Collectively the first and second editions of STARFIRE are known as ORIGINAL STARFIRE.
The First Edition of STARFIRE was published as a pocket game by Task Force Games in 1976 and 1979. It was contained in a plastic bag with a counter sheet, hex grid map, and a small rulebook. This edition was purely tactical starship combat but it did have ship design rules, repair rules, and was easily used for a simple campaign game by players willing to create rules for it. First Edition included scenarios that introduces the Terran Federation, Khanate of Orion, and Ophiuchi races of the original STARFIRE history.
Two supplements were published for first edition:
STARFIRE II: STRIKEFIGHTER
Designed by Barry Jacobs and released in 1980, it added fast, powerful, and tiny fighters which had to be carried aboard carriers to reach other star systems. Second Edition introduced the Rigelians; a race that perfected the fighter before anyone else and had a religious imperative to exterminate all other sentient species.
STARFIRE III: EMPIRES
Created by David Weber, this supplement introduced a simple campaign system of exploration and empire building. Empires gave players the opportunity to build interstellar empires and fight battles with resources that weren't limited solely to a single scenario.
Two additional supplements were announced by Task Force Games but never completed: GROUNDFIRE and CHAMELEONS.
In 1984 Task Force Games decided to revive the STARFIRE series by republishing it in a boxed set and combining the STARFIRE and STARFIRE II rules into a single book. Dave Crump and David Weber collaborated on this revision and on NEW EMPIRES, the campaign supplement that followed.
The new campaign rules were greatly improved and included the concept of variable scale – units moved on system scale with the whole star system present, then dropped into an interception scale for pre-combat manuevering, and then finally into a tactical scale to perform the actual battles. Other changes in the second edition included dropping half points of damage, including variable hull sizes, and improving fighter balance.
The last supplement made for Second Edition STARFIRE: the GORM-KHANATE WAR. This supplement added a new race, the Empire of Gormus, a relatively peaceful democratic state of highly logical beings. The Gorm made first contact with the Khanate shortly after the Khanate's demoralizing second loss to the Terrans. The Gorm deduced that they had to make a quick and decisive attack on the Khanate to make it too expensive for the much larger Khanate to conquer them. In this new supplement several new rules are introduced, including crew grade and drive rooms.
It was also during this time that the NEXUS magazine was published (through 1986) with 18 issues. NEXUS included many articles on the STARFIRE game system. After it was discontinued there was no new STARFIRE material released until the next edition.
The original STARFIRE miniatures were also produced by Task Force Games during the second edition. They were of small size and intended for use on a regular hex-grid map. Most of the ship types in the game were represented. However, there were no empire-specific ship designs in the line and only painting determined the difference between races.
Older editions of STARFIRE
have been out of print for decades and it can be difficult to find physical copies. They can sometimes be found at gaming conventions or through privates sales at websites like ebay. However, we have made all of these olders products available in electronic format. You can find more about what products we have on our Ordering Page