November 2014

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: A whole new A Call to Arms

        The big news for this month is that the new edition of A Call to Arms Star Fleet is being uploaded (any day now) to DriveThru RPG and Wargame Vault. Look for the ACTASF Basic Book 1.2 and you'll find it.
        A Call to Arms Star Fleet is designed as a simpler and faster-playing fleet-vs.-fleet combat game. While FC can handle a nine-vs.-nine fleet battle in a long evening (SFB needs a whole day), A Call to Arms Star Fleet can resolve a 20-vs.-20 game in a moderate evening's play. This is done by simplifying everything. There is no energy allocation; ships just move and fight. (If you take some actions that would use a lot of power in FC or SFB, it will slow your ship down (or cause some other penalty); going at high speed blocks some power-intensive actions. Your chief engineer is handling that, leaving you to fight the battle.) ACTASF uses a you-go/I-go system. Players alternate moving one ship at a time its full movement, then alternate firing the weapons of one ship at a time. (In effect, there is only one "impulse" per game turn.) Because this is the Star Fleet Universe, special (but simple) rules allow drones that don't reach a target in one turn to remain on the map and attack on the second turn. This preserves their "influence on enemy movement" function. While ACTASF is intended for use with tabletop miniatures, you could substitute counters for the ships if you want to give the game a try.
        Because the original hardcover edition of ACTASF had design and balance issues, the joint venture partners (Mongoose Publishing and ADB, Inc.) offered to provide a free PDF to anyone who bought the hardcover book, and ACTASF Basic Book 1.2 fulfills this promise completely, with revised and fully tested rules and ships that have been checked six separate times for accuracy. Even so, we expect that 1,000 players will find things that 50 playtesters did not, and the best thing about PDFs is that we can update them every week until the book is perfect. In February or March of next year we will sell hard copies of ACTASF Deluxe Book 1.2.


        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
Star Fleet Battle Force in the box

        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 Warehouse 23 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, Issue #6, Issue #7, Issue #8, Issue #9, and Issue #10 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:


       The big news here is that the Platinum Hat 2014 tree is well underway. All first-round game have been played or scheduled. Stephen McCann is the judge.

       Rated Ace Tournament #42 has only one round left and that game is between Paul Scott and Stephen McCann. With a scoop of luck, it should be played within a week. Bill Schoeller is the judge for this tournament.

       Rated Ace Tournament #43 is moving along smartly. The final will be between Seth Shimansky and Ken Rotar. Judge Brett Johnson has done an excellent job of keeping this tournament on track.

       NetKill Patrol's third quarter has begun. Richard Schirmer maintains the statistics that make this tournament possible.

       World League 2014 Has just concluded. Team Peons of Death won. Congratulations to Paul Scott, Majead Farsi, and Seth Shimansky. The judge for the tournament was Peter Bakija.


       On November 8, Michael Wikan held a demo of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet at Millennium Con XVII in Round Rock, Texas. He reports he had overflow crowds at his two demos.

       Also on November 8, James Everett reports that he had good turnout for his Star Fleet Battles demos at King Con in Warner Robins, Georgia.

       November 14-16, 2014 at PentaCon in Fort Wayne, Indiana will see two SFU games demoed. The Star Fleet Battles scenario "Survivor!" will run during sessions 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9. The Star Fleet Marines scenario "Rescue the Nerds" will run during sessions 3 and 7. Randy Blair is the Ranger in charge.

       November 15, 2014 in the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Public Library there is an International Game Day. There is a good possibility that Federation Commander will be demoed there by Dal Downing.

       November 29, 2014, at Gamers Haven, Spokane Valley SFB will be played. There will be two maps of asteroids. Fleets will be 1,600 points and you are limited to one dreadnought. Many FFs, PFs and fighters are allowed. There will be a monster holding down the middle, lounging about. Roll up ready to go, at 10 am, upstairs. Harlan Haskell is the Ranger in charge. Let Harlan know your ships (or not). If you do and need miniatures, Harlan will provide them for the 12 hour battle, on Saturday.

       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.

       Star Fleet Battles games are played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.
       Games are held in Spokane, Washington on an irregular basis. Contact them to see if there's a game scheduled. They meet at The Gamer's 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

       Anytime a stasis field generator equipped ship is used in large battle fleets it has a great chance of dying in that round. Instead of always losing such a valuable unit, consider the following group (D7A, F5 or F5L or E4, F5S or E4S and prime team) for small scale combat and killing province-holding or province-disrupting units. These groups have a combat potential value between 14-16 and 16-19, depending on the combination of ships, including the plus two for the prime team. The D7A does not suffer the penalties of (312.261) or (312.262) as it has the required consorts. The force gains the benefit of having a scout under (310.14). The D7A will resolve the stasis field generator attempt(s) normally under (312.22). Once the target(s) is frozen the modifiers are then recalculated. Should the enemy get lucky and do more than one casualty point, you have the F5/E4 to take the casualties first thus saving the stasis field generator ship and scout for another turn or for defense.
       This also works for groups of exactly three ships under (310.115). For example you may use a C5A (9-11), E4 (4), and E4S (2-4) for a total of 15-19 actual combat potential and a value of 14-19 for the purposes of (310.12). The inclusion of a prime team gives this group a combat potential of 16-19. Why would you consider such an overpowered group? The answer is twofold. First you get the modifier for having a fast ship; second, and more importantly, is success. The larger C5 hull has a greater chance of successfully freezing the primary target under (312.22). While a C9A or C10A can replace the C5A, you would not receive the bonus for having a fast ship.
       These groups also do more than just keep your stasis field generator ships alive longer; they provide a use for those little E4 and E4S units that are usually nothing but pin count. Should your enemy show up with a reserve fleet, then you give up the F5/E4, and if forced then you also give up the scout, but your enemy will not be defending the higher value target(s) of your larger assault fleets.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month


        In other Star Fleet Universe games we all know one of the big perks of the Orion player is engine doubling. With all of that power comes the dark side: having to keep doubling those engines as you slowly devour your own power systems one warp box at a time. A Call to Arms: Star Fleet is really no different but instead of losing one warp (and/or impulse) engine box at a time you take a critical to your "Dilithium Chamber." The upside to this is while you are "doubling" those engines you do not suffer from "Power Drain." How does this help? Any time you have taken at least one hit in two or more critical locations you have the opportunity to go ahead and use the All Hands on Deck! special action. Because you are already immune to "Power Drain" you can still move and shoot like normal and during the End Phase you get an opportunity to make repair attempts to multiple system locations all with a plus two to your Crew Check roll. (This is even easier under the ACTASF-1.2 rules.)
(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:

Play On Andromedans!

Strange Universe

Expect No Orders!

Trick for you ... Treat for us ...

Play On Romulans!

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 Gorn HDD. Painting and photo by Mark Notestine.

Eric Drumm painted these Starline 2500 Federation cruisers.

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 #107 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Hydran Master Starship Book Stock #5439 $19.95
Captain's Log #49 Stock #5749 $24.95
Captain's Log #49 SSDs Stock #5749-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #49 Supplemental File Stock #5749-S $1.00
SFB: Federation Master Starship Book
Stock #5432 $24.95
FC: Omega Playtest Rulebook Stock #4809 $6.95
FC Lesser Magellanic Cloud Playtest Pack Stock #4825 $6.95
Fed Com Tactics Manual
, SKU 4009, $24.95
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

To be released in 2014-2015

Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
A Call to Arms Star Fleet: Book One Revision Two
F&E Minor Empires, SKU 3214, price $TBA
F&E Fighter Operations, 2014 update.
A new Starmada book for both editions.
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Tholian PC, DD, CA, TK5, DN; Klingon B10; Orion BR, DW, BC, BCH, DN.
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.
Tribbles vs. Klingons (assuming Kickstarter works!)
F&E Fighter Operations update 2014, SKU 3203
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Captain's Log #50, SKU 5740

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.)
Hydran Master Starship Book
Star Fleet: Galactic Conquest (Fifth Edition)
Federation Commander: Briefing #1
JagdPanther #10
Captain's Log #37
Captain's Log #37 Color SSDs
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (B/W)
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (Color)
JagdPanther #9
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (B/W)
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (Color)
Federation Commander Tactics Manual
SFB: Federation Master Starship Book

A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Book One Revision Two(DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Hydran Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #8 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Galactic Conquest - Fifth Edition (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Briefing #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
JagdPanther #10(DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #37 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #37 Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (B/W) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles Module R3 SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles Designer's Edition, Expansion #3 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
JagdPanther #9 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #7 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (B/W) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles Module R2 SSD Book (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander Tactics Manual (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, Orion LR Dearth of Dreams
        Kina watched the status screens with some measure of helplessness as the repair crews kept up their work. Right now, they were trying to repair the coolant system on the photon torpedo. After some false starts, they had figured out the problem, and she waited for the signal to begin powering the weapon.
        When her cargo bay was full of supplies and parts from the cache, she undocked. Jared wanted one more minute, but she wasn't going to take that chance. Once clear, she had begun to move at sublight speeds, trying to get around the Romulan destroyer. She hoped that the ship would make one pass with active sensors, then leave. To that end, she needed to maneuver her ship as fast as she could into the area that the Romulan had already scanned - while staying hidden.
        Glancing at the view screen, she watched as two metallic asteroids bumped into each other, resulting in a visually stunning display of kinetics. Aside from the aesthetic of the moment, there was also the certainty that her ship was nowhere near as massive as some of the rocks they were passing, and that even such a gentle tap could result in total disaster.
        The Romulan had closed to about 40,000 kilometers from Dearth of Dreams, but it was hard to make out, both due to the reliance on passive scans, as well as the interference from the planetary debris. She also knew that going to active scans would reveal their location to the Romulan, and that was something she would not do.
        A yellow light turned green on the weapons console, and its operator began to feed power into the photon. "Overload the torpedo, Sir?"
        Kina nodded. "Too close for anything less than full strength. If he sees us, we'll bloody his nose and run for it."
        She considered for a moment the idea of turning suddenly and attacking the Romulan head-on. But she dismissed the idea. If the photon missed, the front shields on the K5B could stop the Orion phasers without harm to the ship. Disabling the Romulan destroyer would take a flank or rear shot, but Kina doubted that she could get behind the ship from their current position without revealing themselves. And even then, she couldn't be sure of the shot. No. Better to keep hiding, and avoid the Romulan for now.
        She plotted another turn, keeping the center of the shattered world a mere 10,000 km to the port.
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

        Francois Lemay asks: A ship does a high energy turn and fails and ends up tumbling starting on Impulse #25. Can it perform self-destruction even if it is tumbling at the turn break?
        ANSWER: By (C6.552), tumbling ships cannot take any action. This would block it from self-destructing.
        Follow-up question: I had sent over three boarding parties in a capture attempt before the ship started to tumble; do we conduct boarding party combat at the end of the turn or is that not allowed as well as per (C6.552) for both sides?
        ANSWER: In this case (C6.546) applies. Although the ship can take no action, one half of its surviving boarding parties will be able to defend the ship from one half of the surviving boarders. The remaining Marines (both attacker and defender) will be unavailable during the post-breakdown period or the Boarding Party Combat Step at the end of the turn the ship broke down.

        Brendan Lally asks: As I understand it there is no rule allowing a ship to travel both forward and backward in the same turn. Does this still apply after a ship hits the tournament barrier (assuming the use of reserve power)? Does braking energy need to be applied on a subsequent turn after striking the barrier, before moving in reverse?
        ANSWER: If you are using mid-turn speed changes, then ships can, indeed, mix forward and reverse movement in a turn. See (C12.37). As per rule (P17.221), hitting the tournament barrier does not release you from the restrictions of (C3.52) and (C12.371). If you try to reverse direction within eight impulses of hitting the tournament barrier, you will need to pay braking energy or attempt a quick reverse (C3.6).

        Matthew Potter asks: A unit with a turn mode of 4 makes a turn. Four movements later, it kicks its speed up to a speed with a turn mode of 5. Would it be able to turn during the next move? Or would it have to satisfy the turn mode of 5?
        ANSWER: Garth L. Getgen replies: See rule (C3.44) which states "A unit which satisfied its Turn Mode at its current speed but did not turn, and which subsequently changed speed [either by (C12.0) or at the end of a turn], must satisfy the Turn Mode at the new speed."
        Follow-up Question: Rule (C3.44) seems to be the crux of the problem. Is it that the above unit must satisfy the higher turn mode even though the turn was performed at a lower turn mode?
        ANSWER: Alex Lyons replies: Rule (C3.44) is clear, the turn mode is determined at the moment of turning. The fact that it was satisified earlier at a lower speed is not relevant.
        Mike Kenyon adds: To apply what Alex said to your specific case: At Turn Mode 4, you accumulated four hexes of movement. You then accelerated and your turn mode is no longer satisfied. A common tactic is to take the top of your turn mode and plot a speed plot of that, then drop to one hex less than that, then speed back up to that. This enables you to always get a speed of the bottom of the next bracket up while maintaining a lower turn rate. For example: My Kzinti tournament command cruiser has a turn mode of C. That is a four at Speeds 15-20. If you plot a plot of: Speed 20 until Impulse #8, Speed 19 until Impulse #19, and Speed 20 thereafter, you end up getting 21 hexes of movement without ever having a turn mode of five. That is about the best you are going to do for cornering.

        Xander Fulton asks: When a scenario starts, ships are given position and speed, which determines what they can accelerate to during Energy Allocation of Turn #1, but what of the turn and sideslip modes? Do ships start a scenario assuming they had previously been going "straight," so they can turn right away? Or do the turn and sideslip modes start at "0"?
        ANSWER: Paul Pease replies: Rule (S1.2) . . . "Ships placed on the map at the start of the scenario, or which enter the map during the scenario are assumed to have fulfilled their turn and sideslip modes provided it is possible for them to have done
so. .." There is an exception in that units at Speed Zero have not fulfilled either and scenarios may specify exceptions.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)


        Q: At what point is a province considered "owned" for the purposes of (430.21) economics?
        A: The first check for ownership is at the end of the current Combat Phase. If there are enemy units in the province at the end of the Combat Phase and no friendly units, the province is considered captured (430.22). Once captured, if the occupier continues the occupation, the occupier will receive one EP in each subsequent Economic Phase. If at any time before his Economic Phase the occupier does not satisfy the requirements of (430.22), then no income is generated by the province for the occupier.
        Long-term capture (438.0) is counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase with any disruption during the process, including a successful raid, resetting the clock.
        Annexation (448.2) is also counted from Economic Phase to Economic Phase after long-term capture takes effect. Raids do not affect this process unless the raid eliminates the garrison of the province.

        Q: How are Hydran hybrid carrier-ships handled regarding rule (534.224)?
        A: Hydran hybrid carrier-ships are not covered under this rule. Only Hydran "true" carriers are covered.

        Q: Are the Vudar Enclave rules used in the standard General War Grand Campaign scenario (675.5) with all modules?
        A: This is a scenario rule, so like the Wind series (601-605) players can include it or ignore it if they wish. It is not a requirement. Players could decide to play (601-603) and stop at the end of Turn #19 if they wish.

        Q: A Kzinti 12-ship force executes a fighting retreat, retreating into a hex containing an undefended Lyran convoy. The rules say that the attacking player is required to offer the defending player an approach battle (302.22), but the Lyrans cannot create a battle force to fight the approach battle. Does the Kzinti fleet have to offer an approach battle, and then retreat per (302.775D)? Or may it fight the convoy, and then retreat?
        A: Since the Kzintis have 12 ships and there is only one unit in the hex they are retreating into, priority 2 (302.732) is not met, so no fighting retreat is allowed. A standard retreat would be indicated and the convoy would die in the subsequent combat in that hex.

        Q: Does a Residual Defense Factor exist on a undevastated planet that has never been captured (508.16)?
        A: The RDF only comes into existence when a planet is under control of the original owner and it has no other defenses on it. Don't try to read too much into it.

(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean, which of the current Prime Directive game systems do you like the most?

        A: That's pretty much like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. Even if you have one, it is politic not to provide the answer. I do enjoy both PD20 Modern and GURPS PD, but for different styles of play. PD20M lends itself to a cinematic style of play and I love the flash-bang feeling. GURPS lets me create a character that has several dimensions and is less archetypal.

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 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 140418 PRICE 2500 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Star Fleet Alert 140320 CL48, Away Team Log
(Adobe Acrobat Required)

FC Tactic of the MonthVOLLEY VOUZ

        In Federation Commander, all firing during the same impulse is considered to be simultaneous, but is resolved as separate volleys. Rule (3A4) defines a volley as "...all of the direct-fire weapons of a single ship fired during a single impulse at a single target..." Rule (3D2) allows the attacker to decide the order in which volleys are resolved. Does the order in which they are resolved matter? It certainly does matter!
        In most instances, the largest volley should be resolved first, as it has the greatest chance of knocking down a shield, which will prevent any further volleys on that shield from being reduced by shield reinforcement. Additionally, if any internal damage is scored, you may get lucky and take out a battery or two which will help reduce the ability to reinforce against future volleys and volleys scored on other shields. But is there ever a time when you'd resolve volleys in a different order? It depends on the tactical situation.
        Assume you have multiple volleys scored on a single shield (one of 9 points, one of 8 points, and one of 28 points against a single 25 point shield). If the target has power available and 2 working batteries and the volleys are resolved from largest to smallest...
        Volley A, 28 points: Target reinforces two points and takes one burn-through point loses the 25 shield boxes.
        Volley B, 9 points: Target takes 9 internal damage points.
        Volley C, 8 points: Target takes 8 internal damage points.
        This method will remove two points of power and produce 17 internal damage points.
        If the volleys are resolved from smallest to largest, the target will be able to reinforce against all of the volleys. This method removes six points of discretionary power from the target and will cause 14 internal damage points. While this may seem to be a worse choice, if the object of the mission is to capture a ship, or to prevent it from leaving the area, it may actually be a better choice. If the loss of discretionary power prevents the target from being able to HET to bring an undamaged shield to bear at a later impulse or prevents it from winning a tractor auction, etc.
       Before automatically resolving the largest volley first, think about the options.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Lieutenant J.G. Gary Carney, HMCS Ontario

           The Wing Cruiser, one of the four ships armed with particle splitter torpedoes offered for the Vari Combine in Captain's Log #23, is from the new generation of Omega Octant cruisers capable of fighting at Speed 31. While not a true "war cruiser" (like the Romulan SparrowHawk or the WYN Orca), it is a dramatic improvement over its predecessor, the light cruiser.
           While the R-section for the ship mentions other variants in service, the base hull is armed with a quartet of particle splitter torpedoes, a loadout intended to take advantage of the ship's power curve (a full eight points of generated power above the light cruiser). However, even with this more generous amount of power to spend, some care must be taken in terms of which power level to arm the ship's particle splitter torpedoes at.
           The Vari particle splitter torpedo is a plasma-like weapon with a two-turn arming cycle. It has standard, doubled, and tripled arming levels; with one, two, or three points of power required on the first turn, and two, four, or six points of power on the second. Standard and doubled warheads can be held for one or two points of power respectively; tripled warheads cannot be held.
           The "splitter" aspect of the particle splitter torpedo comes into effect on the ninth impulse after launch; when the warhead splits into two, three, or four sub-warheads (depending on arming level) that must each be pre-recorded as aiming at a separate target. This makes the particle splitter torpedo a useful fleet support weapon; sub-munitions can be used to target enemy fighters or tachyon missiles at medium range, while providing the Vari with a useful short-range deterrent (where the torpedo can hit before splitting).
           In a duel scenario, it may be an idea to take a leaf from a common Probr playbook, and plan to alternate between the port and starboard particle splitter torpedo launchers on successive turns. If planning on using the doubled arming level (which is still effective in the short-range exchanges the Vari favor), this would allow the Vari captain to budget for a more reasonable arming expenditure (two two-point and two four-point torpedoes per turn). This would then allow for the ship to keep its options at speed. Unlike the Probr, which would wish to keep their distance when rolling down successive accentuated high energy acceptance torpedo launches, the Vari should maintain their preference for short-range "spider's embraces;" the less room the target has to run out the pre-split warheads, the better.
           The Wing Cruiser should save the tripled arming level for attacks on slow or immobile targets, or if providing medium-range support to fleets of older and slower Vari ships. (Its larger counterpart from Captain's Log #23, the command cruiser, is in a better position to run its pair of particle splitter torpedoes at the tripled arming level, befitting its role as a fleet flagship.)
If using a Wing Cruiser to forward your cell's ambitions, order a double-double of particle splitter torpedoes each turn . . . and pour them down the throats of your would-be prey.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)


Burt from Lafayette, Louisiana wrote:

The wife said I had to decorate the front door for Autumn.

She said, "Make it look festive."

She'll learn to be more specific next year.