Saturday, July 1, 2017

Star Trek: Ascendancy

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A few weeks back, Juice, Strom and I played our first game of Star Trek: Ascendancy, a three-player game of space exploration, expansion, research, and combat by Gale Force Nine.

The game provides many different paths to victory, and one aspect we all enjoyed is that each faction plays differently and has unique benefits and drawbacks.  Juice played the Romulans and focused on technological advances.  Strom played the Klingons and built large fleets for expansion.  I played the peaceful Federation and drove hard toward a cultural victory through careful exploration and colonization.

I started with a lead in cultural points, which also act as victory points to end the game.  However, I ignored technological and military advances which eventually sealed my doom.  Just before what would have been the turn when I would have claimed victory, Juice used his warp technology to warp all the way across the universe to the Federation home spaces, which he conquered.  The Klingons soon followed suite and I ended up simply being the king-maker in deciding a Klingon/Romulan tie.

Overall, the game has good pacing and offers choices in how to build your empire.  I think the end game came a little too quickly, as advancements build exponentially upon prior advancements in culture and technology. It does have a strong Star Trek theme and the overall game mechanics work well.  It is one of the best three-player games I have played and I highly recommend it for that reason.  It appears that Gale Force Nine's additional player factions are soon being released as game expansions, after a long delay in production.

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