Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

Federation & Empire is about the big 18-year General War centerpiece of the Star Fleet Universe timeline. Fighter Operations, as a descendant of the first expansion to it, mostly deals with some enhancements to the main system (with salvage and a few other things), as well as enhancing the number of options available for carriers, which are a major focus in F&E.

But, it also comes with a scenario for the last major war before the General War, the Four Powers War, which is considered as kind of the end of the ‘Middle Era’ of the timeline, when all the familiar technology has developed (setting it apart from the Early Years), and before all complications of fighters, maulers, war cruisers, and more, familiar from the General War era  have been developed.

The new version of Fighter Operations just coming out focuses more on this era, providing counters for about twenty different ship types that had passed, or nearly so, by the start of the General War. This turns the Four Powers War scenario from just a mini-version of the General War with all the funny ships taken out, into something with a little more character.

In addition, there’s a few modifications to the standard General War setup for the new ships. Most notably, the Klingons get several of their diminutive E4s and E4A escorts replaced with even smaller E3s. Yes, the Klingons are the new record-holder for the smallest regular-service ship in the game, with the 3/2 E3 being smaller than the Hydran 3-4/2 Hunter. They’re placed so as not to cause much actual change in the game, and they all get removed on turn 10 (given to the police), but it does still make the Klingon early-game dismal escort situation slightly worse.

At the same time, the Kzinti have one FF replaced by a FH, an early, not very successful, attempt to upgrade the FF, and the Hydrans have two of their Crusader frigate leaders replaced by the older all-fusion beam Saracen frigate leader. The Lyrans get the option to replace a couple small ships with slightly better versions that can’t be converted into anything else. Since there’s always more FFs and DDs around than ability/desire to turn them into anything else, I can’t imagine the Lyran player will often pass this up (especially the HFF, which is an efficient 5/3 ship).

It’s nice to see the first F&E expansion getting updated for the 2010 edition, but it’s even nicer to see the earlier period getting some attention.