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Star Trek: The Enterprise^4 Encounter

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Real World article
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WEGENT4Cover1

Box Cover

Star Trek: The Enterprise4 Encounter was one of three Star Trek games released in 1985 by West End Games.

Game componentsEdit

  • Full-color 22" × 17" gameboard map
  • 28 playing pieces; 4 "Enterprises" and 24 "Crewmember Counters"
  • 4-page rule sheet
  • 4-page "Captain's Log" (an original story written especially for the game by Douglas Kaufman)
  • 25 "Adventure Cards"
  • 43 "Battle Cards"
  • 1 "Reference Card"
  • 4 cardboard "Bridge racks"
  • 1 six-sided game die

Game playEdit

The premise of the game has the crew of the original Enterprise (toward the end of the ship's five-year mission under James T. Kirk) seeking out the superbeing Trelane (from TOS: "The Squire of Gothos"). Trelane winds up capturing them, forcing them into a new game. The crew is to be split up and deposited either on the ship (in fact, up to four duplicates of the ship, which show up on each other's sensors as Klingon ships) or on worlds visited by the crew over the last five years.

Each ship (player) must travel around the twenty-space board "re-living" the various Original Trek episodes (listed on a deck of double-sided "Adventure Cards", with each episode's "adventure" affecting game play in one way or another) in an attempt to collect at least one Crewmember in each of six Divisions (Command, Science, Medical, Security, Navigation and Communications) who have been "marooned" on the worlds of those adventures. Rescued crew are kept in a player's "Bridge rack" for safekeeping (and to keep out of sight of the opponents).

The game featured 24 counters representing 18 "Officer-Level" crew who count toward the needed Crew counters, five "Cadet" crew counters (in each division except Command) which are "red herrings" of sorts, and one "Starfleet" counter that acts as a "wild card" and may replace any one needed Crew counter.

In addition, since the ships read each other as enemy vessels, ships which land on certain spaces (called "Tractor Zones") can force other ships into battle, with the winner claiming a Crewmember from the loser. (Some Adventure cards also force you into battle, usually with an advantage or disadvantage to you and/or your opponent.) A deck of "Battle Cards" help in determining the victor by allowing each ship to use phasers, shields, photon torpedoes and various other maneuvers. Some of the Battle Cards also contain game-altering text that allows you to play them outside of a battle in order to use certain crewmembers' special abilities or add special conditions to winning the game.

The first player to get all six needed "Crewmembers" returns to their starting planet, or "Base World". This allows the player to "lock in" one crew counter (turn it face down on their "Bridge rack"). The other players then each have one chance to force you into a "last-ditch battle" in an attempt to steal away one of your "non-locked in" crew counters and thus prevent you from winning. Surviving the attacks from all the opponents wins the game for the player. If at any time the player loses a crew counter and no longer has all six needed crew, game play continues. If that player manages to restore the balance and get all six needed crew, they return again to their Base World and "lock in" another counter, then go through the "last-ditch battle" phase again. (If, through repeating this process, a player can "lock in" all six needed crew, they automatically win the game without needing to go through the "last-ditch battle" phase.)

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