Monday, December 17, 2012

Into Darkness

Note Klingons will also be appearing in this film...

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Okay Far Trekkers, if you are like me, and woe to you for being so, you WANT miniatures from TOS.  Sure there are overly expensive FASA figs you might find...but certainly not enough to actually play with.

You have $30? Sure you do, or you know how to get it by selling of some of the game books you will never use again.  Got your $30? go here...seriously GO!

 Beam your punk ass over at warp factor 5 and get the coolest and best holiday gift that no one else will think of for you, nor will they ever find it.

I personally own them and can attest to their goodness. YES they are 15mm and they are small and that means they are quick and easy to paint! Lots of them on the table and you can still game! Your Far Trek game will never be the same!

This is MY Trekmas gift to you, knowledge! To not go would be...illogical.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The ORIGINAL Star Trek Movie

On my way home this afternoon I heard something amazing on the radio straight from the cat who was going to make it happen, Philip Kaufman.  It kills me this did not happen, but hey Mr. Abrams, this SHOULD be your 3rd movie.

Back about 1974-1976, writer/director Philip Kaufman was given the reigns to write and direct a Star Trek movie.  The plot involved a black hole and a battle of animal instinct vs cold logic as played out between Toshiro Mifune as a Klingon Commander and Spock.  This was all to be filmed and released before Star Wars, and they had even picked Pinewood studios in England for filming.  Just as it was all spinning up, some suit at Paramount killed it.  He said Sci-Fi films don't work anymore, and maybe they wanted to do a reboot TV series instead. Then Star Wars happens...and the rest is history

Mr. Abrams, as you have reset the Trek time is a chance to make an original/retro move...the original Trek film that never was! 

Who to play the Klingon Commander now?
Chow Yun Fat, Ken Watanabe are easy choices

What about Michelle Yeoh or Ziyi Zhang?  Add a little sexual tension between Kirk/Klingon Commander on top of of the instinct vs logic tension.

Anyway It is definitely inspiration for a Far Trek adventure.

Monday, July 23, 2012

At the barrier

Well Far Trek has had 1 year of service.  I have had multiple emails regarding fixing some issues, clarifying some vagueness and in general making it better.

I am pleased to say an updated version is in the works.  Note these are evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary. 

One consideration is either adding into the rules, or as a unified supplement rules to allow play as/in the Klingon  and Romulan empries.  I will not be writing epic details or full race/empire books...but there would be enough grist for Far Trek play. 

If you have any comments, issues, or suggestions now is your chance.

I do not have a timeline for completion so I appreciate your patience.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trek news

Here is some news updates on Star Trek in general.  First regarding the new Movie from ICV2
 Major Spoiler Alert: Speculation that Khan Noonien Singh would once again menace the forces of Starfleet in the as-yet-unnamed Star Trek sequel appears to be unfounded. Actor Karl Urban, who has reprised his role as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the sequel, accidentally let slip what director J.J. Abrams has kept under wraps, the identity of the villain in the film.
When, during an interview with SFX about his lead role in the new Judge Dredd film, Urban was asked about working with Benedict Cumberbatch on the Star Trek sequel, the actor replied: "He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary."
Gary Mitchell, as fans of the original series know, was a Star Fleet Academy friend of Kirk’s, who as the result of an encounter with a "galactic barrier," acquired extraordinary telepathic and telekinetic powers along with a serious case of megalomania.  Gary Lockwood played Gary Mitchell in the classic "Where No Man Has Gone Before" episode, which was the second pilot episode ordered by NBC (at the behest of Lucille Ball).  This was the episode that got the series on the air and established the makeup of the original series crew.  It marked the first Star Trek appearances of William Shatner (Kirk), James Doohan (Scottie), and George Takei (Sulu).
Cumberbatch, who is brilliant as the nearly superhuman sleuth in the BBC’s Sherlock, would appear to be an excellent choice to play Mitchell, who doesn’t shy away from referring to himself as "godlike."
Next is news on the Stark Trak version of Settlers of is coming out this fall in the states:
 The German publisher of the global hit Die Siedler von Catan released a Star Trek themed version of the game this spring. Today, Mayfair Games—publisher of the English-language version of Catan—announced the completion of negotiations to release the English-language Star Trek: Catan.
Mayfair intends to preview Star Trek: Catan at next month’s Gen Con game fair in Indianapolis.  The game will initially be sold exclusively through U.S. Target stores, starting this autumn.  Hobby exclusive Star Trek: Catan products are also planned.
Designed by Klaus Teuber, this version of The Settlers of Catan replaces the familiar ingredients with Star Trek-themed resources such as dilithium; settlements are replaced with space ports, and the robber becomes a Klingon Bird-of-Prey.
This is a bit more than a mere re-skinning of the now seventeen-year-old Settlers of Catan.  Popular Star Trek characters are introduced to the game through the new "support cards."  Ten characters are featured, including Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Scotty, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand, and Sarek.  Each character card has two special abilities that the card holder can use on his turn.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Build the Enterprise...

I am particularly chaffed at the President for scrubbing the shuttle program and not having something to replace it and ready to go.  Perhaps I can slip him a copy of Zubrin's Case for Mars...or maybe just point him to BUILD THE THAT is a space program baby!  Read below and then beam on over to the site, get ready to Boldly GO!

Q: BTE-Dan, do you really think it’s technically possible to build the USS Enterprise over the next two decades?

A: Yes. It’s within our technological reach to build a full-sized Enterprise with 1g gravity. This Gen1 Enterprise can go on missions to key points of interest in our solar system, like Mars and Venus. It will be the biggest ship of any kind ever built by humans, and it will be larger than the tallest building in the world. It’s possible to build the Enterprise, and it would be a monumental achievement for us humans who inhabit the planet earth.

Q: How would building the Enterprise alter our manned space program?

A: The USS Enterprise from Star Trek is a cultural icon, and we should latch part of the US space program on to this icon and build from there. We need a far grander vision of what we should be doing to get humans up into space and how we might gain a permanent foothold there. If we aren’t going to get a sustainable presence up there, then we should stop spending money for putting humans into space and instead focus on robotic missions like sending more advanced rovers to Mars, Venus, and elsewhere. If we are going to ask taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for projects to put Americans into space, it should be for an idea that they can relate to and be inspired by. The general form and characteristics of the spaceship should be inspirational – and building the first generation of USS Enterprise would surely be inspirational.

Q: Well the ship is inspired by the Star Trek Enterprise, but it’s not the same. Please explain why it’s different.

A: It’s different because the technologies we have to work with in the first half of the 21st century are much different than the technologies that will exist in the 23rd century when Star Trek is set. We can only dream of what technologies may exist by then. So we can stay as true to the themes of the Enterprise ship as is possible given our technological limitations. We have to re-configure interior sections of the ship quite a bit. But it will still be a magnificently impressive ship. When completed, and given the missions that it will be capable of doing, it will be as inspirational as putting astronauts on the moon in 1969.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Star Trek and Conservative Philosophy

I recently found an interesting blog dissecting TOS episodes in terms of conservative philosophy.  Below is one article breaking down the Balance of Terror episode.

Let’s talk about Episode 14: “Balance of Terror,” which introduces the Romulans! Patterned on submarine films, this episode involves a tactical game of chess between Kirk and a Romulan commander with a galactic war hanging in the balance. It’s also an allegory for dealing with aggression and it’s firmly conservative.

The Plot
As the episode begins, Kirk is about to perform a wedding, when the Enterprise goes to red alert. An unknown alien craft is attacking a manned Federation outpost along the Romulan neutral zone. The Federation and the Romulans fought a war a century earlier, before the advent of warp power. The treaty ending that war and establishing the neutral zone was negotiated over subspace radio, and neither side ever saw the other. The Enterprise arrives at the scene of the attack to find the outpost destroyed and a sensor blip leaving the scene. Kirk and Spock immediately suspect the blip is a Romulan “Bird of Prey” (warship) and that the Romulans have developed a cloaking device. Kirk decides to destroy the Romulan ship before it can slip back across the neutral zone.
Why It’s Conservative
Liberalism and conservatism have fundamentally different views about the nature of aggression. Liberals believe aggression is the result of fear, by the aggressor, that others intend to do them harm. Thus, the aggressor turns to aggression as a means of preemptive self-defense. Hence, the liberal solution to aggression is to assure the aggressor that the victim intends the aggressor no harm. This was why liberals advocated disarmament in the face of Soviet aggression, to show the Soviets we meant them no harm, and why it advocates appeasement in the face of Islamic terrorism.

Conservatives reject this. Conservatives believe aggression is the result of envy combined with the aggressor believing they have the power to seize what they desire because the target cannot successfully resist. Thus, showing an aggressor weakness, either by disarming or by demonstrating a lack of will to fight back, will encourage the aggressor to become more aggressive because it makes aggressor more confident of success.

This episode comes down firmly on the side of conservatism. Consider the debate over what to do about the Romulan:
MCCOY: You're discussing tactics. Do you realize what this really comes down to? Millions and millions of lives hanging on what this vessel does.
SPOCK: Or on what this vessel fails to do, Doctor. . . .
STILES: We have to attack immediately.
KIRK: Explain.
STILES: They're still on our side of the Neutral Zone. There would be no doubt they broke the treaty. . . . These are Romulans! You run away from them and you guarantee war. They'll be back. Not just one ship but with everything they've got. You know that, Mister Science Officer. You're the expert on these people. . . .
SPOCK: I agree. Attack.
KIRK: Are you suggesting we fight to prevent a fight?
MCCOY: Based on what? Memories of a war over a century ago? On theories about a people we've never even met face to face?
STILES: We know what they look like.
SPOCK: Yes, indeed we do, Mister Stiles. And if Romulans are an offshoot of my Vulcan blood, and I think this likely, then attack becomes even more imperative.
MCCOY: War is never imperative, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: It is for them, Doctor. Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive colonizing period. Savage, even by Earth standards. And if Romulans retain this martial philosophy, then weakness is something we dare not show.
MCCOY: Do you want a galactic war on your conscience?
KIRK: . . . Prepare to attack.
Spock and Stiles represent conservatism. Spock argues that aggression is part of human nature and that showing weakness will feed that aggression rather than cause it to abate: “weakness is something we dare not show.” Indeed, he notes that for some people, aggression is simply a way of life, e.g. countries premised on a “martial philosophy.” This is directly opposed to the liberal belief that aggression is the result of fear and can be tamed by showing weakness. Stiles backs this up by noting that the Romulans have historically responded to demonstrations of cowardice with increased aggression, which mirrors our own history. Thus, they argue that the only way to stop aggression is to stand up to the aggressor, or as Kirk puts it, they are “suggesting we fight to prevent a fight.”

McCoy, the show’s liberal, is aghast that they are considering attacking the enemy vessel. He believes that using force against an aggressor will lead to a larger conflict, a “galactic war,” and he dismisses Spock’s view as prejudice, i.e. based on “memories of a war over a century ago” and “theories about a people we’ve never met.” He would rather let the Romulans destroy the Earth outposts and presumably sue for peace. This is appeasement. And the fact that he’s an appeaser is clear from his statement that “war is never imperative.” Indeed, if you never reach the point where war is “imperative,” then logically you are suggesting that you are always ready to make compromises to avoid war. That’s a statement of perpetual appeasement and ultimate surrender.

Kirk, true to his conservative form, rejects the liberal position and decides to stand up to the aggressor. His decision is validated by the Romulan commander:
COMMANDER: Danger and I are old companions.
CENTURION: We've seen a hundred campaigns together, and still I do not understand you.
COMMANDER: I think you do. No need to tell you what happens when we reach home with proof of the Earthmen's weakness. And we will have proof. The Earth commander will follow. He must. When he attacks, we will destroy him. Our gift to the homeland, another war.
CENTURION: If we are the strong, isn't this the signal for war?
COMMANDER: Must it always be so? How many comrades have we lost in this way?
CENTURION: Our portion, Commander, is obedience.
COMMANDER: Obedience. Duty. Death and more death. Soon even enough for the Praetor's taste. Centurion, I find myself wishing for destruction before we can return. Worry not. Like you, I am too well-trained in my duty to permit it.
There are several interesting aspects here. First, note how the Centurion believes the time to be aggressive is when you are strong. The Commander confirms this view of aggression when he says the Praetor will attack when he learns of the Federation’s weakness. This runs counter to the liberal belief that aggression is borne of desperation and instead shows aggression as being opportunistic. Note also the subtle anti-concentration of power argument, as the Commander observes that the Romulan people are trapped in a series of never-ending wars because their absolute ruler is bloodthirsty. And he even notes that he disagrees with this policy so much that he almost wishes he would die rather than succeed at his mission, but his own desires do not matter.

Note also the subtle anti-concentration of power argument, as the Commander observes that the Romulan people are trapped in a series of never-ending wars because their absolute ruler is bloodthirsty. He even disagrees with this policy so much that he almost wishes to die rather than succeed at his mission, but his own desires do not matter.

This dovetails with another conservative message in this episode: the importance of the individual. Unlike collectivism, which sees people like the Romulan as tools of the state, classical liberalism favors the individual. So does this episode. We see this both in the fact that the Romulan Commander obeys the collective against his better judgment and is destroyed, and in a fascinating speech where McCoy points out the value of the individual human life and how unique we are:
MCCOY: But I've got [an answer]. Something I seldom say to a customer, Jim. In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us. Don't destroy the one named Kirk.
But even more, we see it in a subplot about guilt by association. No human had ever seen a Romulan before Spock manages to hack into the Romulans’ viewscreen. At that point, we learn they look a lot like Vulcans. Because of this, Stiles begins to view Spock as a traitor. Some interpret this as a message about racism, but it’s really not. If it was about racism, Stiles would have hated Spock from the beginning. Instead, it’s a message about guilt by association. And Kirk will have none of it on his ship: “Leave any bigotry in your quarters. There's no room for it on the Bridge.”

This is a conservative message, though liberals won’t like hearing that. Conservatism, like classical liberalism, rejects the concept of group guilt and judges individuals on their own merits.

Modern liberalism, on the other hand, divides people into groups by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., and then assigns rights and obligations, and assumptions about guilt/innocence to people through their groups. Indeed, this is the theory behind affirmative action, that people should bear the collective guilt for the historical actions of “their group” whether they partook in those actions personally or not. Similarly, liberals tar Christians for centuries old abuses, tar Catholics for the crimes of a few Catholic priests, seek to take the rights of all gun owners for the misuse of the product by a few, destroy the internet to stop a handful of pirates, etc. In each case, guilt by association underpins the policy, as liberals seek to inflict group punishment rather than just punishing the specific individuals who did the wrongdoing.

Kirk rejects that kind of thinking and makes it clear that Spock is an individual and will not be made to answer for the crimes of his distant cousins the Romulans.

Once again, conservatism prevails.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Captain's Blog...

I had a request from a friend to convert my skirmish rules over for use with his 15mm miniatures...and a few emails and reviews later we have AWAY TEAM.  It is a Trek inspired rules set for play with his Astro miniatures!  I won his Astro Crew minis and they are fantastic!  New sculpts are coming from Eli (from I See Lead People fame)for other races.  Set phasers for stun, break out your tricorder, and beam on over and check it out.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Kosmos, the German company that publishes Settlers of Catan board game, will be publishing a Star Trek themed edition of the game!  Mayfair games is the U.S. publisher and no word from them if it will make it over to the States or not.  Here is to hoping it does!