February 2010
Download Transmissions

The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, fiction, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Commander's Circle.

We continue to improve the Commander's Circle. (Please make note that it is now at a different location.) We have now uploaded all of the ships and scenarios as separate documents (the ships are organized by empire) so you can quickly see what is available. New FC Scenario Database and Master Ship Chart documents have been uploaded. Check it out!

Important Info

The rates that UPS charges us to send your order to you have climbed steadily, going up several times a year. We haven't gone up on our shipping rates for several years, but the most recent increase has pushed things beyond the breaking point. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, UPS shipping will now be a flat fee of $8. Even that doesn't cover what UPS charges us, which is a minimum of $8.50 and up to $12 for a small package to your home. Post office shipping charges (including interntional shipments) will continue to be the actual cost we pay. Note that unlike most companies, we don't even try to make money on "shipping and handling" charges and do not even recover the cost of the boxes (which can easily be a dollar per order or more).

Star Fleet Universe News

The big news this month was the snow storm that shut down ADB and most of Amarillo in the last week of January. We have recovered from this, and are moving forward to the first major releases of the year (on 22 February) including Federation & Empire 2010.

Eric and Jean have continued to get the Facebook page to where it should be, adding many new photos and other features. Eric and Mike Sparks have released another video on our YouTube page. Speaking of Eric, he will be leaving ADB, Inc., in a few days. This is not something that either ADB, Inc., or Eric wanted; his family decided to move to Austin and Eric must go with them. He's working hard to get as much done as possible before he goes, such as releasing this newsletter two days early. Eric and ADB, Inc., remain on the best of terms and Eric will continue to do his job by telecommuting until we can find a proper replacement. We wish him well.

Our combined and reorganized website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions.

We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? Then WE NEED YOU! To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see the Federation Commander Ambassadors category on the Federation Commander Forum.

Have you missed an earlier Newsletter? Click here to get caught up!

FC Forum Recent Posts

The Federation Commander Site and Forum continue to grow as more gamers find it. We have added a new section to the Forum called Web Requests. If you have any comments, questions, or requests for our Graphics Director, this is the place to let him know.

We have added a new Star Fleet Battles section to the Forum to discus everything SFB. For new players, the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage whereas the Legacy Discus BBS can be a bit overwhelming.  Come see what the commotion is about and join the Federation Commander Forum now!

Don't forget our original (Discus-based) BBS where most product development takes place!

FC Tactic of the Month
Thoughts on the Hydran Hack-And-Slash

One of the limitations of the Hydran hellbore cannon is that it's hard to get the primary damage element to hit the same shield as your ship's phasers when overrunning the enemy. Unless you're facing his one weakest shield, the enemy will choose a different shield to take the primary hellbore damage, spreading your damage over multiple shields and preventing you from doing significant internal damage. This is a real nuisance in a typical heavy-cruiser duel when flying a hellbore-armed ship without Stingers. The usual method of getting around this is to damage the shield on one impulse with phasers, then fire the hellbores on a later impulse. However, this gives the target time to use Evasive Maneuvers, try to get out of the arc of your weapons, or even disable your hellbores with weapons fire or hit-and-run raids.

One solution is to declare directed targeting with the phasers. Hellbores cannot use directed targeting, and so are resolved as a separate volley. Since you choose which order the volleys are resolved in, you can resolve the phasers first ("dinging" the shield to make it the weakest) and then the hellbores.

The limitations on this are that the hellbores cannot be overloaded, because this prevents directed targeting from being used, and it also gives the target multiple opportunities to reinforce the facing shield.

This tactic is probably most useful for the Hydran command ships, which have fusion beams as well as hellbores; these ships have the close range firepower to knock down a shield without overloading.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

Café Press
Cafe Press Café Press is an online marketplace that allows the Star Fleet Universe to produce unique products such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more with the Star Fleet logos, cover art, and other artwork used for our products. We have added tons of new shirts, mugs, and other products. Want something you don’t see? Please contact Eric Olivarez (Graphics Director) with your request. Visit our Star Fleet Café Press Store for a complete listing of the products available.

SFB Tactic of the Month

If you are attacked by drone bombardment near a planet (and you cannot just allow the drones to hit the planet and devastate it for some reason) you can still use the planet to assist your defenses.

1.) Maneuver in such a way that the drones must enter the atmosphere to close with you (this takes lots of skill with speed changes and timing). You have to be sure to maneuver such that self-guided seeking weapons never accept the planet as a target. Using this tactic, you can buzz by, take your range one shot without fear (even from high-speed drones) and pull a bunch of drones into one hex for easier disposal at a later time (via T-bombs) more efficiently.

2.) Alternately, you can grab a drone with a tractor and shove it into the atmosphere. The atmosphere breaks the tractor, but by then the drone will be under the "in atmosphere restrictions."
(Continue reading here)

F&E Strategy of the Month

When faced with an SAF (special attack force) attacking their starbase, most defenders use directed damage against it to disrupt its attack. Often, this is tactically correct, but there are some situations in which it makes sense to ignore the SAF. Disrupting an SAF costs twelve damage points and the defender's directed damage attack for that round. The benefit from disruption is simple-the special attack force will do two fewer Starbase Interim Damage Steps than if it were not disrupted. Determining whether disrupting the special attack force is a good move requires a cost/benefit analysis, which will change based on the exact situation.

There are essentially two ways to destroy a defended starbase. If the starbase is well defended, attackers may use direct damage to score Starbase Interim Damage Steps steps. Special attack forces are most often used in this form of attack. In this situation, disrupting the special attack force is essential. The extra two Starbase Interim Damage Steps steps would cost 36 damage points (or 18 mauler damage points). Furthermore, they save the attacker two rounds of fighting the extra combat potential of the starbase.
(Continue reading here)

Mini of the Month
Every month we will feature one of our miniatures that has been painted by a fan. If you paint miniatures, submit pictures of your minis and they may be selected for the next Mini of the Month!

ISC Heavy Cruisers by Tom McThorn

New Releases

Communique #50 has been posted to the Commander's Circle.

Squadron Box #25, SKU 4325, $34, 95
Squadron Box #26, SKU 4326, $34.95
Captain's Log #40, SKU 5740, $19.95
Captain's Log #40 Supplemental File, SKU 5740S, $5.00
Border Box #9, SKU 4409, $99.95
Klingon F5W, SKU 0397, $19.95 (pack of 3)
Prime Directive PD20M Klingons, SKU 8723, $24.95

Federation & Empire 2010, SKU 5006, $69.95
Booster Pack #92, SKU 4292, $9.95
ISC Battleship, miniature, SKU 1344, $11.95
Andromedan Terminator, SKU 1006, $5.95
Federation DDG & DDL Destroyers, SKU 0228, $14.95
Federation Scout & DDF Destroyer, SKU 0227, $14.95
Juggernaut, miniature, SKU 0080, $29.95
Starmada Rules Annex, SKU 6125, $12.95

Romulan Armada, SKU 6102, $16.95

Prime Directive Federation (GURPS, d20M)
Federation Commander Briefing #3, SKU 4023, $TBA
Federation Admiral, data to be determined
Hydran Pegasus, miniature, 0912, $TBA
Squadron Box #27, SKU 4327, $34.95
Romulans PD20M, SKU 8734, $24.95

Klingon B9 Fast Battleship miniature, SKU 0385, $TBA

Captain's Log #41, SKU 5741, $19.95

Federation Commander: WAR & PEACE, SKU 4108, $TBA
Squadron Boxes #28, #29, #30, SKU 4328, 4329, 4330, $34.95 each
Booster Packs #28, #29, #30, SKU 4228, 4229, 4230, $9.95 each
Border Box #10, SKU 4410, $99.95
SFB Module R12 Unique Ships, SKU 5633, $TBA

SFB Module C3A Andromedan Threat File, SKU TBA, $TBA
Borders of Madness #1
FC Booster Pack #93, #94, #95
Captain's Log #42, SKU 5742, $19.95
Communique #49-#60, free downloads on website
Battlestations Star Fleet
Star Fleet Assault, Fall release

Star Fleet Fiction
Shield of the Federation
by Randy O. Green
Part Three of six

"Distance to enemy light cruiser, one hundred and fifty thousand araterreks, Major-Commander," Antonius Terralis twisted around to face his sensor operator, Pente-Centurion Rinaldo Vesperus. The Romulan was a fine junior officer, but he was not a member of a major house. Therefore, it might be years before he was sent to a command school and promoted to Tribune. He nodded for the young officer to continue.

"Speed, warp two point seven. They are still too far away for name discrimination sir. However, our intelligence sources indicate that the U.S.S. Groton might be in position to respond to our incursion, Major-Commander. The same sources report that she has just received the latest refit. A Cygnan named Jankae is the name of the Captain of record," Vesperus sneered. "A Cygnan will be no match for us, Major-Commander. They are used to fighting the drones of the Klingons and Kzintis. He will not be able to deal with the speed and power of our plasma torpedoes."

"Pente-Centurion, I did not ask for a tactics dissertation." He saw the centurion stiffen in anger. "No matter if it is a Cygnan we face or not, Star Fleet training is quite thorough. You would do well not to underestimate your enemy." No matter if Vesperus was a fine young officer or not, he could not be allowed to think that he knew more about the art of war than a Housed noble. He turned away from the now-silent Centurion.

"Major-Centurion Damone, is the heavy torpedo armed as we have practiced?"

"Yes Major-Commander. It is just finishing up its arming cycle. Warhead strength is doubling now."

Antonius Terralis nodded in satisfaction. In the simulators, he had learned to use the maneuverability of the Sparrowhawk, and the power of enveloping torpedoes to wear down opposing starships. It was very different from the style of combat he preferred, he reflected, where the sheer damage of the War Eagle's heavy torpedo made this tiresome dance unnecessary.

"Launch the torpedo as soon as it is fully armed." He didn't have long to wait. A few seconds later the plasma torpedo burst out of its launcher and began racing toward its impending appointment with the Federation ship.

"Ante-Centurion Vettia, bring us to heading 210, inclination 4. Keep our speed at warp three." He paused for a second as the helmsman completed his commands, before he issued his next set. "Continue to cycle warp power through the batteries and at no time allow the Federation ship to close to within eighty thousand araterreks." He had no desire to be on the receiving end of an alpha strike consisting of four overloaded photons. He had made that mistake one time too many. "Damone, as we turn across their front, fire the heavy phasers before the right side mount goes out of arc."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler
Electronic Warfare

Roch Chartrand asks: Does a multi-role shuttle benefit from the electronic warfare it is lending to the ship it is supporting?

Answer: No, sorry, see (J8.412).

Tos Crawford asks: A ship on passive fire control cannot use ECCM (D6.622). If a ship filled out its Energy Allocation Form to pay for active fire control, but started the turn on passive fire control, and powered ECCM in Energy Allocation, would the ECCM be null during the passive period and become fully in effect once the switch to active completes?

Fire Control: 1
2.00 Start turn on passive
2.00 EW = 0/0
2.15 Announce Active Fire Control
2.19 Fire Control becomes Active
2.19 EW = 0/6
Is this the correct interpretation?

Answer: Yes, the ECCM would be unavailable while on passive, but would become effective when your fire control becomes fully active. Your opponent would not be able to detect it until you activated your fire control (D6.32). Note that your opponent cannot detect the ECCM until you activate your fire control, but he will detect the ECCM from that point although you will not benefit from it until your fire control becomes fully active. Further, if your fire control had been off for 32 impulses, the passive fire control ECM bonus is also lost on the impulse you activate your fire control (D19.34).
(Continue reading here)


Question: The Federation is at limited war. As such, some Federation ships can freely move through the Kzinti-Federation Neutral Zone, but the Klingon ships can't enter the Neutral Zone without a declaration of war.
Can Klingon units block Strategic Movement through neutral zone hexes that they're not allowed to even enter due to their "peace" status with the Federation?

Answer: Blocking Strategic Movement into a hex shows some influence of your ships on the adjacent hex per (204.0). Such influence is not allowed per (503.6). So, no, the Klingon units cannot block Strategic Movement through the Kzinti-Federation neutral zones before war is fully declared.

Question: Can the Tholian Border Squadron raid the Tholians on Turn #1 prior to their strategic redeployment to the Kzinti border on Turn #2?

Answer: No. There may be a lot of combat by that squadron but this is not reflected in F&E, just as no end of peacetime skirmishes in the neutral zones are not. Moreover, "raids" are a very specific thing which is not allowed by the existing rules keeping the Klingons out of Tholian territory before Turn #7. (Continue reading here)


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 100121 February Releases (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91229 New Year (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91221 Christmas (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91215 Schedule (Adobe Acrobat Required)


Juggy horde!!!

new mini