What are all the versions of SF?

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What are all the versions of SF?

Postby igycrctl on Sat 28 Feb 2015 05:38

Sorry if this was explained else where, but I was looking on the DL page and noticed the following versions listed:

1st edition
2nd edition
Classic
Galactic
Elite
Ultra
Solar

I thought I read somewhere that there were 6 versions of SF, but I'm counting 7. Now I'm pretty sure I know what 1st, 2nd, Classic (own it), Ultra (own it), and Solar are, but could someone explain how Galactic and Elite fit in? Thanks.
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby igycrctl on Sat 28 Feb 2015 05:42

Oops! I realize I didn't include Cosmic. Does that still count as a version? If yes, then we're up to 8. Help!
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby nukesnipe on Sat 28 Feb 2015 11:22

Hi,

It's pretty much explained here: http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/introduction/index.php

Basically, "1st Edition" were the original poly-bagged Starfire, Starfire II and Starfire III Empires.

"2nd Edition" was the first of the boxed games and included the boxed "Starfire" (Terran BC on the cover) and two magazine sized booklets called New Empires and the Ghrom-Khanate War.

"3rd Edition" included Starfire (Terran BB in a shipyard on the cover), Imperial Starfire, The Stars at War and Crusade. There was an extensive revision of the rules aptly named "3rd Edition Revised" and two non-canon supplements Alkeda Dawn and First Contact.

"Galactic Starfire" is the 4th edition and was an extensive rewrite/streamlining of the 3rd Edition rules.

Ultra Starfire is the 5th edition and is basically Galactic Starfire gone digital. That's a gross simplification, but essentially true. Ultra was intended for tournament play and there were no set "races"

Solar Starfrie is the 6th edition and is for all intents a revamp of Ultra with, as I understand it, a plan to include races and a historical timeline.

My understanding of Cosmic Starfire is that it will be "3rd Edition (Revised)(Revised)".

Elite and the Admiral's Challenge were tabletop games based loosely on the Starfire brand. I admit I do no own either.

I'm pretty sure this is mostly accurate.... ;)
Regards,

Scott Chisholm
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby igycrctl on Sat 28 Feb 2015 17:08

Scott, thanks for the explanation and the link. I found the link after I made the post, but one thing still confuses me: what is elite?
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby dazrand on Sat 28 Feb 2015 17:28

Scott hit it perfectly. The sequence of editions can be a bit fuzzy.

Elite came after Galactic and could be considered more of a Revised edition, so did not get a new edition number.
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby Cralis on Sat 28 Feb 2015 17:46

nukesnipe wrote:My understanding of Cosmic Starfire is that it will be "3rd Edition (Revised)(Revised)".


COSMIC STARFIRE was meant to be exactly that. It was a project proposed by Fred Burton, the original designer of the Star Union of Crucis (yep, from ISW4). However, Fred has not worked on that project for quite some time and we have recently discussed declaring it "inactive" until he decides if/when he wants to finish it.

Elite and the Admiral's Challenge were tabletop games based loosely on the Starfire brand. I admit I do no own either.


ELITE STARFIRE is actually an improvement on GALACTIC STARFIRE. It is to GSF what Sky Marshal #2 was to 3rd Revised.

Admiral's Challenge was a new strategy-campaign system devised by Marvin to try and make a simpler strategy game. In the end, it just made a different style of strategy game.

I'm pretty sure this is mostly accurate.... ;)


As close as I've ever seen, that I didn't write myself :)
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby aramis on Sat 21 Nov 2015 13:08

It's worth noting that the earlier editions have lots of incremental increases...

The New Carrier Rules for 1E (from nexus) changed the campaign play significantly (and for the better)... essentially, prototyping the New Empires scaling rules.

Likewise, the Ion Engine Drive Rooms article (also from nexus) prototype the changes to drives in Gorm-Khanate War.

And the Corsairs in Lyonnese "scenario" adds TL X+ tech levels.

This wasn't atypical for wargames of the era (late 70's, early 80's). If they had any support at all, it was prototype rules in magazines, which then got (usually) grafted in to a reprint or (less frequently) published in an expansion to the core. SFB and Squad Leader routinely prototyped with magazine articles. Same for OGRE/GEV, and several other microgames that grew.
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby aramis on Mon 15 Feb 2016 06:46

One other thing: Classic is the renamed 3rd revised "reprint" (in PDF)...

Oh, and the third products included
Starfire (boxed set, Tactical rules)
Imperial Starfire (boxed set, campaign rules)
Stars At War (Tactical/Operational use campaign)
Crusade (tactical campaign, tech increase)
Akelda Dawn (massive tech expansion but not increase)
First Contact (increased tech)
3rd Revised Rulebook
SM1
SM2
Ultimate Tech Manual (incorporated all the stuff not in the 3R rulebook, and added more.... was released after Galactic had been released)

And on the subject... I want to note that playing 1st ed with either set alone (Either SF I or SF II) is a slightly different experience to using them together in a campaign. Whether or not that campaign used SF III. But SF III added more, as well...

And Galactic changed the coding of ship systems. All later editions use the revised coding. It also reduced emphasis on the tactical game; all later SDS editions do as well.
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby Cralis on Mon 15 Feb 2016 15:55

aramis wrote:One other thing: Classic is the renamed 3rd revised "reprint" (in PDF)...


"Classic Starfire" as referred by the SDS, refers to ALL 3rd edition products both pre-revised and revised. Nearly all players use 3rd Revised, so there wasn't much of a need to be picky about it :)

And Galactic changed the coding of ship systems. All later editions use the revised coding. It also reduced emphasis on the tactical game; all later SDS editions do as well.


I'm curious why you say that the code changes reduced the emphasis on the tactical game?
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Re: What are all the versions of SF?

Postby aramis on Mon 15 Feb 2016 18:01

Cralis wrote:
aramis wrote:One other thing: Classic is the renamed 3rd revised "reprint" (in PDF)...


"Classic Starfire" as referred by the SDS, refers to ALL 3rd edition products both pre-revised and revised. Nearly all players use 3rd Revised, so there wasn't much of a need to be picky about it :)

And Galactic changed the coding of ship systems. All later editions use the revised coding. It also reduced emphasis on the tactical game; all later SDS editions do as well.


I'm curious why you say that the code changes reduced the emphasis on the tactical game?

I didn't; reread what I wrote. I noted the two happened at the same time, not that they are interrelated.
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