Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: FEDERATION COMMANDER TACTICS MANUAL - JUST RELEASED
A complete analysis of the tactics of winning Federation commanders. Includes how to plan your battle (and stick to a plan), analysis of each weapon and each empire, special types of units (battleships, bases), terrain of all types, maneuvers of all types and when to use each one, etc. Subjects covered include (well) everything: firing arcs, shields, energy allocation, targeting, special sensors, damage control, suicide shuttles, Marines, transporters, tractor beams, and everything else.
This book also includes a compilation of all Tactical Notes published to date in Captain's Log through #48.
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.
Custom Decals for Starline ships
Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures and will be adapting their offerings to match ADB's new marketing for the miniatures.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 has only one round left and that game is between Paul Scott and Stephen McCann. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is moving along smartly. Only one first round game is left and two second round games have already been played. Brett Johnson is the judge.
NetKill Patrol second quarter is now in playoffs. Currently Seth Shimansky is in first, Matthew Potter is in second, and Brendan Lally is in third. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.World League 2014 is starting up. There are 10 teams of three people. This year the players were drafted by Team Captains who were selected from Fleet Captains and then by Schirmer ratings. Currently Peons of Death are in the lead followed closely by Bermuda Shorts Triangle. The judge for the tournament is Peter Bakija.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Brian Grigg will be holding Star Fleet Battles demos at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, July 24-27, 2014.
There are reports there will be SFU events at GenCon sponsored by Battlegroup Indianapolis. This con is being held August 14-17, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indianahttp://gencon.com
On their list is Federation Commander (three events) and GURPS Prime Directive (one event). Check it out!
On August 17, 2014 at SPOCON, at the DoubleTree, Spokane, WA there will be an SFB sanctioned game or games (depending on turnout) using the tournament rules, with miniatures. Judge Harlan Haskell III will provide all materials for this event.
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.
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
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
The Klingon Empire's production schedule allows them to freely substitute E4s in F5 and F5L construction slots. While F5s are more effective combat units and should continue to be used for specialty variants (like the F5S, FV, and F5E), the humble E4 frigate is something that the Klingons should consider building instead of some of those F5s on a regular basis, for the following reasons:
1. It saves money. While you only save half of an economic point every time you substitute an E4 for an F5, over time, it adds up. If the Klingons replace an average of three F5s with E4s per turn over the length of a 34-turn game, that adds up to 51 economic points saved.
2. A hull is a hull. An E4 is just as good for the purposes of pinning or counter-pinning opposing fleets as an F5, and they count the same for the purposes of victory point calculations (603.3).
3. Most of the things that F5s end up being used for are better off done by E4s in the first place. Certainly in a basic unexpanded game of Federation & Empire, where Battle Groups (315.0) are not being used, F5s rarely see combat in fleet battle lines after the first few turns of the game. Instead, they generally are used as province guards or province raiders where they tend to just get killed outright by larger ships in small-scale combat (310.0), or as ad-hoc escorts in single-round carrier fights where the biggest thing that can be shot down is an ad-hoc frigate escort. In either of these cases the lower combat value of the E4 is unlikely to be an issue and if you are going to lose a ship to small-scale combat or directed damage, it might as well be a cheaper E4.
It is unlikely that the Klingons would ever replace all their F5 builds with E4s, as F5s continue to make better specialty ships and are very efficient combat units. But in the long run, the Klingons can benefit from regularly replacing some of their F5 builds with E4 builds.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
IMPROVED ROM OLD-SERIES SURVIVABILITY
Romulan players, have you ever thought about giving up using the Old-Series ships due to their low damage point hulls and lack of durability versus penetrating hits? Here is a way to significantly improve their durability. Consider using the special action Close Blast Doors! While it does give the ship using it a power drain, along with all the restrictions that come with, it can help your ship survive longer in battle.(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)
Consider a War Eagle Cruiser. It has 12 points of internal damage, is Armored, and is able to take seven hits before becoming crippled. Against weapons that do not have the Precise Trait, 33% of penetrating damage is negated by the Armor Trait (a die roll of a one or two on the Attack Table). Against weapons that do have the Precise Trait, 16% of penetrating damage is negated (a die roll of one). This means that the Armor Trait increases the number of effective damage points before being crippled from seven to 9.31 versus non-precise weapons, and from seven to 8.12 for precise weapons.
For a ship that is using the Close Blast Doors! special action and has the Armored trait, the likelihood of damage goes down significantly. A die roll of one or two on the Attack Table followed by a die roll for each damage point of five or greater negates a given damage point from a non-precise weapon. Thusly:
The chance of damage rolling on the Attack Table is 67%. Multiply that by the chance of taking damage using the Close Blast Doors! special action, which is also 67%, and you're down to a 45% chance of each damage point being scored. Against weapons that do have the Precise Trait, the chance of rolling a damage result on the Attack Table (83%) multiplied by the chance of damage using the Close Blast Doors! (67%) means there is a 56% chance of each damage point being scored.
This means that for an Armored ship that is also using the Close Blast Doors! special action, the effective number of damage points before your ship is crippled increases from nine to 11 versus non-precise weapons, and from eight to 10 versus precise weapons. So, in some situations, the use of the Close Blast Doors! special action can significantly improve the ship's survivability.
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.
Mini of the Month
OK6 by Kurt Tank
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23 (e23 been joined with and is now known as Warehouse 23.)
BRIDGE, DESTRUCTION, Twenty Minutes Later
"All stations report combat ready," the watch officer reported. "Engine power is 101 percent, weapons are all on line, Marines are ready for boarding, and spacetight doors are sealed."
"Very well," Kumerian said, swallowing the last of the ration bar that had been handed to him when he got to the bridge. "Stand the crew down to level two, and begin combat preparations. Send everybody to the galley in shifts. Hot food is ready." At least, it damn well better be, he added silently.
BRIDGE, DESTRUCTON, Four Hours Later
"There they are," the science officer reported. "Frax squadron is at 900 thousand. Four ships, one of them cruiser class, one destroyer, two frigates."
"Full combat alert," the executive officer ordered.
"Open a channel," Kumerian snapped.
"No answer," the communications officer replied.
"Hail them again," Kumerian said. "Send this: 'You have nothing to lose by talking to me.' Send it three times, my voice."
"Will they talk to us?" Karisma asked. Several on the bridge crew noticed the final pronoun.
"Only if they're not stupid," Kumerian answered.
"Frax squadron is at 830 thousand. Still coming," the science officer reported.
"They answered!" the communications officer reported with some genuine surprise. "Putting it on speakers."
"Klingon squadron, my purpose is to destroy the communications station. I know you cannot stand aside. Be prepared for battle. We are at war."
Francois Lemay asks: A Lyran CL is in hex 1414 heading B, a badly beaten up Lyran CA is in hex 1514 heading B, and a badly beaten up Lyran DW is in hex 1412 heading C. A Kzinti drone cruiser is in hex 1415 heading E at Speed 16. (It beat up on the Lyran CA with six heavy drones earlier in the turn.)
During Impulse Activity for Impulse #13 of Turn #2, the light cruiser tractors the heavy cruiser and war destroyer, so the light cruiser's pseudo speed is 4, the heavy cruiser's pseudo speed is 7, and the war destroyer's pseudo speed is Zero. Two ESGs at radius two, strength five, from the light cruiser, are now active. The war destroyer is outside of the spheres. The drone cruiser launches a shuttle in hex 1415 heading E.
On Impulse #14, Speed 7 and 16 move. The heavy cruiser sideslips to hex 1513 heading B, bringing the light cruiser to hex 1413 heading B and the war destroyer to hex 1411 heading C, with the expanding spheres hitting the drone cruiser and the shuttle.
Do we pause further movement of the drone cruiser and apply the expanding sphere generator's damage to the drone cruiser's #6 shield after the shuttle takes its share of damage here or continue with movement before applying expanding sphere generator damage? If we continue with movement, the Kzinti drone cruiser sideslips to hex 1315 heading E.
ANSWER: When the light cruiser moves, you note that a collision with the expanding spheres has occurred and, per (G23.5131), the expanding spheres will hit the #6 shield of the drone cruiser. They will also hit the shuttle. We will assume the war destroyer wishes to treat this situation under (G23.5732), and not take any damage from the expanding spheres. Once movement is complete, you apply damage. The shuttle (assuming it is a standard admin shuttle) will take six points of damage, and the drone cruiser will take the remaining 28 points of damage. Note that had the drone cruiser moved straight ahead to 1316 while heading E, it would have passed completely through the expanding spheres, giving it a higher damage priority under (G23.52). This would have resulted in 34 points of damage to the drone cruiser (still on its #6 shield), and none to the shuttle, assuming the drone cruiser can take that much damage without being destroyed.
Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1414 heading A, does it take any damage and to which shield, if so? I am thinking no damage is applied.
ANSWER: You are correct, no impact occurs, by (G23.572). (The Kzinti admin shuttle, of course, will be hit.)
Follow-up question: What if the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1516 heading C? Is it still the #6 shield taking all 34 points of damage because of (G23.52)?
Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1515 heading B, is it the #6 shield again because of (G23.5131)?
ANSWER: Correct. (In this case, the shuttle will take some of the damage.)
Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser turns to hex 1416 heading D or sideslips to hex 1416 heading E, I suspect the #6 shield will again take all 34 points of damage because of (G23.52)?
ANSWER: Again, you are correct.
It should also be noted that it is standard practice to buy Admiral Vanaxilth a quality beverage if you are going to ask him any questions involving expanding field generator damage and tractor beams. He prefers something really, really cold, like liquid methane with a sprinkle of limestone dust.
Brendan Lally asks: If one announces an ESG will form after a turn break (i.e., announced Impulse #29 or later), but apply zero power, is that different from canceling the announcement during Impulse Activity?
ANSWER: As per (G23.2131), if you do not cancel the announcement during Impulse Activity, the ESG will be activated with whatever power is in the capacitor. If there is no power in the capacitor, the ESG is still treated as having been released (and will require a cooling period), although obviously the field will not form.
Follow-up question: Does having power in the capacitor allow for power to go unapplied to the expanding sphere generator over turn break?
ANSWER: No. Per (G23.2131), in this case the expanding sphere generator will be activated with whatever power is in the capacitor, up to five points.
Brendan Lally asks: Can you announce an expanding sphere while under passive fire control restrictions, assuming of course those restrictions will be lifted before the expanding sphere actually forms? For example, you launch a wild weasel on Impulse #10, seeking weapons hit the wild weasel during Impulse #11, you announce activation of fire control which will not be fully active until Impulse #15, then you announce ESG activation on Impulse 12, which means it will release on Impulse #16.
ANSWER: Per (D6.625), expanding sphere generators can be activated under passive fire control, but will nullify the (D19.3) benefits. Per (J3.46), the announcement (not activation) of an expanding sphere generator activation would void a wild weasel, but the sequence you describe is otherwise legal.
Francois Lemay asks: A Lyran ship, Speed 20, has an ESG at radius Zero and strength 20 active. It launches two shuttles at Speed 6 on Impulse #15. (An error, I am thinking, as that is what I did!) Do the shuttles get rammed by the ESG of the mothership, thus getting destroyed immediately and reducing the ESG strength to eight? The ship is moving in direction B and the shuttles are moving in direction C.
ANSWER: William Wilson replies: The shuttles, when launched, are "inside" the ESG. They will remain undamaged as long as the ship and shuttles stay in the same hex, including if they all move to the same different hex on the same impulse, regardless of speeds or facing. As soon as they are no longer in the same hex at the end of the movement segment, if the ESG is still up, the shuttles will take damage.
In your example, Speed 6 and Speed 20 both move on Impulse #16, so you can keep your shuttles alive a couple of impulses by having your ship turn or sideslip in direction C. (The shuttles, having just launched, must go straight). Depending on what you are doing with them, this might be long enough.
Brendan Lally asks: A ship with an ESG at Radius Zero and traveling at Speed 12 launches two shuttles at Speed 4. Both Speed 12 and Speed 4 move next impulse. If the shuttles and ship move into the same hex, is there any ESG interaction?
ANSWER: Rule (G23.723) is the operative rule, (G23.573) will not apply, and (G23.572) means there is no interaction, even though the ship and shuttles move at different points in the sequence. In two or three impulses, the Lyran will have a problem.
AND A FEW QUESTIONS MORE
Q: At what point is a province considered "owned" for the purposes of (430.21) economics?
A: The first check for ownership is at the end of the current Combat Phase. If there are enemy units in the province at the end of the Combat Phase and no friendly units, the province is considered captured (430.22). Once captured, if the occupier continues the occupation, the occupier will receive one EP in each subsequent Economic Phase. If at any time before his Economic Phase the occupier does not satisfy the requirements of (430.22), then no income is generated by the province for the occupier.
Long-term capture (438.0) is counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase with any disruption during the process, including a successful raid, resetting the clock.
Annexation (448.2) is also counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase after long-term capture takes effect. Raids do not affect this process unless the raid eliminates the garrison of the province.
Q: How are Hydran hybrid carrier-ships handled regarding rule (534.224)?
A: Hydran hybrid carrier-ships are not covered under this rule. Only Hydran "true" carriers are covered.
Q: Are the Vudar Enclave rules used in the standard General War Grand Campaign scenario (675.5) with all modules?
A: This is a scenario rule, so like the Wind series (601-605) players can include it or ignore it if they wish. It is not a requirement. Players could decide to play (601-603) and stop at the end of Turn #19 if they wish.
Q: A Kzinti 12-ship force executes a fighting retreat, retreating into a hex containing an undefended Lyran convoy. The rules say that the attacking player is required to offer the defending player an approach battle (302.22), but the Lyrans cannot create a battle force to fight the approach battle. Does the Kzinti fleet have to offer an approach battle, and then retreat per (302.775D)? Or may it fight the convoy, and then retreat?
A: Since the Kzintis have 12 ships and there is only one unit in the hex they are retreating into, priority 2 (302.732) is not met, so no fighting retreat is allowed. A standard retreat would be indicated and the convoy would die in the subsequent combat in that hex.
Q: Does a Residual Defense Factor exist on a undevastated planet that has never been captured (508.16)?
A: The RDF only comes into existence when a planet is under control of the original owner and it has no other defenses on it. Don't try to read too much into it.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean, who was Gary Plana?
A: Gary Plana, who recently passed away, was the person perhaps most closely associated with the early days of Prime Directive. He was deeply involved with what became known as Prime Directive 1. He is perhaps best known for his work on GURPS Prime Directive, both the 3rd and 4th edition versions. He continued to help with his extensive knowledge in both the PD20 and PD20M versions of Prime Directive. Over all, Gary devoted over 20 years to the Star Fleet Universe, keeping Prime Directive going during the Interregnum.
While less active recently due to ill health, Gary still provided input into Traveller Prime Directive. He will be sorely missed by us all.
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 Month
Kzinti players have a huge temptation for taking smaller ships instead of bigger ships . . . drone control. With more, but smaller ships, Kzinti players can launch larger drone waves. The flaw in that philosophy is the ship size. The smaller Kzinti ships cannot stand up to the combined firepower of a fleet, and every ship lost immediately lowers the number of drones in a drone wave. Therefore, when facing a Kzinti fleet, hit the small ship first and work your way up to the bigger ships.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
Battlegroup Manchester has set up to playtest a forthcoming FC scenario. Thanks to their feedback, rules were tightened and ships were balanced