Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: KLINGON MASTER STARSHIP BOOK
Released as a PDF only a few days ago, this 194-page book provides the ship descriptions and other data for every ship in the Klingon Fleet including regular warships, special unique ships, ships from Captain's Log, X-ships, Y-ships, W-ships, and general units unique to the Klingons. Every ship is illustrated; many of the illustrations have never been published before.
This book follows the path of the Federation Master Starship Book and the Hydran Master Starship Book. A part of the Master Series (including the Master Rulebook and the G3 Master Annexes), it does not include SSDs. (If it did, the retail price would be well over $100 and it would appear years from now when we have finished updating the SSDs.)
FIFTH ANNUAL STAR FLEET BATTLES
We will have at least 32 seats, and up to 64 if there is demand. There will be no entry fee this year; ADB will provide the prizes. The winner will receive $100 and a plaque (once the "Victory at" article is completed and the winner is paid for this article). The second place winner will receive $50. Third and fourth place winners will get $25 in credit; fifth through eighth place will get $5 credit.
After we know the number of entries, we will lock in the format (i.e., decide if there are 32 or 64 seats, decide how many seats will be reserved for re-entries, seed the aces, and assign byes). Aces will be "seeded" according to the total number of ace pins and SFB Gold/Platinum hats (total) each player has in his lifetime record. Other players (and perhaps lower-rated aces) will be distributed randomly in a way to avoid same-ship duels as much as possible. Depending on the size of the tree and the number of active players, we may give some first-round byes to the highest rated players, and we may reserve some seats for re-entries. Re-entry seats will go at no cost to eliminated players in the order they ask for them.
Fleet Captain Peter Bakija (winner of the 2014 tournament) is the judge for this tournament. As we did in Platinum Hat 2014, Tournament Marshal Steven P. Petrick will also "ride herd" on the tournament to ensure that games are played on schedule and the event does not drag. There will, inevitably, be some delays near the end when re-entries have to "catch up" to the initial entries. A firm hand on the helm will ensure that these are as minor as possible. People who do not get their next game completed in a set number of days will be disqualified and the player they beat (or a wildcard selected by the judges) replaces them. Deadlines may be adjusted by the Judge or Marshal to allow for a player's serious real life unexpected problem or issue.
The winner must send in his Platinum Victory article (which must meet the standards of previous articles) within 90 days of the end of the event or be disqualified (in which case he will get no prize and there will be no winner named). Assistance will be available if the winner would like help writing his article.
STAR FLEET'S LEGIONS EXPAND:
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony L. Thomas at: email@example.com.
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
The big news is about the approaching deadline for signing up for the 2015 Platinum Tournament; for the details see the "Big News" article above.
Rated Ace Tournament #45has reached the finals with a Klingon civil war planned. Justin Royter will face Bill Schoeller in the final round. Good luck! Gregg Dieckhaus is the judge.
World League is a team tournament, where three-player teams compete against each other. The first round is a round robin style event where teams score points for each game played (four points for a win, two points for a loss, one point for a mutually agreed tie/unfinished game, zero points for a no show). After the first round, the top four teams will advance to a single elimination ladder, by team, so there will be two rounds of finals (four teams then two teams). This has advanced to the semi-final rounds. Team Anything Goes will face Team Phaser Proof Jocks; Team Council of 3 Nations will face Team Barnyard Squad. Peter Bakija is the organizer of this tournament.
NetKill Patrol's 2015 third quarter competition is drawing to a close. Seth Shimansky won the patrol portion. The playoff is between him, Justin Royter, and John P. Rigley. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
3CON V "Alice in Wonderland" Convention will be held October 24-25 2015 at the Mizpah Shrine Center, Fort Wayne Indiana.
PENTACON - November 13-15, 2015 - Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, IN
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 Game Paradise. 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
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
Monitors are an interim solution to provide defenses to a planet until a base can be built. Rule (519.11) says that the monitors in an empire's initial order of battle must be deployed at non-capital planets in the empire's territory. So, the question becomes where to best deploy the monitors?
Monitors are a stand-in for a regular base and should be viewed as more than just a slow unit with dreadnought firepower. Therefore, they should be used to fortify planets that are on an invasion route. For the Alliance, this means defending a planet to slow down the initial Coalition onslaught. For the Coalition, it is a way of preparing for when the tide of the war turns against them.
On its own, a monitor is not much of a deterrent to anything other than a commando raid (320.46). However, adding a fighter pallet to the monitor results in a combat potential of 10(6)-6, which is only two less offensive combat potential than a battle station without fighters. In conjunction with a minor planet's two planetary defense units this results in a battle force with a total of 34 combat potential and two electronic warfare points. An invader cannot ignore such a defensive position.
You get all of this for only eight economic points, or two economic points if you use the free fighter factors for the pallet.
For the Alliance, it is kind of tricky to get this defense set up as the fighter pallet must be built on the first turn and then delivered by the legendarily "efficient staff officers" to the monitor. If the monitor is isolated, then the additional fighter strength cannot be delivered. As a slow unit, monitors are vulnerable to drone raids (320.332), but at least that is one less drone raid on another target in such cases.
The Kzintis should deploy their monitors at the planets in hexes 1202, 1504, and 1001. The planet in hex 1105 can be considered as an alternate to the one in hex 1001 if it looks like the Lyrans might be very aggressive. On the Alliance Turn #1, the Kzintis can build as many monitor pallets as they need without affecting other carrier production (519.424).
The Hydrans can use monitors to harden the planets in hexes 0416 and 0519 and the Federation can build up the defenses of their outer ring of minor planets plus the ones in hexes 2509 and 2610.
When the tide turns against the Coalition the Klingons and Romulans can do the same thing with their monitors but by then they will be using space control ship pallets. The initial deployment of Coalition monitors can be done without fighter pallets; the space control ship pallets can be added later.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
DREADNOUGHT INITIATIVE TACTICS
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet's I-go-you-go initiative system rewards shooting first and disabling an opposing ship before it can fire. Dreadnoughts are great for this, because they pack a lot of firepower onto one hull and can do "in one go" what smaller ships would need two or three "goes" to do. That gives the opponent less time to react. Most dreadnoughts also have the Command +1 trait, so you will win initiative (and fire first) more often!
On the other hand, the movement initiative system rewards having a larger number of more maneuverable ships like frigates. Also, a ship which fires all of its phasers in an "alpha strike" is vulnerable to seeking weapons as it has no phasers left to fire. The solution is to balance one or two big ships with smaller ships. The smaller ships will act as "initiative sinks" during the Movement Phase, and can use their weapons during Defensive Fire to protect the dreadnought against seeking-weapon retribution. In general, move your dreadnought last and fire its weapons first.
Mini of the Month
Eric Drumm painted these Romulan Kestrals.
Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.
To be released in 2015
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
A new Starmada book for both editions.
F&E Fighter Operations update 2015, SKU 3203
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
To be released in 2016
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.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23
Ground Warning Station, Xanadu
"What do you mean, it just started coming at us?"
Specialist Rosen composed herself and turned toward her commanding officer. "I activated a full scan after passive showed something in the asteroid belt had emerged, Sir. Whatever it is, it's generating some kind of area field that's inhibiting many of our computer systems, slowing down response times, I've never dealt with this before. I sent an emergency call to Norris, but I don't know if they heard me before the field intensified. I'm cross-referencing what sensor data we have with the library computer banks, should have something . . . There! 'Code name Igneous'? What does that mean?"
Tombaugh went cold. He searched his memory, and then entered a rapid series of commands at the computer. Dawn was getting worried at the severity of his expression. "Signal Norris, use every bit of power we've got. That code name is for a class of unmanned alien warship, and it's coming for us!"
Sebastian Palozzi asks: I am having a hard time getting my head around one of the movement rules. As per (C2.231), why is it possible for a ship to drop to Speed Zero simply by not allocating any energy to movement? Going to Speed Zero in mid turn requires Braking Energy as per (C3.52) or the complications of emergency deceleration so why is it completely pain free at the beginning of a turn?
ANSWER: That is not really a "rules" question, but a "why" question. The technobabble answer is that you can stop over a turn break by not applying power, because ships moving by warp speed are not actually moving, but warping space. They do not have momentum in the traditional sense.
And just to clarify, no braking energy is required to go to Speed Zero using mid-turn speed changes. Nor does braking energy allow you to make an unplotted deceleration or decelerate in excess of the limits in (C12.32). In fact, it has nothing to do with stopping your ship, mid-turn or otherwise. It only comes into play if you want to change direction after being stopped for less than eight impulses, and in that case, applies whether you are at the beginning of the turn or in the middle of it.
Braking energy probably represents the stress of rapidly realigning your warp field, rather than overcoming momentum in the traditional sense of "braking."
Majead Farsi asks: Can ships disengage by acceleration moving in reverse?
ANSWER: No, rule (C7.123) prohibits that.
Eric Phillips asks: I want to make an unplotted speed change. Rule (C12.0) always talks about reserve warp. Can I not assign energy to movement but not spend it on movement until I do an unplotted speed change? Otherwise it seems like there is very little reserve to make a change.
ANSWER: No, the best you can do is expend your batteries and refill them with reserve warp power (H7.4). This means that if you have four batteries, you can have at most four points of warp power to do unplotted accelerations. In general, you have to allocate all your ship's power during Energy Allocation; any points of power you do not assign are assumed to have not been generated (B3.4).
Jon Taylor asks: I plot Speed 16 for the whole turn during Energy Allocation. Then I use one point of reserve warp power to change speed to 17 for the whole turn on Impulse #3. Can I later speed change up from 17 using reserve warp on a one-for-one basis? I presume the answer is yes if I pay to go the faster speed for the rest of the turn. It would be possible for me to have a couple more speed changes after Impulse #3 if I wanted to use reserve power. Again my assumption is that they would all be one-for-one if when the change is made the cost is paid to go that new speed until the end of the turn. Is that correct?
ANSWER: When you do a non-plotted acceleration under (C12.24), you are modifying your speed plot. That new speed plot is what you use as the basis for calculations of the cost of any future non-plotted accelerations. They might cost 1:1 or 2:1, or somewhere in between, depending on what you do. For example, for Impulse #12 [the earliest impulse you could do another non-plotted acceleration, per (C12.242)], on Impulse #11 you announce a speed change (for Impulse #12) to Speed 24, which you have plotted for the rest of the turn. That gains you four moves, and would cost you four movement points of reserve warp. Or, suppose you do your acceleration for Impulses #12-#19 only, after which you drop back to Speed 17. This gains you one move, and so will cost two movement points of reserve warp power. Either way, the calculation of the cost of your speed change for Impulse #12 is the same as if you had originally plotted Speed 16 for Impulses #1-#3 and Speed 17 for Impulses #4-#32. Note specifically that you cannot change speed on Impulse #3, but Impulse #3 is when you announce a speed change to take effect on Impulse #4, which is the earliest impulse that you can actually change speed.
Paul Franz asks: If you have a plotted speed change and then you use reserve warp power to change the plot to remove the speed change, do you have to announce the non-change of speed? For example, my starting speed plot is Impulse #1-#19 at Speed 26, Impulses #20-#32 at Speed 19. On Impulse #19, I use reserve warp power to change the plot to be Impulse #1-#32: Speed 26.
ANSWER: Per (H7.37), you are not required to announce that you used reserve power for any particular function, as opposed to having allocated the power. That use must be recorded in your Energy Allocation form, and made available to the other player at the end of the game, but during the game, it is secret. So, while you are required to announce speed changes, you are not required to announce that you used reserve power to alter your speed plot.
If you use reserve power in such a way that it delays or cancels a speed change, that would delay or cancel your announcement of that change. In your example, there would be no announcement on Impulse #18 because you are not changing speed.
UPGRADES AND CONVERSIONS
Q: Can a tug or LTT in conjunction with an engineer (541.33D) upgrade a base as a two-step upgrade, i.e., BATS to STB to SB? I note that two LTTs can upgrade a BATS to SB under (509.1-J2) and (516.21-J).
A: With the 2010 revision of the rules, base upgrades are done differently than in the past. You now have an expanded hierarchy of upgrades. They are MB/OPB to BS to BATS to STB to SB. Using an LTT or ENG you can get one level of movement. Using a tug (509.1-J2) you can improve two levels already, so adding an ENG to a tug you still only get two levels of upgrade. If you added an ENG to a LTT and paid for two levels, the ENG can help the LTT do this. If you want the ENG bonus you need to have it do it by itself and go one level at a time.
Q: The ISC can convert a CVS/CV to a BCV according to the SIT. Does such a conversion under (433.0) cost the ISC an allowed carrier build?
A: We had to go back to the designer on this one since nobody knew why he inserted the rule that a Kzinti CVL converted to a CV counts as a carrier build. He intended that to be a general rule, so any conversion of a carrier to another kind of carrier counts if the ship gains fighter factors in the deal.
Q: This is a question on multiple conversions.
Rule (433.19) in F&E2K10 says: A major" conversion (at the capital starbase) can make up to three conversions so long as the total cost is less than five economic points.
Rule (450.52) in PO says: The capital starbase (433.12) or "major conversion facility" (450.12) can make two or three conversions in a single turn as long as the total cost of those conversions is five EPs or less.
The key difference is "less than five" vs. "five or less."
A: The 2010 rules should say "five or less." The designer has repeatedly apologized for sloppy rules writing in earlier editions. These days, the staff (which includes Jean) don't allow such sloppy wording (except they missed that one).
Q: Rule (523.115) states that conversions of allowed regular warships into X-ships must take place at an SBX. The costs for the majority of such eligible conversions are more than three points. Is such a conversion considered to be a major conversion that can only be done at the capital?
A: No, any SBX can do it. See (523.424).
Q: Could a Sector Base (452.0) convert a single Romulan modular SparrowHawk or SkyHawk under (433.432) when moving during the (3B2) Operational Movement Step?
A: Rule (452.11) specifically states what STBs do with other empire's special abilities such as the Federation SWACs and Klingon SFGs. There is no mention of Romulan module conversions, so, no, they cannot do this.
Q: Can the Romulans use Conversion During Repair (425.2) to gain an one EP discount converting a FH to a NH or a FHB to a NHB? Rule (425.25) Hull Types Conversion During Repair says they do not gain a discount when changing the hull type. On the 2012 SITs the NH is listed as a "Super Heavy Cruiser" and the FH as a "Heavy Cruiser" but this is just a conversion from a CA to a CC. Should the Romulans get their discount or not?
A: They can have their discount. Look at the base hull of the FH and NH. Both are FH(3) under the base hull listings in the SIT, so you are not changing the hull type.
Q: Several FH-to-NHx and the FH-to-SUB conversions have the "double-dagger" two step discount marking, implying that the FH and NH are different base hull types. The SIT is internally inconsistent on this point with regards to conversion during repair. Can you explain?
A: The double dagger ý two-step FireHawk conversions are all related to the SuperHawks not the NovaHawks. The exceptions are related to SPx-to-NHx. Remember, the SIT is very specific and a specific rule always trumps a general rule.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Dear Aunt Jean,
How many hours of oxygen and consumables could a Marine carry in space?
A: The Zero-G Worksuit in the rulebook has two weeks of life support. Worksuits are made for work and survival, not for travel, but if they're all that's available you use what you have. Given distances in space, survival suits (required by governmental regulations) should be at least that good but many civilians buy cheaper models with less endurance because it is all they can afford.
Marines wearing combat suits and dropped onto a planet with a hostile atmosphere or no atmosphere will have two weeks of endurance, but the landing will include supply drops to extend this for at least two more weeks (assuming that some military disaster does not separate the troops from their supplies). In some "special operations" where "moving fast and light" is an issue, they may carry fewer supplies, but prudent military planning does not ever include "just enough for the planned mission" because missions rarely go as planned. The Marines have to assume that sooner or later some mission will go sideways and they'll have to hold out for some period of time before retrieval.
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 MonthHIGH SPEED LAUNCH
Andromedan satellite ships must fly at a baseline speed no higher than eight on the turn they are launched or recovered. Speed is life! Launch your satellite ships on Impulse #8 so they will be able to change their Baseline Speed during Energy Allocation of the subsequent turn, before any seeking weapons can impact. Recovery is a little trickier, but plan to recover your satellite ships on Impulse #1 after changing speed down to eight during Energy Allocation.
The number of shield boxes repairable through the use of energy (D9.2) is limited in each turn to half the current damage control rating of the ship (rounding down). Ships with a damage control rating of 4 (or better) may repair up to two previously destroyed shield boxes per turn. A question arises: if power is available to repair two (or more) shield boxes in a turn and more than one shield is damaged, should a ship concentrate repair on only one shield or split repaired boxes across more than one damaged shield?
Even if a previously damaged shield were fully brought down to zero boxes in the current turn, damage control allocated to that shield will repair a box during the End of Turn Procedure. Having one box available will enable the use of direct reinforcement for that shield on Impulse #1 of the immediate subsequent turn (and thereafter) - either by allocated or reserve power. Having allocated to the repair of a shield brought down in the current turn is especially effective in mitigating the so-called Impulse #32 - Impulse #1 "Hack-and-Slash" attack.
Consider then if previously damaged adjacent (front) shields are (or nearly are) facing the enemy, it may be difficult to predict just exactly which damaged shield will be brought down in the upcoming turn. In this case, splitting the repair of two (or more) damaged shield boxes among several shields will increase the odds that a shield brought down during the upcoming turn will have one box available immediately in the following turn.
Although powered shield repair is often considered to be "expensive," players should consider that often sufficient power is available; powered shield repair is not really more expensive than general reinforcement (and is permanent).
Note, of course, power may only be allocated to repair shields with pre-existing damage. While conventional wisdom suggests that it is best defensively to concentrate as much of your opponent's damage on a single shield (without allowing penetration), consider if it is possible to allow or induce a token amount of damage on more than one front shield to enable this split shield repair tactic. Furthermore, while you may have enough reserve power to prevent any shield boxes from being destroyed by incoming fire, consider allowing one damage point to be scored, particularly if a follow-on attack is imminent and power for shield repairs may be available. Lastly, if a lightly damaged shield is being repaired at the end of the current turn, and a "Hack-and-Slash" attack seems imminent, consider allowing the attacker to strike that shield.
Conversely, an attacking player, particularly one attempting a "Hack-and-Slash" attack, may consider maneuvering to strike a fresh, undamaged shield rather than striking a shield with a handful of destroyed boxes. Because the shield was previously undamaged, there is no way for the defender to repair the shield in anticipation, and an Impulse #1 strike against a truly down shield is guaranteed.
(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.
Facebook Highlight of the Month
Fred Werenich sent this photo in. He reports that Andromedan ships are delicious.