Sunday, August 22, 2010
About Starfleet Wars
The title page indicates the rulebook was written by Wayne Smith and designed and illustrated by Ron Spicer (whom I believe also designed the starship minis). The rules themselves are pretty sparse: a sixteen-page 8-1/2-inch by 5-1/2-inch booklet. Since the table of contents takes up one page, and the two-page center spread is dedicated to stats for the ships, you've only got 13 pages of text to deal with. There's another two-and-a-half pages of fluff, and since there's also six pages of advanced rules, that means the basic game is covered in about four-and-a-half pages of rules. The turn consists of power allocation, simultaneous movement, shooting, and determining damage. Since "offensive, defensive and speed factors use power units in relation to the square of the factor desired," the math-challenged might want to have a calculator handy. In addition to the basic move-and-shoot, the rules offer advanced features such as defensive screens, tractor beams, and fighters. I've never actually played this ruleset, but you can find out more in the Starfleet Wars entry at BoardGameGeek, including this comprehensive review.
Interestingly, the rules only supplied statistics for five types of starships: the Stellar Destroyer, the Stellar Cruiser, the Galactic Battlecruiser, the Galactic Attack Carrier (fighters, while in the rules, didn't need their own line of stats), and the Galactic Dreadnought. But the publisher, Superior Models, would soon produce more starship types and provide rules for them as well.