July 2007

Origins Convention Continued

The Gold Hat tournament was conducted both on-site and on-line for the first time this year. Many thanks to Paul Franz, assisted by Roger Rardain, without whose efforts this would not have been possible. This allowed players who could not themselves make it to Origins to participate in the Gold Hat Tournament. The final tree included two Orions, two Hydrans, a Romulan, a Gorn, a WYN AxBC, and a Neo-Tholian. The Gold Hat Final was actually not conducted at Origins, as the two opponents agreed to play the final round on-line from the comfort of their own personal "command chairs". This was a significant match up pitting fleet Captain Tom Carroll in a Hydran against Fleet Captain Paul Scott in a Romulan, and ended with Tom Carroll taking the Hat as the first ever Hydran Fleet Captain. As all of Tom's battles were fought on-line leaving him with an easily accessible record of what actions were taken, we are looking forward to his Victory at Origins report as it will probably be the most comprehensive one ever written. Tom will be able to point specifically to key die rolls and cite the specific critical impulses and precise ranges for every event. Further, Tom can use the net to query his opponents for their own intentions during those moments. Indeed, the most difficult thing for Fleet Captain Carroll may be to keep his Victory at Origins article down to a manageable level.

Saturday Patrol was won by Bill Schoeller in the WYN AxBC.

Special Thanks to Paul Franz, Mike Filsinger, Roger Rardain, Mike Novean, Scott Moellmer, and Nick Blank without whose tireless efforts the Origins events could not be run. They always go out of their way to make Origins the best it can be for the attendees, and go beyond the call to run demos of the products for those who are interested.

We are considering running some "scenario events" next year in which players can participate in a battle with a set objective, and even if their ship is destroyed, they may still be on the winning side.

The Federation Commander tournament was greatly modified from the previous year, and the current format will be used next year. Unfortunately, the revisions were not made in time to be put into the Origins on-Site book. Turn out was pretty good even so, and we are expecting better turn out in future. The new format will allow the players to create a fleet of not less than three or more than four ships with a total point value of no more than 300 points (that is 300 points or less, not 301 points). One DN and/or Heavy BC may be included, and any ships (not otherwise excluded) may be the other one or two ships (although the limit on only one DN and/or one Heavy BC cannot be exceeded). Normal fleet construction rules must otherwise be met, e.g., a Tholian force will be limited in the number of Neo-Tholian ships and the overall number of web casters. Further, we are reviewing web casters and may impose an additional tournament specific limit on them. As can be seen, battleships (released in Battleships Attack at Origins) are not allowed. Players will then be matched against opponents in the same manner as the Patrol and Gold Hat tournaments. Maps will be fixed with a variation of the tournament barrier (P17.0), and currently will be allowed to run ten turns or until a time limit runs out or a concession is made. Victory may be judged based on ships destroyed and the damage status (ships crippled, ships with some internal damage) giving points to the other side, details still need to be worked out.

The Federation Commander Tournament was won by Paul Scott whose Kzinti squadron defeated the previous year's winner, Patrick Doyle flying Federation, in a final round.

We ran a Battle Force Tournament, or tried to, but we have finally realized that the existing system for it just does not work. Next year we intend to have only one time slot for Battle Force in the hopes that all those interested will show up at that one time and can be matched against opponents. The winners will then be asked when the best time for them to have the next round would be so that all know to be there.

This year we released Battleships Attack for Federation Commander at Origins. This included only eight ship cards, but they were all double size as that was the only way to fit the battleships on them. The Federation Mars Class Battleship can now be taken up against the Klingon B10 in Federation Commander.
For Star Fleet Battles, Module R11 was released. This product included various ships that supported combat operations, but also included combat units in their own right. Most races got a Fast War Cruiser, and the Romulans got the Firehawk-M carrier escort. Freighters became far more versatile with a host of new Skids and Ducktails.
The Starline 2400 series of miniatures was boosted by the release of the Hydran Mohawk new heavy cruiser and the WYN Fish Ship back including one each of the Barracuda frigate, Mako destroyer, and Orca war cruiser, and the return of the Federation Flatbed CVA to the product line.