Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: BACK TO WORK
The big news this issue is that Steve Cole is recovered from his surgery and back at his desk, hard at work on F&E Fighter Operations, ACTASF-Deluxe, and the art for the Romulan Master Star Ship Book. He has also cleared our first Kindle book (For the Glory of the Empire) for upload. The next version of Fighter Operations should be uploaded this week. Steve has resumed his daily exercise walks with Wolf (see photo) and is slowly working back up to his goal of a mile a day. Meanwhile, Jean Sexton is out of the hospital and able to work an hour a day on proofreading, marketing, and social media. We can't promise any specific release dates, but products ARE moving again.
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:
Facebook Fan Pages
So join us on Facebook and get a fix of your favorite game there, too!
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
The 2015 Platinum Hat is in progress and the games are running, some of which have already concluded.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
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 Game Paradise. 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
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
Early in the game, the Coalition will often try to create "trap lines", to force the Alliance to retreat into hexes that create new battle hexes, not in the Alliance favor (as shown in the Tactic note ". . . And Settle Their Hash"). As the Coalition has a significant ship advantage early on, it is very difficult to actually stop further combat hexes being created during the Combat Phase.
However, as with anything, the higher the rewards, the higher the risks.
It is possible to hurt the Coalition far more than they know, by correctly placing the reserves, which magnify your ability to gain advantages in combat involving small numbers of forces.
One good example is a line of Klingon D7s and Lyran BCs behind your front line, just waiting for your picket forces to retreat into them. Being so heavily outnumbered, the chance of the picket ship surviving is minimal.
So how do you turn the tables?
Well, with flexible carrier groups, you can more easily break off high Combat Potential (ComPot) single ships to pin your enemies (and the reserve rules require you to use minimal ship numbers, not ship equivalents).
So in the above example with flexibly created reserve fleets, you could leave a DNL behind to fight the D7, and a TGC with battle/carrier pod combo to fight the BC.
The DNL versus D7 single ship combat fight would be on +2 versus -4, in the DNL's favor!
The TGC versus BC fight, although not as large difference (as fighters do not count in the defensive ComPot comparison), it still is +2 versus -2, again in the tug's favor. In addition, the tug can elect to kill its fighters and retreat to resolve two casualties, thereby only risking the crippling of the tug on a roll of twelve.
In both examples, the Coalition ship would be destroyed on a roll of only eight or higher!
A Hydran battle tug is even more dangerous, with modifiers of +4 versus -3, and has enough fighters to resolve a casualty point without retreating!
So, as with anything, there are risks, but by escorting carriers to protect them against espionage and sabotage missions or drone raids, and then breaking the group during the Movement Phase maximizes the reward, while minimizing the risk.
One thing not mentioned so far, however, is that often, the best ship to pin your enemy, is the flagship which cannot be left to pin a force. Therefore, each reserve force should have two eligible flagships, for example a DN and a DNL, so that either could be left, or a CV along with the TGC+BV (or even a CC).
This will maximize your reserves' capabilities, and ensure that if your enemy allows you a free hand with your reserves, you can make them pay for trying to kill your smaller picket ships!
Even if you are risking the loss of say a SB (but making the enemy pay), killing a key hull and saving a minor planet or BATS (and causing more damage there) might well be worth the loss of a starbase. Plus you might even cause your enemy to be cut off from supply.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
KEEPING A DRONE ON OVERWATCH
When playing a multi-ship engagement, do not lose track of the damage and which weapons enemy ships have fired. If a unit becomes crippled, there is a chance that it may have lost the ability to fire some or all of its weapons due to critical hits to its weapons systems. Another aspect of being crippled is there is a coin flip chance that a unit will lose any special traits that it could use for defensive fire such as anti-drone or tractor beam.
At a time like this, a seeking weapon (be it a drone or a plasma torpedo) will automatically hit a crippled unit making it a sitting duck. This may make it more than worth your while to chunk a seeking weapon or two at him. Even if you do not manage to out right kill him on impact, you still have a fair chance of causing more critical hits, which can push its escalation level higher resulting in its destruction in the end phase.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2016
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
A new Starmada book for both editions.
F&E Fighter Operations update 2015, SKU 3203
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.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Sensor Room, Xanadu
"Did they do it?"
Miriam's hushed question sat in the room unanswered. Tombaugh, trying to force a clearer picture through the scanner fogged with dust and debris readings, couldn't be sure. "At least both sides seem to have stopped firing for the moment. Whether Norris is out of weapons or Igneous is about to blow up, I just can't tell."
"Sir, I'm not sure either, but I thought I caught a flash of another signal out there before the screen flared with that last exchange of fire," murmured DeBey.
"Try and lock it down, Miriam," Clyde replied.
Matthew Potter asks: Under (FP1.9), someone can hold a small torpedo and then inflate it with a couple points of reserve power just before launch (subject to limits by what the launcher can hold). However, (FP1.96) is particularly silent on how much reserve power is needed to accomplish this. It states "However, during a later part of Turn #6, the owning player could add reserve power and increase the torpedo to a plasma-S."
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: You are only providing the missing energy and cannot provide more energy than the tube can hold. Thus a plasma-G in a plasma-S tube can be increased to a plasma-S by providing the missing energy between a plasma-G (2-2-3) and a plasma-S (2-2-4), i.e., one point of reserve power. You could not increase the plasma-G in a plasma-S tube to a plasma-R (2-2-5) by providing two points of reserve energy because the plasma-S tube cannot handle that much energy, but if the tube was a plasma-R tube you could upgrade the plasma-G as a plasma-R for two points of reserve power (or a plasma-S to a plasma-R for one point of reserve power).
Peter D. Bakija asks: A ship and a fighter both move on a given impulse. There is a plasma torpedo that is unidentified, but clearly targeted on either the ship or the fighter. On Impulse #N, the ship moves into the plasma torpedo's hex before the fighter moves. Does the plasma reveal if it is targeted on the ship before or after the fighter moves?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: No, the plasma being a seeking weapon moves after all non-seeking weapons in the Order of Precedence (C1.313) and would not strike either the ship or the fighter until it is called on to move. Obviously if it were targeted on the ship, it (more properly the controlling player) would simply announce that it has impacted the ship when it was called on to move.
RUNNING THE BLOCKADE
Q: Can a blockade runner that decides to end its turn in the hex it targeted be intercepted as any normal raid on a particular hex (nearby ships reacting on it, including free police ships)?
A: Any ship on a blockade run can be intercepted only one time along the path it traveled, but it could be any of those hexes. This includes the hex it targeted. See (320.54) for details.
Q: Will a blockade runner that is on a one-way blockade run then block supply and other paths for the rest of the turn at the target hex? It seems strange to think that a blockade runner can block supply for a whole enemy fleet, leaving it vulnerable to a whole lot of hammering.
A: Since the target hex must be a friendly or neutral hex per (320.511) and normal rules that allow for blocking of supply and other paths are met, then, yes. Don't leave open enemy space behind you.
Q: What determines "friendly hex" when it comes to a blockade runner targets? Surely the same empire, but what if it is conquered territory?
A: See (102.0) Basic Terms: FRIENDLY: This refers to a unit or hex which is owned by forces of the same empire or an allied empire.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean,
How are you doing? When will you get back to work?
A: I'm doing a lot better and it's good to be home instead of trapped in a hospital. I'm still "leashed" to an oxygen machine (which confuses Wolf) but my breathing is getting better every day, and I have more stamina and a more positive attitude. I don't know when I will get back to the office, but weather permitting I may manage a "visit" on Saturday to train Simone to take over uploading PDFs and posting some of the marketing announcements. I know that Steve Cole really wants that book uploaded to Kindle, but if somebody doesn't publicize it, nobody is going to notice.
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 MonthRELOAD ON THE RUN
In Federation Commander you can reload the drone racks of a ship by "repairing" them (4G8). Doing so requires that the drone rack not have launched any munitions during the current turn (5G5a). Rule (5G5b) allows you to do partial reloads of multiple drone racks in a turn as long as any given drone rack you start reloading is fully reloaded before you begin reloading another drone rack. What all of this means is that at the end of any given turn you should remember whether or not a given drone rack was used in that turn. If it was not (and nothing else is desperately crying for repairs), go ahead and reload it rather than let your repair points for that turn go to waste.
Consider a Kzinti frigate. Some tactics require the frigate to launch four drones on Turn #X, follow them towards the target, and then during Turn #X+1 launch two more drones for a total of six, the frigate's maximum control rating, and follow all six toward the target. At the end of Turn #X+1 the frigate could use damage control to load one drone into each of the two racks that did not launch a drone with one repair point each.
The fact that you have these two extra drones in those racks might come in handy late in the battle when you do not have time to both repair a rack and reload it. The two currently undamaged racks (mark any damage on the two racks with fewer drones) will each still have a drone available to launch.
This obviously has more utility for the Kzintis with their multiple drone racks. However even Federation ships should pay attention to whether or not they used a drone rack on a current turn. If repair points are going begging then take the time to reload a rack with a couple of anti-drones or a drone (or two).
You cannot save up repair points; if you cannot use them you lose them. So before you just go to the next turn, take a look at your ship's drone racks, and if you did not use them, and have a few repair points, then reload a few rack spaces now. Having those drones and launching them late in the game may, at the least, draw enemy fire that might have scored more internal damage on your ship (saving more repair points) and let you perhaps score the decisive damage on your opponent.
Under (J1.531), ships with a balcony-and-track system (which includes all Gorn ships, along with a few others) take "rear hull" damage points on shuttles that are in balcony positions. As a result, the shuttles in these positions can act as "extra rear hull" on your ship. Generally this is not the best use of your shuttles. However, there are certain cases when shuttles cannot be used for any purpose (combat in nebulae or within the first five turns of transiting the WYN Radiation Zone, for example). In such cases, you may as well roll all the shuttles you can out onto your balcony positions for a (sometimes significant) increase in the number of "rear hull" damage points your ship can take!
(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.
Facebook Highlight of the Month
Star Fleet Battle Force being played! Friday night Game Night!
Mini of the Month
Starline 2500 Romulan FireHawk. Painting and photo by Eric Drumm.