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Hello readers, Andrew here again. Today I'm reviewing Star Fleet, A Call To Arms, by Mongoose Publishing.This book is fairly short for a rules manual at 125 pages but it packs a surprising amount in, with black and white print for the rules and fluff sections but full color for the army lists and hobby section.
The rules walk the line between to simple and to complicated very well. After just reading them once i had a good understanding of the game but could see countless ways of exploiting the various mechanics. The special actions really make the ships that use them feel like they jumped right out of the original star trek.
The rules are rather extensive, taking into account everything from on board labs, teleporters and marines all the way to suicide shuttles, on board fires and different ways to utiltise your plasma torpedoes such as the space combat version of grapeshot. There are ten scenarios included and another five "tactical challenges". Having played malifaux I'm very aware of how some effort put into the scenarios section of a book can really bring a game to life, so I'm looking forward to trying these out. Scenarios can often revolve around exploration or investigation as opposed to just beating the dilithium crystals out of the opposition.
The terrain section covers many iconic space debries such as comets, black holes and planets (along with rules in how to use gravity wells to sling shot your ships round them) and again the detail is impressive but manages to refrain itself from becoming to complicated.
There is also a set of rules for campaign play involving leveling up for your individual ships. There is a section of fluff for all six factions, this is written in a text book fashion so is very informative, a good thing for a Star Trek novice like myself. Most of my Star Trek knowledge comes from Deep Space Nine and Voyager, so the retro style this game is based on is largely unknown to me. I have never heard of some of the factions described in this book (8ft angry tigers? there grrrrreat!) (OMG really!? Jon PJ) but a quick search on Google reveals that they are infact established races in the Star Trek fluff. I have included the pics of the races below as the book dosnt have any... first up, Tholians... ...Kzinti... ...and Gorn.
The army lists are written very well, packed with information but easy to understand. (do you see a theme here?) Every ship has its own bit of fluff and every faction is unique in some way, be it the Tholian's web technology or the Klingon's boosted shields. You are also given a list of names for every ship class so that if you want to stay true to the star trek fluff when naming your vessels you can do so. Last but not least is a hobby guide that shows you how to assemble and paint your fleet and an example of how to make some simple terrain for your games.
The book costs £21.99 from Mongoose Publishing and has a short errata online along with some very useful (and free) gaming aids such as a campaign roster. Im rather impressed with this product and am looking forward to sending my fledling federation fleet (say that ten times quickly) into battle with Mr (Sir. Jon PJ) Shades of Chaos and his vile Klingon Armada. Expect to see more of Star Fleet: Call To Arms in the coming weeks as models are assembled and painted ready for there first battle report. Thats all for now folks, I will see you all again soon with more Star Fleet.