Monday, May 14, 2012

Boldly Going There. Again.

Above: The contents of "Star Fleet Heavy Cruiser 10504" produced by GAMESCIENCE - still in production!  

May the 4th came and went, and I felt compelled to post something to do with the stars. And wars. And spaceships. And having wars amongst the stars with spaceships. Couldn’t think of anything, though. Yep. Would have been cool. Ah, well. Here are some other things, then. 

Let’s start off with a big “thanks” to all the folks who stopped by and looked around for over 15K worth of pageviews – most of them looking at the Starship Size Comparison post

Next, I want to give a long overdue “thank you” to Star Ranger for placing Sunder the Stars on the Web Games Page of one of my favorite websites: Starship Combat News.

With the advent of Mongoose Publishing’s A Call to Arms: Star Fleet and WizKid's Star Trek Fleet Captains, and, of course, Majestic Twelve Games’ Starmada, the urge to dust off and rebuild my Star Fleet Battles Federation force (most of which was sold off some 20 years ago) was had. I've always been a Star Trek fan, and SFB was the first starship combat game in the collection. The old paint jobs did not fare well, so the ships would have to be stripped and repainted, as well as mounted upon the currently preferred bases. Despite the availability of newer and larger ships, the original series designs won out for nostalgic reasons and the fact that they could be obtained affordably on secondary markets. 

The original Lou Zocchi starship miniatures – like the one pictured at top - were based on the art from the Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual which fired many imaginations all those decades ago. Welcome to life before George Lucas, kids. The Amarillo Design Bureau still has a well supported line of figures to flesh out the fleet beyond the classic scout, destroyer, heavy cruiser, dreadnought, and tug with cargo pods. Even decals were obtained to streamline detailing. Nothing painted yet, but photos of the ships shall be posted as they are completed. 

And on the subject of Star Trek: here are a few entertaining fan sites that, for some odd reason, are without any miniature wargaming content. (Yes, I know: what were they thinking?) 

Boldly Gone A Star Trek - The Original Series webcomic. Follow the crew's adventures of the U.S.S.Mandela, a Kennedy-class diplomatic vessel that looks suspiciously like a fancy tug.

Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes Based on the original Star Trek animated series, the animated episodes will have the same look and feel that you loved and enjoyed in the 70's, but are being created using 21st century technology. They also have live-action adventures.

And a shout out to Adam at Barking Alien who ran the only Star Trek pencil & paper RPG that mattered to our crew of Starfleet “originals”. I always got to play the token alien on the bridge. Missing ya, man.

Then, finally, there is... 

Sunder the Stars: The Confederation of Friendly Peoples!

In completely unrelated news, the 6th set of fleet sheets for Sunder the Stars is available for download. Naturally, you can use any ships you wish with StS, and this has absolutely nothing to do with anything posted above. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero. 

If you have any entertaining Star Trek fan sites, please post a brief description and a link below!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Image is by Winchell Chung from page 3 of the Third Edition of OGRE rulebook and copyright © 1977 by Steve Jackson. 

Everything old is new again? Kinda.

Talisman: back in print and looking good with its 8th expansion in the works. 

Wiz War: back in print and looking sexier than ever. Hopefully, there’ll be a 5 & 6 player expansion really, REALLY soon. Hint-hint.

Merchant of Venus: in the works and being given the Fantasy Flight Games treatment.

OGRE: had an initial minimum goal of USD$20,000 on Kickstarter and has, as the scribbling of this post, accumulated over USD$627,000. Steve Jackson will be re-releasing OGRE in a new edition and there will be a dedicated OGRE Line Editor to not only develop and expand the boardgame, but also a new edition of the OGRE miniatures rules AND put the miniatures back into production. There are now plans for a video game! I mean, I like Munchkin as much as the next guy, but, see: WE WERE RIGHT! And, best of all, we’re getting the option to buy the latest edition of OGRE in a pocket box edition – but not until the summer of 2013. Now that’s how to indulge in nostalgia without the need to clear-cut a rainforest.

UPDATE! The Kickstarter project has closed at $923,680. Once again: WE WERE RIGHT!

Dungeon: Wizards of the Coast (the current owner of Dungeons & Dragons) jumps on the re-releasing old games for fun and profit band wagon and has announced this venerable TSR boardgame of dungeon crawling will be hitting the shelves at the end of 2012!

Some of these games are more than 30 years old. Why are they being brought back? It’s rather simple, really: money. That’s it, kids. Someone honestly believes that there’s profit to be generated by giving these classic games a facelift and making them available to nostalgic oldsters and kiddies who have heard the stories but never had the chance to play. 

There are going to be some differences with the new editions: usually capped at 4 players instead of the traditional 6, classic art and design will be replaced with modern, marketable graphics, South America and a major chunk of Africa will have their forests eradicated to produce all that cardboard, etc. And the rules will be tinkered with, which may not be THAT bad, as game mechanics have evolved over the years and there were plenty of suggestions on how to circumvent shortcomings of the original releases or simply better ways of accomplishing things. 

Will I purchase the USD$100+ 6th Edition OGRE? Hells no! I will be buying the updated miniatures rules, the re-released miniatures and the pocket box version of OGRE 6th Edition. And a t-shirt or two.  So, yes, it’s still a win. Dungeon and Merchant of Venus are also on "The List".

Over all, I’m supportive of this trend, and look forward to see what other titles will be brought back from the dead. 

What classic, out of print game(s) would you like to see re-released?