Star Fleet Battles



  • Anyone play SFB?  Started playing back in 1986 (same year I started A&A).  I started with Commanders rules and then advanced to the Captain’s edition.  I’ve even played in a few tournaments on SFBOL over the years.

    Anyone else?



  • No one plays SFB?  Either FTF or SFBOL?


  • 2017 '16 '15

    Any links? I’m usually up for new (to me) games



  • http://starfleetgames.com/

    Starfleet Battles started in 1979.  To say it’s an in-depth game would be an understatement.  It isn’t difficult to play but the rule book is 224 pages long…and that’s the basic game.  It is based on TOS (the original series) of star trek and has vastly expanded upon it.  The advanced game (Advanced Missions) adds quite a bit more to the game and then there are a plethora of modules that add empires, ships, weapons systems etc to the game.

    I’d suggest starting with the basic set which contains, IIRC, the Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Tholians, Orions and the Kzinti.  Basic will have a small number of ships for each to try out such as heavy cruisers, light cruisers and frigates.  If you like it then the next step is Advanced and modules C1-C3 which add Lyran, Gorn, Hydran, ISC and WYN.  But there are many more empires including Carnivon, Paravian, Peladine, Borak, Nicozian and that’s just the Alpha Octant.  There is also the Omega Octant which has multiple empires.  Each has a different type of ship and different weapons systems.

    There is a LOT of tactics in this game and a lot of subtle nuances.  It is NOT fast paced for the most part, although that’s not to suggest it drags along.  What I’m saying is that the more experienced you get the more things you’ll find you can do with your ship.  There’s been 36 years of tactics developed by the players such as the Kaufman retrograde, Mizia effect, saber dancing, knife fighting, hack-n-slash, plasma ballet, Gorn anchor and one I developed called the Carnivon b!tch slap.

    There are national tournaments (I reached the finals in a couple of them).  Biggest drawbacks are that the owning company is small by comparison to companies like WOTC and such.  If you walk into a game/hobby shop they’re very likely to know what Axis and Allies is but look at you like you have a third eye if you ask for SFB.  And the games heyday has come and gone since the early 2000’s.  Back in it’s heyday it was one of, if not the biggest draw at places like Origins.  And they still do Council of Five Nations every year.

    If you get into it and have any questions let me know.  I have almost all the material they’ve put out over the years which means I have all the empires and ships from Stellar Domination Ships down to fighters and everything inbetween.   A&A and SFB are my two favorite strategy/tactics games. 
    🙂



  • I played it a LOT from ~1985-1992. and even won their Gold Hat World Championship in 1991. Loved the game, but it’s a beast that is hard to find local people to play. I keep up with their latest release but no longer play.


  • '12

    I played SFB in the 80s, still have all my rule books and SSD sheets I believe they were called.  It was a fun game but it at times became a war of rules with game play stopped because somebody was using something in expansion pack 3 that you were not aware of and forgot to establish ground rules for what expansion packs were used.

    I had the same experience with AD&D.  There were people who wanted to play the game, and others who sought advantage in esoteric rules.


  • 2017 '16 '15

    Thanks SEP. I assume this is a boardgame only? No online version?



  • @P-Unit:

    I played it a LOT from ~1985-1992. and even won their Gold Hat World Championship in 1991. Loved the game, but it’s a beast that is hard to find local people to play. I keep up with their latest release but no longer play.

    Very cool!  The Gold Hat is quite an achievement, IIRC you won in the RFH?



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    I played SFB in the 80s, still have all my rule books and SSD sheets I believe they were called.  It was a fun game but it at times became a war of rules with game play stopped because somebody was using something in expansion pack 3 that you were not aware of and forgot to establish ground rules for what expansion packs were used.

    I had the same experience with AD&D.  There were people who wanted to play the game, and others who sought advantage in esoteric rules.

    Everything is the Captain’s game now.  Commander’s edition ceased I guess in the early 90’s give-or-take.  It helped streamline the rules but it neutered the Andromedans in the process.  The Omega sector was added but I’m not sure how much play it actually gets these days.  Doubtful if it will ever be expanded on as the hard drive containing all the data on it crashed so most of the expansion material died with it.  They’re talking about X2 next year…but then they’ve been talking about X2 for the last 30 years.  :roll:



  • @barney:

    Thanks SEP. I assume this is a boardgame only? No online version?

    No, there is also an online version (sfbonline.com I think).  Been about 5 years since I’ve played a game on it.  In fact, the last game I played was the last game of the 2010 World League finals.  It is just like the board game, just on the screen.  There isn’t a large amount of people on it generally, but it does get used particularly during tournaments.  They do the ‘Platinum Hat’ on SFB Online these days.  And there are quarterly ‘Netkill’ games which are quarterly tournaments.  If it’s still the same, you can play either the Fed or Klingon for free.  For a subscription it used to be $5 a month, may still be that.  For the paid subscription you get the full use of all the ships.  In the tournaments there are 18 sanctions ships and 8 non-sanctioned and in playtest (and have been for years).  In regular SFB there are literally hundreds of ships.



  • BTW, if anyone wants to see several customized SSD’s:

    http://sfb.swa-gaming.org/forum/71

    Additionally, our FTF group uses a vastly expanded Alpha Octant map.  In addition to the normal Feds, Klingons, Romulans, Kzinti, Gorn, Lyran, Hydran, Wyn, Tholian and ISC powers, we’ve also added Seltorian, Carnivon, Paravian (which are in one of the newest modules as actual alternate time line powers), Nicozian, Argonian, Borak, Peladine, Maesron, Kolghar, Hiver and Vari and Frax as an actual power.  If anyone wants a copy of the new map let me know and I’ll email you a copy.



  • @SEP:

    @P-Unit:

    I played it a LOT from ~1985-1992. and even won their Gold Hat World Championship in 1991. Loved the game, but it’s a beast that is hard to find local people to play. I keep up with their latest release but no longer play.

    Very cool!  The Gold Hat is quite an achievement, IIRC you won in the RFH?

    I did, I’m a Romulon forever!



  • @P-Unit:

    I did, I’m a Romulon forever!

    🙂

    I’ve always been partial to the Klinks and Lyrans.  Though lately I’ve been getting into the Seltorians.  We’ve had to HR them just a bit though as the really nerfed the Particle Cannons too much.  The one revision helped a bit, but just not enough to make it a truly viable heavy weapon.

    Particle Cannon = all the fire power of a disruptor and hits with all the accuracy of a photon on a range break that is the worst in the game.  😄

    Here is the official IKVAvenger HR modifications to the Seltorian Particle Cannon:

    Impulse delay reduced to 8-impulses. 1 refit point.

    No-hold caps. 1 refit point.

    Combined-fire shot. Requires full capacitor + 1 point of battery power applied at the moment of firing. R8 maximum range. 32-impulse cool down period. 1 refit point.

    This way no chart is changed on the SSD.  Damage stays the same and the unique flavor of the weapon remains intact.  But it isn’t neutered to the point of being dismal.


  • 2017 '16

    I played SFB extensively back in the 1980s… I was very big into it… but, like A&A it’s been 30 years since I last played… not sure if its up in my attic with my other 30 year old games, and I don’t know who I’d play with… is SFB still in print 30 years later?



  • @Wolfshanze:

    I played SFB extensively back in the 1980s… I was very big into it… but, like A&A it’s been 30 years since I last played… not sure if its up in my attic with my other 30 year old games, and I don’t know who I’d play with… is SFB still in print 30 years later?

    Yes it is still in print and has been expanded on greatly.  It’s heyday is over as far as total numbers of people playing though.  But they’ve expanded into the Omega sector and a couple of other galaxies (one canon and one playtest).  Still a great game though.  If you haven’t played since the 80’s you’ve still got the Commander’s edition.  It is now the Captain’s or Doomsday edition.  A lot is the same with the errata now incorporated but some stuff has changed.  Andros were revamped as an example.  X ships were revamped from supplement #2 and so forth.  There are a lot more races/empires than back in the 80’s.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I like Federation Space. The only version that allows command of entire fleets and empires with 12 pages of rules.


  • 2017 '16

    I played this game extensively in the 80s with my friends and we used miniatures… I’m sure my collection is up in the attic collecting dust.

    Some things are best left as fond memories.


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