It seems like miniatures are now the "leaders" in sci-fi and fantasy gaming? I remember from when I was younger there was quite a few sci-fi games. I remember games like Amoeba Wars and Revolt on Antares and so on.....

Any particular reason? Just curious

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I'm not sure of the answer, but I am guessing it was due to three things: (1) Role Playing Games--the first of which that really took off was GDW's TRAVELLER. I'll confess I liked that system far better than AD&D for fantasy games and it quickly became my only RPG for years. (2) BATTLETECH--anybody still playing it? It was fun and next to brainless. Very popular. Now you find all kinds of STAR WARS miniatures and the like that sprang from playing around with transformer robots. (3) Computer games. Let's just face it--the first person shooters are just such a blast. What has survived? STAR FLEET BATTLES is still around. But that's about it. You don't see much else at the large wargaming conventions....
Miniatures are just "cool" looking. Games Workshop got the trend going with the whole Warhammer 40K thing, which isn't really Science Fiction but does cover the field. Let's face it, for small scale tactical level games nothing looks better than miniatures and great looking terrain. Science Fiction terrain is very easy to build as well.

As far as Science Fiction boardgames, the new Star Fleet game is great for taking the old SFB and bringing it within reason. There are a few others as well.

As a bit of FYI, I actually was one of the playtesters for the Dan Verssen designed "Star Force Terra: Contact" which is a very cool SF version of Modern Naval Battles in space. The artwork from 3W sucks but it is a great game with each race having a different ability. If you can find the game, and Viking Hobby here in Carmichael California has a copy, it's a fun game to play. Try and convince your buddies to play it with the crappy artwork but it's worth the effort.
I have a copy of the 3W version of Star Force: Terra around here somewhere... But the point of this reply was to mention that Dan Verssen has released a new version of Star Force: Terra with updated/new graphics as a PDF game.

The original Imperium (by Conflict/GDW) is probably my favorite SF game. I recall enjoying Battlefleet Mars, but I don't remember any details about the game.

With a much more visual culture, I'm happy to see that even miniatures are still pretty popular for science fiction wargaming...  Online, I've found that the UK and Canada seem to be the central hubs of keeping science fiction wargaming alive through the miniatures.  Even SFB/Federation Commander has a set of miniatures and rules for them.  Between how fun they are, and the honest lack of imagination in todays culture (it certainly is more visually interesting to have pewter and plastic minis over cardboard chits and game boards...) its hard to say.  At least computers haven't completely killed tabletop gaming as a whole!  


There are still quite a few SF board games out there, for example Grav Armor from Dwarf Star Games is now released and freely available so long as you follow the distribution agreement (i.e. don't sell it for profit...).  I'm also going to guess that the cost of printing board games is getting about as astronomical as trying to print rules and produce miniatures...  Since the minis sell better, its obvious which direction companies are taking.  


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