March 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)
- by Mike Filsinger

Simon Robinson asks: It is possible for six PFs (or six other ships with web generators) to create an instant globular web by having each in one of six adjacent hexsides use its web generator to create a web in its hex?

ANSWER: You cannot create an instant globular web in this way under the restrictions of (G10.224) which only allows you to create a web in a hex adjacent to two other web hexes if you are closing a globular web. The procedure here is trying to create web in adjacent hexes simultaneously, which automatically fails.

Ted Fay asks: I have a question about battle groups in Star Fleet Battles as found in Captain's Log #31 (note the rule in Federation & Empire). Can a scout be in a battle group and qualify as "the free scout" at the same time for purposes of command rating? Here is an example of what I mean, using a Federation fleet. I think the following fleet is within the command rating of the CC, but I want to make sure: CC (command rating nine), 5xCA, 3xNCL, 2xFF, and an FFS.

Under the battle group rules, basically three size class 3 "CL" types and three size class 4 units are counted as five ships instead of six for purposes of command rating. I am paraphrasing, of course. The five CAs do not qualify for the battle group because they are specifically disqualified (as CAs). The three size class 3 units in the battle group are thus the three NCLs and the three size class 4 units are the scout (FFS) and two frigates. However, the CC is leading 11 ships, not nine. The way I see it, the Federation force gets a command bonus of one for having a battle group and a command bonus of another one for having the "free" scout. That being said, this whole trick falls apart because the FFS (scout) cannot be the "free scout" and part of the battle group at the same time.

ANSWER: The battle group creates the free slot within itself. The scout can either be the "free scout", or it can be part of the battle group (allowing the battle group to count as five ships), but it cannot be both.

Robert Russell Lender-Lundak asks: Question on planetary bodies blocking line of sight lock-on between two units. According to my understanding of (P2.3221), there is a 50% chance that the lock-on between two units will be blocked if the moon is between them along the line of fire. How is this resolved in the event that one of the two units is actually IN the hex of the moon? My thoughts are that lock-on would NOT be blocked although I only say this because the wording of (P2.3221) seems to only address this matter if the moon is "between" the two units.

ANSWER: The situation in (P2.3221) would have to be handled based on the movement of the units, i.e., the direction from which the unit in the moon's hex entered it versus where the other unit is located. If Ship A entered the moon's hex from direction A, and ship B is in direction A from the moon, there would be no chance of it being blocked. But if ship A entered the moon's hex from direction A, and ship B is in direction D, the 50% rule would apply to both ships. Remember that the requirement is for the moon to be in a "direct line", so if ship A enters the hex from direction F, and ship B is in direction D, then the moon would possibly block. But if ship A enters from direction C, and ship B is in direction D, the moon will not block the line of sight. Rule (P2.322) is fairly specific about what constitutes "between" the two units, and a moon in the same hex as a unit does not fit the definition of "between", so you would have to judge the situation based on where the ships are and the hex the ship which is in the moon's hex entered the moon hex from.

Peter Thoenen asks
: A shuttle boarding question. So the roll is "six" and under (D7.602) it states the shuttle stops. When does it actually stop? During the involuntary movement of next impulse? Immediately during the transporter step of this impulse? Does it fall under emergency deceleration? I find it odd it would simply go speed six to speed zero immediately (and it matters here as next impulse I would have moved).

ANSWER: It stops immediately as the rule, (D7.602), says ". . . at that point . . .", that point being where and when the die roll was made, so it stops at the end of the Operate Transporters step of the Marines Activity Stage.

Gary Bear asks: Is a drone equipped with a Ground Attack Cluster Bomb (E20.37) under the five-hex range targeting restriction (R1.14C2) since it targets a Ground Combat Location/Remote Area and not a specific base on the planet?

ANSWER: The basic purpose of the Ground Attack Drone is to allow drone racks to be used in ground combat. It would have no value in general bombardment of a planet, and its targeting is as restricted as any drone. Basically a fighter could be equipped with cluster bombs or cluster bomb drones on its drone rails. But a drone-armed ground base or a Free Trader landing in a ground combat location could have these loaded in its drone racks to support ground combat in the Ground Combat Location it is landed in. But the targeting of a specific Ground Combat Location is still going to be governed by the background in (D15.0) which only allows transporter artillery (which a cluster bomb drone is) to be used from within five hexes range.

Seth Iniguez asks
: Is this correct:
Gary Bear had a term paper posted on August 7th that makes it extremely easy to capture cripples in a campaign. "Often a ship cannot be completely captured in a single round of boarding party combat and the following Energy Allocation Phase finds the ship plotting to Self-Destruct.

To stop this, ensure that all (or all but one) of the Control Rooms have been destroyed, either through damage or hit-and-run raids before you board. With the first turn of boarding party combat, use four damage points (you did score four or more, right?) as Specific Allocation (D7.43) to capture the last Control Room (or designated Temporary Control Room). The ship is now captured, even though it may still have boarding parties of the original crew available, and so is blocked from ever performing Self-Destruction (D7.503)."

This appears to be legal, unless the ground combat rule (D15.42) (immediately recapturing a lost control station using directed damage) applies, it seems like ship capture is a lot easier then I ever thought it was. My opponent is in a position to capture four ships in our campaign, so a quick ruling would be appreciated.

ANSWER: He can certainly capture the last control room to prevent self-destruction. As noted, the Advanced Boarding rules have a more complex procedure, which would make this difficult or impossible.