July 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the release of five products at Origins on 22 June: F&E ISC War, FC Transports Attacked, Starmada Distant Armada, SFB Module E4, and Prime Directive Starship Aldo.
the biggest news in the history of the Star Fleet Universe is our new contract with Mongoose Publishing to do a series of products for distribution to every retailer in the US, Canada, and Britain. Those will include an SFU version of their A Call to Arms space combat game, a version of Prime Directive for their Traveller game, and a whole new series of miniatures (Starline 2500) which will replace all of our existing miniatures with new designs of greater artistic detail. The first of these products should appear for Christmas.

WEBSITE: Our 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 pull up a chair and join us at the movies! Our newest uploads are:

ADB May 2011 releases

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links StarFleetGames.comwebsites have been changed to match. The new site is
The blog covers all aspects of the company.

AMBASSADORS: Jean Sexton has succeeded in recruiting two ambassadors (Michael C. Baker and A. David Merritt) to carry the word of the Star Fleet Universe to other websites. They (and Jean) have been awarded the first ever "Star Fleet Ambassador Badges" as well as appropriate medals for their service to date. These ambassadors do not just repeat press releases; they answer questions, encourage discussion, and help people find the relevant documents on our website.
Ambassador Badge


Our FFAC tournament has reached a key point when the last seat was filled and the final first-round games were scheduled. The format takes some cat-herding (people who are slow to play games make life boring for everyone else) but with strong judges and cat-herders we plan to use the same format for the Platinum Hat.


Our new Internet SFB International Championship Tournament registration has been completed with 32 people competing. Play will begin July 17th. This is a single-elimination tournament conducted through SFBOL.

Having learned some lessons from FFAC, Tournament Marshal Steven P. Petrick will "ride herd" on the tournament to ensure that games are played on schedule and the event does not drag. There will, inevitably, be some delays near the end when re-entries have to "catch up" to the initial entries. A firm hand on the helm will ensure that these are as minor as possible. Three senior players (Gregg Dieckhaus, Peter Bakija, and one to be named later) will be appointed as "honorary sheepdogs" and empowered to encourage people to get their games done.

The entry fee ($10 per person) will be added to the prize fund which ADB, Inc., has always provided, making this the richest SFB tournament ever held!
1st: $200 cash
2nd: $100 cash
3rd-4th: $50 gift certificate
5th-8th: $20 gift certificate
9th-16h: $5 gift certificate

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, 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

     Much ado has been made over the "Gorn Anchor" and the "Klingon Sabre-Dance", but what about the Kzintis? Standard Kzinti doctrine has always been to launch two successive waves of drones and then follow them in, but what exactly is the best way to accomplish this goal?
     By using the Kzinti Steamroller. While traveling at a Base Speed of 24, launch your full complement of drones at a single target on Impulse #8 of any turn. On Impulse #1 of the next turn, launch another salvo of drones (up to your control limits). This should give you a large stack of drones in the same hex.
     In order to allow the drones to reach the target slightly before you do, you have two options: If power is not a problem, you may pay to cancel a Movement Point. If you need to conserve that power, sideslip in either direction, then as soon as your sideslip mode has been fulfilled, sideslip back the other direction in behind the drones.
     Now your opponent has two options: 1. Deal with the incoming wave of drones and allow your ship (with loaded disruptors) to close on him unabated, or 2. Ignore the drones and fire at your vessel as it approaches. Either way, your opponent is going to feel like he's been run over by a steamroller.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     The Carnivons have a unique weapon in the heel nipper. If he scores a hit with it, it allows a Carnivon player to choose the direction his target will turn to, and forces him to make that turn.
     The Carnivons can aim at a specific warp engine, roll to hit, and then if they do, it causes one point of damage (to the warp engine targeted), resets the target's turn mode, and turns it 60° towards the side of the ship you hit, either left or right. But if you target a center warp engine (if the ship has one), it is not forced to turn (but its turn mode is still reset).
     Now admittedly heel nippers are extremely short-ranged weapons (maximum range two), but if you can fire them over two impulses you can severely alter your target's movement.
     If you hit with a heel nipper on Impulse #X and make your opponent turn to either the right or left, and he does not move the next impulse (#X+1) you can try hitting him again with a second heel nipper, turning him another 60°. (Hopefully in the same direction if you are smart, not turning him back to his original bearing.) This will make him fly off 120° from the course he was following just two impulses previously.
     This allows you to either turn to pursue him (hopefully away from his friends) or to continue on your merry way knowing that he cannot turn to follow you for a long time (an extremely long time since this is an Early Years weapon).
     You have now forced your opponent into a J-turn and there is not much he can do to stop it, except emergency decelerate to tac back to his original heading.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

     When upgrading a previously deployed mobile base consider using an LTT or two theater transports to transport newly built fighter modules to the mobile base during the Strategic Movement Phase. Under (441.421) they are considered set up and functional on delivery. While the transport(s) must remain in the hex until the next Operational Movement Phase, should the enemy come calling, your mobile base has a little more punch without affecting your command rating and adding one free attrition unit. Should your mobile base survive, it is then a functioning battle station with fighters. There is no additional economic cost for building the fighter modules as the mobile-base upgrade is reduced by the cost of the fighter modules plus fighters. There may be a strategic cost in using a tug, LTT, or two theater transports for doing so. The advantage to the light tactical transport or two theater transports is they can be included in a battle group saving your formation bonus for the tug. The enemy is unlikely to use directed damage on the transports because of other higher value targets in the hex and the fact that they have already completed their task of delivering the fighter modules.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

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!

Jindarian Custom Battlecruiser
Tice Leonard

New Releases

Communique #67 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Recently Released
Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $47.95.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.
Starship Aldo, Adventure for GURPS and PD20M, $3.00
SFB Module E4, Stock #7104, $10.00

To be Released in August
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA

To be Released in September
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA.

To be Released in October
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.

To be Released in November
Captain's Log #44, Stock #5744, $TBA

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.

Module C3A
Module P6: The Galactic Smorgasbord
Captain's Log #9
ISC Ship Card Pack #1
Captain's Log #8
Galactic Conquest
GURPS Romulans
WYN Ship Card Pack #1
Federation & Empire Chart Book
Captain's Log #7
Captain's Log #6

Prime Directive PD20M
Klingons PD20 Modern

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


We have shut down our store on Cafe Press because the owners of the website unilaterally changed the contract in a way we felt would not comply with our contract with Paramount.

Star Fleet Fiction
Burden of Duty, Debt of Revenge

     Vice-Admiral Hollander watched his display, eyeing the points of light representing the ships under his command, and willed them to detect the enemy. Hollander commanded the rear sector of the Third Fleet, a job involving a lot of work moving supply ships around, and no chance for glory.
    The group of ships stretched in each direction for parsecs, spaced just far enough apart that there was some overlap in their sensor ranges. Every ship in the region, even freighters, was regularly sending updates on anything they had seen, or that they had seen nothing. The tactic was an old one, but the idea to use it now had been his, conceived when the destruction caused by this raider had gone on for two weeks. It had been approved by Star Fleet Headquarters after Third Fleet refused to bless it or reject it. Hollander had gathered up what ships he had, real starships and smaller auxiliaries, leaving convoys and colonies unprotected.
    Some thought that Hollander was glory-seeking - conducting an unnecessary operation just because he was bored (or angry he was not commanding a frontline division). While the responsibility for success would undoubtedly fall on the captains who found the raider, Hollander suspected that if the pursuit failed and Orions or other Klingon raiders picked off key convoys and colonies, he would find himself alone quicker than a whore in church.
    But they would succeed. Naval intelligence had successfully predicted the general area of a convoy strike ten days ago, and the Klingon's general course was confirmed by two subsequent attacks. He was, for a time, staying deep behind Federation lines. Then the raiding X-ship disappeared completely, and five days ago a convoy halfway to the frontline had been smashed. The police ship escorting it got off a report confirming the identity of the raider before being destroyed. As Hollander's skirmish line raced forward at maximum speed, the Nimbus Colony had reported it was under attack, and then had stopped transmitting. The skirmish line raced onward, centered on a straight line from Nimbus to closest Klingon bastion.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

     Jon Berry asks: Can an empire carry and service non-native PFs/interceptors on its mech-links in a non-historic scenario or campaign?
     ANSWER: Rule (K2.24) in the Master Rulebook includes this as the final sentence: "Mech-links can dock (and if capable, repair) allied PFs and interceptors."
     This is interpreted to mean that under combat conditions a PFT of one empire can dock and repair the PF of an allied empire. It does not mean that Empire A can have PFTs operating PFs, whether individually or in full flotillas, of an allied empire on a regular basis. NOTE: The rule allows "dock and repair", it does not allow rearming, replacement of warp booster packs, or flushing, i.e., the PFT is not enabled by this rule to flush the ionic build up of an allied PF (which is not a "repair"). These are the modifications that have to be made to the mech-links because of variations in the engines of the different empires' PFs. [Even if you tried to get around some of the problems by say taking a PF that generates its own weapons and has nothing to "reload" and tried to claim that since it has the same number of engines, whether two or three, as your own empire your existing facilities to replace warp booster packs would work (they will not), there is no provision for fitting booster packs on allied PFs in the rules.]
     So, no, your Romulan PFT cannot operate a flotilla of Orion Buccaneers that it got from its ally the Kublai Cartel, and the Kzintis cannot equip a PFT operating in Federation space with a flotilla of Tholian Arachnids, and the Klingons cannot operate a PFT with a flotilla of Lyran Bobcats. You build your PFTs to operate your own PFs, which you have in steady supply from your own factories, and not to operate PFs from your ally, who may have "military emergencies" of his own that require him to divert those promised shipments of replacement PFs (or PF spare parts . . . like replacement booster packs). Remember, even the WYN Star Cluster built its own PFs.
    Note that under the above rule, if in a campaign the cutoff PFT of Empire A picked up the surviving PFs of Empire B's PFT which was destroyed, you would have to keep a running total on the engine degradation of the PFs as the PFT could not flush them. Such a campaign might provide that a ship from Empire B also survived, and had at least one mech-link, and was providing flushing services (or just live with the growing degradation problem until the PFs start blowing up). So, yes, you could cobble together a campaign about a cutoff force that had PFs from one empire more or less operating from a PFT of another empire.
     But the rules as they stand do not allow the PFT of Empire A to flush the engines or load weapons onto the PFs of Empire B. So any such circumstance is always, always, going to be "temporary", and not the basis for a longer campaign or the camel's nose allowing wholesale (or even limited/restricted/temporary/special circumstance/just this one time/for just this one mission/whatever) replacement of one empire's PFs with PFs of another allied empire.
     As always, we have the option to allow some "historical event" to occur, e.g., Cavalry Charge (SH11.0).
(Ask Growler continues here. )


     Q: A Hydran fleet has cut off the Lyran supply route into the captured (and now former) Hydran capital. The Klingons, however, have a valid supply path, as well as both PDUs and a BATS at the former Hydran capital. Are the Lyrans in supply by (410.4) since they're with a friendly base?
     A: There would have to be a homeless supply line (410.5) established or an expeditionary fleet (411.7) established to leave the hex and operate. The forces, per (410.25) would be in supply as long as they are in the same hex as the friendly base.
     Q: By the definition of (413.1), a Supply Grid is a network of bases and/or planets that contains a friendly capital hex or off-map area. Also by definition, a Partial Supply Grid (413.4) is any other grid that does not contain the capital or off-map area.
     Here is where it gets confusing. The Federation's supply path has been cut off from the capital in 2908 to the off-map area. By definition, the off-map area is not a Partial Supply Grid, but in fact is a (regular) Supply Grid. There are rules (413.44) concerning EPs in a regular grid and a partial grid, but (technically) never address the question of two separate regular grids. I am not trying to claim that EPs generated in the off-map area are magically available to the Capital Grid, but, technically, (413.44) doesn't cover two "regular" grids (one Off-Map Grid and one Capital Grid) so there is (technically) no rule about how to move those EPs back and forth once the connection is rebuilt. So, can I use the (413.44) rules to move any EPs stockpiled at the Off-Map Grid to the Capital Grid when the two are reconnected? Also, can the Off-Map Grid use deficit spending since it is not a partial grid?
     A: You have found a valid gray spot in the F&E2K rules which we have fixed in the F&E 2010 rules, and everyone is grateful that you noticed this just in time for F&E 2010 . By definition (413.1) there can be a maximum of two Main Supply Grids: a Capital Grid and an Off-Map Grid. Each can do anything that a Main Supply Grid can do (since they both are Main Supply Grids) except of course that the "main shipyard" is only in one of them. EPs in either grid can be used, by and in that grid, for valid uses such as ship repairs (420.0), PDU self-generation (433.42), base repair (420.6), conversions at non-capital starbases (433.0), etc. If two main grids are separated and then joined, the EPs again flow freely between them, so you can certainly use (413.44).
(F&E Q&A continues here )


     Q: I'd like a deck plan of a ship I'm using in my campaign. How soon could you  make one?

     A: Deck plans are very time intensive for the Steves. Someone has to draw them, Steven Petrick has to make sure they match up with the SSDs, and then poor SVC has to make all of my changes (and it matters if they are heads, rest rooms,
restrooms, or lavatories!). Maybe when I get to Texas and can take some of the marketing duties (and changing small stuff I catch in proofreading) off Steve's plate, we can work ones of broad interest into an RPG magazine.

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


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 110615 Mongoose (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110504 Gurps Fed & C3A
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)


The Hydran Pegasus