January 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the release of the SFB Master Rulebook 2010 on e23, CL#42 Supplemental File on e23, and the schedule for the first half of 2011.
January: Revision 6 of the Fed Commander Rulebooks.
February: SFB Module C3A.
March: Federation Admiral.
April: Star Fleet Marines Assault.
May: Captain's Log #43.
Origins: F&E ISC War, FC Transports Attacked, SFB Module E3 Borak Star League.

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:

Module Y3 and YG3 video release
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

A 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

     Be aggressive! If you let your opponent do the Impulse #8/Impulse #1 launch pattern, you deserve it, and should run away.
     If they launch seeking weapons and follow them, it depends on how closely they follow behind the seeking weapons. Move in at high speed (24); when you are two or three hexes in front of the seeking-weapons swarm, then you decide. If the opponent is following the swarm closely, or close enough, plaster whichever ship or ships you can cripple or kill, and then outrun or outmaneuver the seeking-weapons swarm.
     Moving at Speed 24, you can outmaneuver drones and can kill off plasma torpedoes by doing a High Energy Turn and letting them chase you (with the +1 speed increase per impulse moved). This all requires a lot of energy though, so forget about overloading your heavy weapons.
     Another tactic on a floating map is to run the drones and plasma torpedoes out. It takes three turns to fully arm a plasma torpedo launcher, and there are only four drones in a drone rack. Running out the seeking weapons makes for a longer game, but it can be done.
     On a fixed map you can try high-speed tactics. Try to keep the range open, circle the map, try to get the drones behind you and then swoop in on your opponent for a pass with your heavy weapons; the drones will eventually run out of endurance. With multiple phasers, use phasers that are not facing the enemy ship to pick off the drones - if you have enough power to arm them.
     If you are Klingon facing a Kzinti you can use your drones to target his drones. He has more drones, but the drones that remain after your drones trim the stack are manageable. You will usually have a large edge in disruptors and heavier phasers over the Kzinti; close in and use that firepower to cripple or kill his most drone-laden ships. If he has frigates or destroyers, kill them quickly; they are the most potent drone-per-BPV ships the Kzintis have and they are easy to cripple or kill.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     Often your opponent will be able to tell if you have no packs because you are moving your fighters or bombers at speeds that show you cannot have pods.
     And that is where the deception comes in.
     Mount your pods and warp booster packs. Have the packs on and hold the speed of your fighters to their normal (unpacked) speed.
     Due to the limitations of tactical intelligence your opponent cannot tell you have warp booster packs on your fighters until they get to close range (except that a lucky long-range shot that cripples, or destroys, a fighter sooner than expected could alert him that something is up). So you can fire up the electronic warfare pods, fire the phaser-3 pod, or whatever when they thought you did not bring them along.
     You can also use the combination of warp booster packs and pods to make tons of speed changes. Announce a speed change with the packs on. Then turn off the packs and your speed drops to half (with the influence of the pods). Then drop pods for another speed change.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month
The Hunter Becomes the HUnted

     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.
(F&E Strategy of the Month continues here)

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!

Lyran Tiger Stripe Cruiser by Mark Notestine

Lyran Cruiser

New Releases

Communique #61 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

CL#42 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #42, SKU 5742, $19.95
Alien Armada, SKU 6103, $16.95

Captains Log 42 iogfbAlien Armada

SFB Master Rulebook 2010
CL#42 Supplemental File
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

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

It seems that winter has hit with a vengeance. But we have ways to keep you warm (no, not by heating rocks with your phaser!) Hot chocolate and tea never tasted better than when served in one of these mugs. We have to agree that Xander's art is HOT!

Warm the cockles of the heart of your special someone with a teddy bear. It's guaranteed to make a Vulcan smile (on the inside, of course). This 11-inch bear will keep young Federation beings safe from things that go bump in the night.
teddy bear

Keep your favorite young SFU fan warm with a hoodie. Check out the colorful Federation Heavy Cruiser.

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 below 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 eight of Ten

      ESS Sergeant Jumo Kovak had known something was going to happen. It was just a feeling, one that the officer and the rest of the security department did not share, and even ridiculed her for. The Walkurians had the Klegarites completely subdued (or so they thought), even dominated, and would expect grumbling and incompetence, but not trouble. Kovak knew better.
      She had, sometimes without permission of the ESS officers, taken measures to prepare for any eventuality. When the Walkurians announced plans for their celebration or festival or whatever it was, Kovak knew that was when the crew would strike, and Kovak had planned to be ready. While the Walkurian sergeant had arranged to be off shift, Kovak had deliberately eaten some gorrippe fruit, to which she was allergic, to make herself sick. That made the Walkurian miss the festival to cover the shift, but left Kovak free (after taking the antidote she always had with her) to roam the ship and try to find out what was going on. With at least one Walkurian outside of the shuttle bay, Kovak was confident that security would be able to respond to any mutiny.
      When Commander Wallek had come on board, he had the ESS rig blocks in the subspace communication system so that no transmission could leave the ship without permission. Kovak had done the job herself, and while she was installing and maintaining the permissive link nodes, she had added some other equipment of her own. Kovak had been near the communications locker when the explosion shook the ship, and quickly locked herself inside. Using her pass key, she tapped into the internal communications net, saw what was going on in the security station, saw the wreckage of the shuttle bay, and heard that traitor Kaustin issuing orders to drop a log buoy with a fake report and head the ship for the WYN Cluster. Kovak would not allow this. For one thing, once inside the WYN Cluster her life would be short and painful.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

Changing the Juggernaut, as we did, from a single monster scenario to a fleet of robot ships of various sizes, has triggered a string of questions about how these things operate.

     Jon Berry asks: Rule (SL246.4632) says that Juggerauts can determine the direction of the shield after "direct fire is announced". Is this after the Call for Fire Step (6D1) or after direct-fire has been allocated and announced?
     ANSWER: After direct fire is announced. The word "announced" is part of the "Fire Declaration Step" of the Sequence of Play, not part of the "Fire Decision Step".

     William T. Wilson asks: It seems there are two ways to interpret the interaction between the rotating shield and enveloping weapons. One is that the rotating shield intercepts the weapon before it can envelop the Juggernaut, and the other is that the weapon envelops the Juggernaut first, and the shield stops whatever damage would have hit it in the arc where it is facing. We are curious as to which of the following is correct:
(Ask Growler continues here)


    Who were the Vergarians?

    The history says the Vergarians were a lobster-like species in the service of the Klingons and Old Kings. When the Old Kings left and the Klingons took over, the Vergarians felt that all of the species should be equal, and that the Klingons should not have put themselves in charge. They revolted in Y12, and were crushed by the Klingons. Their planet was bombed into the stone age. Decades later, in Y74, Vergarians were allowed to leave their planet to colonize certain worlds that were more suitable to their crustacean bodies. They were also allowed to form special infantry assault regiments for use in wars with the Kzintis. They later gained a high enough level of trust to serve as laborer-crewmen on civilian cargo ships. Vergarians were always supervised by Klingons (and other species) of the ESS, and were not really trusted until Y178, when the Klingons allowed Vergarians to attain officer rank in infantry units and to hold technical positions on civilian starships and naval gunboats. They did not fully regain status as a Subject Race (allowed to serve on starships, as fighter pilots,  and hold naval officer ranks) until Y197.

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


    Q: F&E2K lists plain SparrowHawks as standard escorts in some carrier groups. Do I pay the 1 EP to convert them into escorts? Are they marked or treated some special way?
     A: It depends. In the "basic game" they are simply escorts while with the carrier at no cost. If you are using Fighter Operations and Flexible Carrier Groups (515.0), then they are ad hoc escorts and will have to do until the SparrowHawk-M becomes available in Y175. Since F&E 2010 was published, the whole issue will be moot.
     Q: The Lyran CV is noted as a heavy carrier in the SIT; if the Hydrans capture a Lyran CV does it count as heavy carrier or is this true only for the Lyran player?
     A: I  had to go to G.O.D on this one. It's a doctrine thing. The Lyrans only had two of those and they wanted to protect them really well, so they assigned them the escorts of a heavy carrier. Somebody else who captures a Lyran CV would not be under that restriction. If the Lyrans sold a Lyran CV to the Klingons, the Klingons would be under that restriction because the sales contract would require this (and we cannot allow that kind of cheesy bending of the rules). To be consistent, this would apply to the special empire restrictions of any such ship, i.e., an ally who buys (or re-captures) a Lyran CV must obey the restrictions, but an enemy who captures a Lyran CV puts it under their own restrictions. If the Lyrans captured and used a Kzinti CVS, they would treat it as a heavy carrier for purposes of its escort group.
     Q: Is there a list of which escorts (heavy, medium, light) can be used by which carriers (heavy, medium, light, escort, aux, etc.)?
     A: Yes and no, depending on what you are asking. Rule (512.2) provides how many of each category of escort are required and allowed for each kind of carrier. However, specific hull types (e.g., an FFE vs a DWE) within a category are not restricted.
(End of F&E Q&A)


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 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)
Alert 100719 Fall Schedule(Adobe Reader Required)


The Kzinti Carrier Group Pack includes the carrier, two escorts, and a full fighter squadron.