Star Fleet Universe News
FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
TWITTER: ADB has recently started a Twitter feed. We are ADBInc_Amarillo. You'll find news as well as links to pictures. Check us out and retweet news of interest to your own followers. We're excited and our first goal is to get 100 followers. Help us reach that, please.
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:
STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL
and all links on StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new
Custom Decals for Starline ships
Tenneshington Decals is proud to now offer three new decals sets, made to fit the Starline 2500 Federation BB battleship, CB heavy command cruiser, and DNL light raiding dreadnought miniatures.
Rated Ace Tournament 40 is finished. Bill Schoeller defeated Paul Scott. Andrew Koch was the judge.
Rated Ace Tournament 41 is underway. All of the semifinal games are set and should be exciting matches. Andrew Koch is the judge.
NetKill Patrol fourth quarter is just starting – get in on the action on SFBOL. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.
The Platinum Hat 2013 International Online SFB Tournament is in full swing. Ken Lin has made it to the semifinals and only one game is left to play in the second round. Paul Scott is the judge.
The Masters 2013 Tournament is well underway. This challenging tournament has the winner of each match take his opponent’s ship to fly in the next match. All first round games have been played and a couple of second round matches have been played. The judge is Andrew Koch.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
Star Fleet Battles was played at the Council of Five Nations in Schenectady, New York. The final game will be played online with Brett Johnson flying against Andy Koch. Ken Kazinski is in charge of this tournament.
CharCon was held in Charleston, West Virginia on October 18-20. Both Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander were demoed successfully by Larry Hayes. Larry, thanks!
ACTASF will be demoed and games will be played at Fall-In in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on November 16, 2013. Bill Stec, part of the Mongoose Infantry, will be in charge of these events.
Federation Commander will be demoed at Game On! Game Con in Avon Indiana on November 16, 2013. Sean Johnson will be running the demos from 11 am- 2 pm. The address is: 6850 E US Highway 36, Avon, Indiana 46123.
Games and demos are being run in Spokane, Washington. They meet every Thursday (may move to Friday) at 2:00 pm and play till 9:00 pm, games open to start every time. You can find them 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
Do you want to run demos and promote SFU games? Consider becoming a Ranger! You have the advantage of "growing your own" opponents and of making new friends. Read more about it here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml
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
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 lots of interesting conversations about a wide variety of subjects. 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 communications.
F&E Strategy of the Month
The Expanded Carrier Group (CVEG) under (318.43) is pretty hard to implement effectively given the limit of three attrition squadrons allowed in a battle force under (302.334). However, the Kzintis can use this much more effectively than their neighbors. How? By combining the BCS with a CVE to form the CVEG. The half squadron of fighters on each ship makes a full squadron of fighters, plus the full flotilla of PFs counts as the second of the three allowed attrition squadrons. The third squadron is added by another carrier group of the Kzinti player's choice.(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)
What makes this a viable option is the CVE itself. The CVE is a 6(3)/3(1.5) unit built on the light cruiser hull as compared to the CVEs of their neighbors, which are built on destroyer or frigate hulls and do not have the same high combat potential.
To really make the force effective the Kzintis will want to use their best escorts to increase the density of the CVEG as they do not get the benefit of counting it as one less ship in the battle force like the Federation's CVBG under (502.923).
CVEG example: DN (Admiral, Formation Bonus), BCS+ CVE+MEC+2xDWE, CVD+MEC+HDW-E+DWE, 2xNCA, NSC (free scout). While this is not optimized for the units available at the time of advanced combat formations (318.4), it leaves the enemy with a tough choice on what to attack, even with a mauler.
The CVEG could have an extra escort added under (515.2) replacing one of the NCAs. To further reduce the ability of the enemy to maul your CVEG, you can escort your BCS as a heavy carrier by adding another ship as an inner escort that counts as a standard escort without violating (515.44) under (525.54).
With drone bombardment (309.0) and the Kzinti Fast Drone bonus [(318.13) and (318.11)] the combat potential of this fleet is increased from 113 to 133 + 2.5% of effective damage.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
VOLLEY VOUS - A CALL TO ARMS STYLE
When resolving the damage from weapons in A Call To Arms: Star Fleet, players may choose the order in which the damage from different weapons is resolved. This order can be important because some weapons will average more damage per hit than others when striking the hull of a ship. When rolling on the attack table, a roll of "one" will be a bulkhead hit and score no damage. Any other roll will score one point of damage. On average, a hull hit will score five-sixths of a point of damage.
Weapons with the Precise trait, however, will never hit the bulkheads and will score critical hits on rolls of five or six, averaging one point of damage.
Hits from weapons with the Devastating trait (photon torpedoes and seeking weapons) will score no damage on a "one," but will score two critical levels on a "six," for one bonus damage point, assuming that they hit an undamaged system, and so should score one damage point, on average.
Therefore, you should resolve any weapons damage in the following order: non-precise, non-devastating weapons (e.g, disruptors), then precise and devastating weapons. (The order in which precise and devastating weapons are resolved should not make much difference on average.)
If the early fire brings the shield down, the later fire will have more effect. Of course, if the damage is not enough to bring down the shield, or there is no shield, it does not matter what order you resolve the damage in.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet 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.
To see our previous Demotivationals click here.
Mini of the Month
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2013
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.
RECENTLY RELEASED ON e23
Bridge, Lyran CW Doomward, thirty minutes later
"Captain, no sign of the Thiefbreaker, and we have completed our circumnavigation of the entire sphere. We are preparing to enter the cloud."
"Make warp 2.4, charge up the phasers and ESGs, and reinforce the front shields with all spare power until I say otherwise. Deploy the ESGs sequentially at 20% power, minimum radius, until we have a good idea of how much material is in this cloud. I want to sweep inwards on a curve until we have a better idea of what we have here and I want ESG coverage at all times."
"Aye, aye, Captain. Our suggested course is on your screen."
"Implement," Thr'Uule commanded.
Doomward slipped into the cloud. The crew watched the scanners intensely for fifteen minutes until tactical intelligence found what it was looking for.
"Ship ahead, Captain. Recognition signal is positive for the Thiefbreaker."
The science officer also reported. "We have the vortex located. It is presently moving at warp 1.5 on a heading of 81.08 mark 3. Range, 280,000 kilometers. Thr'Uule thanked the spirits for his scanner crew. They were operating at better than the reports said they should be able to.
"Excellent. Hail the police ship and bring us to three thousand kilometers off their port side. I will want all data cross-loaded to our labs and made available to our honored guests." The scanner ensign snorted at the mention of the "honored guests". The new Marines seemed to work, compete, and exercise with an unusual intensity, and they weren't all that friendly it seemed, at least as far as water polo was concerned. A few of them had participated in a short "practice" game while the rest of the "scientists" were getting their equipment running.
The view screen showed a young Lyran who had a distinct Enemy's Blood accent. "Thiefbreaker here. I am Police Inspector second grade Fru'Uul, transferring command of this station to you. We are transmitting all our collected data. Be advised that the vortex is moving on a multidimensional curved course and our best current estimate of the equation involved is also included."
Francois Lemay asks: The Kzinti battle station has two type-D racks. How many drones can it launch from each rack? According to (FD3.41), I think it is able to launch three drones from one rack (three magazines). Is there a restriction of eight impulses between launches even between two different magazines?
ANSWER: Per (FD3.41), the rack can launch one drone per turn, from any one magazine. The usual eight-impulse delay applies over turn breaks regardless of whether you are firing from the same or a different magazine.
Alex Lyons asks: If the D-rack acts as I think it does, as long as you do not fire from the magazine you are reloading, you can reload while firing from a different magazine.
ANSWER: You are correct. Per (FD3.43), you can take a magazine out of service to reload it and still use the launcher to launch a drone from another magazine. However, type-D racks do not come with reloads so these must be drawn from other stores.
Francois Lemay asks: Can drones just launched be involuntarily transferred if the drone-launching ship is placed in stasis on the impulse of drone launch?
ANSWER: I sent this one to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: Yes, per (F3.41). The fact that a ship guiding drones is placed into stasis is as much an involuntary release as if the ship were blown to Hades or any of a number of other involuntary release conditions occurs during a given impulse.
Francois Lemay asks: Let's say a Kzinti battlecruiser already has six drones on the map and launches four more. Can four of the drones on the map be involuntarily transferred to other ships or do four of the drones lose their tracking?
ANSWER: The Kzinti battlecruiser can only control six drones, so if it is already controlling six drones it cannot launch any drones, period. In order to launch four more drones, it would have to first release or transfer control of four of the six drones already on the map, during the 6B6 Seeking Weapon Control Step, which is prior to launch. This would be a voluntary release or transfer.
Francois Lemay asks: A Klingon C8 at Speed 31 has a Kzinti battlecruiser (Speed 20) in a tractor at Range 1; both are heading in the same direction. The battlecruiser also has a Speed 20 ECM drone following it. The C8's pseudo-speed is now 19 and battlecruiser's pseudo-speed is eight. It is Impulse #4 and Speed 8 and Speed 19 both move. The C8 moves forward. Does the battlecruiser's ECM drone move as well?
ANSWER: Yes, if the battlecruiser leaves its hex, the ECM drone will immediately speed up to 20 and seek the hex of the battlecruiser.
Follow-up question: On Impulse #5, the battlecruiser will move as required, will the ECM drone move again? If so, the Speed 20 ECM drone is basically moving at Speed 27.
ANSWER: Speed 20 moves on both Impulse #4 and Impulse #5, so the ECM drone will move both those impulses if it needs to in order to keep station with the battlecruiser. Now, if both ships keep moving the same direction, the ship will eventually leave the drone behind. However, it should be noted that the ability of an ECM drone to change speed, instantaneously, as many times as it needs to, can lead to it moving more hexes in a turn than its rated speed under certain circumstances.
Follow-up question: The battlecruiser has launched four Speed-20 drones at the C8 while tractored on Impulse #6. On Impulse #7, Speed 19 and Speed 20 move. The C8 can do a sideslip or even turn. How are the four launched drones handled? According to (G7.9433), the drones are carried along when the C8 moves whether it is a sideslip or turn. Do the drones then move or must they wait until Speed 20 is called for and not Speed 8 or 19?
ANSWER: The drones are carried along in the tractor tunnel when the C8 moves. They will move again, advancing along the tractor tunnel, when their movement is called for. They do not miss their move just because the tunnel moved.
Andrew Granger asks: I am still a little fuzzy on how labs are used for identifying drones. Can someone give me a quick example or short explanation?
ANSWER: In the Identify Seeking Weapons Step of stage 6B4 of the Sequence of Play, the player operating the labs elects to make the attempt. Because this is after the Operate Tractors Step, if the player wishes to tractor drones, he must do that without knowledge gained by seeking weapon identification on the same impulse.
The identifying player selects the drones he wishes to attempt to identify (G4.2), and assigns each drone a lab. He may make more than one attempt on any given drone (using separate labs), on the same or different impulses, to improve the odds of a successful identification. The player attempting the identification then rolls a die for each attempt. There are no modifiers to the die roll. If the roll is greater than the range to the target, the drone is identified (a drone at Range 1 would be identified on a two or higher). The procedure can be used at Range Zero, in which case it is automatically successful; however in this case the drone would have had to be targeted on something other than the ship doing the identification or it would have already been "identified" through more violent means.
A successful identification reveals the target of the drone, its frame type, all modules and armor installed, any damage it may have suffered, its endurance, and whether it has automaic terminal guidance. An identification of a shuttle will identify if it is seeking or manned; if seeking, what its target is, but not what it is carrying or even if it were a suicide shuttle or a scatter-pack shuttle. Identification of plasma torpedoes provides the least information of all, revealing only the target (but the warhead strength is always known). Labs cannot distinguish a pseudo-plasma from a real one, but will identify the target of a pseudo-plasma torpedo.
Each lab can only perform one action on each turn, so an identification attempt cannot be made the same turn the lab is being used for emergency damage repair, scientific research, or any other function. A lab can attempt to identify only a single seeking weapon each turn. There is also an eight-impulse delay between using the lab for identification and for other purposes on the next turn. However, each lab functions independently, so a Federation heavy cruiser, with eight labs, might use three for emergency damage repair, two for scientific research, and three to identify seeking weapons, all at once. The attempt does not require active fire control or a lock-on, but cannot be done while using erratic maneuvers or while cloaked.
Special sensors use a similar procedure, but can be used at extended range and do not use up as much lab capacity (G24.25). Because special sensors can also attract or jam drones, identification is better done by labs. However, sensors can make more attempts to identify than to jam or attract.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
CONSTRUCTION AND PRODUCTION
Q: Does the rule (450.13) prohibiting the construction of minor shipyards in the capital include all hexes of a multi-hex capital, or only the hex with the shipyard?
A: Rule (511.0) defines "capital hex" to include all hexes of a multi-hex capital, so you cannot build minor shipyards in any of those hexes.
Q: Can a half fighter factor be exchanged for two PFs under (442.21)?
A: If the players have a methodology to keep track of fractional fighter factors, then, sure.
Q: Can an empire exchange leftover free fighter factors for PFs during the fall turn production phase?
A: No, it must happen in the Spring turn (422.21).
Q: Does Conversion During Repair (425.2) reduce the cost of converting a CA or CC to a CX by one XTP? The CX is showing that the base hull is a CA(3) on the SITs.
A: A Federation CX has a base hull of CA(3), and so does the CA or CC. As such either could be used with Conversion During Repair (CDR) at a major conversion facility with a SBX to make a CX with a CA for (6-1=5) or with a CC (5-1=4) with XTP to make a CX.
Q: Are area control ships considered CVAs for build limit purposes?
A: No. Area control ships count against heavy fighter carrier and scout limits only.
Q: Many of the NCAs have "minor" in their conversion column (from CWs) on the SIT. Does that mean that these conversions can be done at a starbase in one turn?
A: Yes! That's the beauty of the NCA concept. Even better, some of the conversions to variants qualify for a two-step conversion and still are a three-point minor conversion capable at a starbase outside a major conversion facility location per (437.21).
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean,
I've read about the e-versions of the PD One books. Why aren't they as good in appearance as your later products?
A: The early Prime Directive books were produced by Task Force Games 20 years ago. When ADB, Inc. took the game lines back over, we didn't get the files for those books. We've had to take books (best copy available) and scan them in. Then they were run though an OCR program so they were keyword searchable. While the font may be somewhat fuzzy, it is readable when at 100% resolution, at least to my aging eyes.
We always suggest using Adobe's Reader software rather than PDF software native to your browser.
Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
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 next 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
Suppose you are moving at Baseline Speed 24, but only want to move two hexes. This could be to avoid overload range against a Federation ship, gain a Range 1 shot on a drone wave, etc. The most obvious method is to decelerate, but this costs energy. So how can you do this, without using energy? By using sideslips.
On your first move, sideslip. It does not matter which direction. For this example, we will sideslip left. Next move straight, and then sideslip right. The hex you end up in is two hexes from your starting point. You have managed to end up exactly where you would have if you had decelerated, added three hexes to satisfying your turn mode count, but you have not used any energy. You can now use that energy for something else.
So go tease that Federation cruiser by maneuvering to Range 9 without using energy for a deceleration. His overloaded photons won't even get a chance to fire before your disruptors penetrate his shield and knock one of them out.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
SFB Tactic of the Month
A WARM DROP
- Junior Lieutenant William Wilson, USS Colorado
Many invasion fleets include one or more ships that are capable of landing on planets. No rule restricts the amount of crew that can be on board even a small ship for a short time. Feel free to beam a hundred Boarding Parties onto that free tanker, using it as a gigantic shuttle that never suffers from overcrowding. Even at combat rates, a ship landed on a planet can disgorge vast amounts of manpower and equipment in a short period of time, far more than can be sent down via transporters or shuttles, and more safely as well. It will take an additional turn or two to get through the atmosphere, but if the landing ship spearheads the attack, this is irrelevant.
End of the game. Damaged Fed heavy cruiser withdraws (foreground) while Fed battlecruiser draws off the Klingon C7 heavy battlecruiser and turns in a futile effort to try to save the light cruiser.