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Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Steve Cole reports on the company and the new year.
After the transformative year that was 2013, we're ready to rock and roll in 2014. My leg is no longer costing me work time, the joint venture is running well, Jean is firmly installed in Amarillo, and there's nothing to hold us back. Let's look at each of the product lines that make up the Star Fleet Universe. (Just remember that these products cover the next 12 months, not the next 12 days!)
CAPTAIN'S LOG: We're working on Captain's Log #48 right now (it will slide into February because the two Steves spent a week down with the plague), will put out Captain's Log #49 this summer, and have something really special in mind for the Golden Anniversary issue Captain's Log #50. Obviously, the series will go on into 2015 and beyond.
STAR FLEET BATTLES: We plan to finish up the Federation Master Starship Book. (It actually is done except for about a hundred ship drawings I have to create with Steven Petrick looking over my shoulder.) Then we'll move on to the Klingon Master Starship Book and see what else looks interesting. I suspect that Module X2 is a 2015 product.
FEDERATION & EMPIRE: This product line is, as always, driven by the need to print counters. As we're out of the Bases sheet and Sheet N+O, we must do a production run in the first quarter. That will cover Minor Empires with the Vudar, Seltorians, and LDR and we will do one other product. That might be Tactical Operations (with a lot of new ships) or we just might do a new fighter/carrier countersheet for the massively revised 2014 edition of Fighter Operations.
FEDERATION COMMANDER: We plan to take a pause from new "attack" modules and release some books, including the FC Tactics Manual and the Reference Starship Book. We're working on Borders of Madness and expect to see it in 2015.

STARLINE: We now have three miniatures lines: the classic 2400s (1/3788), the fancy 2500s (1/3125), and the multi-scale 2425s. All will get new ships this year. The 2400s will get two heavy war destroyers and the first two ships redesigned to be every bit as fancy as the 2500s. The 2500s will get the rest of the ships from ACTASF Book One (Tholian PC, DD, CA), plus new pewter versions of the unfortunate resin dreadnoughts, along with entirely new ships (Orion BR, DW, CA, BC, BCH, DN; Tholian TK5, DN). The 2425s will get the Jumbo Freighter and the long awaited gunboats. Obviously, those are just the first in what will be two dozen new ships.

STARMADA: Daniel Kast is already busy converting the empires from War & Peace to his system for the next book, which will also include a horde of new ships. At that point, he'll be caught up with what's in Federation Commander and for 2015 can start moving into the SFB material that has waited long enough.
A CALL TO ARMS: Tony Thomas is working night and day to produce the revised ACTASF Book One, fixing everything that didn't really work in the first edition. We expect this to appear first as a PDF and a few months later as a book. (This is a trick we learned from our friend Steve Jackson who says it gives him a chance to catch the last few issues.) After that, it's on to ACTASF Book Two. We have decided that whatever goes into Book Two will be what the game system needs, not just the next FC product to be converted.
PRIME DIRECTIVE: Away Team Log will appear as the first release of the year. Jean has working hard so that the Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook will be released no later that the early summer of 2014, after which Traveller Klingons should be easy to do. After the fourth Traveller book (in 2015) you can expect to see a new empire book and a new game system.
STAR FLEET MARINES will be supported by new scenarios in Captain's Log, but probably won't get the next installment until 2015.
FEDERATION ADMIRAL, the long-awaited campaign manual, will be released this year. It is being structured to work with any of the four tactical games.
BIG BOX GAMES: We want to move the company into fancy "big box games" done to mass market standards. That means very small (fancy and colorful) rule sheets, mounted boards, decks of cards, and plastic toys. First in line is Tribbles vs. Klingons which should see a Kickstarter sometime in February. (Those things are unbelievably complicated and we won't launch it until we're ready with the full presentation including example components, art, video, and a recipe for chocolate-chunk brownie cheesecake.) But don't think that Tribbles would be a one-time deal! We have other mass-market games waiting for their chance, including two sequels for Tribbles, Jay Waschak's Merchants of the Federation (a "train game"), the Siadek brothers' Battlestations Star Fleet, my own Klingon Rapid Assault Group, and the Starship Builder game that Jean, Steven Petrick, and I designed on napkins one evening at dinner. Obviously, those will not all appear in 2014; we have enough ideas to last until 2016 at least.
Taken in total, that's a tall order and we may not get it all done this year, but it will all get done.