I finally purchased Federation Commander: Klingon Border and studied it. Here is my analysis:
I was impressed with the artwork on the sleeve that slips over the white box. The Klingons look like what's in the Old Series of Star Trek (as they should). The Federation Commander on the front looks like Schwarzenegger. Perfect. But what's most important about the cover are the starships, moving head-to-head, and the ship-art is quality.
Upon opening the box, first thing I see are the new ship cards. I love these things: full color and easy to read. They are also very durable, waterproof, and will not be destroyed when I eventually spill my coffee on them. There was a grease pencil provided for use with the ship panels, however, I've discovered that it is best to use my trusty alcohol markers. (Staedtler brand). The only problem I see with the ship cards is on the drone damage tracks. They don't follow the same color numbering scheme from ship to ship (i.e. some of the numbers are yellow on one ship card while on another, they may be white or black, and the black is harder to read).
Moving on, next are the full color Players Reference cards, in which we get 2 and they appear to be printed on the same type of card material as the ships. These may also survive my coffee spills and markings. They are very easy to use, have all the chart information needed during play, and are extremely convenient. I would have rather seen the Phaser type-3 table on the front (where the Phaser type-2 table is) and vice-versa.
Next I see the turn guages and table-top firing arc diagrams for use with miniatures (sold separately) that can be cut out and used for play on your kitchen table or other large flat surface. Nifty.
Next are the two countersheets. The first one has forty 1" counters with full color art of the ships. These are great!! 1 of the 40 is a planet counter and 1 is the Planet Killer monster for use in one of the scenarios. There are only 2 things I am not crazy about. several of the klingon ships appear to be half blue and half turquoise. The Federation BCG is a nice bright white (with combat fleet circle saucer markings!!) while the others are kind of "off-white". But they still look great during play.
The second counter-sheet has the 216 half-inch die-cut counters. These are the best counters (IMO) that ADB has produced to date. They have good advanced graphics on them rather than what you would see on other games. These counters also serve as markers for ship-energy and manuever during play. I found using them during play was simple and convenient as well.
On to the rulebook. 52 pages, front cover is a black and white image of the full color front cover of the sleeve. But the very next thing that darts out at you is the uneveness of the pages at the right edge of the book. These pages should have been sheared even. They are harder to turn than they should be. The book is well organized and well written. The paper is quality and durable. I could have done without the "pretty-boy" Klingon character art (There is a difference between guys who look pretty and men who look handsome). The ship art is excellent and would have liked to have seen more of that than the characters. I felt that the historical background section would have been best placed on page 3 and that the star fleet universe pages should have been on pages 50 and 51.
The rules are well organized and numbered. They are very clear and easy to read and understand. The only thing that distracted my study of the rules was one line that jumped out at me near the very beginning, and to tell the truth I would have never thought of it unless it was said. In rule 2A2, it states that hexes have nothing to do with witchcraft. Unless this is some type of joke, the line is really not necessary and a distraction.
Finally we get to the last remaining items of the game. A small bag of paperclips is included to use for marking power levels on the ship cards (which is an option to using the counters as chits to pay for power usage). I would have liked to see colored plastic paperclips. A pair of small, 3/8th inch, red 6-sided dice with white dots. And....the map boards. The map boards are great at first glance. There are 6 panels (thick 2mm cardboard) Each panel has 2 sides, one side with 1.25" hexes (8 hexes by 9 hexes) and the second side with 3/4" hexes (15 hexes by 14 hexes). One of the 6 panels has a directional diagram. The board is mostly black with stars in the background (apparently actual images of real galaxies that can be seen in high powered telescopes). Great art. Again though, there is a problem. First I can tell that the edges are going to get worn quickly unless I take really good care of them (and keep from accidentally spilling my coffee on them). Next the hexes don't quite line up exactly. This is a very minor problem however, and I found that during play it didn't detract or distract.
After playing the game, I found that it goes fairly fast (a single turn, with 8 impulses played in a single ship duel) took about 20 minutes. Finding answers to rules questions were fairly easy, rulebook has 8 chapters and is only 52 pages.
Product Design: 7
Rules and Play: 10
Product Quality: 5
Overall rating: 8
This is a great game to play.