July  2020

Star Fleet Universe News


       You pointed out that you would like counters for the ships we have released without them. Until we do a new product with die-cut counters and can add all of the ships from newsletters, ePacks, and Captain's Logs, we offer this PDF countersheet (in both 1" and half inch) with counters for the ships from Communique #133-#168, Captain's Log #53, as well as Boosters #37 and #38. (Some of the counters for those boosters have been in other products such as Hydran Attack.) This pack includes over 50 one-inch and nearly 100 half-inch counters.

Get the PDF of these counters here:

Warehouse 23: http://www.warehouse23.com/products/ADB4851
DriveThru RPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/320036/
Wargame Vault: https://www.wargamevault.com/product/320036/

3125 Scale Hydran Saracen Frigate Leader CVN


ADB Releases Ships for July, 2020 

       On July 6, 2020, ADB released a total of 42 new items to its shop on Shapeways with over 2,200 items available in total. Notably, we added more advanced technology ships (sometimes called X-technology or “X-ships”) to the shop. We also added more ships in the 7000 Scale that is designed to allow you to play with multiple ships on a “regular” map with 5/8-inch hexes. Please note that all ships are available in both 3788 and 3125 scales unless specifically noted, and then they are only available in the scale noted. 
       The Federation starts with the New Fast Cruiser and New Fast Light Cruiser. These are available in both the Federation (gridded saucer) and Fed Classic (smooth saucer) styles. 
       The Klingons gain their X-Ship F5X Frigate. In the more aztecked style is the X-Ship F5XK Frigate. 
       The Romulans gain their Peregrine New Mauler Cruiser. It is also available in the “+” or “Cranked Arrow” style. In the 7000 Scale, they get their Fleet Assault Ship Collection containing a Peregrine New Mauler Cruiser, a FlameHawk Mauler, two SparrowHawk-F Mauler Cruisers, and two SparrowHawk-J Assault Cruisers. The collection is also available in the “+” or “Cranked Arrow” style. 
       The Kzintis are focused on transports as they get their Medium Tactical Transport, War Destroyer Transport, and Frigate Transport. Even their 7000 Scale has a similar focus with their Tug Collection including the Fleet Tug (with one, two, or no pods), the Light Tactical Transport (with one pod), the War Destroyer Transport, and Frigate Transport (which could carry cargo pods but could not operate combat pods). 
       The Tholians get their Neo-Tholian Tug. The models come with either one pod or two. 
       The Hydrans gain their Mule Light Tactical Transport, Pegasus Scout, and Saracen Frigate Leader. In the 7000 Scale, they get three collections: Tug Collection, Convoy Collection, and Special Ships Collection. The Tug Collection has Caravan tugs with and without cargo pallets, a Mule light tactical transport with a pallet, two separate pods, and a Gendarme police ship to provide an escort. The Convoy Collection has two large freighters, two small freighters, a Gendarme police cutter, and a Heavy Gendarme Police Frigate. The Special Ships Collection contains two Demon Hunter Heavy War Destroyers, a Pegasus Scout, two light cruisers (a Horseman and a Traveler), and a Kiowa War Dreadnought. 
       The Andromedans gain their Krait Cruiser. If that weren’t bad enough, they also reveal their X-Ship X-Conquistador. 

Check all these out here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amarillo-design-bureau-inc
Don't forget to follow us: https://www.shapeways.com/designer/adbinc  

        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Samantha Todd, 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 200 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!

        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!
        And there is exciting news for Rangers on Facebook! We've started up a closed group for Rangers to discuss ideas, best practices, and to simply hang out with serious enthusiasts. You must be on Jean's list of Rangers before you can become a member. Join it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517647465103651/
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 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 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



Sapphire Star:
        The Sapphire Star 5 Tournament has a full slate of players; the tree for the tournament has been posted. Steven Petrick is the judge for this tournament.



        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 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 held regularly in Indianapolis, Indiana at Family Time  Games. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information  see: http://www.meetup.com/Star-Fleet-Battles-Indy/

        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/

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!


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.


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!

Nick Samaras painted this Federation Light Tactical Transport (3788 Scale Smooth Fine Detail Plastic).

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


ACTASF - Gorn Double-Wing Destroyer
FC - Orion X-War Destroyer

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.


Recently Released

GURPS Federation Revised SKU 8402, $24.95
GURPS Prime Directive Vol 1 SKU 8406, $29.95
GURPS Prime Directive Vol 2, SKU 8407, $29.95
GURPS Prime Directive Vol 1 & 2, SKU 8405, $49.95
FC Booster Pack #37, SKU 4237, $9.95
FC Booster Pack #38, SKU 4238, $9.95
Alien Armada Unity Starmada, SKU 6133, $16.95
Captain's Log # 53, SKU 5753, $24.95
Captain's Log # 53 SSDs, SKU 5753-2, $3.50
Captain's Log # 53 Supplement, SKU 5753-3, $1.00
F&E ISC War Chart Book, SKU 3210-4, $4.00
Kzinti Master Starship Book Stock #5435 $21.95
Romulan Armada Unity Stock #6132 $16.95
Scenario Log #2 Stock #4071 $6.95
Klingon Armada Unity Stock #6131 $16.95
LDR Master Starship Book Stock #5444 $14.95
Lyran Master Starship Book Stock #5441 $19.95

To be released in 2020
FC Federation Epack #5
GURPS Klingons Revision
Star Fleet Universe Index
Captain's Log #54
SFB Module R13
The rest of the Starmada Unity Edition
A new F&E module to be named later

       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: Lost Counters Pack #1
Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #3: More Starships

GURPS Federation Revised
Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #2: Aliens and crew
Captain's Log #29
Captain's Log #47
Captain's Log #47 Color SSDs
Nexus #16
Nexus #15
Distant Armada Unity
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Book 2
Nexus #14
Nexus #13
Prime Time Newsletter #1-6
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 2
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1 and 2
Gorn Master Starship Book
Nexus #12
Merchants of the Federation
Captain's Log #53 Supplemental File
Module G3
Module G3A
Nexus #11
Captain's Log #46
Captain's Log #46 Color SSDs


Federation Commander: Lost Counters Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #3: More Starships (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Federation Revised (DriveThru RPG)
Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #2: Aliens and Crew (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #29  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #47  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #47 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #16 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #15 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Distant Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Book 2 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #14 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #13 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Prime Time Newsletter #1-4(DriveThru RPG)
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Christmas (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1  (DriveThru RPG)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 2  (DriveThru RPG)
GURPS Prime Directive 4e revised: Volume 1 and 2  (DriveThru RPG)
Gorn Master Starship Book  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #12 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Merchants of the Federation  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #53 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Module G3A  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Module G3  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #46 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #11 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #28 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction


       "Are you finishing the report on Ketrick?" Lieutenant Kully said as she entered the office.
       "Just waiting for you," Captain Kulder said. "This is one of the craziest cases I have seen." The K-Files were a super-secret department of the ESS assigned to investigate things that the Klingon High Command did not want to admit were even possible. The case of the recently returned Commodore Ketrick had landed in their office a month ago. It took less than a day to find all of the facts that could be found, but neither Kully Nor Kulder wanted to sign off on this one. They had been ordered to file the final report today ... or else.
       "A quick review," Kulder said. "Ketrick was on the bridge of the Death during its invasion of the WYN Cluster. The ship was badly damaged, the bridge torn open, and everyone on it blown out into space. Ketrick's body was never recovered."
       "Correct," Kully said. 

(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth


       Mike Bennett asks: I have noticed the BPV of several ships consists of two numbers separated by a slash, such as 75/20 for the APT. What does this mean?
       ANSWER: See (S2.12). The numbers are economic and combat BPV. The first represents the overall value of the unit, and is used for victory conditions. The second represents the combat capability of the unit.
       William Wilson adds: Under (S2.2) and (S8.0), all ships other than scouts are purchased at combat, not economic, BPV. But you should pretty much forget about these rules for a scenario with civilian ships in it, as invariably one side will be defending them and the other side will be attacking and the fate of the cargo (or passengers, or whatever) will define the victory conditions.
       Other than scouts, the only formal role of economic BPV is for calculating victory points. It is not used for purchasing, commander's options, or anything else. Scouts are purchased at economic BPV if they are appearing in a scenario with other friendly ships. This makes sense for game balance. A scout operating alone does not get much benefit from its special sensors, because it has to blind them to fire its weapons. A scout operating as part of a fleet can do its job properly and has its full effect on the battle (even if it is not actually firing weapons). Survey ships and scouts have a split economic/combat BPV because they are weak in terms of combat power, but still cost to buy about the same as a regular warship of the same hull type.
       Economic BPV does not track the cost of the ship closely. For instance, the B10 was a massive project, which was expected to be exorbitantly expensive, and then was tremendously over budget on top of that. Yet, it does not have a split BPV. War cruisers were designed to be cheap to build, and this is reflected in Federation & Empire with a cost discount, yet they do not have split BPV either. Some freighters have an economic BPV comparable to a war cruiser, but cannot possibly cost that much. But the cost of the cargo they probably have on board, plus all the future cargo they would have shipped if they had not been blown up, will add up. A few unusual warships, mostly carriers, have split BPV. Of course, scout-carriers, being scouts, naturally have split BPV also; this is different. Police flagships, which are scouts and have split BPVs, have their own way of doing things too.
       But, economic BPV also does not track the actual net economic value of the ship closely either. In Federation & Empire, a survey ship will often pay for itself and then some if it enters service reasonably early. The true economic value of a survey ship is very high. But, survey ships have the economic BPV appropriate to a scout of their approximate capability. This is because in Star Fleet Battles they are scouts, and their point cost needs to reflect their actual capabilities within the game.
       Most campaigns do require all ships to be purchased at economic BPV, but I think it is a mistake. This is probably right for scouts, but probably wrong for freighters. Economic BPV is not "the price of the ship." It is its own thing, and means slightly different things in slightly different circumstances. 

       Follow-up question: Is the economic BPV only used in Federation & Empire?
       ANSWER: Economic BPV is not used in Federation & Empire; in fact, BPV is not used at all. It is used in Star Fleet Battles and Galactic Conquest for calculating victory conditions (S2.2) and for purchasing scouts in multi-ship battles (G24.35).
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


       Q: If the initial combat (314.244) is successful for the raider (or no damage is done by either side), via alternative attack, can the raider attack the ship that reacted into the hex, or can it only attack ships which started the raid phase in the hex?
       A: The check for "any single unit of its choice in the raid target hex" (314.28) is done after the reaction of the ship into the raid target hex. So, yes, you can attack the reacting ship if you wish.

        Q: Can a Prime Team (534.2) raid a crippled ship (which is outside of three hexes, so it can't be captured) to destroy it?
        A: There is no "destroy crippled ship" mission listed, so, no.

       Q: Can a Prime Team do an Espionage & Sabotage mission to cripple a police ship? As there is no crippled side, the ship would be killed instead of being crippled.
        A: It won't be killed, but this would effectively eliminate the police ship as per (532.22) since they will be removed from the map as they return to their base of operations to be repaired and returned to police duties which are not game related.

        Q: A legal unit performing a blockade run (320.511) must have a friendly or neutral hex as its target when performing this type of raid. Does the presence of friendly ships in enemy territory meet the requirement of making the hex a valid target?
        A: In the raid phase, a hex occupied solely by your side is considered a friendly hex. 
(End of F&E Q&A)


       Dear Aunt Jean, what have you been doing working at home for the last month?

       A: I'm still working on Traveller Prime Directive and learning even more about the Traveller system.

      Send questions to Jean at marketing@StarFleetGames.com and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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 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 MonthTURN INTO THE WIND
Cadet David Tye, HMS Dorsetshire

       A carrier that wishes to recover a fighter will need to ensure that it moves no more than two hexes in that impulse, so if moving at a Baseline Speed of 24 an obvious solution is to use a deceleration for the energy cost of one hex of movement. There is, however, an alternative that may well be preferable under certain circumstances.
        If the carrier's escort (or any nearby friendly ship) tractors the carrier, this will lower the number of hexes moved to allow a fighter landing. This has the benefits of not costing the carrier itself any additional energy and allowing fighters to be recovered over several impulses without having to pay for deceleration for each such impulse. Obviously, the higher the move cost of the carrier and the more fighters to be recovered in one turn, the greater the energy saving. While the carrier is prevented from firing at other ships while tractored by a friendly ship, this may be a worthwhile price to pay for being able to use high speed before and after the recovery impulses. Of course all the ships of the fleet could do this by pairing up and keeping in formation.
        If the fighters are trying to catch up with the carrier, the advantage of this method can be even greater. For example, an escort and carrier of the same size and with the same energy devoted to movement will not move at all while tractored (barring accelerations and decelerations). This allows returning fighters to rapidly gain ground without the carrier having to change its course (which may be tactically undesirable) or spending a lot of energy for decelerations.
       When planning to recover fighters take a moment to consider whether one energy point spent tractoring the carrier will save energy while allowing a higher baseline speed and keeping maneuver options open for later in the turn. 
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Cadet Alan Trevor, USS Virginia

         The common Tholian base defense tactic of a three-ring web involves ships racing out to reinforce the outer ring and then racing back behind the middle ring may not work against the Seltorians. The Tholians may not be able to put enough reinforcing energy into the outer web to counter both natural degradation and the Seltorians' web breakers. One possible counter is for the Tholians to deploy Arachnid pinwheels. Under ordinary circumstances, only two Arachnids in a flotilla carry web generators. The other four Arachnids can contribute firepower (or electronic warfare from the scout) for web defense but cannot directly reinforce the webs. By forming an Arachnid flotilla into two pinwheels, around each of the two web generator-equipped Arachnids, the Tholians can draw on the power generated by all six Arachnids. [Minus the power necessary to hold the pinwheel together (one point for an Arachnid pinwheel) and pay housekeeping (an Arachnid pinwheel is size class 4 except that it does not require life support), as well as any power the Tholians wish to spend on weapons, electronic warfare, etc.) A single Arachnid flotilla holding previously armed phasers could reinforce the outer ring with approximately 90 points of power per turn.
        Depending on total available forces, the Seltorians may have no option but to send ships into the web to attack the pinwheel. Since a pinwheel can only use impulse power for movement, it will be difficult for the Arachnid pinwheels to escape if the Seltorians commit to crashing the web. The Tholians should arrange their minefield (assuming they have one) so that the Seltorians cannot gain line-of-fire against the Arachnid pinwheels without encountering multiple mines. The Tholians should also use preemptive fire, hitting the attacking Seltorians just before they hit the outer web. This will reduce the damage the Tholians inflict, compared to waiting until the Seltorians are actually in the outer web, but the goal is to "pull as many teeth" as possible from the Seltorians before they have a chance to fire. Spider-IIIs are particularly cost effective in this role as they are very inexpensive but can average six points of damage each at Range 2 (assuming no EW shift). That is 72 points for a dozen fighters, sufficient to vaporize several Seltorian fast patrol ships or badly damage a Seltorian cruiser before it has the chance to fire anything other than its web breakers. The Spider-III fighters are also very durable for fighters and will likely get in multiple close-range shots over the course of the battle, since the Seltorians are probably concentrating fire on units that can reinforce the web.
        Arachnid pinwheels use shield reinforcement like standard fast patrol ships, and can also use a point of impulse to either move a single hex per turn or to use an impulse-TAC. Also, an Arachnid pinwheel has a towing cost of 3/5 for towing by tractor beam. While tractors do not reach through web, a Tholian ship in the middle web ring could move the pinwheel multiple hexes in a turn, complicating the problem for the Seltorians trying to crash the web and kill the pinwheel.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

        The Lyrans should not build tugs, since the Lyran survey cruiser and new survey cruiser are fully functional tugs and scouts, with a heavy cruiser's defense factors and with decent attack factors when you put a battle or carrier pallet or pods on them. In addition these ships can do survey work which regular tugs and scouts cannot.
        Pay the extra five economic points to build a survey ship instead of a tug. When your on-map survey ship is not doing something as a tug, it can survey a hex on the map and earn an extra economic point for your treasury for the next turn. In addition, when possible, convert your four starting tugs to survey ships [although if you are building a survey ship per year instead of a tug, you cannot do this except once under (450.3)]. Just have a survey ship take an occasional break from tug duties to survey five hexes and you have paid for the upgrade of a ship that can produce economic points. Those economic points pay for the upgrade and give your tug inherent scout capabilities, while it can still carry and use a pallet or two K-pods, so build as many survey cruisers as you can and start using them on the map.
        You must protect these survey ships well, especially the ones you do not put battle or carrier pallets or pods on, as your opponents will try to kill them as fast as they can as soon as they realize what a great multi-purpose ship you have.
        You can use the existing pre-war tugs for the risky front-line missions that cannot be avoided. 
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)


A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month

        In most wargames the tendency is to take out the biggest, baddest guy around first. After all, once the champion is slain everyone else is easy pickings, right?
        This is not always the case in A Call To Arms: Star Fleet. Let's look at an opposing fleet consisting of a dreadnought, three heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and three frigates. This comes in at right around 1,500 points (depending on which empire and which variants are selected) and makes for a typical one-evening battle (or four days of SFB, you pick). You lose the initiative roll so your opponent fires every weapon his dreadnought has. Now it is your turn. You survived the fiery onslaught dished out by the dreadnought and you are determined to make your opponent pay for his temerity and take out his dreadnought.
        Wait a minute there!
        The dreadnought has already fired its weapons and is not a threat during the rest of this turn. Is it worth more to take out a target that has already fired or to try to prevent some additional incoming damage by preemptively firing on one of the opposing vessels that has not fired yet? If instead, you fire at one of your enemy's other ships, the dreadnought may survive until next turn, but you may take out an opposing unit before it can fire at you. That could give you a bit less total damage this turn, something that adds up over a multi-turn fight.
        If you have seeking weapons available and the dreadnought has indeed fired everything, then the decision may be even easier. Fire direct-fire weapons at opposing ships and target all available seeking weapons on the dreadnought (or another ship with no remaining defenses). You may get lucky and take out the ship you are firing at and the defenseless dreadnought.
        This works both ways. Should you win the initiative roll, consider firing the weapons on the ship you most want to save first. Your enemy just might leave it alone and concentrate his fire on those ships that can still harm him this round.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)