Sunday, October 4, 2015

Revisiting an Old Friend: Star Fleet Battles in Miniature

I received a copy of Star Fleet Battles for Christmas in 1982, played my first game, a fight between a Constitution class heavy cruiser and a Klingon D7, that evening, and a few days later met my now long time friend Craig, who I would battle many hundreds of times in the Star Fleet universe.

SFB became one of the corner stones of the old gaming group, and we would eventually master the game, such that playing 15-30 ships per player with all associated fighters and pseudo-fighters was not a problem.  Only two of us in the old group really went for the Starline 2200 miniatures, and as a result, we only played a few very small battles with miniatures.

SFB was at its peak in our group with the boxed version and the three small expansion sets, it lost some luster with the Captain's edition rulebooks, and went to the back burner as the group members slowly went off in search of education, employment, families, etc.

I've never completely gotten away from SFB, playing the odd game every few years or so, and the occasional game with one of the old group members, usually Craig. 

Over the years, Craig and I had always both intended to pursue SFB in miniature, but it just never came about.  The 120 miles between us, and the interruptions of family and job always pushed SFB back a little longer. A few years ago, I decided to slowly pursue rekindling the SFB miniatures idea on my own.

I went to Origins that year, discovered ADB in the dealers room, and picked up a few packs of ships, I had intended to pick up some Zocchi Starships as well (I had always seen him there in prior years), but could not find him that year.  The rekindling was slowed a little, but didn't die. I  painted a few of the ships, and then they waited in limbo on my paint table for the next step.

The four new ships (Kzinti and Klingon) after
 collecting dust for a couple of years.

I sorted through the rules, and decided to go back to the old boxed version and expansions, chased down the SSDs, and played a couple of games.  In time I found my old miniatures, and started working on a couple of them with expectations of SFB being a Christmas holiday project a couple of years back.  Then we had the basement flood, and SFB went into stasis again.

Well, I waited long enough.  I recently pulled out the old bin of badly abused starships and cried for a little bit.  I don't remember why they ended up in the bin; it was a long time ago. But binned they were.

They are now sorted, and on my table awaiting what will be a slow process of refitting for service.

Everything but the Feds.  Bits from three of the FASA ships are located
at the bottom of the second column.  the rest are from Task Force Games
or The Amarillo Design Bureau.
...and the Feds.  All TFG/ADB models except for the
Larson class destroyer from FASA, second from the
 bottom in the first column.
A few models are from FASA ships, but most are the SFB miniatures. I will probably use the Larson class destroyer for the Feds, and if I find the other parts, the Reliant will be an NCL.  The Bird of prey is just too large a model (should I find the missing bits), and the other Klingon cruiser just doesn't fit in.  I think all of the ships are recoverable, except for one of the Romulan F5s, and the one of the Kzinti cruisers. 

I also just discovered that the local hobby shop deals with the distributor for ADB, so I plan to order the occasional pack of ships from them.  My hope is to build up enough ships to game smaller battles in miniature (maybe up to 25 ships), and do larger battles with counters.  In time, maybe next year, I want to do the (1st) general war again.


  1. That'll keep you busy for a bit. Thanks for sharing.

  2. SFB, I was into that back in the early 1980's. My fav ship: Klingon E-3X! Although some say it didn't exist...