History TabletopGame / StarFleetBattles

15th Jul '16 1:15:02 AM Arivne
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** One of the solo scenarios in the Basic Set consists of you flying a Klingon frigate protecting a small freighter carrying a delicate cargo from a mass of Kzinti-launched "cruise drones." There are no enemy ships in the scenario - it's all missiles.
*** Sadly, this scenario is ''not'' named "Send In the Drones."

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** One of the solo scenarios in the Basic Set consists of you flying a Klingon frigate protecting a small freighter carrying a delicate cargo from a mass of Kzinti-launched "cruise drones." There are no enemy ships in the scenario - it's all missiles.
***
missiles. Sadly, this scenario is ''not'' named "Send In the Drones."



* TimTaylorTechnology: Most heavy weapons can be overloaded by pumping in MORE POWER! to deal extra damage.

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* TimTaylorTechnology: TimTaylorTechnology
**
Most heavy weapons can be overloaded by pumping in MORE POWER! to deal extra damage.
15th Jul '16 1:11:09 AM Arivne
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* AIIsACrapshoot: The optional rules for super-computer run ships include the chance for the computer to malfunction and start attacking your own ships. Just like the episode "The Ultimate Computer".
** On the other hand, over in the Omega Quadrent, the Drex succeeded in deploying a fleet which is almost completely computer controlled, and which do their job with restraint, and deadly efficiently. The Drex themselves live in pampered luxury enjoying the fruits of their technology.

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* AIIsACrapshoot: AIIsACrapshoot
**
The optional rules for super-computer run ships include the chance for the computer to malfunction and start attacking your own ships. Just like the episode "The Ultimate Computer".
** On the other hand, over in the Omega Quadrent, Quadrant, the Drex succeeded in deploying a fleet which is almost completely computer controlled, and which do their job with restraint, and deadly efficiently. The Drex themselves live in pampered luxury enjoying the fruits of their technology.



* ArbitraryMaximumRange:

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* ArbitraryMaximumRange: ArbitraryMaximumRange



* AttackItsWeakPoint: If you can maneuver such that your weapons will hit one of your target's weaker shields, you can do a lot more damage to him. Klingon ships in particular are notorious for having "glass shields" in the rear.

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* AttackItsWeakPoint: AttackItsWeakPoint
**
If you can maneuver such that your weapons will hit one of your target's weaker shields, you can do a lot more damage to him. Klingon ships in particular are notorious for having "glass shields" in the rear.



* AwesomeButImpractical:

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* AwesomeButImpractical:AwesomeButImpractical



* TheBattleStar:

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* TheBattleStar: TheBattleStar



* BeamSpam:

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* BeamSpam: BeamSpam



* BerserkButton: It is not wise to mention any research that the [[CatFolk feline races]] Kzinti and Lyrans might be from a common genetic line, or their possible relation with the exterminated Carnivons. In fact, it's best to avoid being anywhere in between the two races.

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* BerserkButton: Kzinti and Lyans.
**
It is not wise to mention any research that the [[CatFolk feline races]] Kzinti and Lyrans might be from a common genetic line, or their possible relation with the exterminated Carnivons. In fact, it's best to avoid being anywhere in between the two races.



** Also Lyrans and Kzinti finding each other near certain particularly sensitive war memorials, at least when going there to commemorate their dead. One published scenario excuses having a duel in an AsteroidThicket by having both sides have memorials to a battle there, with both being enraged to find the other there commemorating their own dead.

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** Also Lyrans and Kzinti finding each other near certain particularly sensitive war memorials, at least when going there to commemorate their dead. One published scenario excuses having a duel in an AsteroidThicket by having both sides have memorials to a battle there, with both being enraged to find the other there commemorating their own dead.



** There are numerous mentions of command officers having tours of duty on penal ships for losing battles by being stupid (as opposed to just being unlucky).



* ExplosiveOverclocking:
** Orion ships can coax their warp engines to produce double their normal power output, but each turn of doing so damages the engines--eventually one must continue using doubled warp engines just to make up for the lost power from said damage. Often called the "crack rule" because it feels great at first, but once you start you can't stop, and it eventually kills you.
*** Which leads directly to a basic principle of Orion tactics: In, Out, and Way Out. Go In knowing your objective, get Out once you have it, and always be sure to have a Way Out.
** Also includes the Fusion Beam, which can be powered with over triple the base amount it needs ForMassiveDamage, but it also explodes and deals you an extra point of damage to your own ship.

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* ExplosiveOverclocking:
ExplosiveOverclocking
** Orion ships can coax their warp engines to produce double their normal power output, but each turn of doing so damages the engines--eventually one must continue using doubled warp engines just to make up for the lost power from said damage. Often called the "crack rule" because it feels great at first, but once you start you can't stop, and it eventually kills you.
*** Which
you. This leads directly to a basic principle of Orion tactics: In, Out, and Way Out. Go In knowing your objective, get Out once you have it, and always be sure to have a Way Out.
** Also includes the The Hydran Fusion Beam, Beam weapon, which can be powered with over triple the base amount it needs ForMassiveDamage, but it also explodes and deals you an extra point of damage to your own ship.



* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Weapons fire arcs are a major part of the system, and the Mauler Device has a very restricted forward firing arc.
** So restrictive, in fact, that the alternate turning rules for ships, which otherwise are cumbersome, complicated to use, and very restrictive, actually make the Mauler much more flexible because they change the firing arc.

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* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Weapons fire arcs are a major part of the system, and the Mauler Device has a very restricted forward firing arc.
**
arc. So restrictive, in fact, that the alternate turning rules for ships, which otherwise are cumbersome, complicated to use, and very restrictive, actually make the Mauler much more flexible because they change the firing arc.



* GlassCannon: Pseudo-Fighters/Fast Patrol Ships can deal tremendous damage for their size, but have wispy-thin shields. Strapping on a warp booster pack can make them go faster and generate more power, but makes them even ''more'' fragile. The game rules call them "eggshells armed with sledgehammers."

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* GlassCannon: GlassCannon
**
Pseudo-Fighters/Fast Patrol Ships can deal tremendous damage for their size, but have wispy-thin shields. Strapping on a warp booster pack can make them go faster and generate more power, but makes them even ''more'' fragile. The game rules call them "eggshells armed with sledgehammers."



* HitAndRunTactics: The "Kaufman Retrograde": Federation ships can retreat in reverse from a pursuing enemy, using their photon torpedoes to slowly destroy the enemy's shields and then the enemy themselves. Because the photon torpedo doesn't loose damage with range, unlike most other heavy weapons, a Federation force can defeat a much larger enemy force using this tactic. It works fine as long as you have room to run, but not so well if you're defending a fixed position.

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* HitAndRunTactics: The "Kaufman Retrograde": Federation ships can retreat in reverse from a pursuing enemy, using their photon torpedoes to slowly destroy the enemy's shields and then the enemy themselves. Because the photon torpedo doesn't loose lose damage with range, unlike most other heavy weapons, a Federation force can defeat a much larger enemy force using this tactic. It works fine as long as you have room to run, but not so well if you're defending a fixed position.



* LethalHarmlessPowers: [[TractorBeam Tractor beams]] aren't exactly harmless, but often ignored -- and then there's the story of the tiny patrol ship that, through diabolically clever use of its tractor beam, pushed a colossal Klingon battleship off-course just enough to make it crash into a moon at high speed.

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* LethalHarmlessPowers: Tractor beams.
**
[[TractorBeam Tractor beams]] aren't exactly harmless, but often ignored -- and then there's the story of the tiny patrol ship that, through diabolically clever use of its tractor beam, pushed a colossal Klingon battleship off-course just enough to make it crash into a moon at high speed.



* MacrossMissileMassacre:

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* MacrossMissileMassacre: MacrossMissileMassacre



** When a ship is destroyed, it explodes as though it set off its SelfDestructMechanism.
*** Perfectly justified in-universe, since the primary thing exploding is the antimatter fuel for the warp engines (in most cases). The self-destruct is simply disabling the systems that PREVENT the fuel from coming into contact with anything else, allowing it to explode.
*** In fleet battles, this is an important tactical consideration for users of fighters and/or drones, as a clever opponent may blow up a small ship and take out many of your drones/fighters in the explosion.

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** When a ship is destroyed, it explodes as though it set off its SelfDestructMechanism.
*** Perfectly justified in-universe, since the primary thing exploding is the antimatter fuel for the warp engines (in most cases).
SelfDestructMechanism. The self-destruct is simply disabling the systems that PREVENT the ship's antimatter fuel from coming into contact with anything else, allowing it to explode.
***
explode. In fleet battles, this is an important tactical consideration for users of fighters and/or drones, as a clever opponent may blow up a small ship and take out many of your drones/fighters in the explosion.



* MamaBear: If a ship gets between a Space Dragon mother and its child, the mother will change course, move toward the ship and attack it.

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* MamaBear: If a ship gets between a Space Dragon mother and its child, the mother will change course, move course toward the ship and attack it.



* MinMaxing: In one mailbag Q-and-A column, a player asked "Can I double the engine output of an Orion ship and then self-destruct?". (The answer was: "Yes, but it would accomplish nothing. Self-destruct damage is based on the number of undestroyed engine boxes, not the engines' current power output.")
** Even the number of engine boxes remaining doesn't matter in the current edition. All modifiers for explosion damage are gone, each ship blows up with a specified force (using the same rules as mines for how it affects other units).

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* MinMaxing: In one mailbag Q-and-A column, a player asked "Can I double the engine output of an Orion ship and then self-destruct?". (The answer was: "Yes, but it would accomplish nothing. Self-destruct damage is based on the number of undestroyed engine boxes, not the engines' current power output.")
**
"). Even the number of engine boxes remaining doesn't matter in the current edition. All modifiers for explosion damage are gone, each ship blows up with a specified force (using the same rules as mines for how it affects other units).



* NegativeSpaceWedgie: The vast majority of the (optional) "terrain" chapter. Space battles too boring? How about space battles near a black hole, or space battles in an AsteroidThicket?

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* NegativeSpaceWedgie: NegativeSpaceWedgie
**
The vast majority of the (optional) "terrain" chapter. Space battles too boring? How about space battles near a black hole, or space battles in an AsteroidThicket?



-->'''Ensign Caldwell''': Just come quickly! Please, Sir?

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-->'''Ensign Caldwell''': Just come quickly! Please, Sir?sir?



* RammingAlwaysWorks: Averted. Ramming usually doesn't work at all, except in some special scenarios.
** Or if you're a Lyran ship with an Expanding Sphere Generator. But then it's the ESG doing the ramming, not your ship.

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* RammingAlwaysWorks: Averted. Ramming usually doesn't work at all, except in some special scenarios.
**
scenarios. Or if you're a Lyran ship with an Expanding Sphere Generator. But then it's the ESG doing the ramming, not your ship.



* ScaryDogmaticAliens: A few. The Andromedans sent an automated force ahead of what is assumed to be a colonization fleet to eradicate any competing life forms in the Milky Way Galaxy (thus far, no one has ever seen a live Andromedan and lived to tell the tale, if any are in known space at all). The Tholians were, in their home galaxy, the implacable and unbeatable masters of a galaxy-spanning empire, until they were defeated and overthrown by their chief enforcers the Seltorians, who sent a large, autonomous force to the Milky Way to destroy the refugee groups that set up here.

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* ScaryDogmaticAliens: ScaryDogmaticAliens
**
A few. The Andromedans sent an automated force ahead of what is assumed to be a colonization fleet to eradicate any competing life forms in the Milky Way Galaxy (thus far, no one has ever seen a live Andromedan and lived to tell the tale, if any are in known space at all). The Tholians were, in their home galaxy, the implacable and unbeatable masters of a galaxy-spanning empire, until they were defeated and overthrown by their chief enforcers the Seltorians, who sent a large, autonomous force to the Milky Way to destroy the refugee groups that set up here.



* SeeTheInvisible: A cloaked Romulan ship can be seen with the "flash cube" effect by the detonation of an explosive device (like a mine or transporter bomb) near it.
** The default cloaking rules effectively make the cloaked ship 'fuzzy' in the sense that you know more or less where it is, but not well enough to be able to shoot at it effectively. There are optional rules that allow a cloaked ship to be invisible under some circumstances.
* SelfDestructMechanism: Any starship can choose to self-destruct, which creates a sizable explosion. This option offers a macabre tactical advantage to any fleet willing to use it, known then as the 'Suicide Dreadnought' tactic.
** This was the case in previous editions, but under the current rules, such explosions aren't as powerful, and there are severe limitations on when a ship can self-destruct (in imminent danger of being captured, caught in a badly lost battle, most personnel on board evacuated, etc.) on the grounds that while the ''player'' might want to use kamikaze tactics, the ''captain'' very probably wouldn't.
*** Exception: the [[CyanidePill Orions]] can self-destruct [[TakingYouWithMe whenever they feel like it]].

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* SeeTheInvisible: A cloaked Romulan ship can be seen with the "flash cube" effect by the detonation of an explosive device (like a mine or transporter bomb) near it.
**
it. The default cloaking rules effectively make the cloaked ship 'fuzzy' in the sense that you know more or less where it is, but not well enough to be able to shoot at it effectively. There are optional rules that allow a cloaked ship to be invisible under some circumstances.
* SelfDestructMechanism: Any SelfDestructMechanism
** In previous editions any
starship can choose to self-destruct, which creates a sizable explosion. This option offers a macabre tactical advantage to any fleet willing to use it, known then as the 'Suicide Dreadnought' tactic.
** This was the case in previous editions, but under Under the current rules, rules such explosions aren't as powerful, and there are severe limitations on when a ship can self-destruct (in imminent danger of being captured, caught in a badly lost battle, most personnel on board evacuated, etc.) on the grounds that while the ''player'' might want to use kamikaze tactics, the ''captain'' very probably wouldn't.
***
wouldn't. Exception: the [[CyanidePill Orions]] can self-destruct [[TakingYouWithMe whenever they feel like it]].



* SpaceBase: Starbases. "Assault the starbase" scenarios typically involve an entire fleet of 6-9 ships vs. a starbase and one puny frigate.
** Also Battle Stations, Base Stations, Mobile Bases, and a variety of civilian fixed installations.

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* SpaceBase: Starbases. "Assault the starbase" scenarios typically involve an entire fleet of 6-9 ships vs. a starbase and one puny frigate. \n** Also Battle Stations, Base Stations, Mobile Bases, and a variety of civilian fixed installations.



* SpaceFighter: Especially favored by the Kzinti and Hydran empires. Introducing these was one of the biggest breaks from [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the source material]]. Unusually, they are much slower than capital ships (at least until warp booster packs are invented) and are primarily used as semi-independent weapons platforms.
** Amusingly, all of the Federation fighters are named and obviously modled after American combat aircraft (F-14, F-15, F-18, F-111, A-10, etc.) that were in use when the game was developed.

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* SpaceFighter: SpaceFighter
**
Especially favored by the Kzinti and Hydran empires. Introducing these was one of the biggest breaks from [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the source material]]. Unusually, they are much slower than capital ships (at least until warp booster packs are invented) and are primarily used as semi-independent weapons platforms.
** Amusingly, all of the Federation fighters are named and obviously modled modeled after American combat aircraft (F-14, F-15, F-18, F-111, A-10, etc.) that were in use when the game was developed.



* SpinOff: The game proved so successful that in 1981 it spun off a strategic-level wargame called ''Federation Space'' (revised in 1986 as ''Federation and Empire''). The latest version of ''Federation and Empire'' came out in 2010.
** A RolePlayingGame was produced in 1993, called ''Prime Directive''. Initially it used its own rule system, but it faltered after only a few books were produced. It was rereleased in 2002 using the {{GURPS}} system, and followed by parallel TabletopGame/D20System books in 2011 (which have been superseded by the {{d20 Modern}}, which are still 'in-print').
*** The GURPS version was also revised for the 4th edition GURPS system in 2008 and is still available from Steve Jackson games.

to:

* SpinOff: SpinOff
**
The game proved so successful that in 1981 it spun off a strategic-level wargame called ''Federation Space'' (revised in 1986 as ''Federation and Empire''). The latest version of ''Federation and Empire'' came out in 2010.
** A RolePlayingGame was produced in 1993, called ''Prime Directive''. Initially it used its own rule system, but it faltered after only a few books were produced. It was rereleased in 2002 using the {{GURPS}} system, and followed by parallel TabletopGame/D20System books in 2011 (which have been superseded by the {{d20 Modern}}, which are still 'in-print').
***
'in-print'). The GURPS version was also revised for the 4th edition GURPS system in 2008 and is still available from Steve Jackson games.



* TeleportersAndTransporters: During combat, primarily used to beam boarding parties aboard an enemy ship with a downed shield.

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* TeleportersAndTransporters: TeleportersAndTransporters
**
During combat, primarily used to beam boarding parties aboard an enemy ship with a downed shield.



** The Hydran fusion beam is capable of being overpowered enough that it destroys its own mount, plus a bit of damage more to the firing ship.
*** This feature of Hydran fusion beams also is involved with the so-called "suicide frigate" effect. Even suicide overloads are only effective if the ship gets into point-blank range of the target. In a fleet battle, frigates that get into point-blank range of the enemy fleet tend to become rapidly expanding clouds of vapor, so they need to get in as big a punch as they can.

to:

** The Hydran fusion beam is capable of being overpowered enough that it destroys its own mount, plus a bit of damage more to the firing ship.
***
ship. This feature of Hydran fusion beams also is involved with the so-called "suicide frigate" effect. Even suicide overloads are only effective if the ship gets into point-blank range of the target. In a fleet battle, frigates that get into point-blank range of the enemy fleet tend to become rapidly expanding clouds of vapor, so they need to get in as big a punch as they can.



* TractorBeam: Standard equipment on most starships. Federation tactical doctrine is always quick to remind its captains to use their tractors. In practice, their main use is to grab onto enemy drones (missiles) to keep them at bay.
** They are also a favorite of seeking-weapon races (Gorn, Kzinti, Romulans), who use tractor beams to prevent their victims from launching a "wild weasel" decoy shuttlecraft. The maneuver is typically called the "Gorn Anchor".

to:

* TractorBeam: Standard equipment on most starships. Federation tactical doctrine is always quick to remind its captains to use their tractors. In practice, their main use is to grab onto enemy drones (missiles) to keep them at bay.
**
bay. They are also a favorite of seeking-weapon races (Gorn, Kzinti, Romulans), who use tractor beams to prevent their victims from launching a "wild weasel" decoy shuttlecraft. The maneuver is typically called the "Gorn Anchor".



* TheUsurper: A Kzinti noble decided it was his turn to rule the Hegemony, despite the fact that the current Patriarch was alive and well, becoming known only as The Usurper. After he was defeated, his attempt to commit suicide by diving into dangous space (The WYN Cluster) was averted when that territory was found to be a hidden sanctuary. His son and grandson [[LegacyCharacter kept the title The Usurper]], and decades later, the grandson tried again.
** Made even more complicated in that in both revolts, rumors abounded that The Usurper succeeded and took the idenity of The Patriarch, and that The Usurper who fled into the Cluster was the original Patriarch.
* WaveMotionGun:

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* TheUsurper: A Kzinti noble decided it was his turn to rule the Hegemony, despite the fact that the current Patriarch was alive and well, becoming known only as The Usurper. After he was defeated, his attempt to commit suicide by diving into dangous dangerous space (The (the WYN Cluster) was averted when that territory was found to be a hidden sanctuary. His son and grandson [[LegacyCharacter kept the title The Usurper]], and decades later, the grandson tried again.
**
again. Made even more complicated in that in both revolts, rumors abounded that The Usurper succeeded and took the idenity of The Patriarch, and that The Usurper who fled into the Cluster was the original Patriarch.
* WaveMotionGun:WaveMotionGun



* WeHaveReserves:

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* WeHaveReserves: WeHaveReserves



* WhatIf:

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* WhatIf: WhatIf
21st Apr '16 3:45:38 PM Nentuaby
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** The Frax are a fictional race -- even "fictional" within the Star Fleet Battles universe. Their sole purpose is to see how a starship would fight if all its weapons fired into either the extended-front (FX) and extended-rear (RX) firing arcs, reflecting classic 'wet navy' configurations. They were originally released in their own playtest module F.

to:

** The Frax are a fictional race -- even "fictional" within the Star Fleet Battles universe.universe; they are explained as being the opposing force created for a large-scale Klingon Navy training scenario. Their sole purpose is to see how a starship would fight if all its weapons fired into either the extended-front (FX) and extended-rear (RX) firing arcs, reflecting classic 'wet navy' configurations. They were originally released in their own playtest module F.
30th Dec '15 3:34:07 PM ScorpiusOB1
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Added DiffLines:

* MechaMooks: Andromedan ships use robots as boarding parties.
1st Oct '15 11:14:23 PM Arivne
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* DirectLineToTheAuthor: All of the information in the game is said to be taken from a transmission received by a U.S. Air Force base computer sometime before 1970. The transmission apparently came through a time warp from Starfleet Command 250 years in the future. That's a carry-over from the ''Star Fleet Technical Manual'', upon which the game is partially based.

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* DirectLineToTheAuthor: All of the information in the game is said to be taken from a transmission received by a U.S. Air Force base computer sometime before 1970. The transmission apparently came through a time warp from Starfleet Command 250 years in the future. That's This was inspired by the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" in which the U.S.S. Enterprise went back in time to 1960's Earth and some of the crew beamed down to a U.S. Air Force base. It's a carry-over from the ''Star Fleet Technical Manual'', upon which the game is partially based.
23rd Aug '15 6:46:11 PM Arivne
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* [[ShoutOut/TabletopGames Shout Out]]: Several monster scenarios are based on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episodes.

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* [[ShoutOut/TabletopGames Shout Out]]: Several monster scenarios are based on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episodes and several lines in the rules are inspired by quotes from those episodes.
18th Feb '15 7:49:00 AM Bense
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* TournamentPlay: Even has its own module (the T and T-2000 mods - a new one is coming out in 2012 as well). Specially made ships are used which are fairly well balanced against each other.

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* TournamentPlay: Even has its own module (the T and T-2000 mods - a new one is coming came out in 2012 as well). Specially made ships are used which are fairly well balanced against each other.
17th Feb '15 5:41:33 PM Arivne
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Added DiffLines:

* [[ShoutOut/TabletopGames Shout Out]]: Several monster scenarios are based on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episodes.
18th Jan '15 4:05:29 PM Bense
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** Also Space Control Ships, with their battleship level firepower and the ability to launch both fighters and "Fast Patrol Ships" ([[SpaceIsAnOcean basically PT boats]]). One even includes a sensor scout in the mashup to be a SUPER Space Control Ship. Of course, it still only carries a dozen fighters and six PFs.

to:

** Also Space Control Ships, with their battleship level firepower and the ability to launch both fighters and "Fast Patrol Ships" ([[SpaceIsAnOcean basically PT boats]]). One even includes a sensor scout in the mashup to be a SUPER Space Control Ship. Of course, it still only carries a dozen fighters and six PFs.[=PFs=].
18th Jan '15 4:04:14 PM Bense
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* TheBattleStar: Space Control Ships are like these, although they carry far fewer fighters than typical Battlestars.

to:

* TheBattleStar: TheBattleStar:
** Battleships exemplify this trope,with the greatest firepower in the game ''and'' large (for the game - around a dozen) fighter contingents. "Historically" only the Klingons built them and [[AwesomeButImpractical they aren't very successful]], but they're [[CoolShip just so cool]] that every race gets a conjectural battleship and the Klingons get [[UpToEleven a conjectural super-battleship]] in one of the expansions.
** Many of the larger Hydran ships also fit the model, as the Hydrans are very fighter-happy and include them on most ships (even their tiny police ship carries fighters and launch tubes to get them out there fast).
** Also
Space Control Ships are like these, although they carry far fewer Ships, with their battleship level firepower and the ability to launch both fighters than typical Battlestars.and "Fast Patrol Ships" ([[SpaceIsAnOcean basically PT boats]]). One even includes a sensor scout in the mashup to be a SUPER Space Control Ship. Of course, it still only carries a dozen fighters and six PFs.
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