January 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 is that Jean Sexton spent an entire week in Amarillo, causing tremendous progress to be made on Prime Directive Federation. The book is now 93% complete (and 80% finished) and in a few weeks we will be able to schedule release dates in the Spring.

Other news this month consists of Jean Sexton and Eric Olivarez setting up a Facebook page for ADB, Inc.. Come and become a fan! Note that while there is a personal facebook page for Stephen V Cole, he never goes there and the page exists only to create the company page. Leanna and Jean insist that Stephen V. Cole work as opposed to noodle around on Facebook, but he would be happy to talk with you by email or on the Discus BBS or the PHP Forum on our official website.

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

According to rule (3E1a), a player can elect to take a frame damage hit instead of a skip during damage allocation. As a matter of fact, skips and taking frame damage instead of skips can be combined in any fashion during damage allocation. This can be used to protect key systems.

Example: A Federation ship with two armed photon torpedoes does not have the enemy ship in arc to fire at, but takes heavy damage from the enemy ship. On the next impulse, the Federation ship will have the enemy ship in its photons' firing arc. The Federation ship has lost all of its phasers and reactor boxes, but still has one more hit to allocate on a new damage control chart. The die roll turns out to be a six. Normally this would mean that the first column (phaser or reactor) would be skipped and the next hit would be the photon torpedo. The Federation player, however, can choose to take a frame hit instead of skipping the first column, thereby saving one of the torpedoes so both can be fired on the next impulse.

Other systems such as transporters or tractor beams can be protected in the same way.

Rated the best Command Note in this issue.
(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

When engaging a carrier group with plasma ships, if your opponent has a tendency to have his fighters launch seeking weapons (drones/plasma) and then quickly tractor them back into the bay to re-arm and avoid reprisal, consider using plasma shotguns against his fighters.

If he keeps the fighters out there, you will kill them with plasma-F torpedoes; if he sucks them back in the bay, his carrier (or escorts) will find themselves the target of a slew of plasma-F torpedoes.

Normally you cannot target more than one torpedo per target using the shotgun, but plasmas targeted on fighters/shuttles that are landed will accept the ship on which they landed as a target.

A careless opponent could find his ship targeted by enough plasma-F torpedoes to mean double the amount of damage that you would have scored, had you fired non-shotgun plasma torpedoes at his carrier alone. This works particularly well at ranges close enough that the plasma-F torpedoes will strike for at 15 points of damage (or better).
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

APTs (Armed Priority Transports) are perhaps the most underrated asset in Federation & Empire today. They are not sexy, they do not contribute directly to offensive operations, they do not even contribute one combat potential point for free over bases like PTRs (Prime Traders). What they can do for you, however, is sadly overlooked.

If I told you I would sell you a tug for ten economic points, and it has a free Strategic Movement, even in allied territory, that you could build as many as you wanted in a turn and they would not count against your tug or LTT builds, would you take me up on it? Well let me admit, it cannot do any mission other than carry economic points, personnel, or Kestrel spare parts.

Ten APTs can replace a fleet tug for the valuable mission of sending Lyran economic points to the Klingons every turn. You are doing that anyway, so you are freeing other assets if you use APTs. Building ten APT's at one economic point each means this "Tug" costs ten economic points but it has free Strategic Moves.
(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!

A Seltorian Squadron (CL, DD, FF), with fighters. By Dale McKee

New Releases

Communique #49 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

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

Federation & Empire 2010, SKU 5006, $TBA

SFB Module C3A Andromedan Threat File, SKU TBA, $TBA
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

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 one of six

Major-Commander Antonius Terralis of House Pentalion smiled in satisfaction at the opportunity the Admiral had given him as he ordered the Sling and the Rapier to follow him. He now had an opportunity to regain some of his prestige among the leaders of his house.

He was shorter than most Romulan males. His frame was compact and powerful. He also had a sharp thin nose, which gave a cruel aspect to his appearance, and he nursed a hatred for the Federation deep within himself.

So he savored this chance. As a Major-Commander, he felt he should have been captain of one of the new FireHawk heavy cruisers by now. But there were not enough of those yet to give one to each deserving captain. He suspected the poor results of a "privateer" raid he had led the year before against the Federation might have had something to do with his being sent to a ship that was not as powerful as he should have had. At least he was alive. His connections had saved him, but his house benefactors had made it clear that they would not burn any more political capital to save him again. So, for now, he would have to wait for command of a FireHawk behind other captains less deserving.

Antonius Terralis crinkled his nose at the smell in the air. The Furious was a new-construction SparrowHawk, and sometimes the ventilation system wafted strange odors through the air. He could not identify the scent that currently drifted through the air, but it was not a pleasant one. Disgusted, he settled back into his command chair, noting for the hundredth time that it was not as comfortable as the command chair on a FireHawk would have been.

He felt himself beginning to sink into the dark mood that often troubled him since the privateer raid. With an effort he pushed his depression away and concentrated on ordering his thoughts for the battle ahead. He had been given an opportunity to redeem himself and he would make the most of it.

His future depended on doing do.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler
Weapons Questions

Jim Davies asks: When do you announce discharge of held weapons like particle cannons, fusion beams, and photon torpedoes, given that you will not know whether you can hold them until after a tractor auction before Energy Allocation?

ANSWER: Rule (E1.244) says that the fact that a weapon is being discharged during Energy Allocation must be announced as part of the Initial Activity Stage (5), and the amount of energy discharged revealed as per (E1.241). Note that Q-ships are excused from announcing discharged weapons (R1.7B).

Follow-up question: Do you have to announce discharge of weapons that are not completely armed, like plasmas, PPDs and hellbores (after Turn #1)?

ANSWER: Yes, the rule says the amount of energy discharged must be revealed.

Follow-up question: Do you have to announce discharge of rolling weapons like non-overloaded hellbores (after Turn #2)?

ANSWER: You are discharging energy, so the rule applies, you must announce the discharge and the energy lost.

Follow-up question: If announcing discharge of variable-load weapons like particle cannons, photons, plasmas (e.g., one point of power in a plasma G), or PPDs, do you have to announce the load?
(Continue reading here)


Question: Rule (431.37) lets me take a ship from the next production cycle and it counts against the current turn's limits. Does this let me move the limits on carrier production from next turn to this turn? Maulers? Scouts?

Answer: It allows you to move the hull, but not the various limits. So you could borrow a CW from next turn, but could only build it as a CWV under the current turn's carrier limits, or as a CWS under the current turn's scout limits, or a CW-mauler under the current turn's mauler limits.

Question: Are "chained substitutions" allowed? For example, the Hydrans allow the following substitutions:
* Can substitute LN for HR. (DD for CW)
* Can substitute UH for LN. (CV for DD)
Does this mean that I can substitute a UH for an HR in the production schedule?

Answer: Yes, this is called a substitution for a substitution or in slang "subbing for a sub". You can do this with other empires, i.e., substituting 2xFF for a CL and then substituting one of them into a EFF and the other into a SF.

Question: Rule (431.8) specifically states "You cannot substitute a ship, then convert it during construction into the originally scheduled type." This is presumably to prevent odd "discounts" such as the Lyrans substituting a CA for a DN and then converting the CA into a DN (which saves two EPs).

(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 91229 New Year (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91221 Christmas (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91215 Schedule (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 91117 Just Released (Adobe Acrobat Required)


Klingon F5W War Destroyer

new mini