I'll confess, I like the classics--SPI's STARFORCE: ALPHA CENTAURI, the original Avalon Hill STARSHIP TROOPERS, SPI's BATTLEFLEET MARS, FREEDOM IN THE GALAXY, and--of course--the GDW version of IMPERIUM. Sure, there are others out there that were interesting: GDW's BELTER, GODSFIRE, SPI's STARSOLDIER, OUTREACH, as well as my favorite role playing game, GDW's TRAVELLER series and enhancements (like SNAPSHOT).

I could write fairly prolifically on each one of these, but suffice it to say they had enough wrinkles and color to keep me interested. Note I didn't list STARFLEET BATTLES on this list--while that game is really good, there were just too many versions for me to keep up (kind of like WORLD IN FLAMES!).

What are your favorites? Probably more importantly, why are they your favorites?

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I am a few or do not own the game of SF and the fantasy.
SF3D(HJ) and ASTEROID(GDW) have a very interesting memories in that. SF3D(SF3D has changed NAK) looks alike to the infantryman combat game of the strategy class. There is beginning that cannot win if a decentralized movement is not done because the indirect fire is considerably effective. It is a result of recognizing SL(AH) again thanks to this game.

ASTEROID was a good game that was able to taste the real pleasure of the concealment arrangement after all though this game was very famous.
Was "Imperium"(GDW) played from you?
I've got all the versions of IMPERIUM that were published in the United States, and the GDW version was my favorite!
My favorites: Stellar Conquest (Avalon Hill version), Starship Troopers (original, not the move tie-in), and StarForce. I'll join the consensus regarding the appeal of GDW's Imperium, and add that Dark Nebula is an underrated spin-off.
Regarding Freedom in the Galaxy, that's one of the great underrated simulations of all time, in my opinion. On one level it's a Star Wars space opera, with cool characters and some interesting art on the playing cards. Underneath, there's a very valid portrayal of asymetrical, unconventional warfare. The rebels are fighting for the hearts and minds of the population, with political subversion by individuals and anonymous cadres, represented by base camps. The ruling side is brutal, but has some ability to win as well as scare allegiances. They are handicapped though by peacetime bureaucratic inertia, which keeps them from using all of their power freely.

Low blows against a Stellar Empire might not resemble insurgency on our world, on a superficial level, but Freedom in the Galaxy presents the same problems in a different metaphor.
One of the best reasons I liked BATTLEFLEET MARS and FREEDOM IN THE GALAXY--not too many "conventional" wargames captured this aspect of insurgency/counterinsurgency as well as these sci-fi games!
I think my favorite sci-fi boardgame is Merchant of Venus. Last year we got Freedom in the Galaxy and tried if a few months ago, but it's a hard game for the rebels :) We played the first scenario twice and never managed to start a rebellion. Maybe we should play one of the bigger scenarios...

I also really like some of the Ares games such as the Pandora games. We've had some really fun sessions with Wreck, although it's been a while...

I want to play the original Starship Troopers, and will eventually get a copy. I wish there were more Sci-fi wargames (or Heavily Themed games) being published today...
Merchant of Venus is very good, and one that you can play with a wife/girlfriend as well as a hardcore gamin group. Definitely lots of fun.
I never liked Merchant of Venus. In my very first game, at the start, my 2 opponents ran into positive upgrades and I ran into a negative effect. Where was the skill in that? I call the game Potatos in Space because that is what the asteroids look like to me.
While early differences in asteroid exploration results can make a difference, I've found that in longer games it usually evens out... but I love the element of uncertainty it brings to the game. Still, there are variants out there to limit the powerful relics, but I never found the need to use them...

-Jorge
I've tried hard to love Merchants but I can't - too much time investment for too little excitement imo. It's hard to catch a leader in the endgame, but then my group never play with the combat rules.

Asteroid on the other hand is a fun game that I played to death in my youth. I've posted what I consider to be the ultimate Brain setup on the games page at BGG :) I have an idea to make a Vassal module for Asteroid as soon as I've finished my Pearl Harbor module.
I've only played the game with 2 players and our games have always been pretty close. We both usually feel we can win the game until very late, and it's always pretty tense.

I never use the combat rules. We've tried the rastur a couple of times, but I don't think I enjoy it that way. They're just too hard to kill and only make you waste time.

That said, I'd love it if there was a nice combat system that wouldn't drag the game down with pirate attacks, etc... I've always been a fan of the old Elite / Frontier computer games, and MoV is the closest I've played to that formula...

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