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"Wanting to start Star Trek gaming, where to start?" Topic

22 Posts

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08 Jun 2017 12:58 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Spaceship Gaming board
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  • Crossposted to Star Trek board

1,265 hits since 16 Apr 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Mars Miniatures16 Apr 2017 6:46 p.m. PST

Hiya buddies,

I played Star Fleet Battles a couple times in the 90s and it didnt hook me in.

But now I have a feeling I want to give it a shot again.
Looking at Amarillo Design games I see that there are alot of choices:

Federation Commander,
Star Fleet Battles,
Call To Arms,
Battle Force,

Can anyone well versed in Star Trek gaming (or starship gaming in general) tell me the differences and some insight about them?


Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut16 Apr 2017 6:53 p.m. PST

The level of game you want to play will determine the rules you use.

Are looking for a single ship against another ship, a few ships per side, a few squadrons per side, or whole fleets?

Mars Miniatures16 Apr 2017 6:58 p.m. PST


Only limitation Im looking at is that the game fits on a 4 x 4 foot table.

So a couple of ships a side?

John Treadaway Inactive Member16 Apr 2017 8:53 p.m. PST

Federation Commander should fit your needs.

John T

Stryderg16 Apr 2017 8:55 p.m. PST

Federation Commander (played it twice): has lots of info on each ship card. You track shield strength, hull, weapons, batteries, engines, and shuttles. Energy allocation is a BIG part of the game. You may move 24 hexes per turn, but that's broken into 8 phases. So you'll move in groups of 3 hexes but can fire each weapon once during the 24 hex turn. So lots of planning ahead.

And that's my 30 second review.

Daricles16 Apr 2017 9:50 p.m. PST

Star Fleet Battles is overpriced and overly complicated. As a big fan of Star Trek I tried really hard to like the game, but playing the game always seemed tedious. My Captain's edition ruleset and stack of SSD books sat on the shelf gathering dust until I sold my entire SFB collection on eBay a few years back.

Have you tried Attack Wing or Ascendancy?

Mars Miniatures16 Apr 2017 9:56 p.m. PST

Thanks buddies,

I think I will give Federation Commander a go!

Yes, I couldnt get into it in the 90s for those reasons.
I felt the same way about Battletech, which I had alot of books and minis for. I only loved the idea of these games but never enjoyed the actual game play. I was hoping maybe I would feel different now.

Im not sure I want to play a board game or prepainted though.
Ah hell, I will give it a go anyway.

nukesnipe Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2017 5:10 a.m. PST

I second Federation Commander; all the Star Trek and half the insanity.

Also, you might want to take a look at Two Hour Wargames' 5150 Star Navy. While not specifically Star Trek, I do remember a Star Trek cross over for it.


Scott Chisholm

Major Mike17 Apr 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

We were able to speed up play of Star Fleet Battles by using the "Code Red" (IIRC) hit damage cards. Removed all the hit location rolling that had to occur in the original game. I lost all my cards in a move years ago. That was way back in the 80's before the game got crazy, each race had different aspects, equipment and ships/doctrine.

oldhans117 Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 1:08 p.m. PST

There is a free demo game for Federation Commander

PDF link

Try before you buy

Morpheus197517 Apr 2017 1:47 p.m. PST

You could also try the Star Trek A Call to Arms version.


TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

There is a free demo game for Federation Commander

And, has a surprisingly good non-hex trial game. However, still feels like SFB, to me. More a gateway drug. ;->=

Call to Arms-Trek and Starmada-Trek are great with loads of fans.

I'm a strong fanboy for Full Thrust, and plenty has been done with Trek-type ships, though it's a variant if you must have directional shields.


Shark Six Three Zero Inactive Member18 Apr 2017 9:48 a.m. PST

Don't forget Star Trek attack wing from Fantasy Flight. It might interest you as well.

SpikeSpiegel Inactive Member20 Apr 2017 6:26 a.m. PST

Attack Wing is from WizKids, but same system as X-Wing from Fantasy Flight.

demiurgex20 Apr 2017 1:18 p.m. PST

My favorite is still B5 Wars with the ST mod. It's out of print, but you can get everything you need free here:

The Kitchen Sink edition is a generic rules system that can be applied to almost any scifi setting, and there's many, many ship designs for download there.

You can take a look at the SSDs for the Star Trek ships here:

Plus it's great for crossover play.

The problem with Federation Commander and SFB is they aren't really Star Trek any more. They are TOS era only, and then the setting evolved completely differently from the shows.

Attack Wing isn't bad. It at least has the actual setting. But the mechanics aren't great IMO (no, Trek cruisers don't move and shoot like X-Wing fighters).

ACTA is a nice simple fleet game, but has some balance problems and has the same issues as SFB as it's also licensed from the SFB setting.

As far as I know the only licensed Star Trek games were Heroclix, which was abysmal, and Attack Wing. Attack Wing might be your speed, it's a fast game that's not terribly complicated and can be modified with the cards. However, the cards also end up with silly combinations at times.

Whichever you choose, have fun!

billclo20 Apr 2017 1:41 p.m. PST

There are some Trek conversion for Full Thrust out there. I do a fair bit of TNG Trek for convention games, including massive battles for Deep Space Nine, etc.

I have one set of materials for regular games, and a simplified set for convention games.

Tim White Inactive Member21 Apr 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

If Fed Commander doesn't work out for you I'd suggest ACTA or Starmada (but wait for the new "Unity" version of the starmada supplements to come out).

If you want to save space, instead of using miniatures for those two games, pick up a set of the colour mega hex counters from ADB. You can scale down the distances then.

We actually started playing ACTA, when it first came out, with the mega hex counters, because we were having trouble getting the new minis. After the minis arrived we realized we actually liked playing with the counters more, because it was faster and less fiddly!


Mars Miniatures21 Apr 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the replies buddies!

I am getting Fed Commander, Starmada Unity, and ACTA too, just in case.

But, I am excited about using Starmada for an Imagi-StarSystems mashup campaign for Star Trek vs Star Wars vs Babylon 5 vs Galactica vs 40k Battlefleet Gothic.

barcah200124 Apr 2017 7:58 a.m. PST

Mars Miniatures, I played Federation Commander for several years then moved on to their mass battles rules. I have a ton of the FC modules with all ships and counters as well as playing boards which I can part with at much reduced prices if you are interested. All are pretty much mint as I Xeroxed the ship cards and wrote on them, not the cards themselves.


barcah200124 Apr 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

Mars-- I also have the Starmada Klingon and Romulan rulesets if you are interested in those.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2017 7:48 p.m. PST

There is a version of Starmada that is an officiallly licensed version of Star Fleet Battles.

Considering all the fan translations of Starmada for TNG and later versions it might be a good place to start:


barcah200125 Apr 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

Yes, these are the Starmada rulesets I have just mentioned -- good rules, I just want fleet actions of 30-50 ships a side.

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