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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Star Fleet Assault

Having spent time in more than one "ground combat maneuver unit" and having designed dozens of non-SFU ground combat games over my career, I always wanted to do a ground combat game for star fleet. Based on the last poll results, it looks like I may get the chance, and yes, Star Fleet Assault will work just as well with Federation Commander.

The idea of Star Fleet Assault is a game that plays all by itself as a ground combat game in the 20-whatever-eth century, but one that you can play simultaneously with SFB or FC so that the ground battle proceeds in paralel with the space battle.

Defining space-age ground combat is, in it's own way, a challenge. We can assume some things (unit sizes in terms of warm bodies will get smaller as firepower goes up) and take a lot from SFB and FC (I don't care what you saw on TV, you can't "stun" an entire attacking army. Starship phasers can't be set that accurately.) We have such things as transporter artillery (you have the forklift load a pallet of 36 artillery shells on the transporter and then "transport" them to a point over the enemy; spring-loading pushes the shells apart into the pattern you want) in the game universe, and that's going to be fun.

Having shuttlecraft (instead of WW2 halftracks) race onto the map, land, unload troops, then take off and either go get more troops or serve as "helicopter gunships" is a blast.

When will Star Fleet Assault see print? sometime in the next 24 months. In May 07 we will select several products now in development for publication during July 07-July 08, and star fleet assault may be one of them. Or it may have to wait until May 08 for the July 08-July 09 cycle. But it's gonna happen because you, the players, voted it into 4th place from a field of a dozen possible products.

Oh, the others, just for your info, are SFB Module R11 Support Ships of the General War, SFB Module X1R more X-ships, and SFB Module Y2 "back to the past again".