Star Fleet Battles
Star Fleet Battles is a tactical strategy board game set in the Star Fleet Universe originally created in 1979 by Stephen V. Cole; it has since been updated many times. The current edition is published by Amarillo Design Bureau Inc. as Star Fleet Battles, Captain's Edition. It is a space fleet warfare simulation game and comes with a 224 page rule book. Players interact on a hexagonal map and represent the Federation, Romulans, Klingons, plus other alien races. The game system uses an impulse-based turn system, which is a departure from the traditional I-Go You-Go alternating system used by most wargames. A ships speed determines how often and when it can move based on a 32 impulse movement chart, 32 being the maximum speed of any object. Similar systems are used in games such as Steve Jackson's Car Wars, which uses a 5 phase system. Such a system allows a more realistic simulation of unit movement and greater tactical flexibility and control.
Star Fleet Battles was based on the Star Trek universe as of 1979 and includes elements of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series. Federation elements were heavily based on concepts from The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual. Unlike the mainstream Star Trek universe, Star Fleet Battles seems to consider some, but not all of the Animated Series, as being a canon material source, thus leading to the inclusion of aliens such as the Kzinti.
Since the first publication of the game, Star Fleet Battles and the Star Trek universe have diverged considerably as the authors of the game and those of the films and television series have basically ignored each other. The resulting divergent world of Star Fleet Battles is known as the "Star Fleet Universe". Other games set in this universe include the computer game series Star Fleet Command (based on the board game), the role-playing games Prime Directive and GURPS Prime Directive, and the strategy game Federation and Empire, as well as the forthcoming Federation Commander.
Another note is that the License “Star Fleet Battles” operates under does not allow for direct reference to the characters and detailed events of the Original Series. As such, official material does not include references to Kirk, Spock or use the USS Enterprise directly, though the later is included in ship listings. This has not prevented oblique references, such as a comment about the first Gorn-Federation meeting as involving “two young captains who fired first, and faced embarrassing questions later.”
The divergences have included races in each that are not in the other, and also the general tone of the universes. The writers of the films and television series wanted to stay close to Gene Roddenberry's optimistic view of the future in which differences between groups could ultimately be resolved peacefully. Conversely, peace is not useful in a military wargame so the universe of Star Fleet Battles is one of constant conflict and warfare and is thus much more pessimistic.