Star Fleet Battles Designer's Edition, Expansion #2

Amarillo Design Bureau SKU: ADB1022-DE



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Expansion #1 had sold very well (and was reprinted as-is), but things had changed. The two partners disagreed on the directions the company needed to take, and decided that the best solution was to divide the company in half, with one half staying as Task Force Games (and incorporating as Elco Enterprises) and the other half becoming the Amarillo Design Bureau. After some serious negotiations, the two companies reached a mutually agreeable working relationship that was one of the most bizarre in the history of the wargame industry. (No one could even tell which company was in charge of what, but ADB was in charge of designing new products and owned all of the copyrights to all SFB products). ADB designed Expansion #2.

As with Expansion #1, the book started with a few pages (19?!?) of updates (the dreaded errata were spreading like a fungus). These updates were not just corrections and tweaks to older rules, but included some entirely new rules and even entirely new concepts, such as the Impulse Activity Segment, emergency life support, half-size phaser capacitors, energizing phasers, shield costs were different for ships of different sizes, a limit on how far away you could control drones, limits on the number of probes armed in one turn, maximum phaser ranges (originally, this range was infinite), effective vs true range, pseudo-plasma torpedoes, Klingon drone launch limits, fighters and shuttles no longer having to go their maximum speed all the time, dropping a pod as a really big wild weasel, skeleton crews, boarding parties deactivating wild weasels or suicide shuttles, hit-and-run raids to kidnap specific individuals from a ship, revised ship destruction force calculations (a concept that was totally crazy), major changes to cloaking including that chart to calculate if you can spot a cloaked ship (including a correction factor added to the rulebook via Steve Cole's ball point pen at the last second), weapons arming, pursuit plotting, carrier storage, landing shuttles on planets, and much more.

Actual new rules began on page 20 with the hellbore, fast drones, probe drones, expanding sphere generators, improved Klingon drone racks, multi-warhead drones, scatter packs, chaff, identifying drones, firing modifications at small targets, scout functions, sideslip maneuvers, erratic maneuvering, nimble ships, booster packs (then called Dash Pods) for fighters and gunboats, crew quality, Legendary Officers, and fighter pilot quality (such as aces).

  • A whole new kind of unit appeared: pseudo-fighters! (SVC didn't understand what "pseudo" meant and later change this to Fast Patrol ships and later still to gunboats.)
  • The Federation got its huge carrier, plus fighter shuttles, attack shuttles, SWAC shuttles, destroyer escorts, escort cruisers, the galactic survey cruiser, and the improved dreadnought. Klingons got the B10 battleship, E3 Escort, G2 police boat, and F5S scout.
  • Hydrans got the Paladin, scout, Hunter, Dragoon, Knight, and Cuirassier.
  • Kzintis got the space control ship, drone frigate, fleet tug, and scout.
  • Lyrans appeared with the Tiger, Panther, Leopard, and Cheetah.
  • Gorns got their dreadnought. Orions got the Slaver, light carrier, and Light Raider.

(There was also the curious drug runner, which turned out later to just be a Light Raider stashing illegal drugs in the plasma-F chambers to keep them fresh.)

The new Carrier Group Campaign appeared, as did the Piracy Patrol Mini-Campaign and the Carrier Duel Mini Campaign.

New scenarios included Fighter Strike, Pseudo-Fighter Flotilla, The Mind Monster, The Trojan Shuttle, Tomcat Terror vs. Gunboat Diplomacy, The Cutlass Episode, Operation Cavalry, and the hilarious Tomcats over Leebyahh.

Written by Stephen Cole