How to Find New Opponents
Steve Cole writes:
Many gamers are looking for new
opponents. This is nothing new. When I was a teenager, there were maybe
four war gamers in Amarillo that I knew, but there must have been more
as the one store that carried Avalon Hill games (then the only wargames)
would sell one or two now and then that my friends and I knew we didn't
buy. Funny, it never once occurred to us to ask the store manager to
give our phone numbers to the other guys. When I was in college, SPI
(then the second wargame company and rapidly becoming larger and more
innovative than Avalon Hill) had an opponent wanted list. I sent in my
dollar to get it, and found only one person (of the 20 on the list) who
was within 120 miles; the first and last person on the list were each
450 miles away (in opposite directions).
the concept of contacting other gamers has had decades to mature, works
much better, and there are a lot of ways to do it. For best results,
you should do all of them.
If you play Federation Commander,
then you can go to the Commander's Circle and enter your data (as much
or as little as you are comfortable with) and perhaps find opponents
near you. We are gaining new sign-ins every day, and since it's free you
can try it every month or two and find out if somebody nearby has
signed in. http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/Commanders%20Circle/
Primarily for Federation Commander
players, the Forum has a topic where local stores and groups post
announcements and invitations. Players can let other players know
they're around. How silly would you feel if you found out that the guy
who you've been arguing with on the forum for years actually lives in
your town. (That HAS happened.) http://www.federationcommander.com/phpBB2
can to go to a local store and ask them to let you post a notice
looking for opponents. You could also run a demo of your favorite
game(s) and "grow your own" opponents. If a person already plays the
game you are demoing, he'll doubtless drop by just to swap phone
Many towns have community bulletin boards on
the local cable company's "home" channel. These are variously free or
cost just a couple of dollars. It's hit-and-miss, but you could get
lucky. (When I commanded Company C of the 1-39 MPs, I gained a dozen new
recruits in a year that came from cable TV.) You could also buy a cheap
want ad in the newspaper or the free advertising newspaper (American's
Want Ads or whatever yours is called) found in quickie marts. There is
also Craigslist, but you should use the normal caution you would for
meeting a stranger.
The quickest result, probably, is Starlist. Go to http://starfleetgames.com/starlist.shtml
Enter your data in the form, and you'll get a list of local players
back. (This may take a day or two as it is done by hand.) Starlist is
the most effective hunt for new players because the database has some
5,000 players in it, far more than all of the other sources combined.
The only drawback is that Starlist works with full information (name and
address) and those who are seriously concerned about identity theft
often find this uncomfortable. In all reality, however, Starlist would
not give an identity thief any more information than a local phone book
would, and if that's enough for those criminals to operate, they would
be vastly more likely to use the phone book than to request a copy of
You can find opponents for all of our games on our BBS. Go to http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/
and you'll see "Seeking Opponents" on the main menu. You can post a
notice there (and search the previous postings). Again, you can post as
much or as little information as you are comfortable with.
Friends of our page on Facebook can post to see who is out there. Not a friend? Become one here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf
With more effort, you can post opponent wanted notices in a whole lot of boardgame sites (see http://www.starfleetgames.com/links.shtml
there is a game convention within driving distance, it's worth a trip
to see if you might find someone who is also within driving distance. If
there is a game club in your home town or a store with a gaming area,
go there and set up the game and wait for somebody to ask what it is.
(Even better, take a friend who will play the game with you so you won't
be bored.) If there is a Star Trek club in your home town, show them Federation Commander
or Star Fleet Battle Force
There are people who have printed a card with the logo of one of our
games and their email address and left these in the windows of their
cars who got emails from other gamers in their home towns who were
You can go always go to SFB Online (http://www.sfbonline.com/index.jsp
) and play Star Fleet Battles
and Federation Commander
online with live opponents from around the world for the princely sum
of $5 per month. You might even stumble into somebody local.
are probably more ways than this to find opponents, but unless you live
in a cave somewhere, you can almost certainly find a new friend within a
short while by trying these methods.
THE TOP TEN THINGS
That Jean Sexton could
be doing if she were not working at ADB.
10. Teaching a course in creative writing a the local
prison entitled "Prose & Cons."
9. NASA's new director of orbital food
8. Producer of a new TV show
called "Menu Makeover" where she shows failing restaurants
that customers don¹t' care about dining room décor but about
interesting food that is prepared well.
7. Chief proofreader for
6. Running a gourmet
restaurant called "The Peppered Onion" which the Steves
5. Managing a dog
daycare service complete with gourmet dog meals and adventure trail
walks with two guys named Steve and the official Lead Dog Wolf.
4. Professional book review writer,
including a list of the typos and other errors in each book.
marketing directors in how to "manage the narrative by managing
your boss's access to the Internet."
2. Running a
tavern called "The Oxford Comma."
1. Twitter editor for Donald Trump, in control
of the "send" button.
Progress on Some Projects
This is Steven Petrick posting.
Work continues apace on getting Captain's Log #5
2 done. It should be released by the end of this month at the latest if all goes well.
The Lyran Master Starship Book
is still receiving reports, most of which are minor edits rather than gross errors. An example being some rule number references for some ships in the "Early Years Section" that were missing the "Y," i.e., a reference to the Warp-Refitted Dreadnought was given as (R11.14) instead of (YR11.14).
Free Stuff for Star Fleet Universe Players!
Steve Cole writes:
We have a lot of free stuff on
our website. Let me point you to some of the most popular things. Doing
this in alphabetical order we start with Federation & Empire.
They have play aids and countersheet graphics here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/sfb/sfin/index.shtml#FNE
Some people do not realize that you can download what amounts to a free copy of the Federation Commander
game (well, enough of the game to play a few battles). First Missions
will give you enough of the game that you can try it out. Go here to download it: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/Commanders%20Circle/first-missions.shtml
that's just a start. Commander's Circle has lots of free resources such
as various formats of the Master Ship Chart, Ship Cards, the current
and back issues of Communique
, scenarios, and playtest rules. If you register, then you can find other Federation Commander
players can find a treasure trove of play aids, including medals,
insignia, maps, the timeline, and lots of other goodies to spice up a
game. These can be found here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/sfb/sfin/index.shtml#PD
Want to introduce a friend to the Star Fleet Universe? Try the free download of Introduction to the Star Fleet Universe: Prime Directive and Roleplaying
Star Fleet Battle Force
has new cards and play aids as well. These are located here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/sfb/sfin/index.shtml#SFBF
Star Fleet Battles
players have the Cadet Training Manual
and Cadet Training Handbook
. These were done as a way to get players into the complicated Star Fleet Battles
game system. You can download them for free here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/CadetTraining.shtml
Also available on the same webpage are lots of SSDs for the game.
We have downloadable art for your computer and iPhone so you can show your SFU
pride. Those are here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/wallpapers.shtml
Don't forget Hailing Frequencies
, our free monthly newsletter. Covering all our games, you can read back issues here: http://www.federationcommander.com/Newsletter/past.html
Don't forget to sign up to get the link delivered straight to your email box each month. You can "opt in" here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/newsletter.shtml
are many historical documents which are available for download. Maps,
deck plans, assorted graphics, and much, much more can be found here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/historicaldownloads.shtml
Browse our master index to find all sorts of interesting information: http://www.starfleetgames.com/masterindex.shtml
As you can see, you could spend days browsing. We hope you enjoy what you find.
RANDOM THOUGHTS #281
Steve Cole ponders thoughts on
1. The Morrison
Formation is a large geological area including the current Colorado
plateau. Scientists have found more turtles and crocodiles (150 total
specimens) in the east and north than in the south and west,
indicating that during dinosaur times, those areas were wetter,
perhaps mostly swamp. These eastern and northern areas have relatively
greater abundance of limestone and mudstone, things that are created
in oceans and swamps.
2. There is
a large impact crater in Ukraine known as the Boltysh structure. It
dates from (best guess) a few thousand years before the Chicxulub
crater, although geological dates are squishy and it could be anywhere
within a million years either way (in a similar orbit and just hit a
few loops around the solar system earlier or later) or even on the
same day (fragment of the same asteroid). This impact has not been
adequately studied so far.
3. During the dinosaur period (the Mesozoic,
which includes the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous) the earth was
rotating faster and days were shorter, around 22 hours at the start of
the Triassic (385 days in a year) and 23 at the end of the Cretaceous
(375 days in a year). The year lasted about the same number of hours
but had more and shorter days.
4. Birds don¹t use
lungs like mammals do. In a mammal, there is one pipe into the lung,
and air flows alternately in and out by way of that one pipe. In a
bird, air is taken all the way down and put into the bottom of the
lungs, then flows up and out a separate pathway, so the airflow only
goes one direction. This is more efficient and without this (and a lot
of other bio-engineering) birds could not fly. Apparently, meat-eating
dinosaurs and saraupods (the biggest ones, like Brontosaurus) did the
same thing. It gets better. Birds, meat-eating dinosaurs, and
sauropods had hollow spaces in some of their bones, and these were
actually part of the air circulation system.
5. Dinosaurs come in two types:
bird-hips (stegosaurus, duckbill, triceratops) and lizard-hips (birds,
meat-eaters, and sauropods). This is defined by the shape of the bones
in their hips.
6. One relatively new field of the
study of dinosaurs is brain endocasts. These are castings made from
the empty skulls of dinosaurs (or any animal) to create a rough model
of the brain. This has become much easier since scans and 3d model
technology allows this to be done without destroying the invaluable
skull. Scientists are, often, able to identify major brain structures
(fore-brain, mid-brain, hind-brain). Comparing this to existing
animals yields important clues into the intelligence and behavior of
the dinosaur. It is often possible to identify the areas linked to
sight and to smell, and the relative size of these areas indicates how
the animal hunted (or avoided being hunted).
7. A new study of the later years of
dinosaurs (just a few million years before the big rock hit Mexico)
shows the appearance of new species of large snakes and large birds
which preyed on dinosaur eggs. This probably does not mean that egg
thieves were the cause of dinosaur extinction, but it is unclear what
it does mean beyond the later times of the dinosaur era having new
threats and dangers.
8. One way we learn more about dinosaurs is
trackways. These happen when a dinosaur walks across a muddy flat area
just before a sandstorm or volcanic ash cover everything up. The trick
is, unless you find the dead dinosaur at the end of the tracks, you
really have no idea which species made them. (We have never found the
aforementioned dead dinosaur, but scientists continue to hope.)
Dinosaur fossils rarely have any skin or tissue left, so footprint
identification is a matter of which skeletal foot is close. Consider
also that we might logically know as little as 1/3 of all the dinosaur
genera that ever lived, so the tracks you find might not connect to
any known dinosaur. Tracks can be measured but it's hard to tell what
speed the dinosaur was going when he made the tracks, but there are
mathematical guesses. This probably results in the normal walking
speed, not the fastest running speed, but at least in theory we'd know
from the shape of the tracks if the dinosaur was running.
9. THE LOST WORLD by Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by some
huge fossil dinosaur teeth he saw. Funny thing is, these were later
identified correctly as crocodile teeth. (Crocodiles back there were
three times the current size.)
10. You might assume that the south
pole was always cold, but during the Cretaceous it was covered with
open forests and a rich diversity of dinosaur types and sizes,
including some not found anywhere else.
This Week at ADB, Inc., 5-11 February 2017
Steve Cole reports:
This was a week of steady work
on current projects. The weather this week was
We released Hailing Frequencies and Communique #134 on the 10th, on schedule again.
New on DriveThru RPG this week was
Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement.
The Starlist Update Project moved forward with
two new entries.
Steve Cole worked on Captain's Log #52, blogs, and other projects.
(He was sick Monday with a norovirus but recovered.)
Petrick worked on Captain's Log #52, the Lyran Master Starship Book, quality control assembly and
shipping, and the LDR Master Starship Book.
Leanna kept orders and accounting up to
Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the
Simone did website updates, worked on Hailing Frequencies, and did some
Wolf guarded the office, chasing away a
Tasmanian Devil who was looking for his Wallaby. We all celebrated the
3rd anniversary of Wolf¹s joining the ADB staff.
Jean worked on Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement fixes (mostly minor), managed our page on
Facebook (which is up to 3,632 friends), managed our Twitter feed (216
followers), commanded the Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam
assault on the BBS, managed the blog feed, proofread Captain's Log #52 and Communique #133, worked on Hailing Frequencies, took care
of customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some marketing.
We have continued our long-awaited move to offer more of our products
as PDFs by way of the Warehouse 23, DriveThru RPG,
and Wargame Vault
websites. So far on Warehouse 23, we
have released a lot of stuff for Federation Commander,
including the Revision Six Reference Rulebook
, the 72 ships from Federation Commander Briefing #2
(divided into six packs of 12 ships and a separate rules pack), and
more than a dozen Ship Card Packs. Our ebook PDFs are in color and high
resolution. PDFs of most books are searchable (older Captain’s Logs
way Warehouse 23 works, once you buy a product, you can download it again for no
cost if you lose it or if we upload a revised version of that edition.
Thus, the people who bought Reference Rulebook Revision 5
were able to obtain Reference Rulebook Revision 6
for free (and to download it again when we discovered we had accidentally left out rule 4S).
Our Prime Directive PD20 Modern
books are sold as ebooks exclusively through DriveThru RPG. We have
started offering general RPG books there as well as some of the general
gaming materials that Steve Cole has written. We are also listing Federation Commander
, Federation & Empire,
and Star Fleet Battles
on Wargame Vault.
We are expanding into Kindle books through Amazon. Our first book, For the Glory of the Empire,
was released there recently; more will follow.
must note that these products are copyrighted and are not to be
uploaded or passed around to your friends. Doing so is piracy, a
criminal act, and may result in us deciding not to offer any more PDF
products. We have already uploaded many Starmada, Star Fleet Battles, Federation & Empire,
and Prime Directive
products. We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFS for sale through the various venders. From here
you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.
check them out! Many people like the fact they can search our
rulebooks for a keyword and find everything that pertains to that issue.
Others like the fact they can carry around multiple books on one
device. Some ship cards are available exclusively as PDFs. Whatever
your reason for using them, we hope that you enjoy them and rate them.