April 2016

Star Fleet Universe News


        We have completed the Deluxe Edition of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Book-1.2 and it will appear on the PDF download sites in a day or two. Hard copies will be printed and sold to stores in May. We have also uploaded the final Basic Edition of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Book -1.2 Revision F. A few minor tweaks and fixes were made since we uploaded Revision E a year ago this month.
        A Call to Arms is a fast-playing miniatures-based game system. (You can play it with counters but it's just not as much fun.) Designed to portray massive 12-vs.-12 fleet battles in a single evening, ACTA accomplishes this by several methods. Each turn has a single impulse, so a ship only moves and fires on a single impulse compared to 32 for Star Fleet Battles and eight for Federation Commander. There is no energy allocation, although the use of "special actions" produces much the same result. (If you do something that would really slow down your ship in SFB, that same event in ACTA requires a special power-drain action that slows down your ship. As ships can only use two special actions a turn, your ship in ACTA cannot use tractor beams, transporters, overloads, a high energy turn, and erratic maneuvers all at the same time. (Pick any two.) Since ACTA is designed for large fleets, you can have a couple of ships land Marines on the planet while another ship tractor beams the ambassador's shuttle and some other ships overload their torpedoes to launch a killing attack.
        ACTA is more of a game than a simulation, focusing on the overall effect rather than the details of how that effect was created. Players alternate moving their ships one at a time (in inches, not hexes), so there is strategy involved in what ship moves first and where it goes. Players also alternate firing one ship at a time, and since ACTA minimizes record keeping it is possible for a ship to explode before it has a chance to fire that turn.
        All in all, ACTA is a very different way to experience combat in the SFU and worth giving a try.

        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.


        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 recently started 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 first goal is to get 100 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 StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new site is http://federationcommander.blogspot.com
        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:http://www.starfleetgames.com/starlist.shtml.
         Battle groups have been forming up left and right. We started with one in Tennessee. Now there are battle groups in California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. We've gone international with groups in Canada and England. Battle groups are doing demos, tournaments, and game days in stores and conventions. Do you have a group you game with? Join us here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/index.shtml
         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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml  

Each month we shine a spotlight on one of our battle groups. This month it is Battle Group Clifton Park. They are home ported in Clifton Park, NY. Mark Lurz, their commanding officer, reports they are active, not only playing games, but running demos. They last ran demos of ACTASF at Council of Five Nations in October and plan to do another set of demos there this coming fall. Catch up with them here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_CliftonPark.shtml

Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml

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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml

Register and join the the Star Fleet Rangers!
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 www.tenneshington.com. Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: will@tenneshington.com or Tony L. Thomas at: scoutdad@tenneshington.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 2015 Platinum Hat Tournament is well underway. The third round has only one game left to play. Our thanks to Fleet Captain Peter Bakija for keeping this tournament moving along.

Rated Ace Tournament 46 is just starting up. One game in the first round has been played and the frequently playing (but quite unlucky) BYE lost. Andy Vancil is the judge for this tournament.


On March 5, 2016, Star Fleet Battles was played at Gnomecon at Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah, Georgia. Refiner's Fire was the scenario. Ranger Michael Baker reports fun was had.

On April 1-3, 2016, Star Fleet Battle Force was played multiple times at WhosYerCon 2016 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ranger Anthony Harding was in charge. His pictures show people enjoying themselves.

Star Fleet Battles will be played at least once at Recon in Orlando, Florida on April 29, 2015. The Ranger in charge will be Scott Bauman. For more about this con see: http://www.hmgs-south.com/

Chuck Strong announces free SFU Gaming at StratCon 2016 for those that need some face to face SFU gaming in their diet. This convention runs from June 18-25, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. A ***FREE*** 1300SF secure conference room and reduced room rates at the Comfort Suites mean that there will be NO ATTENDANCE FEES to attend StratCon this year! There will be a $50 SNACK-O fund that entitles those who choose to participate full access to the SNACK-O bar for the entire week.

When making your reservation please ask for the StratCon rate coordinated by Dave Whiteside.

Comfort Suites at Virginia Center Commons
10601 Telegraph Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
(804) 262-2000

If you planning to attend, please notify Ryan Opel on ADB's BBS or send a message to ADB on its page on Facebook and we'll get it to Ryan. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend a national SFU event at low cost.

This event is open to ALL SFU related games and other non-SFU games with prior coordination and approval of the StratCon committee; just ask here.

Amarillo Design Bureau will be attending AMA-Con in Amarillo, Texas during July 23-24, 2016. Not only will we have a booth, but we will be running demos of Star Fleet Battle Force and Federation Commander. We are actively seeking people who want to help demo games there. Steve Cole will also be there and hosting "Meet with a Game Publisher" where you and he can discuss games, including those you might have in mind to produce yourself. ADB will also be giving away a challenged starship to anyone cosplaying in the Star Trek/Star Fleet Universe who stops by our booth and gets a photo taken with us. We are very excited about this! Help us spread the word! For more information on AMA-Con see: https://www.facebook.com/AmaCon2012/ or http://ama-con.amarillolibrary.org/

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. This month's game will be on the 12th of March.
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

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

       While most of Federation & Empire is based around predetermined values (economics, pin count, Combat Potential, etc.), there is some small room in the game for luck: rolling for damage in combat. What some may not realize is that one can minimize (or maximize!) the influence of luck upon your battles. The variance in damage that is dealt is due to rolling damage at a particular Battle Intensity Rating, but the amount of variance depends upon the Battle Intensity Rating itself. Look at the variation in damage one gets at a Battle Intensity Rating of 2 and a Battle Intensity Rating of 8. At a Battle Intensity Rating of 2, the damage varies between 15% to 27.5% while at a Battle Intensity Rating of 8; the damage varies between 30% to 42.5%. Look at what that actually means. At a low Battle Intensity Rating, you have the potential (you roll a 6, your opponent rolls a 1) for almost a 2-to-1 advantage in damage dealt while at a high Battle Intensity Rating you have (at best) a 40% advantage in damage dealt. To see how this works out, consider two fleets with identical combat potential and you are going to fight until you suffer 100 points of damage upon your fleet. Assuming amazing luck, fighting many rounds at low Battle Intensity Rating will net you 180 points of damage on your opponent's fleet while fighting a few rounds at high Battle Intensity Rating will net you only 140 points of damage on your opponent's fleet. As to how to make this work for you, if you feel that your luck is hot you might choose a low Battle Intensity Rating to let that luck have the most effect, while if the dice seem to have it in for you and yours, you should pick a high Battle Intensity Rating so as to mitigate the pain.

(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 two inches 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 six inches.
         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.
Developer's Note: This note was edited to reflect revised rules.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)


New Releases

Communique #124 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Klingon Master Starship Book Stock #5433 $29.95
F&E Compendium Part 3
Stock #5718-3 $12.95
Captain's Log #50 Stock #5750 $24.95
Captain's Log #50 SSDs Stock #5750-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File Stock #5750-S $3.50
Romulan countersheet from Captain's Log #50 Stock #5750-C $0.95
Hydran Master Starship Book
Stock #5439 $19.95
Captain's Log #49 Stock #5749 $24.95
Captain's Log #49 SSDs Stock #5749-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #49 Supplemental File Stock #5749-S $1.00
SFB: Federation Master Starship Book
Stock #5432 $24.95

To be released in 2016
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
A new Starmada book for both editions.
F&E Fighter Operations update 2016, SKU 3203
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.

ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their Warehouse 23. We chose Warehouse 23 because they have a philosophy that agrees with ours -- our customers are honest and honorable and wouldn't aid people who want to steal our products. Furthermore, we know from experience how devastating a computer crash can be and want our customers to know that they don't have to worry about the loss of their e-products bought through Warehouse 23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFs for sale on Warehouse 23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.

Star Fleet Battles: Module R12 Unusual Ships Rulebook
Federation & Empire: Minor Empires Rulebook Preliminary Edition
Federation & Empire: Fighter Operations 2016 Rulebook 
Captain's Log #41

Captain's Log #41 Color SSDs
For the Glory of the Empire
SFB: Module R11 Rulebook 

SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) Rulebook
SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) SSD Book (Color)
SFB: Module Y2 Rulebook
SFB Commander's Edition, Supplement #3
SFB: Module C6 Rulebook
SFB: Module C6 SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module C6 SSD Book (COLOR)
Federation Commander Scenario Log
Battlewagon Article #6: Battlewagon Scenario

Federation Commander: WYN Ship Card Pack #1  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles: Module R12 Unusual Ships Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #19 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Times #46-#50 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Minor Empires Rulebook Preliminary Edition (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Fighter Operations 2016 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: ISC Ship Card Pack #1  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Times #41-#45 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #41  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #41 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
For the Glory of the Empire (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R11 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Times #36-#40 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #18 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Romulan Ship Card Pack #2  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Lyran Ship Card Pack #1  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) SSD Book (B/W) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C1 - New Worlds I (2015) SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Times #31-#35 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)


For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, Federation Large Auxiliary Carrier Galeron
in Orbit over Arcturia, August 18, Y180

        "Chumlee!!!" Rick shouted. That was about as loud as Chumlee had ever heard Rick holler at him before. "What the BLEEP did you think you were doing?!"
        Earlier that day, Chumlee had bought an Andromedan Tractor-Repulsor device for 13,000 credits from a guy who flew into Vegas in a shuttlecraft. The guy had presented the proper Star Fleet war-trophy documentation and had asked 20,000 credits for the unit. Rick and Big Hoss had been out of the shop. Chumlee thought he could make a good buy and help make up for previous mistakes. He had never heard of a T-R unit, but when he saw it actually work, he knew he just had to have it. They didn't have anything like it in the pawn shop. He didn't tell Rick or Big Hoss that the T-R unit had vibrated Big Hoss's hovercycle to pieces. Peaches was nice enough to help scrape up all the parts and call the cycle repair shop to come get it.
        After a few seconds, Chumlee decided he'd better say something. Rick's face was as red as a security officer's shirt, and he had recently been put on high-blood-pressure meds. "I thought I was making a good deal," he replied sheepishly.
        "Good deal?! Since when is buying a BLEEP-BLEEP enemy weapon a good deal?!" Rick was pacing back and forth around the Andromedan device. "Do you know what the BLEEP will happen if the cops find out we have this BLEEP-BLEEP thing?!" Chumlee cast a meek gaze down on the floor of the back room where he had brought the alien device on an anti-grav sled. "They'll probably fine us or maybe even revoke our BLEEP license to deal in off-world merchandise! I can't even imagine what the Old Man is going to say?!!"
        "Maybe he'll give me a raise?" Chumlee replied weakly.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
        Roch Chartrand asks: A Starfish drone is en route to its primary target. Can it release its anti-drone at targets satisfying its programming before it reaches the primary target?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: No. Rule (FD15.211) requires you to set the target and the range from the target the anti-drones will be fired. Rule (FD15.212) says it fires the submunitions when it reaches the release point, i.e., has reached the range you set to the target you set and in an FA arc from the drone. And rule (FD15.213) provides that all of the anti-drones must be fired simultaneously.

        Roch Chartrand asks: In Step 6A3, Swordfish, Starfish, and Stonefish drones commit to fire. Does this mean they fire in this step or fire in the 6D1 step?
        ANSWER: See (FD11.21) (for Swordfish drones), (FD15.212) (for Starfish drones), and (FD17.21) (for Stonefish drones). While these drones commit to firing in Stage 6A3, all three of these drone types actually fire during the 6D2 Direct Fire Weapons stage. This does mean that intervening activities (such as a wild weasel launch) could render this fire undesirable or ineffective, but they will fire anyway in Step 6D2 if their firing conditions were met as of Step 6A3 of the same impulse.

        Francois Lemay asks: A ship is at Speed Zero with two Speed-20 drones targeted on it at Range 1. The ship launches two Speed-20 drones to target the two incoming hostile drones. Next impulse, all four drones move. Do the ship's friendly drones hit the incoming hostile drones before they impact the ship?
        ANSWER: Under (F2.53), the ship's drones intercept the hostile drones before they strike the ship.
        Follow-Up Question: What if the ship were moving Speed 12 but not scheduled to move on the same impulse as the drones move. Does mutual impact occur then?
        ANSWER: Rule (F2.53) still applies. The drones will be intercepted before hitting the ship.

        Eric Phillips asks: If I buy a ship in Y170, do I have to pay for the rack upgrades to medium from slow (0.5 points per rack)?
        ANSWER: In a scenario where forces are purchased with BPV, yes, you do. In a scenario where the forces are specified, the drone speeds should also be specified, and they are included in your force. Of course, you would have to pay for speed upgrades on any extra drones you buy as Commander's Options.

        David Zimdars asks: The BPV of a ship, even a ship in service after the general availability of medium speed drones, only includes slow-speed drones and you must add the speed upgrade costs to the gross adjusted combat/economic BPV, right?
        ANSWER: That is correct.
        Follow-up Question: Suppose a ship has four type-B drone racks for 24 spaces of drones. Rule (FD2.31) states that all drone racks come standard with type I-S drones. To upgrade to medium speed the cost is 24 drones x 0.5=12 for 24 type-IM drones (reloads are free). Suppose I want to swap the 24 type-IS base drones with 12 type-IVS drones. This is a free swap. If I recall correctly, type-I and type-IV are general availability. Is there any limitation on the percentage of heavy drones?
        ANSWER: Type-IV drones are general availability. You can fill your racks with 100% type-IV drones if you wish.
        Follow-up Question: Suppose I must upgrade them to type-IVM. Now I have only 12 drones. Is the cost now only 12 drones x 0.5=6 points? OR do I do the swap after speed upgrades and pay for the 24 type-IM drones first (for 12 points)? If I just had empty racks and paid the drone construction costs, the first way, six points seems correct.
        ANSWER: Swap costs are based on slow speed (at least for non-X drones). Apply speed upgrades after doing the swap. Six points is the correct cost.

        Garth L. Getgen asks: A Federation type-G drone rack can be loaded with type-IV double-space drones, yes?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Well, to be clear, it is not a "Federation type-G drone rack," it is just a "type-G drone rack" as it is also used by some Kzinti and Klingon carrier escorts (and some other ships) and can be taken in Orion option mounts. Beyond that, yes, it can handle any type of non-X drone. Thus it can be loaded with and launch type-I (up to four drones can be loaded in the rack), type-II (up to four drones can be loaded in the rack), type-III (up to four drones can be loaded, unless they are type-IIIXX in which case up to two can be loaded), type-IV (up to two drones can be loaded in the rack), type-V (up to two drones can be loaded in the rack), type-VI (up to eight drones can be loaded in the rack), or ADDs (up to eight ADDs can be loaded in the rack). It cannot be loaded with type-VII, type-VIII, or type-IX drones (well . . . it could, but it could not launch them). Beyond that, the rack can hold four total spaces at one time, and any combination of the allowed drones can be loaded in the rack. Thus a load of a type-IIIXX, type-I, type-VI, and an ADD is perfectly legal (assuming you had the drone percentages to allow such a loading). As with any drone rack it is the owning player's choice which of the drones is launched on a given impulse of a turn, and not within a quarter turn of the rack having launched a drone on a previous turn.

        Garth L. Getgen asks: Type-VI "dogfight" drones and anti-drones are the same size (give or take), but they are not the same critter, correct?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Correct. An anti-drone is a direct-fire weapon (an "E" series rule) and a type-VI drone is a seeking weapon (an "F" series rule). The type-G drone rack can launch one (1) type-VI drone in a given turn (it does not have the type-VI launch rate of a type-E drone rack). If the type-G drone rack does not launch any drones in a given turn, it can fire from zero to eight anti-drones as if it were an anti-drone rack (assuming it has anti-drones loaded). It cannot do both in the same turn (launch a drone and fire an anti-drone), and the quarter-turn delay applies (fire as an anti-drone in the last eight impulses in the previous turn delays when you can launch a drone in the current turn). Note that firing an anti-drone in the last eight impulses of a previous turn does not delay the use of the type-G drone rack (or an anti-drone rack) from firing an anti-drone in the start of a subsequent turn. Anti-drones have no firing delays.

        Garth L. Getgen asks: The last reload of the type-G drone rack must be eight anti-drone rounds. There is no option to replace those anti-drone rounds with type-VI drones, true?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: Correct. That second (third after the Y175 refit) reload is always anti-drones; there is no option to replace them with some other type of drone. Not even if you intend to patrol on the Romulan and Gorn borders, empires that do not have drones. They do have fighters and you might run into an Orion with drone racks even there.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)

        Q: I can't find anything mentioning when the Federation 5th Fleet is released. Sure, it has a detachment of most of the fleet that can leave when the Klingons attack, but the last few ships are stuck in an unreleased status apparently until the end of time.
        A: On Turn #10 Spring Y173 or later, it is released if the Romulans enter Federation territory or adjacent neutral zones. It would also be released if the Gorns attack the Federation.

        Q: If the Romulans don't attack the Federation on Turn #10 and the Gorns go to limited war, is a declaration of war or an attack on the Tholians the same as declaring war on the Federation?
        A: No. The only thing attacking the Tholians at this time will do is put the Federation on a limited war status which they will already be at. The Kzinti and Gorns will be able to send expeditionary fleets to Tholian space to assist the Tholians.

        Q: If the Romulans don't attack the Federation on Turn #10 (603.5) and the Gorns go to limited war, what about capturing of neutral zones?
        A: The capture by the coalition of any neutral zones adjacent to the Federation or Gorns is a declaration of war against the respective empire.

        Q: If the Romulans don't attack the Federation on Turn #10 and the Gorns go to limited war (603.5), is an attack on an adjacent minor planet (e.g., 3912) an attack on the Federation?
        A: Yes it is.
(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean,

What can you tell me about the schedule for Traveller Prime Directive?

        A: It appears that Mongoose's rulebook is being printed now. Give our author a month to digest it (Jean will be working on the next Captain's Log during that time) and then we should see regular progress made.

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 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.

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 Marketing@StarFleetGames.com to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page

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)
Alert 140418 PRICE 2500 (Adobe Acrobat Required)

FC Tactic of the MonthTURN INTO THE WIND

        A carrier that wishes to recover a fighter will need to ensure that it moves no more than two hexes in that impulse, so if moving at a Baseline Speed of 24 an obvious solution is to use a deceleration for the energy cost of one hex of movement. There is, however, an alternative that may well be preferable under certain circumstances.
        If the carrier's escort (or any nearby friendly ship) tractors the carrier, this will lower the number of hexes moved to allow a fighter landing. This has the benefits of not costing the carrier itself any additional energy and allowing fighters to be recovered over several impulses without having to pay for deceleration for each such impulse. Obviously, the higher the move cost of the carrier and the more fighters to be recovered in one turn, the greater the energy saving. While the carrier is prevented from firing at other ships while tractored by a friendly ship, this may be a worthwhile price to pay for being able to use high speed before and after the recovery impulses. Of course all the ships of the fleet could do this by pairing up and keeping in formation.
        If the fighters are trying to catch up with the carrier, the advantage of this method can be even greater. For example, an escort and carrier of the same size and with the same energy devoted to movement will not move at all while tractored (barring accelerations and decelerations). This allows returning fighters to rapidly gain ground without the carrier having to change its course (which may be tactically undesirable) or spending a lot of energy for decelerations.
        When planning to recover fighters take a moment to consider whether one energy point spent tractoring the carrier will save energy while allowing a higher baseline speed and keeping maneuver options open for later in the turn.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Captain Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

        Andromedan commando ships, the Diamondback and Rattler, can land on planets to unload boarding parties quickly. This is necessary for the Andromedans who have relatively few transporters and no shuttles. However, conventional landings are time-consuming and can leave the commando ship vulnerable to fire from the defenders. The Diamondback and Rattler are both satellite ships, so they can be carried in a mothership's hangar like any other satellite ship. This means a mothership can carry a commando ship to within five hexes of the planetary surface and then transport the commando ship straight down to the ground using rule (G19.416). The troopship will be protected by the mothership's power absorber panels on the approach, and the defenders will never get a chance to fire directly at the commando ship before it reaches the surface.
(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:


We support our allies!



To see our previous Demotivationals click here.


Facebook Highlight of the Month

Randy Blair shared this from the 1984 Gencon. Recognize anyone? #TBT


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

Eric Drumm painted this Orion pirate fleet. It includes a DN -- enough to make any raid scary!

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!