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8Sep/160

The Top 5 Star Trek Board Games

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"The Man Trap" premiered on September 8, 1966, which means that Star Trek has been living long and prospering for fifty years! If you'd like to celebrate with a board game and something... green...  here are five great choices.

#5: Star Trek: Five Year Mission

While not actually a great game, Star Trek: Five Year Mission lets you roll lots of dice while mixing and matching crew members from the original cast and The Next Generation. Dice plus Picard jokes gets you 90% of the way to having fun. And much as we love and respect Tabletop presenter Wil Wheaton, you have to give props to any game that has a "Shut up, Wesley" rule.

star trek five year mission

#4: Star Trek Attack Wing

Nobody has ever been able to resist the fantasy of commanding the Enterprise in battle, which is a little surprising considering that the original series' space battles relied so heavily on recycled footage and shaking bridge cameras. (There was also the little bonus of some great writing. And Romulans.)

Star Trek Attack Wing is the most playable of the many iterations of Starfleet battles -- ahem -- and is great if you want to do the kind of big fleet actions we saw occasionally in TNG and Deep Space Nine. It can also be very expensive to collect a big fleet of toy starships, but you get a big fleet of toy starships to play with!

#3: Star Trek Catan

Blending the world's most popular die rolling wood-for-sheep trading game with Captain Kirk's adventures seemed a bit illogical when it was announced, but Star Trek Catan works surprisingly well. You're building starbases and starship routes so you can mine dilithium and other resources and... okay, we're not going to think too hard about that. But the game is fun, the special power cards feel right for the characters they're attached to, and the game looks beautiful on the table. It's a Star Trek game that will go well with every generation.

star trek catan

#2: Star Trek Panic

Unlike Catan, adapting Castle Panic made perfect sense to anybody who has ever played it. The original Fireside Games version turned tower defense video games into a fast-paced cooperative fantasy card game, and from there it's a short hop to imagine the Enterprise surrounded by enemies and battling for her survival.

Star Trek Panic also adds some neat new elements to the design, including missions to complete and the ability to turn the Enterprise to protect weak points. We have no trouble imagining the security redshirts playing this while they wait for Captain Kirk to call them up to their doom.

#1: Star Fleet Battles

It's old fashioned. It's hyper-detailed. It's slooooooooow. It's a hardcore wargame that prioritizes energy management and micro-decisions in a way that only a Vulcan could love. But you've got to give Star Fleet Battles its props. Launched in 1979 with a wide-ranging license that must baffle CBS with its continued existence. the game has built up decades of lore that rivals the official universe(s) in loving, obsessive detail.

Star Fleet Battles is not for the faint of heart, but if spending all day running a starship around a map is your cup of tea, it's hard to beat. It's older than many hobby gamers and -- based on its track record so far -- the game that's most likely to still be around in the 23rd century. Live long and prosper indeed!

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Posted by Chris Aylott

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