Posted by: Zach Smith | October 1, 2011

Star Trek Fleet Captains: Initial Impressions

This weekend I was able to play my newest game, Star Trek Fleet Captains, twice.  I played one 2-player game and one 4-player game.  My initial impression of this game is quite positive, though I will need to few more plays before writing a review since it is a big game with lots of variability.

Here are the aspects I really liked:

Starship clix models are large and look great.  Space map changes each game.  It has a quick, fun deck building mechanic to start the game that is strategic and thematic.  Klingon and Federation factions play differently.  It is an epic game that doesn’t take an epic amount of time to play (my two player game took 1.5 hours, and the 4-player game lasted 2.5 hours).  Each game mechanic is simple, yet overall the game is complex and deep.  Lots of ways to earn victory points.  Includes all the Star Trek shows and time periods.  Star Trek theme strongly matches the gameplay.  Possibility for expansion.  Tells a strong narrative during gameplay.

Aspects I am uncertain about:

Balance between Federation and Klingon.  Component quality relative to the price tag.  Ease of teaching the game to new players (the rules are simple, but there are a lot of things going on).

Interesting things that happened during my first two games:

Klingons beamed the troubling Tribbles to a Federation ship before destroying the ship and the unwanted Tribbles with a barrage of photon torpedoes.

The aggressive Klingons turning tail and fleeing at warp speed once they discover Captain Kirk was on board the ship they were attacking.  No one wants to mess with Kirk!

The Federation had one of their ships and crew completely replaced by another ship and crew from an alternate reality.

A Klingon ship uncloaking amid a fleet of Federations ships, taking huge damage, and successfully fleeing just to prove it could be done.  How Klingon is that?!

I look forward to bringing this game to a game night soon and playing with you all.


  1. Thanks for the summary of this one, Zach. I’ve been interested in it, but a little wary after my disappointment in the previous Star Trek game.

    • I doubt that you will be disappointed with this one.

  2. On October 6 I played this game with Mike, Trip, Richard, and Will. I really enjoyed it. We played a short 1.5 hour game with the Federation winning. After 3 plays, I still feel I have just scratched the surface of this game. How did you guys feel about it?

  3. Star Trek: Fleet Captains is an experience game first, drenched in flavor text and Clix minis. But there’s also a fast-moving game of exploration and conflict in that big box, and it meshes with the Star Trek universe quite nicely. Some messy design choices and a massive rulebook makes this harder to learn–and teach–than it should be. Setup and takedown are significant. But the game engine is solid, making this my favorite experience title. (7/10)

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