SFB Basic Set
Star Fleet Battles Basic Set Review
Star Fleet Battles Basic Set is a fantastic value in gaming. This box set comes with rules, map, charts, ship displays and scenarios. Why do I love SFB over other sci-fi space combat games? Each empire of aliens has its own weapons systems. So while the ships have similar systems (like shields, warp engines, tractor beams, transports and such) they also have unique weapons and therefore tactics. As the Captain of your own starship you must decide how to apply the strengths of your ship against the weaknesses of the enemy. If you try to use one basic strategy against each opponent you will lose your command in short order (oh yes, I have gotten my ship blown out from under me).
The variety of scenarios means that you can go on scientific missions, fight monsters, explore the terrain of space (like asteroids, black holes, and more), play solitaire games, go on rescue missions, do pirate raids and even conduct multi game campaigns.
This game easily converts to using miniatures either on their large hex system or play hex less!
Here’s another strength, the rules are laid out in a logical fashion that facilitate reference during play. Here’s the challenge, figuring out how to start a game. The examples are in there and careful reading will get you there, but why not learn the fun way, by playing! Go get yourself the free Cadet version, use that to teach yourself the basics and then read the SFB rules again and start playing.
I also recommend you pick up the SFB Tactics Manual. I must confess I played for years incorrectly until I read this gem. It’s not just how to beat everybody, but the tried and true advice there demonstrates how the rules are meant to work.
Why SFB and not Federation Commander? I started with SFB (back in the day) and then picked up Federation Commander and now I’ve gone back to SFB. I love and play both, but there is something to be said for the breadth of action you can take in SFB. It’s well balanced after years (and years) of playtesting and refinement. The current version is well written, consistent and fun to play.
Date Added: 03/19/2017 by Dan Proctor