What's New at Ad Astra Games

Component Restocks:

Maps, Dice, Tilt Blocks, and Control Cards

We are reprinting the paper map sheets for the boxed games—our new printer required the map sheets to shrink, which means that they will not be edge to edge compatible with the old ones. If you want to purchase old copies of the white map sheets, please e-mail adastragames@gmail.com to make a purchase.

We are also restocking dice—all of the games will be getting four dice of three different colors after this restock. Some games will be getting a few dice shipped as loose dice in the box, not bagged as a set. Please look carefully for the loose items.

Finally, we are reprinting the Squadron Strike cards in red-blue on the next print run, and switching to red-blue tilt block sets and red-blue sets of acrylic flight bases. If you're interested in getting one of the last sets of red-green tilt blocks or red-green flight bases, contact adastragames@gmail.com to talk to Scott or Sam.



Star's Reach

A New Setting for Squadron Strike and Colonial Battlefleet

Remember when Space Opera was fun? When it was about likeable people put in dangerous situations, where the fate of empires lay in the balance of the few, the bold, and the daring? Back before edgy anti-heroes made it hip and dark? Back when an attitude meant doing your duty regardless of the personal cost, not back-talking your CO?

We do too. Travis Melton, a fan of spaceship minis, came to us a year ago with a set of really intriguing concept sketches. They looked a little bit like classic space opera designs, but were original enough to be eye catching and make us say "We hadn't seen those before." We hooked him up with award-winning CGI artist Charles Oines, who also designed ships used in the Battlestar Galactica mini-series "Razor." Then we worked with Travis to make a setting as we brainstormed how these ships would fight.

Travis' design influences stem a little bit from Star Fleet Battles, and a bit from Babylon 5 Wars, and a bit from Full Thrust—and he realized that he didn't want to come up with Yet Another Set Of Rules, not when there are excellent rule sets out there like Squadron Strike and Colonial Battlefleet. We worked closely with Travis to "Make the ships tactically interesting, and let's come up with a setting that encourages small fleet actions."

It was that last part that shaped (a bit) of how the miniatures were made, and how we sculpted the setting. Star's Reach may be old school space opera— with a human task force stuck in a situation that's far more dangerous and convoluted than they'd originally thought it would be—but it's not simplistic or cliché-ridden. While the main setting book is told from the perspective of the Koreth Imperium's officers and politicians, the political situation is subtle, and nuanced.
We've gone out of our way to make the aliens in the setting more textured than Star Trek "humans with funny noses." The Koreth culture grows logically out of their biology, much the same way human culture grows out of the needs of small hunter gatherer tribes in an Ice Age. This results in an attempt to "Make me a creature that thinks as well as a man, but differently."

We avoided "grim dark survivor" parables about the last remnants of humanity. Space Opera has gotten dark and grim and gritty; we see it as being a form of escapist fiction. We are looking for stories of heroism and adventure, not the retelling of Thermopylae and the Alamo. This doesn't mean the good guys win without paying a cost, but everyone involved in the story has a plausible, reasonable, and sympathetic reason for being there.

As I type this, I'm editing the setting book for the Squadron Strike product, and Steel Dreadnought Games has the ships statted out for their Colonial Battlefleet game in final playtest. I expect to have the Star's Reach Squadron Strike product done by the second half of May.

In the meantime, check back on the Ad Astra Games Google+ feed for snippets from the setting book to see more of the setting. The setting was written by New York Times best-selling author Eric S. Raymond (of Cathedral and Bazaar fame) and Philip Weber, and consolidated by Origins Award winning game designer Ken Burnside.

Commonwealth Ships

Thumbnail of the Commonwealth Miniatures. Click for full-sized image.

Koreth Imperium Ships

Thumbnail of the Koreth Imperium Miniatures. Click for full-sized image.

Trazari Ships

Thumbnail of the Commonwealth Miniatures. Click for full-sized image.

Registration System Fixed!

April 4, 2012

Yes, the registration system is finally fixed.

Go to http://services.adastragames.com to register your copies of:

  • Attack Vector: Tactical 2nd Edition
  • Squadron Strike Ship Book 2: The Three Face War
  • Birds of Prey: Airborne Alert

Don't forget to download your free registration bonuses by clicking Resources on the left of the page.

If you bought an Attack Vector 1.5-to-2.0 upgrade pack that didn't come with a new serial number, don't worry. The download that says "1.5 Ships" actually links to the 2.0 versions.

The Squadron Strike bonuses aren't there yet: we're updating all of the ships from the boxed set using the latest ship design spreadsheet. All of the ships will go up at once.

For Saganami Island Tactical Simulator, the Pirate Platform is available!


Server Move

We've just moved the site to a new server, so you may notice a hiccup here or there. We apologize for the time it took to make the move, but it was a big job and we think that it will be worth the effort.

You'll notice that our web store has changed; we've switched software from a system that we had to administer ourselves for a managed solution (we still put in all of the product information and so forth, we just don't have to do software updates or all of the tasks that system administrators are for).

As always, thanks to friends who helped make this all possible!