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"Best SF RPG for Wargamers?" Topic

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Action Log

22 Apr 2017 3:26 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

896 hits since 14 Oct 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Oct 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

Which science-fiction roleplaying game would you recommend for wargamers? An SFRPG that allows for tactical actions.

Oberlindes Sol LIC14 Oct 2016 10:59 a.m. PST


Traveller is integrated with Striker, which is a comprehensive rules set for miniatures gaming on land and in the air. Striker also provides demolition rules, allowing your PCs to blow stuff up to their heart's content. Striker also integrates Traveller starship design, so your PCs can attack ships with their tanks or whatever.

Anthropicus14 Oct 2016 11:17 a.m. PST

Traveller's a good one.

Here's a little more obscure title: Albedo Platinum Catalyst. It's based on an anthropomorphic mil-SF comic. Each player controls not just a character but a full squad of personalities, which makes each battle a platoon-sized tactical action.

emckinney14 Oct 2016 11:36 a.m. PST

Fantasy Flight Game's WH40K RPGs?

Traveller is a good option (designers/developers also did various boars and miniatures wargames). Of course, it begs the question, "Which Traveller?" There are many different editions and many have no design relationship to the others.

TGerritsen14 Oct 2016 12:12 p.m. PST

I love Traveller, so that's a good one. I'd also throw Star Frontiers out there. Both Knight Hawks and bog standard Star Frontiers are great games with tactical options.

It's also available free these days.

john lacour Inactive Member14 Oct 2016 12:24 p.m. PST

Battlelords of the 23rd century.

KarlBergman14 Oct 2016 12:40 p.m. PST

I always liked the Traveller 2300 version. Different background and starship rules that was a 300 year later follow-up to the Twilight 2000 RPG.

MichaelCD Inactive Member14 Oct 2016 12:41 p.m. PST

Lock N Load have a new tactical RPG called Falling Stars. I do not have it but it looks interesting.

Here is the core rules in their store:

Dynaman878914 Oct 2016 1:17 p.m. PST

Traveller 2300, in many ways it was Twilight 2000 in space.

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Oct 2016 1:27 p.m. PST


TeknoMerk14 Oct 2016 1:58 p.m. PST

Savage Worlds (started as minis game)
or Savage Showdown (free)


With Savage Worlds or 5150, you can re-create the Traveller and Star Frontiers settings mentioned above. There are already completed conversions (See savagepedia and Savage Heroes).

Mako11 Inactive Member14 Oct 2016 2:08 p.m. PST

Traveller is a good RPG.

I have found their combat rules to be a bit lacking for anything other than small skirmishes, and for me Striker really didn't do it either.

I do like some of the backstory and weapons, but a different set of rules overlaid over Traveller would be better in my opinion.

Perhaps, when they fix the Traveller 5 combat rules (supposedly people are working on that now), they might work.

FUBAR has a set of rules and weapons for Traveller, which in my opinion would work better.

rmaker14 Oct 2016 3:13 p.m. PST

Space 1889.

Goober14 Oct 2016 3:14 p.m. PST

Depends what you mean by "Best for a wargamer"? Personally, I like 2300AD because it's got a pretty scientifically accurate background (and I write for the new version – so I'm biased). If you are looking for something more space opera then there's various incarnations of Star Wars. For a real DIY approach, Savage Worlds is a great toolkit.


Gear Pilot14 Oct 2016 3:17 p.m. PST

Does it have to be current? If not:

- FASA Star Trek

- Heavy Gear (2nd edition/Jovian Chronicles/Gear Krieg

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2016 3:21 p.m. PST

In what sense?

Might appeal to old geezers :) ? Classic traveller sans supplements, Stars Without Number.

Supports miniatures out of the box? The old Mutant Chronicles.

Is military oriented or friendly? Traveller, 2300AD, 3:16 Carnage among the stars, Only War, Deathwatch.
Spacemaster if you fancy your characters dying horribly.

Do generic games count? If so, Savage Worlds and GURPS.

Wargame-RPG hybrids? 5150 is the bible for that.
I'll humbly suggest me and Matt's own Starport Scum
and the old Laserburn which can still be purchased from
Add GW's Inquisitor to that batch.

War Monkey14 Oct 2016 7:57 p.m. PST

Traveller or Renegade Legion, yes I'm that old and yes I do have both. old fart

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Oct 2016 4:53 a.m. PST

Gamma World
Space 1889
A bucket of the other GURPS ones
Shadowrun (a fave, but not everyone's cup of Fomorian Usquebaugh)

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Oct 2016 8:16 a.m. PST

5150's solo play ability and combat system is the best.

But if you like being in control and pushing lead instead of leading men, you probably won't like 5150. The Non-Player Characters are played by the system and will try and balance doing what you want them to do with staying alive.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2016 10:09 a.m. PST

Judging by how few of the suggested games were published after the 80's, I think our esteemed audience is a tad out of touch with the RPG field :-)

TGerritsen16 Oct 2016 6:58 a.m. PST

Actually, as some who plays RPGs regularly, I'd say it's a statement of how few good Sci Fi RPGs there have been over the years.

There have been a lot of bad ones, but very few good ones.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2016 9:41 a.m. PST

That's true as well.

If we broaden the scope beyond military stuff, there's been Blue Planet and GURPS Transhuman Space but neither of which are particularly new.

The indie scene has furnished a few like "3:16 Carnage among the Stars" and "Stars without number"

Goober17 Oct 2016 5:39 a.m. PST

Judging by how few of the suggested games were published after the 80's, I think our esteemed audience is a tad out of touch with the RPG field :-)

I write for the current, Mongoose version of 2300AD. I'd say I'm bang up to date.

Good games evolve over time. Traveller (and D&D) are games that were published in the late 70's. Traveller is on its 8th incarnation, and D&D on it's 5th. Call of Cthulhu is on something like its 7th version, Runequest it's 5th or 6th – more if you include the Legend and Conan versions.


Lysander19 Oct 2016 5:51 p.m. PST

I very much enjoy Traveller (and have played it for years) but highly recommend Savage Worlds for easy interface between standard role-playing and tactical play with minis. The Interface Zero sourcebook for Savage Worlds is one of the best "tech" books I have seen as well.

I admit I am partial to the 2300 universe and have been planning on using the above rules system in the 2300 setting.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2016 6:12 p.m. PST

Oh, very cool Goober.
Is the 2300AD game based off the Mongoose Traveller rules or is it a new system?

David Johansen22 Oct 2016 7:43 p.m. PST

Renegade Legion and Battle Tech I suppose. I love Traveller but it has a long history of missed opportunities and editing failures. Megatraveller's combat system is very wargame like. T5 will be great if it's ever truly finished and edited there was a recent promise of three months but there was a promise of three months many years ago when it was first announced.

David Johansen22 Oct 2016 7:45 p.m. PST

I also like Space Master Privateers but it was the previous edition which had Armored Assault and Star Strike as stand alone war games.

David Johansen24 Oct 2016 7:01 p.m. PST

Actually, I'd be remiss if I didn't post a link to this:

kmfrye31 Oct 2016 6:57 p.m. PST

Traveller – any version. :)

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