January 2015

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: The Year 2015

        THE BIG NEWS this month is the announcement of the plan for 2015. As with 2014, this is a list of things we plan to do and the order in which we plan to do them, not a specific schedule of which month they will appear. As before, there are several separate lists, not a single unified one.
        CAPTAIN'S LOG: We will do Captain's Log #50 next, probably releasing it in late January or early February, depending on how long it takes Steve Cole to create the fiction that none of our writers sent in. Captain's Log #51 will appear sometime in the summer and Captain's Log #52 sometime next winter.
        COMMUNIQUE this year will include a new ship each month that was requested by players.
        STARLINE will see three new 2500s (Klingon SD7, Kzinti NCA, Orion DN) followed by the contents of Master Mold Three, expected to include the jumbo freighter, heavy freighter, and two 2450s. We still plan to get the gunboats done as 2425s.
        MAIN LIST-Steve Cole: He will finish up ACTASF-1.2-Deluxe and Captain's Log #50, then move into the F&E products using the new print run of counters: Minor Empires, the revised Fighter Operations, the reprinted bases sheet (to get the boxed game back into stores), and a revised sheet for Advanced Operations. We expect he will work on Captain's Log #51 after that, then proceed with the Federation Admiral Campaign Manual, Federation Commander Fighters Attack, and finally Captain's Log #52. (Note that due to the unscheduled print run of single-sided counters, Fighters Attack might appear in 2016.)
        MAIN LIST-Steven P. Petrick will work on Captain's Log, push forward on the Klingon Master Starship Book (released sometime in the summer, perhaps) and will concurrently begin work on SFB Module X2 which will take many months to complete (and might not see print this year).
        MAIN LIST-Jean Sexton will convert our paperback book FOR THE GLORY OF THE EMPIRE for sale on Kindle. (If it sells well, we will create more books.) She will manage the creation of the four Mongoose-Travellers books by Mike West.
        MAIN LIST-Others: Tony L. Thomas will finish ACTASF-1.2, supervise the creation of the ship roster cards, and create ACTASF-2.1. Daniel Kast will complete work on both versions of Starmada: Rumors of War (War & Peace and Reinforcements Attack). Gary Carney is working on some more FC playtest packs and will prepare a short print run of actual Omega cards.


        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Pike, 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. One of our newest pages is for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.


        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 both "Show in News Feed" and "Get Notifications" are checked.

        ADB has recently started 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 first goal is to get 100 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

        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.

        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!
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 are now placing 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, and Issue #11 are already there and further issues are being prepared for upload.

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


       The big news here is that Rated Ace Tournament #44 is moving along smartly. A quarter of the first round games have already been played. Paul Scott is the judge.

       The Platinum Hat 2014 is well underway. Most of the third-round games are complete. Stephen McCann is the judge.

       NetKill Patrol's fourth quarter will be determined as Brendan Lally and Chris Proper meet on January 10. Joshua Driscol came in third. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible


      Harlan Haskell reports that the January 1st game of Star Fleet Battles had several players show up. Much fun was had by all. 

       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 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/gamers_haven.php

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

       Destroying valuable enemy ships, such as tugs carrying pods or specialty cruisers or most scouts, can be made difficult when your opponent takes measures to protect them. However, the drone-using empires (Klingon, Federation, Kzinti) are well-positioned to have a decent chance of selectively destroying one of these units each turn. The key is to recognize from the Sequence of Play that espionage and sabotage prime team missions take place before drone raids. If you succeed on a "cripple a ship" sabotage mission with a prime team against a unit with a crippled defense factor of four, then a subsequent eight-point drone raid will automatically destroy the newly crippled unit.
      The base chance of success is 27.8% versus a size-class-3 unit, or 41.7% against a size-class-4 unit, or 16.7% against a size-class-2 unit. You may make one attempt per enemy empire per turn; so if the Coalition is at war with the Feds, Kzintis, and Hydrans, then the Lyrans and Klingons combined can use three of their four espionage and sabotage attacks to make one attempt against each enemy. If you make three such attacks, your odds of one of them succeeding are fairly good (roughly 45%). Then send two drone ships on a drone raid to kill the one you succeeded against; if you are lucky enough to succeed against two or all three, then be thankful and pick the best target to kill.
The downside to this strategy is that it costs you two economic points per espionage and sabotage mission, which is quite expensive, plus the drone raids' 0.8 economic points. Three such attacks per turn is a whopping six economic points per turn, and roughly an average of 12.8 economic points per success (assuming you only do a drone raid when you succeed). Bear in mind that you will also have a steady drain on prime teams as some of them will die.
        However, roughly every other turn you will be killing a unit such as a battle tug, a carrier tug, a drone cruiser, a cruiser scout, or some other key unit. Most of these units will cost 12 economic points or more to replace, and more importantly you will be limiting their numbers. Better yet, there is very little defense against these attacks because the enemy will not have enough defensive prime teams to protect all such valuable units. Of course, the enemy may concentrate his units in zones surrounded by picket ships that will prevent the drone raid, but the enemy is unlikely to concentrate all such units in such a "picket park."
       Overall, the investment is likely to pay off in the long run. While any drone-using empire can use this tactic, the Klingons are well suited early in the game to take advantage as they have a budget large enough to support it. However, they may very well be on the receiving end from the Federation later in the game.
       This strategy can be used against dreadnoughts or units with a crippled defensive value of five or six; however, your odds of success are much lower. For one, the espionage and sabotage mission is much less likely to succeed; and even a 12-point drone raid has only an 84% chance of success. However, if the destruction of such a unit would be particularly valuable on a given turn, it might be worth the attempt.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month


       The new 1.2C rules provide that drones  stay on the map for two turns if they have a valid target that they cannot reach on the first turn. This can be particularly useful when you are trying to conduct some kind of maneuver and don't want the enemy in your way. This might be a retreat, or it might be an attempt to get around the enemy and seize key terrain such as a planet. You have your ships launch their drones at enemy ships more than 12 inches away, and those become "swarms" which can attack enemy ships that move within range on their next turn. By having your ships add their drones to swarms already started by other ships, you can in effect create a few artificial ships which are between you and the enemy. If the enemy is closer than 24 inches, you will want to "short-fly" the first-turn of drone movement to keep the drones more than 12 inches from the enemy, but still in a position to keep the enemy out of an area you want to deny him. (The reason for this is that since the drones already moved on this turn, they cannot attack enemy ships on this turn. So if the enemy is 20 inches away and you move your drones their full 12 inches, the enemy ships that have yet to move are now eight inches beyond your drone swarms and they will simply use their 12 inch movement to run past your swarms. The next turn, your drone swarms will be chasing the enemy toward you, which is not what you wanted to accomplish. Worse, they won't be able to catch any ship that moves far enough away from them swarms.)
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)



        Throughout the month our graphics director places on the website various cards called Demotivationals. These are like postcards with an image and a phrase that is often used for humor. Here are the newest demotivationals since our last newsletter:

Gorns Keep Calm



Hydran Keep Calm

To see our previous Demotivationals click here.


Mini of the Month
        Every month we will feature one or more 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!


Klingon squadron painted by Mike Raper.

Andromedan ship painted by Mike Raper

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 #109 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Hydran Master Starship Book Stock #5439 $19.95
Captain's Log #49 Stock #5749 $24.95
Captain's Log #49 SSDs Stock #5749-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #49 Supplemental File Stock #5749-S $1.00
SFB: Federation Master Starship Book
Stock #5432 $24.95
FC: Omega Playtest Rulebook Stock #4809 $6.95
FC Lesser Magellanic Cloud Playtest Pack Stock #4825 $6.95
Fed Com Tactics Manual
, SKU 4009, $24.95
Away Team Log Stock #8010 $24.95
Captain's Log #48
Stock #5748 $24.95
Captain's Log #48 Supplemental File Stock #5748-S $1.00

To be released in 2015

Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
A new Starmada book for both editions.
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Tholian PC, DD, CA, TK5, DN; Klingon B10; Orion BR, DW, BC, BCH, DN.
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
F&E Fighter Operations update 2014, SKU 3203
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Captain's Log #50, SKU 5740

ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their Warehouse 23. We chose Warehouse 23 because they have a philosophy that agrees with ours -- our customers are honest and honorable and wouldn't aid people who want to steal our products. Furthermore, we know from experience how devastating a computer crash can be and want our customers to know that they don't have to worry about the loss of their e-products bought through Warehouse 23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFs for sale on Warehouse 23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.

RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23 (e23 been joined with and is now known as Warehouse 23.)

SFB Module R4 SSD Book (B/W)
SFB Module R4 SSD Book (Color)
JagdPanther #11
Hydran Master Starship Book
Star Fleet: Galactic Conquest (Fifth Edition)
Federation Commander: Briefing #1
JagdPanther #10
Captain's Log #37
Captain's Log #37 Color SSDs
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (B/W)
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (Color)
JagdPanther #9
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (B/W)
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (Color)

SFB Module R4 SSD Book (B/W) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB Module R4 SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB Omega Master Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #9 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
JagdPanther #11 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Briefing #2 Ship Pack A (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Briefing #2 Rules & Scenario Pack G (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Book One Revision Two(DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Hydran Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #8 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Galactic Conquest - Fifth Edition (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Briefing #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
JagdPanther #10(DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #37 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, GVX U.S.S. Field Marshall Colin Powell

        Captain Win Folomar relaxed in his command chair, observing his Bridge crew work with quiet competence. Absently, he drained the first cup of coffee of the shift, the taste of the arabica bean blend that he preferred lingering in his mouth. As far as he was concerned, coffee was the best thing that humans had to offer the rest of the civilized species in the United Federation of Planets. He placed the empty cup carefully on the arm of the chair and turned his attention to the ship status display reports manifested on the PADD in his lap. He knew that the cup would be miraculously replaced with a fresh, full, steaming cup as soon as he appeared sufficiently engrossed in the daily business of running the ship.
        But it was not to be. It was the third "morning" of their survey of the Cotton Candy nebula and the wondrous views that played across the ship's main view screen kept drawing his attention away from the PADD. The hazy image displayed on the screen was backlit by dozens of stars buried within the nebula. The ship's slow movement as it surveyed the nebula brought new waves and shapes of ionized gas into view every few seconds. Classified as an emission nebula, this H-II region of space was over 200 light-years across. Scientific curiosity aside, the nebula was one of the prettiest areas of space the crew of the U.S.S Field Marshall Colin Powell had ever had the pleasure to survey. He could understand why the humans that discovered it had named the nebula after one of the confectionery treats sold at their country-fair reenactments.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

        Francois Lemay asks: A Lyran CL is in hex 1414 heading B, a badly beaten up Lyran CA is in hex 1514 heading B, and a badly beaten up Lyran DW is in hex 1412 heading C. A Kzinti drone cruiser is in hex 1415 heading E at Speed 16. (It beat up on the Lyran CA with six heavy drones earlier in the turn.)
       During Impulse Activity for Impulse #13 of Turn #2, the light cruiser tractors the heavy cruiser and war destroyer, so the light cruiser's pseudo speed is 4, the heavy cruiser's pseudo speed is 7, and the war destroyer's pseudo speed is Zero. Two ESGs at radius two, strength five, from the light cruiser, are now active. The war destroyer is outside of the spheres. The drone cruiser launches a shuttle in hex 1415 heading E.
        On Impulse #14, Speed 7 and 16 move. The heavy cruiser sideslips to hex 1513 heading B, bringing the light cruiser to hex 1413 heading B and the war destroyer to hex 1411 heading C, with the expanding spheres hitting the drone cruiser and the shuttle.
        Do we pause further movement of the drone cruiser and apply the expanding sphere generator's damage to the drone cruiser's #6 shield after the shuttle takes its share of damage here or continue with movement before applying expanding sphere generator damage? If we continue with movement, the Kzinti drone cruiser sideslips to hex 1315 heading E.
        ANSWER: When the light cruiser moves, you note that a collision with the expanding spheres has occurred and, per (G23.5131), the expanding spheres will hit the #6 shield of the drone cruiser. They will also hit the shuttle. We will assume the war destroyer wishes to treat this situation under (G23.5732), and not take any damage from the expanding spheres. Once movement is complete, you apply damage. The shuttle (assuming it is a standard admin shuttle) will take six points of damage, and the drone cruiser will take the remaining 28 points of damage. Note that had the drone cruiser moved straight ahead to 1316 while heading E, it would have passed completely through the expanding spheres, giving it a higher damage priority under (G23.52). This would have resulted in 34 points of damage to the drone cruiser (still on its #6 shield), and none to the shuttle, assuming the drone cruiser can take that much damage without being destroyed.
        Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1414 heading A, does it take any damage and to which shield, if so? I am thinking no damage is applied.
        ANSWER: You are correct, no impact occurs, by (G23.572). (The Kzinti admin shuttle, of course, will be hit.)
        Follow-up question: What if the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1516 heading C? Is it still the #6 shield taking all 34 points of damage because of (G23.52)?
        ANSWER: Correct.

        Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser does a high energy turn to hex 1515 heading B, is it the #6 shield again because of (G23.5131)?
        ANSWER: Correct. (In this case, the shuttle will take some of the damage.)
        Follow-up question: If the drone cruiser turns to hex 1416 heading D or sideslips to hex 1416 heading E, I suspect the #6 shield will again take all 34 points of damage because of (G23.52)?
        ANSWER: Again, you are correct.
It should also be noted that it is standard practice to buy Admiral Vanaxilth a quality beverage if you are going to ask him any questions involving expanding field generator damage and tractor beams. He prefers something really, really cold, like liquid methane with a sprinkle of limestone dust.

       Brendan Lally asks: If one announces an ESG will form after a turn break (i.e., announced Impulse #29 or later), but apply zero power, is that different from canceling the announcement during Impulse Activity?
       ANSWER: As per (G23.2131), if you do not cancel the announcement during Impulse Activity, the ESG will be activated with whatever power is in the capacitor. If there is no power in the capacitor, the ESG is still treated as having been released (and will require a cooling period), although obviously the field will not form.
        Follow-up question: Does having power in the capacitor allow for power to go unapplied to the expanding sphere generator over turn break?
        ANSWER: No. Per (G23.2131), in this case the expanding sphere generator will be activated with whatever power is in the capacitor, up to five points.

        Brendan Lally asks: Can you announce an expanding sphere while under passive fire control restrictions, assuming of course those restrictions will be lifted before the expanding sphere actually forms? For example, you launch a wild weasel on Impulse #10, seeking weapons hit the wild weasel during Impulse #11, you announce activation of fire control which will not be fully active until Impulse #15, then you announce ESG activation on Impulse 12, which means it will release on Impulse #16.
        ANSWER: Per (D6.625), expanding sphere generators can be activated under passive fire control, but will nullify the (D19.3) benefits. Per (J3.46), the announcement (not activation) of an expanding sphere generator activation would void a wild weasel, but the sequence you describe is otherwise legal.

        Francois Lemay asks: A Lyran ship, Speed 20, has an ESG at radius Zero and strength 20 active. It launches two shuttles at Speed 6 on Impulse #15. (An error, I am thinking, as that is what I did!) Do the shuttles get rammed by the ESG of the mothership, thus getting destroyed immediately and reducing the ESG strength to eight? The ship is moving in direction B and the shuttles are moving in direction C.
        ANSWER: William Wilson replies: The shuttles, when launched, are "inside" the ESG. They will remain undamaged as long as the ship and shuttles stay in the same hex, including if they all move to the same different hex on the same impulse, regardless of speeds or facing. As soon as they are no longer in the same hex at the end of the movement segment, if the ESG is still up, the shuttles will take damage.
        In your example, Speed 6 and Speed 20 both move on Impulse #16, so you can keep your shuttles alive a couple of impulses by having your ship turn or sideslip in direction C. (The shuttles, having just launched, must go straight). Depending on what you are doing with them, this might be long enough.

        Brendan Lally asks: A ship with an ESG at Radius Zero and traveling at Speed 12 launches two shuttles at Speed 4. Both Speed 12 and Speed 4 move next impulse. If the shuttles and ship move into the same hex, is there any ESG interaction?
        ANSWER: Rule (G23.723) is the operative rule, (G23.573) will not apply, and (G23.572) means there is no interaction, even though the ship and shuttles move at different points in the sequence. In two or three impulses, the Lyran will have a problem.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


       Q: What happens when a BATS with one or two SIDS steps is upgraded to a SB? Would the number of SIDS steps remain the same after conversion, or would it increase proportionately? On the one hand, since the SB would be crippled if the BATS were crippled during the upgrade, it doesn't seem like two SIDS on the BATS should remain two SIDS on the SB. On the other hand, if the number of SIDS increased proportionately, you would end up increasing the cost to repair the base by upgrading it, which also doesn't seem quite right. Perhaps SIDS steps which existed before the upgrade began would be treated differently than ones taken during the upgrade?
       A: See the (443.4) ruling on this question.

       Q: If the DMH (Romulan DemonHawk) replaces both of its modular sections, does it cost two economic points to do so?
       A: As per (525.64) any modules need to be taken from already existing SparrowHawk or SkyHawk modules that have been produced earlier.

       Q: Does the DMH replacing both of its sections cost it two movement points?
       A: No. It costs only one movement point per (525.65).

       Q: The Romulan Fleet's Tholian Border Patrol Detachment sets up in hex 3319. Since that fleet area has no starbase, can one ship be placed on the starbase at 3518 in order for it to be converted?
       A: The Romulan Patrol Detachment is not inactive while the Romulans are at war, so the question of having a starbase to convert a ship at is not valid.

       Q: Does activating a Vulture dreadnought (525.66) take up starbase conversion capacity?
       A: Yes, it is a four point minor conversion.

       Q: Does activating a Vulture-V count against heavy carrier production?
       A: Yes, it is classed as a heavy carrier by both fighter factors and the SIT for that ship.

       Q: Does making a modular conversion count as operational movement? Could a ship that had its modules changed but didn't otherwise move be added to a reserve fleet?
       A: If the conversion is done in the Production Phase it does not count as operational movement and the ship can be added to a reserve fleet. If the conversion is made during operational movement, then it counts as operational movement even if the ship did not change hexes and the ship cannot join a reserve fleet.

       Q: Is a conversion from a Hydran FFT to an AH a one-point conversion under the SIT or a two-point conversion under (433.241)? The SIT says that an AH may be converted from FF for one EP. I say that the SIT controls the situation, that the FFT is an FF and for this reason the cost to convert this FFT to an AH is one EP. My opponent says rule (433.241) requires the FFT to be "unconverted" to a CU or HN and then converted again to AH for a total of two EP. Who is right?
       A: He is. The term "FF" in this case refers to a base hull, not a variant such as an FFT. (An FFT is a transport, not a standard frigate.) All of these categories refer to base hulls:
       FF = HN, CU, and CR.
       DD = KN and LN.
       DW = DWF and DWH.
       NCA = MHK, IRQ, CHY, IRC, and MKI.
       CA = RN, DG, RGR, LC, LB, and LM.
       You know what? This game would be much simpler if we all got together and wiped out those methane-breathing scum and didn't have to put up with them having two parallel fleets that confuse the heck out of everybody, myself included.

       Q: When converting a captured ship to your technology does the tech conversion count against the conversion capacity of a starbase? Rule (433.22) is not clear in this regard of the technology conversion.
       A: Yes, this counts against the conversion capacity of a starbase. See the ruling on (433.22) in this issue.

       Q: Can a conversion facility (minor or major) be used to convert a captured ship to your technology on the same turn the ship was repaired, provided the repair facility is in the same hex?
       A: Yes, it is the same as any other ship being converted.

       Q: Can I convert a Lyran FFT directly into a DWS?
       A: Yes, but not as a single two-step conversion. It's actually three steps. First, pay an EP to convert the FFT transport into standard frigate, then pay for the two-step conversion into a DWS. To be done in a single turn, this must be done by the same base and the base must have enough total capacity to do both.
(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean, What happened with Prime Directive in 2014?


A: From the "Looking Back" blog post: Jean's efforts to work on the Traveller Prime Directive RPG books ran into issues in the published books that won't be resolved until next year.

You can read more of our blogs here: http://federationcommander.blogspot.com/

Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(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 is a link to our new page about our new upcoming game:
Tribbles vs Klingons
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.

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 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 140418 PRICE 2500 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Star Fleet Alert 140320 CL48, Away Team Log
(Adobe Acrobat Required)


        A ship moving at Baseline Speed Zero can change facing and stay in the same hex without needing to use a High Energy Turn. (This could be done with a Tactical Maneuver, but you can only do that if you're "Stopped", which is not the same as "baseline zero" speed.)
        Accelerate, and then use Deceleration on the fourth sub-pulse. A ship at Baseline Speed Zero is always Turn Mode 1; and if you cancel a move but your Turn Mode is fulfilled, you can still change facing.
        Note that this costs two points' worth of movement; more than a Tactical Maneuver, but less than a High Energy Turn. And you can only change facing by one hexside; but if you're just trying to track a moving target, then one hexside might be all you need. You don't want to put yourself at speed zero just so you can do this trick, but if you're there anyway this may be the only way to turn a new shield or track a target with weapons. Of course, anyone moving faster will move after you do, and can take advantage of knowing your move. Even so, if this is all you have, you do have this much.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Commander David Zimdars, USS Montana

        When facing a "big plasma" opponent, running away from a plasma torpedo, in particular a 60-point enveloping plasma-S torpedo, is often the best (but unappealingly unaggressive) tactical choice. The traditional alternatives are aggressively running through the torpedo or spending phaser fire and/or reinforcement to soften the blow. Unfortunately, the 10 points of damage to every shield and/or the loss of power and weapons is simply too negatively predisposing to be a good trade, at least until the plasma-launching ship's shields have been softened by longer range direct fire.
        Consider a doctrinaire duel or tournament "plasma ballet" fixed-map example. If the plasma ship is approached directly, he will usually launch at Range 14 or 13 and turn away, denying an overloaded Range-8 shot. You might turn away to run out the enveloping plasma torpedo. If you are approaching a plasma torpedo on the same line of hexes, in order to avoid Range 1 on Impulse #32 (and a hit on Impulse #1) you must turn away at Range 5 (if you have a Turn Mode of 6) at Speed 31 (or any speed in which you move every impulse for the remainder of the turn). However, the plasma ship will usually turn back and try to chase you into a corner so that you cannot effectively outrun his second wave of plasma-S and plasma-F torpedoes. In many cases, such long-range plasma-torpedo launches (Range 13-14) must occur no later than mid-turn.
        If you wish to aggressively attack the plasma-launching ship, consider partially or fully allocating a high energy turn while holding reserve warp power for a mid-turn speed change. Note that many ships (for example typical cruisers) will have to move no more than Speed 26 to execute a high energy turn. However, plot your speed such that you will be sure to skip five hexes of movement in the first half of the turn to allow the high energy turn (before the torpedo will get to Range 1). Be sure to maintain a constant speed for at least eight impulses prior to the earliest the torpedo may reach Range 1. Turn away from the plasma torpedo at Range 6-7, depending on the number of moves skipped before the torpedo will reach Range 1. Continue to move until you can turn again, as the torpedo closes in on the diagonal.
        Be sure to allow for two more moves after the second turn (before you skip a move). The torpedo should be on your ship's #3 or #5 shield, facing the same direction as your ship. Then do a high energy turn to face the opposite direction and move the following impulse. You may now be directly closing with the plasma launching ship following you. Note however the torpedo must do a high energy turn or turn so that it will not hit the following impulse. At this point (or possibly earlier or later) announce a speed change using reserve power to make up all the movements missed so that you will run out the torpedo to the longest-range bracket possible.
        Try not to pay for moves that will not decrease the torpedo's strength. This is usually quite surprising since the combination of a high energy turn and a speed change cannot be done on reserve power alone. The plasma-launching player may feel that he was guaranteed a hit before you could approach for a close-in fight and but is now facing a big challenge.
        You may then counter the chasing torpedo a number of ways, such as firing rear phasers (saving the front phasers for your opponent), or by reinforcement over the turn break, or by emergency decelerating on Impulse #30 (stopping after movement on Impulse #32) and launching a wild weasel. Note that if you can close to Range Zero-2 on Impulse #32, the weasel will dispose of the torpedo prior to direct fire on Impulse #1, allowing very effective passive direct fire on the same impulse.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)


How to paint styrofoam planets

These were done by Tony Thomas.

He writes: I have been asked, "How do you paint the Styrofoam without it melting?"

Most of the planets below were painted with acrylic paints (which do not attack Styrofoam). The small black moon located to the lower left of the gas giant OTOH, was sprayed with a black aerosol paint just for that effect. The paint attacked the surface and dissolved several areas, creating craters and valleys. Highlights and shading was then applied using acrylics.