Monday, November 22, 2010

Lasergunfight at the OK Corral

Last week, at Grognardia there were a couple of posts about how Knight Hawks, the Star Frontiers additional rules that allowed for space flight/combat, were a little too late.

I never had the Knight Hawks rules until they were 'digitally remastered' by the star frontiersman folks, but I never really missed them.  We played quite a bit of SF when we weren't playing D&D, and most of our games were basically either "Westerns with laser guns" or "Vietnam with Aliens" when they weren't blatant ripoffs of whatever sci-fi movie we'd recently seen (Aliens, Predator, Critters, various events on Star Trek TOS or early TNG, even Ghostbusters).

We sometimes commented on the fact that there weren't rules for being Luke Skywalker or Starbuck, piloting that fighter ship against the enemy fleet, but since we knew of the existence of Knight Hawks (I think I got SF in 1986), we didn't worry too much about it.  And we didn't really miss it.

Basically, we just took either the 'creature of the week' attitude, the explore the strange planet adventure (typically resulting in the Vietnam with Aliens vibe), or taking the law into our own hands to stop Sathar agents in Port Loren (Westerns with laser guns).  And it was a lot of fun.

Basically, just saying, to counterpoint Jamie Mal, that some of us didn't care about the lack of starship rules in Star Frontiers.  We just assumed that it wasn't what the game was supposed to be 'about.'


  1. I've always been one to believe that what a game offers (and doesn't offer) is what the game is supposed to be. That isn't to say that if after playing the game a couple of time I'm unwilling to house rule it, but I wasn't mad that D&D didn't have rules for power armor, or that d6 Star Wars didn't let me play a wizard.

  2. That's odd... I never even noticed that it didn't have rules for those things. (We played SF back in middle school; a hand-me-down from a friend's older brother) I'm currently in possession of a beat up SF boxed set, but I haven't really looked in it that much.

  3. I'm with you, man... I thought the same thing about that Grognardia post. Alpha Dawn was not "incomplete", it was a game of space exploration in a universe where starships were big lumbering transports that you booked passage on to travel from world to world. It needed starship battles about as much as the movies Aliens or Total Recall did (two of our inspirations for the game.) The real action is on the planets themselves, where the characters come into it and can be the focus. It's an RPG not a wargame, and you can't roleplay a space combat vessel after all!