Showing posts with label ADB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADB. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau Freighters, Kitbashed

Starfleet Battles is an intensely detailed and competitive game. For the longest time, how ADB designed ships was a secret. A few years ago, the team took a shot at rules to modify ships. The rules were written, but then abandoned by the authors. The general problem was Starfleet Battles ships have a power curve, meaning the ships should have limitations and abilities based on speed. It is easy to modify a ship to reduce or eliminate a limitation.

The nice thing about ADB is they have a rich history of two-way player support. They post rules for players to try before launching a product. Very often those products are loaded with player created content.

ADB correctly assessed that modification was not good for the product line, but then posted it for player's home campaigns. Personally, I like to use it for freighters. Freighters have a long life and well, they are often used ships with odd histories. They also don't fight very well, so modifying one doesn't unbalance things too much.

The freighter above has an extra sensor box, hence the large antenna. As a backstory, the ship was modified by Starfleet and then they realized the hull itself caused sensor performance problems. That and the antenna took up cargo space defeating the purpose of the ship in two different ways. It also causes a strange shimmy when accelerating and a terribly annoying whistle in the comms.

This ship is modded to have two extra hull boxes. In game terms, the extra boxes gives the ship more survivable without really giving it any real combat edge.

The backstory behind this modification is grandma and granddad promised to give a grandson their ship to carry on the family freight business. The problem was, the family business wasn't very profitable, so granddad and grandma built a retirement module on the ship before signing over the title. Worse, grandma and granddad don't talk much any more, so everything is rather awkward.

The S3 rules for Starfleet Battles are very comprehensive and nice for the friendly game but really very terrible for a fair game. However, if you kitbash ships, they are a handy reference of what is technically possible via the rules.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau's Starfleet Battles Freighters #MiniatureMonday

(Updated based on the ADB Facebook page. Go ahead and like them.)

Amarillo Design Bureau does several series of ships for Starfleet Battles, 2400 and 2500 series. The major difference between the two series is scale, however general ships like these freighters are the same size between these two series. Backward compatible if you like. :)

Once or twice a year ADB packages up all of the ships with defects or flaws that makes them generally unsalable and sells them by the pound.

I didn't mean to post about the scrapyard ships, but why not? Its a cool and cheap way to get into kitbashing and SFB.

These two ships were painted with Vallejo paints. The white piece holding the ship is a piece of soapstone with an arc cut into it to cradle the ships for painting.

In my next post, I will show a couple of freighters that I modified. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

StarFleet Battles

There are just a handful of tabletop games that have any longevity. Star Fleet Battles (SFB) has been around since 1979, which is pretty amazing. The game is based on the Star Trek Original Series (TOS) and includes a variety of species not found in any other series.

The game places you in the Captain’s chair to do battle with a host of enemies. Ships are ranked by Basic Point Value so players can select ships of equal power or use the point system to handicap one or more players. All ships are limited to certain pre-planned actions that consume energy. With limited energy, only bold, daring, and cunning captains win.

Your choices of powers are: Federation, Romulan, Klingon, Gorn, Kzinti, Tholian, Orion Pirates, WYN, ISC, Lyran, and Hydran. Each power’s ships have a different flavor and to win you need to know not just your ship but the enemies too. If that’s not enough, each power has dozens of ship choices. No two ships are remotely the same, captain. Planning is key to winning.

All ships share some basic characteristics: a top speed, turn rate, boxes representing equipment, weapons, shields, etc. When a ship runs out of internal boxes, it is all over. Boxes require some energy to function, with a few exceptions like shuttles or drones which are self-powered.

There are myriad weapon choices. Phasers are found on most ships, especially Federation ships. Phasers have a couple of different types basically describing the range and power. The Feds also have a photo torpedo as a heavy weapon. Klingons use disruptors which are more powerful than Phasers but require more time to charge. To offset the rate of fire, they have drones as a supplemental weapon. The Romulans have a monstrous weapon called the Plasma Torpedo. One hit can blow down a cruiser’s shields; two hits can transform a cruiser into an expanding ball of plasma. Luckily, they can only fire once every three (or two) turns. For this reason, they have cloaking devices and pseudo-torpedoes to fake out an adversary.

SFB is a knife fight, not a slugfest. The last thing most captains do is waltz up to their opponent and let ’em have it. Usually, your opponent can make you pay more for that than you can afford. Then they wipe the game board up with what is left of you. Don’t do it.

The game turn is broken into 32 (or 16 in the Cadet game) segments called an impulse. In a turn’s 32-impulse series, each ship has X energy to move, shoot, power shields, and run other systems. This means you have to both posture and fight. Bluffing is critical to SFB.

Each ship has a best firing point and range, so know what it is and get there when you are good and ready; hopefully, that point is not where your opponent wants you to be. In addition, some ships are equipped to either dance outside of your sweet spot peppering your fire or ride right through it.

One of the coolest aspects of this game is the player-derived content. Each book has one or more pages of submission information. Players write articles, tactics, and artwork, and create ships and scenarios. Sometimes key concepts are named after the creative ones. Three classic attacks are named by players or for them. Mizia strikes, The Gorn Anchor and Yo-yo-ing are all player-created strategies.

Doesn’t it sound complex? Heck yeah, but wait until you add on Advanced Mission to the Basic rules for even more detail. The options are endless. But the best feature of SFB is the player support from the staff at Amarillo Design Bureau. Their website is loaded with content, including a free download of the Cadet Game. This is a simplified rule set of the Basic edition rules. Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Little Things

Sometimes, I am amused by little things. A few weeks ago, I sent in an idea to ADB and they used it. You can follow ADB by clicking the link. 

It was a small thing, but nice to see.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ADB Inc. Calls in Some Friends

Amarillo Design Bureau has called in some friends. Facebook is now hosting several new fan pages for the great products by ADB, Inc.
Their main page is here.
The page for Star Fleet Battles is here.
Federation Commander has a page, as does A Call to Arms.
Task Force Games has an active fan base on Facebook, too.
Go ahead and friend them on the main page and look for new updates by Steven, Jean and all the good people at ADB.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

SFB Scrapyard Sack

I ordered Amarillo Design Bureau’s Scrapyard Sack.

What did I get? I don’t know, but I love it.

There are several intact ships – A Kzinti ship, a Kzinti Tug, 3 Federation CA style ships, an AUX carrier and a B10 Boom. The small Aux carrier, the B10 Boom and the Kzinti Tug are pretty much ready to go, I could clean them up and paint them now. The others will require a smidgen of creativity to get into action.

Additional items are 6 Federation engines, matched in left-right pairs. 4 Federation frigate engines and lower hulls, an extra CA style hull with engines, a Federation hull with no engines or bridge, and a pair of Klingon wing disruptors or engines.

And in the middle is a nearly complete hull of something I can’t identify.

All and all, I am very happy with my scrapyard sack.

UPDATE: David McGuire over on Google+ gave me some hints:
"Without a closer look, the center one may be a NCL. Or on the outside, maybe the DN minus the body or the Federation version of the B10"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Good Things from ADB, Inc.

They have updated prices on the Starline 2500 range of minis. A quick look at the list shows about half the ships (or more) have dropped in price significantly. Of course, this the flip side is some ships have increased in price by a fair amount. When I say fair, I mean that some jumped bucks to $19 or more for large battleships.
I haven’t crunched any numbers, but at a quick glance, half the ships are much cheaper, many stayed the same and a few very large models had a modest price increase. Going from memory, I think that some smaller models are one third the original price. Additionally, the company is heading towards all metal ships again.
I love this. I can’t wait to place my order.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Federation Space is back

Federation Space was my introduction to the Starfleet Battles universe. My original set was partially lost between the 1980ish purchase date and today. E23 and DriveThruRPG are the best services for old-school gamers.

The original set featured a 16-page rulebook, a map, one tactical display map, 5 organizational charts, 432 counters, and two dice. 

When printing out my new copy, I was instantly reminded why this is my favorite Task Force Game: the dense background information to the game system. Out of sixteen pages, the first three beautifully describe the game universe. “Shields flashed electric blue” reminds me of the smell of ozone and the rattle of dice.

While printing, I discovered that I still had my original counters, except the blue Federation.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing this game as a child. I can hardly wait to introduce this to my kids.

This game is very rich in background details while having simple rules. The beauty of this game is the breakdown of basic rules and scenarios that lead to more advanced rules, scenarios, and optional rules. Replay away!

Additionally, Federation Space can be used to supplement Starfleet Battles.

After spending the weekend rereading the rules, I plan to print up the cards and map, and get playing again this week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

J5T - Starfleet Battles and ADB

Just 5 Things about Star Fleet Battles by Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc.:
1.Amarillo Design Bureau, on Facebook.
2. Miniatures are available at their online store and from Mongoose Publishing in the UK.
3. There are a pair of forums at their main site and a subsection on the Federation Commander Forum.
4. e23 sells over one hundred ADB products in pdf form, as does DriveThruRPG.
5. You can play online at SFBOL.

One of my favorite games is Federation Space. My next favorite is Star Fleet Battles