May 2014

Star Fleet Universe News


        In a Star Fleet Alert dated 18 April, 2014, ADB, Inc., announced the relaunch of the Starline 2500 range of miniatures. This included a new strategy for manufacturing, pricing, and distributing this product line.
        Starline 2500 will now be distributed solely by mail order from our Amarillo, Texas facility. We will no longer be able to sell these to wholesalers or retailers because (to make any profit at all) we would have to raise the unit prices far beyond what any customer would pay (e.g., $20 for a cruiser). The actual cost of manufacture turned out to be higher than the original prices can support.
        Given our legendary quality control and customer service, this is a benefit for every consumer. If it's on our shopping cart, we have it in stock. (If we run out for a few days, we deactivate it on the cart.) There will be no more pre-orders or back orders. If you want it, you get it.
        Further, there will be no more boxes, sets, or two-packs. Every ship is available as a single so you can buy exactly as many as you need to build your perfect fleet. We will also eliminate the resin ships, replacing them with metal. (A few resin dreadnoughts remain in stock; inquire as to availability.)
        In most cases, the prices have gone down. For a few large ships, they will go up. From now on, each ship will get its own price based on its cost of manufacture. We will not push every ship into a one-price-for-all packaging system. Prices will range from $5.95 to $19.95 (higher for battleships).
        The 2500 range will continue to grow. As this Hailing Frequencies is posted, we have more than a dozen new ships in the pipeline:
        Available now: Kzinti DN in metal.
        Prototypes sent to master molds: Tholian PC, DD, TK5, CA; Orion BR, DW, CA, BC, BCH.
        In the pipeline: Klingon C8 and B10 (in metal), Orion Slaver and DN, a bunch of Lyrans, Romulan Condor and Vulture (in metal). Also, the augmented battlestation, jumbo freighter, and heavy freighter will be done in metal for the multi-scale 2425 series.

Orion BR Prototype(left) and Kzinti DN(right)


        Our website,, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Pike, 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. One of our newest pages is for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.


        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 both "Show in News Feed" and "Get Notifications" are checked.

        ADB has recently started 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 first goal is to get 100 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

        Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on websites have been changed to match. The new site is
        The blog covers all aspects of the company.

        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:

Register and join the the Star Fleet Rangers!
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 are now placing them on e23 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 and, Issue #6 are already there and further issues are being prepared for upload.

Custom Decals for Starline ships

        Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 miniatures and will be adapting their offerings to match ADB's new marketing for the 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 their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.
        In addition, Tenneshington Decals continues to develop decals sheets for other empires in the Starline 2500 line and the Starline 2400 miniatures.
        For more information or to download the order sheet, check them out at Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: or Tony L. Thomas at:


       Rated Ace Tournament #42 is heading into the final four players. Only one third-round game is left to play and then round four will be set. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.
       NetKill Patrol first quarter has finished on SFBOL. Joshua Driscol is our newest Cyberknight and has earned the right to have "Sir" added to his handle. Congratulations! Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.
       The Platinum Hat 2013 International Online SFB Tournament has only the final game left to play and that will be between Stephen McCann and Lee Graves. Paul Scott is the judge.
       The Masters 2013 Tournament is finished. Ken Rotar flew the Federation ship; Paul Scott flew the Klingon. Ken's Federation ship came out the winner in this classic duel. The judge is Andrew Koch.




       This all-SFU convention will be held in the southern Nashville region 7-14 June 2014 (eight days) at Clarion Inn & Suites, 2227 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129 (615) 896-2420. Ask for the StratCon room rate. StratCon is organized primarily by and for the F&E community but is open to all SFU games and gamers. The cost will be under $75 per player for the entire week, a fraction of the entry and gaming costs charged by Origins. (That is why it is not being held at Origins. It was announced in the last issue of Communique that ADB, Inc., will no longer attend that convention.) Contact for more information.

       Tony L. Thomas will once again be running several A Call to Arms Star Fleet events at Nashcon 2014 May 23-25, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
       On Friday night, we'll once again be presenting "The Battle for Kh'rtis Rock." This is a massive Klingon versus Federation battle: 61 starships along with 5 repair freighters and there's also a battle station!!!
       The Federation won in 2012.
       The Klingons won in 2013.
       Who'll win in 2014? And will you be a part of the victory or the cause of defeat?
       Saturday will be the ACTASF tournament where three rounds of combat with the overall victory points determining the winner. Bring your favorite 1,000 point fleet and lets see who's the best player in the mid-south!
       Sunday come help playtest the revised second edition of ACTASF with the lead developer.

       MISCON's Sanctioned Tournament for SFB with miniatures will be held on Sunday May 25, and Monday May 26, 2014 in Missoula, Montana and will accommodate 16 players. The all Miniatures Sanctioned Tournament will start on Sunday, at 10:00 am and run for 10 hours, with up to three elimination games. The finals will start 10:00 am, Monday, and run up to 6 hours if necessary. This will be a single elimination tournament, and wild cards will only be used if necessary to fill a bracket, if players do not wish to continue, even if winning. Judge Harlan Haskell III will have all necessary materials, and miniatures for each player, during the tournament. For more information about the con, see:

       On August 17, 2014 at SPOCON, at the DoubleTree, Spokane, WA there will be an SFB sanctioned game or games (depending on turnout) using the tournament rules, with miniatures. Judge Harlan Haskell III will provide all materials for this event.

       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.

       Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamers Haven, 2114 N. Pines St., Suites 1  & 2, Spokane Valley, WA 99206, (509) 443-5992

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: The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It 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.

F&E Strategy of the Month

       Adding colonies co-located with existing bases is a long-standing practice as a way to help protect them with additional PDUs. Engineer units can add a PDU to a planet or colony by (433.32). In addition to the ability to add a PDU, they can add an extra PDU above the normal limits of (433.424) and (446.32). Using the engineer unit to add that extra PDU above the limit of (446.32) gives you that much more additional ComPot when the enemy does attack or raid the base.
        A BATS and a colony with three PDUs has a ComPot of 21, plus 24 fighters, or a total of 45 or 250% greater than a BATS alone. The presence of both a colony and a base gives you the option to stay an extra round or two and cause additional damage to your opponent while he is trying to kill your base and PDUs. You also benefit from the electronic warfare points generated by the PDUs.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month


       At first glance, plasma bolts seem like a very weak option for plasma-armed ships. The maximum range is shorter (10 inches), damage is halved, and on top of that you must roll to hit. Statistically, your torpedoes will do around one-quarter or less of the damage they might if launched.
       There are two advantages to plasma bolts, however. Bolts cannot be intercepted by defensive fire, and may bypass shields (by rolling a "six"). If your target still has enough unfired phasers to stop your plasma volley, or is protected by other ships using Intensify Defensive Fire!, then bolting your plasma torpedoes may be a better option. If your opponent knows that you may use plasma bolts rather than launch, it may cause him to choose another special action rather than potentially waste an action on Intensify Defensive Fire! By being flexible in your approach, you complicate your opponent's defensive calculations.
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)



        Throughout the month our graphics director places on the website various cards called Demotivationals. These are like postcards with an image and a phrase that is often used for humor. Here are the newest demotivationals since our last newsletter:

Ultra-Light SFB
Some days

To see our previous Demotivationals click here.


Mini of the Month
        Every month we will feature one or more 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!


Starline 2500 Federation CB, CC, and three CAs. Eric Drumm painted the minis and took the picture. (It has been photoshopped to remove the base stands.)

mini of the month

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

Communique #101 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Away Team Log Stock #8010 $24.95
Captain's Log #48
Stock #5748 $24.95
Captain's Log #48 Supplemental File Stock #5748-S $1.00
Module C6: Lost Empires Stock #5636 $27.95
Captain's Log #47 Stock #5747 $24.95
Captain's Log #47 Supplemental File Stock #5747-S $1.50
Star Fleet Marines: Last Stand Stock #2102 $34.95
Federation Commander: Reinforcements Attack, Stock # 4110, $29.95
Federation Commander Booster Pack 34 Escorts, Stock #4234, $9.95
Federation Commander Booster Pack 35 Cops & Raiders, Stock #4235, $9.95

To be released in 2014
Fed Com Tactics Manual, SKU 4009, $TBA
SFB Fed Master Starship Book, SKU 5432, price $TBA
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook, price $TBA
A Call to Arms Star Fleet: Book One Revision Two, $TBA
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
Starmada: War & Peace (Admiral and Nova editions), $TBA
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Tholian PC, DD, CA, TK5, DN; Klingon B10; Orion BR, DW, BC, BCH, DN, CA. $TBA
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter. $TBA
Tribbles vs Klingons. $TBA
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA

ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their Warehouse 23. We chose Warehouse 23 because they have a philosophy that agrees with ours -- our customers are honest and honorable and wouldn't aid people who want to steal our products. Furthermore, we know from experience how devastating a computer crash can be and want our customers to know that they don't have to worry about the loss of their e-products bought through Warehouse 23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFs for sale on Warehouse 23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.

RECENTLY RELEASED ON Warehouse 23 (e23 been joined with and is now known as Warehouse 23.)
SFB Basic Set SSD Book 2011 (Color)
Battlewagon Article #5: Surigao Straits
Battlewagon Article #4: Operation Regenbogen
SFB Module T Color SSD Book
Federation & Empire Chart Book
Battlewagon Article #3: The Last Sortie of the Yamato
SFB Master Rulebook
Captain's Log #48 Supplemental File
Captain's Log #34
Asteroid Zero Four
Prochorovka: Armor at Kursk
Captain's Log #33
Battlewagon Article #2: The Battle of San Bernardino Straits
Battlewagon Article #1: Rulers of the High Seas

FC: Omega Playtest Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
FC: Romulan Ship Card Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Basic Set SSD Book 2011 (Color) (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Basic Set SSD Book 2011 (B/W) (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
Battlewagon Article #5: Surigao Straits (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
Captain's Log #3 (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
Battlewagon Article #4: Operation Regenbogen (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
FC: Klingon Ship Card Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Module T Color SSD Book (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Module T B/W SSD Book (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Module T Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
Federation & Empire Chart Book (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
Battlewagon Article #3: The Last Sortie of the Yamato (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
FC: Federation Ship Card Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)
SFB Master Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or War Game Vault)

Star Fleet Fiction

       "Bridge, we are reading a huge buildup in the vortex. This appears to be an inversion coming up."
       "Helm execute a turn towards the vortex and enter as soon as it inverts. Don't wait for orders, just get us out. You have discretion on all uncommitted power."
       "Range to Unknown Four closing, twenty thousand kilometers. Firing as ordered. ESG impact. Good hits. Unknown Four has extensive damage and its warp drive output has dropped by 75%. They appear to be crippled. UIM is still good."
       "Unknown Four has fired. Shield one is at 10%. Unknown Four is tractoring us, range ten thousand kilometers!"
       "Reserve power to negative tractor. Fire all remaining bearing phasers."
       "Firing. Good hits. All reserve power applied to negative tractor, but they still have us. We are now facing the vortex and it is at heading 35.4 mark 3 at warp 1.4. Vampire Ten is now closing on the rear shield!"
       "Maneuvering against Vampire Ten, Captain."
       "Vampire Ten took shield number five down to 10%."
       "Captain, the vortex is inverting. We are getting somethingŠ Contact! Designate Unknown Sixteen. Ship is class 4 sizedŠ Correction, police ship Thiefbreaker exiting vortex. Making a High Energy Turn directly towards us. Range thirty thousand kilometers and closing."
        "Bridge, the vortex has definitely just inverted to a collecting phase and is still building up energy. We anticipate that the vortex will be making a final displacement and then dissipating in the next few chrons."
"Helm, drag that cursed ship tractoring with us towards the vortex if you have to, but get us out!"
       "Captain, the Thiefbreaker is overrunning us. They're closing to minimum range on Unknown Four. Firing all weapons; they're taking feedback damage. Vampires Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen are now maneuvering to hit Thiefbreaker. Vampire Fourteen has been tractored. Vampires Thirteen and Fifteen are accelerating to warp 3.2. My energy plot says the police ship has committed most of their power. Thiefbreaker is dropping its bearing shield to us and we are receiving a transporter signal. Vampire Thirteen and Fifteen hitting Thiefbreaker on its bow shield. Heavy damage. Thiefbreaker launched two shuttles just before the drones impacted. If those are suicide shuttles, Thiefbreaker probably has no reserve power remaining."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth
        Nick G. Blank asks: I would like you to clarify rule (G24.132) and its accompanying example. The relevant part of the rule says "If a scout blinds a channel that is providing ECM/ECCM or self-protection, the channel is considered blinded for the step in which it is blinded ... fire during the same step ... would lose the scout support." The example says that if a fast patrol ship tender (scout) powers channel #1 to loan electronic warfare to its fast patrol ship flotilla, and fires its weapons on Impulse #32 (blinding channel #1), then powers channel #2 on the next turn to again loan electronic warfare to the fast patrol ship flotilla, that the fast patrol ships would never be without electronic warfare support. This seems to contradict the rule, which the way I read it says that the fast patrol ships in this example would be vulnerable (without the fast patrol ship tender's lent electronic warfare) during the Impulse #32 firing step in which the fast patrol ship tender fires its weapons, i.e., an enemy that fired at the fast patrol ships in the same firing step in which the fast patrol ship tender blinded its sensor would not have to deal with the lent electronic warfare.
        The example and rule seem to contradict each other; which is correct?
        ANSWER: This one had to go to Kommodore Ketrick who  replied: I hate to say it, but the example is quite clearly wrong. It was probably written originally for some other scout function and was changed to the more common and prosaic electronic warfare lending function at some point without realizing that made it contradict the rule. The rule is pretty clear that electronic warfare lending ends immediately with the firing of the blinding weapon providing no benefits. So the example is wrong and I have made a note to fix it, to wit: (G24.132) The example, following this rule is in conflict with it, and therefore the example is wrong. The PFT could not continue lending to the PF flotilla on Impulse #32 if it fired its weapons and blinded its channel. Any weapons fire directed at the PFs on the same impulse would not be affected by any EW the PFT was lending them.

        Daniel K. Thompson asks: Regarding the scout channel answer for (G24.132): The rule seems to contradict itself since it starts off by saying blinding is done after weapons fire is resolved on the first line of the rule. It then goes on to say it happens before it is resolved. Can this be clarified some please? Which is correct?
        ANSWER: Kommodore Ketrick replied: I can see where the first sentence of (G24.132) could be a little confusing relative to the fourth sentence. However, there is no contradiction. The scout channel is considered blinded after weapons fire is resolved in terms of functions other than electronic warfare lending, and for purposes of when the 32-impulse blinding period begins. However, any electronic warfare lending from the channel will be canceled during the phase the scout fired the blinding weapon.
        Follow-up question: So, for example, if the scout fires a phaser-1 during the exact step where all similar weapons are fired, any electronic warfare it is generating does not count for any purpose?
        ANSWER: You have the gist of it, but let me give an example to make sure we are all clear. A Hydran scout has two special sensors powered. One has been used to break lock-ons of some drones. The other is being used to lend four ECCM to a friendly Tartar.
        On Turn #2, Impulse #15, the scout fires a phaser-1. This will blind one channel through the direct fire phase of Turn #3, Impulse #15. The scout player chooses the one that had been used to break lock-ons, so the ECCM lending continues. Impulse #16, the Tartar has reached optimal firing range, but the scout needs to fire all four pulses from one of its phaser-Gs at some drones that are getting close. This fire will blind the other scout channel. The Tartar fires one of its hellbores in the first hellbore firing option. It will benefit from the ECCM. However, the phasers it fires this impulse will not benefit nor will the other hellbore that it fires during the second hellbore firing option.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


       Q: The rule in (540.251) states: "...the planet (and its defenses) have joined the team's empire at the start of the next player turn of that empire (immediately)..." It also states: "Note that if the planet joins your empire it is treated as a part of the adjoining fleet and if that fleet is inactive the new planet is in an inactive fleet area, but defenses can still be added to the planet and it produces income for the gaining empire."
        Rule (540.253) says: "If a neutral planet joins an empire, it produces income and can have PDUs added up to the normal limit, but is not part of the supply or strategic movement grid until the turn after the empire is at war with or allied to the other adjoining empire."
        So, given all of that, my questions:
                1. The rules say that defenses can be added to the planet and it further clarifies that only PDUs (and by extension I assume PGBs) can be added to the planet. Can the empire send EPs to the planet via say a tug to allow it to build these defenses? Also could a tug be sent to the planet to add a PDU based on rule (433.422)?
                    2. If the planet joins an empire that has not been set up yet, can elements of the adjoining fleet be setup on the planet without being forced to accept internment? I would note here that per (540.251) opposing diplomats are allowed to withdraw without being interned and it states that this rule is an exception to internment in this case only. This seems to imply that the planet is considered part of the empire and no longer a neutral. Also, can the empire send additional ships to the planet to help bolster its defense? Could a monitor be sent to the planet?
                3. Since the planet generates EPs for "the gaining empire," can a tug/LTT/TT be sent to the planet to pick up those EPs? Would the tug have to be carrying a diplomatic team to make such a pickup?
        A: Answers to your questions:
                1. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone and only delivery of PDUs per (503.63) is allowed.
                2. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone and only delivery of PDUs per (503.63) by tug is allowed. There are also diplomatic missions allowed, but no warships.
                3. No, the hex the planet is still in is a neutral zone.

        Q: It was ruled back in August 25, 2010 that Orion Smuggling cannot be used to take EPs from a planet that joined your empire by (540.25). Is that still true?
        In light of (540.251) the EPs clearly belong to the empire the planet joined not the planet itself, so why is there this restriction? Nothing in (540.25) supports this ruling. According to (410.341) Orion Smuggling is a perfectly legal way to move EPs out of a Partial Grid as well as into a Partial Grid.
        A: The original answer was correct; you cannot use Orion Smuggling (or any other method) to get those EPs sooner than the rules allow. Nowhere in (540.251) or the rest of (540.25x) does it say the planet shares its income immediately. Rule (540.253) specifically states that the planet does not belong to the supply grid of the empire it joined. Hence, no movement of economic points is allowed. The original ruling stands.

        Q: A diplomatically aligned neutral planet generates EPs but is not connected to adjacent grids and is in its own partial grid until such time you are at war with the other neighboring power. They accumulate EPs which may be used to locally construct defenses and/or accumulate. May one use Orion Smuggling to transfer EPs to the planet to augment its indigenous EPs for construction projects?
        A: Sure, if you have them per (410.34). You would have to obey all rules concerning the use of EPs for your empire at that time based on your economic condition. If you are at Peace you could cancel PWC or use other diplomatic income to do this. Or, if you were at War but this was an inactive fleet from the general treasury at the local Orion's rate of exchange. The local planet would not allow you to pull such income via the Orions as they know it would just make their situation more untenable.

        Q: Is Pavarak (5403) considered to be adjacent to the Gorn and ISC for diplomatic purposes (540.25) and can it join one side or the other under the diplomacy rules?
        A: Yes, Pavarak is open to negotiations by both the ISC and the Gorns. But, the ISC needs to be an active player empire.

        Q: Does the same line of thought apply to Circle Trigon (5109) in future scenarios where the Romulans are involved?
        A: Yes, it is close enough to the Romulans to be influenced by them. But, the ISC needs to be an active player empire before the rules can be used.
(End of F&E Q&A)


Q: Dear Aunt Jean,

        Will I be able to customize a starship under Traveller Prime Directive rules?

        A: Yes, to a point. There are a lot of ships of many sizes in the Star Fleet Universe, and you have a wide variety to pick from. Because the volumetric ship system for Traveller is not readily amenable to the power/tonnage system used in the SFU, most are on a basis of "pick one of these things to install here."
        There are three Traveller ships (the Modular Courier, Seeker Skiff, and Security Skiff) that are (via our GURPS deal) already in the Star Fleet Universe. You can use and customize those all you want and you'll be using official Traveller rules and official Star Fleet ships at the same time! Most other Traveller ships can simply be used as-is.
        Most of the "adventure groups" in a Traveller setting are ten or fewer people, and these are easily transported by the "gunboats" of the Star Fleet Universe. At the end of the General War, tens of thousands of war-surplus gunboats were stripped of heavy combat gear and sold off to independent explorers who were seeking their fortunes in a galaxy devastated by two decades of war. Rules to customize these will be included. Gunboats are known for being "as handy as a pickup truck and as tough as a mule." They come out of the "de-militarization yard" rebuilt from wartime systems (30-man crews who stay on board only 24 hours at a time) to "workboats" able to carry 10 beings around for months at a time. They can land on planets, asteroids, or even comets.
        Smaller groups may be quite happy with a modified shuttlecraft. Rules exist in our other Prime Directive books to customize those for exploration, trade, travel, asteroid mining, survey, or whatever you want to do.
        Larger groups might want to use an Armed Transport, a Free Trader, or even a Standard Freighter, all of which can be customized. The Free Trader, for example, has a large cargo bay that is easily reconfigured for a hundred passengers, or dozens of vehicles, or scientific laboratories, or even processing ore mined on one planet while you're on the way to another planet to sell the refined metal. The Standard Freighter is a huge cargo pod and small control pod, but "skids" can be inserted between them with your choice of a dozen customized equipment suites.
        Actual warships (frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and so forth) are massive machines with crews in the hundreds. No one can afford to design a new hull design, and a government-run shipyard produces dozens of each class. So while you cannot "design your own battlecruiser" and produce an official SFU ship that will work in our other games, the standard warships can be customized to a great extent (and already are in the space combat games). You can have alternate heavy weapons (torpedoes, missiles, beam weapons) occuping the standard mounts. Warship hulls can be configured for many missions by replacing weapons and other combat systems with cargo bays, science stations, Marine barracks, or other systems. While the volumetric Traveller system doesn't work with these huge ships(*), the degree of customization available is equal to any mission, whim, desire, or taste.

(*) Any conversion of the Traveller system that could produce a given SFU ship could never match any of the other SFU ships because the design concepts are totally different. Say for example we provided coefficients to convert the Traveller construction system in a way that you could produce an exact copy of the Enteprirse. The problem is that those same coefficients would produce only a weak version of the Ortega-class destroyer or an overgunned munchkin version of the Callahan-class police cutter. The two systems just do not convert.

Send questions to Jean at and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(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 is a link to our new page about our new upcoming game:
Tribbles vs Klingons
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.

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 to add you to the list. (Obviously, they are free.) They are uploaded to the Star Fleet Alert page

Alert 140418 PRICE 2500 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Star Fleet Alert 140320 CL48, Away Team Log
(Adobe Acrobat Required)

FC Tactic of the Month

       Standard Federation doctrine calls for the ship to close to a range of zero or one with fully overloaded photons and then fire an alpha strike. While this works against the Klingons, it needs to be modified when fighting Lyrans.
       While you are charging your photon torpedoes, the Lyran is probably filling his ESG capacitors. When you close to Range Zero or 1, the Lyran will fire a full-strength ESG burst, plus phasers and overloaded disruptors. The ESGs, just by themselves, can knock down your forward shield and cause internal damage. You need to blunt the effect of the ESGs.
       On the turn before you engage, launch shuttles and pull them along using your tractor beams, keeping them in the same hex with your ship. Launch a drone at the end of the turn, timed so that it will impact during the same impulse as your attack.
       When the ESG bursts are fired, your ship, the shuttles, and drone will divide the damage between them, so the shuttles and drone act as a kind of "shield reinforcement."
       The tractor beams cost energy, but each shuttle will absorb six times more damage than the same amount of energy used as shield reinforcement. The empty shuttle bay boxes will also pad any full shuttle bay boxes.
       After exchanging direct fire, launch another drone (you can take "frame" hits to protect your drone rack) or a suicide shuttle (it's unlikely that your on-board shuttles were destroyed).
       The Lyran may well be facing directly towards you and not be able to avoid impact. If he's fired a full alpha strike himself, he won't be able to stop any seeking weapons.
       The threat that you might do this could cause the Lyran to hold back some energy in one ESG; if he does, don't bother arming a suicide shuttle and use the energy to accelerate away so you can reload your weapons and repair critical damage.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Commander David Zimdars, USS Montana

         When facing a "big plasma" opponent, running away from a plasma torpedo, in particular a 60-point enveloping plasma-S torpedo, is often the best (but unappealingly unaggressive) tactical choice. The traditional alternatives are aggressively running through the torpedo or spending phaser fire and/or reinforcement to soften the blow. Unfortunately, the 10 points of damage to every shield and/or the loss of power and weapons is simply too negatively predisposing to be a good trade, at least until the plasma-launching ship's shields have been softened by longer range direct fire.
         Consider a doctrinaire duel or tournament "plasma ballet" fixed-map example. If the plasma ship is approached directly, he will usually launch at Range 14 or 13 and turn away, denying an overloaded Range-8 shot. You might turn away to run out the enveloping plasma torpedo. If you are approaching a plasma torpedo on the same line of hexes, in order to avoid Range 1 on Impulse #32 (and a hit on Impulse #1) you must turn away at Range 5 (if you have a Turn Mode of 6) at Speed 31 (or any speed in which you move every impulse for the remainder of the turn). However, the plasma ship will usually turn back and try to chase you into a corner so that you cannot effectively outrun his second wave of plasma-S and plasma-F torpedoes. In many cases, such long-range plasma-torpedo launches (Range 13-14) must occur no later than mid-turn.
         If you wish to aggressively attack the plasma-launching ship, consider partially or fully allocating a high energy turn while holding reserve warp power for a mid-turn speed change. Note that many ships (for example typical cruisers) will have to move no more than Speed 26 to execute a high energy turn. However, plot your speed such that you will be sure to skip five hexes of movement in the first half of the turn to allow the high energy turn (before the torpedo will get to Range 1). Be sure to maintain a constant speed for at least eight impulses prior to the earliest the torpedo may reach Range 1. Turn away from the plasma torpedo at Range 6-7, depending on the number of moves skipped before the torpedo will reach Range 1. Continue to move until you can turn again, as the torpedo closes in on the diagonal.
         Be sure to allow for two more moves after the second turn (before you skip a move). The torpedo should be on your ship's #3 or #5 shield, facing the same direction as your ship. Then do a high energy turn to face the opposite direction and move the following impulse. You may now be directly closing with the plasma launching ship following you. Note however the torpedo must do a high energy turn or turn so that it will not hit the following impulse. At this point (or possibly earlier or later) announce a speed change using reserve power to make up all the movements missed so that you will run out the torpedo to the longest-range bracket possible.
         Try not to pay for moves that will not decrease the torpedo's strength. This is usually quite surprising since the combination of a high energy turn and a speed change cannot be done on reserve power alone. The plasma-launching player may feel that he was guaranteed a hit before you could approach for a close-in fight and but is now facing a big challenge.
         You may then counter the chasing torpedo a number of ways, such as firing rear phasers (saving the front phasers for your opponent), or by reinforcement over the turn break, or by emergency decelerating on Impulse #30 (stopping after movement on Impulse #32) and launching a wild weasel. Note that if you can close to Range Zero-2 on Impulse #32, the weasel will dispose of the torpedo prior to direct fire on Impulse #1, allowing very effective passive direct fire on the same impulse.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)


Steve Cole is checking map panels to make sure they line up appropriately.