February 2020

Star Fleet Universe News

        This month's PLAY VALUE EXTRAS include the Tholian PWL for Federation Commander and the Planet Killer for ACTASF.
        Tomorrow we will release dozens of new ships on Shapeways.
        We just released A CALL TO ARMS: STAR FLEET BOOK 2.2 in the PDF stores and the print version of the revised GURPS PRIME DIRECTIVE rulebook (now expanded to 360 pages!).
        On our BBS we are reviewing and discussing the first X-Ship miniature for Shapeways, the Federation CX. Visit the BBS and comment on the development of this new technology ship.


        Soon we will release a Federation Commander Ship Card Pack of 12 variants of the Tholian Police Destroyer and Tholian Police War destroyer. This is in response to a player request posted on Facebook.
       In December, we did release Federation Commander Booster Packs #37 and #38 each with eight "leaders" for war destroyers and war cruisers.


        There will be new Shapeways later on this week.

        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Samantha Todd, 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 Hampton Roads, headquartered in Hampton, Virginia. CO William Phillips reports they play Star Fleet Battles and Federation & Empire. They also enjoy attending gaming conventions. Read more here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_HamptonRoads.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



Sapphire Star:
      The Sapphire Star 3 tournament is still in the sign-up phase. Hurry and get your entry in; there are only two slots available.
Sign up on SFBOL here: https://www.sfbonline.com/tourn_signup.jsp


      Star Fleet Battles will be demoed at the Steam Maker Workshop gaming club in San Diego, California. They will be meeting at 4619B Mission Gorge Place from 6-9 pm on February 13, 2020. Ranger Tim Foat will be running the demo.

      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://www.thegamershaven.net/

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
Black Hole

         These are the most devastating form of terrain in ACTASF. All models (including other terrain) will be pulled towards a black hole during the Compulsory Movement Phase of every turn. The distance by which a model is moved, is dependent on its original distance from the black hole. The closer a unit is, the more it is sucked in. This is considered to be Compulsory Movement and the units heading does not change. Once a model makes contact with a black hole, it is instantly destroyed.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)

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.


      Q: Sometimes the Reference Ship Chart (on the website), the PDF version of a card, and the laminated version of a card have different point values. Which is right?
      A: If the Reference Ship Chart has a note saying "corrected" or "confirmed" or something similar, that is the correct point value. If not, then the printed and laminated card has the correct value (in which case let us know to correct the PDF copy). If the printed and PDF copies agree but the Reference Ship Chart does not (and isn't marked) then the RSC is probably a typo. Let us know to fix it.






New Releases

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released

A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Book Two
FC Booster Pack #37, SKU 4237, $9.95
FC Booster Pack #38, SKU 4238, $9.95
Alien Armada Unity Starmada, SKU 6133, $16.95
Captain's Log # 53, SKU 5753, $24.95
Captain's Log # 53 SSDs, SKU 5753-2, $3.50
Captain's Log # 53 Supplements, SKU 5753-3, $1.00
F&E ISC War Chart Book, SKU 3210-4, $4.00
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

To be released in 2020
FC Federation Epack #5
GURPS Klingons Revision

Star Fleet Universe Index

To be released in 2020
Captain's Log #54
SFB Module R13
The rest of the Starmada Unity Edition
A new F&E module to be named later

       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 all of the products we have avaliable as PDF and Ebooks.

Prime Time Newsletter #1-6
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 2
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1 and 2
Gorn Master Starship Book
Nexus #12
Merchants of the Federation
Captain's Log #53 Supplemental File
Module G3
Module G3A
Nexus #11
Captain's Log #46
Captain's Log #46 Color SSDs
F&E ISC War Chart Book
Battle Damage: Code Red 
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


Prime Time Newsletter #1-4(DriveThru RPG)
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Christmas (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1  (DriveThru RPG)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 2  (DriveThru RPG)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1 and 2  (DriveThru RPG)
Gorn Master Starship Book  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #12 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Merchants of the Federation  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #53 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Module G3A  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Module G3  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #11 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #28 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
F&E ISC War Chart Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Battle Damage: Code Red (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
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)
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)

For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

 Auxiliary Control, USS Mallory
Romulan Border 7 August 2573; Eagle +5 Days

        "The three bogies are all K-hull destroyers. Sensors identify Hostile One as a leader variant and Hostile Two as a scout. Hostile Three reads as a standard K5R," Lal reported.
        "Loyal Spirit, Ranger, and Nemesis," Tarus said. "But keep them listed as unknown hostiles in the system; we don¹t want it going over the datalink to Beckett."

(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

Plasma Torpedoes
        Thomas Mathews asks: I know you have eight impulses to launch a pseudo plasma torpedo or armed plasma torpedo once the launcher is destroyed under (FP1.71). What I cannot find is how long of a delay is there between launching a real torpedo and pseudo torpedo from the same launcher.
        Wayne Douglas Power replies: Per (FP6.12), the pseudo plasma torpedo can be launched at any point in the sequence of play and under any conditions at which a real torpedo could be launched. Per (FP6.22), a pseudo plasma torpedo may not be launched on the same impulse as a real torpedo from the same launcher. So, the next impulse after (or before) launching the real torpedo, you can launch the pseudo plasma torpedo from the same launcher.

        Van Hensen asks:
Do web generators need to discharge unused energy or is it just lost?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replies: No, web casters, snares, and web generators do not "discharge energy." Any energy in them is simply lost at the end of the holding interval if not used. (In the case of a standard web generator, any energy provided to it that is not used by the end of the turn is simply lost because there is no rule saying that the energy must be discharged, but there is also no rule allowing energy allocated on one turn to be carried over to another.)

        Ron Brimeyer asks: A ship at Speed 30 hits a web at Strength 12. We agree ship has to roll for breakdown. I say the ship takes no shield damage, only losing 12 movement. The other guy says 18 damage, one point for all movement over 12. Who is correct?
        ANSWER: The ship takes no damage, per (G10.591). Basically, the damage will be the lesser of the ship's speed over 12, and the web's strength over 12. The ship's speed is 18 more than 12. The web's strength is zero more than 12. The lesser of 18 and zero is zero.

(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


        Q: Regarding the conversion of captured carriers to combat duty (302.25). I managed to lose a big carrier and we¹re not sure what to do with the situation.
        A: First you have to pay the 3EP general cost to convert a captured ship to your technology, plus the cost of repairs. If the original carrier had special fighters (e.g., Federation F-14s), these are replaced by your own standard fighters, which would lower the fighter factors of the carrier. This switchover is a "minor" conversion. The capturing player will have to provide his own fighters for the carrier (this is a new ruling which answers a unanswered question nobody asked before), paying the 2EP cost or using free fighters. Federation F-111s would be replaced by your own PFs or, if you prefer, by your own heavy fighters.
        Q: May a player decline to make a capture (305.11) die roll and pass on the chances of capturing a ship?
        Example: 30 Kzinti ships attack 12 Lyran ships on Turn X. Knowing that the hex cannot be won, the Lyran player decides he will fight one battle round as required, and then retreat.                 During combat, using legal battle lines, the Lyrans score 12 damage and the Kzintis score 24 damage. The Lyrans use directed damage to kill a Kzinti FF. The Lyran self-kills two CAs for (8+4+8+4 =) 24 damage. This way, there are no crippled ships and no pursuit battle. The Kzinti player, hoping to force a pursuit by forcing the Lyran player to accept a captured (and crippled) Kzinti FF in his forces, points out that (305.11) simply instructs the Lyran player to roll two dice and if the result is "2" then the ship is captured. If the FF is captured, then a cripple will be present and pursuit possible. The Lyran points out that all he has to do to not capture a ship is to not order Marines to try to capture it or to not try to tractor it. The Kzinti player replies that F&E is an abstraction and is unconcerned with such localized tactics, so the captured roll is required as written. He mutters "Vulcan logic" under his breath.
        A: There is no permissive language in (305.11) which states that "...one enemy ship has been captured." Fleet admirals do not have time to tell minor ship captains to not capture an enemy ship any more than a football coach can (during the middle of a play) point out to a player that intercepting that pass actually gives the team a worse field position since this is fourth down. Stuff happens in war. One of your ship captains wasn¹t thinking of the big picture.         The game designer was, however; see the Rulings section where "abandon it" is now an option.

(End of F&E Q&A)


      Dear Aunt Jean, when will the print version of the revides GURPS Prime Directive main rulebook be available?

      It should be added to the shopping cart just before Valentine's Day this year.

      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 190709 CL53 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 190309 Distribution (Adobe Acrobat Required)
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)


        Ships with less crunch power, such as the Klingon D7 and Kzinti battlecruiser, often have large numbers of transporters and Marines. When flying these ships, always use Marine raids (5F1) whenever you can. The raids can target specific boxes on the enemy¹s ship display, swinging things in your favor. The large number of transporters makes it more power-efficient for these ships than for other ships, and they have enough Marines to lose some without worrying about defending the ship from enemy counter-boarding attempts.
        Good targets depend on the tactical situation, but warp engines are almost always worth attacking, especially on smaller ships. Multi-turn-arming weapons, especially with energy already allocated to arm them, are good targets, as are drone racks.
        If flying a drone-armed ship, attacking the enemy¹s drone defensive systems (ADDs, drone racks, and phasers) can help you score more hits with your drones. Enemy tractor beams holding drones or suicide shuttles are always prime targets.
        Some ships have systems that are critical. Romulan cloaking devices should be attacked at every opportunity for example.

(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Captain Ken Burnside, USS Wisonsin

        One of the realizations that separates the excellent from the merely pretty good at Star Fleet Battles is that Star Fleet Battles is less about doing damage to your opponent than it is about collapsing their option sets.
        For example, many, many words have been written on the optimum range, angle, timing, and point in the turn to launch plasma torpedoes, or to fire shock weapons like photon torpedoes. Very little has been said about the benefits gained from maintaining the option to fire or launch them and use that potential as a deterrent to hinder what an opponent does.
        An opponent who suspects you might be able to launch 50 points of plasma (a plasma-S and a plasma-F torpedoes) will be less likely to point the front of his ship at you inside of Range 7 (where it will take a High Energy Turn to respond to the launch). An opponent who knows you have photon torpedoes ready to fire will be cautious about getting inside Range 9, and may dither rather than trying to draw the photon torpedoes out while he still has the maneuver angles to do something about it.
        Every ship with seeking weapons should see those seeking weapons not only as terrain they put on the map, or as phaser sponges, but also as a threat to launch, and that threat may be more useful than an actual launch when it comes to keeping your opponent¹s options limited.

(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

        Once the later war years come around, technologies and counter-technologies emerge at a breakneck pace as the warring powers try to eke out every bit of combat advantage that they can. No sooner did heavy fighters arrive, but PF gunboats outdid them. But PF domination was itself challenged with enriched carrier groups and enhanced drones. Then the combinations came into play with the BCS and the SCS, mixing fighters and PFs in the ultimate SFU carriers. But within no time at all the X-ships were built, shattering the hitherto almighty carriers and driving what few economic factors remained to the aging war factories into advanced technology spending.
        So potent are X-fleets that you might wonder at the wisdom of building costly DN-based space control ships. If you wish to mix PFTs with X-ships, you will probably want the maximum combat efficiency, which comes from three full PF flotillas. So why mix fighters into the equation at all? Plus, the SCS lacks the EW support of either the heavy fighter carriers or the new NCA/CW-hulled PFTs. So, if building an SCS costs you both EW and combat efficiency, why not just substitute another X-ship for your DN hulls?
        Well, besides the sheer firepower contributed by the SCS, you actually gain another advantage over the pure PFT in the new world of X-ships. X-ships auto-kill an attrition factor (to a maximum of six such factors) per round of battle, meaning that against a force of six or more X-ships, you will lose six fighters or three PFs per round just for showing up. Lost fighter factors are free to replace; PFs are not. If you deployed three PF flotillas in your battleforce against X-ships, you lose 1.5 economic points every round of battle. But the situation is even worse than this, when you evaluate your stockpile of fighter-carrying ships (carriers and FCRs) compared to your stockpile of PF-carrying ships (PFTs and PF pods for your tugs).         Even late in the war the number of PF flotillas in any given fleet is likely very small compared to the full wartime production of fighters. You need those few PF-carrying ships to send their PFs forward during multiple battle rounds. What is unacceptable for the PF player is throwing away half a flotilla every round just because the enemy deploys X-ships! Fortunately, the X-rules allow the owner of the attrition units to select which attrition units ‹ fighters or PFs ‹ he will take the auto-kill losses on. And that is why, even in the age of PFs and X-ships, you still need fighters. How many? Six, i.e., a single squadron. And how do you sneak that single squadron into every battle without wasting a command slot?
        Answer: the space control ship.

(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)