Les Lauber
United States
Osage City
Kansas
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I was reading the posts by tool (Jan/2002) and The Maverick (Feb/2004), who were getting deeply into the history and sequencing of this product. Those threads aren't assigned to a forum anymore, so I'm posting this response to their thoughts here.


In 1983, FASA (Fantasimulations Associates) Corporation published STAR TREK: THE ROLE-PLAYING GAME under licence from Paramount. Guy McLimore, Jr., Greg Poehlein, and Dave Tepool were the primary designers (with additional development work from their design by Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock, III). Part of Tepool's work was the Starship Combat section (pages 102-115 of the original rules book, specifically) of the game. The RPG had very limited information on a half-dozen ships, and 1/2" square ship counters on 1/2" hex sheets to track space combat. Plus there were separate panels for the helmsman, navigator, engineer, science officer...not so bad for the members of the crew, but imagine being the poor gamemaster trying to play three or four different ships in an opposing fleet. (Remember the original series episode with the wargames--a GM trying to run a game similar to that would have a nightmarishly large number of "panels" in front of her to make that happen!)

It was obvious that additional ships and information on space combat was necessary. For one thing, the new USS Enterprise and Klingon D-7s from Star Trek: The Motion Picture were not included. For another, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was released while this game was being developed, proving there was still life in the Star Trek franchise. Enter FASA product/catalogue #2003, the STAR TREK II: STARSHIP COMBAT SIMULATOR. This provided the necessary rules upgrades, condensed the panels onto a single (front-and-back) sheet, upgraded/corrected ships, added new ships seen in ST:TMP and in the recently released ST II: The Wrath of Khan. Now GMs can track fleet actions with their new 1-page sheets, and players can play within the milieu of the movies. Plus, the hex-sheet that serves as a gameboard is now made of 1" hexes and the ship counters are now hexagonally shaped to fit. The team working on this was Jordan Weisman, John Wheeler, and Forest Brown.

Subsequently, the 2nd edition rules of the RPG were released. The 1984 release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock meant that FASA was behind again, almost as soon as it got caught up. So the same team, Wesiman, Wheeler, and Brown, had to create the new additions for the game. A STAR TREK III version was released to make the game "up to date with the movie universe." Relevant to the ST:STCS were additions of the USS Excelsior, USS Grissom, SpaceDock, and the Klingon Bird of Prey. Other than correcting typos on ship stats, there was no change of note to the simulator game itself. Further, the name was adjusted to STAR TREK: STARSHIP COMBAT ROLE-PLAYING GAME because West End had the exclusive licence for boardgames with the Star Trek name. West End had been complaining that the simulator was really just a board game with a role-playing afterthought thrown in. FASA was trying to deflect the conflict and risk of loss of permission to print this fairly lucrative supplement.

Which gets us to catalogue #2003A, the rerelease of the simulator as STAR TREK: STARSHIP TACTICAL COMBAT SIMULATOR, sometime between the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This was released not only as a boxed set intended to supplement ST:TRPG but also was available to purchase as a stand-alone set of ship counters and rulebook. FASA had grown tremendously with the success of BATTLETECH, STAR TREK, THE DOCTOR WHO ROLE PLAYING GAME, and so forth. People were shifting into different roles. So for the update of the simulator, Forest Brown took the lead of a new team...getting us to the credits page to which Joe referred. FASA's licence was up for renewal in 1989, and Paramount refused to renew the licence.

The "1966/1986" dates on the credits pages are the dates of Paramount's registration of its copyrights.
 
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William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
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Your assessment of the 1st ed RPG rules is dead wrong.

There were simple sheets for all ship designs; the GM had one letter-size per ship. The ability to break out the panels was specifically for the crew... and was not needed for NPC ships.
 
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