Star Trek:Battle for Alpha Quadrant (ver 2.0) (Willem van Oranje review)

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Overall Score: 27/30

OVERVIEW:

This is one of the first (not the first) Star Trek scenarios I played, and I liked it very much. It contains much of the Star Trek atmosphere, and is just great to play for every Star Trek fanatic.


Playability: 9/10

COMMENCEMENT:

This is the first scenario kobayashi made, and I must say, he did a much better job than I did in my first scenario. It's a very good building scenario, you start with one size-three city, and you must expand to a multi-system nation, if you want to be able to defend yourself against the all mighty BORG. It has one big difference that changes the game to a real survival: the BORG are planning to take over the entire Quadrant, and that's what makes the game interesting. You know you have inferior technology and weapons, so you'll do just about everything to defend yourself from those evil half-mechanised beings. The AI in my games was, in contrast to the games of another reviewer, very expansive. Especially the Klingons had colonies and outposts everywhere.

I couldn't detect any major or minor faults that disrupted the game. The only thing is that the scenario is called battle for the ALPHA QUADRANT. The Klingons and Romulans are from the Beta Quadrant. But their presence makes the game a lot better, so that doesn't matter.

The atmosphere in the game is as it should be, a real Star Trek atmo' is created by kobayashi. Not only by units or terrains, but by the techs, city improvements and wonders too. Most of the the units are real Star Trek units, but kobayashi tells in his readme.txt where he got the non-Star Trek units from.

The scenario is not entirely balanced, but that's what it is about. All races are equal to each other in power, except for the Borg, who are far more advanced and stronger. But again, that's what it's all about.

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Level of General Care: 9/10

COMMENT:

The map is, as far as I can tell, a good reflection of Star Trek reality. But no-one really knows the entire (relevant) Alpha Quadrant, so I think the author guessed sometimes. But that doesn't matter, because there're always small groups of planets, which can represent systems. It wouldn't make a difference if you'd rearrange the entire map, as long as the Borg would stay in place.

The documentation is very good. I think kobayashi got a great deal from several internet-sites and his Star Trek encyclopaedia. Due to this, every information he offers the players is correct. He changed the pedia.txt so it would be updated for his scenario, and a lot of additional information is provided in the readme.txt.

The names of planets were correct, as far as I can tell. Kobayahi has better access to Star Trek information than I do. The only thing is that Nimbus III is a Romulan planet in the scenario, in Star Trek, it's a multicultural planet, and it could for example be a Klingon planet, too.

Further, there is a Cardassian planet added to the Romulans (Chintoka) and several Romulan planets are just Roman cities from the original Civilization II.

The technology tree is well done. I wouldn't make a change to that one. I first thought it'd be better if there would be advances like Transwarp, Interdimensional Travel and Time Travel, but since this scenario only goes to 2362, that would be incorrect to the series and it just wouldn't make sense. The one thing I would change is the possibility to trade the '... Innate' techs. They should be a no, no advance in my opinion, and more advances should be linked to them. That way, the races really get special technologies others can't get, except by trading. The ships in the scenario are well chosen, I think. There are far more Federation ships than others, but that's because there are just far more Federation vessels in the series.

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Art + Originality: 9/10

COMMENTS:

The artwork in this scenario is really nice. Most of the units have been created by kobayashi. The ground units (except for the Borg) came from the FW scenarios, just like the planets (not the names). Some people may think that the Borg ships are better in the 'bright' way kobayashi presents them, but I would have preferred the traditional black-coloured vessels.

The events make the scenario really great. I studied them for hours and couldn't keep stopping asking myself: "How does someone come up with this much?" The story of the scenario is told by text messages that appear through events, and they're strongly dependant from the actions you and the other races take in the game. For example: a message will pop up as soon as the Orions have discovered Stellar Cartography, it's not so that it'll appear in the 5th turn every time you play the scenario. I played it three times. The first time, the message came very early, but the second time, it took the Orions ages before they finally discovered Stellar Cartography, I had already wiped out the island of Neutrals near Earth by that time. A important part of the story, are the 'Ion Storm' messages, Ion Storms are detected, and you don't know what they are, until a certain message appears which tells you that the Borg have an effective shield against Ion Storms. The Ion Storms really fly around and hit your ships, very often destroying them. Another thing is that the scenario isn't finished as soon as you have captured Unimatrix 01. A message will appear that the Borg Queen has moved the 'control' to another Unimatrix. So first you make a large scale attack on what you think is the headquarters, but than you realise that the Borg Queen was one step ahead.

The fact that a story is being told makes it just more special, especially for real Star Trek fanatics, like me.

It's very nice if you begin a new era by destroying the first Sphere or Cube.

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