Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and Star Trek: Catan Federation Space offer fantasy, sci-fi fun

By Cody Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13 2013 4:15 p.m. MST

The Settlers of Catan has seen no shortage of versions, editions and expansions, and last year's Star Trek: Catan, a retheming of the classic game in Gene Roddenberry's rich Star Trek universe, proved to be a smashing success. Essentially, the game replaced villages and towns with starbases, roads with starships, and the various traded resources with Star Trek props such as dilithium and tritanium. The only major mechanical change allowed players to temporarily take on roles of Star Trek crew members like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, who offered certain advantages.

Another similarity with the original Settlers of Catan was that the Star Trek version game board was set up in a similar random fashion. Now, Mayfair Games has released a Federation Space expansion set that includes two new maps based on lore from the Star Trek universe.

The new maps include a few new rules, such as victory point markers on the board. The first player to build a starship supply line to one of the markers gains a permanent victory point. Also, outposts can only be built in specially marked sectors, meaning there is a new competition for real estate that was absent in the original setup. Players will scramble to be the first to reach a victory marker or outpost construction zone. These innovations alone make playing with these maps worthwhile.

The expansion also includes victory point trackers modeled on Star Trek's different alien cultures and a fun new almanac detailing the map's planets and their appearance in the Star Trek TV series.

Federation Space is not necessarily a must-have expansion if you enjoy Star Trek: Catan, but it is a lot of fun. In addition to further immersing players into the Star Trek universe, these maps offer some real game play intensity. The only thing missing is an expansion to the number of players, which remains three to four.

Star Trek: Catan plays in about 75 minutes and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Cody K. Carlson holds a master's degree in history from the University of Utah and currently teaches at SLCC. Cody has also appeared on many local stages including Hale Center Theater and Off Broadway Theater. Email: ckcarlson76@gmail.com

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