Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

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kobayashimaru
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Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby kobayashimaru » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:39 am

Howdy everyone!
I figured it'd be an awesome thing to start a living "Trek Guide to Games" thread on AST,
a handy reference so as folks can see what options are out there, as it can be daunting to find out more about the options that are out there (isn't that a great 'problem' to have now - too many Trek themed things :lol: ).
this is by no means an exhaustive list, more of a brief overview of what's out there at the time of writing, so if you see a game that's not on the list, we all want to know about it, and be sure to post and add it!

disclaimers
What follows are a reflection for the purposes of reflection, and review. No infudgement intended or involved, thanks to Berne Convention etc - and i strongly encourage folks to check out many different sources (and playing the games) before arriving at conclusions :D I'm not going to go into the nuances or technicalities of each game - that's something gamers have to experience for themselves :D I'm looking forward to hearing about experiences of these games first hand - as some of these games I have played often, and others I have seldom played or not played.

There have been a few Trek Tabletop Games (TTGs) over the years, so what follows is a brief overview of each of various TTGs, in no particular order...
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Star Trek: Catan

Image
Above: Catchy cover art to Star Trek: Catan, by klaus teuber, sourced from boardgamegeek.com, for the purposes of review. It's a neat cover, reminiscent of the TMP posters - great work Franz & Imelda!.

Star Trek Catan combines the classic gameplay of "Settlers of Catan" with the fun of Trek - being a nice trek trivia game alongside the competitive "trade-poker" the game is known for. Bring out your inner ferengi, and trade to win... or perhaps set your phasers to "winning" and use a military conquest victory? Maybe you don't believe in the no-win scenario, and find some other way to win instead?
The thief from classic catan is instead, Q... so watch out the 'thief' doesn't pay you a visit.
Average running time* (*based on a sample set of ~300 games played from personal experience) is 38mins-50mins, non-inclusive of set-up or pack up time. This game requires 2 to 5 gamers, though future expansions may increase the number of players. A great value for money, as this covers hardcore trek fans all the way to newer nutreksters alike. Simplicity is a hallmark of this game, making it easy to learn and a great way to unwind - everyone can play, and enjoy trek-gaming with perhaps a beverage of their choice (in their best Montalban accent). If you're looking at more complexity or ship-to-ship combat, there are a few other options out there...
TNG era fans -there is hope, as a TNG era themed expansion is apparently in the works.

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Star Trek: Attack Wing
Image
Above: image sourced from boardgamegeek.com, this came in several variant covers including a black and 'white bordered' variant. An excellent game made by Wizkids and C Guild & A Parks

Star Trek has so many space battles... and this tabletop game is excellent at recreating them. TNG era fans, you're in for a treat, as are TMP fans - nutrek? there are some sets on the horizon for those too... Relieve iconic sequences from the shows or novels, and there's a healthy tournament scene. The game uses strategy and maneuvering - alongside 'deckbuilding' elements reminiscent at times of Decipher's CCG - to recreate the style of ship combat seen in the show. Some criticism has been leveled by some of the player base at the "pay-to-play" nature of the deckbuilding side to the game, others are disappointed there is not actual 3D vectoring or astronomy involved... However, yours truly thinks this is a strategic game, requiring players to micromanage and think several turns ahead.
A good value for money, an average run time of 45mins to 1hr & 7. This game requires 2 to 8 layers, and notably a large area to play (2ft x 4ft) or more for 5 or more players.
There have been exhibition matches with the sacred scale - so this may become also a 1:2500 sacred scale game in time.

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Star Fleet Battles

Image
Above: Cover to the base Star Fleet Battles guide, as sourced from boardgamegeek.com, by S Cole and Amarillo Design Bureau inc, reprints have a more stylised cover to suit TMP, and there are also 'compendium' or TPB versions, which also include other rulebooks.

This is a classic starship combat/lite role play game. TOS and TMP fans - this is for you! as TOS and TMP factions such as Federation, Klingons, Rommies, and the Orion Syndicate are in the game (sold separately with other rulebooks too, as expansion packs). |though, these rules could be 'adapted' :borg: to accomodate other factions and eras|
Combat can involve strategy when terrain and map choice is used, and scenario play or recreations can also be made.
The ships are still orderable from Amarillo - and now come in plastic too. 1:1000 scale recreations were made at OzCon as an exhibition match a few years ago, and this system lends itself well to smaller ship v ship battles with larger starships.
Tholian, Vulcan and "Fringe" faction expansions were envisaged, yet at time of writing have not been realised.
Average run time can be 35mins to 50mins, and due to smaller fleets, can be a great value for money.
The simplicity and relative balance make this fun to unwind with - though, with larger fleets strategy enters the mix.
These figures are also AWESOME for the FASATrek RPG.

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Star Trek: Fleet Captains
Image
Above: cover to the game sourced from boardgamegeek.com, by Wizkids and M Elliot, B Kinsella, E Pasternack

This is great game - sorta a pastiche between Trek:Catan, ST:AW and SFB,
with a helping of Decipher CCG trek in the mix too. In this game, you can recreate an episode or play through several missions available from the fan community online. There are many paths to victory; trading, military, or through resource attrition and building all the bases. Fan of factions other than; Federation, Romulans, Klingons or JemHadar/Dominion will need to look elsewhere, as only those factions have yet been made. Fans of TOS or TMP eras will also need to look elsewhere at this time, as there are not many options for those eras.
Average runtime is 1hr to 1.5hrs or more, and this game seems to flow best with 4 players. This game is unique in that it can be convincingly played in "single-player mode".


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so, there we have it -
we've have a few options these days for tabletop trek gaming :D
Over to you, the reader -
Which games have tempted you? Which games do you play or would you consider playing?
Are recreations more fun than the 'what-ifs" in terms of gaming? (this is more directed to StarFleetBattles and Fleet Captains, so as if say a 'codex' were made, recreating the RoE for each faction 'authentically' vs "anything goes")
What do you look for in a Trek game?
What have been some positive Trek tabletop gaming experiences?
Should there be more options for 1:1400/1:2500 and sacred scale trek gaming?

Hopefully, in the future, we'll have more options for the 1:1400 and 1:2500 sacred scale to game with as well -
'space-chariot' style combat, of smaller fleets and engagements, that'd be awesome :lol:
Also - no matter your stance to NuTrek continuity, hopefully NuTrek also has more gaming options - who knows what might spin off from those to the Prime Verse continuity?

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Re: Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby DefiantClient » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:05 am

I have so much Attack Wing stuff, but nobody I know wants to play. The areas that do play are usually days I'm otherwise busy or just wanna hang with the missus after a long day. wouldn't really be into the competitive scene, but I've made some fun large scale scenarios for the game that I would think are fun.

I've only played one game of Fleet Captains and it was super fun. Again a game nobody I know wants to play. :(

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Re: Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby kobayashimaru » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:39 am

@defiantclient,
that is a real shame re ST:AW - I can share that lament;
when I was overseas, there was no gaming stuff,
and most of it is concentrated in NSW/ACT...
At least with the Borg stuff now being reasonable, instead of overkill, I can find opponents. :lol:
The simple houserule for the Borg to make them fairerer... if at or below 50% health, all borg except the queens ship and the tetrahedra, must stop and make repairs (ie, spend drone counters etc)

If you've some scenarios to share for ST:AW, feel free to put em up here or over on FFGs, boardgamegeek or the WizKids fora - I'm sure a lot of folks would enjoy them :D

As to Fleet-Captains... it's a tricky game to play via correspondence,
or even in live-chat via google or skype hehe.
What do you enjoy moreso about that game?
Is it the run-time that is the more off-putting for your local gaming options?
it is not a short game by any stretch heheh :lol:
I had heard the designers were working on a '40K in 40Mins" style variant, with a shorter run-time...
that'd be awesome for future expansion packs.
Chinese trek fans may also be in for a treat, as there is apparently a Sun Plastics (of Tianjin) variant of the ST:Online ships for ~ fleet captains.

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Re: Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby DefiantClient » Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:17 pm

Well, I've only played fleet captains once, but the scenario I played was pretty fun. I can't remember many details from the game, but I do remember the klingons being pretty beefy. I don't play games through corrispondence (skype, Vassal) though I'm open to it, I guess. I've heard lots of success with D&D when I went to a panel at Pax East one year.

Is the 40k in 40 mins you are referring to the Kill Team rules? I can't see that working with ships, but if there's an "away team" miniatures game on the way with actual starfleet or klingon or romulan officers duking it out, I'm on board for that.

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Re: Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby kobayashimaru » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:01 am

@defiantclient,
indeed, 40K in 40mins is a variant of Kill-team,
KillTeam was unique in that, it was plausible to play in 'single player mode",
and it is that concept which some are trying to bring to tabletop gaming -
upgrades constraints, 'A.I.", alert being meaningful etc... (ie, Red Alert also means 'maintain comms silence" that kinda thing)
I am looking forward to how they solve some problems in translation for scenario play.

Though, a game with actual Trek-characters, in a boarding action or Away Team, I'd play that also! :lol:
That's about all that's missing from Fleet Captains - it's got everything else and the kitchen sink hehehe
There are a couple of hints suggest elsewhere, that a Heroclix or Knight Models trek game might be on a backburner...
Knight Models have had great success with their Batman DC line, so I'd trust Knight Models to make a cool game for Trek

turning to correspondence;
that is how I've gamed a lot of ShadowRun or FASA in the past,
as it can be much easier to find folks at a mutually agreeable time worldwide than locals hehe
some games work well that way,
othergames are difficult to play via correspondence.

I don't know if anyone's tried playing a graded Chess game via letters...
that can be annoying to back-track hehe. :lol:
especially in games where a couple of players may be serving, and have unreliable mail access (or, if you do get mail from them, every other word is blacked out hehehe)
good fun though - and one of those awesome things to having 'pen-friends'.

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Re: Kobayashimaru's Guide to TTGs

Postby DefiantClient » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:40 pm

Ah, that's the OLD kill team rules I think you're referring to (though I could be wrong?) I'm talking about the rules introduced in a 5th or 6th edition 40k mission supplement. I think new rules were released with 7th edition recently. Basically you could only spend 200 points. You build a unit and every model will act independently during the game. You're also allowed to assign 3 Special rules to 3 individual models (example: one could have feel no pain, one could have furious charge, and one could have fleet of foot). I haven't played it in a long time, but the idea of applying something similar to a Star Trek Away Team style game sounds really really fun.


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