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Formerly a Task Force Games product, Starfire is now produced by the Starfire Design Studio.  They have published a Revised 3rd  Edition (available through regular distribution) along with electronic supplements for Insurrection and ISW4, both partially based on the Weber and White books in the Starfire universe.

Galactic Starfire is a 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) set in the Age of Space. Starting from a single planet, you eXplore beyond your starting system via Warp Points, eXpand your population and military/political control into the surrounding systems and beyond, eXploit the resources of the galaxy around you, and eXterminate any opposition.

Tactical Starfire (a part of Galactic Starfire) is a game of space combat between fleets of starships, where victory can determine whether empires live or die in the deadly cold of space. Take command of entire fleets of ships, bases, and planets and do combat against one or more opponents in a single evening.

Ultra Starfire is based on Galactic Starfire but not only improves on the original ruleset but starts a new era in electronic distribution. No longer will players be forced to purchase printed products that rapidly become out of date. Instead, Ultra Starfire is an electronic document (PDF) that can be easily updated, expanded and re-distributed. Ultra Starfire rules also utilize more electronic functionality then before through clickable links to thousands of examples, appendixes, and important rules references throughout its 350-plus pages.

Ultra Starfire improves upon GSF with new and optional rules, entire sections re-written for clairty and understanding, re-balanced weapons and technology, as well as tech trees expanded up to EL/SL 50.

The current edition of Ultra Starfire is Version 4, 2009, which was released on 13 April 2009. With more than five years of improvements, Ultra Starfire is the largest and most comprehensive Starfire edition ever released.


7/21/2012 - Quick Start rules for Ultra and Solar Starfire are now available as a free PDF download of only 4 pages, and one of those is a hex map.  These Quick Start rules are reminiscent of the old pocket book rules, this PDF has two pages of basic rules, a simplified weapons chart, a few ship designs, printable counters and map sheet.  Download the Quick Start rules here


2/5/2012 - Solar Starfire, the 6th edition of this game has been released:

"On February 1st, 2012, the SDS released the newest version of Starfire. Based on the ULTRA ruleset, these rules have been designed to work best with the SDS's new background history... the History of the Terran Solar Union. With changes to numerous rules sections, much of the technology, and plans for continued updates and revisions based on the events in the history, Solar Starfire is being built for the player who wants to play scenarios and campaigns in the universe of the background history."


10/20/2004 - ULTRA Starfire pre-orders are now being taken:

Starfire Design Studio announces the pending release of ULTRA Starfire. Ultra Starfire is a merger of Galactic Starfire and the Elite supplement and all errata. There are a few changes to the game system. The biggest change is that Ultra Starfire is a 100% PDF product with lots of crosslinks.  Initial release (Beta) is planned for late November.

ULTRA is the beginning of a new era for Starfire Rules. No longer will players be forced to purchase printed products that can rapidly become out of date. Instead, ULTRA Starfire will allow changes to be directly incorporated into the ruleset which will negate the need for Errata (changes will be marked though). In addition, the ability to not clutter the rules by adding thousands of crosslinked examples and historical information in a separate location will be invaluable to players.


11/23/2002 - Its been a while so I better add some updates on Starfire:

Starfire Design Bureau and Digital Gamers plan to release Starfire Online consisting of 4 new online products for the Starfire system starting in mid 2003.

Starfire Tactical Combat - An online version of the Tactical game, Space Master Aid - Generate star systems and all the other functions of running a campaign, Premium Space Mastered Campaign
Play the full Starfire system in a private campaign of up to ten players, and Starfire RTS - Experience the challenges and rewards of running an interstellar empire in real-time in a shared, persistent universe with thousands of other players.

ELITE, the Galactic Starfire expansion is almost done, just a bit of rewriting left and it will be available as a purchased PDF.  ELITE takes the Science Levels out to SL-25, adds some new optional tech, and re-writes some GSF rules for clarity.


8/18/2000 - Galactic Starfire was available directly from Marvin Lamb and GenCon.  The list price of $50 seems steap but the focus of the game has changed.  Starfire is no longer the pocket game of tactical combat.  Galactic Starfire is a full out campaign system fully revised and simplified from prior versions that uses a familier tactical combat system.  You get everything you need for a campaign game, where in the 3rd edition, you had to buy Imperial Starfire to do that.

          Also on the SDS webpage, it looks like there will be a computer version of Starfire on the way.


6/16/2000 - The 4th Edition, now called Galactic Starfire will  go to the printer next week and then be released at Origins:

          The STARFIRE DESIGN STUDIO has confirmed that GALACTIC STARFIRE, the long anticipated 4th edition of the STARFIRE gaming series, will be debuted at the Origins Conference ( from July 13th to the 16th, and will be available for ordering on August 1st. GALACTIC STARFIRE will also be available at the Gencon Conference as well (same web site). Both conventions will have question and answer sessions about the new edition on the saturday night of those conventions.

          STARFIRE is a game of tactical starship combat, focusing on fleet level combat with multiple ships. CAMPAIGN STARFIRE is rules that add an empire building campaign system to the game for long-term strategic gameplay. GALACTIC STARFIRE includes rules to both of these game levels, 4 counter sheets, and a large hexagon "system" map.

          STARFIRE has a long history, having been first released in 1979. GALACTIC STARFIRE is the first new edition release since the STARFIRE system was bought by Marvin Lamb and the STARFIRE DESIGN STUDIO in 1997. Previously published by Task Force Games, the previous edition of STARFIRE (3rd) was developed by David Weber and is directly related to his popular books "Crusade", "In Death Ground", and "Insurrection".


5/11/2000 - SDS has released Starfire: Admiral's Challenge.  This is a campaign-style ruleset that is intended to focus on combat and construction, and to aid in short games for groups and players that do not have time for the full campaign set in Imperial Starfire.  It is currently available directly from SDS, only in an electronic format.  Also SDS is selecting a name for the impending release of the 4th edition of
, let them know if you have any ideas.


4/5/2000 - Per my SDS contact person Oerjan:

The 4th ed beta version has been launched to a limited set of players, and beta testing is underway. We *hope* that testing be finished during the summer, but at the moment it is just that - a hope. Definitely *not* a promise.


1/14/2000 - 4th Edition Playtest available for pre-orders (Starfire News Page)

4th Edition Playtest is finally available for pre-order! This will include a paper copy of the playtest version with the new tactical and strategic rules, and the all new tech trees! Owners of the playtest package who order the final 4th Edition Starfire when it is released (estimated late 3rd or early 4th quarter) will get a $30 discount if they order it from this website or from the
Starfire Design Studio
directly. Ordering information can be found on the Ordering Page in the Products Section.

The 4th Edition Playtest is expected to ship in mid-February. All orders must be received by February 7th, so order it now!

The 4th Edition Playtest is not listed on the ordering page yet but should be there in a couple of days.  The SDS webpage has also been totally redone so take a look around if you haven't been there for a while.