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Tabletop Gaming, Models, and Minis => Other Games Around the Table => Topic started by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 30, 2017, 09:23:08 PM

Title: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 30, 2017, 09:23:08 PM
I've been playing the Star Trek full conversion mod on Stellaris and having fun with it (which is weird as I'm not a Trek fan) and I saw more than a few posts on the forum recommending the board game, Star Trek: Ascendancy.  I watched a few let's play and review vids and it looks interesting but there does seem to be a lot of down time between turns.

Anyone played it?  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: bbmike on July 31, 2017, 04:22:05 AM
I've been playing the Star Trek full conversion mod on Stellaris and having fun with it (which is weird as I'm not a Trek fan) and I saw more than a few posts on the forum recommending the board game, Star Trek: Ascendancy.  I watched a few let's play and review vids and it looks interesting but there does seem to be a lot of down time between turns.

Anyone played it?  Any thoughts?

(http://www.aarcentral.com/pics/picard.jpg)  >:D
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: bbmike on July 31, 2017, 04:30:34 AM
I saw this being played at Origins. The two things that keep me from buying it are the HUGE board size and the fact it is 3+ players.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 31, 2017, 03:07:35 PM
I've been playing the Star Trek full conversion mod on Stellaris and having fun with it (which is weird as I'm not a Trek fan) and I saw more than a few posts on the forum recommending the board game, Star Trek: Ascendancy.  I watched a few let's play and review vids and it looks interesting but there does seem to be a lot of down time between turns.

Anyone played it?  Any thoughts?

(http://www.aarcentral.com/pics/picard.jpg)  >:D

What?  I just don't get that into the show.  I watched the original series when I was a kid and enjoyed some of the episodes well enough.  I liked Enterprise as well.  Didn't care for TNG too much.  I've only seen 5-6 episodes of DS9 but they were all pretty much the most retarded things I've ever seen put on screen.  My friends who are fans tell me I just had bad luck and saw all the worst episodes.  Maybe that's true but those episodes did make it to air when they never should have seen the light of day.  Vulcans smugly playing baseball?   Ridiculous!  Never have seen a complete episode of Voyager. 

Anyway, my problem isn't so much with the show, but the obsessive nature of many of the fans.  It can be a little off-putting. 

I've enjoyed the Star Trek based capital ship combat games I've played.  I'm just not that into the characters and stories that much.   
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 31, 2017, 04:17:14 PM
I own it. It's a pretty good game; I really like the variable map and warp lane lengths. It can get a bit crowded, so have a decent-sized table. The game only comes with three races, but there's expansions for two others I think (it comes with the Feds, Klingons, and Romulans, but they sell expansions for the Ferengi and Dominion, I believe).

Besides the varying map, it's a co-op game, so you can play it solo very well. If you're looking for something to solo, you'd like this one.

There's a lot of components to it (ships and such), but it's pretty easy to get a hold of.

Been wanting to do a gameplay video of it, actually.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Barthheart on July 31, 2017, 04:27:05 PM
Ascendancy is not a coop game. Star Trek Frontiers is the coop game.

I looked at Ascendancy a couple of time but as there's no real way to solo and it feels to me to be a pasted on theme I passed. It could have been generic SciFi people's and would work just as well.

Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 31, 2017, 04:30:20 PM
Ach, my bad. Right, it's NOT co-op; Frontiers is co-op.

However, I've played Ascendancy solo with no trouble. It's better to play with other people, though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: mirth on July 31, 2017, 04:31:02 PM
Coop game? Where do you get the coops?
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 31, 2017, 04:31:38 PM
Probably in some German-made eurogame with farm animal molestation.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: mirth on July 31, 2017, 04:35:51 PM
Coopicola
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: mirth on July 31, 2017, 04:36:42 PM
Agricoopa
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 31, 2017, 04:49:40 PM
Agrico-pooter-blitz
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: mirth on July 31, 2017, 04:57:52 PM
Minus the blitz. Too war-like.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 31, 2017, 05:12:53 PM
I ordered it because...you know...i need another big box game on the shelf that will likely not get played.  And there are expansions being released for it so I will be able to spend even more money!
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Barthheart on July 31, 2017, 05:14:34 PM
Well if we ever meet up on the left coast I'll play it with you.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 31, 2017, 06:28:01 PM
Give me the heads up next time you're at UBC and we'll make it happen.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Barthheart on July 31, 2017, 07:05:23 PM
Should be sometime in mid late September.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on August 03, 2017, 10:30:37 PM
It arrived today.  It looks interesting.  I put it on the table and fiddled around with it for a bit.  I like the looks of some of the mechanics but I wonder about the 3-player aspect.  As setting up trade links with another player seems beneficial, I suspect it'll devolve into a 2 on 1 dogpile.  Looks like it'll be better when the 4 and 5 player expansions are released next month.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on August 04, 2017, 05:54:09 AM
I suspect it'll devolve into a 2 on 1 dogpile.  Looks like it'll be better when the 4 and 5 player expansions are released next month.

It absolutely does result in a 2-on-1 dogpile (I've played it at the game store a couple of times). The weaker of the three will often get the other two's attention and they end up reaping the planets that the weaker one couldn't hold on to. Then the two go at it until one becomes a clear winner.

I really want to get a hold of at least one if not both expansions to see how it plays out that way. In a 5-player game, I imagine the trade aspect and temporary alliances play much better.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on August 15, 2017, 11:42:09 PM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/35792117693_b4e5f9eeac_b.jpg)

Played this evening.  The mat on the table at the FLGS was headache inducing.  Klingons attacked me as the the Federation too early, lost badly and were pretty much out of the game from that point on.  Ended up being a race between the Federation and the Romulans with the Romulans managing to grab and ascendancy victory a turn before I could reach their home planet and take it through hegemony.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on August 16, 2017, 07:44:23 AM
Was gonna say...that mat, though.  :o

Better to use a starfield map, or in my taste, a black tablecloth (which I use for covering my desk when I do video).

You can't attack too early in that game...Zerg rushing is a huge gamble since everyone starts on such equal footing.

They've got the two new expansions out (Ferengi and Cardassian) and said they'd be sending them out to reviewers post-Gen Con. I'm hoping these will really ramp up the play, though the table space is going to be a concern.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on August 16, 2017, 08:48:22 AM
Yup.  I have a couple of 3'x3' starfield mats that I usually use but the tables at this particular store aren't wide enough for them so I didn't bother. 

I've played the game 3 times now and am going to mod it a bit.  I think it's too easy to turtle and win via ascendancy tokens so I'm going to change the cost from 5 culture/token to an escalating cost. 5 for the 1st, 6 for the 2nd, etc.  I'll also limit it to one token purchase per round. 
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on August 16, 2017, 09:51:22 AM
I've played the game 3 times now and am going to mod it a bit.  I think it's too easy to turtle and win via ascendancy tokens so I'm going to change the cost from 5 culture/token to an escalating cost. 5 for the 1st, 6 for the 2nd, etc.  I'll also limit it to one token purchase per round.

That's a good idea. Escalating those costs will take away cheap wins.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on August 17, 2017, 12:54:28 AM
We tried out my house rule tonight and it worked pretty well.  Definitely prevented turtling.  I played the Klingons and was on the receiving end of a 2 vs 1 curb stomping from the Romulans and the Federation.  When two empires sign a trade deal that basically means they're outproducing you at a 3 to 1 ratio each, it's only a matter of time before the hammer falls.

As such, I decided to get aggressive.  I had some good luck and wiped out a 6 ship Romulan fleet with only one lost ship in return.  That got the Romulans off my doorstep for a turn or two so I then went after the Federation.  I was able to battle my way to Earth and wipe out their fleet there but just didn't have enough left over to take the planet.  The two of them then proceeded to roll me up and take my homeworld.  I suspect the Romulans had the edge at that point but we had to call it quits because the store was closing.  Fun game!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36576805506_b7982f4751_b.jpg)



(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36485416321_524bf04bb1_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on August 17, 2017, 05:12:28 AM
That starfield map is MUCH easier on the eyes. ;D
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: bbmike on August 17, 2017, 06:32:48 AM
^+1, that look great!
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on August 31, 2017, 09:55:44 PM
Picked up the Ferengi and Cardassian expansion packs today.  The Cardassians look like they'll play as a cross between the Romulans and Klingons.  Very aggressive but not as good in a straight up fight as the Klingons but they also have a bunch of annoying, sneaky espionage tech that lets them get fleets behind your lines and take your planets unless you garrison. 

I'm really looking forward to trying out the Ferengi.  They look like they're going to be tough to play but potentially a lot of fun and annoying as hell to the other players.  Weak in combat at the start, they have the ability to cross borders and set up trade in rival systems without requiring permission from other players.  If they aren't constantly getting slapped down, they'll start earning massive production and spamming crap fleets.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: BanzaiCat on September 01, 2017, 06:25:36 AM
Looking forward to seeing it in action and getting them myself.
Title: Re: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on September 02, 2017, 10:08:17 PM
We had a 4-player game with the new expansions today.  It was very interesting to see how differently it played out with four players instead of three and to see how the new races interacted.  Expansion and contact occur much more rapidly and it makes things a lot more tense.

I played as the Ferengi and started in the southwest corner of the map.  The Klingons were in the south-east; the Cardassians in the northwest; and the Romulans in the northeast corner opposite from me.  The Federation didn't make an appearance in this game. 

The Cardassians had some good luck with their initial exploration efforts and found some very nice systems and didn't run into too many difficulties with dangerous encounters or phenomena.  They linked up with me very early in the match and things started off peacefully between us.  We established trade and delineated a border (which the bastards immediately ignored, leapfrogging ahead of my fleet and grabbing a juicy colony that I'd discovered the turn before).  Then I happened upon a very rich mining opportunity in an asteroid belt and the Cardassian weasel couldn't resist.  He broke our treaties and attacked my mining operations as well as a few of my colonies, wiping them out and doing a lot of damage to my fleets.  Thankfully I had the production reserves to rebuild my fleets and I was then able to return the favour and burn up all of his fleets and several of his colonies.  This left us both pathetically weak and exposed but thankfully I was relatively isolated.

The Klingons had initially tried to head in my direction but they encountered some deadly phenomena and lost a good number of ships while trying to find a passage to my sector of space.  Eventually, they gave up and went off in the direction of Romulus instead.  They engaged in typical Klingon style diplomacy and wiped out a Romulan mining fleet en route to invading the Romulan home world.  Luckily for the Romulans, they'd build a star base on another colony the turn before and were able to assemble a fleet there and counter-attack the Klingons, wiping out all their ships and knocking their production down to almost nothing.  The Klingons were pretty much out of it by that point but instead of pressing the attack, the Romulans instead made trade agreements with the Ferengi and the Cardassians and just sat back and threw everything into research.  While the Cardassians and I were busy murdering one another and the Klingons sat in the corner licking their wounds,  the Romulans quietly sat back and amassed a tonne of tech and money. 

They then went on a tear and parked powerful fleets on the edge of the Klingon and Cardassian homeworlds and demanded surrender.  We conceded victory to the Romulans.

Fun game.  The Ferengi are very challenging to play as you have to spread yourself very thin and put yourself in a vulnerable position if you want to take advantage of trade deals.  I felt a bit like one of those plover birds that clean the teeth of crocodiles.  One chomp and you're finished, as I discovered with the Cardassians.  The Cardassians were interesting and a lot more effective than I thought they'd be based on their starting restrictions.  Very, very dangerous if you let them develop tech as they can pretty much have a fleet pop out anywhere and wreck your production with hit and fade strikes.


The guy who was playing the Klingons hadn't played before so he was at a bit of a disadvantage and attacked the Romulans a little too quickly.  He took their homeworld but didn't have anything in the way of reserves to protect it from counter-attacks or production to keep his attack going.


Really having a lot of fun with this game.



Map fills in quickly with 4 players 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4344/36991909345_206ea1f8a4_h.jpg)




My aenemic Ferengi fleets, some research projects, and my command console.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36851464021_7a9f3651ac_h.jpg)




The aftermath of the Cardassian betrayal and attack on the Ferengi.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/36594463570_85a9f2306e_h.jpg)