Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thrift Store Find: Star Fleet Battles

Yesterday was great weather here in Central FL. Jeremy and his mom went out shopping for the entire day to Mt. Dora, while I stayed home and worked on the outside of the house for several hours (windows and gardens).

In the early afternoon, I got an excited phone call from Jeremy. He said that he had found something at a thrift store, and that I would really like it--something from my past. Turns out it was the Star Fleet Battles box below.

And So It Began
Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's, we used to go to Virginia Beach for vacation. Aside from the beach and Busch Gardens, I used to go the tidewater area to photograph the Norfolk & Western and the Chessie System. When I got into RPG's, I began going to one of my all-time favorite game stores: Campaign Headquarters in Newport News. That is where I bought the deluxe edition boxed set of SFB, plus some expansions and Captain's Logs.

And so, like many others back then, my SFB obsession began! Like a true SFB player, I just had to buy everything SFB--and try to use it. Then, like every true SFB player, I burned out on the game. It became too bloated and complicated. Then college and girls entered my life. SFB went onto the shelf, never to be played again.

Gone...All Gone!
Sadly, when we moved 15 years ago from PA to FL, I left all my wargames, miniatures, and RPG's behind because I was no longer playing games and my wife worried they would be a 'bad influence' on Jeremy, who was 6 years old at the time. Of course, I came to regret that decision several years later! Every now and then, I get physically depressed thinking about all my gone games. Jeremy knows this. That's why he was so excited to find this set. We had a fun time last evening looking through it and telling some old tales.

Now I feel this urge to buy the newest version of the game. Someone, please tell me that would be a mistake! :-)

Look at that stack of ship sheets! I used to put them in plastic sheet holders and use grease pencils to mark off the boxes. Ahhhh...the endless nightmare of energy allocation and shields being sanded down. (I wrote a computer program to handle damage rolls. which sped up the game a bit.) And look at those teeny, primitive counters! Shortly after buying the game back then, I quickly ditched counters and went with the miniature ships.

Believe it or not, I've never looked at a Nexus magazine until yesterday. Wow, our hobby was so primitive back then, but loads of fun. On the bottom of the box, much to Jeremy's surprise, we found Nexus and some old adverts, which I loved looking through to see what I had owned and had wanted to buy but never did. Man, but I wanted a copy of Warsaw Pact back then! I did have the Traps and Citybook books, plus some other games, like The Barbarian. Good times. Good times. I loved 1982.


  1. What a great find. I haven't seen those things in decades.

  2. I have the same box and like you, bought loads of SSD books and expansions, used plastic sheet holders and grease pencils and wrote a small computer program for damage allocation. I played this a lot for a few years in the early 80's and also burnt out! I still have it stored away but have not looked at it since about 1986. I have a friend who also used to play SFB in the 80s and we occasionally talk about playing a few games of SFB just for nostalgia's sake. But we don't have that much free time, and usually have better things to do :-0


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