flavor and feeling the game gets across. That being said, each turn basically breaks down to you having a set number of actions (3-6) and each ship only being able to take 1 of those actions, and 1 movement per ship. Some examples of actions you can take are (but not limited to):

Transporter actions: to move people or items from ship to ship, or ship to planet, or planet to ship.
Attack actions
Cloak your ship: if able
Scan actions: To either look at a location tile to see what is there, or scan an enemy cloak token to try and get through their cloak.

When you move through space you flip over space tiles and find out what is in that sector. Whenever you go into a new space location you may also have an encounter that is very similar (most often just something that happened in the TV show).



This being a HeroClix game, each ship has a dial with different settings for Weapons, Shields, Engines, and Sensors. You can change these settings once a turn to complement whatever mission or actions you are doing. You get points by building StarBases, blowing up enemy ships, completing missions, and completing encounters. The first person to get points equal to the starting fleet size wins the game. It may sound easy, but the mechanics of the game make this both more complicated, and more interesting than that.

Flavor


This is what I really wanted to talk about. The flavor of this game is drenched in Star Trek. The subtitle of this game "Fleet Captains" is very apt. You don't so much feel like the captain of a vessel, but instead an Admiral leading a fleet of ships into a sector and having a battle for control. Whatever story you want to make up for that control is yours to make, and usually the game makes that flavor for you. The different encounters and interactions with the opposing players feels like the adventures a ship has over many seasons of one of the TV series. Many different tactics can be used to ensure victory, and the same tactic does not always work from game to game. Each team has certain aspects of the game they excel at:

Federation: Exploration and Science
Klingons: Combat and Espionage
Romulans: Espionage and Influence
Dominion: Combat and Exploration

Conclusion


For your average boardgamer, this game may be a little too clunky and full of flavor you may not be interested in. For a Star Trek fan, you are going to love the versatility and excitement that comes with exploration and combat in your favorite fictional universe.

Podcast Discussion

You can listen to our discussion and review here:


or here:
http://burneverythinggaming.podbean.com/e/you-know-what-ep2-...
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Chris Morris
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I actually just pulled this out in the last week or so after not playing it for a long time. I forgot just how much fun this game is!! I might have to go out and grab the Dominion expansion for a true four player game.

Oh, and even if you're not a Trek fan, this game is great. I watched some Next Gen when it originally aired and I've only seen two or three if the films total so I don't really know the references, but I love the game regardless.
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Thomas Robb
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If you are really into this game, reply to me here in this forum. My friend and I belong to a Facebook page where you can get (FOR FREE!) professionally done home expansions. These are not just slapped together expansions, they are identical to the Star Trek Fleet Captains game and greatly enhance repeat play.

Borg - Non-player system with the Borg randomly traveling the universe
Borg - player version with 100 card command deck and cards for ships
Ferengi - 100 card command deck and ship cards plus a new Mission Card Deck just for them
Orion - 100 card command deck and ship cards (yes green women!)
Gorn - 100 card command deck and ship cards
Vulcan - 100 card command deck and ship cards
Terran Empire (from Mirror, Mirror in the original series) 100 cards and ship cards

New hexes and Encounter Cards for the base game

Plastic ships can be purchased for each race (may not find 10 for all races but you can find enough to play the race)through Cool Stuff, Miniature Market, and other places - for example there are only 4 plastic ships for the Ferengi but it is enough to play the game - we just recycle destroyed ones and use again (just use a different ship card and you get a new experience)

Tokens - new tokens were designed by my friend and then printed by companies who do such things - you can get the designs and files, though, for free if you want (we use MPC to order our tokens, etc.) For example, each race has its own design and color so you can tell them apart from each other on the hexes)

Away Team Mini-Expansion - sending down an Away Team from your ship for a quick adventure

Doomsday Machine - travels the universe randomly and you can try and destroy it to get VP (Not that easy though) - my friend built his own replica from clay - (you could just use a token or any plastic ship) - my friend's replica, though, is wicked cool!

Delta Quadrant Expansion - many new (20 or so?) Delta Quadrant hexes suggested by episodes from Voyager TV series including Encounter Cards - some hexes from base game (homemade) send you to the Delta Quadrant and you have things to do to escape back home - you can still get VP, etc. so you still have chance to win game even though you are lost - we have the Delta Quadrant set up on another table so if you are lost to there you actually move your ship(s) to another map

If this interests you, let me know and I will get you the Facebook address (or you can probably find it if you do a Star Trek search)

If you are diehard Trek fan, definitely you need to check out these homemade expansions - I guarantee they are of superb quality

so, do some research and you can play Star Trek: Fleet Captains with the Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Dominion, Borg, Ferengi, Orion, Gorn, Vulcan, and Terran Empire. we have had games with up to 7 races in one universe - super fun! One game, the Borg player battled the Vulcans, while the Federation player tangled with the Ferengi. All the while, the Orion were gobbling up VP's and won the game!

I say again, these homemade expansions are very professionally done, not cobbled together and they are done by a dedicated Star Trek fan - I have played them all and the game never gets stale
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J Frances
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https://www.facebook.com/groups/stfcx/
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J Frances
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https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1057214377628463&...

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1025099357506632&...
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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Lt two links don't work. The first link brings me to a facebook login screen.

I don't have a facebook login.

Jorune
 
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Chris Morris
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Jorune wrote:
Lt two links don't work. The first link brings me to a facebook login screen.

I don't have a facebook login.

Jorune

Well, you kinda need Facebook to log in to the groups there. The links work fine for me.
 
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Thomas Robb
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yes

sorry Jorune

you DO need a Facebook page for this

 
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Susan Butler
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My husband, Dan Butler (dano19606), and I just joined the group on FB to see if we can get some of those beautiful homemade expansions!

Also, we live in the same area as you, Mr. Robb. Can you tell me if there's a group of ST tabletop fans in the area that play on a regular basis that we could join? Right now, Dan and I play ST Fleet Captains ourselves, but would be much more fun to play with a group! Thanks a bunch in advance! kiss


 
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Rob Pruden
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The idea of expansions is awesome, and I'll check it out. What I'd really like to see, though, is a "TOS" (The Original Series) expansion. While there would be fewer types of ships, the individual named vessels within esch class could be given different stats to correspond to their mission specialty. For example, the Lexington could be combat-focused, while the Constellation could be science-focused, and the Enterprise a good balance, etc. The Klingons could have similar variability in their D-6, D-7, etc.

There's more than enough content to make a good expansion, as shown by the TOS version of the deck-building game. For me, TOS will always be the best iteration of Star Trek, and I'm sure there's lots of fans that agree. I'd purchase such an expansion to ST:FC in a heartbeat!

What do you think?
 
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Shawn Marcil
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I just came across this thread (looks like I am late to the party), and I am interested in the home expansions you have on Facebook. It seems that none of the links posted above worked since they require access to the "Star Trek: Fleet Captains" closed group, so I requested to be part of this Facebook Group yesterday. Looking forward to expanding my ST:FC since I don't believe that there will be any more official releases.
 
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