A century from now humans will travel to the stars.
We will terraform and colonize planets light-years away.
We will create artificial humans and human-like mechanical assistants.
We will create an interstellar commonwealth.
We will create a new legal system drawn from the needs of this new environment.
We will find that we are not alone in the galaxy, and that some of neighbors are hostile.
Star Fury is a series of science-fiction games set in dark future of interstellar exploration and conflict.
The first Star Fury game is Genesis. The second Star Fury game is Evolution. Genesis and Evolution are tactical board games of fleet combat. Future titles will include a 4X space exploration game (Empire), a role-playing game (Alpha Team), and an unknown number of source books.
Genesis covers the early efforts at colonization and governing a burgeoning commonwealth whose component star systems could require weeks to reach, even at superluminal speeds. Human-crewed star ships compose fleets and engage in combat with two hostile species and human renegades. Each faction brings to battle kilometer-long vessels armed with energy weapons, guided missiles, and fighters.
Evolution takes place a few generations after the first conflict. The passage of time has heavily improved ship technology and created allies for the Terran commonwealth. The expansion of the commonwealth has also introduced new adversaries. Fleets are larger and are composed of smaller, more capable ships.
Each game includes nine scenarios, but a major design goal is to provide players with the tools needed to recreate their own space battles. These battles may be drawn from players’ favorite fiction, role-playing games, or the desire to pitch the forces of one fiction series against those of another. Both games include a scenario generator and ship design system complete with a host of technologies, and ship classes.
The Star Fury game series takes place against a backdrop of a larger conflict between two ancient antagonists. Occasional contact with these combatants brings characters better comprehension as to the age and size of the Universe, and the insignificance of humanity in the context of creation.
In the mid 1980s, my weekends were routinely committed to gaming. I was a science fiction nut, so sci-fi games took the front seat. I also tend to gravitate to tactical presentations. One of the games I fell in love with, but that my group didn’t have the bandwidth for, was Task Force Games Starfire.
Starfire provided players a platform to conduct battles between fleets of star ships. The game included a very solid ship design system, a fair amount of technology, some innovative interaction mechanics, and a set of campaign scenarios. Task Force published a well-designed sequel (Starfire II) that added new campaign scenarios, carriers and fighters, and some additional technology.
The ship design system was the game’s real strength. It gave players everything they needed to create bases and vessels with significant personality. This personality was expressed as a string of system codes. As a vessel took damage, systems were checked off reducing the damaged unit’s capabilities. The design is smart. The design is flavorful. The design is clean. The design is simple.
But the design limits the size of the fleets to about a dozen ships on a side. The detail the game provides requires a tactile overhead that organically limits the size of the fleet each player can administer in a two-hour play session.
The original Task Force Games is no more. Starfire is still a live product, but has evolved in a direction that took away many of its more attractive aspects.
And I wanted bigger fleets.
To reach this objective, a new game system required less detail with respect to the ship designs and damage allocation systems. This brings the risk of losing the personality of each unique ship design. A unit’s design should feel unique and have strengths and weaknesses that drive how the unit is used. So whatever I designed, it had to resolve quicker but not at the expensive of unique operation of each ship composing each fleet.
OK. So, I wanted a new design, but why?
Because I like to speculate.
My main driver is to provide players with the means to build custom ships and bases using a spectrum of technologies. These ships are assembled into fleets to recreate battles from their favorite science fiction source material. Movies, books, and TV shows are replete with battles between big fleets. Like all fans, I love the chaos, the tactics, and the interface between technologies and design choices these battles show. So the goal is to provide a sandbox for players to exercise their interest in whatever genre is their favorite.
Genesis is the first game in the Star Fury series. The focus of Genesis is humanity’s early forays into space exploration and empire-building.
Genesis provides a series of scenarios that depict events in a war between humanity and hostile alien species. Fleets are composed of smaller escort vessels screening mid-size cruisers, large capital ships, and massive leviathans.
Ships are equipped with a variety of directed-energy weapons, defensive screens, intelligent missiles, and fighters. Smaller vessels are highly maneuverable and have atmospheric capability. Larger vessels also have tractor systems, shuttle bays, and point defense arrays.
Evolution is the second game in the Star Fury series. The focus of Evolution is conflict with enemies on the frontier of an established human commonwealth of core worlds and colonies. Evolution uses the same rules as Genesis, but has all new technology and scenarios.
The events in the Evolution take place about eighty years after the events of Genesis. Better technology allows each ship to do more, and a larger frontier requires more ships to patrol and administer. This drives ships to be smaller and more capable than those in Genesis.
Fighters and missiles are rendered obsolescent in the face of higher-tech directed-energy weapons. Shields replace screens, and vessels use reserve power to extend their respective capabilities.
So, what’s in the box? Star Fury Genesis contains two full-size, double-sided, die cut counter sheets, one battle map, a rule book, a scenario book, and enough dice to keep you from complaining too much.
The counters are dominated by 5/8″ and 3/4″ pieces, each representing a swarm of missiles, a fighter squadron, a vessel or base, or a unit’s present condition.
The map represents a point in space in proximity to a key point of interest to the attacking side. This is usually a base, moon, or planet. Territory can’t be held in deep space, so the map is designed around the idea that any battle would focus on an asset of strategic importance to both sides.
The rules provide players the cleanest possible systems for maneuver, combat, and system interaction. Technologies bend or change how players resolve select aspects of maneuver or combat. We included a complete ship design system for players who want to compose custom ships that meet their own design priorities.
The scenario book includes nine scenarios taken as select events during a war with a vicious and hostile alien species. We prefaced each scenario with some fiction to help frame the universe in which the game takes place.
The game is available at our store.