The Star Trek Full Thrust Story By Felix
The SFSFW is an independent, non-profit making organisation, run by gamers for gamers. The basic overall aim of the SFSFW is the promotion of Fantasy and Science Fiction wargaming at all levels. One aspect of this has been the staging of participation games at various shows across the country. The SFSFW has staged different games over the years from Full Thrust (using the Ground Zero Games background), Battle of the Five Armies, a DBA/HOTT fantasy game and many others since Star Trek: Full Thrust, including Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters, an Iron Cow 6mm naval game, Flintloque and even Man O’War.
So after the success of Battle for the Five Armies, the SFSFW were back on the road once more with Full Thrust, however this time, a slight difference. Instead of Ground Zero Games’ ESU and NAC, it is now Star Fleet and the Klingon Empire. This is Star Trek – Full Thrust. Actually the game was suppose to be Godzilla, however due to time constraints we knew we wouldn’t be able to get it ready in time for Reveille. Also as Salute is the first in the show season for the SFSFW, it would be better if Godzilla could debut there. So what about Reveille, Godzilla wouldn’t be ready? Well sadly the scenery for the Five Armies was on the verge of falling apart and could not be used. Let’s do Full Thrust again said the committee, and there you have it.
However, nothing is simple in life, time to find some models. I was lucky in that MicroMachines has just released their Star Trek Collections. Okay, so they aren’t perfect, but as the old FASA/Citadel ships were unavailable, they would have to do. What of the rules, Full Thrust would need a little tweaking with to make it work within the Star Trek universe. I also wanted to ensure that the game was easy and fun to play, whilst remaining true to what you see on television. The last time we had put on Full Thrust I had produced some record sheets. For this game I wanted those record sheets to be better and make the game easier to play. By combining the rules summary with the record sheet I could individualise the rules for each ship – the Enterprise would have rules for Phasers and Photon Torpedoes, but no rules for Disrupters. I also had space to explain what the symbol meant on the record sheets. I took a bit of a liberty here and changed some of the names so they would fit in with Star Trek, beams became phasers, screens became shields, FTL became the warp drive and so on. I also had to write rules for Disrupters and Photon Torpedoes. As for the actual stats of the ships, hmm, now there’s a topic for debate. I don’t think that my ideas will necessarily fit in what other ideas other people have, but they seem to work.
Another idea was to change the threshold system: Whereas before when you had crossed out the damage boxes and reached the end of one line, you had reached a Threshold Point. Then you had to roll for each of your systems to see if it was still working. This didn’t really work in the participation game last time we did Full Thrust, slowing the game down. I have replaced this rule with Threshold Cards. These cards can cause the same effects, sometimes minimal damage, other times major losses to all systems. It is possible after reaching the first Threshold Point, for there to be a warp core breach… Also in the pack are Final Frontier Cards which means the player has to pick a card from a different deck. These cards describe various events that can affect the game. Some have to be played immediately; a dimensional rift causes another ship to appear and join the battle; or intervention by the Organians which means the game is over. Others can be held onto and played in a later turn; repair teams fix or jury-rig two of your systems; or lucky shot enabling your tactical officer to bypass an enemy ship’s shields.
The rules seems to work, they are fast and furious. It is possible to destroy a ship with a single shot (you have to be pretty lucky like Steve Blease was in playtesting). They do reflect what happens on the television and in the movies. Though Godzilla is the main SFSFW participation game, I have a feeling that Star Trek Full Thrust will be around at a few shows.
On its debut at Bristol’s Reveille ‘94, Star Trek – Full Thrust went with a bang and picked up the prize for Best Participation Game. This is the second year in a row that the SFSFW have won this award. Lots of people played the game, quite a few joined the The game then went down to Weymouth for Fisticuffs. Though we only there on the Saturday, we had some good games and a lot of fun. The last appearance to date was at the SFSFW AGM/Open Day where quite a few people had a game. The final game at the end turned into a classic with a timewarp, sending all the ships back to the original positions (as in the ST:TNG episode Cause and Effect). And it has been the only game to date where no ships have survived, the final shot causing one ship to explode and the other to accidentally explode after receiving a feedback pulse from its shot.
Once more we took Star Trek: Full Thrust to Reveille, this time in 1995, and guess what we won again… I am sure we would have won in 1996, sadly though Reveille was cancelled and it looks unlikely that there will be a 1997 show, which is a pity as it was a good show. The main advantage of Star Trek: Full Thrust is that it’s very easy to put in a box and play a game at any show, and thus was the case for Colours 95. Star Trek: Full Thrust had to put in an appearance at Ragnacon III in West Bromwich in May 1996. This time with new MicroMachine models we could stage games set in Generations and Deep Space Nine. For the future, in 1997 it looks likely that Star Trek: Full Thrust will once more grade a table at a show, obviously it will be at Bifrost ’98 which once more will be at the Sandwell Leisure Centre in West Bromwich.
Look out for a First Contact scenario…
It is also hoped that Star Trek: Full Thrust will go north and attend some of the shows up there. The fact that Star Trek: Full Thrust has been going now for three years shows that Star Trek is popular but that people enjoy playing games based around the TV shows and films.
Update IV – March 2000
It is now very unlikely that you will see Star Trek Full Thrust grace the gaming tables again, however it is hoped that soon you will be able to download the gaming sheets used from this site.
(A version of this article appeared in issue one of ENTERPRISE, the journal of the SFSFW Star Trek Studies Group for the online version it has been updated and revised).
Disclaimer – This game is not licensed by Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Trilogy Entertainment, CBS-TV, J M Tuffley or Ground Zero Games. Star Trek – Full Thrust, the game, is a scholarly work intended to explore the possibilites of gaming within the Star Trek universe. STAR TREK®: THE NEXT GENERATION™: STAR TREK® is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures. Full Thrust is Copyright ©1992 J M Tuffley and Ground Zero Games. Such reference to these is for information purposes only, not for commercial gain and the use of names without mention of the Trademark should not be taken as any kind of challenge whatsoever to the Trademark status.