May 2013

F&E Q&A [Continued]

     Q: The Lyrans have two admirals in a single forward-deployed fleet. During the Retrograde Phase the Lyran player attempts to use a frigate to transfer one of those admirals to a battlecruiser in a rear-deployed reserve fleet. The Kzinti player has objected to this maneuver on the basis of the admiral transfer restrictions under (316.14) which says that the admiral has to be on a command ship. The Lyran player argues that since (316.22) Admiral Effectiveness is not in use, those restrictions do not apply. What do we do? And just what does the note about "not needed" really mean?
     A: First, it's not a problem to put the admiral on a frigate (or an APT for that matter) to move him from one fleet to another during a single phase. He's back on a ship with a Command Rating of eight before anything happens that would matter. No harm, no foul, no problem.
     The "not needed" note means that you don't have to bother with fussy rules about what ship the admiral is on if you aren't using (316.22), and here's why. When using admiral effectiveness, you will eventually get a dud -1 admiral, and a devious player might want to put him on a small, insignificant ship and send him to some out-of-the-way corner of the empire to inventory asteroids. Rule (316.14) requires him to be on a Command Rating 8 ship, so if you do send Admiral Dunderhead on sabbatical, he takes an important ship with him. Without admiral effectiveness (316.22), an admiral is just a ticket to add a ship to the battle force beyond the command limit, and you can assign him to a Free Trader if you want (although that will get him killed and limit the size of his fleet, so nobody would actually assign him to anything other than a real command ship).
     Q: Ok, so we're now allowed to move admirals between fleets using a non-qualified command ship (as long as that ship has a first-class chef in the dining room). That brings up questions. Am I limited to doing this only in cases where the admiral can reach his new flagship in a single movement?
     A: Yes. His new flagship must be within the movement capability of the ship you are using to transport him.
     Q: Do I have to have a route that is absolutely safe from enemy intervention by Reaction Movement?
     A: Not really, but you probably don't want to take that risk except in the case of Admiral Dunderhead and his die-roll penalty. Even then, the enemy may decide that assassinating him is a bad war plan. (For historical reference, consider the case of Brigadier General Gideon Pillow. This Confederate leader was such an idiot that Union troops reputedly had standing orders to let him go if he were ever captured.)
     Q: What happens if the enemy intercepts the admiral's barge and he's in combat on a non-qualifying ship?
     A: Then he has no effect on the battle, but can suffer the consequences of his ship being destroyed. Assuming he survives, you must get him to a qualified command ship as soon as possible within the rules and transfer him to that ship.