Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: MASTER MOLD #2501
MASTER MOLD #2501 has returned from the mold company. The bad news is that two of the Tholians (patrol corvette-PC and heavy cruiser-CA) collapsed under pressure and were ruined; we have a master modeller building new prototypes right now and every step is being taken for success. This does mean that those two ships (originally scheduled to release on 14 July) will be delayed until 11 August.
The good news is that six of the new ships did work. The Tholian DD (destroyer) and the Orion DW (war destroyer) and BR (battle raider, their war cruiser) will be on the cart in early July and the three Orion "heavies" (CA-heavy cruiser, BC-battlecruiser, BCH-heavy battle cruiser) will be on the cart in early August.
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 is heading into the final four players. Only one third-round game is left to play and then round four will be set. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is starting up. Two of the first round games are finished. Good luck everyone! Brett Johnson is the judge.
NetKill Patrol second quarter is in full swing on SFBOL. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.
The Platinum Hat 2013 International Online SFB Tournament has finished. Stephen McCann is the winner. Congratulations to him and to all who played in this challenging tournament. Thanks to Paul Scott for being the judge. Watch for information about the 2014 tournament!
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. We look forward to this competition each year. The judge for the tournament is Peter Bakija who is busy creating the round robin pool.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
This all-SFU convention is now in full swing during 7-14 June 2014 (eight days) at Clarion Inn & Suites, 2227 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129 (615) 896-2420. You can still attend and play! Ask for the StratCon room rate. StratCon is organized primarily by and for the F&E community but is open to all SFU games and gamers. The cost will be under $75 per player for the entire week, a fraction of the entry and gaming costs charged by Origins. (That is why it is not being held at Origins. It was announced in Communique that ADB, Inc., will no longer attend that convention.) Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tony L. Thomas ran several A Call to Arms Star Fleet events at Nashcon 2014 May 23-25, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. He reports great fun was had by all
MISCON's Sanctioned Tournament for SFB with miniatures was held on Sunday May 25, and Monday May 26, 2014 in Missoula, Montana. Judge Harlan Haskell III reports more fun for the people.
There are reports there will be SFU events at GenCon. This con is being held August 14-17, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.http://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
F&E Strategy of the Month
Many players' first instinct when being pursued is to pick a Battle Intensity Rating of one to minimize losses. However this can result in lost opportunities for a retreating player to inflict meaningful damage on enemy forces.
Pursuit forces are generally designed to maximize combat potential density, meaning they tend to resolve damage less efficiently than a regular battle line. Further, the quest for density also means that valuable units may appear unprotected in a pursuit force, where they would rarely be seen on a regular battle line. For this same reason of density, scouts are less commonly seen in pursuit forces, meaning the odds are high of the retreating player having a favorable (or at least neutral) die roll shift due to electronic warfare. By selecting a high Battle Intensity Rating the retreating player gets a chance (under some of the most favorable conditions possible) to inflict a few points of extra damage on the enemy.
The cost to this is obviously the increased damage suffered in return. Going from a Battle Intensity Rating of one to a Battle Intensity Rating of four means accepting a 7.5% increase in damage received. From a typical pursuit force this means somewhere in the neighborhood of six extra damage points, or enough for your opponent to direct-kill an additional crippled destroyer. Obviously, there are times where the extra damage would allow an opponent to kill a key unit, and in these cases picking a low Battle Intensity Rating remains appropriate.
In short, next time you are retreating evaluate the damage your enemy can do (and the key units in his battle force) instead of reflexively picking a low Battle Intensity Rating. Sometimes, you have to fear the reaper. But if you do not, then consider turning around and kicking him in the chops.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
ASTEROID OR DISASTER-OIDS?
Many players of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet use terrain to control their opponent's movement or to provide coverage to their flanks. This is all well and good, unless your opponent happens to be a Romulan (or an Orion Pirate with cloaks). Most types of terrain completely block line of sight and some have potential penalties for passing through that are so severe that many people will spend turns going around rather than one turn going through.(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)
So if you are on one side and your opponent is on the other, you can relax and take heart that you are relatively safe from enemy fire, right? Wrong! While asteroid fields and dust clouds can be of any size (up to and including the size of the entire map), most of us have created terrain pieces that are a few inches wide and about twice that many inches long. If your opponent is on one side of the terrain and cloaked, he may decide to uncloak on his next movement.
When uncloaking, units may move up to six inches in any direction and make one turn in lieu of making a standard maneuver. If the terrain separating you is less than six inches wide, you may suddenly find yourself facing an unexpected opponent. One who has suddenly crossed an entire asteroid field without having to face the risk of shield damage from collisions with wayward rocks, or has crossed a Tholian Web you thought would protect you for another turn or two.
So if you have a cloaking device, remember this tip and you will rarely have to worry about that bothersome terrain again. If you do not have a cloaking device, then make sure your terrain pieces are at least 6.1 inches in each dimension, and you will never have to worry about those pesky cloaking devices again!!!
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
Jim Klein's Federation ship
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.)
"The Frax are insane to have started this war," Kumerian said, setting his cup on the wardroom table.
"Then why did they start it?" Karisma asked. The question was an honest one, asked by a civilian who really did not understand war or politics, not a challenge of his opinion, which would have been typical of a military officer.
"Pride, certainly," Kumerian replied. "It's not so much a matter of greed, as your news channel reports, but a desire to keep what they have rather than continue to pay tribute to the Klingon Empire." The Ministry of Propaganda had pushed the idea that the Frax had declared war out of greed. Klingon civilians, who did not understand galactic economics, readily bought into the idea that not giving 30 percent of their gross national product to the Klingon Empire was simply a form of greed. The Empire considered that tribute to be its natural right, and any refusal to pay the tribute to be selfish greed on the part of the Frax.
"Surely they do not think they can win?" Karisma asked.
"Of course not," Kumerian answered, "that's not the point. They just have to avoid losing for a few weeks, and we cannot afford to allow that to happen."
"I am not following you," the reporter said. "The government embedded me with the fleet so that I could explain better to the population what is going on."
"No," Kumerian laughed, "they embedded you with my squadron so you could make the civilians admire their gallant military, understand our sacrifices, and respect our sense of duty. The last thing the government cares about is telling the civilians what is really going on. If you try to do that, your reports will be deleted and you won't ever get another chance to be embedded with the military." That, Kumerian thought to himself, would be a shame. He had been lonely since the death of his wife, and the young female reporter was the first woman who had interested him. Military women reminded him of his dead wife far too much. Karisma Karpenkor was very different, a sort of endearingly naive girl, one he really wanted to protect, and educate.
"Would it be dangerous for the civilians to know the truth?" Karisma asked. She had already taken the first steps to separate herself from thinking like a civilian. The Warrior Caste Klingons she had met in the Fleet, including the dashing commander of the Destruction, were twice the men of the civilians she had dated on Klinshai. She found herself physically intoxicated being around them, but Kumerian was the first one who actually seemed willing to carry on a conversation on an intellectual level.
Francois Lemay asks: A Kzinti battlecruiser has just launched four drones and is then placed in stasis. There is a Kzinti battle station in the battle and it has all three channels powered. Can the battle station use one of these channels to take control of the battlecruiser's just-launched drones even though it has not already declared the use of that special sensor for this purpose?
ANSWER: Yes. There is no defined point in the Sequence of Play or in (G24.24) for activating a special sensor's seeking-weapon control function, so it you can use a scout channel for this purpose at the point the control channels are needed. Normally, this would be at one of the steps in the 6B6 Seeking Weapons Stage, but in this case, we have an involuntary transfer, which overrides the normal sequence of play.
Ed Crutchfield asks: If you put a scout pod on a tug, do you pay the economic BPV for the tug or do you just pay the combat BPV? You would still pay the economic BPV for the scout pod. Also, how would that apply any other pods attached?
ANSWER: This one went to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: If the tug has a scout pod, the tug is a scout, i.e., any power systems on the tug and the second pod can be used to power the special sensors and operate them. Firing the weapons of the tug or the added pod will blind the special sensors, and if the tug was on passive fire control the pod could still lend the whole combination ECM. If you do not want to pay this penalty, do not fit your tug with a scout pod and other pods. When the tug drops the scout pod it will still be considered (for scenario victory point purposes) to have been the scout it was when it arrived if it is destroyed in combat.
Lieutenant Kilgore asks: My squadron is deployed with its back to an asteroid field. The Kzinti dreadnought has 12 drones in flight, some of them targeted on badly crippled ships in my squadron. The dreadnought transfers control of six of those drones to the scout (the only other ship), and launches six more. I then blow up the dreadnought and the scout. What happens?
ANSWER: You win.
TUG ON MY HEART STRINGS
Q: What happens if the Sabotage mission (534.223) targets a unit such as a Hydran battle tug and successfully cripples it?
A: The tug is crippled and the tug pods are inactive per (509.43). Any minus points are used up during the raid phase as it is its own single combat round per (302.53) with the "transfer or die" effect.
Q: Is a tug repairing a base (509.1-J1) required to be in any battle forces defending that base during the next turn?
Unlike base upgrades, base repairs are considered to take effect immediately, and (302.233) does not list them as a potential required unit. Due to the immediate turn-around of effect, I figured it kept a tug from performing any other function that turn, but that was about it. However, (509.1-J1) says a tug repairing a base is subject to (308.453), which itself mentions that a tug repairing a base is a non-slow unit treated as a slow unit for mauler Directed Damage purposes.
A: Rule (420.6) provides some guidance here even though it is not fully spelled out. Repairs of bases are in Step 2A3 of the SoP. As such, they are instantaneous and not a full turn activity like a conversion from a mobile base to a battle station for example. So, the reference in (509.1-J1) to (308.453) is inaccurate. The transport or set of transports performing the repair can move operationally on the turn of the repair, but do no other transport function that turn.
Q: Is there an enabling rule somewhere that permits the mixing of pod types (509.312) on the disruptor-armed tugs? I would be surprised if you aren't "supposed" to be able to do it, but by the rules it would seem to require the tug to take two different missions simultaneously.
A: Sorry, but rule (509.312) specifically prohibits this except for some Klingon-Lyran pods per (517.34).
Q: Someone asked me at a convention if the tugs in F&E had anything to do with "the pod people" but I had no idea what he was trying to ask. Do you?
A: He was referring to the classic 1955 science-fiction movie The Body Snatchers. In this movie, aliens would lay a pod next to a sleeping human, and the pod would "hatch" a copy of the human. The movie (and the remake) is worth watching.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean,
I found the Federation medals image on your website, but wasn't there a Captain's Log article explaining what each one with typically awarded for? If so, which issue was that in? Thanks!
A: In addition to the essays in the core rulebooks for GURPS Prime Directive and PD20M, there is an essay in Captain's Log #23.
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
Consider carefully the order in which you allocate odd repair points to your damaged systems. For example, let's say you have a frigate with a warp hit and a few hull hits. Repairing the warp hit takes three repair points so, with your frigate's two repair points, it will take two turns to fix it.
Rather than allocating two points on one turn and then the final point to complete the warp repair on the next turn, do it like this. Spend one point to completely repair a hull box, and one point to begin repairs on the warp box. Then, on the next turn, allocate the two points for the turn to complete the warp repair.
This idea may sound pointless, but if you look at the damage charts you will see that hull boxes protect warp boxes. Repairing that hull box first may just protect another warp box during a later damage volley. This trick is also useful for larger ships and not just frigates, but the main point is to think about the order in which you allocate "odd" numbers of repair points.
If you have no damaged hull boxes, you could always perform a partial reload on a drone rack with that one point.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
F&E at StratCon