Last Updated 3/3/09
Page Author: Ben Hallert

A Tactical Starship Simulation
In the 1980s, a shareware space combat game called 'Begin' was released.  In short, it's a turn based tactical starship simulator where you command between one and a hundred ships in combat against an alien fleet.  The game is set in the Star Trek universe, logically somewhere in The Old Series (TOS) range, (as determined by the ship names, types, and the warp scale).  You can be or fight against Federation, Klingon, Romulans, or Orion Pirates.  You can torpedo and phaser ships, and you can tractor beam and even capture ships in battle.  It's a lot of fun, and a game can be as quick or long as you want.

The game is based loosely on the Starfleet Battles role playing game, a paper + dice game with elaborate ship statistics, firing arcs, and a significant investment in time.  Playing Starfleet Battles was a fun way to spend a Saturday with friends, but it dramatically reduced your chances of meeting girls.  It was a logical game to computerize, so...  some enterprising developers wrote Begin.

In this shot, a Mark 7 Photon torpedo I fired has hit the Phantom's (a Klingon Dreadnought) front shields.  The shields were not able to absorb all of the explosion, so there was damage to internal systems.  If you read the walk through of this fight, you'll see the results of a scan of the Phantom immediately after this hit.

3/3/09 - Jimminy cricket, too much change to list!  Tom Nelson (one of the original authors) has released a Windows port!  I'll have a BUNCH more on this soon, including (hopefully) a site redesign to accomodate all the new info.  Woo-hoo!  
11/30/06 - Multiplayer online Begin!  Holy cow!  Some seriously great hacking here, good stuff.
3/10/05 - A new, user friendly scenario editor has been released.  Visit the scenario page for more info and a link to download.
3/06/05 - A HIDDEN FEATURE!  The authors have shared some scenario files for a feature that existed but was undocumented this whole time.  Click here to find out more!
2/27/05 - The authors have found the website and are communicating!  Check out the Begin Yahoo group for more info!
12/14/04 - New discussion group created!  Visit the new Begin Yahoo! Group for discussion about the game, tactics, and more.

A bunch of people have been looking for a newer version.  Up until recently, the authors had no visible presence, but they've recently found the page and joined the Yahoo group.

I have three goals in with this:

  1. To show this game to people who might find it interesting and get more people playing. - SUCCESS
  2. To look for information about the authors of the game and post any information. - SUCCESS
  3. Maybe give some budding author who maybe wants to make a turn based starship simulation...  inspiration...  so I can play it when they are done.- Status: Even better, Tom Nelson wrote a new version!  Woo-hoo!

I've divided the website into a few different web pages to reduce clutter.  Please select from the following:

Begin: A Tactical Starship Simulation is (c) 1988 Clockwork Software.  Star Trek properties are copyright Paramount Pictures.