Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Since 1966, millions of Star Trek fans all over the world have watched adventures of the Starship Enterprise, Captain Kirk, and Mr. Spock.
Since 1995, millions of enthusiastic players all over the world have played Klaus Teuber's Catan - a board game classic, which has won multiple gaming awards in its 25-year history.
It's time to bring them together on the Final Frontier!
Players: 3-4 Ages: 10+ Game Time: 75 mins
In Star Trek: Catan, players start the game with two small space Outposts at the intersection of three planets, with each planet supplying resources based on the result of a dice roll.
Players collect and trade these resources – dilithium, tritanium, food, oxygen and water – in order to build the all too familiar Starships Trek fans love. These connect regions in the galaxy, establish more Outposts and Starbases (upgraded Outposts) at new intersection points in order to increase resource acquisition, and acquire Development Cards that provide Victory Points (VPs) or special abilities.
On a dice roll of 7, a Klingon ship swoops in to prevent resource production on one planet while taxing spacegoers who hold too many resources (anyone who has played Catan will recognise this as the robber).
Star Trek: Catan differs from the original Settlers in one major aspect: a set of Support Cards formerly available only in the German version known as Catan Scenarios: Helpers of Catan.
Each Support Card features a special ability for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Scott, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand, and Sarek. (See a couple of examples below)
Some special abilities make basic actions better, such as reducing the costs of Starbase upgrades or allowing the player to trade a resource of their choice at 2:1 for a turn, while others break rules, such as protecting the player from discarding on a roll of a 7 or producing a resource when the player rolls a number that otherwise wouldn't produce resources for them.
Players get a specific Support Card during setup based on turn order, with later players getting generally more useful abilities to compensate for early player advantage. When a player uses a Support Card ability for the first time, they may trade it in for a Support Card of their choice or keep it for a second use, but they may only trade immediately after use.
The production quality of this game is good, but of course it will be since it is an approved product based on a franchise on an already well-established board game mechanic, which of course has proven well!
So while I am an avid Star Trek fan, in this instance this is a blatant skin over a classic game that has multiple awards, while it is still fun and any ST fan who hasn't played Catan will enjoy it. I am scoring this 3 out of 6, it has replayability but if you already have Catan it is not worth getting as there are no major differences. If it had more unique inclusions other than the special character support cards I would give it a better score.
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Mr Chris (The Founder)