February 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the release of Federation Commander Reference Rulebook Revision 6. It is now available on the shopping cart and on e23. GURPS PRIME DIRECTIVE has been uploaded to e23, and PRIME DIRECTIVE PD20M has been uploaded to DriveThru RPG. The first iPhone Slider Game is now available in the Apple Store.The Slider game is available in the Apple iTunes store by searching for "Federation Slider" or "Amarillo Design Bureau".

WEBSITE: Our combined and reorganized 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 300+ 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 pop some popcorn and join us at the movies! Our newest uploads are:

ADB October 2010 Releases
Prime Directive Product Line

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on the Federation Commander websites and the first site have been changed to match. The new site is http://federationcommander.blogspot.com

AMBASSADORS: We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see our topic on the FC Forum or on the BBS.

Fight For A Cure

Fight For A Cure is a far bigger success than we ever dreamed it would be in its first year. The tournament has 36 people who entered and many people who donated. ADB, Inc. was able to send a check for $600 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Play continues and you can keep track from this page on SFBOL:

Fight For A Cure Tournament Tree

Download Transmissions

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, fiction, 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!

FC Forum Recent Posts

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 activity!

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.

FC Tactic of the Month

      Everyone knows that in the Star Fleet Universe, all starships have six shields. How many victory points would a seventh shield be worth? What if I told you that every ship comes with a seventh shield, or at least something fairly equivalent to a seventh shield? What is this mythical device you ask? It's the hull of your ship.
      Take the Federation heavy cruiser for example. It has sixteen hull boxes and can lose all sixteen of them without any reduction in its combat potential. Now, in a normal battle, you will not lose only your hull boxes and nothing else, but they can be repaired cheaper and faster than most other systems, and they come up on the Damage Allocation Chart proportionally more often than any other system. It's this combination of low repair cost and their frequency on the Damage Allocation Chart that combines to make this tactic work.
      At the end of the turn, when you're thinking of what to repair with your four damage control points (assuming a typical cruiser at squadron scale) you may be thinking of repairing a power system box for three repair points. Stop! Think for a moment. What's a better use of those three repair points? A single power box, or three separate hull boxes? Sure, repairing the power box will generate another point of power that may make the difference between winning and losing, but sometimes repairing three hull boxes (that may take three points of damage to destroy again) may prevent the destruction of three additional power system boxes. Or maybe three weapons boxes or a combination of power systems and weapons boxes.
      So late in the game, when every point counts, don't forget to take advantage of your ship's seventh shield.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

      When fleet sizes start climbing, you will often find yourself with the ability to blow up a ship in a single impulse. If your opponent is concentrating his ships into a single hex, consider carefully which ship you want to target. If you blow up a ship with a worse turn mode (assuming all ships in the stack are moving at the same speed), the subsequent explosion will damage the #1 shield of the remaining ships. This is particularly effective against FA firepower ships (such as the Fed).
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

      The Kzinti FKE is a significantly better ship than the EFF, as it has two more Combat Potential (ComPot) and absorbs two more damage. However, before Turn #14, the Kzinti production of FFKs and FKEs is limited. FKEs immediately become a very tempting target for Coalition directed damage, especially when the Kzintis present an entire carrier line. To mitigate this, the Kzintis should arrange their battle forces to place two or more carrier groups with FKEs together. For example, if they have three CVS groups with FKEs, they should all deploy to the same battle hex, while CVS groups with EFF escorts should go to other battles. In this way, the Coalition can use directed damage on fewer FKEs per turn, and this valuable resource is preserved.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)


    Can you tell us where GURPS Federation is? When will it be out?

    We've sent GURPS Federation to Steve Jackson Games where we hope it is moving to the top of their "To Read" list. With any luck, they'll read it, love it, and approve it. That would open the door for us to publish it this spring or by the Origins Game Fair. If they ask for revisions, then that may take another round of submission and approval.

    Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(End of Ask Aunt Jean )

Mini of the Month
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!

NCA/NCD USS Crecy by Mark Notestine

New Releases

Communique #62 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Star Fleet Battles Module C3A: Andromedan Threat File, Stock #5635, $TBA.

Federation Admiral, Stock #2101, $TBA.

Captain's Log #43, Stock #5743, $TBA.

 Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $TBA.
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.

GURPS Prime Directive
Federation Ship Card Pack

Frax Ship Card Pack #3
Gorn Ship Card Pack #1
Klingon Ship Card Pack #1
Kzinti Ship Card Pack #1
FC Omega Playtest Rulebook
FC Reference Rulebook
F&E Compendium
F&E 2010 Rulebook

Prime Directive PD20M

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

Cafe Press

Snowmagedon and Snowmagedon have passed through, but the SFU is staying hot! We've just lowered the prices in time for Valentine's Day, so check these out.

Put your hot (or cold) drink in this thermos and you'll enjoy it all day long. Then you'll be ready to fly your ship on SFB Online.

Is your sweetie fond of stuffed critters? (The plush kind, not the kind provided by a taxidermist!)  Show your affection with a cuddly bear.
teddy bear

Show your lady you appreciate strong women with this t-shirt.

We'll be adding even more items soon and we want to hear from you! Please contact Joel Shutts (Graphics Director)  with your request.  Visit our Star Fleet Cafe Press Store for a complete listing of the products available (or click on the items above to go directly to them).

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.

Star Fleet Fiction
Part Nine of Ten

      "Freighter XG47, status report confirmed," Zorl said, more or less to himself. The petty officer seated next to him was sound asleep, his snoring no doubt audible on the security microphones. Even so, Zorl had been trained to speak aloud as he checked in each ship in the sector. The audio security recordings would confirm what the computer records showed, that the ship had checked in. And that Zorl had done his duty.
      Every ship in Station Z9's sector checked in once during every six-hour duty shift, each at their assigned time so that no two transmissions reached the base simultaneously. Battle Station Z9 covered about a quarter of the original Klingon-Kzinti Border, touching the WYN cluster on one side and extending a thousand parsecs into occupied Kzinti space and the same distance into original Klingon space. The front line was over two thousand parsecs away, but then it had been three thousand parsecs away when Zorl first reported to the Station just over a year ago. Not being a front line sector, there were not a lot of warships in the area, just one old cruiser, a pair of fleet frigates, an old reserve frigate, nearly two dozen vessels of the Internal Security Forces, and something over two hundred freighters, transports, and other support craft. That didn't count a couple of hundred Security Skiffs and work boats stationed at various planets or asteroid mining stations which did not have to report to Battlestation Z9.
      Every six hours, every one of those ships, a total of 237 as of today's shift, transmitted a data-compressed status report to Battlestation Z9, averaging about two ships every three minutes. Zorl arrived at his console for his shift to find a list of the ships and their check-in times. His job was to monitor the computers, which did all of the work. They received the reports, ran an algorithm on the contents and compared it to the checksum digits at the end of the report to make sure nothing was garbled or missing, and then forwarded the report to the appropriate command.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

      Kerry E. Mullan asks: I move to the base at a speed greater than 1 on Turn #N, on Turn #N+1 I have to go Speed Zero or 1, and at the end of that turn I can officially dock? Seems like I am wasting a turn.
      ANSWER: The rules very specifically require that unless the base is in orbit (in which case you need to be in the hex the base will enter as a result of its orbital movement) you have to be in the hex of the base to dock to it (C13.11), and that during the turn you are going to dock you cannot have used Erratic Maneuvers, Emergency Deceleration, a High Energy Turn, mid-turn speed change, or a quick reverse (C13.16), and you have to commit to docking during Energy Allocation (C13.17).
      So, yes, you are going to be largely stationary.
      There is no prohibition on using Tactical Maneuvers while docking [there is a prohibition on using Tactical Maneuvers on the turn you undock (C13.231)]. So you could do your allowed Tactical Maneuvers (assuming you were at Speed Zero) while waiting to dock at the end of the turn.

      William T. Wilson asks: A ship is docked to a base. I think that rule (C13.762) means the ship has disrupted fire control as long it is docked and thus cannot resume normal firing until four impulses after it undocks. My opponent holds that rule (D6.68)'s four impulse delay is absolute and the docked ship can therefore begin firing normally four impulses after originally docking.
      ANSWER: An externally docked ship operates under disrupted fire control as long as it is docked.
(Ask Growler continues here)


      Q: Your previous clarification of (602.49) allows the Federation to take an FRD and MB from the Home Fleet to send these units to the limited war forces in foreign territory. Can I use a Home Fleet tug as well?
      A: As long as the fleet assigned to the limited war has a tug, no, you cannot. If there is no tug, you can borrow one from the Home Fleet.
      Q: Where does the Hydran special supply tug (509.5) start?
      A: The Hydran special supply tug starts with the Expeditionary Fleet at Hex 0716. Any references to it starting anywhere else are wrong.
      Q: Presuming a non-historical scenario where the Hydran Front is attacked (by the Coalition) first, and the Kzintis are left at peace, what would the Kzinti Pre-War Construction rates look like?
      A: The Kzintis would use the existing production schedule, but being at a peacetime economy, they won't be able to afford all of it, and any unused production slots are lost.
(F&E Q&A continues here)


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 110125 Schedule (Adobe acrobat Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe acrobat Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101007 Cafe Press (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100921 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100830 PD20M Feds (Adobe Reader Required)


The Romulan Carrier Group is one of our newer miniature sets, packing a lot of artillery.