Final Frontier – The Rules

Having only limited time this week, it was a toss-up between painting something that I hadn’t decided upon yet or typing up a first draft of the Final Frontier rules. As I discovered that the word processing application I’d installed onto my tablet was far superior to the free one my wife had decided to download to our home computer (Open Office), which meant I could take my tablet to work and type up bits at lunchtime, the rules won out.

Image result for uss enterprise starship

So, quite a brief post this week, which belies the amount of work I’ve actually done. However, attached you will find a copy of the Final Frontier rules, including rules for designing your own ships, all the systems that you can install, how to fight your battles and rules for building space stations and sending ‘away teams’ aboard derelict vessels or down to the surface of a planet.

They may not be to everyone’s taste, as they are hex-based and relatively simple, so if you’re used to recording every hit scored on your vessel by crossing off a box (like in Battletech) or placing numerous tokens on your space mat to record the current status of your vessel, you may find them a little too simplistic.

However, if you want a straight-forward game of spaceship combat, that does not require a huge amount of record-keeping and allows you to indulge your inner Kirk, then they may very well be up your street.

The first play-test/batrep can be found here.

And here they are: final-frontier.

Feel free to download them, read them and maybe give them a bit of a play-test yourself. Any feedback will be gratefully received, as previous feedback to the rules as described in the play-test led to a few improvements, so thanks to StuRat for his suggestions.

Please bear in mind that this is only the first draft, so has no templates or ship roster cards yet. I intend to include these in the next draft as appendices, including a template that will allow those who prefer to play unfettered by hexes to play the game in ‘naked space’ (which sound like a very dodgy sci-fi movie).

So, download a copy, get out your spaceships, engage your engines and boldly go to…The Final Frontier!

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13 thoughts on “Final Frontier – The Rules

    • No problem, Roger. As Simon is sending you some spaceships, you should be able to give them a run through. Regarding your ‘green space’ issue, you could always flip your tiles – so they’re all brown or spray the undersides black? That way you’ll have dual purpose tiles. Hmm, spraying the undersides a dark blue might make for a interesting submarine warfare game, which I think with a bit of tweaking, these rules might work for. Might have to look into that…Stingray anyone?

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  1. I’m slowly reading through Jez so bear with, I like what I’ve seen so far. Ive got Battlefleet gothic so will use them but no hexmat so will have to come up with something else even if it’s the hexes of the ATZ board game for now!

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    • Cheers Andy. As some people have expressed the desire to play without hexes, I will be providing an appendix with turning circle and firing arc templates. All you need to decide is how big your “hexes” are, then make a hexagon template that size. Place the point of the hexagon next to the centre of your ship, and for each “hex” it moves, move it one ‘edge’ of your hexagon.
      Obviously without a hexed playing area, you’d have to measure distances between ships (or guess) for working out how many dice to assign to Weapons.
      And I always thought your kitchen worktop looked like an ideal ‘space’ playing area. 😉

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  2. The rules work very well Jez. I have play tested them through three times now, each time with a complete game play through. I have my hex star field maps and I easily had enough ships in the collection to play test everything. I`m so glad you offered the rules in word doc, as it meant was able to make minor alterations, change the title to something more suitably Blakes 7-ish, and I was able to change a few bits of the terminology, again, to make it more suitable for Blakes 7. The rules work super, and I am very pleased with them.. so much so, that I will use them for my games (and simply add more to them if I ever feel the need to). Final Frontier does just what I wanted, and I thank you for that, and for the hard work you put into them. a Few of the trek mad lads copied them (from my copy on my lappy) and decided to give them a go using their own star trek minis. One guy announced “WOW, why on earth didn’t I hear of these rules before I spent so much money on ____________” *cant remember the name he said, but its the popular one everyone’s playing right now… wing commander maybe?* Anyway, bottom line, you`ve caused a bit of a sensation and I think a few of the lads I know will be switching their table top star ship battles to your system. I have lend them one of my own star maps so they can copy it for their own games. Mine is heavy duty roll up plastic and one of my prize possessions; but copied out on A3 will at least give them a cheap playing surface.

    Nice work, and thank you for sharing.

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  3. Yay! Go me! Having never played a starship combat game, I just went with what I felt was ‘right’, based on how I thought the rules should work, so it’s extremely gratifying that they compare favourably with commercial products. I have a big grin on my face, so thank you for your comments and for making others aware of it. Please feel free to tweak the rules as you see fit. There will be appendices added at a later date – mainly ship record cards, firing arc templates and turning arc templates, so those that want to play ‘unhexed ‘ can do so. Plus anything else I think of to add to the game, but without taking away it’s essential simplicity.
    Of course, I now need to finish off my ‘Way of the Crow’ rules, to complete my dominance of the tabletop. All will be mine…mwah-hah-hah!

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  4. Hi again Jez. Oh for sure, these rules are easily every bit as good as a commercially purchased one. Some of the lads I know, obviously, also think yours are better in all honesty, hence why they have witched over. Me personally, I think they are remarkably fun to play and I cannot see myself ever switching out to another system at this stage. your rules do everything I might have hoped for. My tweaks aren’t to try to improve anything: they are just to make it more in keeping with my needs and specifications of the retro series I am playing, so no disrespect to you there. Actually, that’s one of the beauties of your “Final Frontier,” they are so tweak-able. And yet without any modifications at all, they also work perfectly.. a sign of a good game I always think, when you can enjoy a game as is, without wishing anything were different.

    As for “way of the crow” rules, I still think they have a lot of potential. Okay they are not right for big skirmish. But they do have a distinct Bushido tone to them , which I really like.

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    • Thanks Tarot. Normally, they would be bit fancier looking, with pictures and diagrams, but I thought it better to get a ‘bare bones’ set out, so people could actually use them. Obviously heavily influenced by Star Trek, but as they have no specific background fluff, can be used for anything. Quick question – how did the writing come across to you? As I sometimes find the style of certain rulesets makes you glaze over, as it’s too dry or tries to cram too much information into a small space, I wrote them as I think and talk – so somewhat informal, like a friend explaining the rules to you.
      As for Way of the Crow, they were initially designed for superhero skirmish in mind, but have been playtested in various genres. My ‘Scooby Doo’ bat rep last October utilised these rules, with genre-specific tweaks to reflect the tropes you’d expect – monsters vanishing when out of line of line of sight, collecting clues and ‘bamboozling’ the monster, to allow you to run away. As October looms closer, I may type up the specific rules for using the main rules for this type of game. This may mean the Enigma Investigations get another outing…

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      • They come across conversationally, which has always been one of my most liked approaches to reading while learning. Mythic does this as well, and Ken St Andre`s Tunnels and Trolls. Makes it fun to read and easier to learn.

        Yes, you should finish WotC, it would be a crying shame not to. As you say, they will make a fantastic alternative for Scooby, Supers, and a whole host of other similar (or diverse) things. Me, I`m thinking it might make an excellent simple Bushido type game.

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  5. These are really good Jez,they would appear to work like clockwork. I watched a few of a guys playing a game using the rules at the club, and they looked to be having a blast. I watched for a while and it sure did look fun. Exciting too.

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