Star Fleet Universe News
THE BIG NEWS: Federation Commander Tactics Manual ebook
The big news for this month is that we are releasing the Federation Commander Tactics Manual as an ebook. This is a direct result of your requests. It is on Warehouse 23, DriveThru RPG, and Wargame Vault. We are excited about this book because it is designed to create better players. Building on your understanding of the rules, key topics are explored and advice is given on how to take advantage of your knowledge. The book includes both broad tactical principles and specific step-by-step techniques and procedures. As Ardak Kumerian wrote, "The only test is combat; the only valid result is victory" Go forth with this book and be victorious!
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 is in the signup phase. Rated Aces who have won in the last three years must pay to participate; everyone else has the option. Sign up before midnight on September 15: http://www.sfbonline.com/tourn_signup.jsp
You can pay a registration fee here: http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=S&Product_Code=9650&Category_Code=03 Stephen McCann is the judge.
Last year a "deuce" came in second. What will happen this year?
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 second round game is left, three third round games have already been played, and even a fourth round game is completed. Brett Johnson is the judge.
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. The judge for the tournament is Peter Bakija.
DEMOS AND CONS WITH SFU GAMES
There were SFU events at GenCon. Randy Blair reports good interest at his event.
On September 17, 2014 at SPOCON, at the DoubleTree, Spokane, WA there will be an SFB sanctioned game or games (depending on turnout) using the tournament rules, with miniatures. Judge Harlan Haskell III will provide all materials for this event.
On September 20, 2014 Randy Blair will hold a Star Fleet Marines demo at Books, Comics and Things in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He suggests that you set your phasers to kill, because there are some zombies that need to be deader!
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
Coalition players think the Klingon and Lyran capitals are unassailable in the first 15 turns of the General War scenario. Think again. There may be rare instances where you either blunder or the opponent outmaneuvers you and is able to move a fleet into your capital hex - a fleet strong enough to take your capital if left undefended. The Lyrans are especially vulnerable to a "surprise" attack, as the non-upgraded defenses include only one starbase, and no sudden appearance of an Imperial War Reserve is even possible, as with the Klingons. The devastating effects of losing a capital (loss of ship production, the activation of capital defense priority, loss of income, and cost to replace the shipyards) will likely win the game for the Alliance in the long run. This can happen even if the Alliance self kills 50-75 ships in the process of taking your capital.
That being said, as you likely enjoy a major pin count advantage throughout the first 15 turns of the General War scenario, you can usually avoid this nightmare scenario through the careful placement of reserves and retrograded ships. Still, the "what if" scenario should be considered. So, buy yourself a little bit of cheap insurance.
That cheap insurance takes the form of one or two planetary repair docks, built, of course, during or after Y170, at a cost of three economic points if built at a major planet (note the rate of one per turn). To maximize survivability, one planetary repair dock should be at the capital planet. Also make sure you have at least a few warships available to fight in or able to go to the capital if the enemy is ever within six hexes of your capital with a fleet. If the unthinkable actually comes to pass, each planetary repair dock can use up to 12 points of rapid combat repair (at the cost of 12 economic points - but hey we are talking about your capital here) to repair combat units and send them back to the line. That way you can keep your planetary defense units alive a bit longer, hopefully long enough to hold the capital.
Incidentally, you also gain an additional 12 repair-point capacity for each planetary repair dock for use in repairing ships normally in the capital hex. So, your cheap insurance will likely pay for itself in other ways. Finally, a planetary repair dock is vulnerable to "ground assault" attacks, so consider keeping a commando ship available to the capital hex (either because it is there or can move there via reaction or reserve movement) to be able to defend it.
A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
SUICIDE SHUTTLE SIEGE ENGINES
Battle stations have very powerful weapons, but only a few of them. They also have the "immobile" trait, and cannot move. This makes them ideal targets for suicide shuttles. Have all ships in your fleet use the Launch Suicide Shuttle! special action and select "move no more than six inches" as the Power Drain penalty. (You will not need to maneuver against the base anyway.)(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)
If you have time, you can do this for several turns while outside the maximum range of the base's weapons, then fly the shuttles along with your fleet into weapons range. The base will be confronted by a massive number of targets. If the base shoots at the suicide shuttles, that is a weapon not hitting a ship. If the base ignores the shuttles, it will suffer the death of a thousand cuts as the shuttles fly into it and explode. If there is a defending fleet, this will not work as well but it will probably still soak up some phaser fire from the defenders.
A battle station is a rock, so tie it around the neck of your opponent and let it drag him down.
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
Kent Ing sent in this picture of a Starline 2500 "kit bash" of a Franz Joseph DN dreadnought, the original version with the angled engine struts and shuttlebay door on the front
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, Romulan K5B Rapier
Ramelius looked over at the science station. "Yes?"
"We may have a destination for the Orion ship." She twisted in her chair to look at the sub-commander.
She tapped a few commands, and a section of the main view screen shifted to show an image of a blue star, highlighted on the other side of the screen, just slightly off of the center of the view. "This is an unnamed star; it only has a catalog number. What is of interest is a small planet in orbit around it, one of many. It's a young star. The rocky planets have yet to combine into proper worlds, and the gas giants in outer orbits are still coalescing." Another tapped command, and the close-up of the star changed to one of a small rock surrounded by a debris field easily a hundred times its diameter. "Y-4789c. Discovered by an early exploration ship, it is noted in the database that a contracted vessel, the Free Trader Stars Above, often stops in this system and this place in particular every few years to take measurements for the Romulan Science Academy." She paused to let the sub-commander consider this before proceeding. "It is possible that this system has a secret Orion facility. Why else would he be heading here?"
Ramelius paused, thinking this over. "That is a very... forward observation. What makes you think that there is such a facility here, if only a single private vessel, which may or may not be a pirate, regularly attends it?"
She took a deep breath, and then moved to impress her captain. "Sub-Commander, the Orion is damaged, and with their course taking them to this system, one that has been frequented by a private vessel, there is the possibility of some sort of rendezvous in that system. I would advocate caution in our approach."
The Sub-Commander turned to the view screen. "There is always a need for caution, but I must warn you not to give me tactical advice. Tell me what you know. Tell me what you think. You lack the status to 'advocate' anything. You should know your place, as a scientist."
Berated, she turned back to her station, setting her sights on recovering from her small shame.
Josh Driscol asks: Going over Energy Allocation forms following a game I came across something odd in a hellbore. It was allocated five points of power, but normally I see three points of power for rolling and six points of power for an overload or batteries used to overload. When we checked (H7.64) it seemed clear that you could overload a weapon with not enough power to fire it as overload. The weapon would depend on reserve power at some point during the turn or it could not fire as standard or overload. I just have a few questions on how this could be used. I was under the impression that nearly every heavy weapon had to be charged, not charged, or overloaded. Are there any weapons other than the plasmatic pulser device, which seems to have its own rules for reserve power, which cannot use this partial overload?
Q: The rule in (540.251) states: "...the planet (and its defenses) have joined the team's empire at the start of the next player turn of that empire (immediately)..." It also states: "Note that if the planet joins your empire it is treated as a part of the adjoining fleet and if that fleet is inactive the new planet is in an inactive fleet area, but defenses can still be added to the planet and it produces income for the gaining empire."
Rule (540.253) says: "If a neutral planet joins an empire, it produces income and can have PDUs added up to the normal limit, but is not part of the supply or strategic movement grid until the turn after the empire is at war with or allied to the other adjoining empire."
So, given all of that, my questions:
1. The rules say that defenses can be added to the planet and it further clarifies that only PDUs (and by extension I assume PGBs) can be added to the planet. Can the empire send EPs to the planet via say a tug to allow it to build these defenses? Also could a tug be sent to the planet to add a PDU based on rule (433.422)?
2. If the planet joins an empire that has not been set up yet, can elements of the adjoining fleet be setup on the planet without being forced to accept internment? I would note here that per (540.251) opposing diplomats are allowed to withdraw without being interned and it states that this rule is an exception to internment in this case only. This seems to imply that the planet is considered part of the empire and no longer a neutral. Also, can the empire send additional ships to the planet to help bolster its defense? Could a monitor be sent to the planet?
3. Since the planet generates EPs for "the gaining empire," can a tug/LTT/TT be sent to the planet to pick up those EPs? Would the tug have to be carrying a diplomatic team to make such a pickup?
A: Answers to your questions:
1. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone and only delivery of PDUs per (503.63) is allowed.
2. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone and only delivery of PDUs per (503.63) by tug is allowed. There are also diplomatic missions allowed, but no warships.
3. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone.
Q: It was ruled back in August 25, 2010 that Orion Smuggling cannot be used to take EPs from a planet that joined your empire by (540.25). Is that still true?
In light of (540.251) the EPs clearly belong to the empire the planet joined not the planet itself, so why is there this restriction? Nothing in (540.25) supports this ruling. According to (410.341) Orion Smuggling is a perfectly legal way to move EPs out of a Partial Grid as well as into a Partial Grid.
A: The original answer was correct; you cannot use Orion Smuggling (or any other method) to get those EPs sooner than the rules allow. Nowhere in (540.251) or the rest of (540.25x) does it say the planet shares its income immediately. Rule (540.253) specifically states that the planet does not belong to the supply grid of the empire it joined. Hence, no movement of economic points is allowed. The original ruling stands.
Q: A diplomatically aligned neutral planet generates EPs but is not connected to adjacent grids and is in its own partial grid until such time you are at war with the other neighboring power. They accumulate EPs which may be used to locally construct defenses and/or accumulate. May one use Orion Smuggling to transfer EPs to the planet to augment its indigenous EPs for construction projects?
A: Sure, if you have them per (410.34). You would have to obey all rules concerning the use of EPs for your empire at that time based on your economic condition. If you are at Peace you could cancel PWC or use other diplomatic income to do this. Or, if you were at War but this was an inactive fleet from the general treasury at the local Orion's rate of exchange. The local planet would not allow you to pull such income via the Orions as they know it would just make their situation more untenable.
Q: Is Pavarak (5403) considered to be adjacent to the Gorn and ISC for diplomatic purposes (540.25) and can it join one side or the other under the diplomacy rules?
A: Yes, Pavarak is open to negotiations by both the ISC and the Gorns. But, the ISC needs to be an active player empire.
Q: Does the same line of thought apply to Circle Trigon (5109) in future scenarios where the Romulans are involved?
A: Yes, it is close enough to the Romulans to be influenced by them. But, the ISC needs to be an active player empire before the rules can be used.
(End of F&E Q&A)
ASK AUNT JEAN
Q: Dear Aunt Jean,
Why should I buy the Klingon G1 Gunboat deck plans book? Isn't all the information in the Klingons Prime Directive books?
A: Some of the information is, yes. With the standalone book you get far more. The most obvious thing is that with the PDF you can print the covers on heavier paper or light cardstock and then you have figures for your Klingon crew. The crew manifest is not in the other Prime Directive books. The deck plans are printable on larger paper and don't have color text, so they are suitable for gaming maps.
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 MonthEVASIVE QUICK EXIT
Evasive Maneuvering is a useful technique for avoiding damage, but it comes with significant restrictions. While using Evasive Maneuvers, you are particularly vulnerable to drones and suicide shuttles. Because you cannot fire, you cannot return fire if fired upon.
Nearby opponents may attempt to take advantage of this disadvantage because there is a three-impulse delay where you cannot cancel Evasive Maneuvering. Many opponents will forget that you do, in fact, have the ability to exit Evasive Maneuvers more quickly than the three-impulse delay might suggest.
You can declare Emergency Deceleration, which immediately cancels Evasive Maneuvering, and removes all its attendant restrictions. Emergency Deceleration has its own drawbacks, but it could save you from taking drone hits. With this technique, you may lure an enemy ship in closer than he should be, thinking that you are vulnerable, when in fact you can Decel and trade closer shots with him than he would want.
If you wait until after he has fired, you may be able to fire at him on the following impulse, possibly into his rear. You may be able to launch drones against which he has no more weapons to shoot them with. Declaring Emergency Deceleration is best done near the end of the turn, so that you do not sit immobile, and vulnerable, for too long.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)
Have trouble identifying Federation starships? This might help!