I have always been a big fan of science fiction. I grew up on many great science fictions shows & movies. However, there is not one franchise that can hold up to the longevity of Star Trek.
With 2016 being the 50th anniversary of Star Trek I wanted to do a review on Mayfair Games 2015 game Star Trek: Five Year Mission.
I was able to playtest Five Year Mission at the Mayday booth back in 2015 at Origins Game Fair. I had been reading about this upcoming game for several weeks & I was anticipating playing.
At Origins Game Fair 2015 I sat & played several times a still pretty rough prototype of Five Year Mission. I say rough because of the list of comments Mayday had accumulated at the convention. Though the game was to be released at GenCon that year it seemed to be ninety percent ready to go.
The game itself is pretty easy, however, most of the time players will rely on luck most of the time since this is a dice game.
Star Trek: Five Year Mission is published from Mayfair Games, it can be played by three to seven players, & is for players ages seven to adult. Game time varies on the difficulty level of the game being played.
There are multiple ways to play Star Trek: Five Year Mission. First players will decide on rather they will play with the NCC-1701 from the original series or NCC-1701-D from Next generation. Once players decide which ship to play, then they will decide on what crew to use.
Crew members for the original Star trek series are as followed: Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, & Ensign Pavel Chekov.
Members of the Next Generation crew are on the opposite side of the card that the original series is on. Crew members for Next Generation are: Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commander William Riker, Dr. Beverly Crusher, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, Counselor Deanna Troi, Lieutenant Commander Data, & Lieutenant Worf.
Each of the character cards have a special ability that can be used either once per player’s turn or during another player’s turn. With a little communication from all players during the game these abilities can be very useful. Each player will start off with one character card & a set number of dice, two red dice, two blue dice, & one yellow die. In a three to four player game there will be one of each color dice placed in the dice pool on the main Enterprise card.
The setup for Star Trek: Five year Mission can be difficult at first. The main Enterprise card will be placed in the center of the table. This is where used dice will end up. The Enterprise card will ultimately take damage at sometime during the game.
The mission cards that players will use are dependent on what series is chosen at the start of the game. Some cards will have the symbol of the original series Constitution-class Enterprise, others will have the symbol for Next Generation Galaxy-class Enterprise, while other cards will show the symbols for both.
The mission cards should be sorted in two different ways; by series & by alert type. The mission cards that have both symbols will be used in every game that is played be it with the original star Trek or the Next Generation mission cards. The mission card “To Boldly Go!” should be removed as this is the starting card for the game.
Shuffle each of the alert cards into three separate decks; blue alert, yellow alert, & red alert. The starting card “To Boldly Go!” will start underneath the blue alert deck.
Players will have four phases to take during their turn, except for the first turn of the game where they will skip the “replenish dice” phase.
On a player’s turn they will draw a new alert card from any of the three alert decks. It is recommended to just do blue alerts as long as players are able too. Sometimes a mission card will force an extra draw from another alert deck. Most mission cards will have an effect that needs to be resolved.
In the “replenish dice” phase, players will replenish up to the number of dice that are supposed to have in their dice pool. This includes the number of injure dice & action dice left on their character card. There is no restriction on what color dice they can replenish with.
Next players will roll their dice in the “roll dice” phase. Once dice are rolled players may place them onto the action space on their character card. If a player already has dice in their action space during future turns they may choose not to roll those dice saved there.
In the fourth & final phase, “dice placement & resolve alerts”, players will match up their dice to the dice spaces on any of the alert cards that are in play. Some of the alert cards will show up or down arrows on the dice. This will mean that players will have to place a die lower or higher than the number shown.
Once all dice are matched then the alert will be resolved. Once an alert is resolved a few things may happen. Some of the cards will have the Federation symbol on it. These will be added to the score pile. Some may have special abilities that can be used once by the player resolving the alert.
In order to win the game players will work toward a goal. The goal is one of six difficulties set at the beginning of the game by the players. These goals range from Ensign, which players will need to score ten points with at least one of each color alert, all the way to Admiral where players will need twenty points with at least two cards from each alert & one urgent alert.
Players will lose when either the Enterprise takes too much damage or all the alert columns are filled. When the Enterprise takes a certain amount of damage, players will no longer be able to draw missions from certain alert decks. Players can repair damage to the Enterprise by spending a red die for each damage spot the marker on the Enterprise card has moved.
Players will also have to watch how many alerts are drawn. Three alerts will fill a column. If a fourth alert card is drawn for that column then the oldest alert fails & is discarded. If at any time there are five failed mission cards, the game ends, & all players lose.
Other abilities on cards will be the “urgent alert”. These cards will have a time limit placed on them. Players must resolve this mission before time runs out. If time runs out then it is discarded to the failed mission pile.
A United Federation of Planets symbol on a mission card must be resolved before any other mission is resolved. This can really hinder players as they try to progress through the game.
As I stated before, I like Star Trek. Most of the games different companies have designed are so-so. Star Trek: Five Year Mission is truly a well developed game depending on the people that are playing. This is basically a dice matching game so if dice matching bores you then this game is not for you.
The one thing that really disappointed me with this game are the components. I wish the card stock was a little better quality along with the character cards being of better quality as well.
It has been out in retail stores for more than a year now & in most places it can be bought on the clearance shelf. It is a real shame after only a year. Too bad Mayfair didn’t have expansions to further along the longevity of this game.
If you find it on the cheap then I suggest purchasing it. It’s a good game for the Trekker in everyone.
So a very happy 50th anniversary to everyone that was involved or loves Star Trek. May there be 50 more.
So get ready to beam up for a five year mission & game on!