28 December 2017

To Boldly Go ... To Where I've Gone Before ....

Long, long ago .... as a teenager I happily played ABDs 'Starfleet Battles' with my friends. 

It was one of those games that started it's life off in a single ziplock bag and was a lot of fun to play, eventually there was an expansion also in a ziplock bag and then a 'Commander's Edition' that left the ziplock behind and came in a nice box. After that it really took off, new editions, tons of errata and copious expansions. It's still there, in production, with a loyal customer base.

As I understand it, the ADB got their license agreement before franchises were a thing, and as long as they stay with the bounds of their 'Starfleet Universe' loosely based on the original and animated series they can continue to produce and publish games.

In about 2005 ABD published 'Federation Commander' and while this wasn't attempt to reinvent the wheel, it certainly refined it. There was a lot of rationalisation, dropping concepts or rules  and streamlining the game. For instance a SFB turn was made of up 32 sub-turns or impulses. Federation Commander uses a turn of eight impulses, ok, the movement step is divided into four sub-impluses but that actually works. Plasma torpedoes still zip along at speed 32 and ships are able to accelerate or decelerate their base speed (by spending energy) to manuoeuvre for position against their enemy before you fire weapons, activate tractors or launch a shuttle.

I brought one of the 'core sets', Klingon Border' and a few of the expansions a few years ago and occasionally have brought it out to play. It hits that nostalgic sweet spot, for me was where I first started with the commander's edition, before the expansion bloat set in (an expansion devoted to 'national guard' and coast guard fleets. Seriously?!).

Anyhow Lachlan and I have dug it out once more for a few games. We were looking for something that we could play that didn't require either of us having to acquire and paint up a new batch of miniatures. Mind you Lachlan soon pulled out my small collection of Star Fleet Battles miniatures and started dropping hints, which I have politely ignored.

We had a few games and started a small campaign, already Lachlan has fought a couple battles subjugating a disagreeable neighbour. We're keeping a campaign dairy once we progressed enough in the campaign I'll post sections to the blog.


Gonsalvo said...

Sounds like fun, Derek!

Derek Fulton said...

Thanks, having fun is the main aim ;)