Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS:The players have answered The Call To Arms
The big news for this month is that the new edition of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Book 1.2 is a smash hit. Hundreds of players have downloaded the PDF, many of them voluntarily paying for it.
As expected, a few hundred pairs of eyes did find things that the 10 pairs of staff eyes had missed, and these items were corrected three days later with A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Book 1.2B; we are working hard now on a total edit of the entire book to find every missing comma or other trivial error so that A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Book 1.2C will be ready well before Christmas.
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet is designed as a simpler and faster-playing fleet-vs.-fleet combat game. While FC can handle a nine-vs.-nine fleet battle in a long evening (SFB needs a whole day), A Call to Arms: Star Fleet can resolve a 20-vs.-20 game in a moderate evening's play. This is done by simplifying everything. There is no energy allocation. (If you take some actions that would use a lot of power, it will slow your ship down or cause some other penalty. ACTASF uses a you-go/I-go system. Players alternate moving one ship at a time its full movement, then alternately firing the weapons of one ship at a time. (In effect, there is only one "impulse" per game turn.) Special (but simple) rules allow drones their "influence on enemy movement" function. While ACTASF is intended for use with miniatures, you could substitute counters for the ships if you want to give the game a try.
Preliminary work has begun on A Call to Arms Star Fleet Book 2. While selection of the materials is by no means complete, we do know that it will include Marine rules and commando ships, scouts and rules for (simple) electronic warfare, the rest of the Orion and Tholian fleets, complete (but simple) web rules, and battleships for everybody. There will be a new empire, but we're not quite ready to announce which one it will be. We do plan that A Call to Arms Star Fleet Book 3 will include Hydrans along with carriers, fighters, and escorts for all empires.
This is going to be an exciting ride!
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.
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
The big news here is that Rated Ace Tournament #44 is signing up opponents . This tournament is free! The sign up deadline is December 31, 23:59 Pacific time. Paul Scott is the judge.
The Platinum Hat 2014 is well underway. All but two of the second-round games have been played. One third-round game is complete. Stephen McCann is the judge.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 is complete and Paul Scott is the winner! Congratulations Paul! Bill Schoeller was the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is also complete! Congratulations to Ken Rotar! Judge Brett Johnson did an excellent job.
NetKill Patrol's third quarter was won by Brendan Lally. Its fourth quarter is ongoing. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
November 8-9, 2014 Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander were demoed at King Con by James Everett. He reports good attendance and lots of interest.
November 28, 2014 A Call to Arms: Star Fleet was demoed by Ranger Taras Toporowych in North Olmsted, Ohio. He reports good interest in the game.
November 29, 2014, at Gamers Haven, Spokane Valley SFB was played. Harlan Haskell was the Ranger in charge. He reports the game lasted two turns, and the Federation and Hydrans formed an alliance during the game to defeat the dragons and save all the colonists.
Harlan Haskell announces that January 1, 2015 in the Spokane-CDA Area, WA, there will be a game of Star Fleet Battles. It is in the community room at Hearthstone Apartments in Medical Lake, WA 15 mile SW Spokane, off I-90, 272 exit, Campbell St. and Grant, behind middle school. It will run from 9:00 am through 9:00 pm. It's a 2000-point battle of battleships and escorts, 3 DD types or more with extra for Captain's Points.
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 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
If you read the Lyran carrier production notes, it sounds like the Lyrans are limited to two carrier builds per year: one as a substitution and one as a conversion.
But if you look more closely, you will see that the VP+ (carrier pallet) is available in Y171 (along with the CVL). The CV is available in Y172.
Planning carefully (to use your free fighters) you can build two VP pallets in Y171 (one each turn) and a TGC. (You must use one of your TGCs already available.)
So instead of building two CVLs in Y171, you can build two carrier tugs that have the same amount of fighter factors, yet have four more combat potential each over the CVLs they replace.
With the introduction of FCRs in Y171, it will make the Lyran CVT fight much longer, with its higher density over their CVLs.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
You could use the "line up" ability (part of a final maneuver at the end of the Movement Phase) to threaten a given ship, even one that has yet to move. Suppose the enemy really wants to keep a cruiser in a particular spot (not moving) for some game reason (within transporter range of a planet, or in a place he can fire between two terrain features at a particular target). If you make a show of moving a ship or two and "lining up" on the enemy ship that doesn't want to move, you are in effect announcing your intention to fire at that ship during the Attack Phase. You might convince him that staying put is a bad career move. (You aren't actually required to fire at this target and could be trying to distract him from noticing what else your ship is in position to shoot at.)
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
Andromedan ship painted by Mike Raper.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
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
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.)
Bridge, Romulan K5B Rapier
"Sir! Warp power down 19%!" the engineer reported. "Minor hull damage. All weapons reporting ready. The tractor beam was hit!"
"Start repair on the warp engines!" Ramelius snarled, cursing the pirate for a lucky shot. "Fire all phasers as they bear!"
"As you command!"
Engine Room, Orion LR Dearth of Dreams
Jared looked up at the power output of the weapons. The ship rocked slightly as the enemy returned fire, but the shields held. Barely. "Ready to hype the engines?" His call to the crew was matched by loud assent. He hit the communicator panel.
"Ready for engine over-speed on your order!"
Sean Hunt asks: The note at the end of (XC1.313-2) seems wrong, maybe. Would we not still use this rule for determining some aspects of movement, even if (XC1.32) plotted movement is being used? For instance, if a non-nimble X-ship was scheduled to move the same impulse as a nimble non-X ship, then presumably the X-ship would have to move before seeing the non-X ship's movement, even though it was pre-plotted.
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: No, because by the definition of pre-plotted movement the nimble ship has given up its advantage in the Order of Precedence. It does not get to see all of the non-nimble ships that are using plotted movement move and then make its own movement based on that movement. So only the X-ships use non-plotted movement as stated.
Troy Williams asks: Is it legal to allocate energy to, say, a 14/28 speed plot but choose not to accelerate when the change is due (tactical situation changed) and remain at Speed 14 or conduct the change at a later impulse? I am pretty sure you cannot do this but cannot find the rule specifically saying this.
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Unplotted mid-turn decelerations are specifically forbidden. Note the following rule:
(C12.32) DECELERATION (Second paragraph) specifically says: "Speed changes to reduce speed must always be plotted during Energy Allocation (C12.12). They can never be unplotted."
Delaying an acceleration is by definition a deceleration. There is no legal means (in Star Fleet Battles; Federation Commander does provide a means to use power to cancel movement) to cancel (or delay) a plotted acceleration short of Emergency Deceleration or colliding with a tournament barrier, or Energy Balance Due to Damage, or breakdown as a result of a failed high energy turn, or impact with a web of sufficient strength at sufficient speed.
Other rules may also apply.
(C1.34) ALWAYS PLOTTED: (Second sentence of the second paragraph): "All deceleration must be plotted (including braking energy to reverse direction), except an emergency deceleration, which is never plotted."
(C12.22) PLOT REQUIRED (second sentence): "Alternatively, reserve warp power could be used to accelerate (but not to decelerate) the ship; see (C12.24)."
(C12.23) DAMAGE (this rule allows you to cancel an acceleration, but only if you are using Energy Balance due to Damage and in response to damage, not simply voluntarily for tactical convenience): "If Energy Balance Due to Damage (D22.0) is in use, a player can cancel or reduce future accelerations to fulfill energy balance requirements. Cancellations must be announced."
Rule (C12.244) allows for an unplotted deceleration, but only if it is following an unplotted acceleration in the middle of a turn, e.g., you use reserve power to accelerate to a faster speed between Impulse #8 and #16, the deceleration back to your plotted speed on Impulse #16 is technically an unplotted deceleration.
The rules do not allow you to cancel or delay a pre-plotted acceleration.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
Q: The Kzintis can only have one BCE (escort variant of a battlecruiser, highly desirable for increasing the ComPot of carrier groups) in service at a time (440.7). What if someone captures several Kzinti BCs? They convert them to native technology and want to convert them all to BCEs. Is that legal or would the capturing empire also be limited to having just one BCE in service? Can they sell them back to me?
A: Only standard variants (305.23) can be made from captured ships. A conjectural ship is not a standard variant.
Q: Does the production of a scout pod or pair of scout pods for a given empire count as the allowed scout ship substitution on a given turn under (432.41)?
A: Of course it does as the rule you cited states.
Q: Captain's Log #43, page 96, seems to state that the Kzintis can produce any number of drone ship conversions. However, the Order of Battle (705.3) says in the F&E 2010 rulebook that they cannot build more than two DFs per turn.
A: The published rule (705.3) controls the situation, and the Q&A is incorrect. Note that the version of (705.3) in F&E 2010 covers only the drone frigate (the only Kzinti drone ship in the basic game) but does state that this applies to all drone ships. Advanced Operations lists all of the drone ships and other ships that count against this limit as of the time it was printed:
"Can produce (by any means) no more than two drone ships of all types combined per turn. MDC, DND, CLD, count against this limit. Replacement of battle pods counts against drone limits; two battle pods built on the same turn count as one drone ship (one pod counts as one ship)."
Q: The Kzinti special construction rules state that they may substitute a DWE for an FF once per year starting in Y172. However, the SIT says that the YIS for the DWE is Y174, and all other indications everywhere else are that the DW and its variants are introduced in Y174. The question is, is the Y172 substitution note an error, or are these early DWEs prototypes?
A: The DWEs in Y172S and Y173S are the prototypes. You can build a DW in place of the DWE if you desire but you can only build one DW hull per year until Y174 when normal production of the DWs kicks in. The historical Kzintis were so desperate to keep their carrier groups alive that they used the first DW prototypes for escort variants. Go Furrballs!
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, My players want pictures of their insignia and medals. Is there any way I can get them?
A: Actually, we have a lot of play aids for Prime Directive! Go here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/sfb/sfin/index.shtml#PD
You will find medals, insignia, and lots more!
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 MonthTO DIRECT OR NOT DIRECT?
The directed targeting rules in Federation Commander allow general targeting of weapons or power. However, there is a cost to this; "skipped" damage points are lost.(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
Let's take this example. Score 30 points of internal damage on a fleet-scale Klingon F5 by directed-on-weapons, directed-on-power, and standard targeting.
Directed-weapons: Ship crippled, but has some warp to leave the map. Seven missed hits due to lack of the right kind of internals.
Directed-power: Ship crippled, no power, but lives. Seven missed hits due to lack of the right kind of internals.
Standard Targeting: The frigate blows up, every time, with damage points left over.
So, use directed-weapons if you want to force a ship to leave, or directed-power if you want to capture it. To destroy a ship, use standard targeting.
I must note that the above example assumes enough damage points to destroy the ship. Scoring fewer points on a larger ship will not destroy it, or completely disarm or disable it, no matter what dice you roll. In such cases, the ship is going to survive and you'd be better off to use standard targeting and score as much damage as possible. This is especially true if the ship is undamaged and you score only a few points. After the damage is scored, see how many boxes (and kind of boxes) are left and target the second volley according to your battle plan.
When flying Probr ships, there are times you know your opponent is planning to launch a wild weasel to take care of your high energy acceptance torpedoes, but you still need to launch anyway. Given the nature of your weapons, going in for the anchor is a tough proposition. Launching at medium range, and then running away while he is under wild weasel restrictions is not so bad though. Eventually he will run out of shuttles, and your torpedoes rearm quickly if you can find the power.
In A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, terrain plays an important role. Here's an example of of small Earth-like planets.
Tony L.Thomas writes: Two smaller Earth-like planets, with Klingon cruiser for scale. Photo courtesy of Tony.