The Last Thur Thur – Being a Drax Report

USS_Enterprise-D_and_Romulan_warbird_contend_for_a_Romulan_scout_ship

I’ve always loved the Romulian War Birds.  They’re way cooler than the federation ships and they can cloak. I didn’t realise until lately the ships are considerably bigger than the federation ones, three times the size or so oh and a big plus….. the Romulian’s are a devious bunch of weasels, so all in all my kind of people.

I had been teased by Star Fleet Captains for some time.  One of the guys had it and it never hit the table due to a number of circumstances but on the last gaming Thur of 2013 out it came in all it’s glory.  but before that it was more ribbit (or turtles game as it’s known in our group).  Lots and lots of Turtles game, before Star Trek, after Star Trek, I’m surprised we didn’t play it during Star Trek.  it’s still a hugely popular game and it’s well worth picking up as a super filler

Right the meat and pasta,  Star Fleet Captains by Wizkids

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/79127/star-trek-fleet-captains

Starfleet Captains does a fine job of capturing the spirit of the Star Trek Series.  You each take a fleet of ships and boldly go exploring and resolving encounters and scoring victory points, hopefully more quickly than your opponent.  It’s NOT as I thought it would be, a straight out fight against your opponent, it’s more than that, yes you get to knock hells bells out of other ships but that won’t win the game alone (although it’s great fun).

http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1109065/star-trek-fleet-captains

The first you notice is, the game is really nicely produced, the models are really good.  A nice chunky size (bigger than x-wing) and fairly good details on them.  They’re a lot like the models from Star Trek Attack Wing.  We had both the base game (Starfleet and Klingons) and the expansion (Romulans) and each of the races play in a distinct way.  Starfleet is all about science, the Klingons about attacking and the Romulans about espionage, sneaking about and being weasley.  Each of the players at the start pick a sub faction of command cards within the races so each of them can have a more attacky or more espionagey (it’s a real word) style of play.

At the start each player gets a number of mission cards which may or may not be secret (not played face up) which give bonus points for achieving certain objectives.  The galaxy is laid out as a set of randomly picked hex cards face down that get explored as your ships enter them.  Both teams (did I mention it was a two player/two team game?) set up in the corners in their bases and a whistle is blown and off into the inky blackness we go.

Points are scored for rocking into a new sector, drawing an encounter card and completing it which requires testing against the ships different systems, sensors, weapons, shields, engines.  It’s possible in wizkids dial style to adjust your ship to have more shield power but less weapons, more engine but less sensors and so on.  Thus set-up you go out and do your best.  (Top tip, keep your shields on high if you’re playing with my group)

When battles occur ships in the same sector throw dice adding weapons strength versus shield strengths, if successful the damaged ship’s dial moves to yellow section with reduced function and then red and finally destroyed.  It’s a simple system and it keeps battles snappy.  It is immense fun to arrive into a sector with a smaller ship and hammer seven bells out of it leaving it severely damaged (and why wouldn’t it be).  Command cards can be throw at combat to assist and terrain (nebulas, black holes etc.) all have an influence on combat. My tactic at the romulas was to cloak and run away, rinse and repeat.

The game does take a little bit of set-up, the board and the cards, but nothing too bad and if you’re smart enough to put it away the way you got it it speeds that bit up considerably.

All in all I liked this game, my only gripe would be that it is in essence a two player game or in our case a two team game.  I’d definitely play it again. I lost and I lost for my team.  It didn’t help that a buddy of mine from WAY back appeared to join us for games whom I hadn’t gamed with in the guts of 20 years and in between taking my turn we fell to talking shite and catching up.  I also thought it very unfair that the first words out of his mouth were “Hey guys, you know not to trust Vic right?”.  It’s been going on that long

It’s a nice game, it demands a replay and I’m more than ok with that.

Now since it was the last Thur with the regular group I have to say that all in all it’s been a great years gaming.  I’ve enjoyed gaming with what seems like a new game every week and we’ve been fortunate enough to have some great people join us for games (plus everyone else)

Me personally I’m looking forward to more of this sort of thing in 2014.  Again thanks to all those who took part on Thur nights in 2013 and those who came to Knavecon.  Assuming I survive playing Cards Against Humanity with my in-laws at xmas there’ll be more from me soon

Happy Xmas gamers!

Huzzah!

Vic

 

 

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