barnabas_truman: (army)
(We've been playing through our first attempt at Star Trek: The Deck-Building Game. Pretty fun so far.)

"So it looks like you have to discard Nurse Chapel."

"Aw, but Majel Barrett was helping me win!"

"Don't worry; she plays plenty of other characters too."
barnabas_truman: (army)
Just tried playing Battlestations (new-to-me board game, combining starship combat and RPG character-driven style) for the first time. I played Cal Hoskins the medic; Judith was Alice Stevensen the security officer. We were on board a scout ship which was suddenly invaded by five giant bug monsters for no reason other than that we wanted to learn the game mechanics.

After the initial panic of the first exchange of shots and/or mandibles, we fell into a run-and-gun strategy. Humans, it turns out, can move slightly faster than these bugs, so we would run along the corridor, she would turn and shoot at the nearest bug, I would work on healing her wounds, and the bugs, struggling to keep up, would usually not have time to attack. Eventually the last two bugs cornered us in an engine room dead-end, and, though almost out of hit points ourselves, managed to take them down.

Anyway, it's a very fun game. Reminds me a lot of Red November, but more flexible and RPG-ish. Haven't tried out the actual ship movement mechanics yet; they look like they take a lot of inspiration from Star Fleet Battles but of course much much simpler and with more focus on what the player characters are doing IN the ships. For instance, if you want the ship to turn, you have to be at the helm and make a Piloting skill roll with difficulty equal to your ship's size plus its current speed. Looking forward to playing more of this.
barnabas_truman: (army)
Highlight of the inaugural episode of the Star Trek game:

The brash young human helmsman had been making "That's what she said!" jokes intermittently since the crew first arrived on the starship. Responses: giggling from the Cygnan chief engineer, a gruff "I don't know what you're talking about" from the Andorian commander, and a stoically confused "Who is 'she'?" from the Vulcan weapons officer.

Much later, the commander got into an argument with a more experienced officer about proper safety protocol for testing new combat tactics, and said "I can see that we have very different ideas about experimentation!"

The Vulcan responded, in complete deadpan, "That is what she said."

...and, as the rest of the crew cracked up, "Was that correct? Did I do it right?"
barnabas_truman: (army)
After many delays, the GURPS Star Trek game is about to begin!

The chief officers of the Federation frigate USS Mercury are as follows:

Commander Akoval Endival Ghorev, Andorian commander and security specialist, formerly of the Andorian National Guard. Recently selected for a lateral promotion into Star Fleet in command of the Mercury.

Ensign Kivik, Vulcan weapons officer. She has had some internship experience assisting with weaponry maintenance on a starbase, and recently graduated from Star Fleet Academy on Earth.

Ensign Pellinar Srin, Cygnan chief engineer and physicist. She attended the Cygnan School of Engineering, spent a year as engineer on a merchant freighter, and continued on to Star Fleet Academy, from which she recently graduated. She is looking forward to being in charge below decks on a ship with more power and high speed.

Ensign Apollo "Quasar" Jones, Human helmsman and navigator. Young but highly skilled pilot with a good sense of spatial awareness. Recently graduated from Star Fleet Academy.

Dr. Amethyst "Ammy" Wong, Human doctor and biologist. Trained in medical treatment for a variety of intelligent lifeforms; fascinated by alien biology. Recently graduated from Star Fleet Academy.

The Mercury itself is a frigate--a small saucer section with two warp nacelles attached underneath--with two photon torpedo launchers, a reasonable phaser array, a pair of shuttles, some science facilities, and a crew of 160 (including 30 security personnel, all Andorians from Akoval's old platoon). Its mission will include training for the aforementioned recent graduates, survey of unexplored planets and astronomical phenomena, border patrol along the Klingon Neutral Zone, and protection and resupply for distant colonies and outposts of the Federation.
barnabas_truman: (army)
Me: (explains SFB boarding party combat to Hazel)

Hazel: So then one of the redshirts dies?

Me: Yeah. He can fall dramatically down the Jefferies Tube if you like.

Hazel: But he lands on a pile of tribbles which cushions his fall!

Me: That's all well and good until you forget which Jefferies Tube has the squashed tribbles, and a week later it's starting to smell but you can't find it, and the stench gets all over your ship because it's in the ventilation system.

Hazel: Ooh, that can't be good for morale.

Me: And that means your ship is treated as if it had a Poor Crew until you can take it in for an overhaul between scenarios to clean out the ventilation!

Hazel: :-(

Me: So this is why you should fill Jefferies Tubes with packing peanuts instead of tribbles.
barnabas_truman: (army)
Olllllllllllllllllarwexo, Aowef, Oawe, and Arowe would be good names for aliens.
barnabas_truman: (Default)
I'm planning to run a "teaching set" of Star Fleet Battles at the party tomorrow. Anyone want to join in? Would you prefer:

* everybody teams up against a space monster that moves by automatic rules

* all beginners team up against Barnabas

* two teams of beginners fighting each other

* beginners fly pirate ships raiding a freighter convoy or mining colony

* use the Bang! role cards to determine who's trying to blow up whom

* or other suggestions?
barnabas_truman: (kimiko)
Federation dreadnought Excelsior enter stage left.
Hydran Fighter #1 and Hydran Fighter #2 emerge from center stage Fighter Base.
They fight.

"Ooh! So can I use my tractor beams to grab one of your fighters and throw it at the other fighter?"


"Like this. Here's my dreadnought [Altoids tin] and here's your fighters [12 mm six-sided dice]. I want to grab this one with my tractor beam [pencil] VWEEEEE and throw it at the other one POW!"

"Hold on. So you want your skyscraper-sized dreadnought to use its tractor beams to pick up this bus-sized fighter which is 30,000 kilometers away..."


"...which the rules do allow you to do, which I think is very generous, and then you want to use your tractor beams to make that fighter smack into the other fighter, which is 40,000 kilometers away and moving at 15 times the speed of light???"

"I want to throw it at the other fighter."


"I totally think I should be able to make them smash into each other."

"Do I need to look up the rule for you, or can I just paraphrase from memory? 'There are no rules for ship collisions. There will never be rules for ship collisions. Ships cannot collide or be made to collide. Please stop sending us letters asking for collision rules.' I think that about sums it up."
barnabas_truman: (Default)
I finally got some better pictures of these with the digital camera, so here they are:

A Federation heavy cruiser and a Klingon D7 face off in standard orbit.

The rest are under the cut so as not to clutter your friends page. You're welcome. )

What do you think? Might there be an online market for such things? (They're about dime-sized, ish.) Any suggestions on what else to make? I'll likely have a lot more free time in the coming year and want to get back into being more artsy-craftsy.
barnabas_truman: (oldstyle)
Tonight on GURPS Celebrity Deathmatch: the U.S.S. Enterprise vs. Great Cthulhu!

Sources: GURPS Prime Directive, GURPS Cthulhupunk, and Star Fleet Battles.

insert technobabble here )

They fight.

During yet another routine delivery mission, the Federation heavy cruiser U.S.S. Enterprise is in standard orbit around the M-class planet Sol-III, better known as Earth. Suddenly, a tremor shakes the blue expanse below, and a red light flashes on the science officer's dashboard.

"Captain," says Mr. Spock, "sensors register a large disturbance in the southern part of your Pacific Ocean."

"I'm picking up a strange signal from that region, sir," reports communications officer Lt. Uhura. "It matches no known frequency, and doesn't make any sense."

"Let's hear it," replies the legendary and incredibly awesome Captain James Tiberius Kirk.


"What the hell was that?" demands the easily excitable ship's surgeon Dr. McCoy.

"The universal translator does not appear to be capable of fully interpreting it," muses Spock. "It would appear to be either an incredibly advanced or incredibly primitive language, or perhaps no language at all. Meaning uncertain; perhaps something about an entity called Cthulhu either dreaming or dying in a place called Ryleh."

"Strange," frowns the captain. "Any more information on that disturbance in the south Pacific?"

"Sensors report that volcanic activity has raised a new--or perhaps very old--island to the surface," replies Spock, raising an eyebrow. "It appears to hold a number of artificial structures, perhaps buildings, made of very large boulders. Architecture appears to be... no, the sensors must be malfunctioning. The geometry of these buildings is highly illogical!"

"Maybe they hired an eccentric architect?" jokes McCoy.

"I do not mean, Doctor, that the buildings' architecture is aesthetically nonsensical," Spock says derisively, "but that their geometry is mathematically impossible. They should not--can not--exist."

"Yet there they are," says Kirk.

"Aye, I jest checked the sensors yesterday," chief engineer Scott points out. "They're in fayne order."

"Captain, look!" cries Uhura, pointing at the main viewscreen.

It's late; I'll finish it later.
barnabas_truman: (army)
The heavy cruiser USS Serendipity, under command of Captain Hazel Burnsides, traveled to the Gamma Draconis system (unclaimed and unexplored territory) to explore its fifth planet, an M-class with moon. Ship sensors revealed an ancient abandoned alien building on the planet surface; several away teams were sent to investigate by both transporter and shuttlecraft.

During the planetary survey the Destruction, a Klingon D7 battle cruiser, arrived in the system and demanded that the Serendipity leave immediately, claiming that Gamma Draconis was claimed by the Klingon Empire and any Federation presence there would be considered an act of war. This message was followed almost immediately by an attack by the Destruction's disruptor beams against the unprotected Serendipity, the latter's shields having been deactivated to allow the use of transporters.

At this time information from the science team revealed the alien structure to be a surface-to-space weapons platform including a class IV phaser cannon and a class III defensive phaser array. The Serendipity raised shields and armed weapons, determined to defend itself and its personnel on the planet surface.

After a brief but furious battle, the Serendipity was crippled, having been hit from behind by several overcharged disruptor barrages. Captain Burnsides ordered the weakened ship to switch to emergency power and retreat with all possible speed. As it left the system, however, Burnsides transported herself and all of the ship's security personnel into the shuttles already on the planet surface, in hopes of maintaining possession of the ground base and further investigating its capabilities.

The Serendipity was able to escape the system badly damaged but still in one piece, and jumped to warp speed on its way back to Federation space. During the battle, the away team managed to activate the weapons systems of the ground base and fired the phaser-IV at the Destruction, taking down its rear shield and dealing a small but effective amount of internal damage. Slightly bruised and unable to transport troops to the planet surface without exposing itself to much more damage, the Destruction also left the system and returned to base for repairs.

What else will Captain Burnsides and her crew find on this strange planet? What unknown dangers await? Will the captain give in to the wit and charm of her chief weapons officer, Lieutenant Truman? Will the ground base's moderate defenses be able to hold off Klingon attacks until Federation reinforcements arrive? TO BE CONTINUED!
barnabas_truman: (mayhem)
1) The main plot of Star Trek: Voyager involves a starship which has been magically sent to the other side of the galaxy, and working slowly on a 70-year return journey.

2) Some storylines of Star Trek: The Original Series involve the starship Enterprise travelling to the edge of the galaxy or to the center of the galaxy in the span of a single episode.

3) The Voyager was built over 120 years after the Enterprise, and should therefore have vastly more advanced (and thus faster) engine technology. However, this is clearly not the case.

4) The captain of the Enterprise is male (and what a male!).

5) The captain of the Voyager is female.

6) Obvious conclusion: warp drives are in fact powered entirely by testosterone.

Further evidence: the biggest boost Voyager got on its journey homewards was when Kes turned into a being of pure energy and shot the ship forward 9500 light years. Clearly this sudden burst of speed was due to Kes's estrogen turning into pure anti-estrogen, which the warp core would treat as some sort of hyper-testosterone.
barnabas_truman: (recycle)
Here's how a sample game of Star Fleet Battles might look:

Notice the boring little cardboard tokens that look nothing like actual ships.

So here's the same sample game image, with MY "tokens."

I like making little clay figurines; I've just never really had much reason to do so. Now I do!

Here's the whole fleet:

Back row: Federation Destroyer, Federation Commando Cruiser, Federation Battle Tug, Federation Heavy Cruiser.

Middle row: Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, Klingon F5 Frigate.

Front row: Romulan War Bird, Romulan War Eagle. (Presumably they look hazy because they are in the process of cloaking.)

To give you an idea of scale, each hex would easily fit on a penny. As mentioned before, each warp engine is about the size of a grain of rice.

So! Any suggestions on what I make next?
barnabas_truman: (Default)
"Be careful; one of the warp engines fell off."

"So that's not rice?"

"No, that is not rice. It's a warp engine."

(I've been making tiny clay starships for use as playing pieces in Starfleet Battles. Pictures forthcoming.)


barnabas_truman: (Default)

June 2017

18 192021222324


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 10:02 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios