Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS:
The Big News this month is that the Starline 2500s are again moving forward and we are casting our first Starline 2450, which is a 2500 rescaled to the 2400 size. Mongoose found a new prototype company capable of working in the detail we need for these miniatures. On October 8 we got the new prototypes and they are very, very nice. We have spent a lot of time studying the market and the production system and have reached a decision on Master Mold B.
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Master Mold B will have the following four 2500 ships:
The prototypes for these are all gorgeous and this way we get ships from four empires.
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The mold will also hold the Klingon D7K for the Starline 2450 range. The D7K is vastly more detailed than the current 2400 Klingon D7. We will be changing the existing Federation CC to this line as when we received the Federation CAR prototype, it was virtually identical to the highly detailed Federation CC. We didn't want you to order a "new ship" and find out it was identical to a ship you already owned.
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 has been posted. Stephen McCann is the judge.
Rated Ace Tournament #42 has only one round left and that game is between Paul Scott and Stephen McCann. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
Rated Ace Tournament #43 is moving along smartly. Only one quarterfinal game remains to be played.
NetKill Patrol's third quarter has begun. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.World League 2014 is in full swing. There are 10 teams of three people. The initial round of games has been played with Team 420 Squadron in first place, Team Peons of Death in second, Team Bermuda Shorts Triangle in third, and Team Beat Alls in fourth. These four teams have moved to the semifinals. The judge for the tournament is Peter Bakija.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
October 10-12, 2014 Council of Five Nations is in full swing in Schenectady, New York. Ken Kazinski is the judge.
On October 18, 2014 at Game Con South Bend Randy Blair will be running three SFB demos. For more information on the convention see http://gameconsouthbend.com/
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.
Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet 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
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
One of the less illustrious duties of the Deep Space Fleet is garrisoning captured provinces. Far back from the front lines, this is usually handled by one or two E4 corvettes. Closer to the action, the job is often left to a frigate task force composed of an F5L and two F5s. The downside to the F5L and two F5s task force is that its combat potential of 16 exceeds the limits for Small-Scale Combat (310.11).
One way to address this is to use a task force composed of an F5L, F5, and an F5S. For 11 economic points, one more than a 3F5Q, you have a force with a combat potential of 13-16 and one electronic warfare point. This task force's combat potential comes in under the Small-Scale Combat limit and provides an electronic warfare shift.
This is a good combination against raids. Against a fast raider, the one electronic warfare point offsets the raider's fast ship modifier (310.14) and provides a positive shift against non-fast raiders.
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. In addition using this special action means you cannot use any other special action (although you can in the ACTASF-1.2 rules).
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
Eric Drumm painted these Romulan Kestrels. Note that everything is hand-painted -- no decals.
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
SFB Hydran Master Starship Book
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 looked back over her shoulder at the repairs being made to the fire controls behind her. The ship was running with just enough power for life support and shield repairs. She had shut down the active fire control both to save power and to avoid attracting attention.
But in truth, she was looking at the seat of the former captain of the ship.
The crushed chair still stood in mute testament to the stray panel that had erupted from the weapons console now under repair, somehow missing the weapons operator, and flipping across the Bridge to kill the captain. It had been a freak accident - one that gave her the shivers. She had been down in Auxilliary Control, and had given the order to run after the other Light Raider had been destroyed.
A beep and a flash of light attracted her attention. Tense at the memory of the previous battle, she twisted hard to face her console, and paled at the information it gave.
With a snap of her wrist, she slapped the alert button, sending the ship into a heightened condition. The lights switched from the normal, soothing tones, to a more harsh yellow, and in the parts of the ship where they still worked, the alert began to warble audibly. A half-dozen crewmen came onto the Bridge and took their positions. The weapons officer had to wait, as the repairs to his panel were still being finished.
A moment later, her communicator beeped, and she activated it. "Yes?"
Jared's voice came back, "What is going on?" Jared would never have spoken to the captain like that, but the captain was dead and Jared was in the habit of speaking to Kina as an equal. She let it pass.
Alex Lyons asks: The rules state on several occasions that Tholian units opposing a casting unit cannot cross its web. How is it decided if the unit is allied or opposing?
ANSWER: The scenario rules would dictate which side various forces are on in this civil war. In a historical battle, all Tholians would be on the same side, but in a tournament duel, a scenario portraying a conjectural Tholian civil war, or a simulator battle where an Orion has a web caster, etc., you could have web-using units on different sides.
Follow-up question: My group plays pickup games that do not include scenario restrictions, so in an instance where anyone can work together based on their own discretion, when are allied Tholians determined?
ANSWER: It comes down to your scenario rules. If different players have Tholians (Archaeo- or Neo-), you have to decide whether they are the same team or different teams that just happen to be working together. If they are considered different teams, even if they are working together under some kind of alliance, then they would have web on different frequencies.
Mike Kenyon asks: Rule (G10.552) says ships in a web can use a wild weasel. Rule (J2.131) then goes on to state that the maneuver rate must be four or less to use the wild weasel. Maneuver rate is not affected by a web. Can a ship going greater than four use a wild weasel when stuck in a web? It would seem that (G10.552) was designed as an enabling rule, but does not provide an explicit exemption.
ANSWER: Rule (G10.552) means that you can use a wild weasel while in a web, but, as you noted, maneuver rate is not affected by web. Therefore, if your ship is moving faster than Speed 4, it cannot use a wild weasel, even if held by the web.
David Zimdars asks: Suppose a ship which may breakdown is forced to do a high energy turn to avoid impacting a breakdown-strength web. The ship breaks down, tumbles, and strikes the web. Does it roll for breakdown again (at worse odds)? If it suffers a second breakdown during its first breakdown, is the period extended? Since it is tumbling, does it roll again? If on the second tumble roll, it does not tumble, does it stop? If not, when does the first tumbling stop?
ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Tumbling stops when it hits the web (G10.591) and the fact that the ship was tumbling does not further increase the damage. The ship would roll for breakdown again (and if it did breakdown would suffer the damage effects of the breakdown), but would not roll for tumbling (as it cannot tumble in web). The roll for a breakdown would be worse because the previous breakdown reduced its breakdown rating. The period for recovery would count from the last breakdown, i.e., from the second breakdown if there were one, from the first if there were no second breakdown.
Matthew Potter asks: Can a Tholian ship with a web generator be a web spinner (G10.24)? Particularly, can a ship be laying web (moving away from an anchoring ship as it goes) and have the anchoring ship pay the energy cost?
ANSWER: It does not appear that (G10.24) enables ships to be web spinners in this manner. The ship would have to pay for any zero-strength web it creates.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)
TUG ON MY HEART STRINGS
Q: What happens if the Sabotage mission (534.223) targets a unit such as a Hydran battle tug and successfully cripples it?
A: The tug is crippled and the tug pods are inactive per (509.43). Any minus points are used up during the raid phase as it is its own single combat round per (302.53) with the "transfer or die" effect.
Q: Is a tug repairing a base (509.1-J1) required to be in any battle forces defending that base during the next turn?
Unlike base upgrades, base repairs are considered to take effect immediately, and (302.233) does not list them as a potential required unit. Due to the immediate turn-around of effect, I figured it kept a tug from performing any other function that turn, but that was about it. However, (509.1-J1) says a tug repairing a base is subject to (308.453), which itself mentions that a tug repairing a base is a non-slow unit treated as a slow unit for mauler Directed Damage purposes.
A: Rule (420.6) provides some guidance here even though it is not fully spelled out. Repairs of bases are in Step 2A3 of the SoP. As such, they are instantaneous and not a full turn activity like a conversion from a mobile base to a battle station for example. So, the reference in (509.1-J1) to (308.453) is inaccurate. The transport or set of transports performing the repair can move operationally on the turn of the repair, but do no other transport function that turn.
Q: Is there an enabling rule somewhere that permits the mixing of pod types (509.312) on the disruptor-armed tugs? I would be surprised if you aren't "supposed" to be able to do it, but by the rules it would seem to require the tug to take two different missions simultaneously.
A: Sorry, but rule (509.312) specifically prohibits this except for some Klingon-Lyran pods per (517.34).
Q: Someone asked me at a convention if the tugs in F&E had anything to do with "the pod people" but I had no idea what he was trying to ask. Do you?
A: He was referring to the classic 1955 science-fiction movie The Body Snatchers. In this movie, aliens would lay a pod next to a sleeping human, and the pod would "hatch" a copy of the human. The movie (and the remake) is worth watching.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean, Special Halloween questions
Q: Are there werewolves in the Star Fleet Universe? Can humans turn into Carnivons?
A: No. Carnivons are Carnivons; Humans are Humans and they cannot switch back and forth. Although one can imagine the horror stories told to little Carnivons -- be good or the Woofstealer will steal your fur, bark, and fangs and you'll look like a puny human.
Q: Are there vampires?
A: Sort of. The Wasp People on Vereb IV use humanoids as food stock (Federation Sourcebook). More traditionally, over in the Omega Octant, the Souldra can drain the bland energy of the the "dark matter dimension," but they prefer the life-forces of sentient beings. They are beings of pure energy and their Black Shard "fighters" attach themselves to ships in order to drain the life energy of the crews.
Q: Are there zombies?
A: Yes! They have appeared in fiction, Federation Commander, Star Fleet Battles, and Star Fleet Marines. Perhaps the most background appears in "It's Worse than That" (Captain's Log #44) and its sequel "The Solution" (Captain's Log #48) which are both reprinted in Away Team Log. If someone wants to write up the stats for these beings, submit them and you might see them in Captain's Log!
Remember that what you choose to do around your gaming table is your business, but these are the official answers for the real Star Fleet Universe.
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 MonthTARGETING FOR VICTORY
There are several factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to target weapons or engines. Closely consider what effect you want the damage to achieve, and the available systems on the target ship.
Generally, targeting weapons can be powerful in the earlier parts of a game, but this is not always the case. If you are in a Klingon D7 fighting a Federation CA, a single damage point aimed at the weapons will only score a phaser-3, while targeting the engines may help you outrun the Federation ship to avoid close-range overloaded photons. Similarly, a single point of damage against a Kzinti BC will have a greater effect reducing its power then it would by scoring a rear-firing phaser-3. If you are scoring a moderate number of internal damage points against an undamaged or lightly damaged ship, the phaser, torpedo, drone combination at the start of the weapon damage line can be a quick way to reduce the threat of an enemy ship.
Once you get to the point you can score a very large volley, or a volley on a heavily damaged ship, you may be wasting lots of damage by targeting. For example, for a volley of four damage against a D7 with no remaining lab, reactor, battery, or hull, a DAC roll of a "3" would normally score a transporter, phaser, right warp, and left warp. If you were targeting the ship's weapons, three points of damage would be skipped, and you would only disable one transporter! The point at which you should stop using directed-targeting is different for different targets - a cruiser can absorb more damage before skipping hits than a frigate can.
Other times, the objective of the scenario will help determine your targeting decisions. If you are trying to slow down an enemy convoy, targeting the engines of those freighters is an obvious choice. Despite the Planet Killer's lack of shuttle, transporter, impulse, and lab systems (making skipped damage more likely), four successful weapon track strikes of three internal damage points each will leave the monster toothless.
If there is one ship that you particularly need to destroy, let the damage fall where it may! You cannot afford to have "skips" when shooting for total destruction of the target.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
Old-series Romulan ships have a primary offensive weapon in their plasma torpedoes, and secondary offensive weapons in . . . nothing. Their warp-targeted lasers are only useful defensively! As a result, their ships retain all of their offensive potential under passive fire control - and under (D19.221), the seeking plasma torpedoes can be launched under passive fire control.
Dale Fields reports: Federation & Empire happened in Southern California! Thanks to Michael, Jonathon and Wes for playing. We played the first couple of turns of the Four Powers War so everyone got a chance to blow stuff up. We have only been using the base rules for the scenario to start everyone off. I ran everyone's economy for the first couple of turns but let everyone else move ships, fight battles, and retreat. I'll hand over the economies to everyone else next month when we play again.