Tag Archives: gaming

Star Trek Into Darkness – CODA Rules updates

Well, it took longer than a few weeks, more like a month, but here are my promised CODA rules statistics on the U.S.S. Vengeance from Star Trek Into Darkness, a Starfleet Dreadnought-class (alternate) large. This utilizes my updated Expanded CODA Rules. I’ve also updated the statistics on the U.S.S. Enterprise, Starfleet Constitution-class (alternate) large.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of the stats and format! I may try my hand on providing stats for the new Klingon ship in the movie next.

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Tinker Gnomes: Obsessed with technology

Gnome

A male tinker gnome

I don’t often post about fantasy, particularly Dragonlance’s  tinker gnomes, but several observations/encounters prompted this post. In the Dragonlance world, tinker gnomes are unlike the gnomes of other fantasy series because they are neither interested or capable in wielding magic. The sole focus of every tinker gnome is to tinker with gadgets, with technology. In fact, tinkers are so obsessed with technology that they will find a technological solution to a problem even when there is a much more logical and efficient non-technological solution. e.g. A tinker gnome will build a mechanical steam-powered machine to take sensor readings of the ambient light levels outside coupled to a facts machine that will then write out its findings and have said finding mechanically delivered to the machine’s operator … or you could just look out a window and see how much light there is.

Let me preface by saying that I love smartphones. The touchscreens, the convenience, the digital power, it’s all quite intoxicating. There comes a point though, when even love crosses over into unhealthy obsession. My wife and I have encountered various instances of this kind of obsession. Incident example one: A man walking his dog is so busy looking at his smartphone that he almost collides with my wife on a wide sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon. Incident example two: A woman is so busy looking at her smartphone she collides (at under 10 mph) with a car at the stoplight she is sitting at. Incident example three: many people sitting around a table in a restaurant waiting for their food and instead of talking to their table-mates are instead messing with their smartphones (tweeting about their food?).

We have become Tinker Gnomes!

The Romulans are coming!

Romulan

Over the last month I have really gotten into playing the board game, Star Trek: Fleet Captains, especially with the introduction of the Romulan expansion. For those of you that are into board games and into Star Trek, this game truly captures the feel of Star Trek more than any other game I’ve played.

My wife and I love playing board games, it’s a wonderful way to spend time with one another as well as to indulge a bit of our creativity and problem-solving abilities. With Star Trek she always plays the Federation and (up until the Romulan expansion), I’ve always played the Klingons. The Federation, for those not in the know, is a peaceful organization dedicated to scientific and social progress, while the Klingons are an aggressive warrior species bent on galactic conquest.

I have discovered that in trying to play the Klingons as written in Trek lore, aggressive and expansionistic, I invariably lose 3/4 of the time against my pacifistic, science-focused Federation-playing wife. I’ve found that more often than not, when I do win at the board game, it’s usually because I have undertaken missions that do not rely on combat for success, but instead involve non-violent methods. That is why this board game successfully captures the feel of Trek; it shows us that violent conflict is not the best route to victory, and that’s a lesson that would do our world so much good if we all took that a bit more to heart when we interact with the people we share it with.

So below I have created some additional ships for the board game, enjoy!

New Ship Cards v2

The Starship Polaris: Our North Star

The Starship Polaris by Dave Metlesits

With friends and family now departed from our home for Thanksgiving, I have time to post about one of my favorite subjects, Star Trek! Today I bring to you the Starfleet Polaris-class starship, a fan-made ship set in the TOS era of Star Trek. It’s a wonder nowadays to be able to search the internet for literally any topic you want, be it starships, Thanksgiving day recipes, or what-have-you. We have a guiding star in our travels through the internet.

It’s fascinating, because with all this information at our hands we often limit ourselves to only the subjects we love, so focused are we on our guiding star, our Polaris. In pre-internet days, people were very limited in their ability to choose what topics to find information on (hello World Book Encyclopedia), and subsequently read information about topics they may not have chosen if presented with alternatives. How fascinating is it that we have so much more choice and breadth in our information today, but are less generally well-rounded in our knowledge? So go forth today and veer away from your guiding star and read about something you may not have at the top of your favorites list, or better yet, something that was not on that list to begin with!

Human species and the Xindi

I was watching a recent Ted Talk where the speaker pointed out how at one point in the history of our planet, there were nine different human species in existence. Mind-boggling. The subject reminded me of the Xindi people of Star Trek, a group of five related species with a misdirected desire to destroy Earth and humanity for humanity’s supposed future destruction of their as-yet undiscovered new homeworld.

Yeah, so throwing aside the multiple issues of punishing people for what they will or might do but have not yet done, the concept of multiple human species on one Earth is intriguing. Some reports indicate there were a hobbit-like human species living in present-day Indonesia as late as the 19th century! If true, then it’s a testament to the Xindi that they managed not to wipe each other out, because look at our own sibling species: Neanderthals (extinct), Homo Erectus (extinct), Homo Floresiensis (extinct), and so on.

Without further ado, here is the Xindi-Reptilian Warship for the CODA Star Trek rpg.

Romulans; stealth, cloak, and dagger

The Romulans seem to have an undeserved reputation in Star Trek for being conniving, backstabbing, leap out at you from the dark, kind of people. But what is there that’s really so objectionable? They use cloaking devices to hide their ships from detection, but many countries in the world today employ stealth aircraft to avoid radar detection. They use double-agents to conduct espionage and sabotage of opposing powers, but numerous countries in the world do the same thing now. Some might say they torture their captured opponents to reveal sensitive information. Yeah, well, we all do that too.

So without further ado, I present the imminently understandable Romulans and their very first starship, the Romulan Bird-of-Prey!

Axis and Allies and the triumph of London

I love Axis and Allies. I’ve played it with my wife, with my friends, with Game Table online, and I just can’t get enough of it (though the AI player annoys me with its focus on air forces). I’ve played the Allies and smashed the Axis, and played the Axis and triumphed over the Allies. Maybe it’s because I’m a history nerd, or the son of military parents, but I’m endlessly fascinated by that monumental struggle that ended almost 7 decades ago.

But I digress. Here’s my latest CODA Star Trek rpg ship, the Starfleet London-class, now on my starships page.

Now I need to go watch some uber World War II action on Netflix!