November 2016

Star Fleet Universe News


Romulan Master Starship Book

        The fourth volume in the long-anticipated Master Starship Book series is now available. It includes every Romulan ship in Star Fleet Battles, including X-ships, Y-ships, and R1 units that are specific to the Romulan Star Empire. Romulans are especially challenging because of the history of the various great houses insisting on a particular design, the various stages of early versions of what would become the cloaking device, and the addition to their fleet of converted Klingon ships. This book even includes some new units that won't be printed until Captain's Log #52.
        Every ship is illustrated. All updates, corrections, and errata have been added. The ships are in order (regardless of the product they came from) with the enhanced format listing detailed information in a consistent manner. This book contains the descriptions of the ships, but no SSDs.

        Want it as a PDF? You have several choices.
Warehouse 23:
DriveThru RPG:
Wargame Vault:
        It is also in print directly from ADB.


        Our website,, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Simone Dale, 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.


        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 "Get Notifications" is checked.

        ADB has 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 next goal is to get 200 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

        A customer asked about posting "tutorial videos" for our games. We like it when people do that (and even give commendation medals) but you need to have us check the videos to make sure you aren't violating something somehow (or that you didn't make a rules error). Doing such videos to make money is not cool. Please drop us an email before you post the videos.

        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.


         Star Fleet Legions isn't a new game; it is all of you who play any of our Star Fleet Universe games.
         For a game universe that is 36 years old, it seems odd (but very gratifying) that the number of active players is growing, not diminishing. We can tell this by the number of people on the fan pages, the number of Rangers and battle groups, the number of new Starlist entries, and of course by the sales numbers.
         Starlist is growing by an average of 10 new entries and five updates per month. There are 1,240 active names on the list (plus overseas, Canada, and those who last contacted us in 1991-2004). Not on Starlist? Fill out your application here:
         Battle groups have been forming up left and right. We started with one in Tennessee. Now there are battle groups in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. We've gone international with groups in Canada, England, and Taiwan. Battle groups are doing demos, tournaments, and game days in stores and conventions. Do you have a group you game with? Join us here:
         How have these battle groups been forming? Usually through the hard work of a Ranger. Rangers run demos, start game days, contact conventions, reach out to stores, and promote Star Fleet Universe games. Do you want to be a Ranger? Start here:  

         Each month we shine a spotlight on one of our battle groups. This month it is one of our most active battle groups: Battlegroup Murfreesboro. They are homeported in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with Tony L. Thomas as their group commander. They actively playtest A Call to Arms: Star Fleet and Federation Commander; any of the other games are played and demoed upon request. Do you live in the area? Find out how to contact them here:

         Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here:

Facebook Fan Pages

         If you are on Facebook, you have no doubt heard of ADB's page on Facebook. Did you know there are fan pages galore? Fan pages are groups that are started and administered by fans. They are independent of ADB, so we may not know about all of them. These are ones we know about that support the Star Fleet Universe:

So join us on Facebook and get a fix of your favorite game there, too!

        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 have placed 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, Issue #10, Issue #11, Issue #12, Issue #13, Issue #14 and Issue # 15 are uploaded.

Custom Decals for Starline ships

        Tenneshington Decals continues to provide custom decals for all currently produced Federation Starline 2500 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 of their products, the names on the ships are up to the customer and all sheets are custom-printed to order.
        *** Newly announced in November, decals sheets for Starline 2400 Federation miniatures are well into design, with decals for other empires in both Starline 2400 and Starline 2500 lines in development. ***

        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:

        Jupiter IV Decals is a source of decals for the 2400 line and will do custom decals as well as all official SFB names. In the near future Jupiter IV will move into the 2500 line and will work to get every listed name on the Starfleet registry completed in both scales.
        Their website is:


       Rated Ace Tournament 46 is in its final game. Ron J. Brimeyer will face Lee P. Graves. Good luck to these players! Andy Vancil is the judge for this tournament.

       The 2016 Star Fleet Battles World League is entering the finals. Team MBA and Team Beaurocratic Haul's Glass face off against each other. Peter Bakija is coordinating this tournament.

       The sixth annual Star Fleet Battles Platinum Hat tournament is now underway. Five of the second-round games have been played; one third-round game has been played. Paul Scott is the judge for this tournament; Steven Petrick is the Tournament Marshal.


       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 held regularly in Indianapolis, Indiana at Game Paradise. Anthony Harding is the contact person. For more information see:

       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

       One gambit the alliance may try is to delay the Romulan entry into the war. If the Klingons do not deploy their D7N in the Romulan Capital, consider sending a Federation prime team there on Turn #10 to assassinate the Klingon diplomat! While the chance of success is low, it is worth the effort, as if successful it will delay the Romulan attack. In such a case the Federation should strive to keep the Klingons from being able to send a replacement diplomat on their next turn.
       On the Hydran front, now that Minor Empires is a consideration, it is important to send both Hydran diplomats to Demorak, as otherwise a successful assassination of a Hydran diplomat at that location will lead to the Lyran Democratic Republic joining the Coalition, adding many ships and additional economic income to the Coalition's efforts.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month


       This is where the tactical choices begin. After a conflict intensity is selected, you must purchase your forces. Everyone has a different play style and no one style is right or wrong. Do you select a lot of small ships, a few big ones, or a balanced force containing both small and large ships? Again, it's up to you, and there are no "command" and "formation" rules from SFB. Here are some things to keep in mind for force selection:
       Quantity: Since ACTA uses the you go/I go method for movement and fire, having more ships than your opponent gives you an advantage during both movement and attack.
       Quality: Dreadnoughts and other big ships are nice but make enticing targets. They can dish out an astounding amount of fire in a single turn, but your opponent can field three smaller ships for the same price. You have to weigh the potential of your dreadnought against what those three smaller ships can do.
       Ability: Each ship has multiple traits and those traits should be considered. Is your opponent's force a drone-using empire? Then consider getting units with the Anti-Drone trait. Does your opponent have Stealth? Consider ships with Accurate weapons.
(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:

Make it, but ...


Outside the Box

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!

Large ore carrier. Painting by Dale McKee.

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 #131 has been posted to the Commander's Circle

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

Recently Released
Romulan Master Starship Book Stock #5435 $27.95
SFB: Module C2 -- New Worlds II (2016)
Stock #5602 $22.95
F&E Fighter Operations
Stock #3203 $34.95
Captain's Log #51
Stock #5751 $24.95
Captain's Log #51 SSDs Stock #5751-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File Stock #5751-S $1.00
Minor Empires
Stock #3214 $36.95
ACTASF Deluxe Edition
Stock #M 30001 $29.95
Klingon Master Starship Book
Stock #5433 $29.95
F&E Compendium Part 3
Stock #5718-3 $12.95
Captain's Log #50 Stock #5750 $24.95
Captain's Log #50 SSDs Stock #5750-2 $3.50
Captain's Log #50 Supplemental File Stock #5750-S $3.50

To be released in 2016
A new Starmada book for both editions.
Federation Commander Reference Starship Book
Traveller Prime Directive Core Rulebook
New starships for the 2500 (1/3125) range including Klingon B10
New starships for the 2400 (1/3788) range including heavy war destroyers and the jumbo freighter.

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.

Romulan Master Starship Book
FC: Klingon Ship Card Pack #4
The War of the Worlds
FC: Federation Ship Card Pack #4

Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #1: Starships


SFB: Module C2 - New Worlds II (2016) Rulebook

SFB: Module C2 - New Worlds II (2016) SSD Book (B/W)
SFB: Module C2 - New Worlds II (2016) SSD Book (Color)
FC: Lost Empires Preview Ship Card Pack

Captain's Log #42
Captain's Log #42 Color SSDs
SFB: Module R4 Rulebook 
Operation Pegasus
SFB: Module Y3 Rulebook 
Federation & Empire: Minor Empires Rulebook
Captain's Log #51 - Supplement

Star Fleet Battles: Module X1R Rulebook

A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Volume One, Revision 2 Deluxe Edition
Star Fleet Battles: Module R12 Unusual Ships Rulebook
Federation & Empire: Fighter Operations 2016 Rulebook 

Romulan Master Starship Book (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: Klingon Ship Card Pack #4 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
The War of the Worlds (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #24  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: Federation Ship Card Pack #4 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Universe Coloring Book #1: Starships (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault or DriveThru Comics)
Cerberus  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C2 -- New Worlds II (2016) Rulebook  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C2 -- New Worlds II SSD Book (2016) (B/W)  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module C2 -- New Worlds II SSD Book (2016) (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #23  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: Lost Empires Preview Ship Card Pack (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #42  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #42 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #42 Supplement  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles: Module R4 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Operation Pegasus (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: LDR Ship Card Pack #1 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #22  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Battles: Module Y3 Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
FC: Romulan Ship Card Pack #3  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #21  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Minor Empires Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)


For the Glory of the Empire

Star Fleet Fiction

Bridge, Federation Large Auxiliary Carrier Galeron
in Orbit over Arcturia, August 18, Y180

        "Does the space station confirm the Rochefort's readings?"
        "Affirmative, Admiral," replied the sensor officer. "Seven contacts, bearing 272 degrees mark nine, distance 700,000 kilometers, closing at warp seven. Cancel that, Sir, they are reducing to tactical velocities, warp four and dropping."
        Guard Admiral Teraana Aphena's heart quickened. Could it be happening again? And will we be prepared this time?
        "Tactical display on main viewer," she commanded firmly in the main Arcturian tongue. During the years of Klingon occupation, the Arcturian government-in-exile had built up the National Guard fleet using auxiliary ships built on freighter hulls, recruiting whatever Arcturians had been off planet at the time. The Galeron was the flagship, an auxiliary carrier with six F-101C heavy fighters and a dozen F-18Bs. Since the ship was crewed entirely by Arcturians, it wasn't necessary for her to give orders in the Federation Standard Language most of her species found difficult to master. On the tactical display, she saw the ship icons for the rest of her squadron: the large auxiliary cruiser Keob, the small auxiliary cruisers Morkaln, Then'kkah, and Tecpec, and the large auxiliary scout Joseph Rochefort. All of these ships except the Rochefort were named for important cities on Arcturia. The Rochefort was a Star Fleet ship on loan to the Arcturian Guard, and the only ship not crewed by her species.
        Also under her command were a dozen FB-111 bombers and a dozen F-16 fighters based on the homeworld. The bombers were an impressive asset, but the fighters were manned by green pilots who'd only just begun their flight training. At least the F-16s were the powerful Gatling versions; being a member planet had its perks. A new battle station orbited Arcturia, but the station was only partially operational and wouldn't be complete for at least another month. The special sensors were working, but the station had only half of the powerful phaser-4 weapons on-line. One of the slow monitors was due to arrive in a few days, along with a shipment of defense satellites and mines, but that did Admiral Aphena no good today.
        Two powerful Star Fleet squadrons centered on the dread-nought Star League and the carrier Yamamoto were supposed to be screening the system from Klingon attacks or another invasion, but something had obviously gone wrong. Arcturia had been retaken from the Klingons so recently that the system defenses were not yet up to par. The Klingons themselves had to know this. Could this be an attempt to retake the planet, or was it just a raid to keep things off balance?

(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

        Douglas Saldana asks: According to rule (D15.52) shuttles "carrying ground units to or from a planet or returning from such a mission may be formed together with escorting fighters into a convoy." It goes on to say that convoys are "specifically for the purpose of protecting troop transport shuttles." Is it a requirement that the convoy actually be travelling to or from a planet?
        ANSWER: The rule very specifically states planet several times, however, it is part of (D15.0) and (D15.1) provides that the rules could be used to attack an asteroid that has something important located on it. If a scenario says that you need to land troops on the big derelict alien battleship to capture the techno-whatzit, then you could use a convoy to get there.

        Follow-up question: Could a convoy be formed to move troops between two ships or bases?
        ANSWER: It is impossible to write a rule that would cover every exceptional case, but in the end shuttle convoys can only be used where ground combat is going to take place. If the scenario does not require ground combat, then convoys cannot be used. The specific purpose of the convoy is to deliver ground troops to or from the "planet" in question. If there is no ground combat, then shuttle convoys cannot be used. Note specifically that at least one term paper has been submitted by an over-eager Hydran trying to use the escort of a shuttle in deep space to make it harder for the opposition to shoot down his Stinger fighters. This paper was rejected because that is not the purpose of convoys. No ground combat, no convoy.

        Follow-up question: Could I use a convoy to move troops to or from a comet, asteroid, or other non-planetary body on which ground combat is possible?
        ANSWER: The scenario must define a reason for there to be ground combat in order to invoke (D15.0). The fact that there is some terrain feature which would make ground combat possible is not enough, but if the scenario says ground troops must land, you can use a convoy to safely get them there. A player cannot simply say: "We are fighting in an asteroid field, and if I land one boarding party on a rock someplace, you might land a boarding party on that same rock, so ground combat is 'possible' so I am invoking the shuttle convoy rule to move my strike fighters close to your dreadnought."

        Follow-up question: Could a convoy be formed to protect shuttles attempting to disengage (by distance, by sublight or by leaving a fixed map)?
        ANSWER: No. Shuttle convoys can only be invoked if there is going to be ground combat as part of the scenario.

        Follow-up question: If some destinations are legal targets of convoys and others are not how is this enforced?
        ANSWER: The scenario itself must require ground combat so that something can be accomplished. This might be landing troops to attack something, or to rescue someone, or some other situation that will require that troops be landed. Convoys might be used in a scenario involving ground combat on a planet to move troops from the planet to a moon (or asteroid) near the planet that the two sides are contesting. The ultimate requirement to use convoys is that the scenario must invoke (D15.0) Ground Combat. If there is no ground combat, then (D15.0) does not apply, and shuttle convoys, which are part of ground combat, cannot be used.

        Follow-up question: Does the convoy player need to record the convoy's destination when it is formed?
        ANSWER: No. Even if such a destination were recorded, it could be changed, e.g., you originally intended to land at the ground combat location on the 2214/2215 side of the planet in hex 2215, but decided to land at the ground combat location on the 2216/2215 side of the planet. Such a change would be able to be done on any impulse, just as any shuttle can join or leave a shuttle convoy on any impulse (D15.5211).

        Follow-up question: What happens if the convoy fails to move directly to its destination?
        ANSWER: Nothing. A convoy could be formed and wait for the ground defenses to be reduced before proceeding to the planet, or the defender might form a convoy have it waiting in the atmosphere to determine which ground combat location the attacker will hit so that he can send it there to reinforce the defenses. The controlling feature once again is that there must be ground combat as the feature of the scenario. At that point, given commanders will determine when to attempt to "run the batteries" to get their troops to the critical points to win the ground combat and thus the scenario.

        Follow-up question: What happens if the tactical situation changes and a player wants to recall the convoy or divert it to a different destination?
        ANSWER: He does so. The rule is not intended to take away the commander's flexibility to react to changes in the tactical environment, but again this can only be used if there is to be ground combat. A commander might start a shuttle convoy towards a planet, determine that he has lost the ground battle while the convoy is en route, and recall the convoy to his ships so that he can take them aboard before he disengages.

        Follow-up question: Must the escorted shuttles actually be carrying troops?
        ANSWER: It would be difficult for shuttles to return to ships (or to another ground combat location) to pick up more ground units if they could not be empty. The purpose of a convoy is to move ground units (D15.52), so empty shuttles must be en route to pick up ground troops on a "planet." A convoy cannot be formed around an admin shuttle for the purpose of making it harder for the enemy to cripple the squadron of "escorting fighters." Convoys exist for the purpose of moving ground units, not for the purpose of getting fighters to the target. Whether moving from ground combat location "A" to ground combat location "B" to pick up ground units to carry to ground combat location "C," or moving from ground combat location "A" to ships adjacent to, or several hexes from, the planet to pick up ground units to carry back to the planet and perhaps to land at ground combat location "D." This is covered by "returning from such a mission" in (D15.52).

        Follow-up question: Could they be carrying crew units (not yet converted to militia), or civilians?
        ANSWER: If as part of the ground combat requirement which invoked rule (D15.0) you need to evacuate personnel you can do so in the shuttle convoy. Special scenario rules might provide that you need to move units of scientists to the ground combat location (probably after you have secured it) to study something and such would be non-combat crew units. But, again, if there is no ground combat defined in the scenario, no shuttle convoy.

        Follow-up question: Could they be carrying cargo not directly related to ground combat?
        ANSWER: Such cargo must be part of the ground combat, either something the ground troops need or something they rescued for you. You cannot say "There are Marines on that planet so I'm using a convoy to move cargo from Ship A to Ship B."

        Follow-up question: Do they need to be carrying anything at all (given that the shuttles themselves can participate in ground combat)?
        ANSWER: If ground combat is the basis of the scenario, shuttles could benefit from the convoy rule to reach the battle.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)

        Q: If an enemy fleet is two hexes away from your Fleet Alpha and moves parallel to your position, and if your fleet Alpha contains a scout, then your fleet Alpha is permitted via reaction movement to move one hex toward the enemy fleet, and then react again to enter its hex. But if you have a second force, Fleet Beta, which only had to react one hex and has completely pinned the enemy fleet (so it does not move again) can Fleet Alpha enter that battle hex with its second hex of movement even though the enemy fleet did not move again?
        A: According to rule (205.33) regardless of how an enemy force comes to a stop in a hex, a force of eligible reacting units may use extended reaction movement to enter the hex of the now stopped unit. So Fleet Alpha can enter that hex whether Fleet Beta pinned the enemy or the enemy just stopped on his own account.

        Q: The Klingons have captured NZ planet 1506 and have a squadron there. Kzintis attack the BATS in 1507, and the entire Klingon squadron reacts to that battle. The NZ planet becomes independent again and an RDU magically appears there. Can the Kzintis, leaving 1507, do a fighting retreat to 1506, destroy the RDU, and then retreat on to 1505?
        A: This has been clarified before. An RDU is not a unit. In fact, it hasn't been called an RDU since 2009 and was changed to RDF in the 2010 rulebook. As such it does not block retreats or pursuit and you can't just attack them for the sake of attacking them. This applies to fighting retreats as they do not block retreats which is a requirement for the fighting retreat to happen, per (302.77).
(End of F&E Q&A)


Dear Aunt Jean, How are the baseline stats for a given species established? Just who is being rated? The Kzinti weightlifting team? The Gorn on the street? The Klingon warrior? A Federation civilians?

        A: Baseline stats assume that what is "average" is a normal human being. These are "non-player" characters, for the most part. Baseline stats for a species assumes this is normal for that species. In GURPS that comes with a price; in other game systems there is usually some sort of compensation for taking an "ordinary human" or a price for playing other species.

Players have characters that are, by design, better than normal. Player characters have the advantage of additional training, better than average stats, and in some cases a created background that can affect game play. GURPS Prime Directive shows this the most clearly.

Send questions to Jean at and she will answer as soon as she can.
(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 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: Wallpapers
       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 160531 Cart (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160518 Captain's Log #51 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 160317 For the Glory
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 150331 Captain's Log #50
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 140707 FC: Tactics Manual and Captain's Log #49
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 140418 PRICE 2500 (Adobe Acrobat Required)


        Are you flying a Federation ship? Federation ships have fewer drone racks than Klingons or Kzintis, so you need to pay attention to the drone game or it will eat your ships alive. Things get worse in multi-ship battles, where the drone advantage of the enemy ships escalates astronomically.
        You are going to be forced to use your drones defensively most of the time. If the enemy does not launch on the first turn, take advantage of the opportunity to use your drones offensively. Sure, the enemy will probably destroy them, but that means weapons (of whatever sort) are not targeted on your ships. Count how many drones you can launch, divide by two (assume half of them won't get through), and multiply by 12 (warhead points per drone). Then compare the result to the box count of your possible targets, and pick one that you can cripple (one with about twice as many boxes, or three times as many victory points). Launch all of your drones targeted on this ship.
        When your enemy launches drones at your ships, you cannot counter-launch until the next impulse. Use the time to count drones and analyze targets. You can have any of your ships launch counter-drones, and you can judiciously gamble that phasers, anti-drones, tractors, and shields will keep your ships undamaged. Whatever drones you have left, launch ALL of them at ONE of his frigates or destroyers.
        In defending your ships which are targeted by enemy drones, analyze how the drones are spread out and what weapons you can use against them. A ship launching its own drone as a counter-weapon has a guaranteed kill against an incoming drone. Phasers have a high chance of a kill, as do anti-drones. The law of averages will usually kill the incoming drones, but leakers can be stopped by anti-drones or tractors or - at worst case - shields. If you are an SFB player, you need to learn some new realities very quickly. In Federation Commander, anti-drones can only be fired by the ship which is the target, and only on the impulse of impact. Anti-drones cannot protect other ships, and you cannot fire multiple shots at a single drone.
        The enemy may treat your drones with disdain. (Why would he? They have the same twelve warhead points and four damage points as his own drones.) In this case you can teach him a lesson, even using more of your drones offensively. He will eventually wise up and target your drones, diverting some of his other weapons.
        It must be noted that you, the Federation player, have a much better drone game at fleet scale, where your ships keep their single racks and the enemy ships lose half of their racks.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Captain Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

        Andromedan commando ships, the Diamondback and Rattler, can land on planets to unload boarding parties quickly. This is necessary for the Andromedans who have relatively few transporters and no shuttles. However, conventional landings are time-consuming and can leave the commando ship vulnerable to fire from the defenders. The Diamondback and Rattler are both satellite ships, so they can be carried in a mothership's hangar like any other satellite ship. This means a mothership can carry a commando ship to within five hexes of the planetary surface and then transport the commando ship straight down to the ground using rule (G19.416). The troopship will be protected by the mothership's power absorber panels on the approach, and the defenders will never get a chance to fire directly at the commando ship before it reaches the surface.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

Facebook Highlight of the Month

Throwback Thrusday

This is a shot of the mezzanine that we had from 2006 until we moved into our new building. The mezzanine now lives at Steve Jackson Games.