Star Fleet Universe News
BIG NEWS: CAPTAIN'S LOG #52 AND STARLINE MINATURES
The Long Wait is over, and was well worth it. This issue has everything and more.
An Orion crime team must Escape from Xylad with their kidnapped prisoner.
Federation Commander gets four new commando ships, four scenarios, command notes, eight battle-groups, and complete rules for ground combat.
Star Fleet Battles gets 12 new ships, 5 new scenarios, 35 new battlegroups, the data file on the Wild Alunda, a Zosman update with two new ships, two Omega command cruisers, and the Jumokian Primer.
Federation & Empire gets new Middle Years rules and a special scenario.
A Call to Arms gets the WYN Cluster and five ships.
Starmada gets the first four ships from the new Unity Edition and the shocking plans for the free upgrade.
Star Fleet Marines gets a new scenario.
When we ship Captain's Log #52, we will also ship the new Heavy Freighter, Jumbo Freighter, and the revised Large Freighter. But that's not all.
The Klingon HF5 heavy war destroyer has been sent to the factory in both 2450 and 2500 scale. The Romulan SaberHawk heavy war destroyer has also gone to the factory in both scales. But even that's not all.
We will begin releasing a few "print to order" ships on Shapeways. It will be the end of March before our store is open, but we should have two or three new ships (including the long-awaited Vulture for 2500) on line by the early April. After that, we're going to work very hard to add a new ship or two every month. (The existing CGIs require tedious conversion work to go on Shapeways, so it won't be an instant release of lots of ships.) We plan to include the missing 2500 dreadnoughts (Klingon B10 and C9, Kzinti DN, Romulan Condor and Vulture) by the end of summer. They will be offered in both metal and plastic. Watch for more news as it happens. We're learning as we go, so be patient.
Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Dale, 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.
DOING VIDEOS OF THE SFU
A customer asked about posting "tutorial videos" for our games. We like it when people do that (and even give commendation medals) but you need to have us check the videos to make sure you aren't violating something somehow (or that you didn't make a rules error). Doing such videos to make money is not cool. Please drop us an email before you post the videos.
STAR FLEET'S LEGIONS EXPAND:
I am so excited! Since last issue, we've had battle groups start up in Alabama and Maryland. Let's take a look at Batttle Group Galaxy M31, located in Huntsville, Alabama. CO Dan Proctor reports that this group is forming, but has already played a game of Federation Commander. Even more impressive, they are planning on a demo at Nashcon in June! Check out Galaxy M31 here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_galaxym31.shtml
Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml
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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: email@example.com or Tony L. Thomas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Rated Ace Tournament 47 is up and going with first round games being played and a second round game finished!. Bill Schoeller is the judge.
The sixth annual Star Fleet Battles Platinum Hat tournament is now finished. Congratulations to Bill Schoeller who flew the Klingon ship and defeated Peter Bakija in the Kzinti.Paul Scott was the judge for this tournament; Steven Petrick was the Tournament Marshal, with Peter Bakija assisting them.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Rapier 2017 was a great success according to Rangers Michael Baker and Christian Rekowski. Both the Star Fleet Battle Force and Star Fleet Battles demos went well.
Ranger Matthew Lawson reports that his Federation Commander demo at DayConGaming 2017 went well.
Star Fleet Battles was demoed at RadCon 7 held February 17-19, 2017. Ranger Harlan Haskell III reports it was successful.
Battle Group Galaxy M31 plans on holding a Federation Commander Demo Derby at Nashcon 2017 June 2, 2017 from 2 to 6 pm in the Franklin Marriott at Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee. http://www.nashcon.org/ It will be a frigate battle royal in miniature (Starline 2400)
Are you going to GenCon in August 2017? Make plans to play Star Fleet Battles with Randy Blair as the Ranger in charge. He'll be holding four demos there. August 17 at 11:00 am is Eastern Plight, August 18 at 11:00 am is Western Plight, August 19 at 10:00 am and again at 3:00 pm is Survivor! (each is stand-alone). GenCon is held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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 held regularly in Indianapolis, Indiana at Family Time Games. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information see: http://www.meetup.com/Star-Fleet-Battles-Indy/.
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 Ranger Harlan Haskell III reports that the last gameday went well and folks enjoyed themselves.
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 economics of the early war period dictate that the Kzinti-Fed commercial convoy takes the shortest possible route between the Federation and Kzinti Supply Grids. Most F&E players think that is between the Federation Fourth Fleet starbase at 2204 and the Kzinti Marquis starbase at 1704; it is not. The shortest and safest route is between the Federation and Kzinti off-map areas.
Rules (443.51) and (443.52) make it clear that if the commercial convoy arrives at 1704, while the Marquis is detached from the Main Supply Grid to the capital, it delivers nothing. This is something smart Coalition players can and do arrange.
There is also the further danger of raids per (443.24). A lowly E4 or Lyran frigate can raid the commercial convoy for one-to-six Economic Points per raid without risk of destruction. Escorts for the commercial convoy only reduce the number of Economic Points lost rather than increasing the chance of the raider being destroyed.
The on-map route counter-tactic to this plan is to move the commercial convoy from battle station to battle station to starbase so that the raider must fight under the guns of a base before rolling for the results of the raid on the commercial convoy. This is something that even a light dreadnought with a Prime Team would balk at.
That being said, there is also the danger of drone/fighter raids from Planetary Operations, which can still strike the commercial convoy at a battle station, risking only the chance of an interception battle. Plus, when the Coalition has fast patrol ships with CPX counters for their light dreadnoughts, while the Federation and Kzintis do not, any unsupported Alliance battle stations start to worry about themselves rather than the commercial convoy.
Do not take the risk of losing that income; send your commercial convoy off-map.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
WARP SPEED, MONGOOSE!
or How to Speed up an Already Fast-Paced Game
ACTASF is designed to be a fast-paced game where large fleet actions can be completed in as little as one hour or as much as a single evening, but there are tricks and tips that can reduce the time required to play a battle significantly.
1. Squadrons: In games of 2,000 points or more, form your ships into three-ship squadrons. Squadrons move and fire as one unit. If you have 15 ships on each side, formed into five squadrons of three each, you've cut the required actions by 66%.
2. Special Actions: Have a series of Special Action markers printed up and have enough for each ship in the game. Simply throwing down a Special Action marker beside a ship as it declares its actions will save tons of time later in the turn as you try to remember or look up which ships had performed which actions.
3. Dice: Have plenty of dice available in multiple colors. When it's time for your Federation heavy cruiser to unload an alpha strike, simply pick up the dice and declare, "The red dice are photons, the yellow dice are phaser-1s, the white dice are phaser-3s, and the green die is the drone!" Roll all the dice at once and remove any 1's, 2's, or 3's as those are misses. Whatever is left are hits and you can simply pick up any 6's and re-roll them for damage on the Attack Table... Next ship, please.
4. Movement: When it's your turn to nominate and move a ship, leave the mini in place and utilize a spare die as the movement token. Using the appropriate rulers and turn gauges, you move the die through the desired moves the ship will make. Once satisfied, pick up the ship miniature and place it where the die ended up. This way, if you decide to retract all or part of the move and go a different route, there's no question about where the ship was at the start of the Movement Phase.
5. Targeting: Many times you will want to place a ship so that its desired target is on the boundary line between two firing arcs. [A Call to Arms rules allow weapons in both firing arcs to fire at a target on the boundary line.] In a friendly game, it's often advantageous to place the ship in its final position and state: "the captain has maneuvered this ship so that your battlecruiser is located on the boundary between these two arcs" (or simply "I centerlined you"). That will often save several minutes of arguing and measuring exact angles with compass and protractors to confirm that you did indeed angle the firing ship just right.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2017
A new Starmada book for both editions.
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Klingon B10
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
PDF and EBOOK SALES:
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Briefing Room, USS Alfred the Great
A sense of businesslike concern hung in the air, as the department heads sat at the briefing room table. A serving dish with doughnuts along with a carafe of hot coffee sat ignored on a side service tray.
Captain Winter cleared the tickle from his throat. "Commander Jiang, let's begin the briefing."
Jiang nodded and began. "An hour ago, we received the following message from Outpost Eight."
The XO slid a data cassette into the playback mechanism and tapped the on-switch. A three-second burst of static came through the speaker, followed by what sounded like an Andorian voice. "This is Outpost Eight. . .we are under attack. . .buzz. . .vessel. . .no identi-buzz-crackle...shields gone. . .repeating, this is Feder-buzz-distress. . .buzz..."
Jiang switched the message off. "That's all we have. Outpost Eight won't respond to our hails or any Star Fleet signals. The computer matches the voice with Ensign Vetjhe, an Andorian officer assigned to the outpost's weapons department. While the message is fragmentary, the carrier wave contained this week's verification code for this sector, so it is extremely unlikely that this is a faked signal. The post is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Liddi, but since she didn't send the message and Vetjhe is well down the command chain, an attack which caused casualties seems likely."
Winter nodded, agreeing with Jiang's assessment. "Background on Outpost Eight? Anything unusual?"
"No. The outpost was built almost 90 years ago on a large asteroid in an outer orbit around the star. The system has six planets, all small gas giants, along with the standard assortment of comets and asteroids. The star is an M7V red dwarf, very old, very quiet, very few flares or electromagnetic disturbances, the perfect place for a listening post. The asteroid itself is quite large, virtually a planetoid or small moon."
"What about the other outposts, any trouble with them?" asked Kaktu.
"Outposts Six, Seven, and Nine respond to hails and report no problems," replied Jiang. "However, Outpost Six reports they were unable to raise Outposts Two and Three on their most recent check-ins."
"So this isn't an isolated problem," commented Winter. "Whatever happened to Outpost Eight could have happened further down the line as well."
"Could this be something other than an attack, perhaps an ion storm?" asked Dr. Catek.
"Unlikely," said Jiang. "Meteorology reports no storms or space weather disruptions in this area. It could be some other natural phenomenon I suppose."
"This close to the Neutral Zone, it has to be the Romulans," commented Herman Kleist, the ship's Marine Major, in his thick Bavarian accent. "With the early warning listening posts gone, the base stations beyond them would be next, and the whole front would be wide open for invasion."
"Possibly, but we don't know that for sure," responded Jiang "It could be Orion Pirates, or a space monster."
(Continue reading here)
Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
Matthew Potter asks: I am facing an interesting situation. A fast-moving ship puts an MRS shuttle in a tractor beam (6B4). The MRS replies by launching a drone (6B6). The drone is in the tractor-tunnel (G7.9433) at this time. During the next impulse, the ship moves and the drone moves. Per (G7.541), the shuttle is destroyed in place and does not move with the ship. My opponent claims there is a ruling that the drone would be carried along with the ship and thus would impact on this impulse. This would cause the drone to move twice in an impulse: once during the ship's movement and once during its own movement. This is despite similar cases in the tractor rules to prevent units from gaining two hexes of movement (G7.36).
I note that the exact wording of (G7.541) states ". . . the shuttle is destroyed in the hex where it was before the movement." (Emphasis mine). Common sense leads me to believe that the tractor beam is shut off at the moment of the shuttle's destruction. The text of (G7.541) says this is before movement is completed. Therefore I claim the tractor beam does not exist to carry the drone in the tunnel. How is this supposed to work?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: The drone is in the tractor tunnel, but is not itself tractored. It is carried along by the tunnel, and when called on to move it will move. The fact that it is carried along by the tunnel does not affect its own movement. So in the normal course of events if a unit held in a tractor three hexes from the tractoring unit launches a drone, and the drone is "fast" (Speed 32) and the tractoring unit were moving Speed 30 (the tractored unit in this case being a fighter with a nominal top speed of 15 and thus would not be death-dragged at Speed 30), the ship would move on three consecutive impulses, and so would the drone in the tractor tunnel (leading to impact). The tractor tunnel does not prevent the drone from moving on each of the impulses because the drone itself is not "held." If the drone were a Speed 20 unit, it would still move when called on, but it would not move towards the target on every impulse like a Speed 32 drone would, but only when Speed 20 was called on to move. Note: A tractor tunnel carries the drone along, but is not a link to the drone, thus the drone moves normally. The limitations are that the launching unit could only launch a drone at the tractoring unit and thus the drone is always in the tractor tunnel.
The tractor tunnel effect will not end until after movement (e.g., destroyed tractor beams do not cease to have their effect until after resolution of damage during movement, so the tractor effect of an undestroyed beam that was holding a shuttle remains until after movement even though the shuttle was destroyed), even if the shuttle's destruction is in the initial hex. If there is no unit to take control of the drone, the drone loses tracking and if not self-guiding will go inert under (F3.32), i.e., the "any point" rule of losing tracking, the drone will lose tracking as a result of the ship's movement destroying the shuttle and before the drone itself can move. If there is a unit to assume tracking from the now destroyed shuttle, then the drone will move and impact the target (in this case).
Kerry Mullan asks: If two high-speed units are tractored and each are moving in the same direction so there is near constant hold over movement (because if both ships did move they would move two hexes), what happens if one speed changes to a slower speed that gets called during that movement?
For example, both ships are the same size class. Both Ship A and Ship B have pseudo speed 15. Impulse #N, both ships move. Ship A has hold over movement. During impulse activity, Ship B changes to a speed whose pseudo speed moves on Impulse #N+1, and is still slower than ship A. On Impulse #N+1, we have ship A having its holdover movement and ship B having its new speed movement. If both move, they move two hexes. Who moves? Can the holdover movement be pushed again?
ANSWER: Per (G7.36-C3), the delayed movement is executed first. If the other movement would result in the two ships moving more than one hex, that new move would be delayed.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
THE PRIME RATE
Q: Can a wounded Prime Team (522.5) be restored to full status at any time? The rules make mention of being able to move it via strategic movement and it can be restored, but that it cannot leave the capital again that same turn
A: This rule implies that the wounded team can be "healed" at any time, but restricting them to the capital for the remainder of the turn. There is no shipyard requirement. So, yes, you can "heal" a wounded prime team at any time they reach the capital with or without a shipyard.
Q: Under rule (534.224), a successful E&S mission destroys half of a given carrier's fighters. How does that interact with CVAs that have two squadrons, CVDs that operate a very large squadron, or other special cases?
A: You do just what it says and destroy one half of the fighters, rounded down, for all carriers. You are looking for special cases where there are none. Remember, though, the destroyed fighters are replaced during the normal Sequence of Play.
Q: In reference to (522.0) and (534.3), does a prime team assigned to the target ship in the previous combat phase modify the success roll of such a mission?
A: Defensive missions for prime teams are assigned in Phase 2B7 in the SoP. E&S missions are in step 3A-2B. Prime teams can be moved to any friendly unit in 5-6X5. The defensive missions are assigned in your player turn, though. So, you would need to assign them as a defensive mission during your Production Phase to protect a target from an E&S mission in the following player turn.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, what can you tell me about this Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement?
A: Back when we first created a book that was compatible with d20 games, some species were omitted due to space considerations. This was carried over when we converted the book to PD20 Modern. The missing species for the Federation and Klingons were added in those sourcebooks, but entire empires were still missing from the PD20 Modern line.
I wanted to do a short Prime Directive book using Word on a PC to make sure that I could create a professional-looking book. Creating a supplement for the PD20 Modern Core Rulebook seemed to be the perfect candidate. I decided to include the Federation and Klingon species for those folks who hadn't bought those sourcebooks. I looked at the original GURPS Prime Directive books and also at the original Prime Directive books to find out more about the more obscure species. There are only a couple of stories that featured the ISC species and bits of information had to be reconciled. A couple of those turned into Captain's Log articles. (They may well be the start of a future ISC sourcebook.)
I also wanted to add some value for people who had bought the three existing sourcebooks (Federation, Klingon, and Romulan). Weapons charts were scattered all over and I decided that as a GM, I would love to have those united. Thus you will find unified charts at the end. I also thought that as a player, I would like to know where to find a piece of information that I remembered reading, but couldn't remember where. So I created a unified index.
I know there are some people who wanted us to give this book away. However, it did take time and effort to create and covers don't spring full-formed, in glorious color from Simone's forehead. We tried to price it reasonably so that it would be easy to add to your library. I, personally, hope that you enjoy it.
Send questions to Jean at marketing@StarFleetGames.com and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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".
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 MonthWHICH PANEL BANK TO SACRIFICE
By carefully choosing which power absorber panel bank to allocate "drone" (power absorber panel) damage points to, Andromedan ships can help to spread power between their power absorber panel banks and clear their power absorber panels more efficiently.
Andromedan ships will often find themselves with a full power absorber panel bank (usually the front) and empty power absorber panels on the other facing when they take damage and must pick a power absorber panel box to disable. The default choice is to mark a power absorber panel box of the empty power absorber panel bank as disabled, leaving the other power absorber panel bank still full. It is better to mark one of the full power absorber panel bank's power absorber panels as disabled, causing it to release energy. The released energy will go into the empty power absorber panel bank. At the end of the turn, both power absorber panel banks will contain energy and be eligible to radiate power to space and transfer power to batteries.
For example, an Intruder has 60 points of power in its forward power absorber panel bank and zero in its rear power absorber panel bank. It takes a "drone" damage point, and marks off a front power absorber panel box. Ten points of power go to the rear power absorber panels. At the end of the turn, through dissipation and battery transfer, it is able to clear eight points of energy from its rear power absorber panels and 10 points of manufacture energy from its forward power absorber panels, six points of energy more than it would have otherwise.
As a rule, Andromedans should strive to have the power in their power absorber panels spread over as many power absorber panels in as many power absorber panel banks on as many ships as possible, to maximize their ability to manipulate the power levels.
A long-held tactic is to use mid-turn speed changes to gain a speed one hex greater than the break in your Turn Mode by selecting the top end of the break, selecting a speed one lower for the middle part of the turn, and then the maximum again at the end of the turn. By selecting the impulses of transition, you can gain one more hex of movement than the chosen break while maintaining the lower Turn Mode. For example, in a Turn Mode C ship, which has a Turn Mode of four at Speeds 15-20, you can get 21 hexes of movement by plotting:
Speed 20 until Impulse #8,
Speed 19 until Impulse #17,
Speed 20 thereafter.
Interestingly, you can do the same, in reverse, to maintain a higher speed than desired (for future acceleration purposes). For example, it may be tactically useful to move four hexes, but you want to maintain acceleration options for the next turn. With the following plot:
Speed 5 until Impulse #6 (zero movement),
Speed 6 until Impulse #14 (move one hex),
Speed 5 thereafter (move three hexes).
Thereby moving four hexes, but you can still accelerate to Speed 15 next turn under (C12.33). There are very limited speeds where you can perform this trick, but at low speeds it provides flexibility both now and later.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)
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.
Dan Proctor shared his photo of this mini!
Facebook Highlight of the Month
Matthew G. Lawson reports: Federation Commander demo at Daycon today. With 1 other player, did a 2 on 2. I played Klingons and lost badly as I never play Klingons. But was fun and most importantly, have contacts for other games!