I Am Becoming My Parents! Oh! The Horror!
Jean Sexton muses:
Once upon a time, I promised myself that I would remain forever young in spirit, understanding of all youthful indiscretions, and exploring new ideas and concepts. For the most part, I think I have succeeded. Still sometimes I open my mouth and my parents' words fall out. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing as they frequently had words of wisdom. But still I hear myself sounding like them and it is a shock.
"Just pick it up and put it away." I have a bad habit of getting distracted and laying something down on a flat surface close at hand. Eventually things become cluttered and I need to have a round of cleaning. To this day I find myself muttering my mother's phrase. Remarkably, it still helps.
"Don't litter. Throw it in the trashcan." I find myself wondering about this on walks around the apartment complex. I wonder why people cannot put cigarette butts, empty drink bottles, used food wrappers, and (my pet peeve) chewing gum somewhere other than the ground. We share this earth; let's not litter it.
"The music today ..." As I look at my music collection, I see the genres of my parents: classical, Christmas, folk, and musicals (all with over 50 hours of music). Now, I have added some other genres and performers who are new (Lindsey Sterling, Peter Hollens, Pentatonix, Eben Brooks, and Wild Oats come to mind), but the majority are performers I heard as a child. Some of that is because I inherited my father's CD collection and Mom gave me a lot of musicals, but I added on to those. I suppose as long as I add on new people, then I haven't utterly stagnated.
"When I was that age ..." I do have to be careful of this one. There are so many choices for activities open to people today that weren't when I was young. Video games, smart phones, and computers all provide different avenues of communication and play. When I am in a restaurant and see people texting on their phones or playing games while their companion does the same, sometimes I cannot help but wonder if we will lose the ability to hold conversations with others.
There is one good thing to all of this; I don't get to use some of my "parentisms" on my dog. Well, if I do, he just grins his doggy grin and continues on his merry way. And when I find myself feeling as though I am stagnating, I use Facebook to connect with some of my younger friends, listen to something new on YouTube, or read something new to me. "Get out there and live your life." Oh no! It is my parents' instructions again.
CLASS HISTORIES: FEDERATION DESTROYERS (Part 4), section 5
In previous installments of this
series as found in various Captain's Logs, we presented the class
histories of some of the most famous Federation old-series destroyers in
Star Fleet. Their tales of valor and glory, of missions accomplished
and victories won, of worlds explored and civilizations contacted
reflect the highest standards of the Star Fleet. Destroyer crews were,
it would appear from those earlier entries (particularly Part 2 and the
DDG sub-class), the hand-picked elite of the best space navy in the
USS AMAZON: Crewed entirely by Alpha-Centaurans, this ship was known as a
hellcat in combat. The captain once told a Klingon admiral: "You just
don't get it, do you?"
USS FRISBEE: Apparently another ship resulting from incomplete database
records of obscure terms, this ship disappeared in Y165 after suffering a
breakdown during a high energy turn (the warp engine was torn
completely away from the hull) and tumbling out of control. It was last
seen in the jaws of a large space monster which literally ran away with
USS TITANIC: Destroyed by the impact of an uncharted comet during its
maiden cruise. The ship was considered so invulnerable to damage that it
had no internal air-tight doors.
(c) Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc.
In Praise of Our Volunteers
The adventure game (wargame+roleplaying game) industry is a small
one, and there isn't the kind of money inside of it that other
industries have. The industry consists of creative game designers
willing to work 60 hours a week for half the pay they could command
outside the game industry, all because they get to BE game designers.
at that, the only way the game industry survives is by the hard labor
of unpaid volunteers who (for honor, glory, and rarely some free games)
provide no end of valuable services to game publishers.
Mike West answers rules questions on Federation Commander.
Mike Curtis does the same thing for Federation & Empire,
Jonathan Thompson for Prime Directive PD20
Jean Sexton for GURPS Prime Directive,
Richard Sherman for Star Fleet Battle Force,
and Andy Vancil for Star Fleet Battles.
Frank Brooks runs the play-by-email system as a volunteer. Paul Franz charges barely enough for the online game system (for SFB
to pay the server costs. Tenneshington Decals does made-to-order
decals for our Starline miniatures and is run by two of our fans: Will
McCammon and Tony Thomas.
Federation & Empire
would not exist without Chuck Strong (a retired real-world colonel from
Space Command) in charge of the overall game system. He keeps his
staff (Mike Curtis, Ryan Opel, Scott Tenhoff, Thomas Mathews, and Stew
Frazier) busy moving projects forward.
would get done on any of our games except for the Playtest Battle Labs
run by Scott Moellmer in Colorado and by Mike Curtis and Tony Thomas in
Tennessee. And all of the other playtesters are invaluable to us.
have other staffers and volunteers who do specific things (and
sometimes a wide variety of things) for us including John Berg,
Howard Bampton, and Lucky Coleman (Galactic Conquest
Kast (Klingon Armada
); and John Sickels, Tony Thomas, James Goodrich, Mike West, James Kerr, and Loren Knight (Prime Directive
Some vital part of the product line would grind to a halt without each
one of them. Sometimes our volunteers become part of our staff; Jean
Sexton started out as a volunteer proofreader.
to this list are hundreds of others who, during any given month,
by email or BBS or Forum or our page on Facebook, contribute in some way
to the company and its product line. They may report a glitch in an
existing product, playtest a product in development, suggest a new
product, point out something another company is doing what we may want
to take a look at emulating, look up a rules reference for another
player, report on somebody who using our property improperly, comment
on a posted draft of a new rule, or simply ask a question nobody else
ever dared to ask.
Many years ago, we began awarding
medals, ribbons, and other "decorations" to staffers and others who
contributed to each product, and some other projects. These awards not
only recognize those who contributed to the various projects, but
encouraged others to begin making their contributions to future
projects. We have created the Wall of Honor at http://starfleetgames.com/ArtGallery/Wall%20of%20Honor.shtml
This is a tribute to over 30 years of volunteer work. We hope you visit
it to say thanks to all the volunteers and their efforts.
This is Steven Petrick posting.
More progress has been made on the Klingon Master Starship Book
. Jean Sexton has found several typo and format errors that the staff checkers had missed (it has a lot of information that has been added by the Master Starship Book
Like the Hydran Master Starship Book
, the Klingon Master Starship Book
is somewhat different from the Federation Master Starship Book
, and also from the Hydran Master Starship Book
While all three follow the general format, the books are inevitably different.
The Federation has few "hybrid carriers," but almost half of the Hydran ships are hybrid carriers, and thus text defining fighters on those ships had to be inserted into the format that was not really needed for the Federation.
The Klingons are the first "disruptor" empire we have done. Like the Federation there are few "hybrid carriers," but many (not all) of their ships have access to UIMs (requires Range-22 or greater disruptors and there are some "political" considerations which deny the system to some ships nominally allowed to have it). This gets into some ships (such as the D6 series, D7 series, F5C leaders, dreadnoughts, etc.) are in service before UIMs are available, but some of these (D7Cs, F5Cs, C8s, C9s, etc.) have UIMs as standard equipment, and most that have UIMs available as a refit, can also purchase additional UIM modules as part of their commander's options. So every ship includes a UIM line in the format. DERFACs on the other hand is handled as the straight refit it is (there is no allowance for using commander's option points to purchase additional DERFACS back up systems).
Another evolution is that the Klingons, more than the Federation, have "separation." So every ship that has a boom able to separate includes notes (where appropriate) about the change to the boom's weapons arcs, and (a problem not found on Federation saucers) the fact that if the boom has a shuttle bay, that bay can be used to lay mines only if the boom has separated.
All stasis field generator variants are covered with their own listing (SBA, B11A, B11VA, B11SA, B10A, B10VA, B10SA, B10TA, etc.).
The carrier escort tables have been relaid out to show all escort groups in order from the larger escort to the smaller, and the background of all of the escorts has been scoured to make sure the escorts appear where they are appropriate with a tighter view. Not only is the lone AD6 accounted for, but also the lone E5E. FWE escorts have been more restricted in availability in concert with their ship description (the FWV is no longer eligible to have one in keeping with the ship description of the FWE for example).
And while all this is going on, the Romulan Master Starship Book
is itself being worked on. It has not gone to the staff yet (pending publication of the Klingon Master Starship Boo
k we do not want to divert their attention). The Romulans, of course, do have "hybrid carriers" (if no where near as many as the Hydrans), but do not have disruptors. They do have cloaking devices, and whether a given ship has a cloak or not is noted. (Mostly auxiliary ships and a few police ships do not.) Format problems identified in the Klingon Master Starship Book
are being addressed in the Romulan Master Starship Book
at the same time, which should (along with the smaller number of fighter types over all compared to the first three empires) make the book easier for the staffers to check.
RANDOM THOUGHTS #239
Steve Cole ponders the curious origins of interesting words:
1. QUAKER, a member of the religious group known as the Society of Friends, was an insulting appellation applied to them by a judge when the founder said that the judge should "tremble before God." The Society has never officially adopted the name but seems comfortable with its use.
2. QUARRY, an animal hunted as prey, comes from the French word cuiree, which referred to the parts of the animal given to the dogs as their reward. Quarry, a place where stone blocks for buildings are taken from the bedrock, comes from the unrelated Latin word quadratus, which means "square."
3. QUISLING, a traitor, comes from the name of Vidkur Quisling, the Norwegian Nazi who ran the occupied country during World War II as a stooge for Hitler. Tried for treason and 1,100 acts of murder, Quisling was shot by a firing squad after Norway passed a special law allowing the previously eliminated death penalty to be used for traitors.
4. QUIXOTIC, meaning an impractical if romantic dream, comes from the character Don Quixote. Written in Spain in 1605, the book by Cervantes tells the story of a slightly insane but absolutely chivalrous old knight who apparently got hit in the helmet one too many times. The book was something of a satire of much older books about real knights doing real deeds, and was immensely popular at the time and even today.
5. QUORUM, which under parliamentary rules means enough members of the group to conduct business (usually just over 50% but various groups have other rules), hold votes, reach agreements, and make decisions, comes from a Latin phrase "quorum vos [name] unum [number] esse volumnus" which means "You are one of the [number] required to be present." Judges in old Roman Empire courts had a small staff of scribes and experts whom were necessary to hold trials and that Latin phrase meant "you are one of the judge's staff."
6. RAFFLE, which today means a game of chance in which many buy tickets and the holder of the winning ticket gets the prize, was a simple dice game in the late 1300s of England. In that game, each player made a wager, then each threw three dice. The winner was the player with the highest triple, or if there were no triple, the highest pair, or if there was no pair, the highest total.
7. RAKE, a scoundrel of vile character, is a short form of Rake Hell, a term used 400 years ago. The point was that you'd have to rake the embers of Hell to find someone of such low character, questionable ethics, and evil intent.
8. RAPTURE, RAPT, RAPE, all deriva from the same Latin word, rapio, which meant "to capture or seize." The term was particularly applied to seizing a woman (as loot) during wartime. Today rapt carries the original meaning of seized as is "his attention was seized by what he saw." Rapture then means a state of mind in which that which has seized your attention is so incredible that no other thought is possible.
9. RECALCITRANT, which means to angrily and stubbornly resist an order or social requirement, comes from the Latin "re calcitro" meaning "to kick back." It refers to a horse or mule hitched to a wagon but objecting to the order to pull the wagon. The animal "kicks back" in an attempt to destroy the wagon or injure the driver and thus escape from bondage.
10. RECORD, which as a verb means "to take note of" or "to make a record of" comes form the Latin "re cor" which means "back to the heart" or "learn it by heart". The phrase comes from a time 20 centuries ago when few could read or write, and a servant or soldier had to "learn by heart" the message or report he was to carry to a distant post.
This Week at ADB, Inc., 19-25 July 2015
Steve Cole reports:
This was a week from heck, as we discovered that the Federation & Empire
counters we had sent to press were full of mistakes. Lots of hard work
by the F&E staff and in-house staff and by the end of the week the
counters were fixed and back on track. The weather this week was hot.
The spam storm mostly remained at something under 300 per day.
New on Warehouse 23, DriveThru RPG, and Wargame Vault this week was the SFB Basic
Set Rulebook. New to DriveThru RPG and Wargame Vault was SFB Commander's Edition Volume III.
Steve Cole worked on F&E counters, art
for Klingon Master Starship Book, Captain's Log #51, and other things. Various minor injuries limited his
walking with Wolf to under three miles.
Steven Petrick worked on Captain's Log #51,
Klingon Master Starship Book, Romulan Master Starship Book, and other projects.
The Starlist Update Project moved forward
with three new entries, one update, and perhaps the first person to
ever ask for the archive list of names prior to 2005.
Leanna kept orders and
accounting up to date.
Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the
Simone did website updates and some
Jean managed our page on
Facebook (which is up to 2,667 friends), managed our Twitter feed (153
followers), commanded the Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam
assault on the BBS, managed the blog feed, proofread the Klingon Master Starship Book, took care of
customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some marketing.
Got Any Marketing Ideas?
ADB, Inc., is always interested in great marketing ideas, ways and
places to sell our products, as well as new products to sell. Our page
on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf
exists to put our products in front of other groups of potential
customers. You will find us on Twitter as ADBInc_Amarillo.
We also are releasing YouTube videos that show what you'll
find in "the box" and our latest releases. You can catch our videos on
our channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/starfleetgames
tried a lot of things that didn't work (Google Pay per Click,
full-color ads in trade journals) and a lot of things that did work
(banners on gamer websites, Star Fleet Alerts) and are always looking
for new ideas. If you have any, send them to us at
Marketing@StarFleetGames.com and we'll think them over.