APRIL  2022

Star Fleet Universe News


You were not imagining it; we haven't sent you a newsletter since December. Things have been going crazy around here, with the biggest sales in company history coming at a time when most of the staff was off duty for medical reasons.

Steve Cole had knee replacement surgery at the end of November, and was in the office only briefly during December as he learned how to walk again. He was doing better by the end of December, but then...

On 31 December, Steve Petrick suffered a major stroke while driving, crashing his car. No one was hurt, but he spent a month in the hospital, followed by six weeks in rehab learning to walk and talk again. He moved to an assisted living center in mid-March and is scheduled to have surgery to restore his vision in May. He should be back at his desk by mid-June. As Steve Petrick has no family on this side of the Mississippi River, his brother nominated Steve Cole to be power of attorney. Steve Cole spent almost no time in the office during January, February, or March as he saw to Steve Petrick's medical care and other needs (paying his bills, dealing with his car insurance, getting his apartment moved, etc.). The whole ADB team (including Jean's husband Al, without whom we would have been in a hole too deep to climb out of) pitched in to do everything they could for Steve Petrick. Leanna even came out of retirement to help. Meanwhile...

Jean Sexton Beddow had breast cancer surgery on 19 January, and was out of the office for two weeks. Even then her pain and radiation therapy kept her from working full time until the end of March. She is now better, but still recovering from what was clearly a major event. Despite all of that, Jean kept the orders going out on time because customer service is our highest priority.

With all of that going on, nothing got done on new products and the newsletter didn't even get a second thought. Things are better now. Steve Cole is starting work again on the two "lost" F&E update books. Steve Petrick is looking forward to eye surgery and a return to work (where SFB updates and the Master Starship Books are waiting for him).

We owe you some "play value extras" for the three missing newsletters and will get those to you over the next few months.

As for a new product schedule, we'll work that out and tell you about it next month.


        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, 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 400 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, 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: 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  

        This month we feature Battle Group Hampton Roads, headquartered in Hampton, Virginia. CO William Phillips reports they play Star Fleet Battles and Federation & Empire. They also enjoy attending gaming conventions. Read more here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_HamptonRoads.shtml

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

         Do you want to see if there's a battle group near you? Check out the map here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/gather.shtml#US

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!


        As announced in Captain's Log #54, Jean Sexton Beddow's husband, Al Beddow has been appointed to take over the day-to-day of running the SFU Ranger demo team. He comes with a bit of experience both teaching various types of games as well as having been in quite a few demo teams (and ran/helped run a few). He is most familiar with GURPS Prime Directive but early on played ACTASF and spent Gencon 2012 demoing it in the Mongoose Publishing booth there.
        They announce: We have big changes coming to the program. A new handbook, suggestions for demoing our games, and vastly improved rewards. All we can safely say about the (already approved) rewards is they will include ALL physical products and PDFs – but nothing on shapeways.com.
        To kick all this off we are verifying everyone’s email, plus getting their handles on the Federation Commander Forum and BBS. Our official comms will be the hidden Ranger section of the Forum, which are for handling business, answering questions, providing links to resources, etc. The Facebook group will be our more public social space, but no one is required to join FB if they don’t want to. 

        So, we are asking each of you to email Al at the address below with the following:

        - Name
        - Email (preferably the one used on DTRPG/Wargame Vault)
        - Forum Handle
        - BBS Handle

        Al will add you to the Ranger group on the forum once he has this info, which will let you access our area there. He is looking forward to working with all of you to spread the news of the Star Fleet Universe!

        Current stats: We have heard from 22 of our Rangers and have three new ones! We are excited to see the Rangers becoming active as playing in person and cons once again start up.

Jean Sexton Beddow
Ranger Commandant 

Al Beddow
Sergeant-Major for Ranger Operations

Ranger Email:  adbrangerhq@gmail.com

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517647465103651/

ADB Forums: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/index.php

ADB BBS: http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/



        Jean Sexton Beddow 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 Beddow 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




Update to Sapphire Star IX:

Sapphire Star IX is moving towards a conclusion with the final match being something fo a Civil  war with a Wyn Aux facing off against a WYBN shark.



        Due to the COVID-19 virus, many conventions have been cancelled. We encourage you to check out Star Fleet Battles Online where there is a free demo version. It is a good way to hang out with others who play Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander. Check it out here: https://www.sfbonline.com/index.jsp

        Star Fleet  Battles games are  played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.

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: This monthly magazine repeated much of the same information that Hailing Frequencies does. December 2019 was the last month it was published. Old issues 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!

New Releases


Preliminary phaser tables

Prototype rules for Hovercycles

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

       We’re now offering some of our miniatures and some new designs on Shapeways.
       You can check out the store here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amarillo-design-bureau-inc?sort=newest

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



Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations Rulebook
SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5

Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021 Rulebook

Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021 Rulebook

Captain's Log #33

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook 

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle  - Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs 
GURPS Romulans Revised

Captain's Log #32

Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs
Captain's Log #31

Captain's Log #49

Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White)

SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Rulebook

SFB: Module J – Fighters! Black/White SSDs
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Color SSDs
Captain's Log #30

SFB Commander's Edition, Supplement #2 
Tholian Master Starship Book

Battleships Armada Unity
Nexus #18
Star Fleet Marines: Counter-Punch

Nexus #17


Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #33  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Romulans Revised (DriveThru RPG)
Captain's Log #32  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #31  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #30  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB Commander's Edition, Supplement #2  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Tholian Master Starship Book  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Battleships Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #18 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Marines: Counter-Punch (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

For the Glory of the Empire


Ask Admiral Vanaxilth


        A. David Merritt asks: Can you replace type-I drones one-for-one with type-VI drones in an A/B/C/H/or other non G-rack, if you wanted to?
        ANSWER: Only type-G and type-E racks and ADDs (plus type-H racks that have a type-VI magazine), per (FD2.51), can hold type-VI drones, so, no.

        Roch Chartrand asks: Can someone explain or give me an example of ballistic targeting (F4.0), especially the procedure in (F4.11)?
        ANSWER: A ship in hex 2008 launches a drone in direction A, targeted at hex 1908. The drone moves ahead to 2007A, then turns to 1907F, then turns to 1807E. [Note these are the only moves that satisfy (F2.21) and (F2.22), unless the drone does a high energy turn, which it is not required to do.] At that point, it would begin evading its target hex, and could move to 1708E, 1707E or 1707F.

        Roch Chartrand asks: I have an ECM drone that was protecting a ship moving in direction A, for an entire turn, following the same path and facing as the protected ship. On the following turn my ship went to Speed Zero and made a few warp tactical maneuvers bringing its facing to E. The ECM drone went to Speed Zero to keep pace with the ship. Does the drone do tactical maneuvers to keep the same heading as the ship? I ask this because if my ship starts moving again it will head in direction E, but if the drone is still facing A it will not protect the ship for a few impulses!
        ANSWER: When your ship drops to Speed Zero, so will the ECM drone. It will not change facing, as there is no provision for drones doing tactical maneuvers. However, nothing prevents you from having the drone execute a high energy turn at some point to match the facing of your ship.

        David Zimdars asks: There is an interesting implication here. The ECM drone is at Speed Zero. While it may make a high energy turn at any point (and more than one if at Speed Zero for more than 32 impulses after its first high energy turn), a seeking weapon normally skips its next movement if it does not move during the impulse it uses a high energy turn. This might imply that after an ECM drone did a high energy turn in this situation, it would be unable to follow the ship out of its hex on the first impulse on which it moved. As the drone is at Speed Zero and never moves during this period, one might argue that the drone could accelerate, on a pro forma basis, to some "speed," gain its move but stay in the hex, just for one impulse. This would always work for a Speed-32 weapon, but slower ECM drones might face some perverse circumstances when even this may not be possible.
        ANSWER: I sent this one to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: As I read rule (F2.13) and the specific case of (FD9.182), the player can order an ECM drone to use a high energy turn and provided that the target is moving slower than the ECM drone, this will not cause the ECM drone to "lose a hex of movement" (specific overriding general) because the lost movement is one of the movements it will not use. In the case of slow drones this would have more impact, e.g., a Speed-8 drone moving with a Speed-8 ship which does a high energy turn is going to be left behind because it lost that hex of movement. But a Speed-8 drone accompanying a Speed-7 ship which does a high energy turn can be assumed to have used the unused hex of movement to stay with the ship [under (FD9.182)].

        Scott Iles asks: I cannot find a reference on specifically how the launching ship receives the data. I thought the ship received it via telemetry, but I cannot find a reference that says that. All I can find is (FD6.14) which describes ejecting the probe module and it being recovered by tractor. Is that really the only way to get the data? Rule (FD6.32) describes the probe drone reporting tactical intelligence information, so it seems there is a link of some kind, but I do not want to assume that holds for science data also. Plus, why would you eject the probe module if the data was already sent back to the ship?
        On a related note, how long will a probe module collect data? I would assume as long as the drone has endurance, but I do not see that addressed either. If the module does not transmit the data back, is there a limit to how much it can store before the ship retrieves it?
         ANSWER: I sent this one to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: A probe drone does transmit the intelligence it gathers back to the launching ship. The "eject the module" thing was added due to a scenario about Klingon probe drone modules ejected into the asteroid ring around a Hydran colony planet. Note that probe drones are pretty inefficient for gathering intelligence when you are not fighting a monster. As a probe drone can only have one target, it will essentially gather information until it impacts the target (doing no damage) as any other drone (they do not fly along with the target like an ECM drone).

        Mike Kenyon asks: On Impulse #1 a Kzinti ship at Range 12 to a Klingon ship launches four drones including a Stonefish. On Impulse #3, the Klingon launches a wild weasel. On Impulse #8, the drones close to Range 3 of the weasel.
        1. Can the Stonefish drone fire?
        2. Can you set it for any size class 6/7?
        3. Will it recognize the wild weasel as size class 7? (Logically no, but I cannot find a rule saying it will not.)
        ANSWERS: Did you set the Klingon ship as the primary target of the Stonefish drone? Then, yes it will fire when it reaches Range 3 of the wild weasel. However, it will consider the wild weasel to be the same size class as the Klingon ship, so it would not target the wild weasel unless you set it for that size class, or for the primary target.
        2. You can, but it would not target the wild weasel if you did. You can program it to accept the primary target, or randomly for a set of size classes, per (FD7.31-4).
        3. No, see (J3.203). (Shuttles are size class 6.)

        Francois Lemay asks: The Kzinti battle station has two type-D racks. How many drones can it launch from each rack? According to (FD3.41), I think it is able to launch three drones from one rack (three magazines). Is there a restriction of eight impulses between launches even between two different magazines?
        ANSWER: Per (FD3.41), the rack can launch one drone per turn, from any one magazine. The usual eight-impulse delay applies over turn breaks regardless of whether you are firing from the same or a different magazine.

        Alex Lyons asks: If the D-rack acts as I think it does, as long as you do not fire from the magazine you are reloading, you can reload while firing from a different magazine.
        ANSWER: You are correct. Per (FD3.43), you can take a magazine out of service to reload it and still use the launcher to launch a drone from another magazine. However, type-D racks do not come with reloads so these must be drawn from other stores.

(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)



        Q: I am confused between rule (501.5) which says I get free replacement fighters every turn (for carriers in supply) and rule (431.74) about free fighter factors. Does (431.74) limit the number of free replacements? Do I pay for the rest?
        A: Fear not! All lost fighters on carriers in supply are replaced for free every turn in Step 2B4 of the Sequence of Play, as provided by rule (501.5). The free fighter factors mentioned in (431.74) are for construction of new carriers. The confusion is caused by the limitations of Federation Standard, which has only one word for "free" while Orion has 27 words for "free."

        Q: The initial exchange of Klingon D5s for Romulan SPs (539.8) and conversion for free to KDRs and RKLs is clear. The rule mentions "subsequent exchanges" agreed to by both empires. Do these also get free conversions?
        A: Sorry, but only one exchange comes with free conversions. (This is reflecting a historical incident and some F&E players ignore it as you don't really gain anything other than a chance to use a weird counter. But then, weird counters are half of the fun in F&E.) Further exchanges require you to pay the cost provided on the SIT to convert the ships.

        Q: In that initial exchange of D5s for SPs, are all conversion costs paid?
        A: Other than a variant that cannot be unconverted (e.g., a mauler) any SP variant becomes an RKL and any D5 variant becomes a KDR, and the "free" conversion covers changing a variant into the base hull. Now, in theory, if you had an agreed-on SIT entry for a variant and could provide your own counter, you could convert a variant of one into the same variant of the other (e.g., a D5E into a KDE, or a D5S into a KDS). This would not be possible in the case of technology unavailable to the new owner, so a D5D would become a standard KDR as the Romulans do not have drone variants.
(End of F&E Q&A)

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

Alert 190709 CL53 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 190309 Distribution (Adobe Acrobat Required)
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)

by Cadet Mike Bennett, USS South Carolina

        According to rule (3E1a), a player can elect to take a frame damage hit instead of a skip during damage allocation. As a matter of fact, skips and taking frame damage instead of skips can be combined in any fashion during damage allocation. This can be used to protect key systems.
        Example: A Federation ship with two armed photon torpedoes does not have the enemy ship in arc to fire at, but takes heavy damage from the enemy ship. On the next impulse, the Federation ship will have the enemy ship in its photons' firing arc. The Federation ship has lost all of its phasers and reactor boxes, but still has one more hit to allocate on a new damage control chart. The die roll turns out to be a six. Normally this would mean that the first column (phaser or reactor) would be skipped and the next hit would be the photon torpedo. The Federation player, however, can choose to take a frame hit instead of skipping the first column, thereby saving one of the torpedoes so both can be fired on the next impulse.
        Other systems such as transporters or tractor beams can be protected in the same way.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
Commander David Zimdars, USS Montana

        When facing a "big plasma" opponent, running away from a plasma torpedo, in particular a 60-point enveloping plasma-S torpedo, is often the best (but unappealingly unaggressive) tactical choice. The traditional alternatives are aggressively running through the torpedo or spending phaser fire and/or reinforcement to soften the blow. Unfortunately, the 10 points of damage to every shield and/or the loss of power and weapons is simply too negatively predisposing to be a good trade, at least until the plasma-launching ship's shields have been softened by longer range direct fire.
        Consider a doctrinaire duel or tournament "plasma ballet" fixed-map example. If the plasma ship is approached directly, he will usually launch at Range 14 or 13 and turn away, denying an overloaded Range-8 shot. You might turn away to run out the enveloping plasma torpedo. If you are approaching a plasma torpedo on the same line of hexes, in order to avoid Range 1 on Impulse #32 (and a hit on Impulse #1) you must turn away at Range 5 (if you have a Turn Mode of 6) at Speed 31 (or any speed in which you move every impulse for the remainder of the turn). However, the plasma ship will usually turn back and try to chase you into a corner so that you cannot effectively outrun his second wave of plasma-S and plasma-F torpedoes. In many cases, such long-range plasma-torpedo launches (Range 13-14) must occur no later than mid-turn.
        If you wish to aggressively attack the plasma-launching ship, consider partially or fully allocating a high energy turn while holding reserve warp power for a mid-turn speed change. Note that many ships (for example typical cruisers) will have to move no more than Speed 26 to execute a high energy turn. However, plot your speed such that you will be sure to skip five hexes of movement in the first half of the turn to allow the high energy turn (before the torpedo will get to Range 1). Be sure to maintain a constant speed for at least eight impulses prior to the earliest the torpedo may reach Range 1. Turn away from the plasma torpedo at Range 6-7, depending on the number of moves skipped before the torpedo will reach Range 1. Continue to move until you can turn again, as the torpedo closes in on the diagonal.
        Be sure to allow for two more moves after the second turn (before you skip a move). The torpedo should be on your ship's #3 or #5 shield, facing the same direction as your ship. Then do a high energy turn to face the opposite direction and move the following impulse. You may now be directly closing with the plasma launching ship following you. Note however the torpedo must do a high energy turn or turn so that it will not hit the following impulse. At this point (or possibly earlier or later) announce a speed change using reserve power to make up all the movements missed so that you will run out the torpedo to the longest-range bracket possible.
        Try not to pay for moves that will not decrease the torpedo's strength. This is usually quite surprising since the combination of a high energy turn and a speed change cannot be done on reserve power alone. The plasma-launching player may feel that he was guaranteed a hit before you could approach for a close-in fight and but is now facing a big challenge.
        You may then counter the chasing torpedo a number of ways, such as firing rear phasers (saving the front phasers for your opponent), or by reinforcement over the turn break, or by emergency decelerating on Impulse #30 (stopping after movement on Impulse #32) and launching a wild weasel. Note that if you can close to Range Zero-2 on Impulse #32, the weasel will dispose of the torpedo prior to direct fire on Impulse #1, allowing very effective passive direct fire on the same impulse.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month


          Destroying valuable enemy ships, such as tugs carrying pods or specialty cruisers or most scouts, can be made difficult when your opponent takes measures to protect them. However, the drone-using empires (Klingon, Federation, Kzinti) are well-positioned to have a decent chance of selectively destroying one of these units each turn. The key is to recognize from the Sequence of Play that espionage and sabotage prime team missions take place before drone raids. If you succeed on a "cripple a ship" sabotage mission with a prime team against a unit with a crippled defense factor of four, then a subsequent eight-point drone raid will automatically destroy the newly crippled unit.
          The base chance of success is 27.8% versus a size-class-3 unit, or 41.7% against a size-class-4 unit, or 16.7% against a size-class-2 unit. You may make one attempt per enemy empire per turn; so if the Coalition is at war with the Feds, Kzintis, and Hydrans, then the Lyrans and Klingons combined can use three of their four espionage and sabotage attacks to make one attempt against each enemy. If you make three such attacks, your odds of one of them succeeding are fairly good (roughly 45%). Then send two drone ships on a drone raid to kill the one you succeeded against; if you are lucky enough to succeed against two or all three, then be thankful and pick the best target to kill.
          The downside to this strategy is that it costs you two economic points per espionage and sabotage mission, which is quite expensive, plus the drone raids' 0.8 economic points. Three such attacks per turn is a whopping six economic points per turn, and roughly an average of 12.8 economic points per success (assuming you only do a drone raid when you succeed). Bear in mind that you will also have a steady drain on prime teams as some of them will die.
          However, roughly every other turn you will be killing a unit such as a battle tug, a carrier tug, a drone cruiser, a cruiser scout, or some other key unit. Most of these units will cost 12 economic points or more to replace, and more importantly you will be limiting their numbers. Better yet, there is very little defense against these attacks because the enemy will not have enough defensive prime teams to protect all such valuable units. Of course, the enemy may concentrate his units in zones surrounded by picket ships that will prevent the drone raid, but the enemy is unlikely to concentrate all such units in such a "picket park."
          Overall, the investment is likely to pay off in the long run. While any drone-using empire can use this tactic, the Klingons are well suited early in the game to take advantage as they have a budget large enough to support it. However, they may very well be on the receiving end from the Federation later in the game.
          This strategy can be used against dreadnoughts or units with a crippled defensive value of five or six; however, your odds of success are much lower. For one, the espionage and sabotage mission is much less likely to succeed; and even a 12-point drone raid has only an 84% chance of success. However, if the destruction of such a unit would be particularly valuable on a given turn, it might be worth the attempt.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month

          Comets are represented in ACTASF by combining the rules for asteroid fields and dust clouds. While comets can be any size, all comets consist of a small, frozen ball of ice with a long, thin tail following behind. The main ball of ice at its head should be 1 to 2 inches in size and is treated as a very small asteroid field. The tails of comets are typically 6 to 18 inches long and 1 to 4 inches thick and use the same rules as dust clouds.
(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!

Kent Ing painted this ISC Star Cruiser (3125 Scale, Smooth Fine Detail Plastic)

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