May 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: this month is the release of Star Fleet Battles Module C3A: The Andromedan Threat File and GURPS Federation.

WEBSITE:Our website,, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Joel Shutts, 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 the Wall of Honor where we recognize our volunteers and their contributions.

FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
If you haven't seen the 300+ 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 news feed.

VIDEOS: 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 Battle Force in the box

STARBLOG: Our StarBlog has moved to a new URL and all links on the Federation Commander websites and the first site have been changed to match. The new site is

AMBASSADORS: We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see our topic on the FC Forum or on the BBS.

Fight For A Cure

Fight For A Cure is a far bigger success than we ever dreamed it would be in its first year. The tournament has 36 people who entered and many people who donated. ADB, Inc. was able to send a check for $600 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Play continues and you can keep track from this page on SFBOL:

Fight For A Cure Tournament Tree

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 him 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 an explosion in the Federation Commander Play by Email topic and even more exciting to see more FCOL Tournaments taking place. 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 communication.

FC Tactic of the Month

     The rules do not allow ships firing overloads to use directed damage, but nothing stops a ship from splitting its fire. So, when fighting squadron or larger actions, consider firing the heavy weapons of one ship at a target and using directed damage on the same target with another ship's phasers.
     This isn't a "use every time" kind of tactic. Sometimes you won't have enough firepower available to want to fire on more than one target, but sometimes de-fanging two ships rather than crippling one is the way to go.
     As an example, take a squadron of three Klingon D5 war cruisers exchanging fire at Range 4. If energy is available for full overloads, this squadron could expect to score 64 points of damage with overloaded disruptors and a further 30 or more points of damage with phasers. This is enough to cripple, but not quite destroy, an enemy war cruiser or light cruiser. Splitting this fire on two targets might generate six-to-eight volleys in total, three of which could use directed damage.
     This tactic might be particularly useful against enemies such as the Hydrans and Federation who may not want to exchange fire at Range 3-8, but want to close further.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     When defending a "Three-Ring Circus" (three concentric rings of globular web), the Tholians often use only their phasers as moving a ship outside of a protective layer of web can attract a considerable quantity of the attacker's firepower. Here is a way for Tholians to use their heavy weapons. When an attacker sticks a ship in the outer ring of web, have a vessel positioned in the space between the middle and inner rings of web expend one point of reserve impulse power (H7.47) to move into the middle ring on Impulse #32. Have the vessel attach a tractor beam to a shuttle (previously located in the inner ring of web), one that has foregone the ability to pass through web. Conduct an alpha strike (including any other units' phasers) on the attacker stuck in the outer layer of web. On Impulse #1 of the following turn, tractor rotate (G7.7) yourself toward your shuttle, placing you inside the middle layer of web. This makes you immune from any fire on the new turn. It should have only resulted in fire from one ship (the one that is trapped) as the attacker had only five impulses (from Impulse #28 after you declared your speed change until Impulse #32) to move more firepower to be directed against the ship.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

     With the introduction of the Federation fast destroyer (DDF) in Strategic Operations, the Federation has a new ship that will help make an extraordinarily effective garrison hunter.
     The Federation DDF, when teamed with a fast cruiser (with a Prime Team) (CF/PT) and a frigate scout (FFS) combine to make an Enhanced Small-Scale Combat (ESSC) force that is quite formidable.
     The attack and defense values are at the top of the chart, and should result in very few garrisons able to do any return damage. Then, once the dust clears from the first engagement, the DDF and CF/PT can leave the FFS behind and pursue whatever remains. Since the pursuit force is entirely composed of fast ships, pursuit is automatic except against other fast ships.
     So, once the Coalition grows tired of leaving single-ship garrisons to die at the hands of "normal" raiders, consider this approach to a province-raiding group of two or three small ships.
     The end result should be to force the Coalition to leave large forces everywhere, and be then subject to the old maxim "he who defends everything, defends nothing."
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)


     Q: How come the SSDs and Ship Cards don't match up with the deck plans? I nean, there's one cargo box and yet there's a huge spot for cargo in the deck plan.

     A: The SSDs (and Ship Cards) and the deck plans serve  two different functions. The SSDs/Ship Cards are a measurement of how much  "destruction" the ship can take. A hold that is huge may have all that  huge area destroyed in one hit. For some ships, cargo is what they are  about, so they have cargo boxes. Does that mean a starship without cargo  boxes can't haul "stuff"? No, but it might have to be squirreled away  in odd places. Deck plans are designed to show the layout of  one ship and to suggestvariations, not to show how vulnerable a ship  might be to damage.

      Send questions to Jean at and SVC will decide which one Jean will answer next.
(End of Ask Aunt Jean )

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!

Custom Hydran Mohawk and Fighter Escort
Dan Ibekwe

New Releases

Communique #65 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

MAY 16th
GURPS Federation, Stock #8402, $24.95
Star Fleet Battles Module C3A: Andromedan Threat File, Stock #5635, $19.95.

June 6th
Captain's Log #43, Stock #5743, $19.95.

To be Released at ORIGINS
Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95.
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $TBA.
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95.
Starship Aldo, Adventure for GURPS and PD20, $5

To be Released in August
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA

To be Released in September
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA.

To be Released in October
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.

To be Released in November
Captain's Log #44, Stock #5744, $TBA

Federation & Empire Chart Book
Captains Log #7
Captains Log #6
Captains Log #5
Lyran Ship Card Pack #1
GURPS Federation
Captains Log #4
Andromedan Ship Card Pack #1
GURPS/PD Dread Pirate Aldo
Hydran Ship Card Pack #1
Captains Log #3
Federation & Empire: The Hurricane

Prime Directive PD20M
Klingons PD20 Modern

FC: Border Box #10, SKU 4410, $99.95
Federation LTT, SKU 0238, $9.95
Federation Old CA, SKU 0239, $8.95
Tholian TK5, SKU 0717, $7.95

Cafe Press

True, it is only May, but that gives you plenty of time to drop hints about what you'd like for Father's Day. Try these!

Do you have a problem with accumulating cardboard? Do you need to admit that?
Green Shirt

Are you working out and toning up this summer? Try taking your gym bag along.
teddy bear

Maybe you just want to kick back on the beach?

Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy it!

We'll be adding even more items soon and we want to hear from you! Please contact Joel Shutts (Graphics Director)  with your request.  Visit our Star Fleet Cafe Press Store for a complete listing of the products available (or click on the items above to go directly to them).

PDF SALES: ADB, Inc. continues its relationship with Steve Jackson Games and their e23 Warehouse. We chose e23 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 e23. What do we have there? We have created a new page that allows easy access to our PDFS for sale on e23. From here you can see what we currently have posted and have links to those products.

Star Fleet Fiction
Burden of Duty, Debt of Revenge

     Captain Kinzek paced his cramped Bridge, peering over shoulders at screens, and pausing to watch the visual, which showed space peeling by at the once difficult, but now mundane speed of warp nine-point-five. The Bridge had seemed spacious to him nine months ago when he first stepped on board, but after his somewhat cramped quarters on the spacedock, a coffin would have seemed spacious. He measured the length of the Bridge with his stride again. One, two, three, four, five, six, pause, turn. One, two, three, four, fiveŠ His subordinates cast glances at each other and at his back as he passed.
    He paused again in the center of the Bridge, staring at the visual again. The stars peeling by were hostile stars, not the friendly stars of home space; that was the cause of his worry.
    The prospect of a commerce-raiding mission behind the front had not initially excited him; it seemed a poor test of such a fine warship as this. After speaking with the fleet admiral, a full understanding of what this ship was capable of had settled within him. He actually became excited, champing at the bit during the initial space trials all new-construction ships went through. He was not excited about the prospect of shooting up poorly protected convoys or their escorts, but at the significance of what this ship, and others like her, could do during this war.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

     Kenneth Moline asks: I understand that deck crews are used to move drones from the ready racks to the fighter launch rails, but are they also used to move drones from the cargo bay to the ready racks?
    ANSWER: Rule (FD2.443) provides that if there are drones in cargo boxes on the ship they are automatically moved to fighter reload storage as space becomes available. (Somebody does it, but not the deck crew.) It does not require any deck-crew actions to move such drones. Deck crews are required to load drones onto ready racks, and to load drones on ready racks onto fighters. If there is no ready rack, a deck-crew action is required to move a drone to the shuttle bay (J4.8962).
    Follow-up question: Does the rack have to be taken off line to reload the reload area from cargo?
    ANSWER: The rules indicate that in order to reload a drone rack you have to take it off line. The rules under (FD2.44) say that when you take a drone from reload storage for the rack to load into the drone rack, a drone from cargo storage is automatically moved into the reload storage space you just emptied. So the rack is off line, but is only off line for the purpose of being reloaded, the arrival of the drone to refill the reload storage capacity of the rack is just incidental to this. Note that you cannot have one deck crew loading drones onto a ready rack while another deck crew is simultaneously taking drones off the ready rack (J4.8172). This is all in the rulebook.
    Follow-up question: The two carriers in the Basic Set lack cargo boxes. Does that mean that they only have one full set of drones for the fighters, plus the supply for the drone racks, or do the fighter boxes provide storage also?
    ANSWER: See Annex #7G on Page 222 of the Basic Set rulebook. It provides that both the Kzinti CV and CVS carry 150 spaces of drones for their fighter groups (these are the drones in the fighter ready racks and fighter drone storage). This storage is separate from the drones in the drone racks (and reload storage) of the ship. See (FD2.45) for figuring out special drones. Note that the AxCVL requires you to see its ship description for the drones it has stored for its fighters (in this case 100 spaces), because not all AxCVLs have drone-armed fighters. In each product Annex #7G is updated for any carriers added.
So you probably meant to say that the transporter operation is taking place in Impulse #15, in which case both ships are scheduled to move on Impulse #16 for purposes of determining shield facing, and in that case rule (D3.41) refers you to (D3.43).
(Ask Growler continues here)


     Q: Just to make sure, when is war declared? I've got a Klingon diplomatic ship within range of Sherman's Planet on Coalition Turn #6. The Shermanites allied with the the Federation last turn, and I want to see if I have a chance to roll to convince them to return to neutrality before my armada crosses the Neutral Zone on Coalition Turn #7. I sent the diplomats there during the Movement Phase of Coalition Turn #6, but I don't get to roll until the Economic Phase of Coalition Turn #7, so is the Economic Phase before or after I declare war?
     A: War is declared at the instant that there is an action that causes that declaration. As long as you perform the action to change their minds before you commit an action (say, entering Federation territory) that causes war to be declared, the diplomats would have a chance to neutralize Sherman's Planet before your hordes of DSF ships cross the Federation border.
(F&E Q&A continues here )


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 110504 Gurps Fed & C3A (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110221 Schedule (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101231 New Year (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101026 Fight For A Cure
(Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101019 Video (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 101007 Cafe Press (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100906 Module Y3 (Adobe Reader Required)


The Vudar Fleet
The War Destroyer, Frigate, War Cruiser,
Dreadnought, and Heavy Cruiser

Vudar Warships
Vudar DNVudar CA