Star Trek: Fleet Captains - Board Game Box Shot

Star Trek: Fleet Captains

| Published: 2011

Explore The Galaxy With Your Own Fleet

Warp into action with WizKids/NECA's latest installment to the Star Trek franchise! Designed by Mike Elliott and Ethan Pasternack, this stand alone strategic space exploration/ship-to-ship combat game will primarily focus on the eclectic Star Trek ships as they explore space and battle their opponents.

Star Trek: Fleet Captains board game in play
images © WizKids

Featuring 24 precisely crafted 3D HeroClix starships and over 300 cards, this game is a must-have for any Star Trek fan! Star Trek: Fleet Captains is a game for 2-4 players (or two teams of 2 players each) as they assume the roles of Federation or Klingon commanders and compete for sector supremacy!

So ready your phasers as we expand into the final frontier…and beyond!

User Reviews (9)

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5
Greece
I Own a Game!
7
131 of 139 gamers found this helpful
“They definately didn't give it all they could...”

I’ve been after this game since its early previews came about, since there aren’t that many options available if you are looking for a light-medium sci-fi head to head game. As an added plus, Fleet Captains is abundant with Trek fluff, which is a always a good thing in my book (despite being a casual Trekkie at best).

The concept and game mechanics are really great, meshing well together to create an atmosphere of space travel, exploration, expansion and ofc combat, without bogging down with excessive rules. Even cloacking, which traditionally has posed a problem for many space combat games, is handled in a pretty nice and smooth way.

All the exciting Trek stuff is there as well, from sending out away teams (well, that mechanic could do with a bit of sprucing up, e.g. like having to roll a dice to succeed in their mission), to Klingons making cloacked ambushes at innocent little science vessels. The play by play tempo is excellent, fast paced with minimal downtime for the two player game (slight downtime in the four player game), and what seems to be at first a decent scaling mechanism for game size and length. So if you want a galaxy wide conflict, you can probably have it, although it might get a bit tiring to keep track of who moved and who didn’t in the end.

Now, the bad stuff. As people as saying left and right, the components are really, really, bad. I’ve heard that people have had some or minimal problems with their box, mine was a complete mess! The rulebook was mangled, about 8 of the ships had snapped at the connection point with the flyng base (some had snapped that badly that superglue wasn’t much of a help, I had to use a lighter to melt the plastic a bit and wedge them together), some of the command cards where wrongly cut, and there are a couple of hexes are the wrong size. For a base set of a game that aims to put out expansions and its pricetag, that was inexcusable. I suppose that they used Tribbles for quality control.

Also, the rules, while comprehensive need to be read a couple of times to be understood completely, and some information is scattered around the rulebook (and definately not in the place you expect it to be when you need to find a rules reference quick – rules indexes are clearly a Romulan invention) and the last page quick reference tables leave a lot to be desired. But that’s nothing that can’t be overcome, with a few player aids from the internet. If nothing else, it seems that this game is attracting a following already.

Finally, while the core rules mechanisms are easy to learn, explain and understand, there is no “let’s jump in the action” option for new players because even from the first game, players need to pick their 4 command decks, which either involves stopping for half an hour at least and going through 100 cards to see what suits you and the fleet you drafted, or picking four at random (or how their title translate in Ferengi) and risking having to play your first game with a command deck that’s not really compatible with your fleet – and as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most games out there, devote at least a manual page to a ‘your first game’ chapter.

In conclusion, minor quirks and quality issues aside, the game is a solid hit and I hope that the publisher realises at some point that a lot of people are after a more luxurious gaming experience and at least ofter the option to purchase the map tiles in harder cardboard. Laminating large hexagons isn’t as fun as it sounds…

 
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3
I play red
10
128 of 143 gamers found this helpful
“Most interesting Star Trek game to date”

While many people might say this game falls flat, I am a huge fan of it.

The Star Trek theme itself plays a large part in the game, and if you are a big fan of the franchise, this game will give you a lot of smiles as you see the cards and encounters.

Each play through is almost like its own episode, and it’s easy to tell a story based on how the game goes.

But many people will focus on the mechanics, so that’s where I will focus this.

The modular board with hex tile cards was the main reason I considered this game. Even though I was already a big fan of the series, I was interested in the idea that it allowed you to explore a “new sector” of space each time. I generally like that in a game, which is probably why I am a fan of others such as Eclipse and Civ where the board is new each play through.

The combat can be very straight forward, but the decks you choose make it varied enough that there is a genuine strategy to it.

The components, however… fell far short of expectations. The ships are made well, but the clix bases gum up far too easily straight from the mold. I had to disassemble most of them and file down some burrs inside to make them run smooth. The cards are on linen paper and are far to thin. They begin to fray within 4 or 5 plays, so you really need to use sleeves right away. If you are a person who generally does not use sleeves, use them for this game. As for the hex cards…. that’s a bit harder. Just be careful with them, and maybe consider laminating them. They they are fine.

And honestly, the dice that come with this game are far too tiny. They are like little peas. Get your own pair of D6’s to use.

All in all however, if you are a Star Trek fan, you will like this game a lot. Even with its failings, I still give it a 10 because I just love the game play so much and the replay value is extremely high. No two games will be exactly the same. Keep in mind that I have been a fan of the series for about 15 years now, and I play it with other fans of similar backgrounds. So if you can call yourself a “trekkie”, this game’s for you.

 
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7
El Dorado
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Junior Reporter
Master Grader
9
69 of 78 gamers found this helpful
“I would read a novelization of each gameplay of this game”

This game is flat out amazing. Every game is phenomenally different, every game is great, and those MINIATURES are gorgeous.

Here is the only petty con I have:

The quality of the cards used for the “board” are poor.

The ability to randomize character decks, space decks, mission decks, and choose 2 different races expands the universe so much. The entire game is steeped in Star Trek – each card provides great flavour and excellent immersion into the story of the game.

Thank you WizKids for this amazing game.

 
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8
Intermediate Reviewer
Copper Supporter
Viscount / Viscountess
10
127 of 144 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Down to the Basics Review”

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Star Trek Fleet Captains:

1) What it is?
A game that represents very well the concept of Star Trek: lots of exploration and influence, but also a good fight when one is needed.

2) How do you play?
Choose command decks, reveal regions of unknown space, move miniatures, change the clix of your ships, throw dice, put tokens on the board, draw command cards, draw mission cards, draw encounter cards. You score points for destroying enemy ships, building starbases, completing missions and resolving some encounter cards. You can play as Federation or Klingon Empire. The winner is the player who achieves a number of points equals to the initial size of the star ships.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
Lots of decisions, some are free, some cost actions points. Such actions can be executed in any order you want.

At the start of the game:
– You must choose four (out of ten) decks to form your command deck.

Then each round, for free, you may:
– Change the power configuration for each ship
– Move your ships (you are free to choose where to go restrained by your current engines power)
– Play command cards (there are temporary and permanent effects)
– Discard a command card (so you can buy another one latter)
– Cycle a Mission Card (if a mission is too difficult to complete at the moment)

Finally, you may spend three actions to:
– Cloak, uncloak or deploy a sensor (if your ship is capable of)
– Exert Influence or build installations (they are important for complete some missions and to repair ships)
– Finish a mission (with a systems test)
– Repair a damaged ship
– Scan an unexplored region or a cloaked ship
– Transport cargo and crew between ships
– Bring a reinforcement (if a ship was destroyed)
– Attack another ship. To attack another ship you may play one command card before or after your opponent plays it’s card. You can also decide to attack with more than one ship.

4) What is good about it?
This game is a great experience with lots of different and interesting decisions to make. Each turn a good story is developing, an adventurous story with tension, danger and happy moments.

5) What is not so good about it?
The manual is confuse, lacks information and does not have an index. But this is a minor problem that can be easily solved by downloading several user created files available at boardgamegeek. The clix is also a problem, because sometimes it is difficult to rotate the base and this game really does not need such feature. The same effect could be accomplished with markers on the cards. Also, some people may be bothered by the thin board tiles but I don´t mind, they are easier to shuffle. Finally, although there is lucky, you can protect yourself against bad results most of the time.

6) What it feels when you play it?
During the game you feel the antecipation of discovery and the tension before a battle. After the end, you feel like you participate in several small adventures during a season of Star Trek. It is a must have for Star Trek fans.

 
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5
Gamer - Level 4
Knight
 
5 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“Fun game but too random”

I will start off by saying that I really enjoyed playing this game. I’ve only ever played the three player variant with Romulans and Dominion included rather than the base game in its pure form but everything I have to say should hold true.

Firstly – the game has great atmosphere and seems to replicate the feel of the setting very well indeed. The factions all seem unique and the game makes every effort to recreate the feel of them with unique ships, command cards, quest balances etc.

It plays fairly fast although is slowed down by having to pick carefully over the rules which are fairly unclear in a number of places. It is also a great deal of fun with there never being a point where anyone in the games we played felt like a hopeless underdog or a run-away victor.

The issue is related to that last benefit. A lot of that variation in being able to rise of fall is due to the randomness of the game. Encounters, in particular, vary pretty much between more or less randomly advancing you towards victory or completely crippling a ship. The quest cards have a similar problem in that some of them seem night on impossible to complete and others are likely to be already complete at the point you gain them.

This high degree of random chance does leave you with a feeling that your tactical and strategic decisions are somewhat diminished. On the other hand it offers sufficient variability that it makes each game feel significantly different to the last.

 
Player Avatar
7
USA
Norway
Finland
I play black
7
128 of 149 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Quality 4X on a Tabletop”

Sunday night is game night at the Gamer Bling household, with the Gamer Bling Official Companion, Gamer Bling Expansion #1, and Gamer Bling Expansion #2.

Each one gets to choose the game of the week in rotation. Recently, Gamer Bling played Star Trek Fleet Captains with a gaming buddy of his, with an eye toward introducing it to the family. So technically, this is not one of the games we played. But it almost was.

The Promise

The game bills itself thusly: Star Trek Fleet Captains puts the entire Federation or Klingon fleet at your disposal as your fight for control over a sector of unexplored space. Encounter new civilizations, expand your influence by establishing an outpost or a starbase, and complete missions to secure your victory!

For marketing text, it’s pretty spot on… assuming that “the entire Federation fleet” is 3-5 ships. Which is really a squadron.

Aside from that, you really do pursue the other items, and do so in classic Star Trek style.

The Delivery

Star Trek Fleet Captains certainly delivers on the promise of a frolic through the Star Trek universe. Every mission, every command, every hex of the map evokes a story or moment from the series. Yes, even the deep space map hexes, boring as they are, evoke the series by taking a pull quote from the opening credits: “Space… the final frontier.” As a veteran of TOS, TNG, and parts of DS9, Gamer Bling found himself fondly reliving many hours sitting vacant-brained in front of the TV.

As far as components go, the ships are standard Clix quality ships cast in plastic and unpainted. No complaints.

The map hexes are middleweight linen-finished cardstock, and are, in Gamer Bling’s opinion, underweight. This was clearly an area where production cost became an issue. They are nicely designed graphically speaking, but Yours Truly would have been happier had they been punchboard.

At its core, this is a standard 4X board game. That is, you build an empire through Xploration, Xpansion, Xploitation, and Xtermination.

The map tiles start upside down, and you explore the map, sometimes having encounters that can result negative effects or successful missions (and victory points). You build outposts that you can eventually upgrade to starbases to increase your dominance (and victory points). You can attack enemy ships for glory (and victory points). You get the picture.

Each turn, you can move your ships, explore space, add crew to your ships, attempt missions, play cards to surprise your opponent… there’s a lot going on here! So much that Gamer Bling will not even try to give a rules overview. Instead, he will touch on a few salient points and ensure that you understand the feel and flow of the game.

Each ship has three states: undamaged, yellow alert (slightly damaged), and red alert (a whole lotta hurt). Within each state, the players can select 3-5 different energy profiles, from an all-power-to-weapons approach to a massive-scanners-and-shield approach. Each ship can adjust its power profile once each turn, even in the middle of an action (e.g., in response to an unexpected encounter with an alien planet-eating machine). While three hit points seems low for a starship, it works out pretty well and gives a lot of tactical and strategic choices.

Each hex of the map had a size rating, which is how many movement points it takes to cross. This makes certain sections of the map the space equivalent of swamp, and channels movement in an interesting way, especially when a newly explored hex is a completely different size than you’d hoped.

The command cards cast a wide and wonderful net across all the series, so you can have 60s Kirk teaming up with Quark from DS9. Very nostalgic and anachronistic.

And the encounter cards are very creative; it’s clear that the designers spent a lot of time with their DVDs.

As in the TV series, the encounter cards throw a wide variety of challenges in your path, some of which can be great or devastating. Gamer Bling believes that these were designed to be balanced, but they can nonetheless feel random when the draw does not go your way.

Finesse

The first finesse you will notice upon opening the box is that every single ship has its own custom slot to snap into, and WizKids very kindly provided a key to show you which ship snaps into which slot so that you are not left fumbling about at the end of the game trying to hammer a square Enterprise into a round slot. Thus your models are very securely packaged and will withstand all sorts of box drops. Bravo!

Another one of the nice touches that WizKids included was to have every instance of the words weapons, engines, shields, and scan followed immediately by the matching icon. Each of the icons is different in appearance and color, and the sheer repetition of the association makes the game easier and quicker to pick up. All the icons on the ship reference card; the ship’s clicky dial; and every mission, encounter, and planet all reinforce this association.

Laying out the ship reference cards so that they echo the information on the ships’ dials was, technically speaking, unnecessary, but it sure makes gameplay easier. Players could have been forced to click their dials back and forth ad nauseam (and Gamer Bling uses that term deliberately), comparing the values to decide which click to set their ship to, but having the reference card makes the game fast, easy, and a lot less clicky-noisy.

Skills

As a homeschool parent, Gamer Bling believes in seizing every opportunity for learning. Here’s what the kids can learn or practice with Star Trek Fleet Captains .

Americana: An immersive tour of Star Trek creates pop-culture awareness. However, without a meaningful reference to most of the stories and quotes, Gamer Bling wouldn’t expect these to stick. Far better to watch key episodes.

Fluid Long-Term Planning: With all the options (combat, missions, building); the various ships powers; and the somewhat random effects of many different locations, encounters, and missions; players must find an optimal path to victory in a complex environment with no clear answers and few guaranteed results.

Probabilities: Interactions are resolved using value plus d6 versus value plus d6.

Family Game Night Value

This is a fine Ameritrash game. Sadly, due to theme, game length, and complexity, it will not be appearing in rotation at the Gamer Bling table.

On the other hand, Gamer Bling’s gaming friend is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to buy it from Yours Truly.

TL;DR

This is a gamer’s game and a Star Trek afficionado’s game. While great for those groups, it is not for the casual gamer who is also not a Star Trek fan.

Definitely try it if you love 4X and/or Star Trek.

And thank you for taking the time to read a Gamer Bling Sunday Night Review.

 
Player Avatar
9
Gamer - Level 7
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Petroglyph
Explorer - Level 3
6
125 of 177 gamers found this helpful
“Hit and Miss”

The differences of the game components reflect the hit and miss elements of the game itself. This game has an MSRP of $115. What do you get for that? 12 gorgeous ship miniatures for the Federation each visually distinctive and nicely detailed. 12 Klingon ships(5 different hull designs) which while nicely detailed will need painting or some way to differentiate easily(the ship names are on the base) at a glance which ship of a given design are which. The board is made of hexagons randomly laid out facedown at the start. These are a good quality linen stock paper that is light and flimsy and cut poorly. While I saw no miscuts the hexagons were not cut to a uniform size. The cards are equally flimsy and will need to be sleeved for use. The dice look like something you might get out of a gumball machine and need to be replaced before you play much. On to the gameplay:
You have a deck of 12 ship cards with ratings of 1-6. you begin drawing random cards to build a fleet with a total value of 10. There is a mechanism so you will not have a value of more than 10 and it works fine. There are 3 types of missions-combat, influence and science. Each has a rating for each of these types. Step 2 is to draw missions from each deck, again you will have a total of 10 missions. Next you go to the master decks for your side. Similar to some other card based games you now choose 5 of the 10 decks available to build your play deck for the game. This is one of the problem areas as with deck familiarity you will have a huge advantage over newer players. After my first game I reviewed my choices and realized 2 of the decks I chose were virtually useless for my fleet.(I had a Klingon fleet which was strong on science and weak on combat of all things!) You shuffle these cards together and then draw four. Now you are ready to play. Each ship has an adjustable dial on the base that can be set to any “click” in one of three sections. The white section is an undamaged ship, the yellow area is yellow alert and represents taking 1 damage, and the red is red alert and represents taking 2 damage. 3 damage destroys the ship. At any time you will have 3 a choice of 3 missions available to score 1 or 2 points. Some missions are secret and you do not reveal them until completed and you can also receive points by destroying enemy ships. 10 victory points wins the game. This is the next unbalanced point in the game. My opponent had a mission to control to adjacent areas of space for 1 victory point. I had a similar mission for 2 victory points if I controlled EIGHT adjacent spaces. Since the missions only give 1 or 2 points it quickly became obvious that a bad mission draw really unbalances the game. Most of my missions involved controlling huge amounts of territory or performing some task all the way across the board in my opponent’s territory. The final score was 10 to 5 and my opponent had 2 ways on the last turn to achieve the final point which he tried and he achieved with ridiculous ease. As for the rest, on your turn you can do 3 actions, but normally each ship can only be assigned 1 action. These actions are to scan an area before moving into it or to attack or teleport crew or cargo to or from ships and planets, and cloaking Klingon ships. Each click on the ship has a stat for engines, sensors, weapons and shields and different clicks represent feeding power to the different systems. Non action token actions include playing cards from your hand, moving each ship, doing power adjustments(resetting the ships stats), discarding mission cards and a few other game activities. The first play of this game can be confusing as to what you can do when, as I know we had some confusion and my friend had printed out some nice player aids to help us reference everything.(sidenote: most games have a 1 or at the most 2 page player aid, ours was 3 pages) I love Star Trek and would play again hoping that I missed something. I would also play in the future again with the idea that future expansions might fix problems now in the game,but at this price I expected better components and a better game so I will not be buying it anytime soon, unless a disgruntled friend offers me a cheap copy.

 
Player Avatar
4
Rated 25 Games
7
108 of 193 gamers found this helpful
“Hype did me in”

After watching the Dice Tower over glowing review of this game, I immediately bought in to the hype and gave it a try after purchasing this above average priced game. The game-play left me flat. Combat is a real bore. Bad luck creeps up here and can kill your chances at winning if you have bad space sectors surrounding your base. Real negative events can come at once and regardless of any decision you try to make, game over. Sorry to say, it is now trade bait for me.

 
Player Avatar
6
USA
I'm Completely Obsessed
6
85 of 194 gamers found this helpful
“i am a sucker”

well i bought this game after what his face showed it on the dice tower game video…components are great but very Disappointment with game play… so i just use all these plastic ships and make my own game… well i also use it in the battle ship galaxy game …. i am a sucker for star trek things oh well… 43 bucks for those ships i guess gotta think possitive

 

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