Monday, October 6, 2014

Star Fleet Battles - The early years and my memories.

I think I first played Star Fleet Battles in 1980.  My school chum Michael M. was at Griffith University and found the University game club - GUTS (Griffith University Tacticians & Strategists).  There he and later I become the compatriots of Shane S., Paul A., Alex M., Owen G., and maybe some others but I can't recall their names (give me a break it was 30 odd years ago).

The Star Fleet from those days was a smaller booklet (like the expansions in the photograph) and not as complex as the game became over the years.  In the early 80's as we left the University some of the lads joined other persons I met and we played at my parents home most Friday and Saturday nights (the fact my mother fed them as well was a bonus).  Quite a few people would turn up on these nights and games could become quite lengthy.  To this end Gary W. (and I think Michael M.) wrote a simple damage allocation generator on the Apple II.  It certainly sped things up.

I also joined Queensland Role Players who also had other games being played besides role-playing.  There were many others who joined in, Greg L., Russel P., Tim B., and many others.  The club magazine included articles and I know that Michael M., was involved in calculating a point system for the early days of gaming.  Creating our own starships was a craze for a period of time.

Some memories that may bring a laugh from my generation:

  • Alex M, firing overloaded photo torpedoes, range 0-1, every shot missed.
  • Attempting to outrun Romulan Plasma Torpedoes.
  • No one liked the Andromedans (except Greg L.) very over powered at the start.

As usual, time moves on, new games and hobbies came along to distract me and SFB has been gathering dust on my shelf.  Sadly the boxes are shells that survived my flood crisis, as did a few books, expansions and counters.  I'm hoping a friend remembers his promise to pass on to me his SFB collection, but it's fine if he doesn't.  He really needs to come back to Brisbane where real gamers live and play.  My generation may be getting old, but there are still a few of us who still enjoy playing games.  Should I reach retirement age I'm hoping more of my old colleagues may stir and rekindle the memory of playing and enjoying games from our youth.

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