February  2023

Star Fleet Universe News



This month's big news is the release of FEDERATION COMMANDER: GUNBOATS ATTACK, the first new product for that game system since the Flagship boosters in 2019.

Steve Petrick reports that he is doing the final annex updates for the revision to SFB MODULE R1 for release sometime soon.

Steve Cole suffered a painful knee injury which has slowed him down a bit, and Al Beddow came through his hip-replacement surgery with flying colors.


        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 400 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!


        As announced in Captain's Log #54, Jean Sexton Beddow's husband, Al Beddow has been appointed to take over the day-to-day of running the SFU Ranger demo team. He comes with a bit of experience both teaching various types of games as well as having been in quite a few demo teams (and ran/helped run a few). He is most familiar with GURPS Prime Directive but early on played ACTASF and spent Gencon 2012 demoing it in the Mongoose Publishing booth there.
        They announce: We have big changes coming to the program. A new handbook, suggestions for demoing our games, and vastly improved rewards. All we can safely say about the (already approved) rewards is they will include ALL physical products and PDFs – but nothing on shapeways.com.
        To kick all this off we are verifying everyone’s email, plus getting their handles on the Federation Commander Forum and BBS. Our official comms will be the hidden Ranger section of the Forum, which are for handling business, answering questions, providing links to resources, etc. The Facebook group will be our more public social space, but no one is required to join FB if they don’t want to. 

        So, we are asking each of you to email Al at the address below with the following:

        - Name
        - Email (preferably the one used on DTRPG/Wargame Vault)
        - Forum Handle
        - BBS Handle

        Al will add you to the Ranger group on the forum once he has this info, which will let you access our area there. He is looking forward to working with all of you to spread the news of the Star Fleet Universe!

        Current stats: We have heard from 22 of our Rangers and have three new ones! We are excited to see the Rangers becoming active as playing in person and cons once again start up.

Jean Sexton Beddow
Ranger Commandant 

Al Beddow
Sergeant-Major for Ranger Operations

Ranger Email:  adbrangerhq@gmail.com

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517647465103651/

ADB Forums: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/index.php

ADB BBS: http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/



        Jean Sexton Beddow 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 Beddow 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 produce decal sets made to fit Federation starships in ADB's Shapeways 3788, 3125, 7000 "Elite", and 2500 "Prestige" scales. A wide selection of ships are available, with sets for the CVo operational ("flatbed") carrier, CVA heavy fleet carrier, CF fast cruiser, and DDF fast destroyer recently added. The 3788 scale decals are also great to use on ADB's metal Starline 2400 ships and the 3125 scale decals can be used on ADB's metal Starline 2500 ships. Tenneshington will also continue to offer their legacy decals for Starline 2500 ships as special orders, for customers wishing to match their existing minis.

As with all of their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.

Additional decal sets are available for shuttlecraft and to sets to detail any ship with additional window blocks, sensors, hatches, and even phaser scars.

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 .





Update to Sapphire Star IX:

With Sapphire Star tournaments IX and X finished, XI is now running. The second Sapphire Crown tournament will kick off on 1 June with the four most recent winners.



        Due to the COVID-19 virus, many conventions have been cancelled. We encourage you to check out Star Fleet Battles Online where there is a free demo version. It is a good way to hang out with others who play Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander. Check it out here: https://www.sfbonline.com/index.jsp

        Star Fleet  Battles games are  played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.

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: This monthly magazine repeated much of the same information that Hailing Frequencies does. December 2019 was the last month it was published. Old issues 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!

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!

This is the 3788 Scale Lyran Java Tiger Heavy Command Cruiser (CCH) painted by Nick Samaras.

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


Federation Commander Romulan K1 gunboat

Federation Commander Federation F111 fighter

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.


Recently Released

Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022
, SKU 3211, $24.95
Cadet Training Handbook Reprint Edition
, SKU 5620, $9.95
Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations
, SKU 3216, $36.95
Starmada Battleships Armada Unity
SKU 6135, $16.95
Star Fleet Battles: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021
, SKU 5607-2, $7.95
Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021
, SKU 3207, $29.95
SFB: Module R4J –Shadow of the Eagle
, SKU 5638, $17.95
SFB: Module R4T – Tholian Will
, SKU 5637, $25.95
GURPS Romulans 2021 SKU 8404, $24.95
GURPS Klingons 2020 SKU 8403, $24.95
SKU M30002, $29.95
Tholian Master Starship Book
SKU 5437, $24.95
SFB: Module J – Fighters! 2020
, SKU 5604, $19.95
Distant Armada Unity
, SKU 6134, $16.95
Gorn Master Starship Book
SKU 5436 $23.95
Captain's Log # 54
, SKU 5754, $24.95
Captain's Log # 54 SSDs, SKU 5754-2, $3.50
Captain's Log # 54 Supplement, SKU 5754-S, $4.00

       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.



Federation Commander: Gunboats Attack
Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022 Rulebook

Federation & Empire: Advanced Operations 2022 Rulebook
Captain's Log #51

Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #51 Color SSDs
F&E Romulan Civil War Playtest Counters

Captain's Log #50

Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #50 Color SSDs
Captain's Log #34

Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations Rulebook

SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5

Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021 Rulebook

Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021 Rulebook

Captain's Log #33

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook 

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle  - Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs 
GURPS Romulans Revised

Captain's Log #32

Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs
Captain's Log #31

Captain's Log #49

Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White)

SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color)


Federation Commander: Gunboats Attack (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Strategic Operations 2022 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Advanced Operations 2022 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #51 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
F&E Romulan Civil War Playtest Counters ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #50 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #34  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #33  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Romulans Revised (DriveThru RPG)
Captain's Log #32  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #31  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

For the Glory of the Empire


Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

         Alex Lyons asks: Within the rules for the Juggernaut missile dreadnought it specifically discusses what happens when controlling multiple Shriek missiles. Normally I would not give a second thought to it or care, however, while looking over the Shriek missile rules (SL246.462), I see Shriek missiles are self-guiding. If Shriek missiles are self-guiding, why would the Juggernaut missile dreadnought have to worry about control channels?
         ANSWER: There are advantages to maintaining control over a seeking weapon even if it is capable of self-guidance, such as the ability of a ship-guided seeking weapon to benefit from the guiding ship's ECCM.

         Eric Phillips asks: I find this rule to be vague: "(M2.21) IMMOVABLE OBJECT: ... Mines cannot be placed in orbit (P8.472)..." What does this mean? Orbits can be at different levels, so does this mean you cannot place them near planets, or can you if it does not move because it is not "in orbit?"
         ANSWER: I sent this to Kommodore Ketrick who replied: While in reality any mine is by definition moving in an orbit because the whole galaxy is moving, for purposes of any given scenario or campaign, once a mine is laid in a given hex its location hex does not change until it is destroyed. So if your orbiting ship or base lays a mine (whether by transporter or rolling it out the hatch), whether the hex you laid it in is adjacent to the planet or not, it will not move from that hex. Note: Black hole gravity forms an exception to the immovability of mines, i.e., lay a mine near a black hole and the black hole's gravity will pull the mine in.

         Scott Tenhoff asks: If I apply partial-X refits to a Romulan SparrowHawk-J (most notably upgrading the plasma-S torpedoes to plasma-M torpedoes), what is the modifier when I roll for shock?
         ANSWER: There is no rule specifying increased shock in this case (maybe there should be), so shock rolls are the same as for the unmodified SparrowHawk-J.

         Garth L. Getgen asks: I was reading rule (S8.0) on limitations of fleet composition. I recall seeing a rule someplace that requires one to have "x" amount of size-class-4 ships per "y" number of size class 3 or larger, but it is not in (S8.0). Am I simply mistaken about remembering that rule?
         ANSWER: There is no rule preventing you from having a fleet composed entirely of size-class-3 ships. There is a rule like that for size-class-2 ships, and various restrictions on certain classes of ships, but no requirement to have size-class-4 ships in your fleet. Others have noted that Module C5 has requirements for size-class-4 units, and that you cannot take a multi-ship force made up entirely of size-class-3 units. See (MS1.22). This is of course limited to the empires of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, not a general requirement. You might perhaps be confused by an F&E rule (Battle Groups) which allows you to replace two size-class-3 ships with three size-class-4 ships, assuming certain other conditions are also met.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)



         Q: The Lyrans have two admirals in a single forward-deployed fleet. During the Retrograde Phase the Lyran player attempts to use a frigate to transfer one of those admirals to a battlecruiser in a rear-deployed reserve fleet. The Kzinti player has objected to this maneuver on the basis of the admiral transfer restrictions under (316.14) which says that the admiral has to be on a command ship. The Lyran player argues that since (316.22) Admiral Effectiveness is not in use, those restrictions do not apply. What do we do? And just what does the note about "not needed" really mean?
          A: First, it's not a problem to put the admiral on a frigate (or an APT for that matter) to move him from one fleet to another during a single phase. He's back on a ship with a Command Rating of eight before anything happens that would matter. No harm, no foul, no problem.
         The "not needed" note means that you don't have to bother with fussy rules about what ship the admiral is on if you aren't using (316.22), and here's why. When using admiral effectiveness, you will eventually get a dud -1 admiral, and a devious player might want to put him on a small, insignificant ship and send him to some out-of-the-way corner of the empire to inventory asteroids. Rule (316.14) requires him to be on a Command Rating 8 ship, so if you do send Admiral Dunderhead on sabbatical, he takes an important ship with him. Without admiral effectiveness (316.22), an admiral is just a ticket to add a ship to the battle force beyond the command limit, and you can assign him to a Free Trader if you want (although that will get him killed and limit the size of his fleet, so nobody would actually assign him to anything other than a real command ship).

         Q: Ok, so we're now allowed to move admirals between fleets using a non-qualified command ship (as long as that ship has a first-class chef in the dining room). That brings up questions. Am I limited to doing this only in cases where the admiral can reach his new flagship in a single movement?
         A: Yes. His new flagship must be within the movement capability of the ship you are using to transport him.

         Q: Do I have to have a route that is absolutely safe from enemy intervention by Reaction Movement?
          A: Not really, but you probably don't want to take that risk except in the case of Admiral Dunderhead and his die-roll penalty. Even then, the enemy may decide that assassinating him is a bad war plan. (For historical reference, consider the case of Brigadier General Gideon Pillow. This Confederate leader was such an idiot that Union troops reputedly had standing orders to let him go if he were ever captured.)

         Q: What happens if the enemy intercepts the admiral's barge and he's in combat on a non-qualifying ship?
          A: Then he has no effect on the battle, but can suffer the consequences of his ship being destroyed. Assuming he survives, you must get him to a qualified command ship as soon as possible within the rules and transfer him to that ship.
(End of F&E Q&A)

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)

FC Tactic of the MonthVOLLEY FOR SERVE
by Lieutenant Commander Ben Moldovan, USS Ohio

          If you haven't read the rulebook, or just skimmed it, there's one important section you may not have paid much attention to, which has huge implications. That is section (3A4) volleys, specifically, point (2), which states that each ship, firing direct-fire weapons at a given target, is resolved as a separate volley.
         What does this mean to you? It means two things.
         First of all, you can reinforce shields up to the capacity of your batteries, for each volley. So that Klingon C8 over yonder that you thought could only put up eight points of reinforcement? Wrong. If you're firing weapons from four Kzinti ships against the Klingon C8, for example, he can put as many as 32 points of reinforcement on that shield! (Depending on which ships' weapons hit, and for how much.) If you didn't know that, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
         And secondly, it might be tempting to roll all weapons together to save time, and lump all internal damage together. However, doing this is against rule (3D2), and robs you of an important advantage. Some of the worst hits your opponent can take are the first three damage points of damage charts #1 and #6. If you roll each volley separately, you'll likely have more die rolls, roll more ones and sixes, and your opponent would lose more power systems and weapons.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
Captain Steven P. Petrick, USS Texas

         The third paragraph of (S4.0) says: "At all levels of a ship's weapons status, the owning player may elect to have some or all of his weapons armed to a lower status for tactical reasons." Obviously this is useful for plasma empires as it allows them to have torpedoes on "rolling delay" (FP1.221) even if they are entering the map at weapon status-III. It has other uses however, and a good commander should keep these uses in mind.
         A Federation ship with its photon torpedoes should consider the tactical situation. Perhaps movement is more important than actually having a given photon torpedo armed. A destroyer with four photons might opt to not have one or two armed, giving him as much as four extra hexes of movement. This allows him to surprise an enemy by getting closer in total movement, or maintaining that higher speed for a few extra critical impulses.
         Sure, you could have just discharged the torpedoes during Energy Allocation by not allocating the holding energy (E1.244), but that would telegraph the message that you are "up to something" as the enemy will see the discharge (E1.241). Sometimes you may want the enemy to see you discharge the weapon to make him wonder what you are up to, but not having ever armed the weapon can confuse his tracking of your ship's energy.
         This also applies to hellbores and other weapons. While a hellbore cannot be held, if it is armed at the start of the scenario and you do not continue the arming in Energy Allocation, it is discharged and the enemy can see this flare. Better to choose to never have armed it prior to Energy Allocation on Turn #1.
          It should be obvious that this does not really provide any benefit to phasers, maulers, disruptors, or fusion beams, although in the case of the latter two systems, announcing a discharge during Energy Allocation will doubtless baffle your opponent, it is more likely just a waste of energy.
         Remember that this is something that might gain you a tactical advantage, but it depends on whether the use of this tactic can gain you an edge over an unsuspecting opponent.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month


         Yes, high-risk survey is worth the risk, according to my analysis. The benefits over time include receiving instant economic points (five of them if you roll a 1), instant colonies (one EP per turn thereafter, if you roll a 2), an individual survey point (if you roll 3-5), and the cost of repairing crippled survey ships (1.5-2 points depending on empire). High risk survey will at least break even relative to riskless survey duty and will likely do better. However, if you generate even one free colony by the sixth turn of high-risk survey (relatively likely), you will actually do much better in the long run than riskless survey. Additionally, high-risk survey is more likely to generate additional EPs more quickly as you "discover" more and more off-map provinces. The Romulans may not want to use this method because they cannot build a base offmap to repair a crippled survey ship, and a crippled survey ship would effectively lose a turn of surveying.
         So . . . get out there and take a risk!
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month



         Do you hate it when the Klingons flank your clumsy Federation cruisers, only to hit you from the side where your photons cannot bear? Then it might be time to play games with the Klingon player's head.
         Keep some small ships, preferably three battle frigates or war destroyers, to the rear and one side of your cruiser line. Normally you would move your small ships first, saving your cruisers until they can line up a photon target. Instead try moving a cruiser or two into an exposed position for the Klingon to flank them. Make sure the ships you sent use the Boost Energy to Shields! special action.
         It is possible the Klingons will sense a trap, and move more small ships first to force you to commit your small ships before moving his cruisers. In this case you have a choice. You can have your small ships stay together, use the Overload! special action, and move them closer to the cruiser line but stagger their fore arcs (say 12 o'clock, 10 o'clock, and 9 o'clock). If the Klingon tries to flank anyway, he takes some overloaded photons or he stays out of the small ships' forward arcs. This is called "area denial." Or you might send your small ships off to the side in a J-turn hoping to get behind some unsuspecting Klingon, but this is somewhat risky, as he may just turn and beat up your small ships instead of the cruisers.
If the Klingon is unwary, he may take the bait and try to flank your cruisers at close range. If he is within 12" of your small ships, use the Overload! special action, move up on his flank, and let him have it. Three battle frigates/war destroyers with overloads can kill a typical Klingon cruiser or can easily cripple a heavy battlecruiser.
         Sometimes the threat of overloaded photons can encourage the Klingon to change his movement plans to avoid an obvious trap. Or you can set up a trap and plan to take advantage of him seeing it and reacting to it. At the least it has him reacting to your moves, which is never a bad thing.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)