Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Call To Arms Star Fleet Rulebook

A Call To Arms Star Fleet is the tale of three companies, Amarillo Design Bureau, Mongoose Publishing, and who ever currently owns Star Trek, currently CBS. In the late 1970s, Stephen V. Cole came up with the original game Star Fleet Battles for Task Force Games. That company closed and from its ashes was build Amarillo Design Bureau who currently produce Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander, among other games.

Mongoose Publishing developed a game called A Call To Arms which was based upon the Babylon 5 TV show. In 2012 Mongoose Publishing teamed up with Amarillo Design Bureau to combine the game engine of A Call To Arms and put it into the ADB Star Fleet Universe. This created a game that plays like A Call To Arms but uses the ships and setting from the Star Fleet Universe which is a "Star Trek" setting that ADB uses in its games. For those unaware, it is a completely separate universe from Star Trek canon and basically doesn't contain anything before Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Of course, there are many differences to how Star Fleet Battles (and Federation Commander) play compared to A Call To Arms: Star Fleet. The biggest, at least to me who hasn't played ACTA yet, is that in ADB games you move on a hex board while ACTA plays in a hexless system. I am interested in trying this out so stay tuned for that.

I remember when this team-up was first announced and the cover to the book was released. They nailed the look with that picture, Federation CA firing phasers at two Klingons while a third fires disrupters at the Fed CA. It is a great shot that really gives you a sense of the world and what adventures await you in the game.

I like Federation Commander and I get to play it way less than I'd choose in an ideal world. Because of this, I was interested in trying out the game but I knew I wouldn't have many people to play against so I never purchased a copy. If you've been reading my posts lately you'll know that I've been buying a lot of the different "Star Trek" ship games that I've never tried out but always wanted to. While crossing eBay the other day I came across a seller selling brand new hard copies of the first edition rulebook for less than 10 dollars shipped so I figured I didn't have too much to lose and went ahead with the purchase which came in today.

As I just mentioned I don't have high hopes of playing a lot of this game but I do like the section about a campaign. My biggest regret in Federation Commander is the lack of a campaign system, I even brought it up on the ADB forums years ago. There has been talk of a dedicated campaign system for Fed Com but as of this post it still hasn't come out. There are two pages of rules for a campaign in ACTA: Star Fleet which would be very easy to convert into Federation Commander and I'm entertaining the notion of doing just that.

I do plan to play the game as is to see what it's like. A Deluxe Edition has been published by ADB that has had its rules revised, among other changes. Once I try out the original version I may pick up a copy of the Deluxe Edition but only time will tell. If anyone out there has played ACTA, either Babylon 5 or the Star Fleet version) let me know what you think of it.

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