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Star Trek terrain game

This adventure game was sent in by Marco Bretschneider from the Adventgemeinde Kiel (Germany) and given to us. This game was played with 400 boy scouts. At the end you will find a criticism which passes on information about experiences with this game and possible recommendations for variations.

Game preparations

  • Exploration of a suitable area of woods
  • Producing a logbook map for the 60 ships
  • Printing out 48 planets (A4-sheets), which are spread out in the woods hung in the trees
  • Producing stickers for empties, freight and latium
  • Producing stickers for the development stages of the planets

Course of events

Introductory of the Star Trek story

Space: Infinitive distances... On its recent adventure, the USS Enterprise has just discovered a worm hole which leads to the CPA sector (Cryptus Pento Alpha).

In this sector civilisation is not quite so far that they have already developed warp drive, in actual fact they are at the social level of the Neanderthals.

Since this sector was discovered, the Romulus, the Klingons and the Terrones have been trying to capture it. They have been trying to get as many of the 48 planets as possible to advance their development and then to take them as members of their alliance. A conflict of interests is always present among the 3 groups. In addition, a few Borg ships and a Ferengi are operating in this sector. The winning group is the group who manages to have the most influence on the sector.

Before the game

All of the scouts are split into 3 groups: Terrones, Klingons and Romulus. Each group receives 5 war ships, 7 trade ships and 8 research ships. In addition, each group has a leader who must stay on the group’s home planet throughout the game. The planet is a marked out spot in the woods which has been chosen by the game organiser beforehand (corners of woods with an area as square as possible are best.)

A team of leaders (the Cyborgs) is placed in the fourth corner of – the Cyborgs quarter. These leaders represent a Cyborg station (ship).

Additionally, in the middle of the playing field is the neutral space station "Deep Space 7", where the players can meet a Ferengi (also a leader) and trade. This space station and the home planets are not allowed to be attacked during the game.

Game idea

The three groups must organise themselves into smaller teams. Each team makes up the members (crew) of a space ship which is represented in the form of a playing card – the log book. The crew enters the names of the scouts in the log book. There are 3 types of space ships. There is a special task to perform within the group dependent on the type of ship.

Trading ships

Trading ships have the job of bringing trading goods from the home planets to the space station "Deep Space 7". You can sell freight in exchange for latinum from the Ferengi. The latinum must be brought back to the home planet.

The leader then records the traded latinum bars in a book. He is responsible for a type of book keeping...

In the trading ship’s log book there is a field called “freight” into which the freight on board is entered in the form of a sticker. Trading ships have the load capacity of 5 pieces of freight. This means that they can carry 5 pieces of freight on the way there and bring 5 bars of latinum back. The trading ship collects the “freight” stickers on its home planet and tries to bring them through to Deep Space 7. The freight can be sold to the Ferengi here, who then sticks a “latinum" sticker in the log book.

If a trading manages to bring this latinum back to the home planet, the latinum is "credited" and the game starts all over again. If the load is stolen by a war ship on the way back, the field will be marked with a “empties” sticker in the log book.

Research ships

The research ships have the job of searching the game area for planets and encouraging the people to advance their levels of development.

To help the locals with the development, they will need some utensils which can be bought on the home planet in exchange for latinum. These utensils are nothing more than stickers which must be stuck on the relevant fields relating to the planets.

There are 5 development stages in total. Stage 0 is the stage at which the planet’s residents find themselves at the beginning of the game. Obviously the residents can only reach stage 2 once they have reached stage 1.

The support of development is the only thing which makes points!

If you bring the people to development stage 1, you will receive 1 point. If you manage to get the people to reach level 3, you receive 3 points.

In addition, 10 points are awarded for every planet where you managed to get them to development stage 3, because there are the planets where you have had the most influence (the planet joins the group).

The winners are those with the most points at the end of the game. The research ships are the only ones who can collect points for their group.

War ships

There are 3 levels of war ships. There are two *-war ships, two **-war ships and one ***- war ship. War ships have the job of protecting the trade and research ships and/or to attack other trading ships and research ships.

The war ship strategy is a deciding factor for the way the game turns out. They cannot collect up “points” like the research ships but they can damage the other groups by the stealing the opposing team’s freight. Used defensively, they can also defend their own trading ships.

You will have to think carefully about how to use the (only!!!) 5 war ships...


If the ships from different groups encounter each other in space (the woods) there are different possibilities regarding what happens. Encounters between two ships are achieved by the team member of one group touching the team member of another group. Then we will check which types of ships have collided with each other.

  1. Two NON-war ships encounter each other:
    Nothing happens. Both ships go about their duties as normal.

  2. War ship encounters a trading ship:
    The war ship can take the freight away from the trading ship. An “empties” sticker is entered in the logbook which shows that the trading ship is no longer carrying a load.

  3. War ship encounters a research ship:
    The war ship causes damages to a research ship. Depending on the number of stars the war ship has, they cause 10% damages to the research ship. This is noted in the logbook with crosses in the relevant field. If a research has 100% damages, the war ship is allowed to take its log book. The ship and its crew are out of the game. The research ships can repair their damages on the home planet. 10% damage repairs cost 2 bars of latinum.

  4. War ship encounters war ship:
    The war ships stars are compared with each other. The ship with the most stars is allowed to cause damages to the ship with less stars. Everything works the same as in point 3 above) but the number of the ships stars does not count but the difference between the two ships number of stars. Example: A Klingon war ship with 1* encounters a Romulus war ship with 3***. The Romulus cause 20% damages to the Klingon ship in their logbook. Repairs can be made with the same conditions as mentioned in point 3.

The Borgs

The Borgs are the “spoil sports” of the game. They are not interested in taking over new planets, stealing freight from trading ships or damaging war ships – no, they only want one thing: Assimilation!

The Borgs are extremely dangerous. If you come across a Borg dice and are caught by them (one of your team members is tagged by a Borg), the whole ship is assimilated. The condition of the ship and its freight load remains unchanged.

The ship must then be taken to the Borg stores by a Borg ship. You must wait there until you are freed.

It is recommended that you leave a Borg (a leader) in the Borg stores so that the freshly assimilated players do not break the rules and simply run away.

A Borg ship is superior to every other ship. It can only be beaten by a fleet of war ships. A fleet of war ships is made up of war ships from 3 different groups! If a fleet of war ships gets together and attacks the Borg stores, all of the assimilated players are free again...

Stages of development

  • The first stage of development which a planet can reach is the clothing. Clothing costs 1 bar of latinum.
  • The second stage of development – books: cost 2 bars of latinum.
  • Analogue to this, architecture (level 3) costs 3 bars of latinum, technology costs 4 bars of latinum and warp drive costs 5 bars of latinum. If a research ship acquires a development stage on the home planet, it receives a sticker with which it can furnish a planet.

Other rules

  • If two ships have had an encounter and had a battle (stolen freight, damages) the two ships are not allowed to encounter each other for the next five minutes of the game.
  • A ship which is caught damaging other planets (pulling the note of the tree) is disqualified from the game.
  • The leaders on the home planets should stick to the rules and never give out utensils for less bars of latinum than stated.
  • A development stage can only be “developed” once. Sticking your own group’s stickers over the existing stickers is forbidden.
  • The game is over when all 48 planets have reached the last stage of development or once a certain amount of time is over. In some exceptional cases, the game is over when the Borgs have assimilated all of the ships in the game.

Materials required for the Star Trek game

Material templates for the game are available to download from the Adventgemeinde Kiel in PDF format (only available in German).

Exercise criticisms and thoughts on other variations


  • The team developed a team spirit very quickly
  • 1/3 of the participants can win the game - super
  • BORG's are resented and play the baddies which means that the other two groups are not the “ENEMY”
  • There is a lot of room for strategy and calculation
  • Everyone has a role to play in helping the group
  • The principle of "look and stick" is great
  • Around 90% of the players have a great afternoon
  • The time flies
  • The number of war ships is O.K.


  • The game is fully dependent on the terrain
  • Borg planets must all be at equal distances apart
  • Waiting time of up to 50 min can come about due to assimilation and waiting in the Borg jail (boredom problem) and due to the positioning of the home planets in the far corners of the square playing field – this can leader to unequal path lengths
  • Too few trading ships – the beginning was very difficult
  • Latinum gets to the home planets very slowly which means boredom and waiting times for the researchships
  • After we stopped the game only 60% of the 48 planets had stickers (after 3 hours) so it would have taken a long time to get all 48 planets to development stage 5.

Notes for the future, variations and ideas:

  • There is always lots of explanation required before the game (explaining the game to the leaders -> then the scouts > explaining everything again with examples.
  • Choose players who is responsible for the 3 groups beforehand
  • The Borg planets can either be equal distances apart or randomly spread out (so that the other groups have equal chances of being caught, or throwing the dice in their square).
  • Ferengi should also be placed as far as possible from all 3 groups. I presume that there are different ways (maybe with portable Ferengi posts)
  • Maybe you can provide more hyperspace possibilities (mobile phone)
  • Several game options; 1: simple, few rules and few players 2: advanced, more effort required and 3: all of the frills
  • More trading ships
  • Send out probes in the first 60 minutes (crews) who search for the planets during the game and therefore discover them more quickly
  • Bring in random elements; like throwing the dice for the ships, like RISK or a 3 star ship has three dice and the highest die score counts
  • Set borders in the woods (confederation borders). Points are awarded for penetrating and sticking a sticker onto the planet in the proximity of another group’s home planet
  • Build up your home planet with probes (the co-ordinates of a planet is transmitted by mobile phone by a Ferengi which is then entered on the map) advance the borders of space; event cards; more raw materials which can be refined.

All in all, 100% fun is guaranteed in a game which works and can always be used more than once.

You will find more outdoor terrain games here: over20 outdoor terrain games

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