I’ve long had a fondness for hex-grid based board wargames. Most of the companies I remember from when I was in college and actively playing are now long gone. Now that I’m an empty nester I’m looking at what is out there, what I can do and updates that are available.
Star Fleet Battles
was one of my favorites when I was in college. These days the Amarillo Design Bureau has the license and is still producing versions of the games. I’m looking at updating my older copies and perhaps finding some local players to run a game or three with sometime in the mid-term future. The basic game is an old star trek tactical combat game. Rather complex in mechanics I love the way it plays out if you’re using pre-plotted movement as you’re trying to plan out your course for the turn and get inside the head of your opponent.
I’ve ordered a copy of the latest version of the strategic game Federation and Empire which I own in the original edition but never found time to play. and I expect has likely evolved substantially from the simple game I have in my library currently.
I’m hoping to continue back-filling my library with updated versions of these games as time and budget permit.
Starfire is a strategic monster game. In the game you build an empire, research technology, construct fleets and battle other empires. The tactical game is relatively simple but the overall system has mind boggling complexity. This is a game that desperately wants a computer based, shared universe simulation. The base game now seems to be available on a single CD with pretty much everything included. I’ll very likely pick up a copy soon.
The ogre series of games was small, simple, cheap and had an interesting back story. My memory of the base game was that every time I ever played, the ogre won. The ogre’s objective was to destroy the command post at the opposite end of the map. The defender simply (yeah right) had to stop the ogre.
In my experience, if you spent attacks on the ogres treads (mobility kill) your units got massacred and the ogre eventually got close enough to shoot the CP with something (long ranged ogre missiles were popular here). If you spent attacks on weapons then the ogre simply rolled over the CP (which was enough for a win).
I’d be tempted to try it again with perhaps a bidding system where each player proposes how many points of units they’re willing to try to stop the ogre with and the one with the fewest points proposed gets to defend. I’d expect that would allow the system to be calibrated to something that works and might be an interesting exercise.