Star Fleet Universe News
BIG NEWS: PRIME DIRECTIVE PD20 MODERN SUPPLEMENT
Explore More Worlds! Discover More Species!
Find out about the Brecon, four-armed humanoids who live in the Federation. There are also Deians, who are extremely beautiful. Prellarians are masters of high-grav and null-grav technologies.
The Klingon Empire has more species: Yitlians who are fierce warriors and Zoolies who are highly perceptive and sought out for Klingon commando teams.
The Andromedan Invaders have more background and enough information that the GM can construct robots to confound players.
The Inter-Stellar Concordium is described more fully along with the five member species for players to play or encounter.
The Seltorian Tribunal has but one goal: exterminate the Tholians! To that end, there are five types of Seltorians, two of which are suitable for players.
Jindarians are at home on their asteroid caravans. And then there are the Vudar. They are located between the Hydrans and the Klingons, part of the Klingon Empire, yet they run their own navy.
The Carnivons and Paravians are different as in they have a distinct extinction date - unless they don't! The Paravians died when a sun snake destroyed their sun; the Carnivons, when the Kzintis and Lyrans carried out genocide. What are the odds that a small group escaped detection? (Hint: 100%)
Included for your convenience are unified weapons charts with all the weapons included in the core rulebook and three sourcebooks. If you can't remember where you spotted something, the complete index might help with that.
Compatible with modern roleplaying systems using 20-sided dice. Requires the use of the Prime Directive PD20 Modern Core Rulebook. To fully use the weapons, the sourcebooks are highly recommended.
Compiled by Jean Sexton and the Prime Directive Staff
This is the Early Bird PDF Edition and the final version before the print edition is released in two weeks. We will be replacing this edition with the final PDF, including the back cover. We think this book is ready to go, but we aren¹t perfect and there may be a typo or two in this version that will be caught.
Get your copy at DriveThru RPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204657/
Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Dale, 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.
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 usually shine a spotlight on one of our battle groups. This time we are looking at states that need a battlegroup. These are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont,West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. If you live in one of these states, start up your battle group now! http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/gather.shtml
Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony L. Thomas at: email@example.com.
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 47 is just starting up. Bill Schoeller has volunteered to be the judge. The deadline for signups is February 19, 2017. You can sign up here: http://www.sfbonline.com/tourn_signup.jsp
The sixth annual Star Fleet Battles Platinum Hat tournament is now underway. Only one semifinal game remains to be played and then the final contest can start. Paul Scott is the judge for this tournament; Steven Petrick is the Tournament Marshal, with Peter Bakija assisting them.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Ranger Harlan Haskell reports the tournament he held in Everett, WA, for Orcacon Jan. 13-15, 2017, went well.
On February 10-11, 2017 at Rapier 2017, the Star Fleet Universe will be getting quite a showing. This convention is in Jacksonville, Florida. Star Fleet Marines will be demoed on Friday from 8pm-11pm by Ranger Michael Baker. Michael will also be demoing Star Fleet Battle Force on Saturday from 8pm to 11pm Ranger Christian Rekowski will be demoing Star Fleet Battles at 2 pm on Saturday. Check out the convention information here: http://www.rapiercon.com/index.html
Federation Commander will be demoed at DayCon 2017 held February 18, 2017. The demo will run from 9:00 am -1:00 pm. DayCon is being held at the Rona Banquet Hall on 1043 Rona Parkway in Fairborn, Ohio. Matthew Lawson is the Ranger in charge.
Star Fleet Battles will be demoed several times at RadCon 7 held February 17-19, 2017. It is being held at the Red Lion Hotel Pasco 2525 N 20th Ave, Pasco, Washington. Harlan Haskell III is the Ranger in charge.
Are you going to GenCon in August 2017? Make plans to play Star Fleet Battles with Randy Blair as the Ranger in charge. He'll be holding four demos there. August 17 at 11:00 am is Eastern Plight, August 18 at 11:00 am is Western Plight, August 19 at 10:00 am and again at 3:00 pm is Survivor! (each is stand-alone). GenCon is held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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 Family Time Games. 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 Ranger Harlan Haskell III reports that the last gameday went well and folks enjoyed themselves.
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
The Klingons absolutely must make a priority of buying a diplomat on Turn #1 of the General War, even though it costs them ten Economic Points and absorbs their first Prime Team. What?!? Klingons do not talk, they shoot!
But Klingons do talk, as does their money. You start with a D7N and a D5N. Send the D7N to Lyran space, as the better ship will generate more income ‹ and you do not want that cut off as might happen later in the war between the Romulans and the Klingons. Send the D5N to Romulan space. You need a Klingon diplomat there, anyway, and in a pinch the D5N can fight during a Federation or Gorn assault on Romulus. Send that extra diplomat you built, on an APT (possibly one that you build for that purpose) to the LDR.
The reason is simple: Cash. The diplomat in the LDR will likely never be cut off from the Klingon capital during the whole game. That means that it will earn one Economic Point per turn the whole time. On Turn #11 you will have broken even on the cost of building the diplomat and on Turn #12 you will start netting income. Better yet, diplomat income is not subject to exhaustion, so the investment is much more efficient than, say, building colonies and survey ships (not that you shouldn't do those things)! Over the course of the game you will net somewhere around 23 Economic Points, most of them coming when you are suffering from exhaustion and desperate for every Economic Point. So, Klingon diplomacy is the Klingon way.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
All previous games in the Star Fleet Universe have had rules for terrain but none have emphasized it to the extent that ACTASF does. Both Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander have terrain as part of some scenarios, but most scenarios do not have any terrain at all. In fact, many players of SFB and FC have never even played a scenario that involves any terrain other than open space (that is to say, no terrain).
ACTASF is quite different in that respect. Some of the general scenarios and tactical challenges specify a particular setup for the terrain features. Almost every other scenario specifies a random selection of terrain. (Players who just don¹t like terrain can ignore the requirement for random terrain, but some terrain is an important element of some scenarios. A scenario based on a ship hiding in terrain won¹t work without that terrain.)
In ACTASF, the occurrence of terrain is determined by rolling a d6 for every one square foot square section of the map. Any section for which a ³6² is rolled has terrain located in it. With the typical map starting at 4 x 4 feet, this gives you 16 opportunities to have at least one piece of terrain. That¹s almost a 95% chance that you¹ll have at least one piece of terrain on the map. This means that in ACTASF, open space battles are the exception, not the rule.
So... what does this mean for you? Generally speaking, the various types of terrain have many characteristics in common. They all block line of sight, so while you can fire into or out of terrain, you typically cannot fire through it. This allows you to use the area immediately behind a piece of terrain to great advantage. You can use it to protect a critical ship or to allow a damaged ship a chance to repair shields and critical hits. Movement through terrain is not without risks either. This means you can often use terrain to guard your fleet¹s flanks from an attack.
Of course, all of that is true for Star Fleet Battles, Federation Commander, or Starmada. It just doesn¹t happen often enough for players to get familiar with terrain rules. To master ACTA, you must learn how to use terrain because it is going to happen almost every time you play the game.
Cloaked Romulans are especially fond of terrain. The Disengage Cloaking Device! special action allows the Romulan to make a 6-inch move in any direction as part of the de-cloaking process. This can often be used to ³leap² across a piece of intervening terrain, either to get a bead on a juicy target or just to get out of the line of sight. Bear this in mind whenever facing Romulan ships and the cloaking device.
Kzintis (with their drones, and Klingon and Federation ships which use drones to a lesser extent) tend to hate terrain as it reduces the opportunities for waves of drones. They also love terrain in that they can use drone swarms to block the gaps between terrain features, forcing the enemy into less desireable areas.
Gorns and Romulans, with their heavy plasma torpedoes, must learn how to use terrain to trap an enemy who would just as soon avoid being hit, and to get closer to the target before launching.
Tholians also love terrain (but you will need the web rules from ACTASF-2.0 to find out just how much they love it).
ACTASF has six different types of terrain that may be present in a battle. The list below lists each type along with the probability it will occur in a given space:
Asteroid Field 50 %
Dust Cloud 33 %
Comet 5.5 %
Planet 5.5 %
Nebulae 3.0 %
Black Hole 3.0 %
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2017
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
Engine Room, USS Alfred the Great
"Speed is now warp six, Sir. Estimating warp seven in 27 seconds," said the human crewman at the main systems display panel.
"Good, crewman," said Lieutenant Commander Thzek Kaktu, the Alfred¹s chief engineer. It had taken the Tellarite officer many years to master the social niceties of human conversation and it still made him a bit uncomfortable. "Good, crewman" was the generic phrase he used most often, but even this seemed to make his engineering staff function a bit more efficiently, and that was his main concern. "Warp core status?"
"Intermix temperature 5,980 degrees and rising, normal for current speed and power output, Sir."
"Good, crewman. The captain wants maximum warp. Make warp eight as soon as he'll take it." Although most humans and Federation Standard-speakers referred to ships as "she," in the Tellarite language vessels were considered masculine and referred to as "he." That was a language adjustment Kaktu had not made, nor did he intend to.
"He" fit a ship named Alfred the Great better than "she." Kaktu had served on the Alfred since graduating from the academy back in Y136. He worked his way up from a lowly ensign on the engineering staff up to Chief Engineer, taking the position five years ago. Although there had been multiple opportunities to transfer to other ships, he was comfortable here and his expertise was needed. Kaktu knew the ship better than any sentient alive, and he had no further career ambitions to move past his current post.
Alfred the Great was the last of his kind. Commissioned in Y125, he was built as a backup in case the revolutionary new Constitution-class proved a failure. The Alfred design, colloquially known as the "Old Heavy Cruiser," was something of a hybrid, incorporating the same pair of 45-gigawatt engines used in the Constitutions, but mated to a more traditional hull form based on the old Texas-class light cruisers. The Constitutions were a huge success, of course, and while there was nothing wrong with the OCA design, only two were built.
Alfred's brother, Theodoric the Great, had been destroyed by the Kzintis in Y138, leaving Alfred a one-of-a-kind ship with specialized maintenance needs. Some of his components were identical to those on a Constitution, some were identical to those on a Texas, and some were completely unique, making him a headache for the supply departments. Star Fleet Command, unfairly in Kaktu's view, saw Alfred as less capable than a Constitution. There were even occasional proposals to mothball him. So far that hadn't happened, but the ship had long been assigned to the Sixth Fleet, patrolling the quiet Romulan border, which apparently was no longer quiet.
Kaktu turned his attention to Lieutenant Orek, his Orion assistant chief engineer and the closest thing Kaktu had to a friend on the ship. "Keep a close eye on the intermix temperature and all other systems as we reach warp eight," Kaktu said quietly. "I'll be in the briefing room. Notify me immediately if there are any problems, but take whatever steps you feel are necessary if the speed becomes too much." Both officers knew this was unlikely, but Kaktu was notoriously conservative with the engines. Like most Federation starships, warp six was Alfred's normal maximum cruising velocity. Warp seven was considered emergency speed. Warp eight or higher was considered an overload state which the engines and hull structure could only handle for limited periods of time. This was a "war emergency."
"Of course, Sir. Good luck in the meeting."
"I want the maintenance crews getting the checklist done within 40 minutes. We'll be at the outpost in 70 minutes."
"Of course, Sir."
The Tellarite grunted an acknowledgement. With Orek, it wasn't necessary for Kaktu to pretend to be something he wasn't. He left the engine room, headed to his office to pick up his PADD, then went to the briefing room.
(Continue reading here)
Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
Sebastian Palozzi asks: Why does the tractor/negative tractor auction take place before Energy Allocation? If Energy Allocation has not been done how does a player know how much energy he can spend on the auction?
ANSWER: The tractor/negative tractor auction step of the Energy Allocation Phase (1) only takes place when a player wishes to maintain a tractor link over a turn break. Tractor links established during the turn will take place during the Ship System Functions Stage (6B4) of the Impulse Procedure, at which point players would use their allocated and or reserve power for the auction.
When a tractor auction is necessary over a turn break, players will generally need to add up their power and do a few calculations to determine how much power they are willing to spend on a tractor auction, but not actually commit the power. They then conduct the auction, which will commit some portion of the energy they will allocate in Energy Allocation to tractor beams.
Gregory Flusche asks: In a recent battle online, my opponent (a Hydran) tractored his fighters. They then on a later impulse, while still tractored, fired on my plasma torpedoes. The question is, was he allowed to do so, or must the fighters have been released first. The rule for ships being tractored is they may fire on seeking weapons. However rule (J1.6215) says that the tractor must be released before the fighter/shuttle may fire.
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Under (G7.91) "units" (A3.23), which includes shuttles/fighters can fire at other shuttles/fighters and seeking weapons, which includes torpedoes, but cannot fire at ships, which includes fast patrol ships. If the fighter/shuttle is actually being landed (rotated toward the ship), the first rotation places the shuttle/fighter under the launch restrictions (preventing it from firing). As long as the shuttles/fighters are merely being towed along they can fire at seeking weapons and other fighters/shuttles.
Gary Carney asks: A Trobrin heavy cruiser has tractored an Arachnid Cockatrice-class destroyer through the walls of the Maghadim Core Radiation Zone and is trying to pull the ship into the radiation area. A Jumokian frigate, allied to the Arachnids, is trying to stop this by tractoring the Cockatrice and is using all of its engine power to pull in the other direction, which would pull the Trobrin heavy cruiser into that same radiation belt. A Loriyill strike destroyer tried to cut the tractor beam with a flame shield, but this proved ineffective. Helgardian Marines in powered battle armor landed on the Trobin cruiser using their magnetronic boots and attacked the tractor emitters directly, but they were swept off the hull when the Trobin maneuvered into an area of Drag Space. Can I have a Jindarian light shipyard cruiser forcibly dock the Trobrin internally to cut the tractor beam?
ANSWER: There is no legal way to involuntarily force the Trobrin ship to dock internally so that won't work.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
A CAPITAL IDEA
Q: According to rule (511.5), during a capital assault the attacker is required to reveal his battle force prior to the defender in Step 5. The defender then makes his/her battle force in Steps 6 and 7. Is the attacker required to identify all aspects of his/her battle force (command point use, MMG mission, rescue tug assignment, drone bombardment, etc.) or only the ships and units that will be present in the battle force?
A: The full battle force must be revealed, including all of those questions. This is part of the "home field" advantage of defending a capital. How certain ships such as commando ships or maulers are used later is up to the attacker and not revealed.
Q: It is Turn #7. The Hydrans have lost their capital but are still on the map. Do the Hydrans receive the Hydran Guild Treasury Bonus (442.42) at five EP a turn, as they¹re not all off-map? My opponent says that the rule about the IC implies that they do not receive the bonus. I content that the IC rule has nothing to do with the Guild bonus.
A: Regardless of whether the Hydran shipyard was captured, the Hydrans receive the Guild bonus starting no earlier than Turn #7 (or later) once the Federation enters full war status as an enemy of the Klingons.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, when will PD20 Modern get Final Frontiers with our "missing" species from the main rulebook?
A: I'm not sure about Final Frontiers, but the "missing" species are in the just released Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement. It is available as an Early Bird PDF from DriveThru RPG. That means if you spot a typo or some other mistake in the book, you can send us an email and we'll get it fixed before releasing the final version as a PDF and in print. (Of course, those who got the Early Bird version will get the final version of the PDF as a replacement.)
This book has the Brecon, Deians, and Prellarians from the Federation; Yitlians and Zoolies from the Klingon Empire, the Andromedans; the five species from the Inter-Stellar Concordium; the Seltorians; the Jindarians; and the Vudar. It also has the Carnivons and Paravians.
To reward your patience, we've included a unified weapons chart with all the weapons included in the core rulebook and three sourcebooks. There's also a complete index covering all four books.
We hope your enjoy it!
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".
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 MonthMORE THAN ONE WAY TO TURN
Everybody knows about the "bootlegger" turn. In this, you turn in one direction and then (if you have to move straight) sideslip in the same direction. This tightens the turn radius and gets you away from whatever you are trying to avoid even faster.
Another way to make a tighter turn is to alternate a turn with a slip to the outside of the turn. That is, turn to the right, and on your next move slip to the left; this lets you complete the turn without moving as far from your initial hex. This is useful when you want to bring new weapons to bear but not get closer to the enemy (and his weapons).
The charged particle accelerator-3 which the Baduvai Imperium mounted on its first wave of modern-era warships provided the heavy cruiser, destroyer, and battle frigate with a very powerful direct-fire punch, coupled with a useful degree of flexibility. Given the rolling delay charged particle accelerators operate under, these ships have effectively the same arming level when starting at Weapon Status II or Weapon Status III, allowing them to inflict a solid first punch on their opponents.
However, once that blow is landed, planning for the follow-up strikes becomes a more pressing issue. While in principle one could spend three turns worth of warp power building up each ship's charged particle accelerator-3s for the next exchange of heavy weapons fire, it may be counter-productive to wait such a length of time before wading in once more. (This is less of an issue against a slower opponent, such as some of the Middle Years Eneen ships. However, it can be a dangerous gamble against a Maghadim captain willing to close and take advantage of the fire/fire/cool arming cycles of his tachyon beams over an inconvenient turn break.)
Rather, it may work out more evenly to essentially ignore the third arming level in ship-to-ship encounters (after the first strike has been made) and plan on treating the charged particle accelerator-3 as a de facto charged particle accelerator-2 instead. While this would be of no relief to the Baduvai ships' power budgets, since the same three points of warp power are required per accelerator per turn either way, it can allow the Baduvai player to retain more of the initiative in terms of scoring consistent damage on his opponent. Plus, this allows the Baduvai player to essentially use each charged particle accelerator-3's third chamber as padding for the others. For the battle frigate, it also has the advantage of not running the risk of shock effects which the overgunned battle frigate suffers when attempting to fire its own charged particle accelerator-3 at the highest arming level.
While a Baduvai player could attempt to go even further and press the attack every turn using the lowest arming level, he should only consider doing so if he is confident about his ability to line up favorable firing opportunities each turn. This is more important if he is not fighting an opponent protected by the volley reduction factor of Lesser Magellanic Cloud outer shielding.
The volley reduction factor's benefits against weaker volleys makes two shots by charged particle accelerator-1s overall less effective than one charged particle accelerator-2 shot. While three charged particle accelerator-2 shots over six turns may seem less resistant to the volley reduction factor than two charged particle accelerator-3 shots over the same period of time, the amount of damage the second arming level inflicts is still high enough to give opposing Lesser Magellanic Cloud captains cause for concern.
The third arming level should be used consistently only when lining up attacks against slow-moving or immobile targets, and in situations where the Baduvai player can take his time to conduct a more protracted siege.
This may explain why the next wave of Baduvai starships made such prominent use of the more streamlined charged particle accelerator-2 for open-space combat. Rather than a heavy cruiser hitting once with two charged particle accelerator-3s, then reducing its firepower to two charged particle accelerator-2s every second turn, a war cruiser can plan for three charged particle accelerator-2 shots for each of its own direct-fire exchanges. This only works if the war cruiser has the warp reactor refit needed to keep its battle speed consistent with the bulk of the Baduvai fleet. Yet, the widespread adoption of the charged particle accelerator-2s still left room in the Baduvai Navy for the retention of the charged particle accelerator-3-equipped warships, particularly for dealing with enemy fixed installations.
It may have a strong first punch; but in many cases, once first blood has been drawn, two is the new three for the charged particle accelerator-3.
(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.
Starline 2400 Lyran dreadnought painted by Tony L. Thomas.
Facebook Highlight of the Month
The folks at Stags Telford report: We had more games of Star Fleet Battles last Friday night. With a pair of Lyrans going up against a pair of Fed ships.
Great game to watch and another player was introduced to the game with the Cadet rules.