Here is something I really thought I would never see; Amarillo Design Bureau, publishers of Star Fleet Battles (SFB) and (the very tight) keepers of the Star Fleet Universe teamed with Majestic 12 Games to make Klingon Armada. Klingon Armada uses the Starmada: Admiralty Edition (SAE) starship battles game engine and ports it to the Star Fleet Universe (SFU).
Starmada is a game of fleet combat, and is well-suited for squadron- or fleet-level battles. Klingon Armada allows you to fight these larger battles in a streamlined fashion. But it deviates from SFB in several areas. These deviations may be enough to throw some die-hard SFB players off.
SFB vs Klingon Armada (SAE) – What it Isn’t
GENERALIZATIONS: Klingon Armada generalizes many of the details found in SFB. This creates “obvious” errors to SFB players; such as the speed of Fast Cruisers being the same as frigates.
POWER ALLOCATION: Power allocation is the true heart of SFB. Each ship has only a finite amount of power and there is never enough to go around. Klingon Armada has no power allocation…if the system has not been destroyed it can be used.
MOVEMENT: Klingon Armada adopts the SAE vector movement model. This is NOT anything like SFB which has its own (handwaved) warp movement model. The different movement model requires a correspondingly different approach to manuever. Indeed, one could argue that SAE and Klingon Armada returns manuever to combat in the SFU!
COMBAT: If there is one area the port from the SFU to Klingon Armada shines it is with weapons. The ability to customize weapons in SAE allows for a realistic implementation of the numerous weapons in the SFU. One area of potential confusion though is in how SAE uses “strikers.” Strikers are any guided weapon, which in the SFU covers drones, plasmas, shuttles, and fighters. This demands a change in thinking from SFB players that can be challenging at first to wrap one’s head around.
Klingon Armada – So What Is It?
First and foremost, Klingon Armada is a great game for large battles. Whereas SFB gets bogged down with multiple ships, Klingon Armada is fine with multiple ships per side. THis means you can actually fight a campaign game in a reasonable amount of time! Klingon Armada includes a mini-campaign, “Day One,” which recreates a small part of the Klingon Invasion of the Federation. Each player controls a fleet of around a dozen ships and fights a series of three battles (each with 3-4 ships on a side). Even with only moderately experienced players you may be able to complete the entire mini-campaign in one (long) session of gaming (like a Saturday).
Bottom Line: For a squadron- or fleet-level game of battles in the SFU, Klingon Armada fits the bill. But be warned: if you are a SFB detail freak the generalizations may be distracting.