Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: Captain's Log #50
This months' big news is that CAPTAIN'S LOG #50 is finished and just waiting for the cover art to arrive.
This is the Golden Issue, full of exciting new material:
Fiction: The Day of the Dragon (how the Gorns entered the General War) and two more Gorn stories.
Space Spider: A new monster for SFB and FC.
Star Fleet Battles: Platinum Victory, 12 Battlegroups, four scenarios, 12 new ships, the Zosman Empire for Omega.
Federation Commander: Four new scenarios, four new ships from a new empire (Peladine).
Federation & Empire: The Romulan Civil War scenario.
A Call to Arms: a new monster (Moray Eel) and four new ships.
Starmada: The Andromedans including rules and four ships.
And lots more new stuff: Traveller preview, Carnivons for SFBF, Paravians for Anarchist, a scenario for Star Fleet Marines.
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.
For more information or to download the order sheet, check them out at www.tenneshington.com. Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony L. Thomas at: email@example.com.
Jupiter IV Decals is a source of decals for the 2400 line and will do custom decals as well as all official SFB names. In the near future Jupiter IV will move into the 2500 line and will work to get every listed name on the Starfleet registry completed in both scales.
Their website is: JupiterIvdecals.com
The big news here is that Rated Ace Tournament #44 is moving along smartly. Only two round 2 round games are left to be played. Paul Scott is the judge.
The Platinum Hat 2014 is well underway.One fourth round game is left to see who will meet Paul Scott in the final round. Stephen McCann is the judge.
NetKill Patrol's fourth quarter winner is Brendan Lally. Congratulations! The first quarter matches are ongoing on 2015. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Star Fleet Battles games and demos will be held at the Farpoint Convention in Timonium, Maryland on February 13-15, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet at will be played at Trumpeter Salute, in Vancouver, B.C. on March 27-29, 2015. Jon Woodland (who created the ACTASF ship roster cards) will be hosting two games Saturday morning and one Saturday afternoon.
Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander (and possibly A Call to Arms: Star Fleet) games and demos will be held at the Balticon Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland on May 22-25, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
All SFU games are welcome at StratCon, held in the Nashville, Tennessee area on June 20-27, 2015. While there will certainly be Federation & Empire, other games include Star Fleet Battle Force, Federation Commander, Star Fleet Battles, and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet. Stay tuned to their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/151297821607520/
Star Fleet Battles games and demos will be held at the Shore Leave Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland on August 7-9, 2015. Ranger Joseph Dorffner will be holding these in the gameroom.
Star Fleet Battles to be at the 73rd WorldCon at Spokane WA, on August 17-22, 2015! Prices are still $190 per person, thru January 31, 2015. Only a few days to reserve your spot in this five-day science fiction and fantasy convention which holds the voting/nominations for the Hugos. Nominations for the Hugos continues until March 10, with voting starting sometime after that. Only members of the con that pay by January 31, are eligible to nominate Hugo Awards. The SFB Giant Sanctioned Official Tournament will be run for 64 or more players, of the 7k guests expected to attend in downtown Spokane WA, USA NA. An all-miniature tournament, it will be run eight games at a time, every four hours, during the hours of 9-9, to take care of the first few rounds, with finals Saturday or Sunday depending on turnout. All materials mostly provided by Ranger Harlan Haskell III. Bring pen and paper, everything else provided, for the tournament. Queries? Turtle test available starting Thursday evening, upon demand, with cards available.
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.
Star Fleet Battles games are played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.
Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamer's 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
When it comes time to bust up Alliance battle stations, consider committing one or two D6s to the battle. A force with a D6 as the leader, a F5S, and another D6 with an escort carrier group and a squadron of F5 frigates will provide the necessary combat potential to reduce an undefended battle station.
When taking damage, be sure to cripple a D6 after giving up the escort carrier group's fighters. After the battle, retrograde the crippled D6 to a starbase and use conversion during repair to convert it to one of the D6 variants. This way you get a discounted conversion plus the use of the hull in one of the smaller battles of the invasion.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
At first glance, the Transport Marines! special action does not seem to be all that great. You have to be within two inches of your target, and you have to drop the facing shield. At least in the ACTASF-1.2 rules using this doesn't block you from using a second special action.
But let's take a closer look. Through judicious use of movement, you can often arrange to use this special action with no return action possible. If all of the enemy's ships have moved, you can move your remaining ships to within two inches of a target ship with down shields (or shields you expect to knock down during the attack phase) in such a manner as to enable you to drop a facing shield and have no enemy ships in arc to fire through the gap. Since your opponent has already moved his units, he cannot move anything to a position that will let it take advantage of the gap.
Two out of six rolls on the die will generate a successful attempt. This gives you a 33% chance of inflicting a critical hit on your helpless target, and it can be done once for every transporter on board in addition to regular weapons fire. That is five times for a Klingon D7 or Federation BC, and if you are flying a Klingon C8 you have eight transporters! Or if you have a crippled ship that is limited to firing only one weapon system, and it can get within two inches of a valid target, go ahead and try for a critical-and-run raid.
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
Starline 2500 Federation ships. Photo and painting by Bill Stec.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
A new Starmada book for both editions.
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Tholian PC, DD, CA, TK5, DN; Klingon B10; Orion BR, DW, BC, BCH, DN.
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
F&E Fighter Operations update 2014, SKU 3203
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Captain's Log #50, SKU 5750
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Captain's Log #10
Shuttle Bay, U.S.S. Colin Powell
All was controlled chaos inside the shuttle bay of the Powell. It had often been remarked during the General War that the quickest way to get killed on a carrier was to work inside a carrier's shuttle bay during flight operations. As with most sayings, this was not entirely true, of course. Despite their constant work with explosive warheads, super-corrosive fuel mixtures, and multi-ton machines, all moving in a synchronized dance that was a wonder to behold, the average crewman loading the drones and servicing the shuttles had a much higher chance of living to see the end of the conflict than the fighter pilots riding their deadly metal steeds of war.
If the Powell's fighter pilots were dismayed about their lowly chances at survival, it did not show. Inside the cockpit of Snake-one one, the Powell's lead F-111 for this flight, Lieutenant Eric "Sidewinder" Hildebrandt finished calling out his launch checklist over the low, growling rumble of the engines. Beside him, his electronic warfare officer, Lieutenant Joan "Muzik" Rogers, punched up her own checklist on her PADD. With a clipped, professional tone, she began calling it out.
Hildebrandt followed along, visually checking each setting and physically setting each switch as she did so.
It was a routine they had done many times in the past, both for training missions and for actual combat missions. Most of the checklist was automated, and within moments, they were done. Hildebrandt looked out of the cockpit and flashed his Orion crew chief a smile and a thumbs-up. His crew chief nodded, came to attention and saluted. Hildebrandt returned the salute and pressed the canopy closure switch. He closed his helmet and settled back into his seat. Carefully, he reached for the big fighter's control stick. He felt Rogers immerse herself in the electronic displays that were her bread and butter.
Hildebrandt did not envy her. The EWO had a demanding job, made even more demanding by the software package that her navigational computer was loaded with. Normally it allowed their F-111 to provide the Powell's fighter squadron with advanced electronic countermeasures or electronic counter-countermeasures. It also allowed the other members of the flight group to designate them with the affectionate nickname "Spark Vark." But this time, the capabilities of the software package would be used to augment the formidable intelligence-gathering ability of the Powell itself.
He turned his attention back to flying the shuttle. He keyed his mike. It was time to let their controllers know that they were ready to perform their mission.
"Launch Control, this is Snake one one."
"Go ahead Snake one one." The disembodied voice of the controller sounded "tinny" in his ears.
"All systems are go. We're ready to launch."
"You're clear to launch Snake one one. Snake one two has just finished loading their sensor pod and should be joining you shortly."
He clicked the mike button twice in reply, then eased the throttles forward slightly and pulled back on the stick. With astonishing smoothness, the Aardvark lifted off the deck and glided toward the open shuttle bay doors.
Once outside, Snake one one took up station off the port bow of the Powell. It was not long before it was joined by Snake one two. To the viewers on the ship, both of them seemed to hang suspended in space - tiny, insignificant, metallic insects silhouetted against the overpowering glory of the nebula.
Josh Driscol asks: Going over Energy Allocation forms following a game I came across something odd in a hellbore. It was allocated five points of power, but normally I see three points of power for rolling and six points of power for an overload or batteries used to overload. When we checked (H7.64) it seemed clear that you could overload a weapon with not enough power to fire it as overload. The weapon would depend on reserve power at some point during the turn or it could not fire as standard or overload. I just have a few questions on how this could be used. I was under the impression that nearly every heavy weapon had to be charged, not charged, or overloaded. Are there any weapons other than the plasmatic pulser device, which seems to have its own rules for reserve power, which cannot use this partial overload?
ANSWER: If you allocate partial overload energy to a weapon, it is irrevocably committed to being an overload and cannot fire (as a standard or overload) unless you allocate the remaining reserve power. Any weapon that cannot use (H7.6) will say so in its rules. Doing this is usually not a good idea.
Follow-up question: Can a disruptor be partly armed with one point of power? That is not enough for the standard charge. It says in (H7.52) that you can use reserve power at the time of firing or not to finish a weapon to standard charge. How about three points of power doing what the hellbore ship in my game did, but with a disruptor?
ANSWER: Weapons are generally allowed to use contingent allocation under (H7.61). You could allocate one point of power to a disruptor, but would need to allocate the remaining point from reserve in order to fire it. Otherwise, the single point of energy would be discharged at the end of the turn.
Follow-up question: In the case of a fusion beam that is charged already, the player allocates one point of energy to hold it and three points of overload energy (four points total). Could it fire as an overload or would it depend on reserve power to bring it to the full suicide overload power or be unfirable in any mode?
ANSWER: Fusion beams have a special rule in regards to suicide overloads (E7.442). If you allocate part of the energy for a suicide overload (i.e., more than the normal overload energy but less than the full suicide overload energy), the weapon can be fired as a regular overload, but this will still result in the consequences of (E7.421). (The weapon will be destroyed and cause an additional point of internal damage whether or not you fire it.)
Follow-up question: Could a plasma torpedo be allocated more than holding but less than standard arming energy? For example: I allocate three points of power to a plasma-S torpedo tube on its third turn of arming. Could it be either fired or finished with reserve power (and held) at any impulse in the turn?
ANSWER: If you apply 2+2+3 points of energy to a plasma-S launcher, you will get a plasma-G. See (FP1.96); this is a fairly common tactic. You could launch it as a plasma-S if you apply an extra point from reserve power. Rule (FP1.22) says it would not be legal to allocate, say, 2.5 points of energy to the torpedo on the third turn of arming. Your choices for the third turn of arming are to allocate two points of energy and use (FP1.221) rolling delay, or allocate full energy to complete it as a plasma-G (3), plasma-S (4), enveloping or shotgun plasma-G (6), or enveloping or shotgun plasma-S (8), respectively. Anything else results in the plasma being ejected.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
Q: The Kzinti Order of Battle (705.3) refers to "three carrier pods and two battle pods at start." Since Kzintis use their pods in pairs, does this refer to pairs of pods?
A: That is an old version of the Order of Battle, before light tactical transports (which use single pods) appeared in the game. Current versions of the Order of Battle (on our website) correctly show six individual carrier pods and four individual battle pods, which can be used singly or (by a tug) in pairs.
Q: I haven't played F&E for about 12 years, but am thinking of getting the 2010 boxed set. Have the expansion sets been updated as well for the 2010 rules, or can I use my old ones?
A: Generally speaking, all of the expansions are still 2000 edition (ISC War was done for 2010), but errata for them is online and (given that) they work quite well with the 2010 version of the basic game. The staff is working to upgrade the expansions but it took well over a year to upgrade F&E from 2000 to 2010 so please be patient.
Q: Rule (204.38) states that strategic movement capability is reduced by every starbase destroyed and not replaced, but that building extra starbases doesn't add to your capability. So, if I build a new starbase on Turn #5, and another one gets destroyed on Turn #10, do I retain my original capability?
A: As long as your net loss is zero, then you retain your original capacity.
Q: Can Tholian ships in the raid pool move more than two hexes from Tholian territory?
A: They can do so because they won't stay for any period of time and will return to the capital thereafter.
Q: When does the Depot reactivate (424.13) after you lose your capital? Once the shipyard is fully rebuilt? Or once you start rebuilding the shipyard?
A: If the depot is located at the capital shipyard then the depot becomes active again once the replacement shipyard is complete.
Q: Can you put ships in the depot on the turn it is complete or do you have to wait for next turn?
A: Follow the steps of the Sequence of Play and you'll know the answer. On the turn the depot is complete, it will be completed in the Economic Phase of the SOP. The use of the depot would be available during the Combat Phase of that turn (which happens later), but not during the Production Phase, which is already over.
Q: Can an extra escort be added to a CVEG under (515.2)?
A: Yes, based upon precedence under (502.922) CVBGs. Since a legal escort carrier can add one additional escort it still meets the intent of "one additional light or escort carrier and one additional light (SC4) escort."
Q: Does the bonus for an undevastated capital planet (523.12) apply for every planet in the capital system or just once for the main capital planet (Klinshai, Earth, etc).
A: It only applies to the capital planet, not planets in the capital system. So, only once per empire.
Q: Are Klingon and Lyran fighter HDW modules interchangeable the way KVPs and VP2/3 are?
A: No empires can share HDW modules.
(End of F&E Q&A)
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 MonthSELTORIAN CRACKDOWN
When fighting a multi-ship battle, it is normal practice to concentrate your fire on one target ship on one impulse, so it all hits one shield. The first ship's volley usually brings down the shield, and the other ships' volleys go through the down shield and disable internal systems. When using the Seltorian Shield Cracker as part of each volley, this won't work as well. Shield crackers can only damage shields, and the first ship's volley will often bring down the shield and the subsequent shield cracker shots will be wasted.(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
Instead, the squadron's particle cannon and phaser fire should be concentrated on one ship, and the squadron's shield crackers should be fired at another ship. (The ship which will resolve its volley first can fire its shield crackers at the primary target.) The target of the shield crackers won't suffer any internal damage, but it will have a weak or down shield facing toward your squadron. You might even be able to follow up the shield crackers with your particle cannons' second shots, or even a swarm of boarding parties! At the very least, it's going to make the opponent's movement decisions harder as he tries to keep the weak shield out of arc of your weapons. In this way, the shield cracker becomes a weapon that complicates the enemy's movement, a bit like seeking weapons.
The eight-impulse delay for consecutive firing and/or launching of phaser/disruptors/drones (over a turn break) is well known. A very common tactical doctrine is to fire/launch those weapons on Impulse #25 in order to have them available for use on Impulse #1 of the following turn.
The insignia of various empires -- art by Xander Fulton.