August 2012

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS this month is the release of Captain's Log #45. Also released were the Nova versions of two Starmada books, Klingon Armada and Romulan Armada. (As the Admiral edition books remain in print and the covers are nearly the same; be careful which one you order!)

In other news this month, the second annual Platinum Hat International Online SFB tournament has begun with 36 players (four more than last year). You can find information on the Discus BBS.  

WEBSITE: Our website,, 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 for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.

FACEBOOK: 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.

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:

Star Fleet Marines Part 1
Star Fleet Marines Part 2
ADB Late May 2011
Starline 2500 Miniatures Review

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on websites have been changed to match. The new site is
The blog covers all aspects of the company.

AMBASSADORS: Jean Sexton has succeeded in recruiting two ambassadors (Michael C. Baker and A. David Merritt) to carry the word of the Star Fleet Universe to other websites. They (and Jean) were awarded the first ever "Star Fleet Ambassador Badges" as well as appropriate medals for their service to date. These ambassadors do not just repeat press releases; they answer questions, encourage discussion, and help people find the relevant documents on our website. Contact Jean Sexton if you want to volunteer for ambassador duty.
Ambassador Badge

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 are now placing them on e23 so they are available to collectors. (Old issues have been selling on Ebay for over $100 each.) Issue #1, Issue #2, and Issue #3 are already there and further issues are being prepared for upload.


The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society is a big outfit, and has been around for a long time. They're always running events and conventions all over the US and elsewhere. Check their website ( for information on this group and their upcoming events to find one near you. They allow non-historical miniatures gaming to have space at their events (although you should probably contact them before you just show up and start lining up starships on their tables). This may give you another opportunity to get together with SFU friends from around your region (as long as you are using Starline 2400 or Starline 2500 miniatures; they don't seem to understand cardboard counters). You can show them SFB, FC, Starmada, or A Call to Arms, and take a look at all of the other kinds of miniatures games out there. If you accidentally win one of their prizes (say, a box of Napoleonic miniatures) you can probably trade them to someone at your home game store or on a gaming forum for something more to your liking. 

Custom Decals for Starline ships

Tenneshington Decals recently added a new decal set product, designed to work with the Starline 2500 Squadron Box #7 (Federation Reinforcements). This is in addition to their existing products, associated to the Squadron Box #1 and Federation Fleet Box.

The new decal set includes complete markings for a DN(G) dreadnought, BC(H) battlecruiser, NCA new heavy cruiser, NCL new light cruiser, and a DW war destroyer, along with bonus banners, windows, and other useful graphics.

Individual decal sheets for those ships are also now offered as well.

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

For more information or to download the order sheet, check us out at Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: or Tony L. Thomas at:

Demo Promo Pic


Rated Ace Tournament 37 is over with Paul Scott's (ATC) defeating Marcus Giegerich's WAX(FFD1). Thanks go to judge Kerry Mullan.

Rated Ace Tournament 38 has all third-round games finished and all but one of the fourth-round games completed. Keep tuned -- there is definitely a Klingon civil war and a possibility of a Kzinti civil war in Round 4! Judge Peter Bakija certainly is keeping this one moving along. Good luck everyone!

Andromedan Playtest Tournament has seen nine of the 16 scheduled games played. So far, there still have been two Andromedan wins and we continue watch this tournament with interest. Peter Bakija anticipates it picking back up after some of the intense tournaments wind down.

Flying Deuces is contemplating a change in format. Paul Franz is managing this tournament.

Winter 2012 FCOL Tourney should have the final results any day now. Jim Dauphinais is the judge.

Summer 2012 FCOL Tournament format is now being discussed.

NetKill Patrol for the Second Quarter is starting the finals. Brendan Lally will face Josh Driscol. Richard Sherman maintains the statistics that makes this possible.

The Platinum Hat 2012 is moving along with most of the first round games finished and even a couple of second round games wrapped up. Judge Peter Bakija and Tournament Marshall Steven Petrick are keeping this moving. We're excited to see the four reentries didn't significantly slow down the tournament.

SFBOL World League is looking at the final game to be scheduled. Peter Bakija has been keeping this tournament moving. Don't forget that you can read the tactics article from last year's competition in Captain's Log #45.

The 2-on-2 Tournament 2012 is just starting up. We'll be watching to see how this round robin tournament does. This was the brainchild of David Schultz who is the judge for it.

A GURPS Prime Directive campaign in motion on the Federation Commander Forum. Check out the Donjebruche Campaign here: The GM is Jeff Johnson.


Please send information to Jean via the email in her BBS profile, PM on the Mongoose or Federation Commander forums, or Message on Facebook. If you want convention support, please contact Mike Sparks at Your convention must meet a few simple requirements (one of which is being held in the United States due to shipping costs) which are here:

Council of Five Nations is the annual adventure gaming convention held every year on Coumbus Day Weekend in October. Council is host to the largest face-to-face Star Fleet Battles tournament in the world. Council 35 will be held on October 8-10 this year, at the Proctor's Conference Center in Schenectady, NY.

Once again, the Council SFB tournament is a Sanctioned Rated Ace event. We expect to offer an Ace Card to the winner, and two Ace Cards is a reasonable goal if we get 32+ attendees. (We have averaged mid-to-high 20s in SFB attendance for over five years in a row.)

Thank you, and we hope to see you at Council of Five Nations this year.

The Annual Ithaca Cup Team Tournament was held Saturday, July 14th, They are waiting for a tie-breaker to be held on SFBOL.

Skirmish 2012 is going to be held on July 28, 2012 in Plano, Texas. Clay Dougherty will host Fly in to the Neutral Zone!, an ACTASF event. For more information, see

Gen Con will be held August 16-19, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Friday at 9:00 am, Randy Blair will run "SURVIVOR!! It's a race against time as starship after starship arrive to plunder the dilithium graveyard guarded by a malevolent and starving Dilithium Crystal Entity that feeds off of warp producing power systems.If you survive both the creature and your opponents and manage to get off the map with a few dilithium crystals and other goodies, then you will return home to a hero's welcome. Check here to see if he will be running another game on Saturday.

Games and demos are being run in Spokane, Washington. They meet every Thursday (may move to Friday) at 2:00 pm and play till 9:00 pm, games open to start every time. You can find them at The Gamers Haven, 2114 N. Pines St,
Suites 1 & 2, Spokane Valley, WA 99206, (509) 443-5992

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 lots of interesting conversations about a wide variety of subjects. Get in on the activity!

While for new players the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage, the original (Discus-based) BBS is where most product development takes place. If you have a proposal you'd like to see worked on, don't forget to make sure it is mentioned here. It also has active F&E and SFB forums where players run campaigns, Rated Ace tournaments and other SFB tournaments are organized (most FC tournaments are organized on the Forum), SVC's "My Day" appears, along with current news and strategies dealing with Prime Directive, and each issue of Captain's Log is created. While less colorful (no avatars or sigs), it is a vital part of ADB, Inc.'s communications.

F&E Strategy of the Month

     There are times when an important target is left tantalizingly close, such as a Klingon FRD park in hex 1407, yet defended with enough ships to ensure they can pin everything out, or nearly everything, within six hexes, the normal operational speed.
     Yet, even when everything within six hexes is pinned, sometimes ships within seven hexes range can help. The key is to use them safely. To illustrate, it is Turn #4. The Kzintis have just defended their capital from a large Coalition raid, and a number of crippled Kzinti ships retreated from the capital to the Barony. The Coalition has retrograded to an FRD park in  hex 1407, and has nearly enough ships to completely pin the Kzinti forces from the capital in hex 1406, counting on reserve fleets to respond to 1407 in the event that four or five Kzinti ships fight through the blockade. With the extra ships in the Barony, since repaired, the Kzintis could overwhelm the Coalition forces and gain entry with sufficient ships to fight past the approach battle. However, they cannot reach hex 1407 from the Barony. If these ships move first, the Coalition will not react to hex 1406, and the ships will be prevented from using a retrograde since they were not involved in combat. The Coalition will almost certainly cut them off from supply on the Coalition turn and they will be poorly positioned to assist in further capital defense.
     If instead the forces from the Kzinti capital in hex 1401 are moved first, they will be pinned, and then the extra forces from the Barony can assist in hex 1406, but will not help gain entry into the vital FRD park in hex 1407.
     The key is in the sequence. If forces from the Kzinti capital in hex 1401 are moved in small groups, perhaps even one ship at a time, the Coalition player is forced to make a decision each time to allow the Kzinti ship into hex 1407, or to pin the Kzinti ship in hex 1406. Once the first ship is pinned in hex 1406, it is a battle hex, and the full weight of the Kzinti Barony forces can be brought to bear knowing that Retrograde Movement is assured. Furthermore, the main objective is achieved, entry into hex 1407 with sufficient force to fight past the approach battle, and destroy some key Coalition assets.
     By necessity, this tactic will be used sparingly, since when used, it will likely deplete prospective reserve forces. However, when the target is important enough, and close enough, going one turn with meager reserves may be a price worth paying.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)


Throughout the month our graphics director places on the website various cards called Demotivationals. These are like postcards with an image and a phrase that is often used for humor.
These are the Demotivationals for the month of May:
Final Boss
Old Beings
Race to Power

To see our previous Demotivationals click here.

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!

Gorn Green Diamond Sqaudron
Mark Notestine


New Releases

Communique #80 has been posted to the Commander's Circle.

Recently Released
Captain's Log #45, Stock #5745, $24.95, 144 pages!
Klingon Armada Nova Edition, Stock #6101, $16.95
Romulan Armada Nova Edition, Stock #6102, $16.95
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $34.95
Starmada Nova Edition rulebook, Stock #6120, $16.95
Starline 2500 Romulan Fleet Box, Stock #30008, $149.99 (JV-Mongoose)
Starline 2500 Squadron Box 6 Kzintis, Stock #30010, $29.99 (JV-Mongoose)

To be released during Fall 2012
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Reference Cards, Stock #30001, $14.99
Alien Armada Nova Edition, Stock #6103, $16.95
Distant Armada Nova Edition, Stock #6104, $16.95 .
Federation Commander: Reinforcements Attack, Stock # 4110, $29.95
Starmada: Battleship Armada, Stock #6105, $16.95

To be released during November 2012
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook, TBA
Federation Commander Booster Pack 34 Escorts, Stock #4234, $9.95
Federation Commander Booster Pack 35 Cops & Raiders, Stock #4235, $9.95
Federation Commander Booster Pack 36 Heavies, Stock #4236, $9.95
To be released late 2012 or early 2013
Tribbles Vs Klingons
Captain's Log #46, Stock #5746, $TBA (November)

To be released during 2013
A Call to Arms Star Fleet #2,
BattleFleets, TBA (JV-Mongoose)
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA

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.

PD One: Prime Directive Core Book 1993
Star Fleet Times #31-#35
Captain's Log #24
Federation Space
R2 SSD Book 2012
Star Fleet Times #26 - #30
Star Fleet Battles: Campaign Designers Handbook
Captains Log #23
Star Fleet Times #21-#25
Star Fleet Battles Designer's Edition, First Printing
Star Fleet Battles: Designer's Edition, Expansion #2
Star Fleet Battles: Designer's Edition, Expansion #3
Star Fleet Battles: Designer's Edition, Expansion #1

Introduction to the Star Fleet Universe
Prime Directive PD20M
Klingons PD20 Modern
Federation PD20 Modern
Romulans PD20 Modern

Star Fleet Fiction


     Orrna rolled the Spider gracefully, visually assuring herself that her squadron mates were still in position. The other three fighters hung off to her right, waiting for her word to unleash their phasers and disruptors against the opposing fighters that they were tracking. There was just one problem with that core-warming thought - the word "lightly".
     Her orders were to track, observe, and "engage lightly". How do you engage lightly? She angrily punched the toggle switches that armed her disruptor. It is difficult enough to kill them if you engage them with all your might. The number of drones they could launch at you made arriving close enough to destroy the cursed, Klingon-designed fighters a tricky proposition at best. You had to get to the firing point when the phasers you had fired at drones had recycled, and when your fire control had cleared from using chaff. At least their flight had been fitted out with chaff pods for this mission.
     Engage lightly. Could there be a more irritating order? She was not in a good mood anyway. She had just returned from a leave of absence during which she had produced an infant with her mate. She was now asexual again for the first time in three years, and the change had made her irritable. She still also thought of herself as female. Most Tholians tended to think of themselves as male or female depending upon what state each one had assumed during their last mating cycle. Another wave of irritability washed over her. Next time I will let my partner assume the parental role state. If there is to be a next time, she thought sarcastically.
     She was glad that she did not have to produce any more feeding shards for the child who was now old enough to subsist on normal food. The little one was being taken care of by her mate, a former technical officer for the Guardian. He had completed his Turn service and now had a good job back in the home system. Normally, in Tholian society, the female stayed with and took care of the child for several years. But the two of them had jointly decided that since her mate was now working in a stable environment, he could take over the child-rearing duties and she could return and complete her Turn service.
     She glanced at her tracking scope. Nine icons were represented there, one of them a fat, slow administrative shuttle. If she saw a chance to pick it off after it had rescued the pilots they had come for, she would, despite her orders. In her mind, it was always a good thing if you could kill experienced pilots before they got back into action.
     Even as she studied the icons, the fighters shifted formations, and six of the Z-YCs turned hard toward them. The other two stayed in close escort formation with the administrative shuttle. The shuttle appeared to be preparing to land on an asteroid, probably the rendezvous point for the spaced pilots. On a hunch, she checked her passive sensors. Yes, it's a tracked asteroid, one the local administration had set in motion toward the inner system. The asteroid had a tracking beacon on it, one that beeped every few seconds, just for navigational safety. Why did the Klingons pick that one for a rendezvous? she wondered.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler
     Kyle Meidell asks: Rule (K2.62) states that fast patrol ships dock internally using (J1.62) or (C13.91). I am a little confused about what PFs can and cannot do. Rule (C13.91) seems to be a really limited case as it does not refer to internal docking. The introduction to (C13.0) states that fast patrol ships generally do not use (C13.0), but can "dock" internally by these (C13.0) rules. Am I correct in assuming that a fast patrol ship could dock internally to a starbase using (C13.6)? Could it be repaired while docked internally?
     ANSWER: First, the reference to fast patrol ships generally not using (C13.0) is because they usually dock to the external mechanical linkages on fast patrol ship tenders under (K2.2); these include the mechanical linkages on fast patrol ship docking augmentation modules added to bases.
Second, docking internally is more difficult. (And one of the color points to the game is that the Kzintis kept trying to make it work, and perhaps liked the ability to bring an extra fast patrol ship along on some of their PFTS.) This is why the rules treat internal docking differently than docking to external mech-links. Compared to a starbase docking module (with a hatch large enough to accommodate a dreadnought) or the inside of a fleet repair dock the space into which you are trying to land your fast patrol ship is very "tight" with a lot less margin for error than for a shuttle landing in a shuttlebay.
     Rule (C13.91) is used because the procedure is, as noted, delicate and not the same thing as landing on an external mech-link (where a drift of 10 meters while coming in to land can simply be corrected, but would slam the fast patrol ship into the side of the hull of the ship with catastrophic consequences while trying to land in an internal bay). While the (C13.91) procedure is used, and usually results in two ships docked together, the procedure in the case of a fast patrol ship landing in an internal bay ends with the fast patrol ship internally docked. Note that in both cases the fast patrol ship is landed at the end of the turn [final impulse in the case of (J1.62), Final Activity Phase in the case of (C13.91)]. The advantage of (J1.62) is that the fast patrol ship tender can be moving at any speed when it recovers the fast patrol ship into the internal bay.
     Follow-up question: If it uses (J1.62) to "land" on its tender's internal mech-link, could it use (J1.62) to "land" internally in a starbase's docking bay?
     ANSWER: No. It would have to dock by (C13.2). A starbase docking module (or the inside of a fleet repair dock) is not equipped with mechanical linkages. A fast patrol ship docking inside such elements is no different than a skiff docking inside such elements. It is a ship (technically a "boat") docking to a "wharf" as any other unit, whether a dreadnought or a skiff.
     Follow-up question: Could it use (C13.7) to dock externally to a starbase or other facility? Could it then be repaired?
     ANSWER: Uh . . . well you see (C13.7) does not deal with "internal docking maneuvers," it deals with the "additional restrictions" the internally docked unit is under, and those would apply to a fast patrol ship that docked internally to a starbase rather than to a mechanical linkage as found in (K2.2). A fast patrol ship docking internally to a starbase or fleet repair dock, or externally to a battle station's or base station's docking module, could access the associated repair systems as any other ship (or boat).
(End of Ask Growler )


      Q: Concerning Flagship Escort Groups (FEG) in rule (318.42) and X-ships. I have a Kzinti DNH I want to escort. The FEG rule says I can have two escorts, one of which must be size class 4. The ad hoc rules say no BCH/DN can be an escort, and the SIT lists the X-cruisers as base hull type BC (heavy cruiser hull). I realize that the X-ship loses two ComPot for the privilege and loses its mauler special attack capability, if used as an escort. May I use an X-cruiser (BCX/CCX) as the large escort, and use a DW as the small one?
      A: References for the escorts allowed in a FEG are (515.33-.34) and (318.421-.429). These are very specific in what can and cannot be used. A Kzinti BC by the SIT and the R section of SFB is listed as a heavy cruiser. The BCX and CCX are variants of this base hull and as such are allowed to be used as escorts within the other limits imposed by the above rules.
      Q: Rule (507.2) says in part: "...Command Points, admirals, and drone ships cannot be used in establishing the size of a Reserve." Doesn't that just mean that drone ships cannot extend the size of the Reserve Battle Force by being in the support line (up to 3 platforms) and thus avoid the command limit of the reserve fleet's flagship? Does it not mean that any number of drone ships could be part of the Reserve Battle Force if counted against the flagship's Command Rating?
      A: Exactly! The drone bombardment ships (309.0) can be part of the battle line up to the Command Rating of the flagship of the reserve, but there is no support echelon in a reserve fleet so you do not get to add three drone ships above the Command Rating and say "Oh, those? They're just supporting so they don't count." It should be noted that if the drone bombardment ship has scout capabilities then it could be put in the free scout location as part of the reserve.
      Q: When is a Fighting Retreat (302.75) resolved? Is the retreat resolved immediately after the player's retreat or at any other time, phasing player's choice, or during the Combat Phase (Phase 5 of the SOP)?
      A: Fighting Retreat Battle Hexes are not required to be fought immediately once the parent Battle Hex is resolved. Fighting Retreat Battle Hexes are simply added to the list of Battle Hexes that must be resolved during the phasing player's turn in the order chosen by the phasing player. In the case of Fighting Retreat, simply note that the Battle Hex is to be resolved using the Fighting Retreat battle rules, and any other conditions that apply.
(F&E Q&A continues here.)


    Dear Aunt Jean, when creating non-human characters, do they get two starting feats in addition to any other feats they may get as part of their starting occupation, etc.? In the basic d20 system, all PCs get one feat and humans get an extra feat at character creation. The d20 Modern core rules assume all characters are human and thus all of them get two feats. The Prime Directive d20M book says non-humans get less skills, do they also lose out on this bonus feat?

     A: Based on reading the d20M Core rulebook on the creation of "humanoids" who are not human, I would have to say that it is pretty clear they all start with one feat, not two (p. 220 and p. 231). This is how all of the sample characters were created as well.

     It has lots of good links and sometimes I just enjoy browsing there to find interesting things. If I get really stuck, I use the search button on our home page which takes me here: That is a simple Google search and many times will bring me directly to what I need to find. If I get really, really stuck, I ask a Steve and I can get an answer and bring it back to the person who asked the question.

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

Cool Stuff on the Website

In this section we will provide links to various web pages and items that we think you will find "cool".
Here is a links to our new page about our new upcoming game:
Tribbles vs Klingons
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
Star Fleet Command
Starline 2500
Traveller Prime Directive
Call to Arms Star Fleet

We have also uploaded new Xander wallpapers to our Wallpapers section on the website.

We have new images of our next 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 to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page

Alert 120718 Captain's Log #45 (Adobe acrobat Required)
Alert 120626 Platinum Hat (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 120327 Starmada (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 120227 Marines (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 120123 Romulans PD20M (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 111129 CL44 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110830 OMRB (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110615 Mongoose (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110504 GURPS Fed & C3A
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe Reader Required)

FC Tactic of the Month

     When playing on a location map, say 50 hexes across from a fixed point, you may find it frustrating when your opponent is running and reloading his drone racks or plasma torpedoes, or perhaps performing shield repairs. He is moving Speed 24+1 for the whole turn, and keeping the range open. You'd like nothing better than to see him run into a corner from which there is no escape, but it's a big map and there's all the space he needs.
     However, even on a location map you can still corner your opponent. The map is actually a giant hexagon 100 hexes across, which means it still has corners, albeit six of them rather than the usual four on a fixed map. Thinking of the map as simply a large, but still fixed, map, is the key to this strategy.
     Ships running at Speed 24+1 will cross a 100-hex map in a mere three turns. Sooner or later your opponent is going to have to make a decision about what to do when he reaches the map edge. Now, if your opponent is running away in a more-or-less straight line, it means that he is running approximately parallel to two of the edges of the map.
     Usually, one of those two map edges will be closer than the other one. The trick here is not simply to do a straight stern-chase, but to take up a position slightly to the side of your opponent's trail, on the opposite side of his ship from the nearest map edge. This way, he either has to turn towards the nearest edge of the map, in which case you simply turn and parallel his course again in the same way, or he has to turn towards you, which allows you to close the range. The idea is that you box him in against the sides of the map, just as if it were a fixed map.
     If, however, you were performing a stern chase, or were on the side of his ship closest to the nearest map edge, then all he would have to do is turn away from you to open the range again.
     This means that eventually you can corner your opponent and give him what he deserves.
     Another way of looking at it is that you keep your ship nearer the center of the board than his. As long as you are on the inside of his turn, which effectively is what is happening, you can cut him off at each corner, eventually closing the range. He will be doing all the running, and sometimes you can even go at a lower speed, thereby releasing power for your weapons.
     Of course, a clever opponent can complicate things by launching over-the-shoulder plasma shots, and given your high forward speed, these plasma torpedoes will probably be powerful when they hit you. However, you are still not in his primary forward arcs, and the torpedo threat is not as great when you are behind him.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     It usually does not pay to destroy something you paid ten BPV of Commander's Options for, but sometimes it does. If an enemy ship puts a tractor beam on a Tholian ship, with the intent of pulling him out of the web hex he is in during the next impulse, there is relatively little the Tholian can do to stop him. Becoming a web anchor (G10.1161) would be the easiest way to prevent removal; however, it would normally require some prescience, as 'Assuming or Dropping Anchor Status' happens in step 6B4 before the 'Operate Tractors' step.
     There are a few other things that happen between the Operate Tractors step of one impulse and the Movement step of the following impulse, however - and weapons fire is one of those things. With a few phaser-1s at close range (minding the ECM of the buoy when calculating needed weapons fire), an anchor buoy can be destroyed. A destroyed anchor in a web can result in an automatic transfer of "anchor status" to any other Tholian ship in that segment (G10.1161) - including the Tholian ship being tractored. This occurs out of the normal sequence of play, and within the same impulse. This would break the tractor beam immediately, and result in the enemy being unable to remove the Tholian ship from the hex in following impulse.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)


Starline 2500 Lyran Dreadnought
See the other images here.

Orion OK6