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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Just who are you guys?

    Answer: Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc., has been around for 25 years. The original designer (Steve Cole) of our first game (Star Fleet Battles), owned half of the original publisher (Task Force Games) until 1981, at which point Task Force was divided into two companies, and Steve Cole named his half Amarillo Design Bureau. ADB was an independent game designer (working mostly for Task Force Games) until January 1999, when Task Force ceased operations and ADB Incorporated to become the publisher of the Star Fleet Universe.

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  1. What is the Star Fleet Universe?

    Answer: This is our comprehensive and cohesive family of game systems, all portraying the same empires, starships, characters, and history. If one starship is twice as powerful as another starship in one game, it will be twice as powerful in every game of the universe.
  2. What games are in the Star Fleet Universe?

    Answer: We have several game systems, each of which includes several products. These include: Star Fleet Battles, our original tactical game of space combat. First published in 1979, SFB is the longest-running and best-selling starship combat game ever published. SFB was named to the game industry Hall of Fame in 2006. Federation and Empire, our strategic game of space warfare, was first published in 1986.

    Federation Commander is our new fast-playing starship combat game, first published in 2005. For more information, click here.

    Prime Directive is our role-playing universe, where you take the role of an individual character in the universe and undertake numerous adventures. For more information, click here. We did not invent a new set of role-playing rules for Prime Directive; instead, we licensed the best available systems already on the market. That way, you can use source books already published by other companies to create your adventures.

    Starline 2400 is our line of precision-scale pewter starship miniatures. Most are between an inch and three inches long. For more information, click here.

    Star Fleet Battle Force is a fast-playing card game of the Star Fleet Universe. For more information, click here.

  3. Is this Trek? Or not?

    Answer: The Star Fleet Universe is based on The Original Series. However, we have gone far beyond the original material in the 27 years we have been publishing, including thousands of ships and a dozen space empires not seen in the original or later series or films. You will find a lot of familiar things in the Star Fleet Universe, and so many new things that you won't miss anything we aren't licensed to use.
  4. Is all of this legal?

    Answer: Yes! We obtained a license from Franz Joseph in 1979 and later signed a contract with Paramount. We pay them a royalty check every three months.
  5. Where is the original Enterprise crew?

    Answer: Those characters are not within our license. They were, however, only a few of the millions of people who served in Star Fleet, in other Federation agencies, or in other space empires.
  6. Where are the Cardassians, the Borg, and other empires seen in various series and movies?

    Answer: They are not within our license, although the history of the Star Fleet Universe stops before the Federation encountered any of them.
  7. What empires are in the Star Fleet Universe?

    Answer: Many. The Tholians occupy a tiny enclave on the galactic rim, and the vast Federation touches the Tholian enclave at the center of its outer frontier.

    To the "left" of the Federation is the Klingon Empire (which starts at the edge of the galaxy and extends far into it) and the Kzinti Hegemony. Beyond them (further left) are the Lyran Empire, the WYN Star Cluster, the small Lyran Democratic Republic, and (along the edge of the galaxy) the Hydran Kingdom.

    To the "right" of the Federation are the Romulan Empire and (farther from the galactic edge) the Confederation of the Gorn. Beyond them (further right) is the Interstellar Concordium.

    The Orion Pirates operate all over the galaxy.

    The Jindarian Nomads operate huge ships made from hollow asteroids. They have been in space over 100,000 years and care little for what the other empires do.

    The Vudar are from a small planet in the Klingon Empire and once rebelled and broke away from it (at least for a short while, the Klingons aren't talking about that incident).

    The Tholians originally came from another galaxy (M81) which they ruled until a revolt by their Seltorian slaves. A fleet of Seltorians followed the Tholians to this galaxy.

    There are many more empires, including the Xorkaelians (who rule most of the far side of the galaxy). It will be some years before all of these empires appear in some of our game systems.

  8. Do you provide electronic copies of your rulebooks and ship cards as some other companies do?

    Answer: We provide some of the rulebooks in an e-format. You can find out what is available here.
  9. Just what is Communique?

    Answer: It is a free PDF download posted to the Commander's Circle every month. And before you ask, the Commander's Circle is the free on-line club for players of the game Federation Commander. You will find a link to this on the home page. It takes only a moment to join and then you can download all of the previous issues of Communique.
  10. Do you do computer games?

    Answer: We license our game systems and technology database to computer game companies. For example, Star Fleet Command is based on our Star Fleet Battles game engine. This allows us to focus on the kind of games we do best.
  11. I bought some of the various boosters as an inexpensive way to expand my Federation Commander game, but cannot find any of the Squadron Boxes that match the boosters. What do I do?

    Answer: Each set of three Squadron Boxes matches the ships in a key product. For example, Squadron Boxes #4-#6 match the ships in Klingon Attack. Each set of three Booster Packs provides the ship cards that match the extra counters in the original product, for example, Booster Packs #7-#9 match the extra counters in Romulan Border. Each of the Border Boxes matches the ship cards in the corresponding set of three boosters, so Border Box #4 matches the ship cards in Boosters #10-#12 as well as the extra counters in Romulan Attack.

    While boosters can be an inexpensive way to get some of the new ships in a later product (for example, the Romulan ships in Booster #12 will work with the Klingon Border Revision 4 rulebook) there is no specific package of miniatures that matches a specific booster. You can, however, obtain the miniatures as separate packs from your store or from our shopping cart. This will not always match exactly (some ships are in double-packs with another ship), and will be more expensive than 1/3 of a Border Box. If you wish, contact us and we'll help you figure out what to have your store order, or what you can order directly from us.

  12. What is the VIP code to register on the Forums?


    Answer: 82427
Elements of the Star Fleet Universe are the property of Paramount Pictures Corporation and are used with their permission.
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