This Week at ADB, Inc., 16-22 April 2017
Steve Cole reports: This was a week of
steady work on current projects.
The weather this week was
New on Warehouse 23 and DriveThru RPG this
week was Dungeon Tiles.
Steve Cole worked on Captain's Log #53 (Kraken story),
blogs, and other projects. He finished updating the Wall of Honor (and
with it the Captain's Log #52 FLAP list) and read the LDR Master Starship Book. He
continued to update F&E SIT files including the first complete WYN
SIT and the first (mostly blank) version of the Jindarian SIT ever
Steven Petrick worked on
Captain's Log #53 (Kraken story, battle groups), quality control assembly and
shipping, and the LDR Master Starship Book.
Leanna kept orders and accounting up
Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the
Simone did website updates and some
Wolf guarded the office, chasing away
Steve Cole¹s bad mood and other demons.
Jean worked on the GURPS Prime Directive revision and the
ISC Empire Sourcebook, managed our page on Facebook (which is up to 3,791 friends), managed our Twitter feed (220 followers), commanded the
Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam assault on the BBS, managed
the blog feed, proofread the Captain's Log #53 story (Kraken) and the Wall of
Honor, took care of customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some
Join us on Facebook and Twitter
ADB, Inc.’s page on Facebook is up and running, and we’re finding
a lot of new faces who haven’t been around the BBS or Forum. We have
pictures up of ADB, Inc. staff, links to many of our videos, snippets of
information, and interaction with our fans. Jean Sexton is the main
voice you will hear on our page on Facebook. If she doesn’t know an
answer, she’ll ask one of the Steves and ferry the answer back.
that is left is for you to "like" the page for Amarillo Design Bureau,
Inc. if you haven’t done so already. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf
people on our page on Facebook have not been on our BBS, so perhaps
our new outpost on Facebook will become the place for those who want to
keep up with current events without the intense atmosphere (and flood
of information) found on the BBS. If you are very busy on a given day,
checking our page on Facebook would tell you quickly if something
important has been announced. The page also has its own art galleries,
plus a place where you can post a review of our products. It also has
discussions where you can link up with fellow gamers.
We've also added a Twitter feed which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ADBInc_Amarillo.
Be sure to follow us for a quick look at what is going on!
We hope to see you there! For Facebook users, be sure to add us to an interest group to see all of our posts.
Playing Star Fleet Universe Games Long Distance
Playing games by email or by post is an alternative to playing
face-to-face. While there are a few differences (i.e., your opponent
isn't sitting across the table from you), it is the same game.
When playing Star Fleet Battles
or Federation Commander
using the Play-by-Email (PBEM) system you and your opponent submit your
orders for the turn to a moderator via email. The moderator then
processes them, and sends a "SitRep" (Situation Report) to the players
via email. You receive the results, write up your next set of orders,
and then submit your orders once again. The process is repeated until
the game is completed. Sounds simple? That's because it IS! It'll take a
little getting used to (after all, what doesn't?), but once you've got
the hang of it, you'll be lobbing photon torpedoes (or whatever your
weapon of choice is) at opponents from all over the world.
PBEM game has at least three participants: two or more players and one
moderator. The moderator's purpose is to accept orders from the players
and carry them out, reporting the results of those orders to all
players. While (s)he is not a player, the moderator fulfills a very
important role in the game. Good moderators and good players make for a
good, enjoyable game. Moderating a game is also an excellent way to
learn more about the game's rules.
games can be played by posting on the Forum. The GM of the game gets
players, approves their characters, then sets up situations for the
characters to face. It takes a bit longer because the players are not
sitting around the table, but it also allows people who are spread out
across the world to play.
Players of all our games are
expanding the frontiers of playing long distance. Some are trying chat,
some are adding webcams to that, many are trying out VOIP so as to get
close to a face-to-face experience.
While there are
some disadvantages to playing long distance (it does take longer to
finish a game), there are advantages as well. You can play against
people in other parts of the world (how often do you get to Australia,
anyway?), you can play multiple games at once, and you can have large
multi-player games (without worrying about running out of chips and
For more information about playing long distance, drop in on the Forum (http://www.federationcommander.com/phpBB2
) or BBS (http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/
Star Fleet Trivideo Schedule, pt. 8
KZN5: Beauty and the Beast. A Kzinti noble falls in love with an Earth girl, who starts pumping iron in her prison cell.
GOR6: Gorn Storm Rising, a young Romulan officer discovers an impending Gorn attack, but nobody listens.
ORN8: CSI Vulcan: Investigators make logical deductions.
LYR11: Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright. Disaster movie.
ISC13: Last Man Standing. Bruce Willis tries to stop a fight between two outlaw gangs that refuse to help themselves.
(c) 2003 Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. Captain's Log #25
Ever wished you could take a peek inside a shrink-wrapped box or look
behind the pretty covers of a book? Then these videos are for you.
brainchild of Mike Sparks, our YouTube videos are of three types. The
first is about a specific product line and you can hear Steve Cole (yes,
he is the talking hands in our videos) discuss the products that are in
one of the different games. The second kind is what ADB, Inc. has
released in a particular month. These are a great way to catch up
quickly on the new items.
It is the third kind that let's you see what is in the box. A boxed game such as Federation & Empire
is taken out of the box item by item so that you can see what's in
there. From rulebook, to charts, to maps, to counters, each item is
shown and discussed. It's a lot of information to pack into a short
clip, but SVC and Mike manage it.
Check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/starfleetgames
and be sure to bring the popcorn!
On the Pain of Kindness
This is Steven Petrick posting.
I have been trying to get back into walking around the block on a steady basis.
About a week ago, I stepped outside and saw movement over by the parked cars, and recognizing it as the movement of a cat, I clicked my tongue to see if the cat was interested in being petted.
Most times nothing happens (the cat keeps walking, sometimes after a short look in the direction the sound came from), sometimes the cat will sit and wait to be approached and petted. In this case, the cat shot towards me at a dead run and proceeded to emit that shortened "mew" cats make when they are distressed and something is not right.
While petting the cat, I noted that, while not skin and bones, it had obviously missed more than a few meals recently, even though otherwise healthy and unmarked (no notches in its ears, no scars on its face, coat generally thick and in good condition). Its paws (which were all four white) were dirty, and its pads were scuffed.
I felt sympathy, but there was nothing I could do about it, So after petting it for a bit, I stood up and began my walk, in the hope that when I returned the cat would have moved on. At first, that seemed to be the case, but as I approached my door, I heard the repeated low "mew" of a cat in distress. The cat had moved out of direct sight into the breeze way and stayed at the corner where it could see around to where my door was.
My apartment complex under the current owners does not allow pets. But I have "remnants" from the days when I had cats. In the hopes that I would find the cat's owners, I let it in. I pulled out the one remaining litter box and set it in the bathroom and showed it to this cat, which, while not immediately using it, gave an indication of knowing what it was for. It religiously used it every day. I had some dry long storage cat food, and set this out in a styrofoam bowl together with another bowl with water. It was in good health (except for the obvious lack of regular meals recently), with no fleas. (Conditions locally have not been conducive to the annual flea outbreak, so the only real source of active fleas are those associated with the warm places of man, often ruthlessly suppressed by biologic and chemical means, and the dens of various animals.) Its ears were clear of mites, and other apparent health issues did not appear extant . . . except an apparent head cold.
A little unsure at first (an indication of at least some bad run ins with people in its recent past), by the end of the second day it was flopping down to allow its tummy to be rubbed. While it spent time in my lap while I watched TV, its big thing for most of the time it was with me was to at least be in the same room. (It decided that I toss and turn too much to share the bed with me, but slept on a pad near the bed.
I could not keep it, and got Jean to advertise for its owners. (Everything about this cat screamed "pampered house pet.") In the end to no avail.
The problem is that there was no way I could keep the cat, as much as I wanted to, not least because it had the colors (gray and white), length of fur (not really long, but definitely not short) and general build (if not the clubbed hind paw) of the cat who had last been my longest companion. Still, I knew enough not to give it a "formal" name. But I could not keep it. Sooner or later management would discover its presence and bad things would follow. And that basically meant that on Friday, the cat would have to go to the pound, even though that is a certain death sentence. But it was obvious this cat had no capability of surviving on its own, i.e., whatever had caused it to be running around loose, it had no hunting skills and anything it had eaten in the interim was scavenged. Not taking it to the pound would not really be an act of kindness, but an act of cruelty as the cat's life might be longer, but it would also be more brutal and full of suffering.
Turning the cat in would break what little is left of my heart once more.
As it is, the cat had good fortune to find me, and doubly good fortune that it happened that today the local ASPCA shelter had an opening for a cat.
I have had to give the cat up, and will have the sorrow of going home once more to an empty space, after the brief period of its greeting me every evening in thanks that it had been taken in and food and water were plenty, it was petted as much as it desired, and its coat frequently brushed as it sat in my lap. Even though I know it now has a chance of a longer and healthier and happier life than what would have been its lot at the pound, and would reclaim the cat immediately were I to learn I had won tonight's lottery drawing, for now, I will have to nurse the new emptiness in my life for its having been in it, however briefly. And thus the title of this blog, the pain of kindness.
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.