Federation Commander

Star Trek: Furuta Ships

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Furuta NCC1701Following up on our recent look at various Star Trek ship miniatures, we stumbled upon the Furuta line of Star Trek ship miniatures. These are plastic, pre-painted display miniatures. They are sold blind but are easy to find from retailers as specific ships.

First the bad news: Some of these are now essentially collectables and are extremely expensive.

The good news though is many are still very reasonably priced especially considering their strengths. As you can see from the photos below the quality of the miniatures is outstanding. They are as good or better than anything out there. They come in just a few pieces and snap together — We used a bit of plastic cement on ours — in just a few minutes. The paint jobs range from very good to outstanding and also include decals. They are easily equal to or better than what many modelers will be able to do themselves and they are ready to go in literally minutes.

The other good news, as you can see in the photos, is that they also scale very well with other miniatures for gaming. In the photos we put in a Starline 2500 ship miniature for comparison. The new generation Star Trek ships are supposed to be twice the size, or more, of the original ships. The problem with this from a gameplay standpoint is it just looks odd. The Furuta ships are 25% or so larger (depending on the model) than the Starline 2500 ships and that gives them a nice sense of size without being ridiculous. They mount easily on stands for gaming (we use the CorSec Engineering stands) and are perfect for Star Trek: Attack Wing or Federation Commander.

The last bit of bad news is that the Furuta line basically consists of mostly Federation ships. There are a few Klingon, Jem’Hdar, Romulan and Borg ships but the choices are very limited and often now expensive. Also if we see one more large Klingon Bird of Prey we’re gonna beam ourselves into space. But there is always hope Furuta will expand the line in the future. On the plus side, because the scale works well you can use Starline 2500 and AMT Klingon models with these just fine.

If you have any interest in Star Trek and especially if you play Attack Wing or Federation Commander you can’t get any better than the Furuta line.

Note: Here is a nice guide to actual Star Trek ship sizes. As you can see for gaming, keeping miniatures true to scale would get strange especially as you mix in the alien races that have some truly huge ships.

[Updated: 7FEB14]

A Call to Arms: Starfleet — Available Soon

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ACTA Star FleetADB and Mongoose Publishing have partnered on a new sci-fi spaceship combat game, A Call to Arms: Star Fleet. The new game is based on the A Call to Arms rule system, of ACTA: Babylon 5 fame, and set in the Star Trek universe of the ADB license (essentially the original series). In addition to the new rule set, ADB’s Starline 2400 minis have all been redone in a new 2500 line and are now slightly larger (about 25%). [Note: The original resin releases were rather bad. ADB redid them in pewter and they quality is much better.]

We are still annoyed over the death of ACTA: Babylon 5 but ACTA: Star Fleet is probably worth a look at least. ADB has a good track record with partnerships and owns its Star Trek license. The miniatures are certainly a big question. Neither ADB nor Mongoose have been known for high quality minis but Mongoose has certainly gotten better recently. The initial previews have looked good and the one picture of the unfinished resin looks pretty good as well (but not as good as Spartan). But how this translates to production pieces remains to be seen. It appears that perhaps they have beefed up and slightly shortened the Federation nacelle towers and they are going to be in resin not metal.

This month is the release of Call to Arms: Star Fleet and the first of the 2500-series miniatures near the end of this month.

Starline 2500 and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet are approaching!
The joint venture between Mongoose Publishing and ADB, Inc. is moving along quite well. ACTASF should be available in stores before Christmas. This will be a beautiful hardbound rulebook with spectacular color photos of many ships.

The Starline 2500 ships are designed for use with SFB, FC, Starmada, and ACTASF, so the ship types that appear in the Squadron boxes won’t change from the 2400 line (and the price for 2500s will actually go down to $29.95). What will change is that the 2500-series ships will be cast in hard resin, not pewter, and they will be about 20% larger so that all the details that you asked us to add will be there!

Our European customers will have the option of ordering from Mongoose-UK so their shipping will be perhaps more “local.” Both ADB, Inc. and Mongoose-US will stock the minis as will many game stores, so you should have easy access to these new, highly detailed ships.

New 2500-series Border Boxes priced at $124.95 will contain 24 ships.
New 2500-Series Fleet Boxes will be priced at $99.95 and will contain 16 ships and a quick start rulebook.

The 2400-series border boxes will also be available (at least by mail order) in 2500-series for a somewhat higher price. The 2400s are pewter; the new 2500s will be resin.

Remember that all of the current Starline 2400 blister packs, squadron boxes, fleet boxes, and border boxes will remain on sale at their current prices indefinitely.

[Updated: 27SEP13]

Federation Commander Reference Rulebook — Review

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Federation Commander Reference Rulebook
Federation Commander Reference Rulebook

Amarillo Design Bureau released a new rulebook for Federation Commander. The book is their standard 8 1/2″ x 11″,  black and white, softback format and is 94-pages long. The Reference Rulebook combines all of the rules from the various Federation Commander products released so far along with some playtest draft (i.e. beta) rules for upcoming products. The rules include all those from: Klingon Border, Klingon Attack, Romulan Border, Romulan Attack, Tholian Attack, Battleships Attack, Distant Kingdoms, Orion Attack, Booster Zero, Captain’s Log and Communique. Read the rest of this entry »

Federation Commander Briefing #2 — Review

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Briefing #2
Briefing #2

Amarillo Design Bureau’s latest expansion for Federation Commander, Briefing #2, is very well timed considering the recent release of the new Star Trek movie. Briefing #2 takes Federation Commander back to the ‘Middle Years’. In the world of FC (and SFB) the Middle Years are the closest thing to the period of the original Star Trek series. Read the rest of this entry »

Federation Commander: Distant Kingdoms — Review

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fedcom-distant-kingdoms-cover2Federation Commander: Distant Kingdoms is a new expansion for Amarillo Design Bureau’s Federation Commander tactical sci-fi board wargame. Similar to their previous expansions Distant Kingdoms comes in an 8 1/2″ x 11″ format with a color cardstock wrapper. Inside are two mounted map boards featuring small (5 hex) and large (7 hex) gas giants, 40 1″ and 108 1/2″ full-color counters, sixteen laminated ship cards (including two large battleship cards), and finally a sixteen page rulebook. Read the rest of this entry »

Federation Commander Draft Rules — Now Available

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Amarillo Design Bureau now has the Federation Commander Reference Rulebook Draft 3 available in its online store. It is a new Federation Commander rulebook that incorporates all of the errata. The Draft 3 version,

contains all of the rules from all of the products, laid out end to end in rule number order. It does not contain ship descriptions or scenarios. All published rules updates/changes (errata, addenda, whatever) are included, but these items (marked with a star) are the end of the sub-rule they apply to. The original rules text remains as it was, with the rules update added to the end rather than being “written through” the text.

A proper new, integrated, version will be available in stores in March 2009. It will be titled, Federation Commander Reference Rulebook (5th Edition).

Federation Commander: Briefing #1 — Review

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FedCom Briefing #1Federation Commander: Briefing #1 is Amarillo Design Bureau’s latest expansion to their Federation Commander starship combat games. Briefing #1 is basically a scenario set with some miscellaneous material thrown in. It is a 64-page black and white book with color card stock cover. The layout is typical FedCom. Read the rest of this entry »