THE BIG NEWS: This month is that we've cleaned up a lot of leftover projects and been making a lot of progress on a lot of new projects. Ok, that sounds like we don't have any big news, but it's really not quite so boring as that. The post-Origins work has all been done, along with the action items that didn't get done during May and June. The FLAP (Finish Like A Pro) lists got done during July for all of the products that came out at and before Origins. The first week of August has seen the design crew hard at work on Boosters #31, #32, and #33; the Fed Commander Scenario Bank, Star Fleet Marines, the update of the SFB Omega Master Rulebook, and new uploads for e23. So while a lot of little news doesn't actually include a single BIG item, it does mean that steady progress is being made on a lot of things.
WEBSITE: Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Joel Shutts, 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 the Wall of Honor where we recognize our volunteers and their contributions.
FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
If you haven't seen the 400+ pieces of art in the albums, you should drop by and visit. You don't have to be a member of Facebook to see our page, but if you are, please become our friend so you can get information in your news feed.
VIDEOS: StarFleetGames has taken its act to YouTube and we now have a YouTube channel. Our goal is to create a video for the new product releases during each month. We have "In the Box" videos to show you what you will see when you unpack your new game. We have also done "Spotlights" on a single product or product line. So pull up a chair and join us at the movies! Our newest uploads are:
ADB May 2011 releases
STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL
and all links on StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new
The blog covers all aspects of the company.
AMBASSADORS: Jean Sexton has succeeded in recruiting two ambassadors (Michael C. Baker and A. David Merritt) to carry the word of the Star Fleet Universe to other
websites. They (and Jean) have been awarded the first ever "Star Fleet
Ambassador Badges" as well as appropriate medals for their service to date.
These ambassadors do not just repeat press releases; they answer questions,
encourage discussion, and help people find the relevant documents on our
All players in our FFAC tournament have finished the second round games and a few have started the fourth round. The format took some cat-herding (people who are slow to play games make life boring for everyone else) but with strong judges and cat-herders we decided this was perfectly useable as the format for the Platinum Hat.
Our new Internet SFB International Championship Tournament registration has mostly completed the first round and the deadline for the second round has been posted. This is a single-elimination tournament conducted through SFBOL.
Tournament Sheepdog Peter Bakija is encouraging people to get their games done.
The entry fee ($10 per person) will be added to the prize fund which ADB, Inc., has always provided, making this the richest SFB tournament ever held!
1st: $200 cash
2nd: $100 cash
3rd-4th: $50 gift certificate
5th-8th: $20 gift certificate
9th-16h: $5 gift certificate
HAILING FREQUENCIES: This is our newsletter and will let you know all the news for all our games. You can subscribe here. Have you missed an earlier newsletter? Click here to get caught up!
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.
COMMANDER'S CIRCLE: We continue to improve the Commander's Circle. All of the ships and scenarios are available as separate documents (the ships are organized by empire) so you can quickly see what is available. The FC Scenario Database and Master Ship Chart documents are also here. Our newest project was suggested by our players and is uploading low-toner Ship Cards. The Commander's Circle is the best place to find free additions to Federation Commander!
The Federation Commander site and Forum continue to grow as more gamers continue to find them. All of our games currently have topics in the Forum. If you have any comments, questions, or requests for our Graphics Director, this is the place to let him know. Come see what the commotion is about and join the Federation Commander Forum now.
We are very pleased to see the medals, honor bars, and ribbons awarded to
players being incorporated into their signatures.
It is exciting
to see an explosion in the Federation Commander Play by Email topic and even
more exciting to see more FCOL Tournaments taking place. Get in on the
While for new players the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to
manage, the original (Discus-based) BBS is where most product development
takes place. If you have a proposal you'd like to see worked on, don't forget to
make sure it is mentioned here. It also has active F&E and SFB forums where
players run campaigns, Rated Ace tournaments and other SFB tournaments are organized (most FC tournaments are organized on the Forum), SVC's "My
Day" appears, along with current news and strategies dealing with Prime Directive, and each issue of Captain's Log is created. While less colorful
(no avatars or sigs), it is a vital part of ADB, Inc.'s communication.
- Cadet Mark Steven Hoyle, USS North Carolina
Many view Andromedan energy modules as expendable items, but this does not have to be the case. Here is one course of action to keep an energy module alive and take maximum advantage of carrying it.
Once the mothership moves energy from its power absorber panels to the energy module, it needs to drop the energy module into space to expel the energy. When the situation/conditions allow, keep the energy module in the hanger until as close to the end of the turn as possible. When you transport the energy module, send it out in the direction you plan to move (displacement is also an option if a transporter is unavailable). Once the energy module is in space, you will be moving toward it. In the Repair Function Stage of the turn, the energy module will dissipate four points of energy per panel (displacement does not disrupt this function). Now the energy module's panels will be less than full (or even empty). At the end of the first impulse of the following turn the mothership should be even with, or maybe a little ahead of, the energy module and during the Other Functions Phase, it can transport the energy module back into its hanger. The energy module is now available to clear more energy from the mothership's panels.
As long as the mothership has transporters available (displacement devices can only be used to launch the energy module, not recover it), and the situation allows it, you can do this each turn until the energy module's panels are cleared or you no longer need to. If your opponent attempts to destroy the energy module, recovering it will also allow you to repair it, at which time its panels will be empty. (You also benefit because enemy weapons fired at the energy module are not fired at the mothership.)
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
- Ensign John Smith, USS America
Next time an opponent is stopped during an oblique approach, try laying a T-bomb one hex off his #3/#5 and/or #4 shield after exchanging alpha strikes. Normally your opponent will try to protect his damaged #2/#6 shield by using Tactical Maneuvers to keep a stronger shield towards you as you fly by. Launch a drone to trigger this mine on his non-facing (down) shield. Often you can force him to deal with the drone at Range 2, further complicating his defense. Just be careful with the timing; you do not want him to be able to send a wild weasel into a hex outside the T-bomb's detection radius.
After a close-range pass (Range 4 or less) against a target that is stopped or moving slowly, a drone-using ship may want to consider laying a T-bomb one hex behind his opponent's ship. A launched drone that would enter the target's hex would also set off the T-bomb, resulting in extra damage. With proper timing, this can also be used on faster moving opponents who would normally be able to avoid the T-bomb with their speed. Simply lay it in such a manner that the opposing player will be able to pass through its detection radius before it arms, and he will get a nasty surprise.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)
The Magnificent Seven
When setting up the Lyran fleet, the Home Fleet is generally deployed at the starbase in hex 0608 except for seven ships. Six of these are deployed at the BATS in hex 0707. The seventh ship is deployed to the Capital in hex 0408. The deployments of these seven ships are the most important decisions the Lyran player will make during his initial setup.
Unfortunately, almost every Lyran player simply dumps the five largest ships and the best scout available (a scout if using basic Federation & Empire, a TG-P with scout pallet if using advanced electronic warfare) in hex 0707, then deploys a CL in hex 0408. This fails to take into account the possible missions assigned to the six ships in hex 0707 and shows no overall pre-planning in simply dropping a CL at home for conversion to a BC. Other options for deployment should be considered depending on your initial targets for Turns #1 and #2 as well as your long-term strategy.
(F&E Strategy of the Month continues here)
Every month we will feature one or more of our miniatures that has been painted by a fan. If you paint miniatures, submit pictures of your minis and they may be selected for the next Mini of the Month!
USS Federation Dreadnought
Communique #68 has been posted to the Commander's Circle
Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $47.95.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.
Starship Aldo, Adventure for GURPS and PD20M, $3.00
SFB Module E4, Stock #7104, $10.00
To be Released in September
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA.
Federation Commander boosters #31, #32, #33
To be Released in October
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA
To be Released in November
Captain's Log #44, Stock #5744, $TBA
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Stock #????, $TBA
Starline 2500: Squadron Boxes #1, #2, #9.
To be Released in 2012
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.
Captain's Log #45, Stock #5745, $TBA
Captain's Log #46, Stock #5746, $TBA
Traveller Prime Directive (four or five books)
PDF SALES: ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their e23 Warehouse. We chose e23 because they have a philosophy that agrees with ours -- our customers are honest and honorable and wouldn't aid people who want to steal our products. Furthermore, we know from experience how devastating a computer crash can be and want our customers to know that they don't have to worry about the loss of their e-products bought through e23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFs for sale on e23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.
RECENTLY RELEASED ON e23
Captain's Log #43 Supplemental File
GURPS/PD Starship Aldo
Starmada: Distant Armada Rules
Starmada: Distant Armada Ship Cards
Module E4: The Peladine Playtest
Captain's Log #10
Module P6: The Galactic Smorgasbord
Captain's Log #9
ISC Ship Card Pack #1
Captain's Log #8
RECENTLY RELEASED ON DRIVE THRU RPG
Prime Directive PD20M
Klingons PD20 Modern
FC: Border Box #10, SKU 4410, $99.95
Federation LTT, SKU 0238, $9.95
Federation Old CA, SKU 0239, $8.95
Tholian TK5, SKU 0717, $7.95
Lieutenant Kavesh charged through the rapidly emptying corridors toward his battle station. Toward the end of the required three-minute battle-readiness time, which was the time it took the ship to fully man its weapons and other systems, it was remarkably easier to move, as most individuals were already at their posts. The captain had ordered everyone to stations when the ship stopped, but Kavesh had been given permission to leave his post and inspect a power coupling to the number-four coolant pump. He ran the twenty meters after the last bend in the corridor flat out; no one was left in it to get in his way. Panting heavily; he keyed in the nine-digit combination and the door to the port- side phaser battery control swung open to admit him. By the time the door had completed opening, he had his breathing under control and had smoothed the wrinkles from his uniform.
He strode the three steps toward the battery commander's seat, posture erect, hands at his sides; as if appearing straight from an Academy review. Make it look easy, he thought to himself, and they'll follow your lead anywhere. He tapped the senior gunner on the shoulder to let him know he was back in charge, and dropped into his chair.
Kavesh grunted. The situation was the same as when he left. "Has the number-four coolant pump settled down?"
"Yes, Sir, it's been running smooth since you fixed it."
The gunner checked a few readings, "Request to unlock the gyros on weapon four."
"Request granted," Kavesh replied, then noted with satisfaction the prompt appearance of the fourth weapon icon on his screen, signifying it was ready. "Senior Technician, notify the weapons officer that we are manned for battle stations; all weapons are on-line."
"Aye, Sir," the technician replied, relaying the information and the acknowledgement that followed. The Weapons Officer on the Bridge had probably seen the icon flick back on, but positive confirmation that the phaser was ready and that Kavesh was back at his post was required.
(Continue reading here)
A Little BIT OF EVERYTHING
Peter Wiggen asks: Ship A moves first and strikes a mine. Ship B does a High Energy Turn so the mine strikes on a clean shield. Mine explosions are resolved. Is that the sequence of events? The player who laid the mine was angry because he thinks the mine explosion should have been resolved immediately. Who is right? I think the Sequence of Play resolves the issue, but wanted to make sure.
ANSWER: The explosion is triggered by the motion in 6A2, but is not applied until the appropriate part of 6A3. That means that since the High Energy Turn also occurs during 6A2, the explosion damage is applied to the post-HET facing shield.
Note that High Energy Turns occur during the normal movement sequence, so that ship B could only do a High Energy Turn in reaction to ship A's movement if it was moving faster or, if moving the same speed, had a better Turn Mode than ship A.
Follow-up question: What if ship A had an ESG that would have swept said mine? What then?
ANSWER: Annex #2 tells us that the interaction of mines and ESGs is resolved before damage from mines, so the mine would apply its damage against the ESG (and possibly ship A as well) by (G23.61). The ESG will absorb all of the mine's explosion and funnel the remainder to the facing shield. Even ships in the same hex as the ESG ship will be unaffected by the mine.
Jon Berry asks: I recall seeing a chart at one point that described the 'standard' configuration for the various classes of Barbarian [Module C4 (R55.0)] ships to the empires of the Alpha Octant. Was this an official thing, or am I confusing it with the similar one done for the Orions Pirates as part of their Anarchist article?
ANSWER: The chart was in Module C4 in the Barbarian R section, i.e., see Page 46 of Module C4.
(Ask Growler continues here. )
Getting a move on
Q: A fleet is in Hex Z, out of supply and in combat. I have a reserve fleet which can open a supply path. There are two ways to do this. One is to move the reserve fleet to Hex A, and the other is to move it to Hex C. For tactical reasons, I'd rather send the reserve to Hex C. The problem is that there is no way to reach Hex C without going through Hex B, which has an enemy ship, and that would require the moving reserve fleet to leave a ship behind to resolve pinning. Is this ok?
A: Sorry, but no. Rule (203.74) requires the reserve fleet to choose a path that does not enter an enemy-occupied hex if this is possible, and the path to Hex A is open, while the path to Hex B is not. I am not sure what these tactical reasons are, but it would seem that the enemy has cleverly limited your options to one that is least useful to you.
Q: A Kzinti frigate enters hex 0603 (which, for some reason, is a vital hex in the current situation), and a Lyran frigate uses extended reaction to enter 0603, which pins the Kzinti frigate in that hex. A Kzinti cruiser from the Duke's Fleet then moves into hex 0602, intending to move into 0603. A Lyran frigate then uses extended reaction to enter 0603, and the Lyran player says that since he now has two frigates in 0603 the first one can use Reaction Movement to enter 0602, blocking the Kzinti cruiser from reaching the vital 0603. Can he do this "ripple reaction"?
A: No, he cannot. Reaction Movement is a special kind of movement used by the non-phasing player. As such, it is subject to pinning and (203.51) says that once a unit is pinned, its movement is over, so it cannot make a later reaction to another ship.
(F&E Q&A continues here )
Q: I need price lists for my campaign. Where are they? We know how many gold pieces a horse costs in other gaming systems!
A: Both SVC and I are reluctant to "lock down" prices in the SFU. We've locked down the prices of some equipment, because it isn't volatile and the GMs would need to have some clue if the players could afford to buy "X" thing. But volatile goods may never be widely defined.
Why? For example, real "cow" may not be expensive on a world with a lot of pasture; that same "cow" on a water world would be imported and cost more. Prices of Klingon goods would vary by whether the Feds were at war or peace with them. Just look at our own situation: do you want to lock in the price of gas today? (Yes, if is heading up; no, if it'll drop.) Parsley on some planets will get you tossed in the local jail, but on Earth, it is served as a common decorative item and even just thrown away! (What was that shabby looking Kzinti looking for as he was rooting through the restaurant's trash cans?)
Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(End of Ask Aunt Jean )
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.
Alert 110615 Mongoose (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110504 GURPS Fed & C3A (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)