December 2018

Star Fleet Universe News



        Our store on Shapeways continues to expand with over 60 new items released on 25 November. This release was moved up a few days (it would normally have been 1 December) in order to let customers take advantage of the 26 November Cyber Monday sale event that Shapeways held.
        We are strongly encouraging people to buy any older ships they want before 1 January 2019 when the old prices that were grandfathered in will expire and prices will go up, some dramatically.
        Ships released for both 3788 and 3125 scales include:    
        Federation NCA (smooth and gridded); Klingon D5W (smooth and Aztek finish); Romulan JayHawk Battle Frigate, GryphonHawk heavy war cruiser (and the cranked-arrow GryponHawk-Plus version); Neo-Tholian Heavy Frigate; Gorn Carnosaurus-S Scout and Carnosaurus-P Gunboat/PF Tender (smooth and 'scaled' versions for both); Kzinti FKE Killer Frigate Escort and DNL Light Dreadnought; Lyran (and LDR) Firecat Battle Control Ship and Siberian Lion Space Control Ship (and the Lyran Base Station); Hydran Pegasus gunboat tender and Horsemaster gunboat tender; ISC frigate and base station; Vudar (a new empire making its Shapeways debut) War Cruiser and War Destroyer; Frax War Cruiser Carrier; Zosman (a new Omega Empire making their debut on Shapeways) Heavy Cruiser, Light Cruiser, Destroyer, and Frigate.
        The Frax Demon-3 fighter (above) was released for both Omni and 285 scale.
        You can check out the store here:
        Don't forget to follow us:

        Our website,, 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 200 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 websites have been changed to match. The new site is
        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:
         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:
         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:  

        This month we feature Battle Group Gator, headquartered in Waycross, Georgia. CO Mike Baker reports that this group is active, playing Star Fleet Battles, Federation & Empire, Star Fleet Battle Force, Star Fleet Marines, and Starmada. They support three conventions. You can read more about their activities here:
Read more here:

         Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here:

         Do you want to see if there's a battle group near you? Check out the map here:

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!

        The Rangers are up, fully operational, and doing demos! There are currently 50 Rangers listed in our database with 30 of them having advanced past Ranger Recruit, meaning they've held at least one demo.
        Star Fleet Rangers are our front-line recruiters in introducing new people to our games. They are hard working, tireless promoters of the SFU. They go to conventions, stores, game clubs, and other public venues to show our games and to teach potential players some basics.
        Why should you be a Ranger? Well, one of the reasons is purely selfish -- you teach people to play your favorite games and "grow your own" opponents. With enough interested people you can form a battle group and even get in on playtesting if you want. You get your name in Captain's Log and awards on your plaque on the Wall of Honor. You even get Star Fleet Bucks which will help you with purchases from our storefront. Still, being able to play games face-to-face has to be one of the best reasons to do it.
        So visit our Ranger page here:
        Register and join the the Star Fleet Rangers!
        And there is exciting news for Rangers on Facebook! We've started up a closed group for Rangers to discuss ideas, best practices, and to simply hang out with serious enthusiasts. You must be on Jean's list of Rangers before you can become a member. Join it here:
Ambassador Badge

        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.

        Take a journey with us to an ancient age, just one step up from carving game rules on clay tablets. The year 1973 was at the very dawn of the independent wargame publishing companies. Typesetting was done with a manual typewriter, print-on-demand meant the photocopier at the library, counters were printed on paper (and drawn by hand), page layout was done with scissors and cellophane tape, and two guys in a garage could turn out a wargame magazine that won two Origins Awards. The point was creativity, new ideas, and imagination. Production values would have to come later.
        That magazine was JagdPanther (Hunting Panther), created and run by the same Stephen V. Cole who later co-founded Task Force Games and then went on to found Amarillo Design Bureau. We found the ancient archives of this game company (which ran from 1973-1976, producing 15 magazines, about 50 games, hundreds of variants, and dozens of game reviews) and have placed them on Warehouse 23 so they are available to collectors. (Old issues have been selling on Ebay for over $100 each.) Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4, Issue #5, Issue #6, Issue #7, Issue #8, Issue #9, Issue #10, Issue #11, Issue #12, Issue #13, Issue #14 and Issue # 15 are uploaded.

Custom Decals for Starline ships

        Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures.
        In addition to the legacy fleet and squadron box sets, decals for each of the ships are available as individual sheets, along with special sheets to detail any ship with additional window blocks, sensors, hatches, and even phaser scars.
        As with all of their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.
        *** Newly announced in November, decals sheets for Starline 2400 Federation miniatures are well into design, with decals for other empires in both Starline 2400 and Starline 2500 lines in development. ***

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

        Jupiter IV Decals is a source of decals for the 2400 line and will do custom decals as well as all official SFB names. In the near future Jupiter IV will move into the 2500 line and will work to get every listed name on the Starfleet registry completed in both scales.
        Their website is:


        Masters 2018 has all of the 16 Round 1 games played; two of the Round 2 games are completed. Andy Koch is the judge in this "just for fun" tournament.

        Rated Ace Tournament 48 is being played with all of the first and second round matches completed and one of the four Round 3 games completed. Ron Brimeyer has volunteered to be the judge. 


       Star Fleet Battles games are held weekly in Tempe Arizona each Friday at Game Depot from 2:00 -7:00  pm. Eric Phillips is the person to contact.

       Star Fleet  Battles games are held regularly in Indianapolis, Indiana at Family Time  Games. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information  see:

       Star Fleet  Battles games are  played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.
       Games  are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if  there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamer's 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 her 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

       The Klingons should use their penal PF flotilla for the (528.42) "special attack" mission instead of their D6J, D5J, or DWJ penal cruisers. "Special attacks" by penal units allow Klingon battle lines a battle intensity modifier of plus one. This is just the thing to do when defending a starbase with stasis field generators!
       The penal PF flotillas have the added benefit in this mission of causing the Alliance to waste more damage on the penal PF flotilla than a crippled penal cruiser. A "crippled" penal PF flotilla absorbs 30% damage like any other "crippled" casual PF flotilla. So being crippled merely destroys two of the five PFs in the penal PF flotilla, since PFs are a two-combat-factor unit with no crippled side [See Rule (302.611)].
       The upshot is that there are three PFs with six combat potential left after completing the special attack mission, more than the four combat factors left over after a penal cruiser is crippled.
       Unless the Alliance uses directed damage to kill the last PFs in the penal PF flotilla, it can do the "honor duel" mission on the next combat round. At a "crippled" six combat factors, they are better at that mission than a F5J or F6J!

(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month

       Veteran players of other Star Fleet Universe games should take a moment to read the Maximum Warp Now! special action. What this does is allow a unit to escape by going to high warp right in the middle of a battle. The downside is your opponent gets one round to shoot at you when you can only move six inches in a straight line but, if you are playing in a campaign this is a small price to pay for the chance to save a key unit.
       Do not forget while that key unit is making its run some of your other units can still use their weaponry to help with the defense of the target. Just be sure that you are aware of any notes or rules in the scenario that control what side of the map you can disengage from, otherwise your ship can still be considered lost.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)



New Releases

Communique #156 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Kzinti Master Starship Book Stock #5435 $21.95
Romulan Armada Unity
Stock #6132 $16.95
Scenario Log #2
Stock #4071 $6.95
Klingon Armada Unity
Stock #6131 $16.95
LDR Master Starship Book
Stock #5444 $14.95
Lyran Master Starship Book
Stock #5441 $19.95
Captain's Log #52
Stock #5752 $24.95
Captain's Log #52 SSDs Stock #5752-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #52 Supplemental File Stock #5752-S $1.00

To be released in 2018
A new Starmada book for both editions.
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Klingon B10
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.


       We’re now offering some of our miniatures and some new designs on Shapeways.
       You can check out the store here:

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

McPherson's Ridge
Nexus #10
Nexus #9
Nexus #8
Nexus #7
Alien Armada Unity

Nexus #6
Nexus #5
Kzinti Master Starship Book
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - Color
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - B/W
Ship Pack for 2018 April Fool's Ships
Nexus #4
Hex Map Pack #1
Nexus #3
SFB: Module S1 - Scenario Book #1
Nexus #2
Nexus #1
Captain's Log #44
Captain's Log #44 Color SSDs
Romulan Armada Unity

SFB: Module R3 Rulebook
Scenario Log #2
Klingon Armada Unity

SFB: ModuleC3 -- New Worlds III Rulebook
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (Color)

McPherson's Ridge (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #27 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #10  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #9  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #8  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #7  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Alien Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #6  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #5 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Kzinti Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - Color (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Kzinti SSD Pack #1 - B/W (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Ship Pack for 2018 April Fool's Ships (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #4 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Hex Map Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #3 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module S1 - Scenario Book #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #2 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #44 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Romulan Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R3 Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Scenario Log #2  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Klingon Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (B/W)  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C3 -- New Worlds III SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)


For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

       One of the key elements of the Klingon invasion on Day One was the Red Dagger Squadron under Commodore Brasnick. Brasnick, commander of the D7 Challenger, was a hardened veteran of fighting on the Kzinti front. Crippled over the Kzinti capital, Challenger was repaired and sent to the Eastern Fleet as part of the buildup of forces for the Klingon invasion of the Federation. The Eastern Fleet had just been divided into three fleets (Northeast, East, and Southeast); Brasnick and Challenger were part of the remaining portion of the Eastern Fleet. Admiral Klang had been assigned the central sector of the invasion, and had been ordered to destroy Federation bases K5, K6, and K7. The admiral and what few were left of his fleet's original ships were concentrated for the attack on K6. The admiral was furious that his best officers had been taken from him for use by Admiral Koval and the Southeast Fleet, which was to make the primary thrust for the core worlds of the Federation.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

       Gregory Flusche asks: Can Jindarian bombers land on the outside of an asteroid ship in the same way that the size-class-4 ships can under rule (R16.1E)?
       ANSWER: The rule (R16.1E) procedure only applies to ships docking to ships (C13.9). Shuttles can dock to an asteroid ship, but are under the normal restrictions of rule (C13.98).

       Randy Blair asks: A ship docks to an asteroid via (P3.42). That ship is destroyed the next turn while landed on the asteroid, as it is sending out troops at two per impulse (D15.533). What effect does the ship's destruction have on the ground combat location (D15.0), if any?
       ANSWER: The ship's explosion is applied to the asteroid as general destruction. (Note that the asteroid would be destroyed by 400 points of damage.) By (P2.5475), units on the surface of the asteroid are unaffected unless the asteroid is destroyed, at which point ground troops and ground bases would be destroyed but a ship would resume normal operations in space.

       Randy Blair asks: Can shuttles participating in ground combat be towed away by tractor beam?
       Kommodore Ketrick replies: No. Nor can you tow away a tank or ground combat vehicle engaged in ground combat on an airless asteroid or moon. The only interaction between ships not landed in the ground combat location and ground combat is the landing of (or retrieving of) ground forces whether by shuttle or transporter or the employment of transporter artillery. A landed ship can, of course, itself be taken under assault by ground forces in the ground combat location and can defend itself as provided by the rules.
       Follow-up question: Three ships are docked to a large asteroid per (P3.42) and are landing troops at two per impulse (D15.533). I have plotted a mid-turn speed change on Impulse #16 (Speed 10) because I know I will be out of troops by Impulse #13, and I release the tractor beam the same impulse the speed change takes effect.
       1. Is that even legal?
       2. If so, are those ships still restricted by the "A ship cannot fire during a turn in which it loads or unloads ground units or is assaulted by unfriendly ground units" prong of (D15.532)? Note: there are no unfriendly ground units landed at the ground combat location in this case.
        Kommodore Ketrick replies: Rule (P3.42) specifically states that (C13.9) is in force. Under (C13.9), you access rule (C13.93), which says the ship can essentially "undock" by releasing its tractor link. Nothing in (C13.9) prohibits a plotted (or unplotted) mid-turn speed change taking place in the same impulse (or a subsequent impulse) after the tractor link is dropped in this case. However, it should be obvious the tractor link must be released before the speed change takes effect [tractors (6B4) are after mid-turn speed changes take effect (6A2) in the Sequence of Play].
       As to (D15.532): Yes, it remains in force. It provides for the whole turn and does not provide any exceptions.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


        Q: There seems to be a contradiction, or at least some confusion, in the rules regarding the range at which F-ships and X-ships can draw supply. Here are the relevant rules.
        (411.1) (SUPPLY ROUTE) DEFINITION:
        The Supply Route is a chain of no more than six hexes, not including the hex the unit is in but including the hex containing the supply point (412.0). X-shipsý (523.43) and fast shipsý (525.1) can draw supplies from a grid seven hexes away. Federation Express transportsý (539.325) can draw supply from a grid eight hexes away. (F&E 2010)
        (525.134) F-ships can draw supply seven hexes from a source. If out of supply, many of the bonuses are lost. (AO 2003)
        (523.43) SUPPLY GRID: X-bases (and Federation LTFs) can supply X-ships seven hexes away and normal ships six hexes away. X-bases connect to supply grids (even to non-X bases) seven hexes away. Federation X-bases could supply an LTF seven hexes away. (AO 2003)
        (509.1-D) Supply Source: A transport can be assigned this mission during the Phasing Player Turn during the Assign Missions phase of production (2B7). Tugs and convoys extend the Supply Grid six hexes (412.2), LTTs three hexes (516.2D), and theater transports two hexes (509.22); these cannot be "chained." (F&E 2010)
        It would seem that either (523.43) is irrelevant, or there was some intent that the extenders (tugs, LTTs, theater transports) could not supply X-ships and F-ships.
        A: Indeed, (523.43) doesn't make any sense. Notes from the time that the rules on extenders (509.1-D) were written indicate that the intent was that they extend the grid itself so X-ships and F-ships can draw supply seven hexes from an extender. An extender is the supply grid, and the grid is the grid
(End of F&E Q&A)


        Dear Aunt Jean, will there ever be figures in your shop on Shapeways for Prime Directive?

        A: We certainly hope so, but right now the most demand is for ships. Still, we have done the space dragons and several other "living monsters," so we are making progress in that direction.

Send questions to Jean at and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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".
       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 to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page

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)
Alert 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49
(Adobe Acrobat Required)


       Many players of Federation Commander think of the plasma-F torpedo as inferior to the other "big" plasma launchers (G, S, and R). This is perhaps a holdover from Star Fleet Battles, where the plasma-F torpedo is not as powerful as it is in Federation Commander. Players often see the plasma-F torpedo simply as "padding" to protect the larger plasma launchers from damage.
       However, if we take a closer look at this excellent weapon, we will see why, at least on Gorn, Orion, and Federation ships, it can be better, when receiving damage, to "lose" a larger plasma torpedo launcher instead of automatically disabling a plasma-F torpedo launcher. The carronade function is the real heart of this tactical article. If you are flying a Romulan ship, which cannot have the carronade function, you need read no further.
       Here are the three main reasons why a captain should seriously consider disabling a larger plasma torpedo launcher when receiving damage, instead of blindly applying the traditional "plasma-F torpedoes are for padding" approach used by most players.
  • 1. Plasma-F torpedoes have no holding cost.
  • 2. You can use the carronade function.
  • 3. The plasma-F torpedo is more flexible than the plasma-G torpedo in terms of tactical choices.
  • 4. And ... you can use the carronade function.
        There are also two good additional reasons why an Orion captain should choose plasma-F torpedoes every time over the larger plasma-G and plasma-S torpedoes:
  • A: You can have two plasma-F torpedoes for less than the cost of one plasma-G torpedo and far less than the cost of one plasma-S torpedo.
  • B: Plasma-F torpedoes take up only one weapon box whereas a plasma-S torpedo takes up two.
       Some would say that the disadvantage of the plasma-F torpedo is that you cannot produce a 30-point seeking warhead. However, the 20-point F/G warhead is still a reasonable warhead and because no launcher in Federation Commander can be used in the enveloping or shotgun modes seen in Star Fleet Battles, this narrows the "gap" between the plasma-G and plasma-F launchers. Also, for the Orion captain, who can choose his weapons, two plasma-F/Gs instead of one plasma-S have to be better in combat, even if only because you can produce two 20-point warheads (total 40, get it?) instead of just the one 30-point warhead. This goes along with the tactical flexibility and maintenance of threat given by the ability to not have to launch the whole lot in one go.
       Even then, I would select the plasma-F torpedo over the plasma-G torpedo just about every time, because it has the carronade advantage. Effectively, for just one energy point more than a completed photon torpedo or an overloaded disruptor, (assuming a full carronade load), you can fire the near equivalent of a photon torpedo every turn (provided you have sufficient power), plus you also have the advantage that it usually does not miss. It also retains its seeking weapon ability with the equivalent, at close range, of a full plasma-G torpedo warhead, as well as the usual plasma bolting ability. You can also use targeted damage in bolt or carronade mode. Clearly, the plasma-F torpedo is a most flexible weapon.
       The two disadvantages that the plasma-F torpedo has in comparison with the plasma-G torpedo is firstly that the plasma-F torpedo is shorter ranged than the plasma-G torpedo in both bolt and seeking modes, but I feel that the carronade function more than makes up for this. Secondly, the plasma-F torpedo has no "two-turn-plasma-F-torpedo" capability, but again, if you are in a close-range fight, you would often be better off using the carronade function for two turns rather than warming up a new plasma-G torpedo or even a "two-turn-plasma-F-torpedo." Of course, in the end, you must make this decision yourself while taking into account the overall tactical picture, but the take-home message is simply this: do not automatically disable a plasma-F torpedo in preference to a larger launcher without thinking very carefully first. You know it makes sense.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Lieutenant JG Jeff Wile, USS Minnesota

       When using mines and decoy mines [see (M0.0)] there are players who routinely set the target count [see (M2.15)] to one. This is easy, simple, and requires no record keeping. The first target to come by gets the blast.
       Consider setting the count at a higher point [up to six is allowed under (M2.15)] or you might consider a target size selection for a ship size class not present in the current battle. This mine that can never go off (which seems a waste) can create a mystery in the mind of your opponent that is tactically more powerful than a mine explosion would be.
       Here is why this matters. Normal mines (nuclear space mines or small transporter bombs or mines) are triggered by specific events such as a ship of the specified size class moving into the detection zone of the mine. Your opponent would therefore be notified both that the mine was triggered under rule (M2.40), and that there was no detonation. He will know that it is a mine, and not a decoy, and he will know that it could be either set for a delay count, or for a different size class. But in either case, he knows that this is a very real mine that can still go off. You have just proven that it's not a dummy.
       This puts your opponent into the situation of either having to sweep the mine so it poses no future danger, or he must avoid the hex and move around it, or avoid launching shuttles, fighters, fast patrol ships or drones through that hex or its adjacent hexes. This could alter his plans for the battle.
       Never reveal the secret or he will do the same to you in some future duel!
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)



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