Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 3-5
Amount of time to play: 60 min per player
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5-10 minutes
The Ferengi Alliance and Cardassian Union are two new factions to play in Star Trek Ascendency. They add new play styles, systems, and more.
If you have not tried Star Trek Ascendency, read my review and overview here. It will give you an idea of the basic gameplay and flow of the game. The rest of this post is going to deal with the new things add by the Ferengi and Cardassian expansions.
Both new factions add more systems, phenomenons, and exploration cards. Each has their own player boards, tokens, and research cards too. But the biggest new elements are the play styles they introduce.
The Ferengi make deals with other factions. Their trade agreements give both sides production based on the number of partner systems the Ferengi ships are in. So you need to let them orbit your systems in order to profit. But there is much to be gained and the extra production resources help The Ferengi replenish their weak ships. The Ferengi don’t produce a lot of culture, but can buy it with production.
The Cardassian Union is a faction that likes to fight and rule. They gain an extra Command each turn to help spread their totalitarian regime. But keeping order on planets you occupy requires you to park one of their ships in that planet’s orbit. To win you must fight and expand your territory but you’ll take casualties. And to replenish ships you’ll need resources which will force you to leave some behind on production planets. This juggling of ships and resources must be managed in order for them to be victorious.
The Ferengi & Cardassian expansions add more play styles and more flexibility in Star Trek Ascendancy’s player count. But each additional player adds an hour to the playing time.
The components for the new factions are great. Everything looks really nice on the table and these are on par with the chits, miniatures, and cards in the base game. Each faction comes with their own rules that do a good job of explaining the faction’s rules and new elements they add to the game.
The new play styles are unique and thematic for the factions too. Though the war-loving Cardassians are similar to the Klingons there are differences in how they play.
Owning these also lets you play Star Trek Ascendency with three to five players instead of a strict three. This can help it get to the table. But that is slightly offset by the time it will take to play the game with additional players.
If you are a fan of Star Trek Ascendency, The Ferengi and Cardassian expansions are worth trying out. The new play styles are fun and offer more variety and player count to the game.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 5 out of 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6