Saturday, July 1, 2017

Star Fleet Battles: The General War

A few times a year, I manage to get together with an old friend from my original gaming group and play a game.  During a visit a month ago, we were playing a game of Star Fleet Battles as we had been doing with more frequency in recent visits, and he suggested that we should set up a campaign, rather than just play one off scenarios. It took about a second and a half to talk me into it, and I suggested that we play The General War again.

The General War is a galactic conflict involving all of the major races from the Star Fleet Battles version of the Star Trek universe.  It lasts 18 years, starting in the game timeline of Y168 and ending in Y185 (were "Y" stands for "Year", I don't remember what the corresponding years in "AD" terms is).

We played The General War more than 30 years ago, using our own set of campaign rules and elements of the board game Federation Space.  In that iteration of the war, we had a different player for each race, with the result being that the Klingon Empire fell in the minimum number of turns. 

The fatal blow came at the hands of Kzintis, who built a huge task force with most of their fleet, and bull-rushed the Klingon capitol.  From my perspective as the Romulan player, it was a tremendous letdown, as I was having success along the Federation border, and had a monumental game against the Gorns, where I lost a starbase, but broke the Gorn fleet, which tried a similar tactic as the Kzintis.  In the case of the Gorn, the cost of the taking the starbase was about 35 ships lost. Ahhh, the good old days.

Anyway, back to the present.  So we are going to try it again, this time with only two players.  In this version of the war, we will be using elements of the 2000 version of Federation and Empire for the campaign system.  As last time, we will be using our own campaign system, which we will finish re-creating over the holiday weekend.


Though I've been working on miniatures for SFB over the last year, I expect that the majority of our games will be played using cardboard counters.  Last time that we played, we had a 4' x 8' table covered in hex shaped tiles, this time we will be doing away with hexes, as we realized some years ago, that we just don't really need them to play.  Movement and ranging will be done using inches, instead of the traditional hexes. 

For the battles, mostly we will be using ships and rules from the original boxed version of SFB and the three expansions, with a smattering of newer rules and ships from the Commander's edition rulebooks, Captain's Logs, etc.  To speed up games, we will not be using ECM and ECCM.  Once we have everything set up, we will roll a die to decide which side each of us plays.

I'm not sure if I will post after action reports about each battle, as I find AARs about board games to be infinitely less appealing than for miniatures games, but I will post here about the general progress of the campaign in some form.

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