Monday, August 05, 2013

Tabletop Gaming - Review - Star Trek Catan

Star Trek Catan @ BGG
 Prior to playing Star Trek Catan, my wife, son and myself had only had the experience of playing some board games, like Catan, via the Xbox 360. We loved playing it that way because it didn't require such an investment to play it on the table. After some time though with the digital editions not getting as much love as the table versions, we eventually had to give in.

Hence, Star Trek Catan hit out table, two times in a row and then another third the next morning. For the record, all three I lost (wife won, son came second) and I have learned not to play competitive games when sleepy (re: poor loser). All in all though, it is now our #1 family game to hit our table and we don't have any reason to get the standard Catan as Star Trek Catan, even as a max 4 player game, still wins out.

If you want to know how Catan itself fairs in the mix of all this, I recommend checking reviews specific to
the base game of Catan as Star Trek Catan lacks some of the additional features the Catan expansions bring to the table and it would be unfair to judge it against them.
End of Game #2
  The general premise with Star Trek Catan is to try and be the first player to hit 10 Victory Points (VP) by trading resources to build outposts (settlements) and starbases (cities). There is also Development Cards to acquire for the Longest Starfleet bonus (as well as the infamous Longest Supply Route) but the prime difference with the original Catan to Star Trek Catan is the Support Cards.

Support Cards
As you can see, the Original Series crew are injected into Star Trek Catan to add in bonuses to the player for a maximum of two uses before they have to put it back in the pool and choose another. Of our games, Kirk, Scotty, Spock and Uhura end up in regular use with Sulu not far behind. They all have their uses depending on what is happening in your hand and on the table and for us are a welcome addition to the game. Without these, it would just be a reskin of Catan with no real true feeling of Star Trek to it beyond that of the miniatures/tiles.

The set up process as well is very simple. Infact, the first proper game we played (Game #2), I had the son (13 y/o) set the game up as it was that simple and the rest of us hadn't done that aspect yet. For once in many of our games in our collection: setting the game up is actually interesting rather than some games feeling like a chore.

With myself being a sore loser at times with competitive games, I actually rate Star Trek Catan fairly high in our games. Just like the wife and son, it definitely is a go-to game now when we want to play something together. Infact, we'll be introducing it to our family shortly whom love simple games and hate complexity. We have a few games we plan on buying in the (near?) future to introduce to them but this is one of the first we'll be proud to have them learn and know they will love it!

End of Game #3 (and yes, those are Munchkin Quest point trackers we're using too!)
Whether you are a board game beginner or a longtime board game fan, Star Trek Catan will satisfy your cravings if you lack a copy of one of the other games but perhaps may not be favoured to those who dislike Star Trek. Our household is very Star Warsy but we enjoy the odd bit of Star Trek here and there. Even with that, we LOVED the theme of this game and highly recommend it to any one else who is standing on the fence.