December 2010

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the release of Captains Log #42 and Alien Armada.

WEBSITE: Our combined and reorganized 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 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 pop some popcorn and join us at the movies! Our newest uploads are:

Module Y3 and YG3 video release
Prime Directive Product Line

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

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

A 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, fiction, 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

    The hellbore is an unusual weapon for two reasons. The first reason is its well-known ability to reach around and do the most damage to an enemy ship's weakest shield. It's also unusual in that it uses two dice when rolling to hit instead of just one as most direct-fire weapons do. The upshot of this is that any time direct-fire weapons are affected by a change in the chance to hit their target, hellbores are less affected than other heavy weapons. A change of one point in a to-hit roll modifies the probability that your typical direct-fire weapon will hit by roughly 16%. That same one point change has a lesser effect on a hellbore due to the fact that it rolls two dice (and due to the two dice the exact percentage varies).
    Most modifiers are either things that the player can't control (such as Orion Stealth), or things that make it impossible for one of the players to fire back (such as Evasive Maneuvers), but similar results can be achieved by carefully adjusting the range brackets that the hellbore is fired at. For instance, at Range 3 a disruptor hits on a 1-4 (67%) and a hellbore hits on a 2-9 (83%). At Range 2 a disruptor hits on a 1-5 (83%) and a hellbore hits on a 2-10 (92%). Changing the range from two hexes to three hexes causes the equivalent of a +1 die roll shift, which hurts the disruptor player more than the hellbore player as the disruptor is 16% more likely to miss, while the hellbore is only 9% more likely to miss. The disruptor is affected almost twice as much as the hellbore is by a shift in the range of just one hex. Similar results can also be achieved through the careful use of asteroid hexes.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

    One nasty surprise Hydran fusion-hybrid ships can pull on their opponents is a basic function of their design. If you examine the Ranger, you will note that the ship is practically capable of absorbing the full alpha strike of a Federation heavy cruiser on its #1 shield and not lose any of its fighters or all of its tractor beams. This gives you a very powerful tool to use against an unsuspecting opponent.
     A key element is that you must maneuver to attack your opponent before Impulse #24. You want him to feel pressured to take his best shot while there are still nine impulses (#24 through #32) remaining in the turn.
     You keep your fighters snugged safely in your hangar bays, and do not arm the ship's fusion beams. The power you save by not arming the ship's fusions you put into a tractor.
(SFB Tactic of the Month Continues Here)

F&E Strategy of the Month

     Romulans should strongly consider building up their survey ships to the maximum of six. Some players believe that doing so is of limited value, as the Romulans enter the war late, and cannot even begin surveying in the off-map area until Coalition Turn #13 or so (taking into account that the on-map provinces must be surveyed first). Also, the Romulans could not build a base off map [they can in F&E 2010 , which limits their ability to move ships into and out of the off-map area. Thus, while they do benefit from survey, the total number of survey points and subsequent Economic Points is limited relative to returns by maximizing survey for empires that enter the war early.
     However, the Romulans will need all the Economic Points they can get as the war drags on, and the Romulans are in a unique position to maximize their survey capabilities relatively cheaply.
(F&E Strategy of the Month continues 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!

Wolverine Fed Fast Cruiser by Jeremy Gray

Wolverine Fast Cruiser

Wolverine Fast Cruiser top

New Releases

Communique #60 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Captain's Log #42, SKU 5742, $19.95
Alien Armada, SKU 6103, $16.95

Captains Log 42 iogfbAlien Armada

Federation Ship Card Pack
Frax Ship Card Pack #3
Gorn Ship Card Pack #1
Klingon Ship Card Pack #1
Kzinti Ship Card Pack #1
FC Omega Playtest Rulebook
FC Reference Rulebook
F&E Compendium
F&E 2010 Rulebook

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 seems that winter has hit with a vengeance. But we have ways to keep you warm (no, not by heating rocks with your phaser!) Hot chocolate and tea never tasted better than when served in one of these mugs. We have to agree that Xander's art is HOT!

Warm the cockles of the heart of your special someone with a teddy bear. It's guaranteed to make a Vulcan smile (on the inside, of course). This 11-inch bear will keep young Federation beings safe from things that go bump in the night.
teddy bear

Keep your favorite young SFU fan warm with a hoodie. Check out the colorful Federation Heavy Cruiser.

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 below 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
Part seven of Ten

    "The log has been wiped clean," the technician said. "The computers were hit with an EMP grenade and then slagged with phasers and disruptors."
    "Phasers and disruptors?" Korack asked. "Now, that is interesting. Pull everything you can and pack it for transport. How many bodies did you find?"
     "Fourteen so far," said the leading petty officer. "We did a quick search for anything alive, or anything set to explode. I disarmed a bomb set to detonate ten minutes after detecting a transporter trace, and scans say there aren't any more of those. It was a pretty clever bomb, a binary unit so we couldn't detect explosives because they hadn't been mixed yet."
     "So that's what the locals are using," Korack said. "Get a full report back to the ship and have the XO send it to the Police Commandant for immediate retransmission to all other police units. We've got a lot to do, so have the XO send over the third crime scene team. When the outside team gets done, have them check the ruptured compartments and then come in through the airlock. Get busy people. We're not leaving here until we have found everything we can find."
     "Attention all hands, this is the Captain," Wallek said over the intercom. "I have just received orders. This ship goes to the front for duty with the fleet in twenty days. That is all."
   (Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

    Loren Knight asks: Rule (D1.53) states "A friendly scatter-pack shuttle which is fired upon (by friendly fire) but is not destroyed loses tracking and goes inert . . ."
     What if friendly fire misses (i.e., scores no damage)? Rule (D1.53) seems to imply the act of firing upon it does the job, damage or not.
     ANSWER: Rule (D1.53) refers you to (FD7.47), which explicitly states that the scatter-pack goes inert, whether damage was scored or not. Just targeting it does the trick at the instant a weapon is fired.

     Les LeBlanc asks: If a shuttle or fighter is in an enemy shuttle bay and fires its weapons, does it have to roll for damage, or does it just assume the best roll? After all how can it miss?
     ANSWER: Rule (G7.81), and particularly (G7.8121) and (G7.813), cover this situation. All weapons automatically hit, and "range of effects" weapons do not roll to see how much damage they do, but score the highest damage on the chart.

     Jerome-Alexandre Leduc asks: I am not sure I understand the rule on dropping warp booster packs properly. What situation would make you drop them instead of just turning them off? Is the rule there in case you already turned them on during the turn and you want to avoid the extra damage later on or is there some other point I am missing?
     ANSWER: Most of the time, you would simply turn them off, but if the situation warrants such an action [dogfighting (J7.13), gaining an extra "off" (J5.14), etc.] you can drop them. There really are not very many cases where you would not simply turn them off, but they do exist. For example, you had them off at the start of the turn and turn them on during the turn. Later in the turn you suddenly realize that you are vulnerable to enemy fire, so rather than taking double damage you drop them.
     Follow-up Question: Also, let's say a fighter is going to Speed 25 with warp booster packs on and then turns them off (or drops them). What will be the new speed, 12 or 13?
     ANSWER: Rules (C12.342) and (J5.21) do not allow you to move at Speed 25 since both state that they double your current speed, and there is no way to move Speed 12.5. You could double your speed to 26 and then go erratic (C12.342), but unless you dropped the Erratic Maneuvers you would drop to Speed 12 when you turned off the boosters.
     Follow-up Question: Rule (C12.342) states that WBPs can be turned on and off during a turn. However, rule (J5.14) says that WBP can be turned on (or off) once during the turn in addition to any change made during EA. So is it once during EA + one change (on or off) during the turn (two changes total), or is it once during EA and then you can again turn them on and off (or vice versa) which would make 3 changes total?
     ANSWER: If you are using Mid-Turn Speed changes, rules (C12.342) and (J5.14) allow you to either turn an inactive warp pack on, or turn an active one off, in mid-turn. The rule does not allow you to do both during a turn. You only get a single mid-turn switch (on or off, not both).
(End of Ask Growler)


     Q: The charts in PRIME DIRECTIVE cover travel at warp 4.5 and higher, but what if I am traveling at Warp 1, or Warp 2?

     A: Well, if you're going that slow, you are sightseeing, not traveling! Seriously, at Warp 1 it would take you several  years to get from one star to another (four years from Earth to Alpha Centauri). Speeds up to Warp 3.2 are tactical combat speeds, and you'll never get anywhere (and nobody would bother going if they were going that slowly). At Warp 3.2, you'd need months to reach another star. At Warp 3.5, you'd be going 68 parsecs a month (a little over 2 parsecs per day) and you might get there (but pack a lot of food and reading material).

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


    Q: F&E2K lists plain SparrowHawks as standard escorts in some carrier groups. Do I pay the 1 EP to convert them into escorts? Are they marked or treated some special way?
     A: It depends. In the "basic game" they are simply escorts while with the carrier at no cost. If you are using Fighter Operations and Flexible Carrier Groups (515.0), then they are ad hoc escorts and will have to do until the SparrowHawk-M becomes available in Y175. Since F&E 2010 was published, the whole issue will be moot.
     Q: The Lyran CV is noted as a heavy carrier in the SIT; if the Hydrans capture a Lyran CV does it count as heavy carrier or is this true only for the Lyran player?
     A: I  had to go to G.O.D on this one. It's a doctrine thing. The Lyrans only had two of those and they wanted to protect them really well, so they assigned them the escorts of a heavy carrier. Somebody else who captures a Lyran CV would not be under that restriction. If the Lyrans sold a Lyran CV to the Klingons, the Klingons would be under that restriction because the sales contract would require this (and we cannot allow that kind of cheesy bending of the rules). To be consistent, this would apply to the special empire restrictions of any such ship, i.e., an ally who buys (or re-captures) a Lyran CV must obey the restrictions, but an enemy who captures a Lyran CV puts it under their own restrictions. If the Lyrans captured and used a Kzinti CVS, they would treat it as a heavy carrier for purposes of its escort group.
     Q: Is there a list of which escorts (heavy, medium, light) can be used by which carriers (heavy, medium, light, escort, aux, etc.)?
     A: Yes and no, depending on what you are asking. Rule (512.2) provides how many of each category of escort are required and allowed for each kind of carrier. However, specific hull types (e.g., an FFE vs a DWE) within a category are not restricted.
(End of F&E Q&A)


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 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 100921 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100830 PD20M Feds (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100719 Fall Schedule(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100719 Minis
(Adobe Reader Required)


Our Drone and Plasma Torpedo miniatures remain very popular.