March 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the approval of GURPS FEDERATION, which is now scheduled for release to stores in May. It will appear on e23 a few weeks before that.

WEBSITE: Our combined and reorganized website,, 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 pop some popcorn and join us at the movies! Our newest uploads are:

ADB October 2010 Releases
Prime Directive Product Line

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on the Federation Commander websites and the first site have been changed to match. The new site is

AMBASSADORS: We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see our topic on the FC Forum or on the BBS.

Fight For A Cure

Fight For A Cure is a far bigger success than we ever dreamed it would be in its first year. The tournament has 36 people who entered and many people who donated. ADB, Inc. was able to send a check for $600 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Play continues and you can keep track from this page on SFBOL:

Fight For A Cure Tournament Tree

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, fiction, 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

      One of the biggest changes between Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander is the speed at which systems can be repaired. With the ability to repair one weapon (of any type) or one power system (again of any type) each turn, ships in Federation Commander can really get back into the game quickly if they were only lightly damaged. Consider that a Federation heavy cruiser that has a photon torpedo disabled on Turn #1 can repair it at the end of that turn, start re-arming it immediately, and fire it on Turn #3. In Star Fleet Battles, a photon torpedo lost on Turn #1 could not be repaired and re-armed until Turn #5.
     This is even more evident with plasma torpedoes. A plasma-S torpedo launcher destroyed on Turn #1 in Star Fleet Battles would be available to launch a fast-loaded plasma-F torpedo on Turn #6, whereas in Federation Commander it's ready on Turn #3. This means it might be to your advantage, when taking a plasma torpedo damage point, to take the plasma-S torpedo launcher instead of the plasma-F torpedo launcher. Both are repaired in the same amount of time, but the plasma-S torpedo launcher will be available to fire (as a fast-load) one turn sooner than the plasma-F torpedo launcher.
      Repair capabilities might also make a difference in your decisions about directed damage. If you kill a disruptor, it will be back next turn. If you kill the power needed to arm the disruptor, it might be longer before the disruptor can fire again, or limit your opponent in other ways. However, there is a trade-off. Since power only costs three repair points to repair, the average cruiser can repair a point of power and a hull box. That hull box could save you from another power or weapon hit on the next volley.
      Fast repair also makes it imperative to keep pressure on a lightly damaged enemy, and to not leave cripples hanging around. They can become dangerous, even deadly, if given just a turn or two to do repairs.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

      Good admirals have plans for separating crippled ships from the fleet and they execute the plans on the same turn fire is exchanged. A ship without power will lose shields, movement, and electronic warfare on the first impulse of the turn after it loses power. At that point it becomes much easier to kill and a serious possible source of damage to the rest of the fleet.
      If unable to separate before Impulse #31, the fleet can assign a custodian to tractor the crippled ships. The group will move with the fleet on Impulse #32 and the custodian can rotate the powerless ships forward and use a delayed movement on Impulse #1 to get them out of explosion range as their defenses come down.
      Stopped fleets should plot a near-end-of-turn speed change to use the tactic.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

      With diplomatic income (Planetary Operations) before the Federation enters the war, they can craftily (if they wish to expend their money and help their tiny neighbors . . .) subsidize the neutral planets in between them and the Klingons.
      By (503.631) they can give planetary defense units to neutral planets. These can be delivered during the non-war turns of #1 through #6 to the two planets. So, if the Federation builds one planetary defense unit per turn, they could provide an extra two PDUs to each of these planets, and then provide an extra two PDUs to either of the planets along the Romulan border.
      The Federation could then provide additional planetary defense units along the Romulan border if they have some extra cash to beef up those defenses during Turns #7 through #10.
      It's like the GIA just slipped in some weapons and fighters to defend the Federation.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)


      What are the Fralli? Can I play one? Why does SVC always threaten to kill them off?

      The Fralli first showed up in the original Prime Directive Sourcebook. They proved a challenge in doing the Federation sourcbooks in this latest round because their planet had been described in various sources as either Class M (earth-like) or Class F (sulfur-based). Likewise, a "spark wand" had been described as a profession or an implement. It took some serious digging into the tapes to find out what was going on.As for why SVC keeps threatening the poor, offenseless Fralli, he says they're just too ugly!

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

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!

Dreadnought USS Dominion by Mark Notestine

New Releases

Communique #63 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Star Fleet Battles Module C3A: Andromedan Threat File, Stock #5635, $TBA.
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA.

Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA

Captain's Log #43, Stock #5743, $TBA.
GURPS Federation, Stock #8402, $24.95

 Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $TBA.
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.
Starship Aldo, Free RPG day

Steve's Game Marketing Book
Captain's Log #2
Orion Ship Card Pack #1
Romulan Ship Card Pack #1
GURPS Klingon
Captain's Log 1
GURPS Prime Directive
Federation Ship Card Pack #1

Frax Ship Card Pack #3
Gorn Ship Card Pack #1
Klingon Ship Card Pack #1
Kzinti Ship Card Pack #1

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

Cafe Press

This would make the lady in your life be wearin' the green (and supporting the SFU)
Green Shirt

Reveal your inner lizard with an iPhone slider case
teddy bear

Or go straight for March Madness and check the shot clock with this clock (wouldn't you like to have these guys on your team?)

We'll be adding even more items soon and we want to hear from you! Please contact Joel Shutts (Graphics Director)  with your request.  Visit our Star Fleet Cafe Press Store for a complete listing of the products available (or click on the items above to go directly to them).

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.

Star Fleet Fiction
Part Ten of Ten

     "That, sir, is the situation as we have it," the Operations Commander reported. "You know what we know, what we have done, and what we propose to do. What are your orders?'
     "Go ahead and send the Bold Raven to the last reported location of the Axe Wielder," the Commodore said.
     "The Bold Raven is not yours to order about," the Police Commandant said. "I understand the situation, but the Bold Raven is my heaviest ship, and remains under my command. You have a frigate and an escort not much farther away, and if you must use a police ship, I have a G2 patrol boat within range, and able to get there almost as fast as Bold Raven."
     "That ship is twice as far away," the Operations Commander said. More than one person in the meeting had checked ship positions before attending. "And our own F4 and E4 are even farther. If some engineering casualty happened, or an enemy attack, time is of the essence. Bold Raven must accelerate to top speed and report to the last known location of Axe Wielder and must do so immediately."
     "Bold Raven is my ship," the Police Commandant said.
     "We can have one of our ships cover her assignment," the Operations Commander suggested.
     "Under my command?" the Police Commandant said.
     "You will have our full cooperation," the Operations Commander said.
     "Apparently that means not under my command," the Police Commandant said, "which means that the second you need your ship somewhere else, you'll take it away from me without even asking. No, if you want my ship, assign me one of yours, under my command, to be returned only when Bold Raven is returned to me."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

      Michael C. Grafton asks: Do bombers have "paired" rails so they can carry heavy drones?
      ANSWER: Only if their rule description says they do, otherwise no.
      Follow-up question: In my copy of Module J2, the Klingon heavy bomber SSD has the usual "Crawford box" with speed, crippled, disrupted etc., but the data for crippled and degraded is wrong from what I can tell, that is, it has the same number for both values...
      ANSWER: From the After Action Report in Captain's Log #25: "(R3.F12) ZB-4 bombers should be degraded at sixteen damage points and crippled at 22. There are three disruptors with two chages each, not two disruptors with three charges each."

      Andy Vancil asks: I have a question regarding transporters and split shields. Suppose Ship A is in Hex 1010A moving at Speed 20. Clearly, if this ship wants to transport a T-bomb into Hex 1109, he can drop either the #1 or #2 shield.
     Now suppose that Ship B is in Hex 1109A, moving at Speed 10, and it is Impulse #16. Thus, Ship A is on Ship B's #5 shield, and Ship B is on Ship A's #2 shield. If Ship A wants to beam Marines aboard Ship B, clearly by (G8.242) Ship B's #5 shield must be down. Does (G8.242) also mean that ship A would have to drop the #2 shield, or could Ship A transport through the #1 shield?
     I could see that it would make sense that you could only a transporter beam to a target through the shield that is facing the target, however, it looks to me like it is only necessary to have a down shield facing the hex (giving you a choice of two shields when on a split shield resolution) and to be facing a down shield on the target. Rule (G8.241) seems to support this, but some clarification would be nice.
(Ask Growler continues here)


      Q: Can a Marine Major General be included in a battle that has a mobile base being set up?
      A: Yes. A mobile base being set up is a base (510.231) and as such is eligible (321.42) to have a Marine Major General present on either side (because base battles involve Marines storming in). Granted, the only way to destroy the MB is to kill the unit setting it up, but the MMG benefits are still used.
      Q: Can PDU fighters be used in an approach battle over a capital planet or a regular planet?
      A: Yes to both. Rule (302.222) lets the fighters from the PDUs be used in the approach battle counting against the command limits.
      Q: Could a PDU be a "flagship"?
      A: A PDU has a command rating of 0 according to the current SIT. So, no, it cannot be a flagship. Well, ok, technically speaking, it could be a flagship that couldn't command anything. In a retreat situation where the three units in a hex are a PDU and two ships, the PDU (with a rating of "0") is certainly the worst of the three "flagship candidates".
(End of F&E Q&A)


These are the press releases we send to the wholesalers, retailers, and media. You can get on the mailing list for them by asking to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page.

Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe acrobat Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe acrobat Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101007 Cafe Press (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)
Alert 100830 PD20M Feds (Adobe Reader Required)


Behold, For I have become Death, the Destroyer of worlds.
The Planet Killer