Star Fleet Universe News
BIG NEWS: CAPTAIN'S LOG #52
In a few short weeks, we will release Captain's Log #52, which has lots of interesting stuff for players of Federation Commander.
We will include the rules for Marine combat on planets, allowing you to capture facilties on the surface and (in effect) the entire planet. These rules come with one new shuttlecraft, four new ships (each packed with Marines), three new scenarios, battle groups solving a serious tactical puzzle, and two ground vehicles (a tank and an armored car) to give your Marines some heavy armored combat power.
Also included are the usual features and something for the players of all of our games.
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 going to focus on a page. We are in the process of changing the Battle Groups Gather page to be more useful to new and returning players hunting for a battle group to join. Soon the groups will be listed by state rather than name. We'll let you know when that is finished. Keep an eye here and let us know what you think of the change: 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
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
Rated Ace Tournament 47 is just starting up. Bill Schoeller has volunteered to be the judge. You can sign up here: http://www.sfbonline.com/tourn_signup.jsp
The sixth annual Star Fleet Battles Platinum Hat tournament is now underway. Seven of the second-round games have been played; three third-round games have been played, and one fourth round game has been played. 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 he will be in Everett, WA, for Orcacon Jan. 13-15,2017, and present an all miniature SFB Tournament during the three days.
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.
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
When setting up the Lyran fleet, the Home Fleet is generally deployed at the starbase in hex 0608 except for seven ships. Six of these are deployed at the BATS in hex 0707. The seventh ship is deployed to the Capital in hex 0408. The deployments of these seven ships are the most important decisions the Lyran player will make during his initial setup.
Unfortunately, almost every Lyran player simply dumps the five largest ships and the best scout available (a scout if using basic Federation & Empire, a TG-P with scout pallet if using advanced electronic warfare) in hex 0707, then deploys a CL in hex 0408. This fails to take into account the possible missions assigned to the six ships in hex 0707 and shows no overall pre-planning in simply dropping a CL at home for conversion to a BC. Other options for deployment should be considered depending on your initial targets for Turns #1 and #2 as well as your long-term strategy.
The first or basic option is to deploy a DN, CC, 3xCA, and a scout in hex 0707, if your objective is to hit the Kzinti starbase in hex 0902. This is not a bad option, although a DN, CA, 3xCW, and a scout are probably a better option as the CWs are cheaper to repair than CAs and CCs. Combined with the bulk of the Red Claw Fleet, you have a reasonable chance to take hex 0902, unless the Kzintis deploy the entire Count's Fleet there. You will also have ships that are more expendable, if required, than placing every CA and CC in both the Red Claw and Home Fleets into a single attack.
Option two is to deploy three DWs to hex 0707 as part of your six ships. These ships are important parts of battle groups (315.0) and provide almost as much of a boost over three DDs as two CA hulls over two CL hulls. Round this group out with a DN or CC/CA, a CW, and a scout. Combined with a couple of CW and CA hulls from Red Claw Fleet, this becomes a potent force for attacking locations out of range of hex 0608, like the BATS hexes 0701 or 1004.
Option three is to simply deploy a Battle Group of three CWs and three DWs in hex 0707 and use it to reinforce a CC-led force from the Red Claw Fleet which is used to attack hexes 0701, 0902, or 1004. The remaining ships of the Home Fleet can easily reach hexes 0703 and 0803 without being forward deployed and, with the DN and CA hulls there to lead those forces, can easily overwhelm anything except a full reserve at both locations.
Another thing to consider is what your targets are for Turn #1 and what do you need to attack them. Putting your five largest ships and a scout in hex 0707 implies that you need those six ships to reach targets that ships in hex 0608 cannot reach. Do you really want to have all of your CA and CC hulls forward deployed so they can rush off five or six hexes into Kzinti space? That is telegraphing your intent to the Kzintis, which is fine if your objective is to have them over Kzintai on Turn #2 and do not care if he realizes that.
However, what ships are you going to leave behind to command the rest of the Home Fleet, which can only make it to the BATS in hex 0703 and the BATS in hex 0803? You certainly want to leave a CA or better flagship to lead the forces that will attack both those locations. You will also want to have a scout at each of those locations, so putting a scout in hex 0707 may not be the best plan unless you are using a scout pallet with your TG-P to get a little extra electronic warfare. Remember to plan your attack on those locations as you plan what ships to deploy to hex 0707. Do you want a CL with a command rating of six or a CA with a command rating of nine leading the BATS-busting missions?
Finally what about the seventh ship from the Home Fleet that will not deploy to hex 0608? Most players just pick a CL and deploy it to hex 0408, the capital, for conversion to a BC. While converting a CL into a superior BC is never a bad option, it is not always the best option, and does not require any ship to be left behind in hex 0408. You can substitute a CL for a CW once per turn if your only plan is to convert it to a BC. Consider placing a CA in hex 0408 for conversion to a DN, or DNL. While there is little advantage in converting a CA to a DN over a CL to a BC on Turn #1, converting a CA to a DNL will still allow this ship to reach hexes 0703 or 0803 to serve as a flagship in one of those hexes if you do decide that you need your other five large hulls forward deployed to hex 0707. Your JGP with a command module can lead the other BATS-busting force if required as well.
These options, combined with your deployment of the Red Claw Fleet, open far more possibilities than simply picking the five biggest ships, a scout, and a CL to deploy in hexes 0707 and 0408. Plan your attack, then pick the seven best ships for your attack plan, and you will find your initial attack has just a little more punch to it.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
RULES THAT KILL
Firing Arcs: ACTASF is a hexless miniatures game. This means that there is no need to conform to the 60° arcs found in SFB/FC. ACTASF instead uses a total of nine firing arcs. Four of them are 90° (Port, Forward, Starboard, Aft) abbreviated as P, F, S, A and four of them are 180° (Port Half, Forward Half, Starboard Half, and Aft Half) abbreviated as PH, FH, SH, and AH. The ninth arc is 360° Turret mounts. While these arcs lend themselves very well to the hexless nature of the game, they do cause some issues with some SFU ships. We have made every effort to accurately portray the arcs, but there are some unexpected results from the conversion. Look at your ship before the game and make sure you understand the actual arcs. Nothing is as embarrassing as lining up a perfect kill shot only to realize that with the revised firing arcs you can't fire a full alpha strike.
You Go/I Go: In both SFB and FC, weapons fire is considered to be simultaneous. Even if you close to point-blank range, you can still fire when your opponent does. In ACTASF, everything is done in a you go/I go manner. Players alternate firing their ships, and each fire declaration is resolved before the next ship gets to declare fire. This means you should always be aware of what ships have and have not fired as you can lose a critical ship to massed weapon fire before it gets a chance to fire if you wait too long to select it as the active ship.
Terrain: ACTASF scenarios utilize terrain quite differently from previous SFU games. In ACTA, terrain is randomly generated for each map prior to the start of most scenarios. Terrain effects can have a huge impact on the battle. You should be certain you understand the rules of any terrain type in play before selecting your fleets. Some terrain types are advantageous to some units and disastrous to others.
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
Imperial Senate Chamber, Capitalus Romulus, 4 July, Y154
Brellus Urbanus Antreidies was the longest-serving senator in the chamber, selected by his House some 75 years earlier, during the reign of Emperor Ramillius. One does not navigate the dangers of Romulan politics for so long without great skill. Indeed, while Brellus was not especially prideful about most things, he took satisfaction in his political acumen and his ability to judge people and situations.
He was not the most ruthless man in the upper echelons of the House Antreidies leadership, but he was the best diplomat, the best negotiator, and the best overall politician. His position was secure, for as long as he lived or until he chose to retire. Of course, there was always the outside chance of assassination, an occasional side effect of the Great Game between the houses, but he seldom worried about that now. He had lived a good life, and preferred a quick, unexpected death to the undignified fading of old age.
His wife often teased him about "invisible antennae" sticking out of his head, able to sense opportunity as well as danger. Oddly enough, today his temples itched. This was probably a simple allergic reaction to a new shampoo his daughter had recommended, but part of him wondered if his "antennae" were trying to tell him something, for Brellus Urbanus Antreidies sensed danger today, danger to the Romulan Empire itself.
He kept this thought private, for the danger came from the man stepping up to the podium: Praetor Crellus Antonius. Other than Emperor Tarus himself, no one in the Empire had more power than the Praetor. Antonius had been appointed by Tarus almost five years ago. At the time, Brellus felt the appointment was wise: the Empire had been politically and economically adrift for decades, thanks to a series of weak praetors and the utterly corrupt (and thankfully dead) Emperor Septimus. After coming to the throne, Tarus embarked on a course of reform, appointing the dynamic and intelligent Antonius to push his new policies through the Senate. Indeed, House Antreidies was a close ally of the new Praetor, in the beginning, but political winds changed quickly, and most of the reform legislation stalled.
Praetor Antonius was now frustrated, and dangerously so. He was a magnetic man and had a strong following in military and industrial circles, almost a cult of personality, but he still found it difficult to force cooperation between the largest houses, particularly Aurellius and Notrub'illah, which were at each other's throats again. There was also an undercurrent of unrest among the general population since living standards were stagnant, even declining, on some planets. As a result the Praetor was falling back into the bad habits of many predecessors, seeking to boost his political capital by focusing the people on external enemies. He hoped a quick military victory would give him enough power to push reforms through the Senate. It could work, in theory, but the same gambit had failed many times in Romulan history.
Andrew Granger asks: An Andromedan is displacing a satellite ship. The satellite ship gets a chance to fire before the displacement takes effect, and can be fired at. Can it also use transporters before the displacement happens?
ANSWER: Transporters are used during the Marine Activity Phase (6B7), which is before the Fire Allocation Phase (6D1), where displacement is announced. So, the satellite ship could have used transporters during that impulse, before displacement was announced, but it could not use transporters after a displacement announcement.
Andrew Granger asks: When a Cobra, with four forward power absorber panels, is hit by 15 damage points, it will suffer three points of degradation and put 12 energy points in its four forward power absorber panels. At the end of the turn it transfers one point of energy to its batteries and dissipates four points of energy, leaving three points of degradation and seven points of energy in its forward power absorber panels. The question is, if another volley of 20 points of damage strikes the next turn, what would be the condition of the panels? Going by the example in the rules and the rules themselves, I said it should be a total of seven points of degradation (3+4), with 24 points in the forward power absorber panels. As this would require the power absorber panels to go to reinforced levels, and is more than two points of damage per power absorber panel (2x4=8), there would be one point of leak damage for a final total of seven points of degradation, 23 points of power in four power absorber panels (which now have a capacity of 33 points of power) and one hull hit. Correct?
ANSWER: You almost got it right. The 20 points of damage would get applied as four points of degradation, one point of leak, and the remaining 15 points as energy in the panels, i.e., the power absorber panels have a capacity of 33 (40-3-4) points of energy, and are holding 22 (15+7) points of energy.
Follow-up question: In the example above, suppose the Andromedan takes an additional 16 points of damage. This results in three points of degradation, reducing capacity to 30; there is no leak because the remaining 14 points of damage are more than the eight points of capacity remaining. Another volley is done which does 10 points of damage. This would be another two points of degradation, reducing capacity to 28, with 30 points of energy already in the power absorber panels. So the two extra points would have to be picked up by the rear power absorber panels or be scored as damage along with the other eight damage points in the volley.
Is that right?
ANSWER: You are correct, the first volley of 16 points of damage results in three points of degradation and six points of internal damage. Let's assume that none of those six points of internal damage destroys a power absorber panel. The next volley of 10 points of damage will cause two points of degradation, and eight points of internal damage.
Since the power absorber panels are full, they will release two points of energy per power absorber panel (D10.324), which could be picked up by the rear power absorber panels, or the batteries if those are full. (If the rear power absorber panels and batteries were full, the Cobra would take those two points as internal damage, in a separate volley.)
Steven Ehrbar asks: If a heel nipper hits an Andromedan mobile weapons platform, which rule takes precedence: (YE24.31) saying damage is scored on the targeted warp engine, or (G35.621) saying the owning player can distribute internal damage to any boxes of his choosing?
ANSWER: The damage is scored on the targeted warp engine. This is a case of a specific rule overriding a general rule.
Nick Samaras asks: Rule (G20.31) states that power cannot be transferred to an Andromedan energy module within 16 impulses of recovery. Does direct transfer (G19.47) of an energy module from one mothership to another by transporter count as a "recovery" for this purpose?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Rule (G19.471) includes the text, "All other conditions for satellite ship launch and recovery (e.g., fire control, five-hex maximum range, etc.), and the use of transporters, must be met." So a direct transfer still counts as a recovery. Technically, as a launch and a recovery is in violation of the normal restriction for there to be an eight-impulse delay between launch and recovery, or recovery and re-launch (G19.443), but this is a case of specific (direct transfer) overriding general.
Stephen McCann asks: A player wanted to reduce his rear power absorber panels to standard level, keeping his forward power absorber panels at reinforced level. I said he could not do that due to rule (D10.22). He disagreed and it became kind of a heated argument. What is the correct ruling on this?
ANSWER: First and foremost, this is a game, so please do not get into heated arguments. Second, rule (D10.22) is clear: all power absorber panels on the ship must be operated at the same level. Now, you can drop or raise individual banks (whole banks, not individual power absorber panels), per (D10.25), but the operating level (off/standard/reinforced) applies to the whole ship.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
SHIPS OF FOOLS
Q: The OOB for the Romulans says that the Romulans are able to convert only one KRS. Does this include additional D6Ss that the Klingons might sell to the Romulans where the conversion would not be from the KR to the KRS, but instead from Klingon to Romulan tech?
A: Rule (317.4) specifically limits the Romulans to no more than one KRS in service at any given time, and for now, that's where it stands. One might assume that in a non-historical war between the Romulans and Klingons a captured ship could be converted, but given the hard rule (317.4) a captured D6S would have to be converted to a standard KR.
Q: Are empires other than the Klingons and Romulans permitted to sell, give, or exchange ships to their allies and then convert them for three EPs (the cost of captured ship conversions and Klingon/Romulan conversions)? For example, could the Lyrans sell DWEs to the Klingons, and the Klingons then convert them for three EPs each, to get a better small escort?
A: Other than provisions for Kestrel transfers, sale of ships to the WYN, and specified transfers of units to empires, there is no provision in F&E that permits any other units or equipment to be transferred to another empire. In theory, a house rule at your table, or a special scenario rule, might allow that. I did check with G.O.D. but he was unwilling to add such a "sell a ship" system, saying that the logistics of spare parts would be impossible.
Q: Is it permissible when scuttling a carrier to transfer the fighters to another carrier as part of a new carrier build or a carrier conversion? For example, could one scuttle an FV and use its four fighter factors as part of the fighter factors necessary to convert a D6V to a D6U?
A: There is no provision allowing this to happen. Once fighters are on a carrier, there they stay or they go away once the carrier is salvaged. This was built into the "fighter annuity" system and to allow such things would unbalance the system.
Q: According to rule (506.5) the Gorns can roll for activation of ships from the off-map area. Can they decide not to activate an off-map ship on a given turn (delaying the activation until later when they can presumably afford it better) or is the activation die roll mandatory?
A: There is no requirement that the activation charge be paid immediately but the Gorn player must pay the activation charge before the ship is allowed to be used on map. This activation charge could be paid on a later turn but since it is a refit it can only be paid for during the Gorn's production phase. Delaying the activation charge of released off-map Gorn ships does not prevent future activation die rolls for other ships on following turns.
Q: Under rule (303.5) do CWLs only exist in combat, or if you have three or more CWs in a given hex, can you assume one is a CWL for the purposes of its increased command rating even when it is not in combat, perhaps to establish a reserve fleet?
A: This rule (303.5) specifically states that it is used when forming a battle force so you cannot assume a CWL is present for a reserve designation.
Q: Can the Lyrans build a new survey cruiser (NSR) and fit it with two Klingon-type scout pods? Does it generate six EW points? (The NSR has two EW points and each pod generates two, which in my accounting says six EP total.)
A: This is a SIT reference and the SITs are part of the rules. The SIT limits it to a maximum of four EW points.
Q: Are the Lyrans permitted to build the SCS even though they are never permitted to build a CVA?
A: Yes they are. The can build one per year (502.72) and doing so takes up a CV build slot.
Q: Is there a generic Free Trader in F&E?
A: Not specifically, but there is the Prime Trader (PTR) which is effectively the same thing. Any time you want to know if a ship exists check the online SITs which list all of the ships.
Q: Is there any provision in F&E for the use of remote-controlled fighters as detailed in SFB Module J2?
A: There is no such provision in the rules; this level of detail is abstracted within F&E.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, How goes the work on the missing species and empires for Prime Directive PD20M Modern?
A: The easy ones are done. Those are the species that were included in the Federation and Klingon sourcebooks. For the others I have to reconcile the information from the original Prime Directive books and the GURPS Prime Directive book. If I find contradictory information, sometimes I have to go back to those Air Force tapes and dig out more on the species. It is exciting and fun, but it takes time.
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 MonthPOINT-BLANK MISS
If you are moving with a base speed of twenty-four and your opponent launches a drone at you at pointblank range (in the same hex), immediately buy an acceleration point and the drone will not hit you.
This works because rule (4F2c) says that a weapon launched in the same hex will not impact until the next movement phase. It gets better. Rule (2A5) allows the target ship to move first and you can use that movement to exit the drone's hex before it can move (and before it can impact).
As an added bonus, if your ship moves into a hex the drone is not facing, you will force it to turn around the slow way, as rule (4F3e) prevents the drone from using a High Energy Turn unless it will hit (which it will not, because you moved).
The corollary of this is to not launch drones when in the same hex as your target when the target is moving with a base speed of twenty-four.
Many players discount or forget the option to narrow salvo.
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.
One B9, coming at YOU! What do you do?
Facebook Highlight of the Month