August 2010

Star Fleet Universe News

The BIG NEWS this issue is the release of Sqaudron Box #28 Vudar, Squadron Box #29 ISC, and Squadron Box # 30 Andromedans.

Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features. Mike Sparks has released another video on our YouTube page.

Joel Shutts, our new graphics director has been updating the website, doing covers for the new products, helping out around the company, learning more about the game business.

Our combined and reorganized website,, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions.

One of our newest pages is the Wall of Honor where we recognize our volunteers and their contributions.

Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL but all links on the Federation Commander websites and the first site have been changed to match. The new site is

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? Then WE NEED YOU! To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see the Federation Commander Ambassadors category on the Federation Commander Forum.

Have you missed an earlier Newsletter? Click here to get caught up!

Download Transmissions

The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, fiction, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Commander's Circle.

We continue to improve the Commander's Circle. We have now uploaded all of the ships and scenarios as separate documents (the ships are organized by empire) so you can quickly see what is available. New FC Scenario Database and Master Ship Chart documents have been uploaded. Check it out!

You can subscribe to our newsletter in the Federation Commander page under Free Opt-In Newsletter.

FC Forum Recent Posts

The Federation Commander Site and Forum continue to grow as more gamers continue to find it. 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.

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, the RAT and other tournaments are organized, SVC's "My Day" appears, 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.

We are very pleased to see the medals, honor bars, and ribbons awarded to players being incorporated into their signatures. No less gratifying are the efforts to organize an FCOL tournament. Get in on the activity!

FC Tactic of the Month

    Ships with very low movement costs, such as frigates, tend to be very vulnerable to Directed Targeting against their engines. This is because most ships are designed to be able to fire all their phasers, overload all their heavy weapons, and move at a "battle speed" of 16+ hexes per turn.
    As an example, a Federation frigate can fully overload its photons, fire all its phasers and move at Baseline Speed 16 without using power saved in its batteries. After taking three points of internal damage on Damage Allocation Chart #1, it can only move four hexes per turn after paying for all of its weapons.
    Even a little engine damage will force a frigate captain to make tough decisions between speed and firepower. On top of this, the structure of the Damage Allocation Chart means that ships that have no warp engines left blow up very quickly. When firing on a frigate or destroyer, Directed Targeting against its power might be more energy efficient than using your own power for overloaded weapons.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

Café Press
Cafe Press
Café Press
is an online marketplace that allows the Star Fleet Universe to produce unique products such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more with the Star Fleet logos, cover art, and other artwork used for our products. We have added tons of new shirts, mugs, and other products. Want something you don’t see? Please contact Joel Shutts (Graphics Director) with your request. Visit our Star Fleet Café Press Store for a complete listing of the products available.

SFB Tactic of the Month

    If you are defending a Romulan planet, consider having at least some fighters hiding in remote areas. If the fighters have landed, they cannot be attacked except from transporter range by ships with transporter artillery. When the Gorn launches ground assault shuttles and they enter the atmosphere, then your fighters can rise from the surface and engage them in dogfights.
    Especially in the earliest years, this can be a powerful means to harry the Gorns. Transporters have limited range, so they have to close to either transport down (and hence have dropped shields) or launch shuttles for a ground assault.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

    Quite often, the "threat" of doing something, will result in a reaction that you want your enemy to do.
Using the "Flagship rejection rule", allows you to present a strong threat, and yet risk very little in exchange for it.
    By guarding a key BATS, deployed MB, or Sector Base (or SB, but you would want to fully defend a SB, the tactic could still be used there, or indeed any other base introduced, which has a Command Rating of three or higher) with four ships, you are able to force your enemy to commit far more force to kill the base than would otherwise be required. The tactic can be used on any base-although, usually you will not have too many spare ships available for this duty.
    For the example, we will assume the base is a BATS, but if any other base is used, it is important to ensure that no more than two ships have a Command Rating higher than the base (as the Flagship must be one of the three units with the highest Command Rating).
    Our "key location" is a Kzinti BATS (Command Rating 9), which is guarded by a BC (Command Rating 8), FF (Command Rating 3) and a CVE+EFF group (Command Rating 6).
(F&E strategy of the month continues here)

Mini of the Month
Every month we will feature one 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!

C7S and Fleet by Aaron Staley


New Releases

Communique #56 has been posted to the Commander's Circle.

Squadron Box #28 Vudar, SKU 4328, $34.95
Squadron Box #29 ISC, SKU 4329, $34.95
Squadron Box #30 Andros, SKU 4330, $34.95

Prime Directive Federation (PD20M)
Border Box #10, SKU 4410, $99.95

Star Fleet Battles Module Y3 Early Years III, Data to be determined

Star Fleet Marines: Assault!, data to be determined

Captain's Log #42, SKU 5742, $19.95

SFB Module C3A Andromedan Threat File, SKU TBA, $TBA
Borders of Madness #1
FC Booster Pack #93, #94, #95
Battlestations Star Fleet
Romulans PD20M, SKU 8734, $24.95
Prime Directive Federation (GURPS)
Federation Commander Briefing #3, SKU 4023, $TBA
Federation Admiral, data to be determined

Star Fleet Fiction
Part three of ten

     "Kzinti frigate on scanners," Krealander reported. "Range one-hundred thousand. He's firing at that freighter."
     "Freighter XG49 reports heavy damage and requests urgent help!" said the communications officer.
     "Again..." Kaustin noted. "We already told him we're en route at top speed. The captain is panicking."
     "Reasonable, under the circumstances," Kross said. "Arm disruptors, spin up the gyros on a drone ... two drones. Combat range in less than a minute. Shields up."
     "Tigerman frigate is turning to run!" Krealander reported.
     "Speed?" Kross asked.
     "Warp three," Krealander reported. "He's keeping out of range, but he's not warping out."
     "Pursuit course," Kross ordered. "Range?"
     "Three hundred thousand," Krealander ordered."
     "Tap him with one of the phasers," Kross ordered.
     "Firing!" said the weapons officer. "Hit, no damage."
     "Kzinti frigate is still at warp three, still at three hundred thousand," Krealander reported. "We can push a little more speed, get closer to him."
     "Negative," Kross ordered. "If we use all our power for speed, we will have nothing for weapons."
     "Drones!" Krealander announce. "Two of them. Now two more!"
     "Forward phasers, target drones, fire at discretion," Kross ordered. "Turn sixty degrees to port. Aft phasers. Take out those drones!"
     "Three drones destroyed..." the weapons officer reported. "Anti-drone got the last one."
     "Data on Kzinti frigate," Kross asked.
     "Speed remains at warp three, course remains steady," Krealander reported. "Range has opened to three hundred sixty thousand. Range continues to open. Shall we turn to pursue?"
     "In time," Kross said. "I want to keep him sixty degrees off the bow so we have all five phasers to use against drones."
     "Approaching oblique position," the helmsman said a minute later. "Shall I turn to parallel his course?"
     "Affirmative," Kross said. "Maintain alert."
     "Range is three hundred ninety thousand," Krealander said. "No drones from this point. He'll have to turn left and cut across our bow if he wants to hit us with drones. If he does that, we'll have to turn away to clear the phaser arcs, and he'll be in position to come in behind us with his disruptor. I recommend we increase speed and force him to fight or run."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler
Plasma Torpedoes

     Geoff Conn asks: If plasmas are launched at a range greater than zero, then the target ship enters the same hex as the launching unit when impact occurs, does plasma feedback apply (as it was not launched at Range zero)?
      ANSWER: Correct. The torpedo was not actually launched at Range Zero, so no feedback applies.

      Tos Crawford asks: A movement cost one ship with an ECPb is moving Speed 15 heading A and moves on the next impulse. A movement cost one ship tractors that ship and the pseudo speed becomes 7 which does not move on the next impulse. The ECP was still going Speed 15 and having no opportunity to change speeds leaves the hex on the following impulse. The ECP leaves the hex and ceases lending. Then what happens? How does the ECP ever make it back to the hex the unit was in? Does it change speeds to 40 trying to reacquire or drop speeds to zero hoping to allow the ship to 'catch-up'? How many times a turn can the ECP change speeds?
      ANSWER: ECPbs change speed as ECM drones (FP12.42) and would automatically adjust to the new speed of the protected ship. If this was not an ECPb, its options would be very limited. By (FP12.21) once their speed is set, they cannot change speed. All it could do is move, at its set speed, and try to regain the hex of its target under the restrictions of (F2.2). Note that an ECP can use its one allowed HET in each given period of 32 consecutive impulses as part of this, and the use of the HET is up to the owner of the ECP, subject to the restrictions on HETs by a seeking weapon.
     Follow-up question: The ECPb opts not to leave the hex, does a HET and announces a speed change to 7. Where does the ECP HET to? It was facing A, as is its escorted unit, but to the best of my knowledge it is not allowed to make a zero degree HET or a 360 degree HET so its forced to HET to B or F, right? Next impulse all units move but the tractored units push and pull each other in such a way that the ECP cannot maintain station keeping, leaving us with an ECP that has to again reacquire its target without the benefit of an available HET. What speed does it announce now? Am I reading all this correctly? Does a tractor have a high probability of shaking an ECP off its target?
     ANSWER: An ECPb does not need to use an HE as it is allowed to change speed to remain in the hex of the unit it is protecting under (FP12.42).

    Ted Fay asks: Can an ECP perform an HET of less than 180 degrees in order to stay in the same hex as its target? I cannot find any rules under HET or seekers that would prevent this tactic.
    ANSWER: I see no reason why you could not do this, either. In fact, performing an HET would help the ECP satisfy (F2.2), but it would only delay the inevitable as ECPs are not able to change speed (FP12.21), and seeking weapons can only perform one HET in any period of 32 consecutive impulses (F2.13). The ECP would still be governed by the other rules on HETs, i.e., once it did the HET, its next move would have to be directly forward (F2.131), which may not be the same hex the ship it is protecting will enter. Note that an ECPb would simply adjust its speed as an ECM drone would to remain in the hex of the unit it was protecting (FP12.42).
(End of Ask Growler)


    Q: In Special Operations (517.13) it states that Lyran K-pods and Klingon pods may be mutually "borrowed". But how does this borrowing occur? Pods can only be dispatched to ships in their supply grid and normally Lyran/Klingon ships cannot access the other's grid. Does this mean that only homeless ships and expeditionary fleets can "borrow" these pods?
    A: According to (517.22) the tug draws the pod from a "pool" of pods in the supply grid of the empire the pod belongs to. So, a Lyran tug would have to be at a supply point within the Klingon supply grid to draw a Klingon pod and a Klingon tug would have to be at a supply point within the Lyran supply grid to draw a Lyran K pod.
    Now, some advanced rules in future products may create a counter for a supply pod, in which case one could pick up such a pod in the hex where the counter was left.
    Q: Carrier War lists the Klingons as starting with four carrier pods but does not say if they are VP2 or VP3. Which are they?
    A: According to the Klingon SIT, the VP3 has a YIS of Y172 and the VP2 has a YIS of Y168. The GW at-start pods are VP2.
    Q: I took twenty fighters out of the Hydran fighter conveyor pallet (FCP) for combat, but they weren't destroyed. Do they go back in the FCP at the end of combat? Or are they considered regular fighters, and I would need to pay for twenty replacement fighters in the FCP?
    A: The Hydran FCP is a very large FCR. It stores spare Hydran fighters until they are needed, but cannot operate them. Once they are assembled they can't go back to the FCP. You need hanger space on regular Hydran ships for the new fighters to go before you unpack and assemble them, so you cannot "take them out for combat" but you can "take them out and move them to regular ships as replacements". Rule (513.54) allows you to "reload" the FCP for 0.2 EP per factor.
(End of F&E Q&A)


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