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WizKids WZK72050 "Star Trek Frontiers" Game
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- A contested region of space accessible through a known wormhole has drawn the attention of powerful forces throughout the galaxy.
- Both the Federation and the Klingon Empire, who share a delicate alliance at this time, have recently built outposts in the region.
- Command your ship, recruit new crew members, earn experience points, and use your skills to confront the challenges of the Star Trek Universe.
- Ages 14+
- 1+ Players, 1 hour playing time
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A contested region of space accessible through a known wormhole has drawn the attention of powerful forces throughout the galaxy. Both the Federation and the Klingon Empire, who share a delicate alliance at this time, have recently built outposts in the region. But now news of grave troubles brewing in the region has prompted both the Klingons and the Federation to investigate immediately. Command your ship, recruit new crew members, earn experience points, and use your skills to confront the challenges of the Star Trek Universe. Explore and face a variety of challenges on a randomly built Space Map using the Venture Tile System first introduced in the awardwinning game, Mage Knight. Star Trek: Frontiers is designed for 1 to 4 players with multiple competitive, cooperative and solo scenarios. Work together to defeat hostile ships or compete to explore and uncover hidden mysteries. Players will need to overcome obstacles to expand their knowledge and use their leadership as they adventure in order to be victorious in their exploration!
not appropriate for children under the age of 3See all Product description
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As players move, they will add new tiles to the board, each with its own terrain hexes and many featuring planets, starships, space stations, and other surprises. For instance, a new tile could produce a Romulan warbird, and a token is placed face down upon it. When a player's ship arrives next to it, the token is flipped and you can see what you're up against. The token will have the enemy ship's shield rating, its weapon's power, and any special abilities (like biological weapons). If the player has long range attack cards, he can play those, hoping to match or beat the enemy's shield rating and destroy it. If it is not destroyed, the enemy gets to fire back, and the player can play shield cards to counter the Romulan's weapons. Then the player can play his regular weapons card in the hopes of destroying the enemy.
When enemies are destroyed, the captain's skill level goes up. When it advances far enough, he gains new advantages- special tokens that allow him new and interesting abilities. Also, as a captain's skill level goes up, he is able to recruit more crew members, cards that are recruited from star bases and space stations with diplomacy. Crew members can be activated once per round in order to use their various special abilities. Players may also gain different types of cards to add to their deck in various ways in the game. Once the conditions of the specific scenario have been fulfilled, the game is over. Whoever best completed the victory conditions of the scenario wins- though the game can be played cooperatively.
Star Trek Frontiers is a lot of fun. It's a very good mesh of deck builder and traditional board game. I have not played Mage Knight, so I cannot compare it, though I have heard others say that the Star Trek theme works better than Mage Knight's generic fantasy theme. One way in which the theme doesn't quite work, however, is that Federation ships can subjugate space stations for advantage. How many episodes of Star Trek feature the Enterprise subjugating people? Still, that's a minor complaint. The ways in which players can build their decks in the game is fun, and, like any good deck builder, the cards that come up in your hands offer fun and interesting combinations that allow you to do engaging things virtually every turn. The card stock is decent, and features pictures from the Star Trek TV shows, further immersing players into the Star Trek theme. The expanding, tile game board is really cool, and allows players to create new and unique maps, and thus adventures, with every play.
Now, a few things that I'm not quite sold on: First of all, with four players, this game is very long. I think 3-4 hours is likely, though it could easily go longer if you're dealing with people who suffer from analysis paralysis. I think 2-3 players is ideal, and the game will work really well as a solo experience. Also, while no one system in this game is terribly hard to understand and play, there are just so many different systems and things to keep track of, it can get a bit fiddly and overwhelming at times. I like complicated games, but this may be right on the upper border of how complicated I want my games to be.
All told, however, I think Star Trek Frontiers is a winner. It offers a rich, thematic experience that Star Trek fans and general gamers will really enjoy. At the end of the day it is just a lot of fun and promises new adventures with every play. Just don't break it out for your friends who find the rules to Settlers of Catan difficult.
Review copy provided.
This game is really focused around the beta quadrant (the other side of the wormhole in DS9 for the non-trekkies) essentially just before the dominion war. The addition of the Borg being the primary focus is slightly non-canon, but the game is still fun. It combines a lot of really neat elements. You have deck building, turn based play, strategic decision making, miniatures, dice rolls, role-playing, and character development! I haven't found a game that captures these elements so beautifully making this one of my new favorites.
There are three cons to this game. The first is the setup. There are a lot of pieces and individual decks. The guide has a great pictorial, but it still takes a while because you have all the shuffling of tokens and cards on top of arranging everything. Second, the game takes a ton of space to play! The first time I played it, I had it all on one table and the map started running into the player space. I have found that you really need a second table for the map. You play the game on the main table with all the cards and the tracking board, then walk over to the map to make your strategic decisions. This works pretty well except you won't be doing a lot of sitting. Third, you really do have to read the rules before you play. I recommend you pick someone in your gaming group who is good at this process to run a solo learning run through the "quick start" guide and then skim the main rule book. This is my specialty and I was still having to look stuff up constantly. I will have to go back through and put tabs in the main rule book for all the various references. There are a lot of symbols to remember and then guide cards help, but there are complicated events that occur between rounds that are important to follow.
On a side, the rules recommend that you "move" then act, then allow the next player to start their movement while you are wrapping up the end phase of your turn, this takes some coordination, but it does streamline the game.
If you've got a few hours to burn in the Star Trek universe, then I recommend this game!