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Old July 15 2013, 10:11 PM   #1
Nerroth
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Star Fleet Universe

There was a SFU-related thread posted up a few years ago, but I figured it would be better to try and start a new one rather than try to perform an act of thread necromancy on the old one.


Is there anyone here who has an interest in the Star Fleet Universe, as run by Amarillo Design Bureau?

Be it in the tabletop starship combat games like Star Fleet Battles or Federation Commander (or the "joint venture" games like the SFU edition of Starmada, or A Call to Arms: Star Fleet), the Prime Directive RPG, the strategic level of Federation and Empire, or one of the other game systems, are there any of the above which you are involved in?

Or, from a purely background perspective, have any of you looked out for some of the fiction set in-universe (as published in various issues of Captain's Log), or the kind of world-building data seen in the varioue empire sourcebooks for PD?

Or in terms of miniatures, collect the older Starline 2400 line, and/or the newer Starline 2500s being co-developed with Mongoose Publishing?


For my part, I'm pretty heavily invested in the SFU as a setting, and have been fortunate enough to have a number of different articles published by ADB. (I don't work for them, though, just to be clear.)

Personally, while I appreciate the appeal of the "TV Empires" (Klingons, Romulans, and suchlike), I find many of the more home-grown species and settings to be the most compelling, in that they can go in directions that aren't tied up with the kind of inherent restictions that those factions derived from ADB's somewhat arcane licence have to deal with.

(A few of these "home-grown" empires have shown up in other works, such as the Lyrans, Hydrans, and ISC in the first two-and-a-half Starfleet Command PC games from Taldren. Although, the version of the Inter-Stellar Concordium in SFC2 is not quite the same as the original one in the SFU proper.)


Also, I wanted to show my most recent attempt at working on a 2500-series miniature; in this case, a Romulan FastHawk I dubbed the RIS Ęstus Estus.



(In the SFU, the Romulan Hawk-series ships are their third generation of hull types, after the "Eagle" series they built originally, and the "Kestrel" series they acquired from the Klingons. The FastHawk is a "fast cruiser" variant of the FireHawk Heavy Cruiser, which has a more "swept-back" design and an increased operational top speed, but which sacrifices some of its plasma torpedo armament in the process.)
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Old July 29 2013, 11:42 PM   #2
Sgt_G
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

To expound upon what Nerroth said, Star Fleet Universe is the umbrella under which the board games Star Fleet Battles (SFB) and Federation Commander reside, as well as the role-play game Prime Directive (now ported to the GURPS and D20 game engines). Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB) is always looking for talented people to write fiction stories or create art work that fit into the SFU setting. Right now, they are in need of people that can create deck plans for starships, to be published in Prime Directive - Traveller (co-venture with Mongoose Publishing).

SFU is based on classic Trek (ST:TOS / ST:TAS), but set in a parallel universe. There are no Borg, Ferengi, or Cardassians (and hopefully no Kardashians, either), and Klingons don't have bumpy-heads. However, due to license agreements, the "Big-E" is never used anywhere save for a single line-item in the master ship's registry that lists all the ships by name and hull numbers.

Fair warning: Any fiction story must not conflict with previously published information. If Captain Romeo Rodriguez died in a story set in Year-165, you can't have him saving the day in Year-170. Any combat story (which is what most SFU fiction stories are about) absolutely 100% MUST fit with every line-item in the rulebook. You can't use a tractor beam to stop a photon torpedo, for example, because the rulebook doesn't allow that. Any combat results must be realistic within the game's rules (i.e., photon torpedoes can and often do miss the target), and the tactical decisions must make sense. "Let's ignore our orders and take a short-cut thru this nebula that will block our comms and limit our sensors." Yeah, real smart. ADB is run by a couple ex-military guys, and they will reject such plot-lines. (Too bad they can't review Hollywood scripts before shooting begins.) Likewise with art work, especially deck plans. You can't just add six more phasers to the ship because "they look good".

Disclaimer: Neither Norreth nor I work for or speak for ADB. We're just long-time players who would love to see more players join the hobby.

Last edited by Sgt_G; July 29 2013 at 11:56 PM.
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Old August 1 2013, 11:30 PM   #3
Nerroth
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

If you wanted to get a sense of what kind of fiction exists in the SFU already, there are a couple of options.

One is to have a look for this file (which is now also available on e23), which collects five Klingon-themed fiction works in a single volume.

Another is to keep an eye out for Away Team Log, which will a collect a selection of fiction stories and background articles from the last dozen or so issues of the biannual Captain's Log magazine and make them available in a single volume. ATL will be made available electronically, but it's not clear yet if a print edition will be made available also.

It should be noted that the works compiled for ATL are primarily aimed at covering the "TV empires". There is a significant amount of material in print for many of the "native" SFU factions; but if any of those were to be sieved out of the CL pile, they might (or might not) appear in the planned Final Frontier magazine series instead.
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Old August 6 2013, 11:10 PM   #4
Captain Nebula
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

I've had a copy of Star Fleet Battles Commander's Edition since I found one at a garage sale for about $1. Very cool. I've always wanted to play it, but never knew anyone that did. Now I've bought a copy of Federation Commander and really want to play that. I'm keeping an eye out at my local game store to see if anyone plays. Mostly I see Magic and D&D there, but they do have an X-Wing league and the new Star Trek Attack Wing is based on that system, so I'm hoping it will spark some interesting Star Trek mini-gaming. I've thought about putting together a game with scenarios for teaching a beginner how to play, but since I myself never have played...
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Old August 7 2013, 05:36 PM   #5
Mysterion
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

Not a fan of the overall "take" that Amarillo has on the Trek universe, but I do like the concept of the Prime Teams from the Prime Directive RPG. Having a designated team of personnel for first contacts and suh just seems to make sense.
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Old August 7 2013, 09:11 PM   #6
Nerroth
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

Looks like ATL is nearing completion; a look at the cover art (spliced from a couple of pre-existing art works) has just gone up.

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
I've had a copy of Star Fleet Battles Commander's Edition since I found one at a garage sale for about $1. Very cool. I've always wanted to play it, but never knew anyone that did. Now I've bought a copy of Federation Commander and really want to play that. I'm keeping an eye out at my local game store to see if anyone plays. Mostly I see Magic and D&D there, but they do have an X-Wing league and the new Star Trek Attack Wing is based on that system, so I'm hoping it will spark some interesting Star Trek mini-gaming. I've thought about putting together a game with scenarios for teaching a beginner how to play, but since I myself never have played...
There's a Starlist page on the ADB website, where you can enter info and get a list on who may be in your area.

(Or, if you didn't want to go that route, there may be someone on the ADB BBS, the FC forum, or the Mongoose boards who could help instead.)

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Not a fan of the overall "take" that Amarillo has on the Trek universe, but I do like the concept of the Prime Teams from the Prime Directive RPG. Having a designated team of personnel for first contacts and suh just seems to make sense.
The original version of Prime Directive was all about playing as a Prime Team, and was slow to open up other options. The more recent editions of PD, however, offer much more flexibility in terms of what kind of careers and personalities one might want to generate and play as.

Is there anything in particular about the SFU take on things that puts you off?
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Old August 8 2013, 03:27 AM   #7
Captain Nebula
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

Nerroth wrote: View Post
There's a Starlist page on the ADB website, where you can enter info and get a list on who may be in your area.

(Or, if you didn't want to go that route, there may be someone on the ADB BBS, the FC forum, or the Mongoose boards who could help instead.)
Excellent! Thank you!
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Old August 24 2013, 08:22 PM   #8
galad2003
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

I played SFB somewhere like 15 or 20 years ago and I enjoyed it although I am sure I played it wrong.

I stopped (all) gaming for years but I have gotten back in a few 3 years ago. I would love to start playing SFB again or even learn one of the newer games but the game looks dead. If anyone would want to help me get back into the game universe and play a game of SFB, FC or the Gurps game online drop me a message.

On the one in a million chance someone reads this in the Raleigh-Durham are and wants to do a live game that would be really cool.
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Old August 25 2013, 07:50 AM   #9
Sgt_G
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Re: Star Fleet Universe

Galad, SFB is hardly dead. There's even an on-line version; it plays just like face-to-face, except your opponent can't hear you laugh gleefully when you hit with four overloaded photon torpedoes, nor can you hear him cry. FedCmdr is kind of an SFB-lite game, and has a huge following. Pop over to starfleetgames.com and check it out.
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