September 2018

Star Fleet Universe News

BIG NEWS: ADB Releases Ships for September!


        On September 4, 2018, ADB released 70 new items to its shop on Shapeways, bringing the total items in its shop to 1,076. One of the highlights is the introduction of a new force: the Orion Pirates. They enter the scene with three of their most popular ships.
        The Federation gains its Battle Frigate in both the "regular" and "Fed Classic" (smooth body) versions. The B-1 Strike Bomber is released in both Omni and 285 scales. They also get their F-16 “Falcon Fighter” and E3 Heavy SWAC Shuttle in the new 285 Scale.
        The Klingons get their C7B Heavy Battlecruiser and C7K Heavy Battlecruiser (refitted with panels to try to disguise its refits).
        The Romulans get their SparrowHawk-H and SparrowHawk H+ Cargo Transport, SparrowHawk-T and SparrowHawk-T+ 1-Pod Transports, and SparrowHawk-T and SparrowHawk-T+ 2-Pod Transports. They also gain their KCR Heavy Battlecruiser in both smooth and regular versions with belly bird, Romulan insignia, and scallops on the wings.
        The Tholians gain the Neo-Tholian Strike Carrier, Jumbo Web Tender, and Heavy Web Tender. They also gain their Tholian Spider-III Fighter in the new 285 Scale.
        The Gorns get their mighty Godzilla Battleship, in the regular and refitted versions. They are also among the latest empires to gain empire-specific small and large freighters.
        The Kzintis get their New Heavy Cruiser and Scout Drone War Destroyer. They also get their Large Attack Shuttle (LAS) Fighters in both Omni and 285 scales. They are among the latest empires to gain empire-specific small and large freighters.
        The Orion Pirates gain their first ships in our shop. Joining their previously released Buccaneer Gunboats are three of their most popular ships: the Light Raider, Light Cruiser (Raider Cruiser), and Battle Raider.
        The Lyrans and their wayward county of the Lyran Democratic Republic get the Desert Lion Light Dreadnought.
        The Hydrans get their Demon Hunter Heavy War Destroyer.
        The Seltorians get their New Heavy Scout Cruiser.
        Many empires can use the three drones that are released this month: Multi-Warhead RALADs, Tachyon Missiles, and Heavy Multi-Warhead Drones.
        Empires from the Omega Octant continue to have new additions. The Hivers are introduced with their Heavy Cruiser and Dreadnought.
        We have released a new robotic monster in both the Omni and 285 scales: Starswarm with its many individual robots that can overwhelm a planet and then make even more robots!
        Check all these out here:
        Don't forget to follow us:

        Our website,, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Dale, 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.


        Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
        If you haven't seen the 1,000+ pieces of art in the albums, you should drop by and visit. You don't have to be a member of Facebook to see our page, but if you are, please become our friend so you can get information in your newsfeed.
        If you've already liked us on Facebook, but are not seeing our posts, then remember to check your new "Pages Feed" on the left menu. You can also go to our page and hover over the "Liked" button. Be sure that "Get Notifications" is checked.

        ADB has 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 next goal is to get 200 followers. Help us reach that, please.

        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:

Star Fleet Marines Part 1
Star Fleet Marines Part 2
ADB Late May 2011
Starline 2500 Miniatures Review
Star Fleet Battle Force in the box

        A customer asked about posting "tutorial videos" for our games. We like it when people do that (and even give commendation medals) but you need to have us check the videos to make sure you aren't violating something somehow (or that you didn't make a rules error). Doing such videos to make money is not cool. Please drop us an email before you post the videos.

        Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on websites have been changed to match. The new site is
        The blog covers all aspects of the company.


         Star Fleet Legions isn't a new game; it is all of you who play any of our Star Fleet Universe games.
         For a game universe that is 36 years old, it seems odd (but very gratifying) that the number of active players is growing, not diminishing. We can tell this by the number of people on the fan pages, the number of Rangers and battle groups, the number of new Starlist entries, and of course by the sales numbers.
         Starlist is growing by an average of 10 new entries and five updates per month. There are 1,240 active names on the list (plus overseas, Canada, and those who last contacted us in 1991-2004). Not on Starlist? Fill out your application here:
         Battle groups have been forming up left and right. We started with one in Tennessee. Now there are battle groups in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. We've gone international with groups in Canada, England, and Taiwan. Battle groups are doing demos, tournaments, and game days in stores and conventions. Do you have a group you game with? Join us here:
         How have these battle groups been forming? Usually through the hard work of a Ranger. Rangers run demos, start game days, contact conventions, reach out to stores, and promote Star Fleet Universe games. Do you want to be a Ranger? Start here:  

         This month we feature Battle Group Tacoma, WA. CO William Z. Cohen reports that this group is active, playing Star Fleet Battles, Federation Commander, Federation & Empire, and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet. They are an active group, playing frequently and painting minis. They also have three Rangers in the group and page on Facebook:

         Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here:

         Do you want to see if there's a battle group near you? Check out the map here:

Facebook Fan Pages

         If you are on Facebook, you have no doubt heard of ADB's page on Facebook. Did you know there are fan pages galore? Fan pages are groups that are started and administered by fans. They are independent of ADB, so we may not know about all of them. These are ones we know about that support the Star Fleet Universe:

So join us on Facebook and get a fix of your favorite game there, too!

        The Rangers are up, fully operational, and doing demos! There are currently 50 Rangers listed in our database with 30 of them having advanced past Ranger Recruit, meaning they've held at least one demo.
        Star Fleet Rangers are our front-line recruiters in introducing new people to our games. They are hard working, tireless promoters of the SFU. They go to conventions, stores, game clubs, and other public venues to show our games and to teach potential players some basics.
        Why should you be a Ranger? Well, one of the reasons is purely selfish -- you teach people to play your favorite games and "grow your own" opponents. With enough interested people you can form a battle group and even get in on playtesting if you want. You get your name in Captain's Log and awards on your plaque on the Wall of Honor. You even get Star Fleet Bucks which will help you with purchases from our storefront. Still, being able to play games face-to-face has to be one of the best reasons to do it.
        So visit our Ranger page here:
        Register and join the the Star Fleet Rangers!
        And there is exciting news for Rangers on Facebook! We've started up a closed group for Rangers to discuss ideas, best practices, and to simply hang out with serious enthusiasts. You must be on Jean's list of Rangers before you can become a member. Join it here:
Ambassador Badge

        Jean Sexton has succeeded in recruiting two ambassadors (Michael C. Baker and A. David Merritt) to carry the word of the Star Fleet Universe to other websites. They (and Jean) were awarded the first ever "Star Fleet Ambassador Badges" as well as appropriate medals for their service to date. These ambassadors do not just repeat press releases; they answer questions, encourage discussion, and help people find the relevant documents on our website. Contact Jean Sexton if you want to volunteer for ambassador duty.

        Take a journey with us to an ancient age, just one step up from carving game rules on clay tablets. The year 1973 was at the very dawn of the independent wargame publishing companies. Typesetting was done with a manual typewriter, print-on-demand meant the photocopier at the library, counters were printed on paper (and drawn by hand), page layout was done with scissors and cellophane tape, and two guys in a garage could turn out a wargame magazine that won two Origins Awards. The point was creativity, new ideas, and imagination. Production values would have to come later.
        That magazine was JagdPanther (Hunting Panther), created and run by the same Stephen V. Cole who later co-founded Task Force Games and then went on to found Amarillo Design Bureau. We found the ancient archives of this game company (which ran from 1973-1976, producing 15 magazines, about 50 games, hundreds of variants, and dozens of game reviews) and have placed them on Warehouse 23 so they are available to collectors. (Old issues have been selling on Ebay for over $100 each.) Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4, Issue #5, Issue #6, Issue #7, Issue #8, Issue #9, Issue #10, Issue #11, Issue #12, Issue #13, Issue #14 and Issue # 15 are uploaded.

Custom Decals for Starline ships

        Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures.
        In addition to the legacy fleet and squadron box sets, decals for each of the ships are available as individual sheets, along with special sheets to detail any ship with additional window blocks, sensors, hatches, and even phaser scars.
        As with all of their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.
        *** Newly announced in November, decals sheets for Starline 2400 Federation miniatures are well into design, with decals for other empires in both Starline 2400 and Starline 2500 lines in development. ***

        For more information or to download the order sheet, check them out at Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: or Tony L. Thomas at:

        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:


      Masters 2018 has 11 of the 16 Round 1 games played and one of the Round 2 games is completed. Andy Koch is the judge in this "just for fun" tournament.

       Rated Ace Tournament 48 is being played with 15 of the 16 first-round matches completed and 5 of the 8 Round 2 games completed. Ron Brimeyer has volunteered to be the judge. 


      Pre-registration for Council of Five Nations went live September 4, 2018. This face-to-face tournament is held in Schenectady, New York from October 5 to 7. This year, there is going to be a pre-con banquet on October 4. Register here:

       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 Family Time  Games. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information  see:

       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

Download Transmissions

       HAILING FREQUENCIES: This is our newsletter and will let you know all the news for all our games. You can subscribe here. Have you missed an earlier newsletter? Click here to get caught up!

       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.

       COMMANDER'S CIRCLE: We continue to improve the Commander's Circle. All of the ships and scenarios are available as separate documents (the ships are organized by empire) so you can quickly see what is available. The FC Scenario Database and Master Ship Chart documents are also here. Our newest project was suggested by our players and is uploading low-toner Ship Cards. The Commander's Circle is the best place to find free additions to Federation Commander!

FC Forum Recent Posts

       The Federation Commander site and Forum continue to grow as more gamers continue to find them. All of our games currently have topics in the Forum. If you have any comments, questions, or requests for our Graphics Director, this is the place to let her know. Come see what the commotion is about and join the Federation Commander Forum now.
       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

       Over the years of playtest many players have questioned the viability of the standard Inter-Stellar Concordium gunline group consisting of three destroyers and three frigates. At first glance it looks like they are at a disadvantage when compared to a standard Romulan battle group of three SparrowHawks and three SkyHawks or a standard Gorn battle group of three heavy destroyers and three battle destroyers. The Inter-Stellar Concordium gunline group, using the above-mentioned standard ships, is (19 + 16 =) 35 points of combat potential. The Romulan Battle Group is (22 + 16 =) 38 points of combat potential, while the Gorn Battle Group is (22 + 19 =) 41 points of combat potential. So given those numbers the gunline group does appear to be disadvantaged. The above numbers include +1 for each group of three standard hulls under rules (303.51) and (303.52).
       This is not actually the case.
       First, gunline groups can only be formed within an echelon under rule (324.42). This means at a minimum you will have one strike cruiser with those aforementioned ships, thus adding eight points of combat potential to the 35 points for a total of 43.
       Second, and more importantly, carrier escorts that are of the destroyer escort and escort frigate variety may be included in the gunline group. This is especially important if the carrier they are escorting is a CVLS, CVS, or BCV as any of these carriers can serve as the required plasmatic-pulsar-armed ship. Any of these carriers will intensify the combat potential of these lines and increase the unit density without adding any more ships.
       Third, the presence of the PPD-armed ship and subsequent echelon formation results in an extra 2.5% of damage being done to the opposing fleet. Note that the leader rule will not apply when the number of standard destroyers and/or frigates have dropped, causing your initial gunline group combat potential to drop by a minimum of one point. This is more than made up by the fighters on the plasmatic-pulsar-armed carrier.
       Fourth, the number of ships used for command purposes is the same. A battle group consists of exactly six ships counting as five, while a gunline group formed with the aforementioned single strike cruiser is seven ships [one for the strike cruiser plus four (six ships of the gunline group)] counting as five.
       What I found at Origins was that, outside of directed damage on a big ship that was not in a core slot, the gunline groups were being crippled in the large fleet battles and sometimes destroyed as self-kills. The destroyers were the ships killed first as they are easier to replace while the frigates are easier to repair. The light cruiser was generally the largest ship not in a core slot and not being protected in a carrier group like the escort cruisers were. They became the unit of choice for directed damage.
        Managing your frigates and destroyers to keep your gunlines intact will be your biggest challenge as the Inter-Stellar Concordium player in any game. In order to keep your gunline groups for better density you will on occasion find yourself crippling or possibly killing a light cruiser or larger hull if the battle goes longer than you expect it to. This is to be expected and confirms the notes on Inter-Stellar Concordium losses from Star Fleet Battles in (R13.1B). The creation of minor shipyards for additional frigate and destroyer production will be a must.
       In the Origins scenario I found myself building the standard dreadnought instead of the heavy carrier. In the light cruiser slots I found myself building the light scout cruiser as an additional scout. The torpedo heavy cruiser was the unit of choice for conversion to a carrier variant. Generally it was converted to an area control ship to provide attrition unit support and additional protected electronic warfare support.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month

       Are you tired of the enemy avoiding your heavy weapons arc, especially when you are flying a Gorn dreadnought, Romulan Condor, or Kzinti heavy battlecruiser or dreadnought? Make sure the enemy ship just happens to come into your firing arc instead of floundering around trying to get a more agile enemy into your sights. How can you accomplish this?
       Have another ship tractor your target and drag it into your heavy weapons firing arc! This, however, takes some advanced planning and positioning. You have to think a turn ahead to put the ship you need where you're going to need it, without the enemy realizing what you're doing.
       Ideally you want a ship that is significantly larger than the ship to be dragged (e.g., a Federation heavy cruiser versus Klingon D7 or D5). During the dragging ship's activation, which should be after the target ship has moved, have it use the Engage Tractor Beam! special action. Next, end your ship's movement within 2" of the ship to be tractored.
       The following turn, the tractored ship may roll to break the tractor when it is activated. It does this by making an opposed Crew Quality Check against the ship tractoring it. [See the rules for this procedure]. If the tractored ship fails to break free, it is meat on the table. Drag it in front of the ship that intends to fire at it or drag it to a point that the designated killer ship can get it into arc. Remember that you can only move if you have more starting damage points than
the enemy ship, and you can only move up to 6".
        As a final warning, be careful to not blow up the ship that was dragged, as the explosion can damage friendly ships ‹ including the ship doing the tractoring. Also try to arrange your positioning so that the tractored ship cannot fire its heavy weapons at the ship that is tractoring it.

(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)


Mini of the Month
         Every month we will feature one or more of our miniatures. If you paint miniatures, submit pictures of your minis and they may be selected for the next Mini of the Month!

Jon Halter painted this Federation Light Cruiser (3788 Scale, Smooth Fine Detail Plastic).

Help us pick the mini of the month on our page on Facebook. The mini with the most likes and shares will become the mini of the month. Vote for the ones you like!

New Releases

Communique #153 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Kzinti Master Starship Book Stock #5435 $21.95
Romulan Armada Unity
Stock #6132 $16.95
Scenario Log #2
Stock #4071 $6.95
Klingon Armada Unity
Stock #6131 $16.95
LDR Master Starship Book
Stock #5444 $14.95
Lyran Master Starship Book
Stock #5441 $19.95
Captain's Log #52
Stock #5752 $24.95
Captain's Log #52 SSDs Stock #5752-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #52 Supplemental File Stock #5752-S $1.00

To be released in 2018
A new Starmada book for both editions.
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
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.


       We’re now offering some of our miniatures and some new designs on Shapeways.
       You can check out the store here:

Click here and you can see all of the products we have avaliable as PDF and Ebooks.

Nexus #8
Nexus #7
Alien Armada Unity

Nexus #6
Nexus #5
Kzinti Master Starship Book
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - Color
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - B/W
Ship Pack for 2018 April Fool's Ships
Nexus #4
Hex Map Pack #1
Nexus #3
SFB: Module S1 - Scenario Book #1
Nexus #2
Nexus #1
Captain's Log #44
Captain's Log #44 Color SSDs
Romulan Armada Unity

SFB: Module R3 Rulebook
Scenario Log #2
Klingon Armada Unity

SFB: ModuleC3 -- New Worlds III Rulebook
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (Color)
Lyran Democratic Republic Master Starship Book

Nexus #8  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #7  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Alien Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #6  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #5 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Kzinti Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - Color (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - B/W (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Ship Pack for 2018 April Fool's Ships (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #4 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Hex Map Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #3 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module S1 - Scenario Book #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #2 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Romulan Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R3 Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Scenario Log #2  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Klingon Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (B/W)  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Lyran Democratic Republic Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)


For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, Tholian Heavy Cruiser Antrex
       "What is the Klingon ship doing?" Lorexxt asked.
       "Nothing aggressive," Weapons Worker Baxx replied. "He's staying well away, I don't see any energy leak from his disruptors so they aren't armed. His last navigation notice insisted that he was on a scientific, not a military mission."
       "Even if not true," Communications Worker Jex said, "it is a plausible lie. We cannot assume anything."
       "We may be the only Tholian ship to meet a Klingon ship without combat in the last three years," Science Worker Jolkks said. "It would be easier for me to get my work done if we were not involved in a battle."
       "If one starts," Lorexxt said, "I don't plan to be surprised."

(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

Plasma Torpedoes
       William Wilson asks: I am having trouble with (FP11.217). The first part of this rule is straightforward. It says you can upgrade a held sabot torpedo using reserve power (within the capacity of the launcher), but you also have to pay the increased sabot cost. Okay, fair enough. But then the second half of the rule talks about contingent allocation and this half just does not make any sense to me. It says that you can pay part of the upgrade cost with contingent allocation, but you cannot then hold the torpedo in future turns. But then, the last sentence [which also agrees with (FP1.96)] says you cannot pay allocated power to upgrade a held torpedo. But contingent allocation for this purpose is basically by definition allocated power to upgrade a torpedo. So, what is this rule trying to say? Does it mean that you can pay the sabot cost for some hypothetical upgraded torpedo? I.e., I have a sabot-plasma-S torpedo held in a plasma-R torpedo launcher. I allocate two points to hold, plus the two points that it would cost to upgrade the sabot, but not the one point to actually upgrade the torpedo? Then I can launch it as a sabot-plasma-S torpedo for free, or a sabot-plasma-R torpedo for one point? Or does it mean something else? I think you should just not be able to use allocated power (whether fully allocated or contingent) for plasma upgrades, because this has always been disallowed by (FP1.96).
       ANSWER: You can contingently allocate the power that would be required for making any upgraded version of the torpedo a sabot. You cannot contingently allocate the power that it would take to upgrade the warhead itself, this has to be reserve power.
Suppose you have a non-sabot plasma-G torpedo being held in a plasma-S torpedo launcher. This costs one point of power. During the turn, there are several ways you could upgrade the torpedo:
  • You could pay one point of reserve power to upgrade the torpedo to a sabot-plasma-G torpedo. This would not obligate you to launch the torpedo during the turn, as you have not upgraded the warhead.
  • You could pay one point of reserve power to upgrade the torpedo to a non-sabot plasma-S torpedo. The torpedo would have to be launched before the end of the turn.
  • You could pay three points of reserve power to upgrade the torpedo to a sabot-plasma-S torpedo, one point for the warhead and two points for sabot. The torpedo would have to be launched before the end of the turn.
       For the sabot torpedoes, instead of just using reserve power during the turn, you have some other options under (FP11.217):
  • Contingently allocate less than one point of power during Energy Allocation for sabot. If the torpedo is launched during the turn, you would need to make up the balance of the sabot cost with reserve power, or the contingent allocation would be lost.
  • Pay one point of power during Energy Allocation for sabot. You could launch the torpedo as a sabot-plasma-G torpedo for no cost, or pay two points of reserve power to launch it as a sabot-plasma-S torpedo.
  • Pay one point of power to upgrade the plasma-G torpedo to sabot, and contingently allocate up to one point of power for the higher sabot cost of a plasma-S torpedo. You could launch the torpedo as a sabot- plasma-G torpedo for no cost (losing the contingently allocated power), or you could pay one point of reserve power to upgrade to a plasma-S torpedo. You must also pay the rest of the sabot cost for the plasma-S torpedo (if any) in this case, or it will launch as a sabot-plasma-G torpedo.
  • However, if you contingently allocate power for the larger torpedo warhead, but do not apply reserve power to upgrade the torpedo warhead, and do not launch the torpedo during the turn, you will have to pay the holding cost for the larger torpedo warhead. Your contingent allocation is lost, though, and the torpedo you are holding is still a plasma-G torpedo.

       Follow-on question: I am holding a type-G sabot torpedo in a type-S plasma tube on a ship with sabot capability. On Turn #2, I allocate two points of energy, one to hold the type-G plasma torpedo, and one to contingently allocate the sabot power in case I upgrade the torpedo to a type-S. As it happens, I do not launch the torpedo on Turn #2. On Turn #3, I now must pay two points of energy to hold the plasma torpedo, so I do. During Turn #3, I want to launch the torpedo. I know I can launch it as a sabot-plasma-G torpedo for no additional energy, and of course there is no way to launch it as a non-sabot torpedo of any size, but what I really want to do is launch it as a sabot-plasma-S torpedo. How much reserve power does it cost?
       ANSWER: On Turn #2, you contingently allocated the additional power required for a sabot-plasma-S torpedo (two points more than standard arming) over the cost of arming a sabot- plasma-G torpedo (one point more than standard arming). However, you did not apply the reserve power to upgrade the torpedo from type-G to type-S. Therefore, that contingent allocation is lost at the end of the turn.
       At the beginning of Turn #3, you have a sabot-plasma-G torpedo held in your tube. You must allocate one point of energy to hold it; otherwise you must eject it. Additionally, you could make a contingent allocation of up to one point of power to cover the sabot surcharge, in case you decide to upgrade the torpedo. During the turn, you could apply one point of reserve power, plus whatever part of the sabot surcharge that you did not contingently allocate during Energy Allocation, in order to launch a sabot- plasma-S torpedo. Or, apply no reserve power to it and launch a sabot-plasma-G torpedo.

(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


       Q: I'm attacking an enemy force consisting of five SAFs, a convoy, and a supply tug. Each of them has two escorting warships. How is this handled for the battle force and command rating?  There is a total of 14 escorts, a tug, five SAFs, and a convoy, way beyond any plausible flagship's command rating.
       A: I can see where this is confusing. The battle force is limited by the flagship's command rating (along with some other adjustments not in play here) but the rules require that the "slow" units be in the battle force and each is allowed to bring along two friends for its protection. Fortunately, there is a resolution.
       Convoys (including units that are treated as "convoys" such as SAFs, ENGs, military convoys, etc.) must be included in an eligible battle force per (302.323). In rare cases where the number of "convoy" escorts exceed the rating of the designated flagship of the battle force, then any escorts that exceed the designated battle force flagship rating are not counted in any calculations to determine the offensive ComPot of the battle force and these same excess escorts may not be used to resolve damage to the battle force (307.31).
       There is an exception: If a given escorted "convoy" is selected for a directed-damage attack, but the "convoy's" escorts were excluded from the battle force calculation due to flagship rating limitations (above), then these excess escorts of that given convoy can only be used to protect the convoy from a directed damage attack (i.e., you must use directed damage on the escorts before the escorted unit).
       The enemy commander will have to designate a flagship. Let's refer to the rulebook.
       (302.324) Even ships which are part of "groups" (515.0) must be considered for flagship duty. If the ship selected as the flagship is an escort in a group, it will have to be removed from that group, which could have consequences for the group.
       (515.331) A ship used as an escort cannot be the battle force flagship (nor does assignment as an escort remove a ship from the flagship selection procedure) or a member of a battle group.
       (302.323) Convoys and FRDs have no Command Ratings. They are required be in the Battle Force (302.231) but are not involved in flagship selection.
       This can be bad for the targeted force. They must go through the normal procedure to select the three best flagships and then pick one of those. This could involve removing an escort (making the escorted unit more vulnerable to directed damage) or bringing in an outside ship that just happens to be in the battle hex (which would mean another escort cannot contribute its combat power to the battle force).
Even more fun, nothing under (412.2) prevents a tug serving as a supply point from also serving as a flagship, so it must also be considered for flagship duty.
(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean, What kind of food should I serve at my game night?

        A:  I always prepare two complete meals, one of comfort food to make the opposing players sleepy, and one of smelly food to make the opposing players just want to get the game over. We have a dinner break at mid-game, and which meal I serve depends on whether we're winning (pasta) or losing (garlic and anchovies).

Send questions to Jean at and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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 recently updated the look and design of the Rangers Page, check it out here: Rangers Page
       Here are links to various flyers you can use to advertise your Demos and Game Days: Ranger Resources
       Here are links to the new pages of Starline 2500 miniatures pictures.
       Starline 2500 Battleships page
       Starline 2500 Federation Miniatures
       Starline 2500 Klingon Miniatures
       Starline 2500 Romulan Miniatures
       Starline 2500
       Traveller Prime Directive
       Call to Arms Star Fleet

       We have also uploaded new Xander wallpapers to our Wallpapers section on the website: Wallpapers
       We have new images of our game Star Fleet Marines posted on our BBS topic page.


       These are the press releases we send to the wholesalers, retailers, and media. You can get on the mailing list for them by asking to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page

Alert 170327 CL52 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160531 Cart
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160518 Captain's Log #51 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160317 For the Glory
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 150331 Captain's Log #50
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49
(Adobe Acrobat Required)


       When playing on a location map, say 50 hexes across from a fixed point, you may find it frustrating when your opponent is running and reloading his drone racks or plasma torpedoes, or perhaps performing shield repairs. He is moving Speed 24+1 for the whole turn, and keeping the range open. You'd like nothing better than to see him run into a corner from which there is no escape, but it's a big map and there's all the space he needs.
       However, even on a location map you can still corner your opponent. The map is actually a giant hexagon 100 hexes across, which means it still has corners, albeit six of them rather than the usual four on a fixed map. Thinking of the map as simply a large, but still fixed, map, is the key to this strategy.
       Ships running at Speed 24+1 will cross a 100-hex map in a mere three turns. Sooner or later your opponent is going to have to make a decision about what to do when he reaches the map edge. Now, if your opponent is running away in a more-or-less straight line, it means that he is running approximately parallel to two of the edges of the map.
       Usually, one of those two map edges will be closer than the other one. The trick here is not simply to do a straight stern-chase, but to take up a position slightly to the side of your opponent's trail, on the opposite side of his ship from the nearest map edge. This way, he either has to turn towards the nearest edge of the map, in which case you simply turn and parallel his course again in the same way, or he has to turn towards you, which allows you to close the range. The idea is that you box him in against the sides of the map, just as if it were a fixed map.
       If, however, you were performing a stern chase, or were on the side of his ship closest to the nearest map edge, then all he would have to do is turn away from you to open the range again.
       This means that eventually you can corner your opponent and give him what he deserves.
       Another way of looking at it is that you keep your ship nearer the center of the board than his. As long as you are on the inside of his turn, which effectively is what is happening, you can cut him off at each corner, eventually closing the range. He will be doing all the running, and sometimes you can even go at a lower speed, thereby releasing power for your weapons.
       Of course, a clever opponent can complicate things by launching over-the-shoulder plasma shots, and given your high forward speed, these plasma torpedoes will probably be powerful when they hit you. However, you are still not in his primary forward arcs, and the torpedo threat is not as great when you are behind him.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Commander David Zimdars, USS Montana

       At times the tactical situation will call for the declaration of the intent to emergency decelerate coordinated with the announcement of an un-plotted speed change (to a higher speed) which delays one or more movements prior to coming to a stop. Because fractions are rounded down when dividing by two to calculate the amount of remaining movement energy which is converted to shield reinforcement, you should always choose an un-plotted speed change which costs the minimum amount of reserve energy yet leaves you with an even number of remaining moves (assuming a movement cost of one).
       This is not always the speed one point greater. Some increased speeds may only delay a move (not increase the number of moves) leaving an odd number of remaining moves, yet still cost one point of reserve power. A greater speed which actually increases the number of moves by one will still only cost one point, and the number of remaining moves will now be even, and that point of reserve power is now "recovered" as shield reinforcement for "free."
       For example, a player in a Movement Cost 1 ship moving at Speed 14 decides he must declare emergency deceleration on Impulse #21. His ship will move on Impulse #23 prior to stopping and doing so will allow enemy seeking weapons to impact before he can launch a wild weasel. By accelerating to Speed 15 on Impulse #23 (announced on Impulse #22) his ship will not move on Impulse #23. Both his original Speed 14 plot and the new Speed 15 plot have five remaining moves, so the speed change costs one point of reserve power. However, these five remaining moves round down to only two points of reinforcement energy after stopping. By increasing speed to 18 instead, the ship still will not move on Impulse #23, and the ship will now move six hexes instead of five. This still only costs one point of reserve power (due to the cost cap), however the ship now will have three points of reinforcement energy, essentially gaining a "free" point.
       Players should recognize that coordinating an emergency deceleration and an un-plotted speed change must be the dominant tactical necessity, otherwise no speed change need be plotted and the point of reserve power could go directly into shield reinforcement. The same analysis can be made for fractional movement cost ships, but it should be noted that it may cost more than one point of energy to reach an even amount of remaining movement energy.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)



Facebook Highlight of the Month

A family portrait of the ships from the classic Franz Joseph Technical Manual.