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
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
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.
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.