Thursday, 22 September 2022

In the Cards...of Fluxx

Fluxx has been a game that's kept giving (Star Trek) editions for some time.

Adding to the TOS, TNG, DS9 and VGR sets there was also the Bridge expansion which allowed the Kirk and Picard sets to be linked into a 20 card deck.

But what about the other two packs? Surely Sisko and Janeway want to get in on the action? Adding a special Ezri Dax card was a nice touch for the DS9 set but we want MORE!

As I've started getting back into playing a few rounds, the DS9 and VGR packs have become more of a go-to. The first two packs are great but we've taken to the characters and combos a little more. Of course this means we can't be far off an Enterprise pack?

Well no. Instead of a fifth installment of this great card game, Looney Labs have chosen a slightly different path. Choosing to tie in two expansions, Archer and Porthos, Fluxx now has even more endless possibilities for us to explore.

These two packs add in new Goals and Keepers which allow for the DS9 and VGR packs to be fully integrated into a 400+ deck that includes everything Star Trek that's come before. It's been a new lease of life for the game where the only options were to combine the TOS and TNG packs or play the later two as their own individual games but now the options are endless and there's the chance to combine between two and four packs and not all the time either.

But enough of the advert(!), it's just a damn fine game that deserved an ENT tie-in piece. The major issue might be though that there's only Archer and Phlox included from a crew perspective so don't be expecting T'Pol, Reed, Tucker or even the NX-01 (big shame) in either set.

The Archer pack contains several new elements to the game alongside new nine goals to draw the whole range of packs together. This set includes three new Keepers in the form of Archer himself, time traveller Daniels and from TOS’ All Our Yesterdays the Atavachron. New Creepers include Temporal Rift and The Xindi to add to the list of no-gooders to ruin your hand. There’s a new Surprise in Department of Temporal Investigations and a Meta Rule which allows multiple goals as long as they are from different packs, to be used at the same time.

The Porthos expansion sort of continues the Enterprise theme with the eponymous canine appearing alongside Dr Phlox but we also see the inclusion of Data’s cat Spot as a keeper as well as Romulan Ale and Klingon Kor. The additional eight goals (Errand of Mercy goal was in my pack twice?) tie in each of the main packs with multiple characters being brought in to win the game. One New Rule also appears which allows all players to draw and play an additional card if Star Trek is on the TV. The final card included is an Action which lets you draw an extra card if you leave the room during the game and return almost as if nothing has happened. 

These additions do bring that extra spark to the proceedings and give Fluxx another new spin. With all the options and alternatives that between one and four main packs can provide this has meant that game length can be incredibly varied and no two games are even slightly similar. 

What is quite overwhelming is the volume of goals now. These two packs alone provide 16 new possible winning formulas. The challenge is that to take full advantage you would need to combine all four packs every time. That’s 400 cards and for that I’d say you’re only going to want to play with at least four players otherwise it’ll take days to complete. Ultimately only worth it if you're ever going to combine packs and more so if you're going to be using all four base editions. 

Played Fluxx or any of the sequel packs? What did you think?

All our other Fluxx reviews can be found through THIS LINK

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