Star Fleet Universe News
In other news, we are excited to welcome Simone Pike to our crew at the ADB, Inc., offices. Simone is a graphic-design student at West Texas A&M University and will be with us for her senior year. She brings new skills and energy to the company and is already talking about things on the website that need to be updated or improved.
The other other big news is that on the night of July 9, 2013, the Discus software that powers the BBS (bulletin board system), deleted the entire user database. (This glitch is known to the Discus community and there's apparently nothing that can be done to predict or prevent when it will happen.) Compounding the problem, at some point in the intern transition years ago, the backup schedule for the BBS wasn't included. How can you help? Well, we have these 1500+ records to key in ... not. Instead, you can re-register under your old user name and the system will relink you with your old profile. We're sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.
WEBSITE: Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Pike, 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 for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.
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 now provides custom decals for all currently produced Starline 2500 miniatures, as well as special sets encompassing the contents of the Federation Fleet Box, the Federation Squadron Box 1, and Squadron Box 7 - Federation Reinforcements. Decals for each of these ships are available as individual sheets and we now have a sheet of "windows" which can be used to detail any ship with additional window blocks, sensors, hatches, and even phaser scars.
Rated Ace Tournament 41 has started. Only two second round games remain to be played. Andrew Koch is the judge.
Rated Ace Tournament 40 is has started. Only two second round games remain to be played. Andrew Koch is the judge.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Please send information to Jean via the email in her BBS profile, PM on the Mongoose or Federation Commander forums, or Message on Facebook. If you want convention support, please contact Mike Sparks at support@StarFleetGames.com. Your convention must meet a few simple requirements (one of which is being held in the United States due to shipping costs) which are here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/sfb/tournament/tourn_main.shtml
On July 18-20, Brian Grigg will be holding demos of SFB in the evenings at Comic-Con in San Diego, California.
On July 28, from 1-5 pm, James Everett will hold demos of Federation Commander at Command Zone Games at Macon, Georgia.
An ACTASF demo will be held on August 11 from 1:30-5:30 pm at Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Bill Stec will be the Ranger in charge of this and each player will have a cruiser to Fight to the Death with asteroid fields to complicate things.
Games and demos are being run in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. OKC WarS has games of ACTASF run by James Kerr. You can find them at Hampton Inn Midwest City, 1833 Center Dr., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73110-2810 http://www.okcwars.com/forum or contact them through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Games and demos are being run in Spokane, Washington. They meet every Thursday (may move to Friday) at 2:00 pm and play till 9:00 pm, games open to start every time. You can find them 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
Games and demos are being run in Jacksonville, Florida. They start at 6:00pm and play till 11:00 pm, There will always be ACTASF games open to play or you can learn ACTASF every Friday. Contact Ray at Suncoast Comics, 5509 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32244 904.771.2776 email@example.com
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
In many cases Coalition players will send their diplomats to each other and to the LDR in order to gain extra economic points. Some players reason that the guaranteed money is better than the more chancy risk of attempting to turn neutral planets to their side. However, there are some hidden benefits to sending your diplomats to minor planets in the neutral zones, even to Zursk (hex 1506) on Turn #1. In fact, consider purchasing an extra diplomat for the Klingons on Turn #1 so that they can send diplomats to all three of the neutral planets on their borders with the Kzintis and the Federation. The Romulans should send their three diplomats to the neutral planets on their borders. The Lyrans should send one diplomat to the LDR and the other two to the Klingons and Romulans to generate extra income, as the Lyrans have no neutral planets on their borders.
The Alliance now faces a choice: oppose the Coalition diplomats with their own diplomats, or use their diplomats to generate extra income by sending them to each other. [The Hydrans will still be sending their diplomats to the Lyran Democratic Republic (to keep it neutral) and (before Turn #4 anyway) to the Gorns or Federation as they have no adjacent neutral planets.]
If the Alliance opposes the Coalition diplomats, then they still have equal chances of converting the planets to their side. In addition, the Alliance is not generating extra income by sending diplomats to each other. On the whole, in the early stages of the war, if both the Coalition and the Alliance are not receiving economic points, then the Coalition wins in the early critical stages of the war when economic points are harder to come by for the Alliance. In other words, if each loses the economic points, then the Coalition benefits more in the early stages of the war.
On the other hand, if the Alliance does not oppose the Coalition's efforts, then they have a 1/3 chance per turn of converting each neutral planet to their side. However, they still run the 1/6 risk that the neutral planet will turn to the Alliance. Nevertheless, over the course of five turns (Turns #2-#6) they will have a very good chance of converting the neutral planets and their defenses to their side. Do not forget that the Klingons need to send a diplomat to the Romulans on Turn #6 in order to ensure Romulan entry into the war on Turn #10. Note also that there is no requirement to attack a neutral planet once war commences; thus, if they have good strategic reasons, they could potentially continue diplomacy over a neutral planet rather than conquer it.
If the Coalition is successful, they gain many more economic points over the course of the game, as the planet becomes theirs upon war commencing. In addition they gain the two planetary defense units instantly and for free. Thus, the formerly neutral planet becomes a strong supply point for prosecuting the war. The Coalition could even build up the defenses and put a starbase over the former neutral planet and have a hardpoint that extends supply deeper into enemy territory.
Once war begins in earnest, or the Coalition has conquered or converted the formerly neutral planets, the Coalition can move the diplomats back to earning economic points the usual way by sending them to each other. In the later stages of the war, this strategy will be more useful as economic points earned by diplomats are not subject to exhaustion.
In the end, by sending diplomats to the neutral planets early in the war, the Coalition will win either way. The Coalition will either deny the Alliance early economic points when they need them the most, at little cost to themselves, or it will have a very good chance of turning neutral planets and gaining many more economic points over the course of the war, as well as gaining the neutral planet's planetary defense units for free.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
KLINGON RX ARC ATTACK - IS IT STILL VIABLE?
The Klingon RX is one of the most useful tactics for the Klingon player in Star Fleet Battles. This article examines whether or not it is a viable tactic in A Call to Arms: Star Fleet.
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 2400 minis
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2013
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
RECENTLY RELEASED ON DRIVE THRU RPG
Star Fleet Fiction
"Johnson, bring us to forty-five degrees. Mendolow, fire the number three phaser at twenty thousand kilometers. Fire the other two phasers at point-blank range." The turn they were in would take the left-side phaser out of firing arc before the plasma torpedo reached point-blank range, so he had no choice but to fire it at twenty thousand. I wish I could save them all to fire at the SkyHawk instead, but reducing the strength of this plasma torpedo comes first.
O'Donnell refused to think that he might be wasting his fire on a fake. He could feel it in his bones that the SkyHawk captain had panicked when he realized that he might not be able to tractor the escaping frigate and had launched a real torpedo at him in the hope of scoring some internal damage. He was not going to allow that to happen at this early stage of the game.
"Firing phasers, Sir," Mendolow reported seconds later.
The first phaser erupted from the frigate's phaser banks and spat its controlled burst of destructive energy. Two more bluish-white beams of barely-controlled violence followed shortly afterward and disappeared into the glowing mass of the plasma torpedo, now barely ten thousand kilometers away. The brightness of the torpedo dimmed noticeably, but it still chased them inexorably.
"Brace for impact," he ordered quietly. It was the second time in the last couple of minutes that he had given that command, and he didn't like it all.
The ship shook hard as the torpedo moved within the detection range of its proximity-armed warhead and detonated. Despite the strength of the explosion, the shield held. A quick glance around the bridge showed him that there was no damage.
"Right front shield down 44 percent, Sir," T'Chira reported. "No casualties reported so far."
"Johnson, continue acceleration to warp two point nine two and bring us to heading zero-zero-zero. Mendolow, start arming both of the photon torpedo tubes to standard levels. T'Chira, use battery power to initiate level one jamming. Let's force them to use a little battery power or slow down if they don't want to fire through fuzzy scanners."
"Level one ECM jamming initiated, Sir. Romulans are counter-jamming, but not slowing. Romulans are firing phasers."
Again, a shield on Guderian sparkled with the terrific effort of absorbing the energy imparted to them by the phased energy beams. The bridge shook slightly. At least they didn't fire as soon as the torpedo hit. That ship must have a political appointee as its captain, he chuckled to himself. He was only half in jest. It was an old joke in Star Fleet Academy that there would be no Romulan fleet if they threw all the personnel off of their ships that had political ties to the Great Houses.
"Number three shield down 55 percent, Sir."
He looked at the situation display. They were clearing the jaws of the trap now, and from Rommel's position, it looked like it would also be able to escape. Even as he watched, Rommel fired two phasers which connected solidly with the rear shield of SkyHawk Alpha. Immediately, the SkyHawk began a turn which would take the damaged shield away from the course the second Federation ship was following.
He smiled. The turn, while it protected the damaged shield from continued attack, would also allow both Federation ships to put some needed distance between them and their pursuers. The smile faded. In normal times, a mistake like that would probably have meant the end of the battle, as it would have given them time to call in a relief force. The Romulans would also have realized that they had botched the ambush and would have left to no doubt try a more successful one another day.
(Continue reading here)
Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
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?
(Ask Admiral Vanaxilth continues here)
Q: My opponent wants to destroy my OPB and I want to withdraw it from the battle before combat (302.1) using a tug. My opponent used a prime team mission to cripple the tug, blocking this, but there is a second tug (not the one that originally carried the OPB) in the hex. Can it evacuate the OPB by (302.1) despite the fact that it is not the "assigned" tug?
A: There is nothing in (453.2) or in (509.0) that says a OPB has to have a tug assigned to it. So, if you have two unassigned tugs in the hex and one is crippled as mentioned in this question or any other way before (302.1) you can use the other one to assist the OPB in withdrawing. If a tug already assigned a mission is used to rescue the OPB, it gives up that mission including abandoning any pods it was carrying.
Q: I used a tug to take an operational base (OPB) to a hex and set it up. Now, the situation is dire. Does the OPB do a "slow unit retreat" or can the tug withdraw the OPB before combat under rule (302.1)?
A: An OPB doesn't require "setting up" or "packing up" like an MB does. It can retreat on its own as a "slow unit", but can only use (302.1) Withdrawal Before Combat if carried by a tug.
Q: Can an operational base, using slow retreat towed by a tug, use the formation bonus? It is a base, which is disallowed (308.74), and it is "treated like a set-up mobile base in combat" by rule (453.32), so no. However, it is a slow unit which can be in the formation slot, as can towed FRDs.
A: The fact that it is a base is specific while the fact that it is a slow unit is general. The specific overrules the general, so, no, it cannot use the Formation Bonus box in combat.
Q: If an operational base retreats with a tug does it use slow movement or (since the tug is towing it) does it use normal retreat rules (453.24)? If the operational base is in slow unit pursuit combat, is it considered set-up?
A: The term "withdraw" in this rule refers to withdraw before combat (302.11) not retreat (302.7) and the subsequent pursuit (307.0) even though a unit that withdrew during (302.11) can still be part of (302.7) and (307.0). An operational base that retreats with a tug would be considered a slow unit, but, per (453.22) it would be considered "set-up" for the subsequent combat.
Q: Rule (453.12) in SO says that OPBs can have a repair module in one of the positions. I can't find a cost for a repair module.
A: Repair modules are not in the game, yet.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean,Is the D6 version of Prime Directive still in the works? Anyone know the status?
A: D6 was sort of in limbo with the base game. The designer for PD6 was doing fine, but the game system's IP was murky. By the time it was straightening out (maybe), other books were in development. Now Traveller PD has precedence.
Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
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
When fighting in an asteroid field with web caster-equipped Tholian ships, look for opportunities to trap an unwary opponent in the gap between two asteroid hexes.
Here's how it works. Since ships tend to avoid asteroid damage by staying out of asteroid hexes and remaining in clear space, the enemy will often fly through single-hex gaps between the asteroids.
If your opponent finishes his movement in such a gap, you can exploit this with your web caster. Throw a three-hex web of 16 strength points per hex (at up to ten hexes' range), anchoring the ends in the asteroid hexes to either side, with the middle web hex in the same hex as the enemy ship. This will trap the enemy ship immediately, and at worst will ruin his plans for the turn. At best it may well trap him for long enough for you to hit him with a seeking weapon or two. Since Tholians are not big on seeking weapons, this trick is best performed when fighting alongside allied ships that do have such weapons, such as the Gorns. A web hex forms a perfect anchor situation and makes the enemy ship a sitting target for plasma/drone strikes from hexes off to the side of the web strand. The trick still works with larger gaps of course, but it will not slow your opponent as much.
The counter tactic to this is to avoid single-hex gaps. Use maneuver, speed, and acceleration/deceleration to make sure that you finish the movement sub-pulses a hex or two away from such gaps, and then dash forward to clear the gap in a single impulse. This works because the web caster can only fire after movement is completed for that impulse. If your ship has already been trapped in a web, or has just broken out of it, it can sometimes even be worth decelerating upon release in order to avoid a similar gap and being trapped again. Then move forward in a burst of speed as above.
As this is taking place in an asteroid field, you will need to maneuver carefully to avoid entering asteroid hexes at the sorts of speeds required to break out of webs of that strength; unfortunately these are also the same speeds required to avoid those gaps in the first place. Still, the increased speed will likely give you the initiative, since the Tholians will not necessarily want to be moving at that speed in an asteroid field either - and it can also put your ships into some interesting attacking positions!
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
SFB Tactic of the Month
WEDDING CAKE NIGHTMARES
The careful selection of Commander's Options for a Tholian base under attack can shape the entire course of the scenario. By combining the ECM from an MRS, sensor drogue, and self-loaning, the base can have fourteen or more points of ECM at a minimal energy cost. This means even a scout-equipped fleet will be hard pressed to achieve a positive die roll shift and the base's phasers will be at full effectiveness when the opposing fleet enters a web hex.
Captain J.C. England of the Ajax reads the Federation Commander rulebook. Who knew our game would be so popular!