Star Fleet Universe News
ADB Security Director Ramses Bengal transferred to the Black Fleet just after 10am, 28 July 2016. Increasingly ill in recent months, he reached the point where he could not eat or drink, and it was time to let him go. In cat years, Ramses was 85 and devoted every one of those years to making ADB a safer place. He famously cleared our original building of mice and other pests, and guarded the building as part of his territory.
Ramses was totally fearless, winning the nickname "Rambo" after his daring leaps from ten-foot shelving units in our warehouse. A powerful hunter, he brought down free-range rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents that entered his extensive territory at home (nearly two full blocks). Neighboring cats stayed well clear of him. He defeated several local dogs in personal combat, and when confronted by two 40-pound attack dogs (a shepherd and a lab), went into attack mode and ran straight at them. (Both fled his yard and were never seen again.)
Ramses was a "bengal" cat, a mix of Asian wildcat and Egyptian mau. His family tree traced back only four generations to a wild hunting cat who actually lived in an Asian jungle in Bangladesh. His human servant often said that domestic cats are the black-and-white photocopies of the real jungle cats from which they descended.
SIXTH ANNUAL STAR FLEET BATTLES
Our sixth Internet SFB International Championship Tournament will be open for registration as of July 8, 2016. Registration will close midnight (Pacific Daylight Time) on August 12, 2016. This is a single-elimination tournament using a standard tree. This tournament will be conducted through SFBOL and you will need to be a member of that service to participate.
We will have at least 32 seats, and up to 64 if there is demand. There will be no entry fee; ADB will provide the prizes. The winner will receive $100 and a plaque (once the "Victory at" article is completed and the winner is paid for this article). The second place winner will receive $50. Third and fourth place winners will get $25 in credit; fifth through eighth place will get $5 credit.
After we know the number of entries, we will lock in the format (i.e., decide if there are 32 or 64 seats, decide how many seats will be reserved for re-entries, seed the aces, and assign byes). Aces will be "seeded" according to the total number of ace pins and SFB Gold/Platinum hats (total) each player has in his lifetime record. Other players (and perhaps lower-rated aces) will be distributed randomly in a way to avoid same-ship duels as much as possible. Depending on the size of the tree and the number of active players, we may give some first-round byes to the highest rated players, and we may reserve some seats for re-entries. Re-entry seats will go to eliminated players in the order they ask for them.
Fleet Captain Paul Scott (winner of the 2015 tournament) is the judge for this tournament. As we did in Platinum Hat 2015, Tournament Marshal Steven P. Petrick will also "ride herd" on the tournament to ensure that games are played on schedule and the event does not drag. There will, inevitably, be some delays near the end when re-entries have to "catch up" to the initial entries. A firm hand on the helm will ensure that these are as minor as possible. People who do not get their next game completed in a set number of days will be disqualified and the player they beat (or a wildcard selected by the judges) replaces them. Deadlines may be adjusted by the Judge or Marshal to allow for a player's serious real life unexpected problem or issue.
The winner must send in his Platinum Victory article (which must meet the standards of previous articles) within 90 days of the end of the event or be disqualified (in which case he will get no prize and there will be no winner named). Assistance will be available if the winner would like help writing his article.
DOING VIDEOS OF THE SFU
A customer asked about posting "tutorial videos" for our games. We like it when people do that (and even give commendation medals) but you need to have us check the videos to make sure you aren't violating something somehow (or that you didn't make a rules error). Doing such videos to make money is not cool. Please drop us an email before you post the videos.
STAR FLEET'S LEGIONS EXPAND:
Each month we shine a spotlight on one of our battle groups. This month it is Battle Group Klingon Saber Dance Academy. This group, homeported in Plano, Texas is active according to its CO, Eamon Wentzel. Their group plays Star Fleet Battles,Federation Commander, and Prime Directive PD20M. Do you live in the area? Find out how to contact them here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_KlingonSaber.shtml
Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml
Facebook Fan Pages
So join us on Facebook and get a fix of your favorite game there, too!
Custom Decals for Starline ships
Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures.
For more information or to download the order sheet, check them out at www.tenneshington.com. Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: email@example.com or Tony L. Thomas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jupiter IV Decals is a source of decals for the 2400 line and will do custom decals as well as all official SFB names. In the near future Jupiter IV will move into the 2500 line and will work to get every listed name on the Starfleet registry completed in both scales.
Their website is: JupiterIvdecals.com
Rated Ace Tournament 46 is moving along. Round three has one of the four games played. Andy Vancil is the judge for this tournament.
The 2016 Star Fleet Battles World League is starting up with eight teams in the running. Each team has at least one game played; some teams have a person who has played all his opening games. World League is a team tournament, where 3 player teams compete against each other. The first round is a round robin style event where teams score points for each game played (4 points for a win, 2 points for a loss, 1 point for a mutually agreed tie/unfinished game, 0 points for a no show). After the first round, the top 4 teams will advance to a single elimination ladder, by team, so there will be 2 rounds of finals (4 teams then 2 teams). Peter Bakija is coordinating this tournament.
The registration for the sixth annual Star Fleet Battles Platinum Hat tournament ends at midnight (Pacific Daylight Time) on August 12, 2016. Hurry up and get your name in for this free prestigious tournament. You never know who you might face and even if you lose, your battle may be documented as part of the winner's journey to the top.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Star Fleet Battles will be played at HURRICON 2016 held on September 22- 25 at the International Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida. Scott Bauman of Battle Group Brevard County will be hosting the event. In addition Scott reports the battle group plays SFB nearly every Thursday evening.
GenCon was held August 4-7, 2016, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ranger Randy Blair had four games on the schedule. These went well and the winners enjoyed their prizes.
Battle in the 'Boro 5 was held Saturday August 6th, 2016 at Roll the Dice in Murfreesboro, TN. Ranger Tony L. Thomas was in charge and reports that everyone had fun. An additional benefit was that people spotted them playing and learned that the game is still going strong.
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.
Star Fleet Battles games are held regularly in Indianapolis, Indiana at Game Paradise. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information see: http://www.meetup.com/Star-Fleet-Battles-Indy/.
Star Fleet Battles games are played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.
Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamer's 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
Colonies give a player one economic point per turn but cost three economic points to produce plus the cost of the ship or convoy to build them (446.0). But there is a way to build a colony for free.
Once an empire reaches the point where the survey cost of a new off-map province is 30 points per province (505.21) it takes an average of nine turns of die rolls for a single ship to discover a new province. If you bring a survey vessel back onto the map to conduct on-map survey (542.34) in a safe area of your territory, your empire can receive five economic points in the same time frame. With this your empire can use the points to pay for construction of a new colony.
Using this method in five turns, the time needed to survey a new province, you have produced one new colony and earned two economic points and completed two turns of production toward a second colony, all for the cost of the units to build them.
Assuming your empire only builds one colony at a time over 20 turns this gains an additional 33 economic points - at a time when the discovery of off map provinces becomes slower.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
At first glance, the Hit and Run Raid! special action does not seem to be all that great. You have to be within 4" of your target, and you have to drop the facing shield. In addition using this special action means you must take a power drain penalty.
But let's take a closer look. Through judicious use of movement, you can often arrange to use this special action with no return action possible. If all of the enemy's ships have moved, you can move your remaining ship (or ships) to within 2" of a target ship with down shields (or shields you expect to knock down during the attack phase) in such a manner as to enable you to drop a facing shield leaving no enemy ships in arc to fire through the gap. Since your opponent has already moved his units, he cannot move anything to a position that will let it take advantage of the gap in your defenses.
Two out of six rolls on the die will generate a successful attempt. This gives you a 33% chance of inflicting a critical hit on your helpless target, and it can be done once for every transporter on board in addition to regular weapons fire. That is five times for a Klingon D7 or Federation BC, and if you are flying a Klingon C8 you have eight transporters! Or if you have a crippled ship that is limited to firing only one weapon system, and it can get within 4" of a valid target, go ahead and try for a critical-and-run raid.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2016
A new Starmada book for both editions.
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Klingon B10
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
PDF and EBOOK SALES:
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Simulator, Training Section Four, NGTS, 8 February Y184
Killik strapped himself into his seat, taking an extra moment to be sure his straps were tight. Today would, he suspected, be a rough day. During this tenday of the training cycle, he had only his bridge crew to work with. The other crew elements were simulated by the computers, sometimes with manual insertions by the training officers of special conditions and cases. The "gunboat" he was flying was, in fact, only the nose section (and only the upper deck; the gunnery compartment "below" him was not really there). That said, he knew that just a few centimeters from the extent his fingers could reach was the hard vacuum of empty space. Training Section Four consisted of six dummy bridge structures along the side of a modified system station, poking out a few meters into space. If he manually retracted the armor on the only real porthole, he could see the planet below, and myriad stars, but the simulators projected the battle scenario on his screens.
He adjusted his seat, making sure that the pressure suit did not have folds or twists that would cause pain hours later. He made sure that his suit life support was plugged into the seat, since he only had a few hours of air in his backpack and didn't want to use it up if he didn't have to. Even in training, he could run out of air. He wouldn't die, but he would lose his command certification.
His bridge crew had come only a few days ago from individual crewman training. When gunboats entered service, three few short years before, his bridge crew would have consisted entirely of line officers, but that was no longer the case. Gunboats were used in vast numbers, and the fleet could not supply personnel for them fast enough.
His pilot was Goren, a warrior-colony Klingon who had seen gunboat combat as a gunner. Wounded in battle, Goren had been sent to the Training School instead of the hospital, and (needing time to recover) had qualified both as a gunnery officer and a pilot officer, but was still a W1 tech warrant. Without months of engineer training, Goren would never be a line officer. That said, Killik felt certain that Goren would end the war as a boat commander.
The navigator was a Cromarg named Majol. Even with a university degree, he was a non-warrior and a Subject Race officer, and held only a W1 warrant. He seemed competent in the simulators, but next week would have to prove his abilities actually guiding a real boat around a real solar system.
The gunnery officer was a K1 Walkurian named Khurgan, who had achieved his commission the way many Klingons did after this many years of the War, by taking university-level courses while still a youth and then getting a battlefield commission after proving himself in combat. With prior university courses, he was made a K1 instead of a W1. Like all K1s, Khurgan was qualified in all departments, and could serve equally well as a pilot, navigator, engineer, Marine, or even communications officer.
The sensor technician was a Dunkar female named Jorel, a civilian who enlisted in the military. She had little military experience, but knew how to manage her instruments. Killik would have preferred a combat officer in that position, but had to take what he could get, which meant a non-officer.
Gary Carney asks: In (OR5.03), the Vari are allowed to use their control spaces as labs, removing the need for dedicated lab boxes on any of their ships. If a Vari captain uses a given set of control spaces as lab boxes, do these spaces still function normally as bridge (or aux, emer, or flag) boxes, or do they operate solely as lab boxes if so tasked? (I.e., is lab use in addition to or instead of their normal use?) For example, a Vari Wing Cruiser has two bridge and two aux boxes. If the Vari captain decides to use three of these boxes as labs, does the ship still count as having four active control spaces, or does it temporarily go down to just the one (and thus increase the risk of becoming uncontrolled)?
ANSWER: Rule (G4.31) specifies that when a ship uses a control space as a lab (which for other empires can only be done with one control space), that control space still functions as a control space. The cruiser would still have four control spaces.
Follow-up Question: So, would that also mean that if the Vari are flying a captured ship, they wo uld be able to use all of the non-native hull's control spaces as labs, too?
ANSWER: Yes, this is a function of Vari training and software. Note that if the Vari converted such a captured ship to their own technology, the lab spaces would probably be deleted in favor of something else. Just what will have to wait on a future "Brothers of the Anarchist" article.
Alex Lyons asks: Integrated Warp Tractor Beams (OG18.0) working as a Pressure Field (OG18.36) states that if a drone is not within the field at the beginning of the movement, the drone gets to ignore the field. How would that work against high-speed drones such as mass drivers or hyper drones which can hit you without being involved in a movement phase?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: The interaction of mass driver missiles and an integrated warp tractor pressure field is answered by (ME2.655) in Module C5. As to hyper drones, they are covered (lacking a direct reference as found for mass drivers) by (OG18.364), second to the last sentence which says "Pressure fields never affect Direct-Fire weapons even if the weapon is nominally described as a physical object, e.g., ADDs (E5.0)." Hyper drones are direct-fire weapons, i.e., their rule number is (E55.0). Note that while mass drivers are also direct-fire weapons, their interaction is defined by a specific rule.
Follow-up Question: Would this prevent both movements of a Nicozian Skip-Warp Missile?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Yes, because the pressure field is still a tractor effect even if a looser form (the trapped drones are held in the hex where they are caught and not dragged along by the tractoring ship), and (FD93.49) defers to (C91.41) which says being held in a tractor cancels the skip-warp movement of a missile as long as it is held.
Ken Kazinski asks: The Iridani GL shuttles table shows a gig. Rule (OR14.S2) says the gig is purchased separately. Many of the Iridani SSDs show a gig but some do not. Is the gig part of the standard shuttle loadout when it is listed in the shuttles box?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: You have to purchase the gig; it is not free (OR14.S14). The designer decided to include enough check-off boxes for it on the administrative shuttle tracks for those ships able to carry one. As the rule cites the trade-in value of a replaced admin shuttle, if you choose not to use the gig, you simply mark out the extra damage boxes and you have the standard admin you did not trade for the gig.
Ken Kazinski asks: Question on Worb turrets. The heavy destroyer forward turret has FA+L and RF+R shown. Are the subspace rockets only FA and anti-proton beams #3 and #4 LF+L while anti-proton beams #5 and #6 are RF+R? I understand the turret can change from the FA arc, but I am not understanding the LF+L & RF+R arcs shown.
ANSWER: All weapons in the turret are FA when it is pointing toward shield #1. If it rotates to shield #6, those arcs all become LF+L. If it rotates to shield #2, those arcs become RF+R.
Mike Kenyon asks: What is the interaction between tachyon missiles and the monster close-in defense system? About half the time, it seems as though tachyon missiles get size classed as a shuttle for special rules and half the time as a drone, so I am not sure and I cannot find it expressly called out.
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Treat tachyon missiles as shuttles for purposes of the monster close-in defense system. Note that a crippled tachyon missile does not lose any speed, but a second hit will destroy it.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
Q: Rule (518.12) states "SWACs can only be produced in the original Federation capital shipyard." So if the Federation loses the capital and rebuilds the capital shipyard off map, the only way to build SWACS again is to recapture Earth and rebuild the shipyard there. Is this correct?
A: Yes, this is correct.
Q: I realize that (441.444) specifically states "Kzinti" in the rule for Heavy Fighter Modules (defining a cost of 2+8), but it seems to me that this would cover any empire using the 3rd Way in games that it is allowed.
A: Any player empire that is qualified to pursue the 3rd Way either in stock or custom scenarios that wishes to add Heavy Fighter Modules will pay the same price (2+8).
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, Since "actor in horror films" is a viable career path for a Fralli, does that include the "make-up" skill since Fralli are so ugly they don't need make-up?
A: While it would seem that a Fralli would not need the skill, they have it (as all actors do) for two reasons. First, the Screen Actor's Guild requires that all actors qualify in this skill (as well as others typical of the career field) so that all of the actors in a production can assist each other. Second, a Fralli actor might need to use make-up to enhance or reduce his ugliness or to appear older or younger.
Send questions to Jean at marketing@StarFleetGames.com and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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 MonthALWAYS ARM THE G-TORPEDO!
When flying plasma ships with big launchers (S or R Torpedoes) it is almost always better to arm them (initially) as a plasma G. Consider arming a plasma-G for 2+2+3 power (7 points). You can fire it as a plasma-G or add power to it to fire as an plasma-S or plasma-R (launcher permitting) for no more energy than loading the larger torpedo initially. However, the real savings come if you end up holding the torpedo over the turn. The plasma-G will cost only 1 point where an plasma-S will cost 2.
G Torp: 2+2+3 (arm) +1 (hold) +1 (upgrade to S) = 9 points
S Torp: 2+2+4 (arm) +2 (hold) = 10 points
G Torp: 2+2+3 (arm) +1 (hold) +2 (upgrade to R) = 10
S Torp: 2+2+4 (arm) +2 (hold) +1 (upgrade to R) = 11
R Torp: 2+2+5 (arm) +4 (hold*) = 13
*only bases can hold an R Torp
Clearly it will always cost less power to arm a plasma-G Torpedo, hold it over a turn break and upgrade it to something larger. The only caveat to this tactic is if your torpedo tube is destroyed before firing, you will not be able to add any more energy to it and will be stuck with the smaller warhead.
A long-held tactic is to use mid-turn speed changes to gain a speed one hex greater than the break in your Turn Mode by selecting the top end of the break, selecting a speed one lower for the middle part of the turn, and then the maximum again at the end of the turn. By selecting the impulses of transition, you can gain one more hex of movement than the chosen break while maintaining the lower Turn Mode. For example, in a Turn Mode C ship, which has a Turn Mode of four at Speeds 15-20, you can get 21 hexes of movement by plotting:
Speed 20 until Impulse #8,
Speed 19 until Impulse #17,
Speed 20 thereafter.
Interestingly, you can do the same, in reverse, to maintain a higher speed than desired (for future acceleration purposes). For example, it may be tactically useful to move four hexes, but you want to maintain acceleration options for the next turn. With the following plot:
Speed 5 until Impulse #6 (zero movement),
Speed 6 until Impulse #14 (move one hex),
Speed 5 thereafter (move three hexes).
Thereby moving four hexes, but you can still accelerate to Speed 15 next turn under (C12.33). There are very limited speeds where you can perform this trick, but at low speeds it provides flexibility both now and later.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)
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.
Facebook Highlight of the Month
Mini of the Month
Eric Drumm reports: These are my kitbashed SWACS: 2x E2s and an E3.