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"Getting started SPACESHIPS" Topic

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Jonnathon04 Oct 2020 11:49 p.m. PST

I would like to get into spaceships gaming and I have some questions. What scale is most often used? Is it like other miniatures 15mm, 28mm etc? Are both plastic and metal miniatures used. Who makes "good" miniatures, 2 player sets (one for me, one for my buddy). Any help would be welcome.

Thresher0104 Oct 2020 11:54 p.m. PST

Check out Ground Zero Games Full Thrust rules available for free.

He also produces and excellent range of minis.

Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Star Trek are also popular TV series and/or movies that space fighters and spaceships are produced for. There are various rules sets for them. A little Google or other searching should turn them up. Some of the rules are free. Others you have to purchase.

Toaster05 Oct 2020 1:15 a.m. PST

Here's a good place to start


dick garrison05 Oct 2020 3:56 a.m. PST

Depends what scale of battles you want to fight, for big "space navy" type battles like "Star trek" "BSG" and the like I'd recommend Full Thrust by Ground Zero Games. If however you are more inclined towards fighter combat then "X Wing" is the popular (and very good) choice.

As for ships you are really spoilt for choice, GZG,and Brigade Miniatures do some lovely Industrial looking ships (Battlestar Galatica type) Irregular Miniatures do some nice (and cheap) Star Trek inspired ships or if you want to go more "retro" Hydra Miniatures do "Flash Gordon" style ships, but this is just the tip of the iceberg there are literally loads of companies out there doing Spaceships.

Cheers Roger.

Stryderg05 Oct 2020 6:32 a.m. PST

For the Full Thrust rules, check out the lite rules:
All the basic nuts and bolts in under 15 pages.

If you like it, then dig in to the Continum: link
It adds all the bells and whistles: fighter ops, more advanced (ie complicated) weapons and shields, ECM, mines, etc.

You can pick up some 3D printed spaceships as well. link

Ground Zero and Brigade both have fleet packs (5-10 ships at a discount instead of buying each ship separately).

If you want mega battles, check out GOBS (Generic Outlandishly Big Spacefleets): PDF link
Free, 20 pages, designed for "lots" of minis per side, therefore not too detailed.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa05 Oct 2020 7:53 a.m. PST

Plastic ships are available from the Plastic Soldier company (actually board game pieces). One bag would probably do you – at least to start with.

TMP link

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 8:38 a.m. PST

Some of the best prices and selection come from Studio Bergstrom.

Most of my fighters come from them.


SBminisguy05 Oct 2020 10:21 a.m. PST

If you want non-casual "chess in space" hard-science space combat, there's "Squadron Strike" by Ad Astra games. Great game once you go through the non-trivial learning curve. The author also wrote the most excellent "Hot Equations" series on science-based space combat:


stumer05 Oct 2020 10:27 a.m. PST

All are good suggestions for rules and miniatures here, and thanks to Col Durnford for linking to my catalog. Hopefully Jonnathon you and your buddy will find the flavor of game and ships you are looking for among the suggestions here. I look forward to helping you with the miniatures, and feel free to email me any questions you may have about my products if you would like clarification on any of them.


John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 3:04 p.m. PST

The bag of ships from PAC are out of stock. The transports set is still available.



Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 4:09 p.m. PST

Both GZG and Brigade Models have starter packs which include two small fleets and rules.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 6:31 p.m. PST

What sort of game do you want? There are many levels of play.

First, differentiate between space fighter combat and spaceship combat.

Space fighter combat: X-Wing is exceptional. Battlestar Galactic is, I believe, the same system. Obviously, both are tied to their respective IPs, and pretty much require you to buy the actual games. They're pricey, but really worth every penny. And since you don't have to paint, you can open the box and start right away.

I'm not aware of any current competition with these, much less generic systems. Maybe others know?

Spaceship Combat

This breaks down into levels:

Captain's level: This is the level for ship-to-ship duels. Kirk vs. Khan— that sort of thing. Highly detailed, with the decision making including such things as how to allocate power across ship's systems. Maxes out very quickly as to how many ships a player can conceivably control. This would be the original Star Fleet Battles game. Typically very complex.

Squadron level: Player controls multiple detailed ships, typically 4-6 per side. Battleship Galaxies was essentially a major commercial stab at this, and not all that bad (though not all that great, either). I'm pretty certain It's OOP, but you can find copies fairly cheap out there.
Squadron Strike is a popular game at this level.

Commodore's Level: This involves small fleets, and is the most common type of game. A dozen or so ships per side. Full Thrust is the big player here in terms of semi-commercial products (the rules are a free download, by GZG sells the ships).
These rules tend to have less specific ship detail (but still fairly significant), with the decision making largely about how to best maneuver, and the "internal" matters of power, damage control, etc., either left assumed or handled by a quick die roll.
Also out there:
A Call to Arms
Star Wars Armada

Admiral's level: You want a fleet? This is the level for fleets of 20 ships or more per side. Ship details are limited to a very simple chart or a string of details, in order to speed up combat and decision making.
I'm not currently aware of a commercial product that hits this level, but there are free rule sets available.
A Sky Full of Ships (ASFOS) is in the 20 ship range, but can go higher.
Generic Outlandishly Big Spacefleets! (GOBS), my own system, is intended for even larger fleets. You can find it at

Goober05 Oct 2020 6:42 p.m. PST

For fighter scale combat that is based on ships from the front and tail end of the alphabet I heartily recommend Silent Death from Metal Express. SOme of the best fighter combat I have played. There's a great starter sprue of plastic fighters as well as a whole range of metal ships, escorts and corvettes.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 7:43 p.m. PST

It's also fun and easy to make your own spaceships out of found objects. I've made spaceships out of ballpoint pens and small box cutters. Just be inspired by a shape, attach some other things to it, drill a hole to mount it on a stand, and paint it.

I don't have anything to add to the excellent rules suggestions given above.

bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 9:12 p.m. PST

If looking for small traders and others type check these out they are great and you can get playable posters (28mm)to go along with them. When he has kickstaters they go for like 10 days or so and when it ends he ships them out…no year long wait

Toaster05 Oct 2020 10:01 p.m. PST

If you are looking for competition for X-Wing and BSG in the fighter game market that are generic then I would recommend Star Eagles by Ganesha Games.

There is also 5150 Fighter Command, it plays great solo but has some issues with opposed play.


mrwigglesworth06 Oct 2020 2:47 p.m. PST

Tin soldier had some really nice miniatures at great prices.
Look at the science fiction section.

Daricles10 Oct 2020 4:37 p.m. PST

Here's a print and play game of my own design.


It's BSG themed and is a cross between a board game and a tabletop miniatures game. It is easy to medium complexity rules wise. You can use counters or miniatures. Whichever you prefer.

Here is a link to an old thread discussing the game. There are some suggestions there for getting the components made.

TMP link

Scenario 4, Gather the Fleet, is the most popular one by far.

Jonnathon12 Oct 2020 6:25 p.m. PST

Just a quick question? Are GZG "Full Thrust" spaceships the same or similar scale/size with Brigade Models spaceships?
Both companies make good lookingships, the only two I have looked at so far.

Lonely Gamer25 Oct 2020 9:13 a.m. PST

@Jonnathon there are both of a similar size and scale as you can see from the pictures on my site.

On the link below you will see Ground Zero Games Neu Swabian League ships fighting ( red & white ) against Brigade Models American Republic ships ( black / blue ) with a few EM4 Miniatures Silent Death ships ( these I use as Corvettes in Stars & Lasers ) oh and a few kit bashed Alien ships!!


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