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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tribbles vs. Klingons

I fear no enemy, but tribbles give me the creeps.--Admiral Kauldblud

The Klingon battlecruiser Ruthless is on combat patrol when a carton of tribbles loaded on board by traitorous crewmen erupts in Cargo Hold Number Two. Tribbles quickly consume the stockpile of food in the compartment, then break out through air ducts, wiring conduits, and plumbing drains into other compartments, seeking something else to eat. Their numbers multiply as they consume each ration pack they find. Panic ensues, and the crew stampedes out of the three lowest decks by way of the transporters, maintenance shafts, and turbolifts. The captain, outraged by the cowardice of his crew, orders the Marines to storm their way into the lower decks and "Kill everything!" but only a few minutes later the deadly and fearless Klingon Imperial Marines retreat in blind panic, having abandoned most of their weapons and equipment. "Send us to the gadolinium mines if you will!" says one Marine sergeant major, "but I will not return to face those ... those THINGS." The captain, with only minutes before the Secret Police report the mutiny to higher commands and tribbles pouring out of the food replicators, calls for volunteers: "Promotions, medals, and transfer to guard a retirement colony await those who rid my ship of this pestilence!" he declares. Meanwhile, a pet cat brought aboard by a crewmen heads into the bowels of the ship on his own self-appointed mission of death.

Tribbles vs. Klingons is a fast-playing game for two-to-six players. The game rules are only three pages long (which may seem strange because my last "simplified" game has over 500 pages). The playing boards show the lower decks of a Klingon battlecruiser. Cast pewter warriors represent the players and the cat. Miniature balls of innocent fluff represent the tribbles. Die-cut playing pieces represent the weapons and other equipment left behind by terrified crewmen and panic-stricken Marines. Random cards allow you to send your rival warriors in the wrong direction, or provide them with weapons, or order them to chat with the secret police. An option allows players to play a "cooperative game" where the goal is to win as a team, not rinky-dink your rivals out of the battle space so you can claim all of the medals.

We plan to launch this game on Kickstarter sometime in late May or June, and release it this fall. If we raise enough money, the game will be improved with more and better maps, more and better playing pieces, and (of course) more tribbles! The plan is, obviously, to produce a game that interests a wider audience of more casual gamers. We always wanted to do a "beer & pretzel" game and this is it.

You can find out more about this exciting new game at http://www.starfleetgames.com/Tribbles.shtml