I was always fascinated by Car Wars but never managed to play it.
Back in the 70s you could buy a lot of different things $2.95. /s
You still can buy a tabletop game for less than that on itch.io, but you’ll probably have to print it yourself.
And it will be about explaining Vaporwave to your grandpa*
*Note I consider this a very good thing
Let’s not forget Tom Wham’s other masterpiece, Revenge of the Snits!
I was informed by a friend who worked in a game store to never play SFB unless I wanted to spend hours dealing with rule lawyers.
I still have an original copy of Star Fleet Battles somewhere. And boxes of miniatures from the unrelated obscure 70s miniatures games Starfleet Wars.
I had SFB and wanted to play it so bad, but I could never find anyone with the patience for it. Same with Greg Costikyan’s Web & Starship. I managed to convince a friend (a space scientist and space journalist) to play the latter with me. By the time we had set everything up and gone over the rules, he was literally asleep. He said he’d come back the next night and we could play, but he never returned. I kept the game up for a week or so and played it against myself.
I always loved the Superior spaceship models!
I remember meeting some people as a freshmen in college (1981) and one of them said something like “And you can come over and play Star Fleet Battles.” I must have gotten a look in my face, because that was immediately followed by “It’s not as Trekie as it sounds.” Indeed we whiled away many hours playing it, but none of us had the patience for pre-plotted movement.
This puzzled me for quite a while when I was little and first encountered SFB. It’s not overtly branded as Star Trek, yet the name “Star Fleet” is so distinctive. I spent more time than I care to admit as a little one trying to figure out if it was Star Trek or not, or if it was “official”.
It is officially licensed, but BEFORE the movies or ST:TNG. So SFB can only use material from the original series and the animated series. (As well as some material by Franz Joseph, like destroyers with one nacelle and dreadnaughts with three) By now it has diverged enough from current ST canon that it is sometimes referred to as the Star Fleet Universe. Star Fleet Battles - Wikipedia