Review: Star Trek Expeditions / Designer: Reiner Knizia / Publisher: WizKids / Release Date: Out Now
Star Trek Expeditions is an interesting blend of elements. Set in the Star Trek universe featured in the new movies, it mixes HeroClix-style figures with a slick, maths-driven and procedural-style eurogame. It’s an odd game with odd pieces yet somehow it all comes together to make something smooth.
This is a co-operative game; all players take on the role of a member of the Enterprise crew and work together in order to convince the planet of Nibia to join the Federation. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until those horrible Klingons came along and tried to strong arm the poor Nibians into joining their empire instead. The crew therefore has to deal with two sets of problems; a rapidly approaching Klingon warship and a world full of suspicious aliens. The team win the game by convincing Nibia to join the Federation and beating up the Klingons.
Characters start off on the Enterprise and ‘energise’ down onto parts of the board. On each board section there is a face down card and this is flipped to reveal a mission. These are resolved by adding up the stats on your character’s model and playing any special abilities you may have. You then roll a dice. Very good rolls cause your character to lose a point of damage which is recorded by moving the click down on the model. Indeed, this is a game where Kirk can become overly exhausted by digging a well, though he’s much more likely to get into trouble from getting up to mischief with the Senator’s Daughter. Success matters because it affects what other missions you perform and how likely you are to triumph in the long run. This means all the players ends up pulling together on occasion in an attempt to save this world.
The game can be played at different levels of difficulty and seems to be designed with diverse groups in mind. People with different levels of gaming experience can work together on this without much of a problem. Those familiar with Reiner Knizia's work will recognise the clever checks and balances here, all of which let the players tell a very Star Trek style story. Some of the pieces do feel a little lifeless and if you’re not a Trek fan this may leave you cold. Overall though, this is a fun game which now happens to be readily available.