The game is a simulation of events within a conjectural future history. It is played on a map which displays 74 star sytems in a three-dimensional "sphere" of space measuring roughly 40 light years in diameter, with our home system at the center. A grid of hexagons printed over the map is used to regulate movement and position of pieces.
The pieces in the game represent groups of four interstellar spaceships (StarForces) and space stations (StarGates). Each Player maneuvers his pieces (via Stellar Shifting) to engage those of the enemy. Battles take place when units are in the same three-dimensional position. The total variable strengths of the involved units are compared. The attacking Player consults a simple probability table to determine the outcome of each battle. Movement is plotted and executed simultaneously. The game proceeds this way (for a specified number of turns) as the players try to achieve the objectives set forth in the rules. No prior knowledge is required to play the game - just a little ingenuity and common sense."
Part of the StarForce Trilogy box set, along with Outreach and StarSoldier. There are also special rules to use Starsoldier as a tactical game for StarForce.
StarForce 'Alpha Centauri': Interstellar Conflict in the 25th Century - "The StarForce Tapes - A Three Way Discussion of the Design and Rationale of StarForce" with John Boardman, Neil Shapiro and Redmond A. Simonsen, "StarForce as Fiction: An Account of Scenario Six in Story Form" by Neil Shapiro, "StarForce Scenario 100: The Outleap, 2400-2500 A.D." by Arnold Hendrick, "Beyond 3000: An Extended StarForce History and Additional Scenarios (The Third Xenophobe Incursion, The Fakerwar, Rxpexy Dispute, US Revolution, The War of Obsolescence and Treachery, Operation Carthage) by Philip S. Kosnett, StarForce Errata, "Footnotes: Two Additional Scenarios for StarForce (Interstellar Readiness Maneuvers, The Arrival of the Orions [SOLITAIRE]) by Richard Outerbridge
The GWAS players use Excel extensively to help play the game. I have a hard time getting the 3d in my head and since you all are going to make me play the tactical game, I am going to need help visualizing. No code, just some charts I remembered from graphics class.