Getting started, where to begin?

General Starfire discussion, including information about old products and editions.

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Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Ciciro on Thu 08 Jun 2017 21:52

I've been looking for a sci fi combat simulation for awhile, and I just heard about Starfire. However, with six editions out there I have no idea where to begin.
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Jun 2017 00:06

Easy!

Where you should begin is with the Quick Start Rules ... as they are a free download! I'm directing you to the newest location where we have them available, over at Wargame Vault, although you can also find it at the top of our forum.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/213 ... tart-Rules

The Quick Start Rules are a small sample of the tactical rules that includes scenarios and cut-out counters so you can try the rules. It is based on Solar Starfire, although in the long-run you'll find that while the technologies change and some editions have a few extra rules, the core tactical combat system remains the same through all of the editions.

And you can, of course, ask any questions or make any suggestions you want here on the forum!

So if I may ask... where did you hear about Starfire?
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Ciciro on Fri 09 Jun 2017 01:33

Cralis wrote:Easy!

Where you should begin is with the Quick Start Rules ... as they are a free download! I'm directing you to the newest location where we have them available, over at Wargame Vault, although you can also find it at the top of our forum.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/213 ... tart-Rules

The Quick Start Rules are a small sample of the tactical rules that includes scenarios and cut-out counters so you can try the rules. It is based on Solar Starfire, although in the long-run you'll find that while the technologies change and some editions have a few extra rules, the core tactical combat system remains the same through all of the editions.

And you can, of course, ask any questions or make any suggestions you want here on the forum!

So if I may ask... where did you hear about Starfire?


Let me think... I'm pretty sure I was looking up stuff for Battletech, then I became fed up with how I couldn't find any relativly cheap starter sets. So I went to BoardGameGeek and looked for wargames under the sci-fi and I found this.

So what are the main differences between the various editions?
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Elminster on Fri 09 Jun 2017 03:28

Ciciro wrote:So what are the main differences between the various editions?

There was a thread early last year which has plenty of information on this:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2724&start=0

Also there is this site:
http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... /index.php

If there are questions left... fire away. :)

PS: And welcome to the board. :)
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Ciciro on Fri 09 Jun 2017 11:25

Elminster wrote:
Ciciro wrote:So what are the main differences between the various editions?

There was a thread early last year which has plenty of information on this:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2724&start=0

Also there is this site:
http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... /index.php

If there are questions left... fire away. :)

PS: And welcome to the board. :)


I've heard that the game has changed alot on terms of complexity, with th first edition being the simplest. How would you rank the others in terms of difficulty/rules amount?
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby nukesnipe on Fri 09 Jun 2017 13:38

Ciciro,

In a nutshell...

Starfire 1 was essentially a naval game set in space. Purely tactical. Set piece scenarios described the first and second interstellar wars. There were rules to design your own ships for pick up games.

Starfire 2 was a stand alone game (my introduction to Starfire, actually) that expanded the Starfire 1 game to include carriers and fighters and a new war. Purely tactical; set piece scenarios; rules for build your own.

Starfire 3 introduced a campaign overlay to Starfire 1 and 2.

Those three games comprise "1st Edition"

Second Edition was a revamp of Starfire 1 and 2, combining all the rules into one place.

Third Edition was a revamp of Second Edition. I honestly can't remember off the top of my head if there was a campaign system for Third Edition. Brain cell just died....

I think First, Second and Third Editions comprise "Classic Starfire".

Fourth Edition, "Galactic Starfire", is where the complexity of the campaign system started to crank up. The tactical game gets a little more complex with the addition of more and more weapons systems. Can't remember if technology trees came about in Third or Fourth Editions.

Fifth Edition, "Ultra Starfire", is a cleaned up digital only revision of Fourth Edition. The mechanics of the tactical system didn't change (although there are a lot of new systems which add complexity), but the campaign system is really robust and, to me, is the heart of the game. Ultra was also designed for tournament play where as the other editions pretty much followed a fictional historical timeline. Pretty much.

Sixth Edition, "Solar Starfire", is a refinement of Ultra, but doesn't focus so much on tournament play.

So.

In my opinion, if you want to just play tactical games where you can build your own ships, you can do that with any of the versions. Personally, I think I'd recommend Second or Third editions for purely tactical games and Solar if you want to run a campaign.

Just my two cents... ;-)
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Jun 2017 14:00

Ciciro wrote:I've heard that the game has changed alot on terms of complexity, with th first edition being the simplest. How would you rank the others in terms of difficulty/rules amount?


1st and 2nd edition are pretty much the same. They are the simplest edition to learn, but they have the least features. Collectively we call them "Original Starfire"

3rd edition is in the middle. It contains the first comprehensive strategy rules ("Imperial Starfire") and was written by and based on the Starfire novels written by David Weber. Later the 3rd Revised and Sky Marshal #2 rules were put out that combined, simplified, and streamlined all of the rules for that edition. Collectively we call it Classic Starfire.

4th edition, or Galactic Starfire, was primarily focused on the strategy rules. The previous edition was very humanocentric and balanced only around the human point of view in the background history. So GSF introduced tech trees with multiple viable paths through the technology. Technological improvement became incremental instead of having massive jumps in capabilities every other economic level. And with tech trees, prerequisites prevented a player from waiting until later and only developing the best technology at that level. It introduced improved rules for non-player races And the entire economic system was revamped and streamlined in an attemp to slowdown the economic "snowballing" effect. It was a huge shift.

5th edition, or Ultra Starfire, included some major improvements in key areas such as squadron combat, a vastly improved (and abstracted) ground combat system, and more. The entire rulebook and supplementary materials were released together. But theost important aspect was that the entire thing was focused on player versus player balance and tournament-style play.

The latest edition is Solar Starfire. The rules are being built to cater more towards players who want to play massive strategic games. We have a number of players who build these large ongoing games and write stories and stuff based on the game. This id also how we intend to build a new background history.

Starting with Classic Starfire, each later version of the game is more comprehensive. The core tactical rules are basically the same but the strategic rules get bigger. The reason is that Starfire takes the opposite approach from other similar games on the market. Games like VBAM are very generalized, light on the rules, but they depend upon the players and game master to fill in ALL of the gaps. Starfire provides rules to cover every aspect of gameplay so there is no question how the game is supposed to run. It is highly customizable, but comprehensive. In fact, we are building it more as a framework or system you can use to build your unique background onto for unique gameplay.

Starfire's tactical combat system is different from most tactical games in that it is purely a fleet combat system. Good players can destroy dozens of ships in a few hours. I played a game where we wiped out over 200 ships in an all-day battle. Many people play Starfire only for the tactical combat system. You don't have the fine details of energy allocation, shield facings, etc. but you gain a _fleet_ system that allows you to fight whole fleets and where the interactions and technologies of the fleet elements can make a huge difference in your success (or failure).

That was why we created the Quick Start Rules and more recently, the Quick Start Rules for Miniatures (yes! we sell Starfire miniatures through shapeways). They are distilled tactical rules to introduce new players to the tactical combat system. And you never know, someday we may do the same for the strategic rules...

I guess I would think of it as the difference between the computer game Master of Orion and a modern 4X game like Endless Space 2. Sure, Endless Space 2 is a more complex game, but you can do so much more with it.

Anyway, that is a little long winded but I hope it answers your questions.
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Ciciro on Fri 09 Jun 2017 15:26

Thank you for the help. I noticed that a lot of the physical merchandise it currently out of stock, including the only box set version of the game.

Is the only way to get a physical copy of the game is through secondary markets?
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Jun 2017 16:39

Ciciro wrote:Thank you for the help. I noticed that a lot of the physical merchandise it currently out of stock, including the only box set version of the game.

Is the only way to get a physical copy of the game is through secondary markets?


We do have counters available, but the big maps and the Galactic Starfire box set we ran out of. We are considering options, but it's a lot of money up-front to do runs of physical products. I keep hoping someday we might find a print-on-demand manufacturer who can do the whole box set. But if we do we'll do it for a more recent edition than GSF.

Ultra Starfire and Solar Starfire have always been digital only. A lot of people just print out the rules and put them in a binder.

But there is one potential thing: we discovered that we can rebuild our documents for print-on-demand book printing through Wargame Vault. It will be a lot of work, but after we get all of our PDF versions available through WGV we'll look at making that happen.
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Re: Getting started, where to begin?

Postby Ciciro on Sat 10 Jun 2017 01:02

Cralis wrote:
Ciciro wrote:Thank you for the help. I noticed that a lot of the physical merchandise it currently out of stock, including the only box set version of the game.

Is the only way to get a physical copy of the game is through secondary markets?


We do have counters available, but the big maps and the Galactic Starfire box set we ran out of. We are considering options, but it's a lot of money up-front to do runs of physical products. I keep hoping someday we might find a print-on-demand manufacturer who can do the whole box set. But if we do we'll do it for a more recent edition than GSF.

Ultra Starfire and Solar Starfire have always been digital only. A lot of people just print out the rules and put them in a binder.

But there is one potential thing: we discovered that we can rebuild our documents for print-on-demand book printing through Wargame Vault. It will be a lot of work, but after we get all of our PDF versions available through WGV we'll look at making that happen.

There is always crowdfunding. I know a bunch of games that would not have been able to have physical releases without it.
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