The Ascendancy of Culture

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19 Feb 2019 00:00 #292596 by Jackwraith
Continuing in the theme of what I talked about ...

Star Trek as a phenomenon. How its peoples and the way they changed can be viewed through the best game ever made for it.

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19 Feb 2019 10:12 #292597 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic The Ascendancy of Culture
If you think ST 6 is better than ST 2, you need to stop smoking your lunch.

As for ST: Ascendancy, I'd like to play it again. My usual suspects for that sort of game really like the game, but really dislike the time requirements. I think once you get a few plays under your belt it will go faster, but so far the number of plays in my group are 3(me)-1-1-1-1-1-1 .
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19 Feb 2019 10:24 #292598 by Jackwraith

RobertB wrote: If you think ST 6 is better than ST 2, you need to stop smoking your lunch.


Pffft. I'm not saying Wrath is a bad movie, but it doesn't have the scope of Country, nor does it have the more assured acting chops (I think David Warner as Gorkon gets too little credit for being able to get that much expression from under that much makeup) of the later film. Plus, Country's symmetry with the political climate of the time was remarkable. It hit the same zeitgeist as Up in the Air did when it was released. Plus, it has George Takei's best ever moment on film:

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19 Feb 2019 10:25 #292599 by Jackwraith
As for time constraints, it does go much faster once the basics are under your group's belt, but I agree that that can be a tough sell to a lot of people who aren't regular DoaMers or wargamers.

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19 Feb 2019 10:29 #292600 by Michael Barnes
Undiscovered Country is kind of weirdly underrated...I think it is -almost- as good as Khan. It holds up really well, and it is one of the Trek films with the fewest embarrassing moments.
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19 Feb 2019 10:35 #292602 by Ken B.
Replied by Ken B. on topic The Ascendancy of Culture
This sits on my shelf in shame. I need to get it played. It looks so good and is highly recommended by everyone whose opinion I value.

Also yes, Undiscovered Country is probably my second favorite Trek behind Khan. It's so well done.
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19 Feb 2019 10:39 #292603 by jay718
Replied by jay718 on topic The Ascendancy of Culture
Great review! Wish I played this more often. What's your take on the Borg expansion?
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19 Feb 2019 11:00 #292604 by Jackwraith
Thanks! I'm pretty cold on the Borg. I love the minis. I dislike the inclusion of a monstrous destabilizing element in a game that's already pretty finely balanced on the luck scale. There have been games where people fall behind just because of what systems they draw. Tossing the Borg in there, especially with the rules as written, where they could focus exclusively on one player and basically eliminate them from the game, is not something I'm particularly fond of. There's a fan-made adjustment to them on BGG that makes them far more of an equal threat. Even so, I haven't been inclined to include them in any of our games. Get stalled by a Tier III system or a neutron star? There are literally ways around those. Have the misfortune to be in the corner where the Borg arrive? Eh.

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19 Feb 2019 11:20 - 19 Feb 2019 11:20 #292607 by GorillaGrody
Good stuff!

I love Star Trek for the dailiness of the television show, the subtle interplay of Picard with the other crew members as the seven-year mission progressed, or learning that O'Brien and Bashir liked to play games together, etc etc. It's for this reason that all the movies leave me cold. The games, too. What everyone else saw in Ascendency escaped me, and it compared pretty unfavorably to Fleet Captains, to my mind. I sold them both this year.
Last edit: 19 Feb 2019 11:20 by GorillaGrody.
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19 Feb 2019 11:32 #292608 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic The Ascendancy of Culture
This will be rank heresy here, but if the other players weren't Star Trek fans, I'd bring Eclipse before I'd bring ST:A. My inner kid thinks the ST:A is a lot cooler than Eclipse, and after all it's all about the fun. But ruleset to ruleset, I think Eclipse is better.
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19 Feb 2019 12:04 #292609 by Jackwraith
No, I get that. I don't there's anything extremely innovative about ST: A's rules and it is possible to be cornered by luck and have trouble getting out of the gate (dice rolls, planet draws, etc.) Part of why it's a current fave is just the absolute immersion in the lore and story that I mentioned.
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19 Feb 2019 12:28 - 19 Feb 2019 12:29 #292611 by Sagrilarus
I'm having this same conversation with one of my youngest boys, who has become a huge Civilization 6 (video game) player. The makers of Civ 6 continue to publish new cultures to play, and each has their own path to success. He's fascinated with the concept, and comes to me with questions like "who were the Janissaries" that more often than not I have to look up. Civ 6 is doing the same thing as Star Trek Ascendancy, but doing it with real cultures, and doing it with dozens of them.

Like Star Trek Ascendancy this game takes more than a bit of time to play, but I suppose that's going to be the case for any Civ game more complicated than Settlers. I haven't taken the plunge yet. But if I were to get into video games, I think it would be this one, because I like the asymmetry and I like the fact-based nature of it. A game with a Star Trek theme can't hit that second point, and I'm not enough of a Trekkie to get that wrapped around the canon of the universe.

A very thought-provoking article, reinforcing my son's opinion on his gaming. There's something for everyone, eh? This sort of "bigger" play provides a different level of satisfaction, if you're in a position to enjoy it.
Last edit: 19 Feb 2019 12:29 by Sagrilarus.
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19 Feb 2019 12:53 #292614 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic The Ascendancy of Culture

Jackwraith wrote: No, I get that. I don't there's anything extremely innovative about ST: A's rules and it is possible to be cornered by luck and have trouble getting out of the gate (dice rolls, planet draws, etc.) Part of why it's a current fave is just the absolute immersion in the lore and story that I mentioned.


I think the very unique exploration is totally innovative. The way the board develops unpredictably is fantastic and helps with that sense of immersion.
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19 Feb 2019 13:06 #292616 by Jackwraith

Sagrilarus wrote: A very thought-provoking article, reinforcing my son's opinion on his gaming. There's something for everyone, eh? This sort of "bigger" play provides a different level of satisfaction, if you're in a position to enjoy it.


That's exactly it. When I finished this, I kept looking at it thinking that it wasn't what I had envisioned. I wanted to touch a deeper point in the game (and the overall entity of Star Trek) but without becoming too heavy-handed about it. I was wondering if I'd backed off of too much. So, I'm glad the intended point got through.
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19 Feb 2019 13:09 #292617 by Jackwraith

charlest wrote: I think the very unique exploration is totally innovative. The way the board develops unpredictably is fantastic and helps with that sense of immersion.


That's a good point. I think I'm a bit overly familiar with it now to have perspective on some of those things.

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