Board Game Review: Star Trek Expeditions

Star Trek Expeditions is an intricate and incredibly brutal game designed to allow you to achieve the peak of heroism, or sit imprisoned by Klingon sympathizes for turns on end. A small mess of serious issues with the game keep it from being a great game and keep it firmly in good game territory.

Last night’s game of STE was Bridget and my second time playing, and my parents’ first. A lot of rules were wrong, and there was quite a bit of everyone telling everyone else what to play, as well as a lot of breaking the rules to give one another tokens when we shouldn’t have. In our defense, we only realized this was a mistake halfway thought, and didn’t want to change it.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sulu saved the day, but only barely. This was one of the most difficult co-op games I’ve played, but seemed to drag on longer than necessary.

The game takes place on the planet of Nibia. The government has decided to join the Federation, but upon the arrival of the Enterprise, their mood changes. Why have negotiations soured? Rebels on the planet below and Klingons in the skies above make things difficult for the heroes as they travel across the planet performing missions in hopes of stopping the Klingons and gaining the trust of the Nibians again. You battle Klingons in space, use “Energize” cards for bonuses and summoning extra crew members (red shirts!) to fight alongside you, and attempt to seduce senator’s daughters (at least, Kirk did).

Like I said, we had a good time, but it did seem to drag near the end-game. Hurrying around attempting to complete the missions was fun, but at one point, all four of us were stuck at missions that either would not let us leave, or would greatly penalize us for leaving. This led to a lot of turns spent simply drawing “Energize” cards in hopes of gaining the crew members we needed to complete the mission.

I think everyone had a good time, and I imagine I’ll be able to convince them to play again, so long as I’m able to find some new missions online, or try to make one of my own. Only having one mission inside the game makes for some stale replay, I imagine.

The game is fun, but not without its faults. Hopefully, some new missions come out soon, and I’m able to find rules online for a quicker game, because otherwise, this game might be sitting on the shelf for a while to come.

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