Task Force Zeta is a game of tactical starship combat set in an (as yet) undefined future. Each unit represents one ship or a squadron of six fighters. TFZ represents combat in a three dimensional area of real space; this requires some special handling - players may want to run through the provided examples several times so that the basic movement system and firing arcs are clear to them. Since we are attempting to simulate real (possible) events, basic physical laws apply to movement in the game.
Although a detailed game, TFZ is simple in its execution - this is not a game (such as one based on a Very Popular SciFi TV Show) that has thirty or so supplements, where the full rules text can only be obtained by purchasing such modules, where there is the perfect ship for every conceivable mission, or where one new weapon type will render all defenses obsolete. This IS a game that will challenge your abilities to plan ahead, think in other than conventional naval terms, make the most efficient use of your limited forces in any situation, and force you to consider what's happening above and below you (as well as to your front and flanks...). Think of the game as a training simulator for starship captains and you'll get the basic idea.
Some people on the net have voiced the opinion that a 3D representation of combat in space is not necessary and is a useless, needless complexity; I do not agree. While an engagement between two single ships may be modeled effectively using a 2D representation, larger forces are limited severely by a 2D presentation in their maneuvering capabilities/possibilities; you might as well refight Jutland in space - you'll be presenting similar tactics and solutions. Adding a third dimension for maneuvering and fire presents an entirely new set of challenges for the thinking gamer, and is certainly more 'realistic' for the medium than having large numbers of spaceships using linear formations, tactics, and maneuvers.
Physical/temporal game scales are : one hex = 30km; one turn = 1 minute.
Designer: KJ Games