Old Task Force Games now available as PDF
Greg Maynard
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Back in the 70s, when hobby boardgaming largely meant wargaming, a number of small games companies started up. One of the more successful of these was formed by Stephen V. Cole and Allen Eldridge as Task Force Games (TFG). Many of their early games were “Pocket Games” published in ziplock bags. The first was Starfire and the fourth was Star Fleet Battles (SFB). They produced many more games but these two, particularly SFB, were the company’s bread and butter. SFB’s popularity led to Steve Cole leaving TFG to form Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB) whose sole product was SFB material which TFG would publish. TFG went through a number of changes and owners over the years and finally closed its doors in the 90s. A deal was struck which transformed ADB into the legal publisher of SFB and it immediately revamped the franchise and has continued to develop it to this day.

Along with the rights to SFB were transferred the copyright to a number of other games, many of which Steve Cole had been the designer. ADB has now made some of those games available for purchase as downloadable PDFs which are listed below.

They are currently available through 3 locations:
Steve Jackson Games e23 Warehouse (Steve Jackson is a long time friend of Steve Cole.)
http://www.warehouse23.com/products?taxons%5B%5D=558398666-s...
DriveThru RPG.net http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=35...
Wargamevault http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=3528

Not all of the games are at every location but most are at e23. ADB is continuing to release more old TFG games. Exactly which others they have the rights to and when they will be released I have no idea but I will attempt to update this list when that happens.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Amarillo Design Bureau and am not trying to market these games. I am merely a fan wishing to share with others the availability of some great old games.
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1. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1665]
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ADB's main product is SFB and related games (of which there are a lot) but they have made available the original Pocket Edition.

Also available is the Designers edition and its three expansions as well as the Commanders edition, and numerous Captains Logs etc
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2. Board Game: Federation Space [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:8724]
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This was the first strategic board game based around the Star Fleet Universe.

Although often credited to Steve Cole as a designer he distances himself from it and maintains that he contributed the background and little more.

A much larger more comprehensive game Federation & Empire was later published and remains in print but this smaller game is still popular in some quarters.
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3. RPG Item: Prime Directive: The Star Fleet Universe Role-Playing Game [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4945]
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Prime Directive was TFG's roleplaying game set in the Star Fleet Universe. It has its fans and its detracters but lived long enough to produce a handful of expansions which are also available.

ADB later chose to license existing RPG engines for their universe such as GURPS and d20. Traveller is currently in development.
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4. Board Game: Battlewagon [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:7588]
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The tale is told that someone at TFG saw this photo of an Iowa class battleship and thought it would make a great cover for a game. Since SFB was such a hit and it had been inspired by naval battles, why not reverse engineer it to create a naval wargame? Thus was Battlewagon born.

Also available are six articles and scenarios for the game copied from Nexus, TFG's magazine.
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5. Board Game: Valkenburg Castle [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:10905]
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This was a very popular early dungeon/castle fantasy game. Heroes must be lead to explore the dungeon and capture the castle.
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6. Board Game: Robots! [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:9768]
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A tactical game of robotic warfare where players designed there own robot warriors which they then used to conquer territory and gain resources to build more robots.
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7. Board Game: Prochorovka: Armor at Kursk [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:9407]
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An operational level wargame about the WWII battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle ever fought.
 
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This actually predates TFG. JagdPanther was a magazine created and published by Steve Cole. Each issue contained various wargame discussions, variants for existing games, and a complete game. Issue 5 contained the game Zeppelin, recreating the airship attacks over Bitain in WWI.

All issues #1 to #15 are available.

Games included:
#1 MP44, Cowpens, Scrimmage IV
#2 ACAV, Crazy Horse, Eban Emael
#3 MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat)
#4 Sidi Rezegh, Alderkampf, Graf Spee, Halocaust, Komet und Meteor
#5 Zeppelin, RN (Naval World War II miniatures)
#6 WWIII
#7 Gorlice-Tarnow
#8 PQ-17 & The Siege of Barad-Dur 3430
#9 Goetterdaemmerung: The Fall of Nazi Germany 1945
#10 Marine!
#11 March on India 1944
#12 Anvil-Dragoon: The Second D-Day
#13 The Siege of Leningrad
#14 Warsaw Pact
#15 Jacksonville: the Beaches of DOOM
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9. Board Game: Asteroid Zero-Four [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:11151]
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A battle between two asteroid based fleets involving strategic attacks on the asteroid bases as well as tactical strikes against the fleets.
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10. Board Game: Spellbinder [Average Rating:5.46 Unranked]
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ADB wrote:
Spellbinder is a fantasy wargame of wizards and armies designed for two-to-four players. Use spells, make and break alliances, and command your armies. Only one wizard can be the most powerful wizard in Silomant and lay claim to Yof-Pintre, "The Pinnacle."

This has been scanned from the best copy available. Includes counter images and map.

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11. Board Game: Cerberus: The Proxima Centauri Campaign [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:11100]
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ADB wrote:
Humans were ready to colonize the planet Cerberus. The problem? Cetians, a reptile-like species had arrived there first and didn’t want to share! So on June 10, 2096, the human force arrived at Cerberus, ready to take over the planet. Can they do it?
Return to 1979 and try an exciting, two-player game of fast maneuvers and action, sure to excite new and experienced gamers of all ages.
Cerberus was the first game to cover combat over the entire surface of a planet. A new and unique system is used to depict the curved surface of the planet. The 108 multi-colored playing pieces depict the bases, spaceports, mobile battalions, and Special Forces platoons that landed and fought on Cerberus.
This was scanned from the best-available, second-edition copy and contains the rules and images of the counters and map.
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12. Board Game: The War of the Worlds [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:10736]
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Two player game based on H.G. Wells War of the Worlds.
Mars is invading earth (well England and in particular London and the surrounding countryside). You play as the Martians or the humans.
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13. Periodical: Nexus
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Nexus was the gaming magazine for Task Force Games.

It was published from 1982 to 1988 and had 18 issues.

ADB have recently begun releasing scans of this old magazine as pdf. this is particularly good news as many of the articles, which include a lot of Star Fleet Battles and Starfire but also cover a lot of their other games as well as some games produced by other companies, have been unavailable but long sought after by fans.

Currently available:
Nexus (Issue 1 - Apr 1982)
Nexus (Issue 2 - Jun 1982)
Nexus (Issue 3 - Aug 1982)
Nexus (Issue 4 - Jan 1983)
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