Star Fleet Universe News
The BIG NEWS this month is Amarillo Design Bureau has decided not to go to the ORIGINS GAME FAIR in 2014. We do not expect to attend Origins in any future year. We plan to start attending GenCon in 2015. We may make arrangements for another booth to offer our key products at Origins. If anyone wants to run SFU events there, you don't need our permission but we can support you. Contact Jean.
This was a painful decision, but one that had to be made. Origins has changed over the years. The dealer hall is now more a general show than a game show, and the crowds of loyal ADB customers who attended every year (and who are still buying our products on our shopping cart) stopped attending for various reasons not related to ADB. We would gladly go to Origins as it was in 2008, but it has turned into a very different show.
Origins for us was about COMMUNITY, not profit. To be sure, we made money every year. (Even if you discount the sales we'd have made over the shopping cart without attending the show, walk-in sales at the show covered expenses.) The show was about being there for you, and you have been here for us in every way that counts. There is just no point in us going to Origins without you. We will miss seeing you, but we'd miss seeing most of you if we went to the show.
We'll spend this summer getting great products out through the normal distribution channels.
We wish GAMA the very best in this year and future years as they put on the excellent regional convention, Origins.
FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
TWITTER: ADB has recently started a Twitter feed. We are ADBInc_Amarillo. You'll find news as well as links to pictures. Check us out and retweet news of interest to your own followers. We're excited and our first goal is to get 100 followers. Help us reach that, please.
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:
STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL
and all links on StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new
Custom Decals for Starline ships
Tenneshington Decals is proud to now offer three new decals sets, made to fit the Starline 2500 Federation BB battleship, CB heavy command cruiser, and DNL light raiding dreadnought miniatures.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 is in the signup phase. You can sign up for this online tournament here: http://www.sfbonline.com/tourn_signup.jsp
Not on Star Fleet Battles Online? You can join for only $15.00 a quarter here: http://www.sfbonline.com/register.jsp
Rated Ace Tournament 41 is finished. Brett Johnson won in the ISC TC. Andrew Koch was the judge. Congratulations to Brett and thanks to Andrew!
NetKill Patrol fourth quarter has finished on SFBOL. Congratulations to Joshua Driscol. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.
The Platinum Hat 2013 International Online SFB Tournament is replacing a third round player who had to drop out. Paul Scott is the judge.The Masters 2013 Tournament is well underway. This challenging tournament has the winner of each match take his opponent's ship to fly in the next match. One of the third round matches has been played and one is underway. That leaves only two games in that round. The judge is Andrew Koch.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
MISCON's Sanctioned Tournament for SFB, with miniatures. May 23-26, 2014, Sunday May 25, and Monday May 26, 2014 for 16 players. The all Miniatures Sanctioned Tournament will start on Sunday, at 10:00 AM and run for 10 hrs., with up to three elimination games, with the finals, starting at 10:00 AM, Monday, and run up to 6 hrs. if necessary. This will be a single elimination tournament, and wild cards will only be used if necessary to fill a bracket, if players do not wish to continue, even if winning. Judge Harlan Haskellwill have all necessary materials, and miniatures for each player, during the Tournament.
Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamers Haven, 2114 N. Pines St., Suites 1 & 2, Spokane Valley, WA 99206, (509) 443-5992 http://www.thegamershaven.net/gamers_haven.php
Do you want to run demos and promote SFU games? Consider becoming a Ranger! You have the advantage of"growing your own" opponents and of making new friends. Read more about it here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml
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
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 lots of interesting conversations about a wide variety of subjects. 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 communications.
F&E Strategy of the Month
The rules for a drone raid stipulate that at least one of the ships must have scout functions. For Klingons, this role is usually handled by a D6D. The rest of the raiding party consists of a combination of D5D or D6D ships or, more rarely, a tug with two drone pods.
The D6D does fulfill the scout role; however, its two electronic warfare points may be better used in a regular battle force. A better option would be to use a D5H with a single drone pod accompanied by two D5D ships. While the drone bombardment factor is 17% less than with the D6D (10 instead of 12), the total combat potential of the three ships is now 22-23, one better than with the D6D. This makes raids on defended targets more survivable.
While D5Hs are valuable, typically there are more of them than there are D6Ds and the latter's two electronic warfare points can be better used making higher electronic warfare battle forces.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
With the release of scouts in A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, many players are debating whether to include a small or larger scout in their fleet. The answer should be to take two small scouts. For just a few more points, you more than double your flexibility.
With one scout you have only one scout. It is easy for your opponent to position some of his key units where you do not have a line of sight, your scout can get too far from your own units to use scout functions, and if your opponent takes out your scout, that is all she wrote. You have no more scouts.
With two smaller scouts you can maneuver them to opposing flanks. This makes it harder for the enemy to prevent them from gaining line of sight, you can cover your own forces more easily, and if your opponent destroys one of the scouts, you still have another scout.
[Unlike SFB where bigger scouts are better because they have more power, ACTASF considers only a rating based loosely on the F&E rating for electronic warfare. In a very real sense, a scout channel is a scout channel. You don't have to pump up the power to "burn through" enemy jamming; your scout either is there and does what it does or it's not there or it already did other things and cannot do more.]
This double-down technique also works for any and all of the special ships and traits. There are big advantages to having two ships with the Command trait or the Fast trait.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet 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.
To see our previous Demotivationals click here.
Mini of the Month
Starline 2500 Gorn Heavy Battlecruiser.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
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, Unknown One is breaking off and is turning outward."
"Understood. Helm, come to a parallel pursuit course and increase speed as needed. We have to make sure we don't lose them in the cloud.
"Navigation, what is the ETA for Thiefbreaker?"
"Captain, our plot shows three more minutes. Our current detection radius is 240,000 kilometers. If we are in Lyran space, we'll see them then."
"Understood. Auxiliary Control, what is our current data analysis on Unknown One?"
"Captain, we show Unknown One to be our equal in maneuvering and to have about 90% of our power. We do not have any data on their battery capacities. We still haven't gotten a good read on their weapon capabilities though we have plotted what we assume are the weapon ports for the delta masers; they also appear to have three launch tubes for internal drone racks. Vampire Two came out of the middle one. There is also a weapons mount of an unknown kind on the front end of both of their warp engine nacelles. Their shields seem to be taking no damage from the cloud, even when our analysis appears to show they have no spare power to reinforce their shields. Either they are drawing down their batteries or they have shields more resistant to radiation damage than ours. Special Team One has been doing an analysis of their shields that shows some interesting resonant frequency interactions between what we think are the emitters. Their ion trail appears to indicate they are reacting a lot more tritium and less deuterium than our engines prefer."
Minutes passed with Unknown One keeping a steady speed on a curved course always heading out from the vortex. Doomward maintained a stable 160,000 kilometers separation, just outside of the range for efficient weapons fire. As the cloud thinned, the scanners gained a longer detection range and still showed nothing except the fleeing ship.
Alex Lyons asks: Using tactical intelligence, you cannot tell an electronic warfare fighter apart from the other fighters of its squadron until Level K. I was not sure if that level were changed if the electronic warfare fighter were loaning electronic warfare to its squadron?
ANSWER: If it were lending electronic warfare to its squadron, you would be always able to tell which fighter was the electronic warfare fighter (D17.194).
Mike Kenyon asks: A Klingon dreadnought and a Seltorian carrier are in the same hex. One Seltorian fighter is in the same hex. The fighter asks permission (granted) and lands on the Klingon dreadnought. Is the Seltorian fighter required to drop its drones before landing?
1. There are no fixed alliances between the two, although they are known to be in a hand-shake alliance.
2. The only rule we can find at the moment is (J4.34), which defines the conditions under which you do not need to drop drones, but we cannot find the rule that requires their being dropped.
ANSWER: I can see where you might be confused by (J4.34), where it says "Fighters do not have to eject or discharge their weapons before landing on a ship which has fighter facilities for that type of weapon." However, this does not imply that fighters have to drop or discharge weapons when landing in other cases. I believe the intent is just to clarify that you do not have to discharge or drop anything before you get reloaded. There is no rule requiring the Seltorian fighter to drop any of its weapons before landing. Depending on the status of the alliance, the Klingon might insist that he do so as a condition of getting permission to land, but there is no requirement.
A. David Merritt asks: When a fighter equipped with mega-packs is crippled, is its crippled speed half of the base fighter or half of the mega-packed fighter? For example, a Stinger-2's base speed is 15; its crippled speed is 7. A mega-packed Stinger-2's speed is 30, is its crippled speed 7 or 15?
ANSWER: The addition of the mega-pack increases the base speed of the fighter, even though it does not increase the fighter's death-dragging speed. The crippled speed is 1/2 its base speed, so a crippled Stinger-2 with a mega-pack would have a maximum speed of 15.
Follow-up Question: If the crippled speed of a mega-packed Stinger-2 is 15, we are assuming the crippled speed of a mega-packed Stinger-X would be 20; is this correct?
ANSWER: No, the mega-pack only increases its base speed to 30, not 40, per (J16.248); its crippled max speed would be 15.
Matthew Potter asks: Is the Federation FB-111 [Module J2, (R2.F16)] a heavy fighter or a bomber? There is data that could support either argument. What module are the heavy fighter ground bases in?
ANSWER: The errata for Module J2 has the following: "The FB-111 is a two-space fighter that uses the bomber damage system and can only operate from ground bases."
The heavy-fighter ground bases were introduced in Module R8. FB-111s could operate from a medium or small heavy-fighter ground base.
HEAVY QUESTIONS ON VHP PODS
Q: Does the VHP overload Kzinti, Klingon, or Lyran LTTs under (517.41) because it uses the same rule (517.36)? Or is this not a weight issue? Rule (530.225) seems to indicate single weight but this implication of (517.36)-(last sentence) and (517.41) (last sentence) seem to conflict with that concept.
A: No, the VHP is constructed similarly to other pods that do not overload LTTs.
Q: Can the Lyran VHP pod be mixed with other pods?
A: No. The VHP is, based on (517.36), a pod that cannot be mixed with other pods.
Q: Can a Lyran VHP pod (530.23) (which is a single weight pod) perform an R+R mission by being mounted on one tug with a Klingon VHP pod that is not overloaded?
A: Yes, the ability for the Klingons and Lyrans to share pods allows for this, but since the pair are single-weight pods the tug would be overloaded. While VHP pods cannot be mixed with other pods, putting two VHPs on a single tug is allowed, but would be overloaded. Since they are on one tug, it would be a single "R" Fleet Transport mission (509.1-R).
Q: The last line of (517.36) states: "The VHP pods in Advanced Operations use the same rule." Is this statement general to all nationalities of VHP pods from AO or specific only to the Klingon, Kzinti, and the implied Lyran pods? Please note rule (530.225) [which has been re-numerated as (530.23) since CL#36] does not mention carriage restrictions for any empire nor does it reference rule (517.36).
A: This rule is specifically for just Klingon and Kzinti pods. That includes any Klingon pods that the Lyrans use or build.
Q: Rule (530.23) gives the Lyrans a maximum limit of one VHP. The online OOB charts (711.3) PRODUCTION NOTES gives a max limit of two Lyran VHP. The online 2008 SITs show a limit of one. Which is correct?
A: This rule is correct, only one VHP for the Lyrans.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean,
Where are you on Traveller Prime Directive?
A: One of the good things about the Traveller Prime Directive Team is that Matthew Sprange is on it. He brings an outsider's eyes to the Star Fleet Universe. He asked a lot of questions about our alien traits and we needed to answer those concerns. For example, in GURPS if your eyesight is corrected, having bad eyesight isn't really a disadvantage. In TPD, if a species is mute, but has a voice synthesizer, is it really mute? It takes time to track down the in-universe information and fix it. We are working on this.
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 next 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
If you can get a close-in shot at a down shield at one hex range, use a phaser-3 [or phaser-1 or phaser-2 down-fired as a phaser-3] with Directed Targeting of your choice. It costs only half a point of power and not only will you have a 50% chance of hitting the systems of your choice, but you will also hit the first three rows, which are always the meaty ones. If you are short on power towards the end of a turn - or even the game - this can be a really good tactic.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
SFB Tactic of the Month
WEAPONS THAT IGNORE SHIELDS
- Cadet Jacob Karpel, USS North Carolina
The Alpha Octant Spearfish drone, Magellanic Cloud boson drill, and the simulator Qari dilithium penetrator (and a couple of other weapons) have one terrifying thing in common. They can bypass your precious ship's first and best line of defense: its shields. It does not matter to the Uthiki that your cruiser has 24 shield boxes facing him; if he strikes you with a fully loaded boson drill, two of its Damage Points will cause internal damage. Column A on the Damage Allocation Chart is full of important systems and one or two bad rolls can take them out almost before the game gets going.
There are things to keep in mind on both sides of this.
The attacker needs to keep in mind that, although his enemy can sneak damage through and have it be important, half of all column-A Damage Allocation Chart rolls are either hull, cargo, or a control space, all of which can be safely ignored. Although the attacker can hit warp engines as well, this will deal so little real damage that it is basically just an annoyance except against ships that are power-starved to begin with. Thus, the best time to use these penetrating attacks is when more of the Damage Allocation Chart will mean something, specifically against an enemy that has already taken significant internal damage and turned a new shield to guard itself (a process known as "running away" to many). Once they are out of free hits, those two points of internal damage per weapon strike will mean a lot more, and previously "annoying" hits become much more deadly.
Another good way to use penetrating weapons is if you can use them in very large quantities, which largely negates the "small volleys" problem. In addition, you should know what makes your weapon stop ticking and act to prevent those situations from rising (probing for shield reinforcement energy with other weapons, for example).
On the defense, note that nearly every one of these penetrating shots has some way to keep it from striking hull, so plan for it. For example, one point of general reinforcement will stop all boson drill bits from hitting hull on that impulse, instead causing them to join the helix component in hitting the shield. Drones can be shot down and the kinetic cannons still cannot punch all the way through a particularly thick shield (or one that is heavily reinforced). When your opponent brings a weapon of this type to the table, try to be certain you know how it works. It will save you a lot of pain and deny a lot of free Victory Points to your enemy.
To both sides, please note that certain ships will be much more vulnerable to this kind of attack pretty much by definition. These are usually smaller ships, which have the twin problems of possessing fewer "free" hits and much less spare power to use preventing such penetrating strikes. Andromedan units also hate facing penetrating fire due to it denying them power absorber panel power. (However, in some cases the power absorber panels ignore the trait; read up!) Most of all have fun, whether you are sending the shots out or trying your best to stop them.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)
Jamie Chance wrote: This is a game of Star Fleet Marines that was played at Questing Knight Games in England, Two Klingon infantry companies vs. one Federation infantry company and one Federation armoured company...this was Turn 2...Turn 3 was not worth taking a picture of.