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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

In a time too long past, a thousand times a thousand would have begged to fly that ship. Now, there is only Norrin Radd.


Once upon a time, we had over a hundred SFB scenarios in the file, and over the years we steadily sent them through playtesting, editing, and publication. Now, the file is, well, hardly empty, but a lot less thick. This has been aggravated by our efforts, in response to player demand, to include more scenarios in Captain's Log, which in the past has had as few as three.

People want their "name in the book" but keep sending in new ships. We get about four or five new ship proposals for every new scenario submission, and we print more scenarios than we do ships. If you want your name in the book, your best route is through scenarios, not ship designs.

At one point, the scenario file got so thin that Steven P. Petrick was spotted going through Federation Commander scenarios looking for things he could convert to Star Fleet Battles.

Holy Irony, Batman!

There has never been a better time than right now to submit new SFB scenarios. Scenarios for the Early Years, Middle Years, General War, Andromedan War, Magellanics, and Omega are wanted and welcome, as well as generic scenarios reflecting common and timeless battles. We even want "party scenarios" where you forget the history and just have a good time.


Why do players, desperate for a publication notch on the handle of their phaser pistol, send in endless new ships (each of which is only a box or two different from existing ships, or violates long-established and well-known design rules) instead of new scenarios? We don't know.

Theories abound.

Scenarios are harder to write, at least, harder to write correctly, but then, so are the ship designs that actually pass muster and get published. Scenarios have to fit the timeline, and follow the rules, but then, so do ships. Research is key, and everything you need to know (ship name indexes, scenario formats, and the timeline) are on the website for free. The Input Guides have further information.

Some say they don't know how. You know how to design a ship but not how to write a scenario? Come on! The players of Star Fleet Battles are the most intelligent gamers out there. You can do this! Just give it a shot!

Some just don't want to. Fair enough, but if you want to become a published contributor to the Star Fleet Universe, your best chance for that is by writing a scenario!

Some fear rejection, but this fear of rejection doesn't seem to stop them from designing new ships.

We just don't buy it. There's no reason that the best gamers around cannot write endless scenarios.


Well, when we write scenarios, we get ideas and inspiration from a lot of places.

Read a history book or a history magazine (or watch the History Channel) and adapt a famous battle to SFB.

Read the existing scenarios and fiction and ask yourself "What happens next?" or even "What happened before?"

Go look up the Principles of War and see if you can reflect one or two of them in a scenario.

Look at the new ships in Module R11 (or Captain's Log or Module R12) and write a scenario that uses them.

Ideas are all around you. Open your mind and let yourself see them. Then turn them into scenarios and send them in!