september 2008
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The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, fiction, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Commander's Circle. Don’t forget, you have to register before being able to download the latest full color Communique!

Star Fleet Universe News

We're Baaackkk! Yes, it has been four months since Matt left and the May issue was released, and nobody around here knew how to do web zines. We expected to hire a new graphics director by June but did not find the right person until September, when Eric Olivarez arrived as the new head of Graphic Design and Web technology. This is his first newsletter. We have a lot to catch up on.

Federation Commander: Distant Kingdoms
was released last May, along with SFB Module Omega Five, Federation Commander: Booster Pack #19, and Federation Commander: Booster Pack #20. Captain's Log #37 and SFB Module X1R were released at Origins. Federation Commander: Orion Attack, and four Booster Packs (#21, #22, #23, and #24) were released on 24 September.

The new RPG Editing-Layout team (Jean Sexton and Mike Sparks) continues to work on Prime Directive d20 Modern. It has been a tough battle as other projects intervened (Jean proofread Captain's Log, X1R, Orion Attack, and Distant Kingdoms) and it took forever to get all of the files out of the PD20M author. RPGs are more complicated than they look, and it's harder than one might think to make sure that every skill mentioned in a character class is on the Skill List in a different chapter.

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

We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? Then WE NEED YOU! To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see the Federation Commander Ambassadors category on the Federation Commander forum.

Latest news from Conquest Vegas, biggest gaming event in the western US can be viewed here.

Have you missed an earlier Newsletter? Click here to get caught up!

FC Forum Hot Topics

The Federation Commander Site and Forum continues to grow as more gamers find it. We have added a new section to the Forum called Web Requests. If you have any comments, questions, or requests for our Graphics Director, this is the place to let him know. This month’s Hot Topic is "Orion Attack - Final Contents ? " which can be found in the General Discussion category.

We have added a new Star Fleet Battles section to the forum to discus everything SFB. For new players, the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage whereas the Legacy Discus BBS can be a bit overwhelming.  Come see what the commotion is about and join the Federation Commander Forum now!

Don't forget our original (discus-based) BBS where most product development takes place. The most active topics of late include: Farthest Stars campaign, F&E General Discussions, and FC: General Discussions. If you really want to know what's going on, don't miss Steve Cole's daily weblog.

FC Tactic of the Month
Suicide Solution
-Senior Lieutenant Seth Iniguez, USS Colorado

Once you are in close overload range, it is unlikely that your ship will have the power to launch an effective suicide shuttle, and your shuttle bay will be exposed to internal damage from enemy weapons. Go ahead and launch a shuttle or two on the first turn, before decisively engaging the enemy. (Continue reading here)

Café Press
Cafe Press

Café Press is an online marketplace that allows the Star Fleet Universe to produce unique products such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more with the Star Fleet logos, cover art, and other artwork used for our products. We have added tons of new shirts, mugs, and other products. Want something you don’t see? Please contact Eric Olivarez (Graphics Director) with your request. Visit our Star Fleet Café Press Store for a complete listing of the products available.

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Lieutenant Commander Andy Vancil, USS Colorado

One overlooked use of the narrow salvo (E1.6) is for defensive fire, particularly against plasma torpedoes. By firing pairs of phasers in narrow salvoes, you can actually increase your expected damage.

Here is an example to illustrate: Suppose you are firing two phaser-3s at a plasma torpedo that has reached range one. If you fire them individually, you have a 44% chance of doing eight points of damage, which translates to four points of warhead reduction. The rest of the time, you score six or seven points of damage, which gets you three points of warhead reduction. However, if you fire the phasers in a narrow salvo, your chances of getting eight damage increase to 67%, and you are still guaranteed to do at least six points of damage. (Continue reading here)

F&E Strategy of the Month
- Ensign Daniel G. Knipfer, USS Ohio

Lyran survey ships have a unique capability as tugs that can allow the Lyrans to rapidly develop overwhelming electronic warfare (EW) capability thanks to their alliance with the Klingon Empire. On Turns #1 and #2, the Lyrans can build an SR and a K-SP scout pod. This allows the Lyrans to use three tugs (1xTG-P or C and 2xSR) to deploy three 4EW ships early in the war. The SR ships can also provide a second mission capability by bringing a second K-pod as an added bonus. (Continue reading here)

Mini of the Month

Every month we will feature one of our miniatures that has been painted by a fan. If you paint miniatures, submit your pictures and you may be our next Mini of the Month!

New Releases

Communique #30, #31, #32, and #33 have posted to the Commander's Circle

Federation Commander: Orion Attack, SKU 4106, $29.95
Federation Commander: Distant Kingdoms, SKU 4105, $34.95
SFB Module O5: Omega Flotillas, SKU 5665, $21.95
SFB Module X1R: X-Ship Reinforcements, SKU 5631, $28.95
Captain's Log #37: The Magnificent Panzers, SKU 5737, $18.95
Federation Commander: Booster #19, SKU 4219, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster #20, SKU 4220, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster #21, SKU 4221, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster #22, SKU 4222, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster #23, SKU 4223, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster #24, SKU 4224, $9.95

Squadron Box #19 (Hydrans), SKU 4319, $34.95
Squadron Box #20 (Lyrans), SKU 4320, $34.95
Squadron Box #21 (WYNs), SKU 4321, $34.95
Prime Directive d20M (Modern), SKU8721, $24.95

Federation Commander: Border Box #7, SKU 4407, $99.95
Prime Directive: Federation (d20), SKU 8702, $24.95


Captain's Log #38, Doomward and the Vortex, SKU 5738, $19.95
GURPS Federation, SKU 8402, $24.95
Squadron Box #22, SKU 4322, $34.95
Squadron Box #23, SKU 4322, $34.95
Squadron Box #24, SKU 4322, $34.95
Federation Commander: Border Box #8, SKU 4408, $99.95

SFB Module G3: Master Annexes, SKU 5423, Price $29.95

Star Fleet Fiction
SNAP COUNT Part 1 of 10

Bridge, USS Eagle, 1427 hrs, 3 Jan Y169
"Target spotted is, range kilometers 1,640,000, bearing Mark Four 390," the Navigator said. "Not at this range target locking. Engine flare thirty-eight degrees we are at on port quarter target." His Arcturian voice was almost musical in its tone.

"Very well," Captain Shanna Williams responded.

"Attack Plan will be Juliet seven. Snap count will begin at one million kilometers.

"Helm, take us right to course 85, full speed ahead, execute immediately. Pull her nose up to Mark one, but I want to stay ten thousand kilometers under that beast.

"Navigator, let me know when we come across the target's stern, and I don't want to have to twist any struts coming up behind him. A simple tight turn will be fine.

"Guns, power up the photons. Plan for an overload shot at 40,000 kilometers, follow up with phasers. Drone launch at 80,000 if you have a lock.

"Any questions?" There were none.
Seconds ticked by as the ship roared across the target's stern, hopefully out of its detection range, trying to reach a position dead astern of it.

"Comments, Lieutenant?" Captain Williams asked.

"Even at your speed," the Klingon attaché answered, "this won't work. The Juggernaut can out-turn you."

"That is not what the intelligence files say," Williams answered, keeping her eyes on the screen.

"Grey's ship was badly damaged," Lieutenant Kezlok responded. "His records were not complete. I read them."

"A ship that big cannot turn any better than my ship can," Williams sneered. "Nothing in the records or the reports says it can."

"You read the processed report, not the interview transcripts," the Klingon answered, keeping a smile on his face.

"Grey's crew said that it could out turn the Excalibur, something Star Fleet Intelligence omitted from the report. What they do not believe, they do not repeat." (Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler


Frank Brooks asks: One of the pieces of information gained at Level A is the specific unit that launches or fires a weapon is known. Does this apply to drones launched before the scenario begins under (S4.13)? Or does this only apply to things launched after the scenario begins?
ANSWER: The launch from the "previous turn" was observed and the launcher would be known under level A.

Follow-up question: Does this rule apply to fighters?
ANSWER: This rule applies to "the launching unit", so fighters would be included. (Continue reading here)

Federation & Empire Q&A
combat questions

QUESTION: Can Planetary Repair Docks be targeted by drone raids?
Ruling: No, they cannot.

QUESTION: If I use a mauler in Advanced Small Scale Combat (318.74)-AO, I get the +1 bonus, but do I roll for shock?
ANSWER: No. Shock is only rolled for when the mauler is used for directed damage, which isn't part of Small Scale Combat. Now, to be sure, we all know that the Small Scale Combat rules don't work right, and this matter can be attended to when they are fixed.

QUESTION: Is the attack factor of a mauler reduced 50% in Small Scale Combat if it lacks the consort ships required by (308.43)?
ANSWER: Correct. However, (318.74) grants a +1 bonus if it does have the consorts present. (Continue reading here)


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 80818 Captain's Log 38 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 80410 New Releases (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 80929 New Releases (Adobe Acrobat Required)


The Orion Dreadnought is scheduled for Christmas release and should bring nightmares to fleet commanders everywhere.