Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: ACTASF-1.2 Ship Roster Card Packs
THE BIG NEWS this month is the release of Ship Roster Card Packs for ACTASF-1.2. There are eight packs (one per empire) available on DriveThru RPG and on Wargame Vault. Most are $4.95 per pack; the Orions are free and the Tholians are “pay what you want.”
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 moving along smartly. Only two round 2 round games are left to be played. Paul Scott is the judge.
The Platinum Hat 2014 is well underway.One fourth round game is left to see who will meet Paul Scott in the final round. Stephen McCann is the judge.
NetKill Patrol's fourth quarter winner is Brendan Lally. Congratulations! The first quarter matches are ongoing on 2015. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Star Fleet Battles games and demos will be held at the Farpoint Convention in Timonium, Maryland on February 13-15, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet at will be played at Trumpeter Salute, in Vancouver, B.C. on March 27-29, 2015. Jon Woodland (who created the ACTASF ship roster cards) will be hosting two games Saturday morning and one Saturday afternoon.
Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander (and possibly A Call to Arms: Star Fleet) games and demos will be held at the Balticon Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland on May 22-25, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
All SFU games are welcome at StratCon, held in the Nashville, Tennessee area on June 20-27, 2015. While there will certainly be Federation & Empire, other games include Star Fleet Battle Force, Federation Commander, Star Fleet Battles, and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet. Stay tuned to their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/151297821607520/
Star Fleet Battles games and demos will be held at the Shore Leave Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland on August 7-9, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
Star Fleet Battles to be at the 73rd WorldCon at Spokane WA, on August 17-22, 2015! Prices are still $190 per person, thru January 31, 2015. Only a few days to reserve your spot in this five-day science fiction and fantasy convention which holds the voting/nominations for the Hugos. Nominations for the Hugos continues until March 10, with voting starting sometime after that. Only members of the con that pay by January 31, are eligible to nominate Hugo Awards. The SFB Giant Sanctioned Official Tournament will be run for 64 or more players, of the 7k guests expected to attend in downtown Spokane WA, USA NA. An all-miniature tournament, it will be run eight games at a time, every four hours, during the hours of 9-9, to take care of the first few rounds, with finals Saturday or Sunday depending on turnout. All materials mostly provided by Ranger Harlan Haskell III. Bring pen and paper, everything else provided, for the tournament. Queries? Turtle test available starting Thursday evening, upon demand, with cards available.
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
Beginning in Y174 Romulan carrier group density can be increased by converting SparrowHawk-Bs to FireHawk-Bs or NovaHawk-Bs and in Y175 SparrowHawks can be converted to FireHawk-Ms.
The SparrowHawk-B to FireHawk-B conversion gains you two points of combat potential and two points of command rating for three economic points and does not cost you any carrier production slots because the fighter group(s) of the carrier(s) converted do not increase. The same applies to the NovaHawk-B giving you three additional combat potential and a command rating nine ship over the FireHawk-B's command rating of eight, but at the cost of four economic points.
The SparrowHawk to FireHawk-M gains you six points of combat potential for four economic points. The SparrowHawk is treated as an ad-hoc escort under (515.34) meaning that it loses four points of offensive combat potential. The conversion of the SparrowHawk to a FireHawk-M means the FireHawk-M is now a true escort with the added benefit of being a minor two-step conversion under (437.0). As you can build four to five SparrowHawks a turn and up to two more with minor shipyards, you can convert one or more of these ships during construction depending on the location of your war cruiser minor shipyards and minor conversion facilities under (450.0) and (431.34).
Both the FireHawk-B and FireHawk-M can be repaired at a battle station. Also the NovaHawk-B can be repaired at a battle station as it qualifies for the plasma repair exception under (420.423). Obviously, this paper builds on the ideas presented in the two previous papers of the same name.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
At first glance, the Transport Marines! special action does not seem to be all that great. You have to be within two inches of your target, and you have to drop the facing shield. At least in the ACTASF-1.2 rules using this doesn't block you from using a second special action.
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 ships to within two inches 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 and have 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.
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 two inches of a valid target, go ahead and try for a critical-and-run raid.
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
Mark Notestine painted the Romulan KR and K5Rs.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
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 5750
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Captain's Log #10
Bridge, U.S.S. Colin Powell
"Captain," the voice of his science officer interrupted. "Scientific sensors have detected an anomaly approaching from within the nebula. It's changing course to intercept us. Speed is approaching warp three."
"Shields up," Folomar ordered automatically. Lessons of the General War, the ISC Pacification, and the Andromedan Invasion aren't forgotten easily. He turned to face his science officer. Lieutenant Commander Ed Jones was already peering at his science instruments, seeking to identify the anomaly.
"Sensor readings indicate that it is non-metallic in composition. Temperature is just a few degrees above that of surrounding space. It is not emitting any harmful radiation. Size appears to be approximately twice the size of the Powell. The science computer can find nothing like it in the database and is postulating a 95 percent chance that we have found a new form of life."
"Great." Again, he ran a hand through his hair. I know a space "monster" when I see one. In his long distinguished career, he had encountered no less than three entities that had tried to consume his ship and crew. "How is it traveling at warp speed?"
"Unknown, Captain. Although rare, there are species that can naturally warp through space. Until we have more information, I cannot even hazard a guess at its method of locomotion." Jones looked as perplexed as Folomar felt.
"Can you hazard a guess about its intent?"
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.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
Q: I have a Lyran destroyer at a completed colony. Enemy forces have attacked and caused 12 points of damage. Can I cripple the destroyer for five points and let the seven remaining points fall on the colony with the intent of retreating the crippled ship and leaving the colony behind (to cover the retreat)?
A: No, the colony cannot be given up as voluntary damage points per (446.42). The enemy has to attack it on purpose.
Q: If a SAF is already crippled, is it automatically presumed disrupted (and thus there is no need to shoot it)?
A: That is correct. According to (520.41) the SAF is considered disrupted even if it started the combat round crippled. This could happen in a rare instance where it was involved in combat away from a base or PDU and then entered combat already crippled. This disrupted state represents the reduced effectiveness of the SAF. According to this rule you cannot destroy an SAF in an assault although in normal combat you can. If you catch one away from a base and do 18 points of damage to it with directed damage, with no other modifiers, you will kill it.
Q: My opponent is using an engineer regiment as an SAF. I say I can disrupt it with 12 damage points (same as a SAF) but he says I must use 16 as an engineer regiment is an eight-point unit. Who is right?
A: He is. Abraham Lincoln said: "If you call a tail a leg, a cow still has only four legs." Being an eight-point unit, the engineer regiment needs 16 damage points to be disrupted (crippled) and eight more to be killed. Unlike an SAF (520.41), you actually can kill the engineer unit outright.
Q: Under (526.254) a Logistics Task Force (LTF) can resolve SIDS at 4.5 damage points [nine by directed damage under (308.8)]. Can the LTF be crippled by spending the 54 (27x2) points of damage required? And then killed the next round for the additional 26 (13x2) points?
A: You can always use the full amount to direct cripple/kill any unit. SIDS are available so you can eat an elephant one bite at a time instead of trying to eat the whole elephant at once.
Q: Sequence of Play Step 5-3B establishes when the players make the determination whether ESSC will apply to the combat hex. In the event that both players have the option to elect ESSC or elect normal combat (i.e., ESSC is not mandatory or selectable by only one player), then what is the proper procedure for making the determination? Is the determination made secretly and simultaneously and then revealed (with ESSC occurring only on mutual selection), or is the determination made by one player, announced, and then made by the other player? Or is it just a generic handshake/negotiation?
A: See the last line of (310.115): "If both players have three or fewer ships which exceed the limits of 14 and/or 19, and both agree, this option may be used."
Q: Due to the mauler I have on the battle line, I can deal out 44 damage points. Can I use them to cripple a DN in the formation box (36) and then kill it (5+3) as a single directed damage attack?
A: No, you cannot, as the two are separate attacks due to the nature of the formation rules.
Q: Can a SWAC be used from the support echelon (302.35)?
A: Yes, if the carrier supplying the SWAC is also in the support echelon.
Q: Can a SWAC from a starbase be used in an approach battle to that Starbase?
A: Yes, it could be used in the approach battle just as the base's fighters can be used.
Q: Rule (302.7) does not place any restrictions on the use of a SWAC by a retreating force. I can't find any restriction in (518.0) either. As the rules do not seem to restrict this we are currently playing as though a retreating Federation force can deploy a SWAC without restriction and recover it if it is not lost due to specific use or directed damage.
This however does not seem right to me. A slow-moving shuttle dropped out the back of a carrier that is accelerating in an effort to withdraw from combat should not be recoverable. The max speed on a SWAC with booster packs in SFB is 16 and it cannot use its EW capability if towed by tractor per SFB rule (J9.132). Booster packs are not available until Y180 in any case which gives a SWAC a max SFB speed of 8 prior to Turn #24.
With these things in consideration, can a SWAC be recovered by a retreating Federation force, or is its use during retreat an automatic loss for the Federation? Or should there be some limited chance of recovery (say a 1 in 6 chance) as it is moving, unlike a stasis ship that is auto killed?
A: The use of a SWAC is permitted by (518.0). You are overthinking the issue. Combat in F&E is an abstraction of several battles over many days. Remember that the pursuer can attack crippled vessels not in the pusued battle force.
Q: Do the rules mean that any time the owner of a planet fights over his own devastated planet he can absorb three damage points with the RDF (even during raids but not in ESSC) for no bad effects? Rule (508.162) says that you can't re-devastate to rack up points, but I suppose the defender can soak off three damage in raids and then three more in the combat phase.
A: Yes. Just think of it as the owner knows the terrain in and around his planet and uses it to his advantage every time.
(End of F&E Q&A)
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.(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
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.
When fighting outside their transporter-link network, Ryn vessels suffer several serious disadvantages, not least of which is disrupted fire control for two impulses after each quantum transporter jump. Not only does this cut firing opportunities in half, but a jumping ship cannot control transporter-emitter missiles while its fire control is offline. Here is how to get at least partial use of these secondary weapon systems when "off the grid."
ADB's on-site warehouse today.