Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: THE RELEASE OF SEVERAL NEW PRODUCTS
Captain's Log #49 is our best issue yet, with 16 new ships for SFB, four for Fed Commander, and four for Starmada. There is a new monster for A Call to Arms, a new scenario for Marines, and a new empire for Star Fleet Battle Force. There are six scenarios for SFB and five for Fed Commander.
The Federation Master Starship Book is a massive volume listing the SFB background data for every Federation ship, including X-ships, early years ships, and generic units in Federation service.
Three more new 2500-series minis have appeared: the Orion CA, BC, and BCH.
Two Federation Commander playtest packs (one for Omega and one for the Magellanic Cloud) and now available in print. They were previously sold only as PDFs. These playtest packs are printed in black and white (the PDFs are in color) and the ship "cards" are not laminated.
Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Pike, our graphics director, continues to update the website, do covers for the new products, shut down pirate websites, help out around the company, and learn more about the game business. One of our newest pages is for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.
Custom Decals for Starline ships
Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures and will be adapting their offerings to match ADB's new marketing for the miniatures.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 has only one round left and that game is between Paul Scott and Stephen McCann. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is moving along smartly. Only one first round game is left and one third round game has already been played. Brett Johnson is the judge.
NetKill Patrol second quarter is now in playoffs. Seth Shimansky is in first, while Matthew Potter and Brendan Lally are to compete for second place. Third quarter has begun. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.World League 2014 is in full swing. There are 10 teams of three people. This year the players were drafted by Team Captains who were selected from Fleet Captains and then by Schirmer ratings. Over half the first round of games have been played. The judge for the tournament is Peter Bakija.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Brian Grigg held Star Fleet Battles demos at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, July 24-27, 2014. He reported good interest in the demos.
There are reports there will be SFU events at GenCon sponsored by Battlegroup Indianapolis. Randy Blair will also be holding an event. This con is being held August 14-17, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indianahttp://gencon.com
On Battlegroup Indianapolis's list is Federation Commander (three events) and GURPS Prime Directive (one event). Randy Blair will be running an SFB event. Check them out!
On August 17, 2014 at SPOCON, at the DoubleTree, Spokane, WA there will be an SFB sanctioned game or games (depending on turnout) using the tournament rules, with miniatures. Judge Harlan Haskell III will provide all materials for this event.
Star Fleet Battles games are held weekly in Tempe Arizona each Friday at Game Depot from 2:00 -7:00 pm. Eric Phillips is the person to contact.
Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamers Haven, 2114 N. Pines St., Suites 1 & 2, Spokane Valley, WA 99206, (509) 443-5992 http://www.thegamershaven.net/gamers_haven.php
COMMUNIQUE: The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Commander's Circle.
FC Forum Recent Posts
When you have used directed damage to cripple a carrier group, try to pursue them and destroy the entire group in a pursuit battle. Carefully observe if your opponent has an FCR to reinforce his crippled group. There are numerous times where an FCR cannot be added to a crippled carrier group.
The most obvious ones are when the carrier group is full. Hidden ones are the Gorn and Lyran carrier groups, as they are restricted to having only the minimum number of escorts. So if you have a Lyran CVL+CWE+DWE, it cannot be reinforced if all the ships are crippled (likewise Gorn carriers). But even more hidden in the rules is when there is a BTV and two escorts. Since a BTV counts as an "escort carrier," it may only have two escorts maximum, or zero escorts minimum (since it is a tug). In these conditions, an escort must be destroyed before an FCR can be added to "reinforce" the group.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
HE WHO RUNS AWAY . . .
Veteran players of other Star Fleet Universe games should take a moment to read the Maximum Warp Now! special action. What this does is allow a unit to escape by going to high warp right in the middle of a battle. The downside is your opponent gets one round to shoot at you when you can only move six inches in a straight line but, if you are playing in a campaign this is a small price to pay for the chance to save a key unit.(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)
Do not forget while that key unit is making its run some of your other units can still use the Intensify Defensive Fire! special action to cover it. Just be sure that you are aware of any notes or rules in the scenario that control what side of the map you can disengage on, otherwise your ship can still be considered lost.
Throughout the month our graphics director places on the website various cards called Demotivationals. These are like postcards with an image and a phrase that is often used for humor. Here are the newest demotivationals since our last newsletter:
To see our previous Demotivationals click here.
Mini of the Month
Eric Drumm painted these Starline 2500 Federation cruisers.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
A Call to Arms Star Fleet: Book One Revision Two
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
F&E Fighter Operations, 2014 update.
A new Starmada book for both editions.
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Tholian PC, DD, CA, TK5, DN; Klingon B10; Orion BR, DW, BC, BCH, DN.
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
F&E Fighter Operations update 2014, SKU 3203
SFB Klingon Master Starship Book
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Captain's Log #50, SKU 5740
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23 (e23 been joined with and is now known as Warehouse 23.)
Orion LR Dearth of Dreams
Somewhere in Romulan Space, 9 April Y172
Jared flinched as a stream of yellow-white sparks fell past him, the grinding sound of a piece of heavy machinery at work rattled in his ears. He waited for a moment for the sound and work to die down before yelling out, "HEY! I'm still working!"
A moment, then a hissed response came echoing down through the new hole. "Ssssorry. But we mussst rremove sssome damagedz bulkheadsss to make rroom for repairss."
Jared sighed, "That's all well and good, but I do need to get this balanced down here, and it's hard to do that with you cutting random holes in the bulkhead!" He vented a little of his frustration at the hapless brownscale Gorn. "Listen, I should be done in another minute, so can you wait until then?"
"I sshhalll," the Gorn replied, chagrined by the criticism from the ship's Chief Engineer.
Jared could hear the Gorn set down the piece of cutting equipment, and figured he was grateful for the rest. Jared looked again at the new hole, a few meters away from him, and went back to his own repair efforts. "Stupid convoy raid," he muttered under his breath, "and stupid Q-ships."
A. David Merritt asks: The Omega Master Rulebook states that warp booster packs are used by Omegan fighters. Is it possible to use them, or equivalents, on the "grown, not built fighters," i.e., Alunda, Branthodon, and Souldra fighters?
ANSWER: The Remora cannot use pods and I would have to rule that it cannot use warp packs either. Some future product may define later Alunda fighters that can take advantage of warp packs or something similar, but the Remora cannot. Per (OJ3.5), Shards cannot use warp packs. Branthodon fighters apparently can use warp packs, as they have figured out how to add cybernetic enhancements to their bio-engineered shuttles.
Alex Lyons asks: Looking over the dark matter pulsars (OE21.0) I have found a slight problem within the arming rules. "(OE21.21) PROCEDURE: Heavy DMPs require one point of dark warp energy (OR13.033) to fire. Light DMPs require 1/2 point of dark warp energy per shot." So that means that all pulsars must be armed with warp power only. However the next rule states: "(OE21.22) SOURCE: DMPs use a capacitor system identical to that used by phasers (H6.0). Energy to arm DMPs can come from any power source, which could be allocated or reserve power (E2.22)." This leads to being able to arm them with either impulse or warp power. Which rule is accurate?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Apparently, the designer was "changing his mind" as he went. The Souldra SSDs all have impulse engine boxes, but the rules for Souldra dark warp (OR13.033) specifically note that each dark warp engine box can be designated as providing warp or impulse power at the discretion of the Souldra player at the start of any given turn.
In most cases, the impulse power can be used easily enough to operate the shields and fire control, the notable exception being the Souldra dreadnought with its 12 points of impulse power, and even it can use the additional impulse power (after paying for its soul shields and fire control) for electronic warfare, erratic maneuvers, reinforcing its soul shields, or charging the dimensional phase device.
Note that in the original rules (as found in the original Omega Module #3 rulebook published in 2000) there was no requirement to use dark warp energy, so this appears to have been an errata item provided by the designer, and the item in (OE21.22) must have been overlooked. As the addition of the dark warp requirement was added after the original publication, I think I have to say that (OE21.22) is now in error, and the second sentence should be changed to read: "Dark matter energy to arm dark matter pulsars can come from any dark matter energy power source, which could be allocated or reserve power (E2.22)."
Alex Lyons asks: On Branthodons, do the organic dragon pieces (eyebeams and the like) require active fire control from the sled in order to work?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: I thought it was obvious that the dragonship's "dragon parts" do not require active fire control, but as there is no clear statement, I have created the following errata item:
(OG19.131) Dragonship dragon weapons (eyebeams, dragonfire, etc.) do not require active fire control but operate under the natural targeting systems of the "dragon" itself. By the same token a dragonship can never benefit from the two points of ECM normally received for using passive fire control, even if the exoskeleton part of the dragonship is using passive fire control. [Otherwise all space dragons (SM7.0) would always have that benefit.] 26 March 2012
The rules are clear on the exoskeleton part needing active fire control and otherwise operating as a "ship." The dragon part acts as a space dragon (however restricted by being lobotomized and genetically engineered). In order for the two to act together the "ship" part has to access the "dragon" parts and that gets you into how much of the "dragon" part's lobotomized brain the ship part can access. So the ship can tell the dragon part to look this way and breathe or spit or bite or grab or turn or etc., but it cannot link the dragon part's senses to aim and fire the ship part's phasers or operate the ship part's transporters or operate any of the other ship part systems. Obviously they can look through the dragon's fire control (whatever it is) and align and use the dragon's weapons. But the ship part's fire control and the dragon's fire control are not linked; they are two completely separate systems. Something keeps space dragons (irrespective of their size) from having the passive fire control bonus, so whatever dragons have as a fire control is apparently always on.
Alex Lyons asks: The Souldra black (vampire) shard has a single light dark matter pulsar with an FA arc. When attached to a ship and draining crew, can it still fire this weapon?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: See rule (OJ4.224) "Black Shards may not fire their weapons (even in their own defense) while attached to another unit."
Peter D. Bakija asks: Do Hiver Barb fighters need to energize their phasers on the turn they are launched?
ANSWER: According to (OJ1.242), Barbs empty their phaser capacitors when they land but do not de-energize them. At the beginning of the scenario, if the Hiver ship has its phasers energized (weapon status-I or greater), it can be assumed that its Barbs have theirs energized as well. Although the Barb phaser capacitors will be energized, they will not have any power in them when the Barbs launch. The fighters would have to spend energy to fire their phasers.
MARINES TO THE ASSAULT!
Q: A tug with troop pods and a Marine major general is attacking my colony in a commando raid. Can I land the pods and still keep them when I leave, or does the fact that I am doing a raid count as "retreat" after one round of combat (causing me to lose the pods)?
A: The pods are not detached from the tug (320.4), so you keep them when you leave. You don't need to "land the pods" as there are means to separately land the troops.
Q: Do my G-factors get the +1 die roll bonus for "only one G defending" even though there are no actual Gs defending the colony? (I assume a colony has no intrinsic G factor.)
A: It takes two successful G attacks to destroy the colony (446.41). This represents elimination of the infrastructure and defeating the local civilian authorities. There are no G factors of defenders on the colony, so, yes the +1 does count as there is really no G factor, but significant obstacles exist to count as at least one G factor even though there are none present.
Q: Can I do one separate G attack (320.43) per G-factor I possess against the colony?
A: Yes, you may.
Q: Do ground combat attacks need to be "declared" before the Directed Damage Phase, or even before the Damage Allocation Phase? Some players seem to think this is necessary and others seem to think it is obvious if a G-ship is going to be making an assault or not. In order to qualify to make a Marine assault, you must pick a BIR of 4 (5 if picking both) and must have one or more G-ships in the battle force under (521.32) and (521.33). Also, per the SoP, the first time a player can designate units doing an assault is in 5-6X3.
A: You missed this entry in the SoP:
(5-4A5): Players identify units that are eligible to participate in troop assaults (521.3) during this round. This is during the damage determination just after the Variable Battle Intensity Rating is determined. This gives the attacker the option to use his troop ships or not.
That step, given an attacker chosen BIR of 4, should be enough for the defender to know a ground attack is possible. If the defender chooses to not use directed damage on those ships/units then he will take the lumps that are delivered later. Nothing further need be done until Step 5-6X3, when the attacker may use from zero to whatever number of GCEs he designated in (5-4A5) to perform the attacks.
Q: A planet has a single PDU but three GCEs were added to defend it. The attacker is making two Marine assaults. Can each GCE defend the PDU once, or can only one GCE total defend the PDU?
A: Each attack by a GCE can be defended by additional defending GCEs. So, in the example you presented above, two defending GCEs can support the single PDU, one in each attack being available to take losses. Of course, if you want to go into further detail you can use Star Fleet Marines: Assault to resolve your ground attacks. Rule (521.382) says you must attack the supported PDUs first.
Q: Can a prime team support a supported ground attack? Rule (521.35) provides that you get +1 for a supporting G and +1 for a supporting prime team. The rule says all bonuses and penalties are cumulative. However, Rule (521.36) states that no more than one additional ground unit can support a G attack, so there's an explicit limit there. Rule (522.42) (prime teams in Marine mode) provides no guidance on the issue. My opponent says that under (521.35) a supported G attack can itself be supported by a prime team, resulting in a net +2 to the roll. I say that a prime team supporting a G attack is equivalent to a supporting G, and thus the limit of one supporting unit applies under (521.36) and accordingly only a +1 to the roll results. Which is correct?
A: A prime team is not a Marine unit; they are a prime team. When they are acting in Marine mode it is just that, a mode. They are still a prime team not a Marine unit. Thus, you can have a supporting G and a supporting PT and get the +2 bonus.
Q: The counter for a Marine major general has two stars, while the counter for an admiral has one star. Which one out-ranks the other?
A: The admiral counters represent four-star and sometimes five-star admirals, but the point is that there is no rules situation in which one of them outranking the other one would matter.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean, Are you doing a Savage Worlds version of Prime Directive?
A: We would need an outside author to do that and it would come after Traveller PD.
Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(End of Ask Aunt Jean )
Cool Stuff on the Website
In this section we will provide links to various web pages and items that we think you will find "cool".
We have also uploaded new Xander wallpapers to our Wallpapers section on the website.
We have new images of our game Star Fleet Marines posted on our BBS topic page.
STAR FLEET ALERTS
These are the press releases we send to the wholesalers, retailers, and media. You can get on the mailing list for them by asking Marketing@StarFleetGames.com to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page
FC Tactic of the MonthRUN AND GUN
Federation Commander is a high-speed game in more ways than one. You need to get the job done in record time!
Stay fast, since you can always "decelerate" and faster speed means you get to move last.
Flying your Klingon D7 into overload range of a Federation ship before his photons get hot is not just a survival move, it's a winning move.
Stack the drones. Pile them on. Launch, move with them, launch some more. There are no transporter bombs and no wild weasels, so you don't have to stagger them out. Pile them high! Keep them in close formation so the same shield and the same defensive weapons have to deal with the whole stack.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
When Steve Cole saw this, he fell in love with it. He said it reminded him of Ghost.