February 2018

Star Fleet Universe News

BIG NEWS: ADB Releases Ships for February!

        On February 1, 2018, Amarillo Design Bureau completed its ninth wave of ships (73 in all, for over 500 available ships) in its shop on Shapeways.
        The Federation gains its Federation Fleet Tug with no pods and a second one with a Starliner pod. Especially exciting are the release of more Franz Joseph designs. There are the Franz Joseph Tug with no pods and another with the Starliner pod, designed to move people across space. The Franz Joseph Federation heavy cruiser is available, based on drawings done for TV (but not pursued due to costs). The Franz Joseph version features a slightly larger, much curvier rear hull and different warp engine spacing and height. These are the official Franz Joseph designs offered by ADB, Inc. under its contract with Franz Joseph Designs. (We plan to release all of the Franz Joseph Federation ships over time. There are more tugs with varying numbers of pods and there will be other pod types.)
        The line of "Fed Classic" ships was started in response to requests for smooth saucers. It gets the Federation Fleet Tug with no pods and one with a Starliner pod.
        The Klingons aren't neglected. They get their D5S Scout Cruiser and D5SK Refitted Scout Cruiser.
        The Romulans add the Condor+ dreadnought, FireHawk-K Heavy Cruiser, and FireHawk-K+ Heavy Cruiser. The "+" indicates it is a late-war design in the style of the Starline 2500 Romulan ships. They also get their StarHawk gunboats, Cohort-2 bombers, and Cohort-4 heavy bombers.
        The Juggernaut fleet was built in another galaxy and sent to check us out. The Juggernaut Beta Dreadnought should prove an interesting challenge for the Milky Way residents.
        The Tholians add their Police Destroyer.
        The Seltorians get their mighty Hive Ship.
        The Kzintis get their Police Corvette and Drone Cruiser.
        The Lyrans and their wayward county of the Lyran Democratic Republic get their Cougar Carrier Tug, Cougar Battle Tug, Yaguarundi Light Carrier, and Siberian Tiger Carrier. They also get two sprues of pallets. One is of a pair of cargo pallets. The Combat Pallet Collection includes one battle pallet and one carrier pallet.
        The Gorns get more fighters with their G-20 "Reptile," G-8 "Lizard," G-30 "Wyvern," Shenyang G-7, G-12 "Chimera," and G-10 "Dragon" fighters.
        The Frax get their mighty battleship.
        Empires from the Omega Octant continue to have new additions. The Medium Cruiser is the latest addition to Probr fleet. The Drex get their Dreadnought. The Trobrin get their White Diamond Bolt Cruiser. The Maesron add a Frignaut. A Short Carrier (and two different sprues of fighters) joins the Koligahr fleet. The Alunda get their Tracker.
        Finally, we added a sprue of "specialty" shuttles. That includes a Ground Assault Shuttle, a Space Warning and Control Shuttle, a Scatter-Pack, two kinds of Multi-Role Shuttles, and a Wild Weasel.

        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, 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 StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new site is http://federationcommander.blogspot.com
        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:http://www.starfleetgames.com/starlist.shtml.
         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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/index.shtml
         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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml  

         This month we feature Battle Group Bureau 51 located in Las Vegas, Nevada. CO Van A. Henson reports that this group is active, playing many of the SFU games. Check them out here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_bureau51.shtml

         Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml

         Do you want to see if there's a battle group near you? Check out the map here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/gather.shtml#US

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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml
        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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517647465103651/
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 www.tenneshington.com. Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: will@tenneshington.com or Tony L. Thomas at: scoutdad@tenneshington.com.

        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: JupiterIvdecals.com


       Our seventh Internet SFB International Championship Tournament is underway. This is a single-elimination tournament using a standard tree. All but one of the first-round games are completed. Four second-round games have been finished.
       Fleet Captain Bill Schoeller (winner of the 2016 tournament) is the judge for this tournament. As we did in Platinum Hat 2016, Tournament Marshal Steven P. Petrick will also "ride herd" on the tournament to ensure that games are played on schedule and the event does not drag. There will, inevitably, be some delays near the end when re-entries have to "catch up" to the initial entries. A firm hand on the helm will ensure that these are as minor as possible. People who do not get their next game completed in a set number of days will be disqualified and the player they beat (or a wildcard selected by the judges) replaces them. Deadlines may be adjusted by the Judge or Marshal to allow for a player's serious real life unexpected problem or issue.
       Rated Ace Tournament 47 is in the final round. Lee P. Graves flying an Archeo-Tholian cruiser will face Clayton Krueger flying a Gorn cruiser. Bill Schoeller is the judge.

       SFBOL World League 2017 is over with Orion Oldies in Bikinis winning. Members are Ken Lin, Majead Farsi, and Jarod Ikeda. Peter Bakija ran this team tournament, where three-player teams play tournament games against other teams (the games are standard, one on one tournament duels, but your team gets points for advancing based on how the whole team does).


       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: http://www.meetup.com/Star-Fleet-Battles-Indy/.

       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 http://store.thegamershaven.net/

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

         In a battle hex where you have some slow units and have to retreat, you are going to be stuck leaving some rich targets for your enemy to destroy in a slow-unit battle. Rule (304.41) allows your opponent to pick both his and your Battle Intensity Ratings allowing him to dial in on what it will take to damage your slow units efficiently with minimal damage to his pursuing units.
         The solution is to dispatch, as escorts to the slow units, a frigate or two that can stop this from happening and also soak up some of the damage that your valuable slow units would be taking instead.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month


         At first glance, plasma bolts seem like a very weak option for plasma-armed ships. The maximum range is shorter (10"), damage is halved, and on top of that you must roll to hit. Statistically, your torpedoes will do around one-quarter or less of the damage they might if launched (and they hit).
         There are two advantages to plasma bolts, however. Bolts cannot be intercepted by defensive fire, and may bypass shields (by rolling a "six"). If your target still has enough unfired phasers to stop your plasma volley, or is protected by other ships using their weaponry in defense of the target, then bolting your plasma torpedoes may be a better option.
         Developer's Note: This note was edited to reflect revised rules.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)

Facebook Highlight of the Month

Work in progress.

Mini of the Month
         Every month we will feature one or more of our miniatures. If you paint miniatures, submit pictures of your minis and they may be selected for the next Mini of the Month!

Kent Ing painted this 3125 Scale Lyran Jaguar War Cruiser (Frosted Ultra Detail material).

Help us pick the mini of the month on our page on Facebook. The mini with the most likes and shares will become the mini of the month. Vote for the ones you like!

New Releases

Communique #146 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
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
Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement
Stock #8725 $10.95
Class-II Large Freighter
Stock #0132 $8.95
Class-III Jumbo Freighter
Stock #0133 $12.95
Class-IV Heavy Freighter
Stock #0134 $17.95
One-Pod Belly Pack Stock #0135 $4.00
Two-Pod Belly Pack Stock #0136 $9.00
Auxiliary Weapons Bars (pair)
Stock #0131 $2.50
Romulan Master Starship Book Stock #5435 $27.95

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: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amarillo-design-bureau-inc?sort=newest

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

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)
Lyran Democratic Republic Master Starship Book

Vintage Play Aid Dungeon Tiles
Lyran Master Starship Book

Prime Directive PD20 Modern Core Rulebook

Federation PD20 Modern
Klingons PD20 Modern
Romulans PD20 Modern
FC: Romulan Ship Card Pack #4
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines Rulebook
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines SSD Book (Color)
FC: North Polar Ship Card Pack
Captain's Log #43
Captain's Log #43 Color SSDs

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)
Lyran Democratic Republic Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Vintage Play Aid Dungeon Tiles (DriveThru RPG)
Lyran Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #26  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: Romulan Ship Card Pack #4 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines SSD Book (B/W)  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module M -- Star Fleet Marines SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Stellar Shadow Journal #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: North Polar Ship Card Pack (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #43  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #43 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #43 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)


For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, CC Kongo, between K4 and K5
        Red alert!" Commodore Kosnett ordered. "Shields up, overload photons. Arm a suicide shuttle!"
        A chorus of voices on the bridge responded to his commands.
        "Target is a Klingon D7, headed straight for us, range 700,000 kilometers," Commander S'train reported.
        "I have two more ships on scans," science officer Novean reported. "Both are cruisers, but they read light, maybe new D5s. They're together on our port quarter, range 1.2 million kilometers. Headed this way at full speed."
        "I am going to take out this D7, and then see where we are," Commodore Kosnett said. "Any word from other ships?"
        "An entire fleet hit K4," Lieutenant Hantke, the communications officer said. "K5 is also under bombardment. Hornet and Agincourt both report being approached by squadrons of Klingons. K6 may have already fallen. It reported heavy attacks and then went off the air. Maybe they're just being jammed, but they'd have gotten some word out by tight beam."
        "Target is at 400,000 kilometers," Commander S'train reported, her husky voice using her usual clipped tones.
        "Take me straight down her throat," Commodore Kosnett ordered. "I don't plan to turn; I'm going to run right over him. All weapons lock on target. Get a drone out, and how are we coming on that suicide shuttle? I want to launch it when we fire."
        "The sssuicide ssshuttle will be on ssstandby," Engineer Lieutenant S'hacker reported.
        "Watch this," Commodore Kosnett told the Gorn exchange officer. "I'm going to show you how we do things in Star Fleet."

(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
Carrier Operations

        Marc Elwinger asks: Can Lyran carriers with mech-links start a scenario with fighters held on the mech-links (assuming Weapon Status-III) the way carriers with balconies can start with fighters on the balcony?
        ANSWER: No under (K2.25). There is no enabling rule for anyone to do this except for fighter-conveyor fast patrol ships and fighter-conveyor interceptors.

        Francois Lemay asks: It is Y185, and I have a B11S. This ship has 12 Z-YC fighters. These fighters each have four type-I rails and two special rails. What exactly are these special rails?
        ANSWER: Fighters generally have four types of drone rails.
        Almost all (but not all, only almost all) drone-armed fighters have some "small" rails (J4.232). These can only hold type-VI dogfight drones. These are designated in Annex #4 as the number of type-VI drones the fighter can carry in a normal loading; thus an F-15 shows 4xVI in Annex #4 for four light rails.
        Most drone rails on fighters (some fighters have small rails only) are "standard" rails (J4.231). These can hold type-I drone frames and can never have multi-warhead drone modules. They can also carry a type-VI drone in place of the type-I drone, or a Œfighter pod' in place of the type-I drone frame. These are designated in Annex #4 as the number of type-I drones the fighter can carry in addition to any type-VI drones, thus an F-4 can carry 2xtype-VI and 2xtype-I and shows 2xVI, 2xI in Annex #4.
        Some fighters have "special" rails (J4.233). These can carry type-III drone frames (but not type-IIIXX), or type-I frames, or type-VI. In addition drones on these rails, whether type-III or type-I might be fitted with multi-warhead modules (or other modules restricted to "special rails," see individual drone module descriptions). These are designated in Annex #4 as the number of Œtype-III' (being phased out) or "special" drones the fighter can carry in addition to any type-VI drones and type-I drones, thus an F-18B can carry 2xtype-VI, 2xtype-I, and 2xspecial, and shows 2xVI, 2xI, 2xspecial in Annex #4.
        Some fighters are able to pair some rails to carry heavy drones. These are usually marked with a double arrow in Annex #4. The F-15D for example has 6xtype-I with the double arrow, this allows it to pair some drone rails to carry a type-IV drone in place of two of the type-I drones. Some fighters have this double arrow on their Œspecial' rails such as the Federation A-20, which means that the heavy drone could also be a multi-warhead (or other drone module restricted to special rails) drone.

        Follow-up question: The B11S also has four type-B drone racks. I paid six BPV per rack (24 BPV total) to upgrade all the drones to Speed 32. The B11S also has 1,000 drones in storage. How much do I pay to upgrade all these to Speed 32?
         ANSWER: You pay the upgrade cost for the drones mounted on all of the fighters, all of the fast patrol ships, and all of the racks on the ship itself. After that all of the drones in storage are upgraded for "free" as part of the cost of the ship.

        Follow-up question: Do I need to pay to upgrade the drones on the Z-YCs to Speed 32, or can I draw them out of storage before the battle? The B11S also has eight fast patrol ships. I built a G1BL, G1S, and six G1Bs. Do I pay the cost of four BPV per rack to upgrade their drones to Speed 32?
        ANSWER: As I said above you pay for one loadout of the fighters and fast patrol ships (speed, frames, and warheads). Using type-I drones for this comes to 48 BPV for the fighters, 24 BPV for the B11 and 32 BPV for the G1s (adding 104 BPV to the cost of the force). All the reload drones (952 fighter, 48 rack, 150 fast patrol ships) would be paid for. As per (K2.113) the B11S is a space control ship and has the specified drone storage of (K2.65), in this case 1,000 drone spaces. This rule provides that this stockpile does not include the reloads of the ship's drone racks. Per (FD2.45) you will figure out one complete loading of the 12 fighters and the six fast patrol ships on the ship. Note that under (K0.33) the extra two fast patrol ships are not part of the flotilla in that they cannot be lent electronic warfare by the scout, and if one of them were a scout, it could not lend electronic warfare to the flotilla or to the B11S. Further, the two added fast patrol ships should only be there if they are added for a "special mission" (K2.13). Special mission is, however, a very nebulous term and you might in this case claim that the two fast patrol ships carried in the internal bays were being carried forward to bring some other flotilla back to an operational capability.
The availability of special drones for a ship of this type (space control ship) will vary depending on the drone capabilities of the attrition units. A normal G1 flotilla has 44 drone rack spaces, but a flotilla of G1P (phaser) fast patrol ships would have only four drone rack spaces in the flotilla (i.e., the scout would still have its drone rack). While a flotilla of G1D (drone) fast patrol ships would have 94 drone rack spaces. A G1B flotilla has only 24 spaces. Note in all four cases the flotilla's G1S has only four drone rack spaces. Depending on the type of fighter carried (and assuming a standard as opposed to electronic warfare variant as the 12th fighter), and assuming no type-VI drones replace any of the type-I or type-III drones, there may be as few as 24 drone spaces (Z-1, Z-2, Z-V, etc.) to as many as 72 drone spaces (e.g., Z-YC or Z-YD). Note this does not include any mega-packs.
        So assuming a standard flotilla of G1Bs, and that the two added "special mission" fast patrol ship were also standard G1Bs, and the fighter squadron was 12 Z-YCs, there are a total of 104 drone spaces in the attrition units.
        Under (FD2.45) you treat the fighter squadron as a "ship" in and of its own right to figure out the special drones. Under (FD10.6) the space control ship is allowed a total of 50% special drone spaces for its fighter ready racks, of which 30% can be restricted availability (or the whole 50% can be of this category) and 20% can be limited. So we will assume (for purposes of this discussion) that the B11S commander selected 14 multi-warhead drones (his allowed 20% limited availability) and equipped 22 drones with automatic terminal guidance his 30% restricted availability. But note that as automatic terminal guidance is a "frame addition" he could change out some of the explosive modules on these drones for internal armor or other restricted warheads, or even also add it (automatic terminal guidance) to the limited availability drones. The remaining 36 drones are all general availability, but of course even these could be modified with general availability modifications (like extended range, which being general availability could also be applied to the restricted and limited availability drones).
The fast patrol ships are another matter.
        Under (K1.524) each fast patrol ship is a ship in its own right and must purchase its own drones. This puts limits on what they can buy, but as they are operating from a space control ship with a squadron of fighters, they do benefit from the space control ship's drone percentages. Thus each G1B or G1S has only one drone rack with four drone spaces and could have two special drones. As 20% of four is 0.8, this rounds up to one space of limited availability under (FD10.461). The other special drone if taken must be a restricted availability drone. Of course both spaces could be restricted availability, or all four could be general availability, or any legal combination. This would also apply to the two "special mission" fast patrol ships.
        So, at this juncture you have 108 spaces of drones that is the "initial loading." While the fast patrol ships' drone racks are always assumed to be loaded (unless special scenario rules say otherwise) no matter what the weapon's status of the space control ship is [Surprise (D18.0) would be an exception], this is not true of the fighters. The scenario might begin with most of the fighters having no drones loaded (WS-0) and their ready racks loaded. Even so, this "initial loading" is deducted from the total drone stockpile, i.e., this 108 spaces of drones leaves 892 drones in the space control ship's stockpile. The stockpile drones all come at no cost, but are identical to this initial loading (FD2.45). So for each drone already loaded into a fast patrol ship drone rack or a fighter launch rail or ready rack, there are eight drones in the stockpile. These are nominally identical, but the rules (FD10.641) allow you to place cheaper or more available drones in the stockpile if you wish (but you get no rebate on what you spent for the initial loading if you choose to do so).
Subtracting the initial loading (108 spaces) and the eight nominally identical reloads (864 spaces) from 1,000 drone spaces leaves 28. These leftover spaces must be proportionally divided between the various types, e.g., half of them (14 spaces) are general availability and the other half would be proportionally equal to the special drones on the fighters and fast patrol ships.
        As to the final question on the total cost to upgrade drone speeds, that is only answerable in the abstract because of decisions you might make. If all 108 drones are simply type-I or type-III non-multi-warhead drones, then the cost to upgrade all of these drones to fast speed is just 108 BPV. If all of the ship's drone racks were also loaded only with type-I or type-III frames, it would add just 24 BPV for a combined cost of 132 BPV, and all drones on the ship and its attrition units would be fast (as well as all of the stored drones).
        However, there are at least two caveats.
        First, are all of the drones type-I or type-III drone frames? Upgrading a type-IV drone frame to fast speed costs the same as upgrading a type-I or type-III drone frame to fast speed. If all of the drones in the B11S's drone racks were type-IV drone frames (which are generally available), then the cost to upgrade all of the drones in the B11S's drone racks to fast speed would only be 12 BPV. Also, all of the fast patrol ships might have two type-IV drone frames instead of four type-I or type-III drone frames, meaning they could all be upgraded to fast speed for only 16 BPV. Your fighter squadron might be Z-YDs, each carrying two type-IV drones and two type-I drones and thus only requiring 48 BPV to upgrade the whole squadron to fast speed. This gives a total of only 76 BPV to upgrade all of the drones to fast speed. And of course you could replace all of the fighters' anti-ship drones with type-VI drones, which would take only 36 BPV to increase to fast speed (and thus only 64 BPV total for all the drones to be fast).
        The second caveat is multi-warhead drones. Upgrading a type-IIIMW drone to fast speed has two parts: the bus and the submunitions. See rule (FD8.4). As I cannot know how many multi-warhead drones you have (they are limited to a maximum of 20% of your warheads), I cannot tell you what the real cost will be. I can say again that once you have paid the cost of the "initial loading" the reloads are upgraded automatically at no added cost.
        As to drawing drones from your stockpiles and loading them before the battle, no, this is flatly illegal baring a special scenario rule (FD2.451). That means that unless you and your opponent are playing a published scenario that specifically allows that, you have to sit down and convince him to allow you to do this before the game play begins. Once you start playing, you are free to pull drones out of your various reload stockpiles and load them on whatever drone launch platforms you wish. You just need to keep records of what drones were moved where and launched by what. But a drone in the fighter and fast patrol ship stockpile can be launched by the ship's drone racks, and a drone that starts on a ship's drone rack could be unloaded and moved to the fighter bay and loaded onto a fighter's drone rail and launched by that fighter. Assuming the fighter is eligible to launch that drone at all (cannot put a multi-warhead drone on a type-I drone rail and launch it). And, yes, drones purchased for the fighters or the drone racks could wind up being used by the fast patrol ships.
        Now, note that there is a partial exception to the use of reload drones at the start of a scenario, and that is that you can use reload drones to arm up to two scatter-pack shuttles (depending on your weapon status). Note that as scatter-pack drones come from the reload stockpiles (FD7.212) there is no cost associated with them for speed upgrades or any warhead or frame modifications. However, some drone frames (e.g., type-III) and warheads (e.g., multi-warheads) cannot be launched by scatter-packs, see (FD7.12).

(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


       Q: Can an escort (515.15) that was in a battle hex, but not assigned to a carrier, be assigned to a carrier in a later battle hex during the same player-turn?
       A: Escort determination is done, according to (515.14), at the start of the Combat Step for the battle hex in question. So, you can only assign escorts then.

       Q: Hospital Unit Combat Support (451.32): When during the Sequence of Play does a hospital unit attempt to restore killed or wounded personnel?
       A: This has not been formalized on the SoP until now. Hospital units may attempt to restore casualties during Phases 3A-5A and 5-6X4; change to read:
       3A-5A: Determine if any eligible raid casualties' ships can enter repair depot system (424.32). Hospital units may attempt to restore raid casualties (451.32).
       5-6X4: Conduct ground assaults (521.3); determine fate of Prime Teams used in ground assault (522.4) - Mission 2. Hospital units may attempt to restore battle round casualties (451.32).

       Q: When there are cripples and slow units (302.742), there can be a pursuit battle and a slow unit battle. Rule (302.742A) is explicit that plus/minus points are divided between these two combats as the pursuer sees fit; this supports the idea that this is all one battle round fought in two parts. Do the attacker and defender pick one BIR for both parts? Is there one variable BIR roll for both parts? Is there one damage roll per player for both parts?
       A: According to rule (105.0) SoP, 5-8C: Conduct pursuit battle (repeating Phase 5, Step 3 through Step 6). Then in 5-8D: Conduct Slow Unit pursuit battle (repeating Phase 5, Step 3 through Step 6). Each battle of this round is handled separately but the pursuer must split plus/minus points before fighting the pursuit battle.

       Q: Can the defender use a base's EW in the approach battle (302.2)?
       A: No, per (302.22), this is not allowed. But, an EWN (537.35) would apply if available.

       Q: Allied Retreat Priority Question (302.76): Assume there are three Coalition ships in a hex. One is Klingon, one is Lyran, and one is Romulan. They are attacked by a superior force. The Coalition selects the Lyran ship as the flagship and excludes the Klingon and Romulan ships from the battle. The Lyran ship is destroyed. The other two Coalition ships retreat. Whose retreat priority do the ships follow? The Lyran flagship was destroyed and isn't retreating, but it was the last flagship selected. Can the retreating Klingon and Romulan retreat using the Lyran flagship's priorities?
       A: Rule (302.76) specifically says to use the retreat priorities of the empire which provided the flagship of the last battle force and as such and does not say anything about the flagship's survival. Therefore, in this case, if the Coalition players want to retreat together under (302.76) then they use the prior-round flagship's priorities even if the flagship was destroyed in that round. Otherwise, the surviving forces can utilize (302.761) and retreat separately.
       Since F&E is a grand strategy game, it is difficult to know what happens at a tactical or operational level as it may been established as part of the battle plan that the flagship made arrangements and/or determinations with its supply grid as to what actions were to be followed in the event of a group retreat. The F&E rules in this case are an abstraction of those actions.
(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean, Can you give us some specifics on what you've enhanced for the ISC? Last month you did the the Veltressai; would you do the Q'Naabians this month?

       A:   First, we fixed the information that directly contradicted the earlier source material. Q'Naabians associate with other crew members just fine, requiring chlorine (not nitrogen/ammonia). Their role as historians is clarified and there are some ideas for disadvantages that would be culturally appropriate.

Send questions to Jean at marketing@StarFleetGames.com 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 Marketing@StarFleetGames.com 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
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Alert 160518 Captain's Log #51 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160317 For the Glory
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Alert 150331 Captain's Log #50
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Alert 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49
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FC Tactic of the MonthIN PRAISE OF DRONES

       The greatest strength of drones is their power-to-damage ratio. For zero power, you get 12 points of warhead. No other weapon can hope to match that. While it may be discouraging that those 12 points are by no means guaranteed (particularly when you consider that phasers will always do damage up close), drones have much, much longer ranges.
       Drones are such a good deal that the enemy cannot afford to let them hit. He must stop them, which means using weapons against the drone and not your ship.
       Drones are also exceptional at controlling space and, more importantly, power. Outside of dedicated defenses (ADDs, phaser-3s, and counter-drones), each drone will require one point of power to stop. That is a two-point power gap: the point you did not spend, and the one your opponent did, and maybe another point to tractor it when the phaser misses and another point for a second phaser shot later.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Commander Michael Grafton, USS South Carolina

       A duel with a Vudar ship often comes down to a head-to-head game of "chicken" as each seeks to make the closest range shot before the Vudar ship toggles its ion pulse generator into jamming mode. Each "Fire Decision Step" is fraught with tension. Even the tactics guide in SFB Module F2 stresses the importance of the Range 4-5 versus the Range 3-4 break on disruptors.
       The Vudar have another option that will leave their opponent enraged, at least the first time they use it. That is to toggle on the ion pulse generator jamming before and during the "ion overrun." This tactic is perhaps best used as a rare surprise rather than a routine plan as a prepared opponent will take advantage of its weaknesses.
       The reasons this can be effective are:
       1. The ion cannon uses two dice to resolve hits (as opposed to the single die used for fusion beams, photons, and disruptors) and thus is comparatively unaffected by ECM. Since the ion cannon is an "every other turn" weapon, you can maximize your ECCM to counter some of the natural ECM you are generating. Note that the hellbore is also "two-dice" weapon.
       2. The Vudar can tailor the power used in multiple ion pulse generators to make the closest range shots deal with the highest levels of natural ECM. Sequentially released ion pulse generators may ensure the jamming lasts long enough to get out of the closest range.
       There are problems with this tactic:
       1. An opponent may choose to lose the heavy weapons fire exchange in return for delivering a few heavy drones the Vudar will be challenged to deal with if all of their ion pulse generators are in jamming mode. Hydrans, if they can be sure all the ion pulse generators are jamming mode, will gleefully send in their Stingers for Range Zero close combat maneuvers fusion beam and phaser-G strikes.
        2. An opponent may choose to hold his fire, turn (or execute a high energy turn) to bring his heavy weapons to bear on the passing Vudar ship, and blow its doors off when the jamming stops. Nobody loves a radioactive gekko, or so it seems.
       3. Carefully consider the relative damage done to see if this might not be the best idea. There are opponents that will not lose as much of their damage potential dealing with ECM as you. Your mileage may vary.
       Additional points to consider:
       1. The Vudar must be able to break contact before the jamming protection ends; thus a "counter high energy turn" should be either allocated or available on battery if possible. This is less important if the other ship(s) are at speeds where they are unable to execute a high energy turn.
       2. This tactic is much more effective at high speeds as the closing ships pass through the danger zones faster thus maximizing the utility of the ion pulse generator jamming.
       3. If your Vudar ship is worried about being hit by drones, it might be wise to consider having a suicide shuttle or two prepared. Even a minimum strength suicide shuttle will kill a drone.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)