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Creating “Star Trek Catan – Federation Space”

July 1, 2013
Gero Zahn


After Star Trek Catan was so well received, and as many of you asked us to take this joint venture of the two franchises Catan and Star Trek even further towards the “Final Frontier,” we thought long and hard about what kind of game expansion you would enjoy.

As we knew that a lot of players liked our Catan Geographies maps so much, which take the whole Settlers of Catan experience towards a real map to put settlements in, we thought: Let us take Star Trek Catan into a “real” region of space to put our little NCC-1701 spaceships in.

The crucial question was: Is there a region of space sufficiently “real” inside the Star Trek – The Original Series time period? After a bit of research, we discovered this wonderful map titled “The Explored Galaxy” over at the Memory Alpha wiki. As it turned out, this was “as real as it could get,” as it had been first shown hanging on a wall in none other than Captain James T. Kirk’s quarters in the Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country motion picture (and subsequently in various episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation).

 The Explored Galaxy

Every true Star Trek fan knows that this particular map depicts a lot of the known and beloved locations shown in The Original Series of the 60s, and some of those from The Animated Series of the 70s. We took great effort to investigate and cross-reference all these depicted celestial bodies with their respective episodes. We then added a couple of planets that were not actually shown on this map but that we would really want to have in our game, and tried to pinpoint their locations according to mostly in-canon and sometimes semi-canon sources. For example, we were convinced that we absolutely needed Sherman’s Planet together with Deep Space Station K-7—we certainly couldn’t have done this without tribbles, could we? There are seven additional planets, which we will reveal in more detail in a second blog post in a few weeks from now. We will also discuss our deliberations as to where we chose to put them on our map.


The next step was to overlay the star chart with a hexagonal grid to create a Catan board. Like with our regular Catan Geographies maps, this required making a few compromises about the true real-world locations or, in this case, fictional space topography versus suitable Catan building spots. Almost immediately it became obvious that one regular sized Catan map would not be nearly big enough – so we decided to split the map in half and create two maps instead of just one. We honestly believe that the compromises we made were acceptable expenses for having all those famous planets and systems from “The Explored Galaxy” map on our two Star Trek Catan: Federation Space maps.

 Map 1 & 2


We now present you what James Tiberius Kirk himself voices over the intro of the Star Trek TV show: “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.”

Gero Zahn — March 28, 2013

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Can you tell us more about the new scoring system to be used? Also could you tell us more about the new point tokens (new ways to score)? Thank you
Gero Zahn
@Sci_Fi The scoring system is unchanged: Building an outpost will give you one VP, upgrading an outpost to a Starbase will give you a second VP. The additional VP tokens are placed on the map, just like in our Regional Editions / Geographies maps: The first player to build a starship adjacent to a VP token takes that VP token and places it in front of themselves. VP tokens are worth 1 VP each.
Will we get a chance to see the new scoring tokens & tracks before release? Thanks
Gero Zahn
@Sci_Fi We will in time provide the game manual as a free PDF download, so this should cover pretty much any question that you might have now. However, I don't fully understand what you mean with “scoring tokens & tracks”: The VP chips are tiny round cardboard chits with a Star Trek Catan cover on them. But what do you mean by “tracks”?
In the materials included with these maps in the Federation Maps these materials also include: 4 individual scoring tracks—1 for each player. (Tracks) 4 sets of scoring markers—2 for each player. (Tokens) Hence, Tracks and Tokens (Markers).
Gero Zahn
@Sci_Fi Oops. Sorry for that, I didn't see the wood for the trees (no Catan pun intended). — I am sorry, there's no image material that I am at liberty to show you right now, but you will see it in time in the PDF download. — For now, please have a look at this Ebay article instead (we are not affiliated with the merchant): These VP counters were given away as promotional items last year, and we decided to put them into the box. As these counters only go up to 10, but as you might want to play longer games, we added a second token per player, displaying “11” in the corresponding alien numerals.
Any word on a release date, or estimated price?
I want an expansion to make the 4 player game into a 604-8 player game
Gero Zahn
@Denes It will be available for the first time during GenCon Indy next month.
Gero Zahn
@Sarah I'm sorry, but a 5-6 player expansion is currently not in the pipeline.
I really wish you would have re-themed The Starfarers of Catan with the Star Trek motif. I think you would have had just as much success with the game, and I think the game play would have been more closely aligned to the exploration in the Federation's charter. Starfarers is still my favorite Catan game of all.
Very Exciting. Some ideas that might make it more marketable (Though I would buy it even if you did not follow any of my ideas). 1. MEh, idea's are a dalloer a dozen, just make sure to advertize it to the right communities and forums. Star Trek Online, memory-alpha web site, talk to paramont T.V about advertising with reruns of Star Trek. Best to advertising to the public as a whole as the gaming community dirrectly as narrow spectrem. Good luck! And thanks!
Gero Zahn
@Dredry We described in some other blog post why we chose “Star Trek Catan” to be a “themed base game +” and not a fully fledged scenario: The reason is to provide those Star Trek Fans who haven't been fans of boardgames in general or Catan in special an easier entry into this “strange new world” – and, obviously, as well vice versa. But as you see from the release of “Federation Space”: Additional Star Trek Catan games are not totally impossible, as long as people are interested in playing them.
Gero Zahn
@Daniel Thank you for your suggestions. I am positive that a lot of this has already been taken care of for the near future after the release of this expansion, but I'll definitely pass your comment over to the marketing guys, just to make sure.
How big will the boards be?
Gero Zahn
@Bigeeh Both map A and map B consist of 2x2 laminated panels each. So after unfolding one of the maps, it will be sized 22x22 inches, or 56x56 cm. (As a comparison: If you know “The Settlers of America”, that's a 2x3 panel map.) The printed hexagonal space tiles on the maps have the same size as if you would assemble them from the base game tiles.
So the maps are a folded piece of paper and not a board?
Gero Zahn
@Mel No, the maps are printed on laminated cardboard panels, similar to “Settlers of America”, “Starfarers”, etc. In contrast to the Catan Geographies maps, which are basically folded posters, the two Star Trek Catan: Federation Space maps are really 2x2 panel game boards. Sorry if “folding out” might have been misleading, it's more like “swinging out”.
I'm looking forward to this expansion, but I would have been a lot more excited if it was designed to include a 5-6 player expansion. Feeling a little bummed that you replied to someone that that's "not in the pipeline."
So you need to own the original in addition to use this expansion?
Gero Zahn
@John Sorry – we decided that we actually wanted to add more “flesh to the bone”, more content to the Star Trek / Catan crossover. We couldn't do both (for various reasons, mostly license-wise), so unfortunately, the chances for a 5-6 player extension are slim to non-existent. — If you go to all lengths to buy a second copy of the board-game and spray-paint two sets of pieces in different colors, you will have everything you need to play with 6 players, including enough development cards and resource cards. The expansion has been tested with 6 players, although it's not in the manual and you'll have to figure out yourself how exactly to do this. Sorry, unfortunately I can't tell you anything else besides this.
Gero Zahn
@Thomas Yes, you will need the Star Trek Catan Base Game. In fact you will need everything out of that box except the hex tiles and the number tokens to play “Star Trek Catan – Federation Space”.
Do you sell extra miniature pieces for the expansion maps set?
Gero Zahn
@Rory Not to my knowledge, but I'll check back with Mayfair Games. It can't harm if you'd contact them as well via
Where do each players begin on the two map expansion pack?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Ryan: The rules for the two map expansion pack for placing the starting outposts are the same as the Starting Set-up for Experienced Players with the base game.