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Review: Star Trek: Panic!


panic-coverRed alert! The starship Enterprise is under attack! It’s time to Panic! Last night, at the Forge Herald gaming center we sat down to play the new game, Star Trek Panic.

Designed by Justin DeWitt, Star Trek Panic was released earlier this year by Fireside Games and USAopoly. The game is a variation of the popular game, Castle Panic but with a Star Trek theme.

What makes this game extra special for us is it’s a cooperative game. We love these.

The game is based on the Star Trek: The Original series universe. Your goal is to protect the Enterprise from Klingons, Romulans, Tholians, and other various threats. Let’s take a look at the game.

Set up
The toughest part about set up is building the cardboard model of the Enterprise. This centerpiece will sit in the middle of the board and will only move clockwise or counter-clockwise. You then randomly assign character cards (or not randomly, it’s up to you) deal out the Enterprise cards (this will be based on the number of players in your game), and draw your first mission. Set up is now complete and game play can begin.

enterprise

The model of the starship Enterprise is the centerpiece of the game. Its shields can be seen surrounding the ship.

Rules
There are a lot of rules to this game so keep the rule book handy your first couple of times playing it. I am going to cover just a few here.

Your Enterprise model is surrounded by a shield barrier. Each time it takes a hit, you will need to put a damage indicator on it. When the shield takes a second hit, the shield is destroyed and removed from the board. This is how you will handle damage to the ship, too.

lightly-damaged

The Enterprise, shown here with damage to the hull, a quadrant of shields missing, and damage marked on other parts of the shields.

Pay attention to the threats you draw out of the Threat bag. Some of these have special rules that you will need to apply.

Ships that can cloak will enter the game un-cloaked. A die roll will determine how these ships move and whether or not they cloak or fire.

Trading of a single card happens during each player’s turn. You can trade a single card on your turn.

If the threat bag is empty, you simply fill it back up with all the threats removed from the board.

Each character has special abilities that can help you win the game.

Playing a turn
The turns a broken down into steps. To begin, a player draws back up to their full hand size. Again, this number will depend on how many people playing the game.

Then the players will, if necessary, reveal a new mission. They will only do this if the group is not currently working on a mission.

The next step the players can trade a card. Remember, you may only trade one card. The trick to trading here is that the card may not always benefit you. Sometimes you are trying to set up a play on someone else’s turn.

Now comes your chance to play cards and maneuver your ship. When it comes to maneuvering, you may move the Enterprise once. This move can be clockwise, counter-clockwise, or forward. To move the Enterprise forward, you simply move all the threats in front of it, one level closer. You do not move the threats in the rear of the ship.

Playing cards is really where all the action takes place. Here you will be allowed to fire on your threats, use security to protect your ship for Boarders, repair your hull or shield, and of course finish missions. There are lots more things you can do when playing cards, this is just an example of available actions.

Once all your cards have been played out, you will need to check the mission status. This is when you move the time counter on your mission (you only have a certain amount of time to finish each mission).

Now comes the part when the Enterprise takes some damage as you will need to move and fire with all threats on the board.

Lastly, you will draw two new threats from the Threat Bag and place them at Long Range from the Enterprise.

Winning the game
To win the game the crew must successfully complete five missions before the Enterprise is destroyed. Once complete, you must destroy all remaining threats on the board and warp away. It’s all or nothing in this game. You either win as a crew or go down as a crew.

severely-damaged

Despite all this damage, we were able to pull out a win.

Conclusion
Star Trek Panic is an excellent addition to the Panic line of games. The game forces the players to work together to survive all the threats that come, unendingly, at you.

There is nothing super impressive about the artwork as it is all taken from stills of the original series. The best part is the 3D model of the Enterprise itself. The pieces are a little difficult to put together, so be careful those first few times until it is worn down.

The rules are not complex, but there is a decent amount of them. Keep the rule book handy for those first few times.

There are a lot of pieces so this won’t be a game you will want to take on a camping trip; however, it is worth bringing along to a game night at a friend’s house.

Overall, this game is excellent. The only real cons I see are the multitude of rules and the lengthy playtime (90-120 minutes) If you don’t partake in marathon gaming sessions, this just might be the only game of the night.

We give this game a solid B and give it the Forge Herald stamp of approval.

Got a board game you would like us to review? Let us know in the comments below.

Patrick Steam punkPatrick Cossel is the publisher of The Forge Herald. He is a father, husband, gamer, and level 1 Magic Judge. Professionally he is the Operations Manager of a family-owned newspaper company. He can be reached at pcossel@gmail.com

© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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