February 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)


Walter Green asks: A friend and I are doing a planet assault scenario, I am planning on taking a Free Tanker for the GCVs and Tanks and I noticed that it is not completely full. I am assuming you could put boarding parties in the cargo bays (basically use it as a GIANT shuttle) so the vehicles would not be landing on their own but I cannot find how many spaces each would take up.

ANSWER: There is no provision anywhere in the rules for placing boarding parties into cargo boxes. For a house rule, you might apply (G25.133), which would seem to imply that each crew unit takes up about 20 cargo spaces, but I would be dubious about the life support capacity of the ship.

Follow-up question: Can two docked ships also use their transporters to move items between them, e.g., use transporters to move boarding parties to the tanker and move the GCVs to the Tanker via cargo transfer?

ANSWER: Rule (C13.474) indicates that you could use transporters as well as 'normal transfers'.

Scott Tenhoff asks: Just what happens to a Ground Base once it has lost all of its Internals? Petrick said that it "just stops working". The Crew/BPs do not die, from lack of explosion. So what else? Can I enter a "dead" GB? Could I then use the power grid (passageways) to go to other GBs, and avoid the (P2.75) chart to enter those other GBs (of course taking longer to go from area-to-area)? Could a unit with Repair land and repair them for use, after the last Excess Damage is gone? Could I repair it with an enemy's ship and use it as it is "captured"?

ANSWER: Rule (R1.14A2) states that the bases do not take crew casualties, and rule (R1.14C1) says they do not explode when destroyed. There is no provision in SFB for a "destroyed" unit to be repaired, although there are scenarios where a "destroyed" unit is boarded. A "destroyed" ground base would have to be replaced. While the "destroyed" base would still be connected to the power grid, anyone trying to advance on other ground bases connected by the grid would have to do so under the terms of "passage combat" in (D16.6). Thus a maximum of ten boarding parties could make such an assault in a given turn (D16.64), the defending force's firepower is doubled (D16.631), and the attackers must inflict more damage points than they receive to break in (D16.632).

Robert Eddy asks: Can a ground base fire at a ship landed on planet in the same or adjacent hex? And vice versa?

ANSWER: Under (D15.532) a landed ship cannot be fired at if it is under assault by ground units friendly to the firing unit; obviously a ship could not fire on a base being attacked by its own ground troops. That is about as far as it goes; everything from that point would be "Vulcan logic". As a general rule, however, a ship landed in a remote area would be regarded as being below the horizon (landed behind a hill or other intervening terrain). Otherwise you get into questions about "How many of the landing parties that debarked from the ship during the turn were vaporized by the phaser-4 burst impacting the ship's shield?" We just do not want to bring the effects of ship's weapons down into the ground combat arena. So, until Starfleet Assault is published, ships can only land in the remote areas, and landed ships cannot fire on bases and bases cannot fire on landed ships.