March 2007

Download Transmissions

The latest Communique brings you more ship cards, scenerios, fiction and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Legacy Site . Don’t forget, you have to register before being able to download the latest full color Communique!

FC Forum Hot Topics

The Federation Commander Site and Forum continues to grow as more gamers find it. This month’s Hot Topics include a thread titled "Graphics Suggestions" located under the General Discussions category. This thread is a great place to meet Matt Cooper, our new Graphics Director and tell him what you would like to see! Another popular thread is the "Old casting vs New castings” which can be found in the newest category added to the Federation Commander Forum, Miniatures. For new players, the Legacy Discus forum can make one feel overwhelmed and lost where as the new Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage as a new comer. Come see what all the commotion is a about and join the Federation Commander Forum now!

FC Tactic of the month
(for SFB players)
By Sandy Hemenway, former SFB National Champion

1) Secrecy/surprise versus on-the-fly adjustments. The single largest TACTICAL difference is likely going to be the lack of "out-guessing" your opponent during EA. Effectively, everything you have at your disposal is always public knowledge. The game is much more like chess and less like strategy. You always will know what your opponent CAN (or cannot) do at any given moment. Wondering whether he's got a "brick" or overloads is gone - as are can't win tractor auctions. 2) Please remove the sign "use your tractors" from the door to the simulator. While they will still get used for drone defense, the combo of shorter range along with the absence of weasels, and lack of secrecy massively changes the majority of tactics where tractors were king. There WILL be uses for them (primarily as a power drain temptation for opponents - or towing friendly ships into combat), but the ability to completely swing a battle will largely be lost. 3) "It's the phasers, stupid" -- in a game where energy is always 'in the window', EFFICIENT use of power will be critical. In that regard, phasers (especially p1s) will become the primary weapons with torps being the secondary system, which you use when you're certain you have the power to fire them (and do all the other stuff needed during the turn). The choice of 2 points into a disruptor (to get 4 damage) versus 2 points into p1s (to get 8) is a no-brainer. No, heavies won't vanish - but when faced with limited power during fire situations, phasers will almost always get precedence over heavies based on power to damage ratio. (Obviously, there will be tactical situations where the all-or-nothing crunch of a heavy will be worth the inferior P:D - but I'm speaking in general terms).

Café Press

Café Press is an online market place 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. The newest items added are magnets with the Tholian, NeoTholian, and Seltorian logos. Want something you don’t see? Please contact Matt Cooper (Graphics Director) with your request. Visit our Star Fleet Café Press Store for a complete listing to the products available.

SFB Tactic of the Month
New Is Not Always Better
- Lieutenant Commander Andrew Harding, HMAS Victoria

Hydran X-ships should replace their packed Stinger-X with Stinger-2M. For the same cost, the Stinger-2M has similar firepower (counting the extra fusion charges as roughly equal to the phaser-2) and is far more durable when moving at typically high X-ship speeds. In campaigns where fighter production can be changed, the Stinger-3 from Captain's Log #21 fitted with a Megapack is better still.

SFB Strategy of the month

If he builds it, you will come
Cadet mike dowd, hmcs british columbia

Many players react to the placement of a mobile base with an immediate and overwhelming attack force to destroy it as it is being placed. A more effective plan is to wait until the MB is actually laid or better yet being upgraded to a BATS. The reasons for this relate to ease of destruction. A player placing or upgrading an MB will have a large covering force to defend the tug. This means that the tug will be in the Formation bonus box and will require 3:1 directed damage to kill it - a full 24 points of damage to cripple, followed by 12 to kill it. This will require a large force to both generate the damage and absorb heavy casualties in the rounds you need to spend in the battle to accomplish your goals. If you wait for the MB to be laid, it is then treated like any other base, and you will need only 2:1 directed damage to kill it - 16 points to cripple and then 8 to kill. This means a lighter force could be used, or if your fleet is sufficiently large, you could even do it in one round, then retreat. If the MB is being upgraded to a BATS, it is icing on the cake, as the upgrading player will be out the cost of an MB and the full upgrade cost as well when you destroy the MB.

Federation & Empire Q&A
By Nick Blank

QUESTION: The Hydrans have been kicked off map. Therefore their repair ships also start in the off-map area. The old Hydran capital hex (0617) has recently been taken back by the Hydrans, and EPs have accumulated in that hex (since the old Hydran capital has been cut off from the old colonies). If the Hydrans decide to send a repair ship to 0617 to perform some repairs, can that repair ship use the EPs stored in 0617? ANSWER: Under (422.3), the repair ships must start at the capital (in this case, the alternate off-map capital) and move by strategic movement to the repair site. Since you said that the old capital was not part of the off-map grid, you can't get there in the first place. In theory, you could move to a base on the grid and then move on to an FRD (which is a strategic movement node only for limited purposes such as this one) but if you have an FRD in the capital, the capital is close enough to the off-map grid to be part of it. However, rule (422.13) allows you to start some of your repair ships in a separate grid, but a strict reading of that rule says that one of these two grids must be based in the off-map area and the other must be based on the capital (not the original capital, the current one) which is in your case also off map, not allowing you to start a repair ship in a partial grid which is not connected to the current capital or the off map area. So, in the end, the repair ship can't get there and can't use the EPs. QUESTION: Can a single crippled ship block or unblock supply paths? ANSWER: By rule (411.34), units which cannot react do not block (or unblock) supply in an adjacent hex. By rule (205.14), a crippled ship cannot react. Therefore, a crippled ship doesn't block a supply path.

March Releases

The newest issue of Communique will be ready for download on or before March 10th! Other products to be released in March include: Federation Commander: Booster Packs #13 SKU 4213, #14 SKU 4214 and #15 SKU 4215, retail at $9.95.

Time on target

While Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. tries to keep everyone up to speed as to what is about to be released, there will always be some products that are released without any prior notification unless you receive Star Fleet Alerts due to products that are not in our sole control. Star Fleet Alerts is our form of press releases that goes out to our wholesalers, retailers and customers that ask to be put on the SF Alert mailing list. If you would like to be on this mailing list, please contact Vanessa Clark (Marketing Director) with "SF Alert Mailing List" in the Subject line.

The following is what is currently on the product release schedule for the next 3 months:

2007 March:
Federation Commander: Booster Pack #13, SKU 4213, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster Pack #14, SKU 4214, $9.95
Federation Commander: Booster Pack #15, SKU 4215, $9.95

2007 April: Federation Commander: Border Box 5, SKU 4405, $99.95

2007 May: Starline 2400: Orion War Destroyer + Double Raider, SKU 0818, $14.95 Starline 2400: Seltorian Fleet Box, SKU 1500, $39.95 Captian’s Log #35, SKU 5735, $18.95

Make sure to make plans for the ORIGINS CONVENTION in July! Here’s some of what you can look forward to if you plan on attending:

Wednesday night Sing-along: 4 July, in the food court, 7pm
Tournament opens 9am on 5 July.
Finalist list closed 11pm on 6 July
Tournament playoff rounds Saturday 7 July
Final battles, 8 July


Star Fleet Fiction

A Mission of Vital Importance
by Randy O. Green
Chapter 3

Bridge, Destroyer Tusk

They were past the two blocking warships and nearing the moon. The lab crew and science officer of the ship became extremely busy trying to correlate their sensor and scanner readings with the deciphered data that had been recovered from the two destroyed cruisers. Again, Rarxarth was forced to wait as his highly trained subordinates did their duty. Finally he could wait no longer as he ordered Progernsst to place the Tusk in orbit over the moon base. (More...)

Ask admiral Growler

by Mike Filsinger

Tom Carroll asks: A couple of questions regarding Command-Controlled Captor mines. In our example, we have a base controlling three type-D phaser mines.

How much control does the base have over what the mines fire on? Can the base have all three mines fire all their phasers on a single drone (out of multiple drone targets) on a single impulse? Or do you still need to use (M2.14) (size selection) and (M2.15) (target count delay) and the base can tell a mine to fire at its assigned targets but not which of the available targets it fires on? Rule (M5.20) is not clear on this and (M5.201) does not say how targets are picked/assigned or targeted.

ANSWER: Captor mines normally have a maximum range of six hexes (M4.43). Controlled captor mines with direct-fire weapons can be ordered to fire on targets up to 15 hexes away (M4.424). There is no restriction on the target selection for a command controlled captor mine. There is nothing in (M5.20) that requires a command controlled captor mine to randomly select a target using the procedures of (M2.14) or (M2.15), the mine is only required to have its own lock-on to the target. The number of command mines the base can control on a given impulse (or period of impulses) is limited by (M5.26). (Which is why all starbases, even Hydran and Tholian ones, can control a number of seeking weapons equal to double their sensor ratings, and why all BATS and Base Stations can control seeking weapons equal to their sensor ratings.) A Command Controlled Captor controlled by a Base can be ordered to engage a single specific target.

Follow-up Question: Does (M4.49) apply to base command-controlled mines? I.e. if you have three mines that can fire, will only one fire on any target on a particular impulse?

ANSWER: No, (M4.49) deals with automatic mines being triggered by movement, not command controlled mines. (More...)