Task Force Games
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|Successor||New World Computing|
Stephen V. Cole
Task Force Games was a game company started in 1979 by Allen Eldridge and Stephen V. Cole. Eventually Eldridge sold the company to New World Computing in 1988. The company went through an additional change of ownership and is currently out of business.
TFG published many games, including the Starfire series of games which were later novelized by David Weber into such books as In Death Ground, The Shiva Option and Insurrection. This game series was taken over by the Starfire Design Studio.
During the period that TFG was owned by New World Computing, the two companies attempted the first ever simultaneous release of a board game and computer game. The two versions of King's Bounty wound up releasing about 9 months apart, and after NWC had sold TFG to John Olsen. Future versions of New World Computing's version of King's Bounty were called Heroes of Might & Magic to avoid confusion between the two very different games that had been designed by different designers. TFG never wound up releasing a second version of the King's Bounty board game.
- Valkenburg Castle
- Asteroid Zero-Four
- Star Fleet Battles and later Expansion #1, Expansion #2, Expansion #3
- Prochorovka: Armor at Kursk (later released as the board game Armor at Kursk)
- Operation Pegasus
- Starfire II
- Survival / The Barbarian
- Starfire III Empires
- Moon Base Clavius
- The Warriors of Batak
- Boarding Party
- Escape from Altassar
- City States of Arklyrell
- Checkpoint Omega
Many of the games were considered cutting edge for their time. One distinct feature that many of them had was that unlike many wargames of that era, players often had a degree of customization over their armies—For instance, in the Starfire series, a player could design every component of his starships, and in Robots!, a player could build his individual robots from a modular design, making tradeoffs in price and functionality between different movement and weapons systems.
Most of Task Force Games products were designed by Stephen V Cole, who was the "cutting edge" designer of his time. All games are fundamentally based on "artificial time" of some kind. The "first generation" of game and simulation design is simple "I go, you go" turns that classic and family games like Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, and Risk have. The "second generation" of game and simulation design was created by Charles S Roberts, founder of Avalon Hill and known as the "Founding Father of Board Games". His version of "artificial time" is called a "phased-turn" and allows for "simultaneous play" of both players. The "third generation" of game and simulation design is Stephen V Cole's version of "artificial time", his "Impulse Chart" of Star Fleet Battles which expands upon the work of Charles S Roberts and exists within Robert's "phased-turns". Somebody had asked for a "citation" about the games of Task Force Games being "cutting edge" for their day, this is it.