Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: A whole new A Call to Arms
The big news for this month is that the new edition of A Call to Arms Star Fleet is being uploaded (any day now) to DriveThru RPG and Wargame Vault. Look for the ACTASF Basic Book 1.2 and you'll find it.
A Call to Arms Star Fleet is designed as a simpler and faster-playing fleet-vs.-fleet combat game. While FC can handle a nine-vs.-nine fleet battle in a long evening (SFB needs a whole day), A Call to Arms Star Fleet can resolve a 20-vs.-20 game in a moderate evening's play. This is done by simplifying everything. There is no energy allocation; ships just move and fight. (If you take some actions that would use a lot of power in FC or SFB, it will slow your ship down (or cause some other penalty); going at high speed blocks some power-intensive actions. Your chief engineer is handling that, leaving you to fight the battle.) ACTASF uses a you-go/I-go system. Players alternate moving one ship at a time its full movement, then alternate firing the weapons of one ship at a time. (In effect, there is only one "impulse" per game turn.) Because this is the Star Fleet Universe, special (but simple) rules allow drones that don't reach a target in one turn to remain on the map and attack on the second turn. This preserves their "influence on enemy movement" function. While ACTASF is intended for use with tabletop miniatures, you could substitute counters for the ships if you want to give the game a try.
Because the original hardcover edition of ACTASF had design and balance issues, the joint venture partners (Mongoose Publishing and ADB, Inc.) offered to provide a free PDF to anyone who bought the hardcover book, and ACTASF Basic Book 1.2 fulfills this promise completely, with revised and fully tested rules and ships that have been checked six separate times for accuracy. Even so, we expect that 1,000 players will find things that 50 playtesters did not, and the best thing about PDFs is that we can update them every week until the book is perfect. In February or March of next year we will sell hard copies of ACTASF Deluxe Book 1.2.
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.
The big news here is that the Platinum Hat 2014 tree is well underway. All first-round game have been played or scheduled. Stephen McCann is the judge.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 has only one round left and that game is between Paul Scott and Stephen McCann. With a scoop of luck, it should be played within a week. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is moving along smartly. The final will be between Seth Shimansky and Ken Rotar. Judge Brett Johnson has done an excellent job of keeping this tournament on track.
NetKill Patrol's third quarter has begun. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.World League 2014 Has just concluded. Team Peons of Death won. Congratulations to Paul Scott, Majead Farsi, and Seth Shimansky. The judge for the tournament was Peter Bakija.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
On November 8, Michael Wikan held a demo of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet at Millennium Con XVII in Round Rock, Texas. He reports he had overflow crowds at his two demos.
Also on November 8, James Everett reports that he had good turnout for his Star Fleet Battles demos at King Con in Warner Robins, Georgia.
November 14-16, 2014 at PentaCon in Fort Wayne, Indiana will see two SFU games demoed. The Star Fleet Battles scenario "Survivor!" will run during sessions 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9. The Star Fleet Marines scenario "Rescue the Nerds" will run during sessions 3 and 7. Randy Blair is the Ranger in charge.
November 15, 2014 in the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Public Library there is an International Game Day. There is a good possibility that Federation Commander will be demoed there by Dal Downing.
November 29, 2014, at Gamers Haven, Spokane Valley SFB will be played. There will be two maps of asteroids. Fleets will be 1,600 points and you are limited to one dreadnought. Many FFs, PFs and fighters are allowed. There will be a monster holding down the middle, lounging about. Roll up ready to go, at 10 am, upstairs. Harlan Haskell is the Ranger in charge. Let Harlan know your ships (or not). If you do and need miniatures, Harlan will provide them for the 12 hour battle, on Saturday.
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
Anytime a stasis field generator equipped ship is used in large battle fleets it has a great chance of dying in that round. Instead of always losing such a valuable unit, consider the following group (D7A, F5 or F5L or E4, F5S or E4S and prime team) for small scale combat and killing province-holding or province-disrupting units. These groups have a combat potential value between 14-16 and 16-19, depending on the combination of ships, including the plus two for the prime team. The D7A does not suffer the penalties of (312.261) or (312.262) as it has the required consorts. The force gains the benefit of having a scout under (310.14). The D7A will resolve the stasis field generator attempt(s) normally under (312.22). Once the target(s) is frozen the modifiers are then recalculated. Should the enemy get lucky and do more than one casualty point, you have the F5/E4 to take the casualties first thus saving the stasis field generator ship and scout for another turn or for defense.
This also works for groups of exactly three ships under (310.115). For example you may use a C5A (9-11), E4 (4), and E4S (2-4) for a total of 15-19 actual combat potential and a value of 14-19 for the purposes of (310.12). The inclusion of a prime team gives this group a combat potential of 16-19. Why would you consider such an overpowered group? The answer is twofold. First you get the modifier for having a fast ship; second, and more importantly, is success. The larger C5 hull has a greater chance of successfully freezing the primary target under (312.22). While a C9A or C10A can replace the C5A, you would not receive the bonus for having a fast ship.
These groups also do more than just keep your stasis field generator ships alive longer; they provide a use for those little E4 and E4S units that are usually nothing but pin count. Should your enemy show up with a reserve fleet, then you give up the F5/E4, and if forced then you also give up the scout, but your enemy will not be defending the higher value target(s) of your larger assault fleets.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
THE ORION 10-STEP PROGRAM
In other Star Fleet Universe games we all know one of the big perks of the Orion player is engine doubling. With all of that power comes the dark side: having to keep doubling those engines as you slowly devour your own power systems one warp box at a time. A Call to Arms: Star Fleet is really no different but instead of losing one warp (and/or impulse) engine box at a time you take a critical to your "Dilithium Chamber." The upside to this is while you are "doubling" those engines you do not suffer from "Power Drain." How does this help? Any time you have taken at least one hit in two or more critical locations you have the opportunity to go ahead and use the All Hands on Deck! special action. Because you are already immune to "Power Drain" you can still move and shoot like normal and during the End Phase you get an opportunity to make repair attempts to multiple system locations all with a plus two to your Crew Check roll. (This is even easier under the ACTASF-1.2 rules.)
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 Gorn HDD. Painting and photo by Mark Notestine.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
A Call to Arms Star Fleet: Book One Revision Two
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
F&E Fighter Operations, 2014 update.
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 5740
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23 (e23 been joined with and is now known as Warehouse 23.)
Bridge, Orion LR Dearth of Dreams
Kina watched the status screens with some measure of helplessness as the repair crews kept up their work. Right now, they were trying to repair the coolant system on the photon torpedo. After some false starts, they had figured out the problem, and she waited for the signal to begin powering the weapon.
When her cargo bay was full of supplies and parts from the cache, she undocked. Jared wanted one more minute, but she wasn't going to take that chance. Once clear, she had begun to move at sublight speeds, trying to get around the Romulan destroyer. She hoped that the ship would make one pass with active sensors, then leave. To that end, she needed to maneuver her ship as fast as she could into the area that the Romulan had already scanned - while staying hidden.
Glancing at the view screen, she watched as two metallic asteroids bumped into each other, resulting in a visually stunning display of kinetics. Aside from the aesthetic of the moment, there was also the certainty that her ship was nowhere near as massive as some of the rocks they were passing, and that even such a gentle tap could result in total disaster.
The Romulan had closed to about 40,000 kilometers from Dearth of Dreams, but it was hard to make out, both due to the reliance on passive scans, as well as the interference from the planetary debris. She also knew that going to active scans would reveal their location to the Romulan, and that was something she would not do.
A yellow light turned green on the weapons console, and its operator began to feed power into the photon. "Overload the torpedo, Sir?"
Kina nodded. "Too close for anything less than full strength. If he sees us, we'll bloody his nose and run for it."
She considered for a moment the idea of turning suddenly and attacking the Romulan head-on. But she dismissed the idea. If the photon missed, the front shields on the K5B could stop the Orion phasers without harm to the ship. Disabling the Romulan destroyer would take a flank or rear shot, but Kina doubted that she could get behind the ship from their current position without revealing themselves. And even then, she couldn't be sure of the shot. No. Better to keep hiding, and avoid the Romulan for now.
She plotted another turn, keeping the center of the shattered world a mere 10,000 km to the port.
Francois Lemay asks: A ship does a high energy turn and fails and ends up tumbling starting on Impulse #25. Can it perform self-destruction even if it is tumbling at the turn break?
ANSWER: By (C6.552), tumbling ships cannot take any action. This would block it from self-destructing.
Follow-up question: I had sent over three boarding parties in a capture attempt before the ship started to tumble; do we conduct boarding party combat at the end of the turn or is that not allowed as well as per (C6.552) for both sides?
ANSWER: In this case (C6.546) applies. Although the ship can take no action, one half of its surviving boarding parties will be able to defend the ship from one half of the surviving boarders. The remaining Marines (both attacker and defender) will be unavailable during the post-breakdown period or the Boarding Party Combat Step at the end of the turn the ship broke down.
Brendan Lally asks: As I understand it there is no rule allowing a ship to travel both forward and backward in the same turn. Does this still apply after a ship hits the tournament barrier (assuming the use of reserve power)? Does braking energy need to be applied on a subsequent turn after striking the barrier, before moving in reverse?
ANSWER: If you are using mid-turn speed changes, then ships can, indeed, mix forward and reverse movement in a turn. See (C12.37). As per rule (P17.221), hitting the tournament barrier does not release you from the restrictions of (C3.52) and (C12.371). If you try to reverse direction within eight impulses of hitting the tournament barrier, you will need to pay braking energy or attempt a quick reverse (C3.6).
Matthew Potter asks: A unit with a turn mode of 4 makes a turn. Four movements later, it kicks its speed up to a speed with a turn mode of 5. Would it be able to turn during the next move? Or would it have to satisfy the turn mode of 5?
ANSWER: Garth L. Getgen replies: See rule (C3.44) which states "A unit which satisfied its Turn Mode at its current speed but did not turn, and which subsequently changed speed [either by (C12.0) or at the end of a turn], must satisfy the Turn Mode at the new speed."
Follow-up Question: Rule (C3.44) seems to be the crux of the problem. Is it that the above unit must satisfy the higher turn mode even though the turn was performed at a lower turn mode?
ANSWER: Alex Lyons replies: Rule (C3.44) is clear, the turn mode is determined at the moment of turning. The fact that it was satisified earlier at a lower speed is not relevant.
Mike Kenyon adds: To apply what Alex said to your specific case: At Turn Mode 4, you accumulated four hexes of movement. You then accelerated and your turn mode is no longer satisfied. A common tactic is to take the top of your turn mode and plot a speed plot of that, then drop to one hex less than that, then speed back up to that. This enables you to always get a speed of the bottom of the next bracket up while maintaining a lower turn rate. For example: My Kzinti tournament command cruiser has a turn mode of C. That is a four at Speeds 15-20. If you plot a plot of: Speed 20 until Impulse #8, Speed 19 until Impulse #19, and Speed 20 thereafter, you end up getting 21 hexes of movement without ever having a turn mode of five. That is about the best you are going to do for cornering.
Xander Fulton asks: When a scenario starts, ships are given position and speed, which determines what they can accelerate to during Energy Allocation of Turn #1, but what of the turn and sideslip modes? Do ships start a scenario assuming they had previously been going "straight," so they can turn right away? Or do the turn and sideslip modes start at "0"?
ANSWER: Paul Pease replies: Rule (S1.2) . . . "Ships placed on the map at the start of the scenario, or which enter the map during the scenario are assumed to have fulfilled their turn and sideslip modes provided it is possible for them to have done
so. .." There is an exception in that units at Speed Zero have not fulfilled either and scenarios may specify exceptions.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
AND A FEW QUESTIONS MORE
Q: At what point is a province considered "owned" for the purposes of (430.21) economics?
A: The first check for ownership is at the end of the current Combat Phase. If there are enemy units in the province at the end of the Combat Phase and no friendly units, the province is considered captured (430.22). Once captured, if the occupier continues the occupation, the occupier will receive one EP in each subsequent Economic Phase. If at any time before his Economic Phase the occupier does not satisfy the requirements of (430.22), then no income is generated by the province for the occupier.
Long-term capture (438.0) is counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase with any disruption during the process, including a successful raid, resetting the clock.
Annexation (448.2) is also counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase after long-term capture takes effect. Raids do not affect this process unless the raid eliminates the garrison of the province.
Q: How are Hydran hybrid carrier-ships handled regarding rule (534.224)?
A: Hydran hybrid carrier-ships are not covered under this rule. Only Hydran "true" carriers are covered.
Q: Are the Vudar Enclave rules used in the standard General War Grand Campaign scenario (675.5) with all modules?
A: This is a scenario rule, so like the Wind series (601-605) players can include it or ignore it if they wish. It is not a requirement. Players could decide to play (601-603) and stop at the end of Turn #19 if they wish.
Q: A Kzinti 12-ship force executes a fighting retreat, retreating into a hex containing an undefended Lyran convoy. The rules say that the attacking player is required to offer the defending player an approach battle (302.22), but the Lyrans cannot create a battle force to fight the approach battle. Does the Kzinti fleet have to offer an approach battle, and then retreat per (302.775D)? Or may it fight the convoy, and then retreat?
A: Since the Kzintis have 12 ships and there is only one unit in the hex they are retreating into, priority 2 (302.732) is not met, so no fighting retreat is allowed. A standard retreat would be indicated and the convoy would die in the subsequent combat in that hex.
Q: Does a Residual Defense Factor exist on a undevastated planet that has never been captured (508.16)?
A: The RDF only comes into existence when a planet is under control of the original owner and it has no other defenses on it. Don't try to read too much into it.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, which of the current Prime Directive game systems do you like the most?
A: That's pretty much like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. Even if you have one, it is politic not to provide the answer. I do enjoy both PD20 Modern and GURPS PD, but for different styles of play. PD20M lends itself to a cinematic style of play and I love the flash-bang feeling. GURPS lets me create a character that has several dimensions and is less archetypal.
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
FC Tactic of the MonthVOLLEY VOUZ
In Federation Commander, all firing during the same impulse is considered to be simultaneous, but is resolved as separate volleys. Rule (3A4) defines a volley as "...all of the direct-fire weapons of a single ship fired during a single impulse at a single target..." Rule (3D2) allows the attacker to decide the order in which volleys are resolved. Does the order in which they are resolved matter? It certainly does matter!(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
In most instances, the largest volley should be resolved first, as it has the greatest chance of knocking down a shield, which will prevent any further volleys on that shield from being reduced by shield reinforcement. Additionally, if any internal damage is scored, you may get lucky and take out a battery or two which will help reduce the ability to reinforce against future volleys and volleys scored on other shields. But is there ever a time when you'd resolve volleys in a different order? It depends on the tactical situation.
Assume you have multiple volleys scored on a single shield (one of 9 points, one of 8 points, and one of 28 points against a single 25 point shield). If the target has power available and 2 working batteries and the volleys are resolved from largest to smallest...
Volley A, 28 points: Target reinforces two points and takes one burn-through point loses the 25 shield boxes.
Volley B, 9 points: Target takes 9 internal damage points.
Volley C, 8 points: Target takes 8 internal damage points.
This method will remove two points of power and produce 17 internal damage points.
If the volleys are resolved from smallest to largest, the target will be able to reinforce against all of the volleys. This method removes six points of discretionary power from the target and will cause 14 internal damage points. While this may seem to be a worse choice, if the object of the mission is to capture a ship, or to prevent it from leaving the area, it may actually be a better choice. If the loss of discretionary power prevents the target from being able to HET to bring an undamaged shield to bear at a later impulse or prevents it from winning a tractor auction, etc.
Before automatically resolving the largest volley first, think about the options.
The Wing Cruiser, one of the four ships armed with particle splitter torpedoes offered for the Vari Combine in Captain's Log #23, is from the new generation of Omega Octant cruisers capable of fighting at Speed 31. While not a true "war cruiser" (like the Romulan SparrowHawk or the WYN Orca), it is a dramatic improvement over its predecessor, the light cruiser.
Burt from Lafayette, Louisiana wrote: