Thursday, November 03, 2011

To Boldly Go . . .

The past few weeks, I have developed a bit of a space theme.  One of the main drives behind this is that I have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix.  I liked this show back in the day when it was on, and I am enjoying it quite a bit again.  However, there are a couple of things that I am left questioning.  The first is the set design.  I  find it odd that they would take time to carpet the bridge, or put decorative plants in the hallways.  Watching several episodes in a row, I have noticed the writers rely on encountering a mysterious "advance entity" a lot.  It is really convenient for them because they can basically pull off what ever they want and explain it away as a mysterious advance life form. 
Any way watching Star Trek, led me to think more about playing Warcosm (more on that in a second).  One of the worst parts about warcosm is that the components it comes with barely count as components, so I traded for a copy of an old game called Starfire, so that I could use board and counters for Warcosm.  The game also came with an old catalog.  The company mostly made Star Fleet games, based in a version of the Star Trek universe.  The main game, Star Fleet Battles looks fun.  Though I have read it is a beast to learn because there is a lot of micro-management.  One of the neat things about Star Trek is the way power is always reallocated (you know, "Scotty, I need more power!").  In Star Fleet Battles power gets allocated to all the systems. . .every turn.  A more managable version, called Federation Commander exists and it looks like that I would love. 

The catalog also had an entry for a game called Federation and Empire.  This is a grand strategy Star Trek game, where players take a role of a faction and fight an entire war from on a galactic scale.  The depth and length of this game puts it in the "monster game" category.  To spend dozens and dozens of hours over a map, building and moving my forces, sounds like an epic time.    Playing this game is now on my "bucket list".

To further increase this Star Trek theme, this week at half price books I got a DVD that has every Star Trek comic book ever made.  In the 80's-90's DC had a fairly successful Star Trek and Next Generation series.  In addition to those there is a series from the 60s, plus movie adaptions and several mini-series.  All in all this is over 500 comics.  Even better with a couple of clicks, I can read them on the iPad.

Speaking of the ipad, Star Trek is not the only space themed entertainment I have been indulging in.  A couple of weeks ago a game for the ipad came out called Star Base Orion. 
This is a 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate).  It is made with the limitations and advantages of the ipad in mind.  For the past couple of weeks it has actually been my main video game to play.  It is a lot of fun to start from one small home world, slowly expand, colonizing new worlds, and then eventually take over neighboring races to rule the galaxy. 

Finally back to Warcosm.  Back in October, I wrote about enhancing games, and I mentioned an idea I had to create an indepth Warcosm campaign.  Last week I started doing that, so when I am done, I will have created everything needed to play the Nebula War. 

I am still only in season three of Star Trek the Next Generation, have some 490 comics to still read, and I have plans to play a board game called Space Empires 4X in the next couple of weeks.  This means this space theme may continue through the month of November. 


Blogger Justin Dohoney said...

I too have been watching Star Trek: TNG on Netflix recently. Though I've been a bit more anarchic about it; picking random episodes from the last three or four seasons. IMO, the show doesn't really get good till about the second half of season 3. You're right about having a few too many random aliens that are nothing but excuses to move the plot. But if I lived in the Star Trek universe, I don't think I'd be surprised about all the plants all over the place. After all, they can replicate anything. :)

10:14 PM  

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