April  2023

Star Fleet Universe News


The big news this month is the release of the revised SSD book for SFB Module R1, including the colorized version created for us by Shawn Hantke. In preparation for future releases are the revised SFB Module R6, the Orion Master Starship Book, and F&E Civil Wars.

        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 produce decal sets made to fit Federation starships in ADB's Shapeways 3788, 3125, 7000 "Elite", and 2500 "Prestige" scales. A wide selection of ships are available, with sets for the CVo operational ("flatbed") carrier, CVA heavy fleet carrier, CF fast cruiser, and DDF fast destroyer recently added. The 3788 scale decals are also great to use on ADB's metal Starline 2400 ships and the 3125 scale decals can be used on ADB's metal Starline 2500 ships. Tenneshington will also continue to offer their legacy decals for Starline 2500 ships as special orders, for customers wishing to match their existing minis.

As with all of their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.

Additional decal sets are available for shuttlecraft and to sets to detail any ship with additional window blocks, sensors, hatches, and even phaser scars.

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 .





Update to Sapphire Star IX:

With Sapphire Star tournaments IX and X finished, XI is now running. The second Sapphire Crown tournament will kick off on 1 June with the four most recent winners.



        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!

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!

This is the 3788 Scale Lyran Java Tiger Heavy Command Cruiser (CCH) painted by Nick Samaras.

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


Romulan Turkey Dreadnoughts

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.


Recently Released

Federation & Empire: Advanced Operations 2022, SKU 3209, $39.95
The Star Fleet Battles Module R1 Rulebook 2023
, SKU 5606-2, $7.50
Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022
, SKU 3211, $24.95
Cadet Training Handbook Reprint Edition
, SKU 5620, $9.95
Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations
, SKU 3216, $36.95
Starmada Battleships Armada Unity
SKU 6135, $16.95
Star Fleet Battles: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021
, SKU 5607-2, $7.95
Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021
, SKU 3207, $29.95
SFB: Module R4J –Shadow of the Eagle
, SKU 5638, $17.95
SFB: Module R4T – Tholian Will
, SKU 5637, $25.95
GURPS Romulans 2021 SKU 8404, $24.95
GURPS Klingons 2020 SKU 8403, $24.95
SKU M30002, $29.95
Tholian Master Starship Book
SKU 5437, $24.95
SFB: Module J – Fighters! 2020
, SKU 5604, $19.95
Distant Armada Unity
, SKU 6134, $16.95
Gorn Master Starship Book
SKU 5436 $23.95
Captain's Log # 54
, SKU 5754, $24.95
Captain's Log # 54 SSDs, SKU 5754-2, $3.50
Captain's Log # 54 Supplement, SKU 5754-S, $4.00

       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.



SFB: Module R1 Color SSDs 2023
SFB: Module R1 B&W SSDs 2023
SFB: Module R1 Rulebook 2023

Federation Commander: Gunboats Attack

Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022 Rulebook

Federation & Empire: Advanced Operations 2022 Rulebook
Captain's Log #51

Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #51 Color SSDs
F&E Romulan Civil War Playtest Counters

Captain's Log #50

Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #50 Color SSDs
Captain's Log #34

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 R1 Color SSDs 2023 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R1 B&W SSDs 2023 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R1 Rulebook 2023 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Gunboats Attack (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Advanced Operations 2022 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
F&E Romulan Civil War Playtest Counters ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #34  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
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)

For the Glory of the Empire


Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

          Francois Lemay asks: Can drones just launched be involuntarily transferred if the drone-launching ship is placed in stasis on the impulse of drone launch?
          ANSWER: I sent this one to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: Yes, per (F3.41). The fact that a ship guiding drones is placed into stasis is as much an involuntary release as if the ship were blown to Hades or any of a number of other involuntary release conditions occurs during a given impulse.

          Francois Lemay asks: Let's say a Kzinti battlecruiser already has six drones on the map and launches four more. Can four of the drones on the map be involuntarily transferred to other ships or do four of the drones lose their tracking?
          ANSWER: The Kzinti battlecruiser can only control six drones, so if it is already controlling six drones it cannot launch any drones, period. In order to launch four more drones, it would have to first release or transfer control of four of the six drones already on the map, during the 6B6 Seeking Weapon Control Step, which is prior to launch. This would be a voluntary release or transfer.

          Francois Lemay asks: A Klingon C8 at Speed 31 has a Kzinti battlecruiser (Speed 20) in a tractor at Range 1; both are heading in the same direction. The battlecruiser also has a Speed 20 ECM drone following it. The C8's pseudo-speed is now 19 and battlecruiser's pseudo-speed is eight. It is Impulse #4 and Speed 8 and Speed 19 both move. The C8 moves forward. Does the battlecruiser's ECM drone move as well?
          ANSWER: Yes, if the battlecruiser leaves its hex, the ECM drone will immediately speed up to 20 and seek the hex of the battlecruiser.
          Follow-up question: On Impulse #5, the battlecruiser will move as required, will the ECM drone move again? If so, the Speed 20 ECM drone is basically moving at Speed 27.
          ANSWER: Speed 20 moves on both Impulse #4 and Impulse #5, so the ECM drone will move both those impulses if it needs to in order to keep station with the battlecruiser. Now, if both ships keep moving the same direction, the ship will eventually leave the drone behind. However, it should be noted that the ability of an ECM drone to change speed, instantaneously, as many times as it needs to, can lead to it moving more hexes in a turn than its rated speed under certain circumstances.
          Follow-up question: The battlecruiser has launched four Speed-20 drones at the C8 while tractored on Impulse #6. On Impulse #7, Speed 19 and Speed 20 move. The C8 can do a sideslip or even turn. How are the four launched drones handled? According to (G7.9433), the drones are carried along when the C8 moves whether it is a sideslip or turn. Do the drones then move or must they wait until Speed 20 is called for and not Speed 8 or 19?
          ANSWER: The drones are carried along in the tractor tunnel when the C8 moves. They will move again, advancing along the tractor tunnel, when their movement is called for. They do not miss their move just because the tunnel moved.

          Andrew Granger asks: I am still a little fuzzy on how labs are used for identifying drones. Can someone give me a quick example or short explanation?
           ANSWER: In the Identify Seeking Weapons Step of stage 6B4 of the Sequence of Play, the player operating the labs elects to make the attempt. Because this is after the Operate Tractors Step, if the player wishes to tractor drones, he must do that without knowledge gained by seeking weapon identification on the same impulse.
          The identifying player selects the drones he wishes to attempt to identify (G4.2), and assigns each drone a lab. He may make more than one attempt on any given drone (using separate labs), on the same or different impulses, to improve the odds of a successful identification. The player attempting the identification then rolls a die for each attempt. There are no modifiers to the die roll. If the roll is greater than the range to the target, the drone is identified (a drone at Range 1 would be identified on a two or higher). The procedure can be used at Range Zero, in which case it is automatically successful; however in this case the drone would have had to be targeted on something other than the ship doing the identification or it would have already been "identified" through more violent means.
           A successful identification reveals the target of the drone, its frame type, all modules and armor installed, any damage it may have suffered, its endurance, and whether it has automaic terminal guidance. An identification of a shuttle will identify if it is seeking or manned; if seeking, what its target is, but not what it is carrying or even if it were a suicide shuttle or a scatter-pack shuttle. Identification of plasma torpedoes provides the least information of all, revealing only the target (but the warhead strength is always known). Labs cannot distinguish a pseudo-plasma from a real one, but will identify the target of a pseudo-plasma torpedo.
          Each lab can only perform one action on each turn, so an identification attempt cannot be made the same turn the lab is being used for emergency damage repair, scientific research, or any other function. A lab can attempt to identify only a single seeking weapon each turn. There is also an eight-impulse delay between using the lab for identification and for other purposes on the next turn. However, each lab functions independently, so a Federation heavy cruiser, with eight labs, might use three for emergency damage repair, two for scientific research, and three to identify seeking weapons, all at once. The attempt does not require active fire control or a lock-on, but cannot be done while using erratic maneuvers or while cloaked.
           Special sensors use a similar procedure, but can be used at extended range and do not use up as much lab capacity (G24.25). Because special sensors can also attract or jam drones, identification is better done by labs. However, sensors can make more attempts to identify than to jam or attract.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)



            Q: My opponent wants to destroy my OPB and I want to withdraw it from the battle before combat (302.1) using a tug. My opponent used a prime team mission to cripple the tug, blocking this, but there is a second tug (not the one that originally carried the OPB) in the hex. Can it evacuate the OPB by (302.1) despite the fact that it is not the "assigned" tug?
           A: There is nothing in (453.2) or in (509.0) that says a OPB has to have a tug assigned to it. So, if you have two unassigned tugs in the hex and one is crippled as mentioned in this question or any other way before (302.1) you can use the other one to assist the OPB in withdrawing. If a tug already assigned a mission is used to rescue the OPB, it gives up that mission including abandoning any pods it was carrying.

           Q: I used a tug to take an operational base (OPB) to a hex and set it up. Now, the situation is dire. Does the OPB do a "slow unit retreat" or can the tug withdraw the OPB before combat under rule (302.1)?
           A: An OPB doesn't require "setting up" or "packing up" like an MB does. It can retreat on its own as a "slow unit", but can only use (302.1) Withdrawal Before Combat if carried by a tug.

           Q: Can an operational base, using slow retreat towed by a tug, use the formation bonus? It is a base, which is disallowed (308.74), and it is "treated like a set-up mobile base in combat" by rule (453.32), so no. However, it is a slow unit which can be in the formation slot, as can towed FRDs.
           A: The fact that it is a base is specific while the fact that it is a slow unit is general. The specific overrules the general, so, no, it cannot use the Formation Bonus box in combat.

           Q: If an operational base retreats with a tug does it use slow movement or (since the tug is towing it) does it use normal retreat rules (453.24)? If the operational base is in slow unit pursuit combat, is it considered set-up?
           A: The term "withdraw" in this rule refers to withdraw before combat (302.11) not retreat (302.7) and the subsequent pursuit (307.0) even though a unit that withdrew during (302.11) can still be part of (302.7) and (307.0). An operational base that retreats with a tug would be considered a slow unit, but, per (453.22) it would be considered "set-up" for the subsequent combat.

           Q: Rule (453.12) in SO says that OPBs can have a repair module in one of the positions. I can't find a cost for a repair module.
           A: Repair modules are not in the game, yet.
(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)

Ensign Anthony Cutcliffe, HMS Devonshire

         It is generally accepted practice to declare Directed Targeting for most volleys, especially when there is a chance of a burn-through point. The idea is that when using Directed Targeting, you have a 50% chance of your burn-through point hitting an "important" system of your choice: weapons or power, which are, generally regarded as "important" systems. Because of this, it is usually considered preferable to include no overloaded weapons in a volley where you expect burn through, in order to allow directed damage. However, there is more to it than that. Please allow me to explain.
         If you declare "targeting power", there is actually a 67% chance of your burn-through point hitting something important, just so long as you don't mind whether it's weapons or power. If you roll a "one", a "five", or a "six", you will get a power hit as usual - fair enough. However if you roll a "two" you will get a phaser hit - still an important system and much better than lab or transporter. However, if you target weapons, there's still only the standard 50% chance that you will get an important hit.
         And there's more. Because you can hit a phaser on a "two" or a "six", and a warp engine box on a "one", there is still a 50% chance of your burn-through point hitting something important even without using directed damage, just not something that is necessarily your choice.
         This means that a burn-through damage point always has at least a 50% chance of scoring an important hit, whether it's targeted or not. Therefore, if the odds are not good that you will score a burn-through point this impulse without using overloads, you should actually go ahead and use overloaded weapons. You have the same 50% chance of scoring an important system hit with your burn-through point as you would if it were targeted. You should therefore feel free to use overloads if by doing so you will get a burn-through damage point, even though you can't target that burn-through point. The odds are pretty similar, and pretty good, whichever way you do it. Also this allows you to overload, say, your one disruptor, rather than using two, allowing you to use your unfired weapon later.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
Lieutenant JG Gary Carney, HMCS Ontario

         The small and large collars used to convert Maghadim frigates and destroyers into their larger and more powerful stable-mates each add a third tachyon beam to their "vanilla" configurations. In the case of the battlecruiser and light cruiser (formed by mating a large collar to a destroyer or frigate respectively) as well as the older cruiser (a destroyer paired with a small collar), the resulting ship is balanced enough to operate all three tachyon beams adequately. Unfortunately for the Maghadim, the heavy destroyer (formed by combining a small collar with a frigate hull) is not capable of following suit. Like the New Jersey-class battlecruisers of the Federation Star Fleet, the heavy destroyer runs the risk of triggering shock effects when it attempts to use all of its heavy weapons in the same turn.
         However, the unorthodox fire/fire/cool arming cycle of the tachyon beam allows a careful Maghadim captain to shuffle through his trio of tachyon beams in order to maintain a stable, dangerous and persistent series of volleys. For example, he can elect to arm and fire mounts A and B in a given turn (leaving C fallow). Then, in the subsequent turn, he may decide to fire mount A again (its second shot in the arming cycle) but use mount C (which is still freshly cycled) instead of B (which can be left to cool). In the third successive turn, he would then be forced to leave mount A to cool, but would still have the second shot from mount C, and a freshly-cleared shot from mount B, available to maintain the same overall weight of tachyon beam fire over the three successive turns. (In theory, he could continue this first-shot/second-shot/fallow cycle indefinitely, but the ability to do so in practice will no doubt depend on what actions are taken by the enemy in question.)
         In terms of power constraints, this will maintain a consistent budget of eight energy points from turn to turn, not counting any pre-allocated or reserve power set aside for overloads (which cost two points of power to add to a standard load). Since the power can come from any source, this amount of power can be fairly manageable for the heavy destroyer, not least compared to its Baduvai rivals capped by the warp power requirements of their charged particle accelerators.
         Other Maghadim ships with three tachyon beams can make use of this method, as for that matter can larger Jumokian Pirate hulls taking these weapons in their option mounts. (In squadron or fleet actions large enough to allow the Jumokian force to reach the 30% quota imposed on "foreign" technologies, which Maghadim weapons always count as under regardless of the operating area). However, the heavy destroyer's shock limitations make it the main beneficiary of this practice, if only to get around the threat of self-imposed breakdown.
         A typical Maghadim captain prefers to get his ships up close and personal; the tachyon shuffle can help a heavy destroyer to demonstrate why it is not a good idea to let him stay there.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month


           Monitors are an interim solution to provide defenses to a planet until a base can be built. Rule (519.11) says that the monitors in an empire's initial order of battle must be deployed at non-capital planets in the empire's territory. So, the question becomes where to best deploy the monitors?
           Monitors are a stand-in for a regular base and should be viewed as more than just a slow unit with dreadnought firepower. Therefore, they should be used to fortify planets that are on an invasion route. For the Alliance, this means defending a planet to slow down the initial Coalition onslaught. For the Coalition, it is a way of preparing for when the tide of the war turns against them.
           On its own, a monitor is not much of a deterrent to anything other than a commando raid (320.46). However, adding a fighter pallet to the monitor results in a combat potential of 10(6)-6, which is only two less offensive combat potential than a battle station without fighters. In conjunction with a minor planet's two planetary defense units this results in a battle force with a total of 34 combat potential and two electronic warfare points. An invader cannot ignore such a defensive position.
           You get all of this for only eight economic points, or two economic points if you use the free fighter factors for the pallet.
           For the Alliance, it is kind of tricky to get this defense set up as the fighter pallet must be built on the first turn and then delivered by the legendarily "efficient staff officers" to the monitor. If the monitor is isolated, then the additional fighter strength cannot be delivered. As a slow unit, monitors are vulnerable to drone raids (320.332), but at least that is one less drone raid on another target in such cases.
           The Kzintis should deploy their monitors at the planets in hexes 1202, 1504, and 1001. The planet in hex 1105 can be considered as an alternate to the one in hex 1001 if it looks like the Lyrans might be very aggressive. On the Alliance Turn #1, the Kzintis can build as many monitor pallets as they need without affecting other carrier production (519.424).
           The Hydrans can use monitors to harden the planets in hexes 0416 and 0519 and the Federation can build up the defenses of their outer ring of minor planets plus the ones in hexes 2509 and 2610.
           When the tide turns against the Coalition the Klingons and Romulans can do the same thing with their monitors but by then they will be using space control ship pallets. The initial deployment of Coalition monitors can be done without fighter pallets; the space control ship pallets can be added later.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month

           When playing a multi-ship engagement, do not lose track of the damage and which weapons enemy ships have fired. If a unit becomes crippled, there is a chance that it may have lost the ability to fire some or all of its weapons due to critical hits to its weapons systems. Another aspect of being crippled is there is a coin-flip chance that a unit will lose any special traits that it could use for defensive fire such as anti-drone or tractor beam.
           At a time like this, a seeking weapon (be it a drone or a plasma torpedo) will automatically hit a crippled unit making it a sitting duck. This may make it more than worth your while to chunk a seeking weapon or two at him. Even if you do not manage to outright kill him on impact, you still have a fair chance of causing more critical hits, which can push its escalation level higher resulting in its destruction in the end phase.

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