Thursday, October 27, 2011

Star Trek: Expeditions

So I haven't been playing much Magic lately. So I'm afraid I'm going to fulfill a long-standing threat I've been making. I'm going to start talking about other games, too.

I'm just now fully recovering from a heck of a weekend. So going this route, I have plenty of material.

First Up: STAR TREK!

Star Trek: Expeditions is cooperative. Each player assumes the role of one of the iconic characters: Uhura, Bones, Kirk or Spock. The scenario is pretty familar to anyone who has watched Star Trek. A planet is petitioning to join the Federation. They are rich with natural resources, in particular large quantities of sweet, sweet dilithium. It was supposed to be a routine diplomatic mission.

But of course, things go horribly wrong when the away team beams down. The President is acting strangely. And rebels on the planet are now almost to the verge of civil war. Oh, and there's a Klingon Battlecruiser orbiting the planet.

The crew wander around, slowly uncovering clues and solving dice-based challenges.

Which brings us to the current situation.

The actual difficulty of the game leaves something to be desired. When I play a cooperative game, I expect not to win the first time through. Games like Arkham Horror and Red November live up to those expectations, starting you out on turn one to the gentle caress of slimy tentacles or the sharp scent of burnt gnome flesh.

In Star Trek: Expedtitions, any moderately organized group of adventurers are going to get things figured out.

But then that creates some additional issues.

The unchallenged mind wanders. It looks for things to keep it occupied. What you see in this picture are two grown men getting into an small argument about loot hoarding. Seems someone has a few too many klingon clues he's sitting on and not doing enough with them.

It's classic Spock vs. Kirk in-fighting.

But while Spock and Kirk are doing their normal thing, no one expects Uhura. I didn't realize it during the game, but looking at the picture I seem to have collected a few things too. And not only objects, but a sizable number of away team members. Transporter Officer, Security Officer, some type of Liaison Officer.

And even a Medical Officer. Which seems totally pointless when one of the other players is BONES MCOY. The guy who fixed the Horta with some quick-dry cement. He already has the "Medical" skill. Twice. I kid you not.

Beam up to the enterprise. Beam down to the surface. Woo the High Priestess. Every act you perform will give you some serious deja vu in regards to the typical Star Trek narrative. You even need to spend some time dog fighting with the Klingon Battlecruiser.

But nothing is really tough, and I strongly suggest laying some ground rules before you find your crew mutinying, or at least going on the occasional flight of fancy.

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