Settlers of Catan: Star Trek Catan
List Price: $55.00
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(Worth 4,950 Funagain Points!)
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Star Trek: Catan takes two well-known media properties and merges them into, well, into something that is 95% The Settlers of Catan glossed with Trek tropes and spiced with a Trek-themed version of a mini-expansion previously only available in German.
In Star Trek: Catan, players start the game with two small 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 Starships that 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.
Star Trek: Catan differs from the basic Settlers in one aspect: a set of Support Cards formerly available only in German as Catan Scenarios: Helpers of Catan. Each Support Card features a special ability and one of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Scott, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand, or Sarek. 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 7 or producing a resource when the player rolls a number that wouldn't otherwise produce 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.
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
The product review above is pretty much on the nose: Star Trek: Catan is Settlers plus ST themes, which produces a game "that is 95% The Settlers of Catan glossed with Trek tropes and spiced with a Trek-themed version of a mini-expansion previously only available in German."
I've played the game and enjoyed it immensely - both with and without the extra cards. If you really like space theme games (I do) this is a delightful re-working of Catan, and the production values of the pieces is quite high. I loved placing the little Enterprises one uses instead of roads, to mark the space trade routes, and it doesn't take long to get used to the new resources. No more "wood for sheep" in space!
Also, if you ever WANTED to like "Starfarers of Catan" but just found it too long, drawn out, and complex to play too often with your local group, this game will be gold for you. You CAN simply play it as standard Settlers with new pieces - but the special cards give you a bit of those alien advantages you can win in Starfarers without having to play for an hour first, before people even start getting enough development to earn them. It's basically Starfarer Light - which is just about right, in my book. Yes, I do like Starfarers, and when I have the time, and several other people familiar enough with it to make the game go at a reasonable pace, I still like to play it. But in a typical game night, it's probably the only game you'll get to play. I have similar feelings about Outpost, which I do like, but don't play too often.
Star Trek Catan doesn't really take any longer than regular Catan - it just has a beautiful new theme, and some fancy wrinkles if you want to use them. The pieces are fun to play with, and the board and new cards are beautiful. I gave it 4 stars which is a very high rating for me. If you have gotten tired of all the Medieval themed games, and want a space-theme game with a familiar game mechanic, and great production values, I highly recommend this game.