Thursday, October 30, 2014

Operation: Star Fleet Command - Ship Counters and more!

Well I finally have the ship counters, Order of Appearance sheets, and the next version of the rules. Sorry for those of you who have been patiently waiting for a chance to play the game. It is still a work in progress: I don't have the victory conditions finalized, the beginning forces are still not as balanced as I would like, and there are still plenty of many typos in the rules. But they are now available for your enjoyment.

The ships work best if printed on sticker paper and then placed on chipboard or card stock. Each ship sheet has a "patrol" and "raid" side and are laid out in mirror image for ease of application.

The rules have undergone a update. The changes are the result of play testing with my friends and various local game groups. The biggest change is the addition of Task Forces. This has made the game a whole different beast and really changed the strategy. 

So play it and have fun. Feel free to send feedback. 

Federation Ships
Klingon Ships
Romulan Ships
Gorn & Tholian Ships
Condition Markers
Order of Appearance
Quick Reference
Map Board

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Star Fleet Battle Manual 3rd Edition is HERE!

It is finally here! After more years than I would like to think about, and the on-again-off-again battles with Lou, the project is done and available for sale. 
DriveThruRPG Banner
RPGNow Banner WargameVault Banner 728 px wide

Hopefully this release will go well for Lou - he is still terrified of piracy and he won't advertise so I'm not sure how sales will go. Please spread the word!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Star Fleet Battle Manual - Prepare to clear moorings!

It looks like the 3rd edition of the Star Fleet Battle Manual is actually going to happen. I talked to Lou Zocchi this morning to finalize corrections to the rules and make a few changes to the compass cards that he wanted in the original edition. The plan is for the game to be available on by GenCon. I will keep you posted. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Star Fleet Battle Manual Update

Col. Lou Zocchi holding the new 3rd edition of the
Star Fleet Battle Manual

Just got back from Origins. I could only make it down for a short time this year. The test print ofthe 3rd edition of Star Fleet Battle Manual arrived from on Saturday, so I was able to give Lou Zocchi his copy. 

He loves it. Now we wait and see if he will allow it to go forward. It is helping that fans of the game have been stopping at his booth and asking about it. A big thanks to Thomas Tullis of Fat Dragon Games for explaining the benefits of DriveThruRPG.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Star Fleet Battle Manual 3rd Edition - Completed!

Back Cover
These past few months I have been dedicating a lot of time in the hopes of finally finishing the 3rd edition of Star Fleet Battle Manual. And even with my daughter getting married and graduating from college, plus all the usual spring time activities like gardening, lawn works, and cycling; I did it! I sent it off to Lulu last night to have a some sample copies printed for Origins. Hopefully I will have them to give to Lou Zocchi for his perusal and approval. 

Though in all honesty I don't think he will OK it. I designed it with the idea of publishing it as a PDF through sources like DrivethruRPG. So it runs 84 pages, larger type than the older editions, full color photos for ease of explanations, and lots of graphics. Lou now wants to have it printed as only a hard copy to keep it from being pirated (even though the original was pirated as a hard copy), and he wants it cheap. My plan is to hand it to him and let him decide. He asked for my help and since this project has been an act of love for the game and at no cost to him, this is all that I am willing to do. If he doesn't want to publish it I will understand. Who knows, maybe one of my copies might get stolen at a convention and end up on the internet.
Page from the original game.

3rd edition contents

From the 3rd edition
From the 3rd edition

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Operation Star Fleet Command Update - Map Boards

The past few weeks have been busy, but I've had time to do some more play testing on Operation Star Fleet Command. The are still no victory conditions, the fleets are still unbalanced, but I am pretty satisfied with the map board. The map board and the battleboard are now available.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Operation Star Fleet Command

These past few weeks I have not only been working on the Star Fleet Battle Manual 3rd Edition rules (they are coming along nicely), but I have gotten a lot done on my strategic level Star Trek game. I've mentioned it in the past as Federation Space MKII, but I have decided to give it a new name. It is really not an updated Federation Space game; what Federation Space did was to inspire me to make a strategic level game set in the Star Trek universe. The rule system has nothing in common with Federation Space - I use sectors instead of hexes, and the mechanics are heavily influence by Avalon Hill's Victory In the Pacific. The actual universe is a blend of FASA's Star Trek RPG, and from Franz Joseph Designs. The ships come from FASA's Starship Combat Simulator system and fan creations from that game. So if you are looking for an update to Federation Space I am sorry to disappoint you - this isn't the game.

I do not have it ready for playtesting at this point. I am still trying to get the fleets balanced, and I don't even have the victory conditions established. What I do have ready to share are the current rules. So take a look if you are interested. You can find them here.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Star Fleet Command - Federation Space II

Star Fleet Command - Set up turn 1. Map board and Battle board
No, I have not abandoned this project. Over the past few months I have managed to work on this game several times a week. In fact I am at the place that I've created a physical play test copy.

I am pretty happy with the game mechanics. As I said when starting out I planned on using Avalon Hill's Victory In the Pacific/War At Sea games as the base mechanics; patrol and raiding ships; control of sectors, bases, ports. that has worked out pretty well. On a strategic level naval warfare and starship combat are very similar.

One of the major differences is the types of ships. In VIP there are only two types; carriers and regular surface vessels. I wanted a larger variety in my game. So each class has something different about it, but still keeps play simple. For instance destroyers may change the attack allocation of attacking force if they are unengaged - making a little ship a real nuisance. Scouts are able to stop cloaked vessels from moving through controlled sectors or disengaging with out pursuit, and provide an attack bonus to all ships in the sector if the other side doesn't have its own scouts. Fleet Repair Docks can repair a number of repair points between combat rounds, thus making them  a prime target, and proving the importance of destroyers. What I wanted was need to make balanced forces.

Detail of Battle Board: Income/Victory track,
and construction bases, battle area.
I also added an economic component. In VIP forces are determined by the historical events. In Star Fleet Command there is no history so after the first turn (in which ships forces are given), control of sectors and planets are important for income to repair ships and purchase new ones; as well as victory conditions. Plus this gives players a chance to determine their fleet build up.

One thing that players can purchase (except the Federation) are Orion pirate raids. These work like subs in VIP, but more of them. They allow Klingon and Romulan forces to attack deep within Federation space, and can really mess up the economy.  The Federation can of course occupy Regulus to stop the pirate, but that keeps Regulus from providing income.

The game is designed for two or three (up to five is possible) with the Klingon and Romulan player(s) versus the Federation. The Gorn and Tholian can be played by a forth and fifth player, but they are really designed to work targets for the Klingon and Romulan sides. The Federation player runs them, but they can't move beyond their borders until invaded by the Klingons or Romulans. Which has always happened for the "easy" economic boost. Of course once that happens the chance for Federation intervention increases - allowing the Federation player to take full control of the Gorn and/or Tholian forces, providing economic aid, and moving Federation ships through their space.
Battle in progress - Klingons VS Tholians/

Another aspect of the game I wanted to achieve was the feel of Star Trek TOS. I didn't want this to become a total war game. There is a feel to the Federation, and to the Klingons and Romulans also, that keeps total war from happening (besides the Organians.) So the Federation cannot enter Klingon or Romulan space unless certain conditions are met. Basically, as long as a limited number of raids are made in Federation space along the Neutral Zone then the Federation player can only push the invaders back to the Neutral Zone. Sherman's Planet, Eden, and the Triangle become hot spots early in the game since these are areas that provide income and victory points without causing a full out war. Of course the Klingon and Romulans don't usually stay content with raids along the Neutral Zone - they can't win that way anyway.

Right now I am working on balancing the force for each side. The Federation has been having a lot of problems controlling its space. The different types of ships have been working well, as have planetary invasions and raids. I just need to get the number of ships correct at this point.