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Subject: Initial thoughts after 1 solo play rss

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Roy Stephens
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So, after much excitement and anticipation, I got the game today and sat down to play a solo game with all 4 characters. Just some stream of conciousness thoughts here:

Suprisingly thematic since it is a Knizia game. It really felt like an episode of Trek and those who gripe about it being based in the universe of the 2009 JJ Abrams film have nothing to worry about, other than Chris Pine instead of Shatner, there is nothing that would be out of place if they changed the artwork around to be the original cast or anything else. It could easily be a Next Gen themed game as anything. It is most definitely a Star Trek game, though. It is NOT just a euro with a Trek theme stapled onto it.

The characters all make sense and work as they should. Spock, Bones, and Kirk work best running around as the Away Team on the planet's surface, resolving crises there. Uhura works best for the most part staying on the Enterprise, handling the combat with the Klingon battle cruiser and divvying out Energize cards to the Away team, which for a communications officer, makes perfect sense. As she can fish the deck for needed cards, sending redshirts (and blue and yellow shirts) planetside to help Kirk and Co. while she hangs onto combat buffing cards and repairs for Enterprise.

I played it on the Academy (easy) difficulty and it was a bit of a challenge. Especially for the political "Will the planet join the UFP or the Klingons?" plotline as one of the missions was gain 7 points if you have 3 artifacts, which I only had 2 and the third (a rare) was not able to be in play due to the draw of Capt's log cards, which meant the BEST possible outcome for that plotline was for the planet to remain neutral. But still, that's part of the fun; the unknown.

The rules were pretty tight and for the most part made sense right off the bat. There were a few small concerns that came up, but, I quickly resolved them.

The Enterprise vs. Klingon Cruiser fight is NASTY. If you get off to a bad start without some Discoveries that can buff the Enterprise, you will get abused. I had no problem with Uhura keeping the ship running, but, the fights were very lopsided and it was pretty much a holding action as the Cruiser only took 1 hit the whole game, and the Enterprise was basically getting hammered and repairing and pushing back so as to keep the score positive.

Overall, I am VERY pleased with the game and it is definitely the best Trek boardgame I have played. I am looking forward to more expansion "episodes". Also looking forward to playing it with both Trekker friends and friends who are not into the show/movies but like a fun game. Best of all, I like the fact that it is yet another cooperative game, ala Pandemic/Shadows Over Camelot/Battlestar Galactica without feeling like a rehash/retread of those mechanics. It is also not a long game, about an hour or so. I never thought I'd say this about a Reiner Knizia game, but, the theme is perfectly realized and integrated into the mechanics. If you are a fan of ANYTHING to do with Star Trek, this is a must have game. If you are looking for a fun co-op game for 4 or less players, you will not be disappointed with this either.
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Roy Stephens
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I forgot to include this. I hadn't looked at any of the cards prior to playing so that all the events were fresh. At one point in the game, Kirk landed on a space with the
Spoiler (click to reveal)
"President's Wife" crisis... where said wife gets the hots for an Enterprise crew member and if you leave without diplomatically resolving the issue, it is a political fiasco. Of COURSE Kirk was the one who triggered a crisis involving the amorous attentions of a alien female. laugh
While it was completely random, it definitely helped my opinion of the theme being very strong in the game.

editted due to the spoileriffic nature of the comment being pointed out to me.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'm looking forward to playing. I wish you'd used the spoiler feature for the bit in the 2nd post.
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Randy Mathews
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Concur
I concur with everything you said. I've played 4 games so far, one of them solo, and all on the medium difficulty. We did manage to 'win' every time, although the end result was pretty awful! (Planet aligning with the Klingons, widespread ecosystem damage, and rebels pounding the planet). Getting the better endings seems quite difficult!

As you said, the battle between the Enterprise and the Cruiser is brutal. I'm curious if anyone here has some good strategy tips because it seems like the poor Enterprise just can't go on the offensive in this game.

The theme is very realized, yes. Additional content like new missions, ships, etc. would be most welcome.
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Michael Gardner
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Jenner30 wrote:
I concur with everything you said. I've played 4 games so far, one of them solo, and all on the medium difficulty. We did manage to 'win' every time, although the end result was pretty awful! (Planet aligning with the Klingons, widespread ecosystem damage, and rebels pounding the planet). Getting the better endings seems quite difficult!

As you said, the battle between the Enterprise and the Cruiser is brutal. I'm curious if anyone here has some good strategy tips because it seems like the poor Enterprise just can't go on the offensive in this game.

The theme is very realized, yes. Additional content like new missions, ships, etc. would be most welcome.


On The blue and yellow level of difficulty, leave Uhura on the ship early on and just draw cards with her, trying to get Repair cards, Boost shield cards, Reroll cards and Surprise attack cards in her hands while spreading out crew cards to the right characters. Go ahead and move the Enterprise early toward the Klingons and fire first if you can from a distance (long range weapons are the only advantage the Enterprise has over the Klingon ship). It helps to do damage to it before it does it to you. It's important to eliminate damage to the Enterprise if you can with Repair cards, or avoid damage with the Boost Shield card, and avoid getting into close range with the Klingons. If you can get the bonus tokens for the Enterprise to the ship don't be afraid to use them and discard them for their greater bonus to get hits on the Klingons. Use Reroll cards to avoid two clix damage to the Enterprise. Kirk, Spock and Bones can handle the missions pretty easily with their own skills and crew members. Move Uhura down for the "Red" missions, if needed, once you get the upper hand on the Klingon ship. It is pretty much a snowball effect, if you are cautious and allow the Klingon ship to hit you first a few times, you will mostly be lucky to stat "afloat" and hold your ground at +0. If you are aggressive and keep at long range, you can cause the snowball to roll down the other side. Don't be afraid to move back to keep the advantage dial advantage.

On the hardest difficulty, all bets are off, just keep the Enterprise alive!
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Roy Stephens
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Sphere wrote:
I'm looking forward to playing. I wish you'd used the spoiler feature for the bit in the 2nd post.


Aw dang... i'm sorry, man. that was kinda wrong of me. my apologies...
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Roy Stephens
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Kirk Agathon wrote:
Don't be afraid to move back to keep the advantage dial advantage


did i miss something? i thought the only reason to back off was when the Klingon cruiser got to close range, where it is even MORE of a beast. Is there any other reason to retreat the Enterprise?
 
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Randy Mathews
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hockeyjedi wrote:
Kirk Agathon wrote:
Don't be afraid to move back to keep the advantage dial advantage


did i miss something? i thought the only reason to back off was when the Klingon cruiser got to close range, where it is even MORE of a beast. Is there any other reason to retreat the Enterprise?


It IS a beast at close range, but what I believe he means is that if you keep at least 1 space of separation you are maximizing the Enterprise's only advantage (that being long range weaponry).
 
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Byron Rocher
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we just played a 4 player game sunday and i couldnt find in the rules, whether or not playing cards like repair used an action --- so i'm assuming not, and yes it is most helpful to have uhura on the ship with repair cards(especially if its a free play)

our team did manage to knock out the klingon ship as the active player was on the enterprise with 9 actions and just attacked with the enterprise 9 straight times --- as i was not sure if the klingon cruiser was allowed to fire back at all on those occasions, it just took a beating

we ran through all the stardate cards once and reshuffled and almost ran through them all again (on academy blue) before we got to turn 30 which is a loss (spocks last action should have been to run to our last spot and attempt the last quest instead of taking out the cruiser)

another question we had was whether only kirk has the option of trading cards....
 
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Randy Mathews
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slashlizard wrote:
we just played a 4 player game sunday and i couldnt find in the rules, whether or not playing cards like repair used an action --- so i'm assuming not, and yes it is most helpful to have uhura on the ship with repair cards(especially if its a free play)

our team did manage to knock out the klingon ship as the active player was on the enterprise with 9 actions and just attacked with the enterprise 9 straight times --- as i was not sure if the klingon cruiser was allowed to fire back at all on those occasions, it just took a beating

we ran through all the stardate cards once and reshuffled and almost ran through them all again (on academy blue) before we got to turn 30 which is a loss (spocks last action should have been to run to our last spot and attempt the last quest instead of taking out the cruiser)

another question we had was whether only kirk has the option of trading cards....


Using the repair card on your own turn does not count as an action.

Attacking the Cruiser first still allows the Klingons to take a shot at the Enterprise after the fact, so attacking them 9 times would get 9 counter attacks.

All characters can exchange crew, but only Kirk can do so from any location. Everyone else has to be in the same location and can then exchange 1 crew for 1 action point.
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Byron Rocher
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thanks Randy, i'm reading the faq from wiz kids right now
 
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hockeyjedi wrote:
Sphere wrote:
I'm looking forward to playing. I wish you'd used the spoiler feature for the bit in the 2nd post.


Aw dang... i'm sorry, man. that was kinda wrong of me. my apologies...

Easy enough to change it for the benefit of future readers. Just edit the post, hilight the info that people should only find out during play, and click the 'SP' button (right next to 'Q' for quote).
 
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E D
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unfortunately it seems expansion will include characters rather than new episodes unless i read it wrong.
 
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Roy Stephens
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Sphere wrote:
hockeyjedi wrote:
Sphere wrote:
I'm looking forward to playing. I wish you'd used the spoiler feature for the bit in the 2nd post.


Aw dang... i'm sorry, man. that was kinda wrong of me. my apologies...

Easy enough to change it for the benefit of future readers. Just edit the post, hilight the info that people should only find out during play, and click the 'SP' button (right next to 'Q' for quote).


done & done.
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Roy Stephens
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unveilmyeyes wrote:
unfortunately it seems expansion will include characters rather than new episodes unless i read it wrong.


The only news thus far is that it will definitely include new characters (Scotty, Sulu, Chekov). It doesn't specifically say it WON'T include new missions/plotlines.
 
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Roy Stephens
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A follow up to my review after 5 months... I am probably putting this one one the trading block. It isn't a bad game, and it is thematic... however, with so little variety in the set, after several plays, the theme goes away and it just becomes an exercise in solving math problems, quite often with one player dictating to others what to do... while that is thematic regarding how a captain would command a starship and its crew, it isn't as fun when playing a game with friends.

If you do get this game, don't bring it out all the time or the wires will start to show.


wow, that was one heck of a run on sentence up there.. too bad i don't feel like fixing it. laugh
 
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