April 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is that GURPS Federation is now available on e23 and that Star Fleet Marines: Assault is approaching the final stages before release.

WEBSITE: Our combined and reorganized website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Joel Shutts, 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. One of our newest pages is the Wall of Honor where we recognize our volunteers and their contributions.

FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
If you haven't seen the 300+ 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 news feed.

VIDEOS: 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:

December 2010 Releases

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on the Federation Commander websites and the first site have been changed to match. The new site is http://federationcommander.blogspot.com

AMBASSADORS: We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see our topic on the FC Forum or on the BBS.

Fight For A Cure

Fight For A Cure is a far bigger success than we ever dreamed it would be in its first year. The tournament has 36 people who entered and many people who donated. ADB, Inc. was able to send a check for $600 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Play continues and you can keep track from this page on SFBOL:

Fight For A Cure Tournament Tree

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 him 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 an explosion in the Federation Commander Play by Email topic and even more exciting to see more FCOL Tournaments taking place. 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 communication.

FC Tactic of the Month

     Let's assume you want to turn around as fast as possible. Fulfill your Turn Mode so that on Sub-Pulse #4 you can make a 60° turn. Then, during the Speed Change Phase (1E2a) of the next impulse, announce Emergency Deceleration, and on Sub-Pulse #4, perform a Tactical Maneuver in the same direction as your first turn.
     Ideally, you should make the turn on Impulse #7, announce Emergency Deceleration on Impulse #8, and make the Tactical Maneuver. You will only lose one impulse's worth of movement if timed in this way. You will have made the 120° turn in a very small space, and at the beginning of the new turn you will be able to resume whatever speed you choose. If an opponent is chasing you, sideslip to give yourself some turning room, then make your 120° turn in the direction opposite to the one that you were slipping in; this will help to get him back into your FA arc.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     When facing an opponent that you have movement preference on (i.e., you are faster or have a better turn mode if you are at the same speed), this is a neat trick to try when you are planning to exchange close-range alpha strikes. This is usually best when you have a ship that can generate a good deal of shield reinforcement while still arming weapons, like many Orion and WYN auxiliary ships.
     Place your major reinforcement on either your #2 or #6 shield and fly straight at your opponent. Many opponents will hold fire, believing your reinforcement is on the #1 shield. After all, you are getting closer unless you use an HET to turn away, exposing a usually weaker rear shield. Wait until you reach Range 2, then slip (left if the reinforcement is on the #2 shield, right if on the #6 shield) on the hex spine to ensure that their fire will hit your reinforcement. This is where you shoot. This must be carefully timed, as a clever mid-turn speed change by your opponent can really foul up your timing on this. If you are facing a ship with extreme Range 2 centerline firepower like most Federation and Hydran ships, you may want to make your approach one hex off centerline, with the reinforced shield coming into arc once you reach Range 2. Variations of this can be done at longer ranges, like Range 4.
     A word to the wise. You may want some power in tractor to make sure your opponent does not grab you before you can bring your reinforcement to bear. This is a situational tactic and there are many factors that will determine whether it is a good idea or not. For example, it may not be such a good idea to try it against a Hydran with fighters in the area. Ships with ESGs or heavy seeking-weapon capabilities may also be best approached in a different way.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

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)


      What are the Fralli? Can I play one? Why does SVC always threaten to kill them off?

      The Fralli first showed up in the original Prime Directive Sourcebook. They proved a challenge in doing the Federation sourcbooks in this latest round because their planet had been described in various sources as either Class M (earth-like) or Class F (sulfur-based). Likewise, a "spark wand" had been described as a profession or an implement. It took some serious digging into the tapes to find out what was going on.As for why SVC keeps threatening the poor, offenseless Fralli, he says they're just too ugly!

      Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(End of Ask Aunt Jean )

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!

Klingon B-10 and Fighter Escort
Dan Ibekwe

New Releases

Communique #64 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA
Star Fleet Battles Module C3A: Andromedan Threat File, Stock #5635, $TBA.

Captain's Log #43, Stock #5743, $TBA.
GURPS Federation, Stock #8402, $24.95

Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $TBA.
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.
Starship Aldo, Free RPG day

Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA.
Sorry, but the current draft of the book is not ready yet, and given the tight schedule, we don't have time to do all that is necessary to make it ready for release in the spring. Doing that much work would mean delaying not just one of the other products, but three or four of them, so we've chosen to move it to a fall release. We remain excited about this product.

Andromedan Ship Card Pack #1
GURPS/PD Dread Pirate Aldo
Hydran Ship Card Pack #1
Captains Log #3
Captains Log #4
Federation and Empire: The Hurricane
Steve's Game Marketing Book
Captain's Log #2
Orion Ship Card Pack #1
Romulan Ship Card Pack #1
GURPS Klingon
GURPS Federation
Captain's Log #1

Prime Directive PD20M
Klingons PD20 Modern

FC: Border Box #10, SKU 4410, $99.95
Federation LTT, SKU 0238, $9.95
Federation Old CA, SKU 0239, $8.95
Tholian TK5, SKU 0717, $7.95

Cafe Press

It's April and spring has sprung. Try out our newest design:
Green Shirt

Exercising to get into shape? Don't forget your water bottle:
teddy bear

Introduce your children to the SFU -- let them wear a shirt "just like yours"!:

We'll be adding even more items soon and we want to hear from you! Please contact Joel Shutts (Graphics Director)  with your request.  Visit our Star Fleet Cafe Press Store for a complete listing of the products available (or click on the items above to go directly to them).

PDF SALES: ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their e23 Warehouse. We chose e23 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 e23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFS for sale on e23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.

Star Fleet Fiction

     In our previous installments of this series, we presented the class histories of some of the most famous Federation old-series destroyers in Star Fleet history. Their tales of valor and glory, of missions accomplished and victories won, of worlds explored and civilizations contacted, reflect the highest standards of the Star Fleet. Destroyer crews were, it would appear from those earlier entries(particularly Part 2 and the DDG sub-class), the hand-picked elite of the best space navy in the galaxy.
     But now, in the fourth and final part of the series, we come to those ships which, it might be said, restore the law of averages. If the elite were concentrated into nearly a hundred of the best ships in the fleet, what was Star Fleet to do with those who gave it the old Academy try and just didn't quite reach the level expected? These are their stories.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

     William J. Gauthier asks: Rule (S8.32) is a little confusing. It sets the limit for fighters at 36, but then says one "oversized squadron" is allowed. Does this mean that more than 36 fighters are allowed if one of the carriers in the fleet is a CVD, or does this simply mean you can organize the fighters of a CVD as a single squadron, but are still restricted to 36 total fighters?
     ANSWER: Oversized squadrons do indeed allow you to exceed the 36-fighter limit. (There would be no point to oversized squadrons if they did not.) An oversized squadron counts as twelve fighters within the limit, regardless of the actual number (usually 18 or 24, minus casualties). Furthermore, only ships with a "OS" (Oversized Squadron) note on the Master Ship Chart can use this rule. The Gorn CVD does not get it as it has heavy weapons and the ACS does not get it because heavy fighters cannot be in an oversized squadron.
     Follow-up question: I seem to recall that there is an F&E rule that some SFB players us in patrol scenarios which allows you include additional size class four unit provided half of your vessels are size class 4. Has this rule ever been published in a SFB product, or does it only appear in Federation & Empire?
     ANSWER: Rule (S8.28) Battlegroups was published in Captain's Log #31, Page 68. See also the PDF update of (S8.0) http://www.starfleetgames.com/documents/S8_AM_upload.pdf which includes this data.

      Peter Thoenen asks: After being boarded by a friendly crew (J1.861), when can a former seeking shuttle (which is now inert and moving at Speed Zero) do a speed change (to the maximum allowed, that is, Speed 3)? Non-fighter shuttles are not allowed unplotted speed changes, but is this an exception?
     ANSWER: Rule (J1.865) says: "The shuttle can start moving as soon as the pilot is aboard, although this would be a mid-turn speed change (C12.313). There is no delay between when you beam a pilot aboard and when the shuttle can begin moving; however, you are still bound by the acceleration restrictions (J1.22). Also note that a non-fighter shuttle normally cannot make unplotted mid-turn speed changes (C12.343), but that (J1.865) forms an exception as a specific rule."
      So, the rulebook already answers your question.

     Ken Kazinski asks: Captain's Log #38 included rule (G32.0) for Prime Teams. I could not find any difference between this rule and the rule in the Master Rulebook. Why did you print it?
      ANSWER: The rule was in the early Prime Directive rulebook and in Module S2, and many players had never seen it. We printed it for their convenience. Not everyone has a Master Rulebook.

     Follow-up question: Was rule (G32.0) changed to an optional rule by the heading in Captain's Log #38?
     ANSWER: Prime Teams have always been an optional rule in that you are never forced to use them but can choose to spend the points for them or not. It is very rare for a published scenario to require the use of Prime Teams; they are almost always expressed as an option, i.e., "If players wish to use the optional rules for Prime Teams (G32.0) ..." Such scenario rules then assign (or allow, or disallow, the purchase of) Prime Teams.
(End of Ask Growler)


     Q: A fleet is in Hex Z, out of supply and in combat. I have a reserve fleet which can open a supply path. There are two ways to do this. One is to move the reserve fleet to Hex A, and the other is to move it to Hex C. For tactical reasons, I'd rather send the reserve to Hex C. The problem is that there is no way to reach Hex C without going through Hex B, which has an enemy ship, and that would require the moving reserve fleet to leave a ship behind to resolve pinning. Is this ok?
     A: Sorry, but no. Rule (203.74) requires the reserve fleet to choose a path that does not enter an enemy-occupied hex if this is possible, and the path to Hex A is open, while the path to Hex B is not. I am not sure what these tactical reasons are, but it would seem that the enemy has cleverly limited your options to one that is least useful to you.
(F&E Q&A continues here )


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

Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101007 Cafe Press (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100830 PD20M Feds (Adobe Reader Required)


The Vudar Fleet
The War Destroyer, Frigate, War Cruiser,
Dreadnought, and Heavy Cruiser

Vudar Warships
Vudar DNVudar CA