Saturday, 14 September 2013

Trials and Tribble-Ulations

That looks like a lot of upgrades!
Hello again chaps and possibly even chapesses.

Cutting straight to the point for once I had a game of Star Trek, the apparent X-Wing clone. Before I give my usual impressionistic review I feel the need to qualify it by stipulating that this was a larger points 4 way game with me plus 3 experienced X-Wing players.

For forces it was Klingons with Khan in an apparently borrowed Enterprise D versus a bunch of Romulans with a couple of Breen, for those who know what latex face-mask they feature.

One relative difference became clear quickly as each ship, 5-a-side, featured a bewildering array of captain, crew, weapon and upgrade cards many resulting in a couple of rather nasty combos. Seemed like quite a bit to keep track of and not everything got used.

The second thing is cloaking and this seemed BIG. Adding four defence dice meant a lot of missing early doors. The price is not being able to raise shields so when the inevitable extreme opposed dice results turned up they were decisive. Initially that seemed like luck over skill but first time out that's always going to be the way.

The mid range engagement didn't last long
The other big bonus is being able to "shift" sideways upto a 2 as an action as long as your shields are up. This turned out to be quite the manoeuvring bonus for those with a bit of imagination.

Overall I get the idea that this represents the idea that an opponent has to second guess where a cloaked ship might be and I really like the thinking but, first time out, it did seem to be rather powerful. With 6 of 10 ships on the board having the ability that was, again, probably always going to be the way.

This addition of other actions compared to X-Wing along with a few others does create a real and very welcome variation between the fleets and all accurate to the fluff I'm sure ;)

Another more subtle difference is that the manouvre dials for the bigger ships are more limited, representing thier more ponderous turning circles. There's also generally a couple of extra firepower dice about for those bigger ships as well. All this gives the game an appropriate feeling of "weight" as compared to X-Wing.

Otherwise it's pretty much the same game though not only the names have changed. General opinion was that it has a bit more going on tactically and more depth with the wider Star Trek universe covered pretty well and each fleet having access to different abilities. Concerns were raised over the potential to mix different ships and captains from different eras but thats an individual thing.

Kirk and Khan for me but we've covered that one already :)

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