November 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: This month is the release of Call to Arms: Star Fleet and the first of the 2500-series miniatures near the end of this month.

Starline 2500 and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet are approaching!
The joint venture between Mongoose Publishing and ADB, Inc. is moving along quite well. ACTASF should be available in stores before Christmas. This will be a beautiful hardbound rulebook with spectacular color photos of many ships.

The Starline 2500 ships are designed for use with SFB, FC, Starmada, and ACTASF, so the ship types that appear in the Squadron boxes won't change from the 2400 line (and the price for 2500s will actually go down to $29.95). What will change is that the 2500-series ships will be cast in hard resin, not pewter, and they will be about 20% larger so that all the details that you asked us to add will be there!

Our European customers will have the option of ordering from Mongoose-UK so their shipping will be perhaps more "local." Both ADB, Inc. and Mongoose-US will stock the minis as will many game stores, so you should have easy access to these new, highly detailed ships.

New 2500-series Border Boxes priced at $124.95 will contain 24 ships.
New 2500-Series Fleet Boxes will be priced at $99.95 and will contain 16 ships and a quick start rulebook.

The 2400-series border boxes will also be available (at least by mail order) in 2500-series for a somewhat higher price. The 2400s are pewter; the new 2500s will be resin.

Remember that all of the current Starline 2400 blister packs, squadron boxes, fleet boxes, and border boxes will remain on sale at their current prices indefinitely.  

SPECIAL OFFER: We have 144 Fed clear plastic dreadnoughts on consignment. We must buy these or send them back by 31 Dec. So, we're going to fire sale them out for TWO DOLLARS each. Yes, you can buy an entire fleet of Zocchi clear plastic dreadnoughts for TWO DOLLARS each (and the bother of a quick zap of spray paint)!
This offer will last until we go on mail order blackout in late December. Leanna is changing the shopping cart even now to show $2. AFter that, we won't have these any more.
We have plenty of white plastic DNs in Squadron Box #91 for regular price and won't run out of those for years.
This offer is for as long as they last. 

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 for Starline 2500 where we display photos and 3d renders of the new starships.

FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
If you haven't seen the 400+ 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 Marines Part 1
Star Fleet Marines Part 2
ADB Late May 2011

STARBLOG: 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.

AMBASSADORS: 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) have been 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.
Ambassador Badge


All players in our FFAC tournament have finished the fourth round games. We are waiting for Paul Scott (Tholian) and Peter Bakija (Gorn) to finish their round #5 game; the winner thereof will face off with Ken Lin (Kzinti) in the sixth and final round. The format took some cat-herding (people who are slow to play games make life boring for everyone else) but with strong judges and cat-herders we decided this was perfectly useable. Andrew J. Koch ( has replaced Roger Rardain as the tournament judge.


Platinum Hat ended on the 23rd of October with Peter Bakija's Gorn TCC triumphant over Clayton Kreuger's Romulan TKR in the fifth and final round.  Paul Franz served as the tournament judge with the able assistance of Gregg Dieckhaus and Peter Bakija as Tournament Sheepdogs.

The entry fee ($10 per person) was  added to the prize fund which ADB, Inc., has always provided, making this the richest SFB tournament ever held!
1st: $200 cash
2nd: $100 cash
3rd-4th: $50 gift certificate
5th-8th: $20 gift certificate
9th-16th: $5 gift certificate

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 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 communication.

FC Tactic of the Month

     The ESG is the most effective drone defense system in Federation Commander and it's easy for Lyran captains to get complacent and rely on it too much. The ESG is quite power-hungry and if the Lyrans rely on it too much, a clever Kzinti will keep up a hail of drones just to sap power from the Lyran ship.
     The best defense against drones is speed. At high speed, it's often possible to fly around the drones and the Lyrans can then threaten an ESG "ram" against a Kzinti ship.
     If the drones must be shot down, maneuver so that the drones are at Range 1 or 2 (although Range 1 is best) during the Offensive Fire Phase, then fire one phaser-3 at each drone. At Range 1, two out of three of the drones will be destroyed outright, on average. The remainder can be finished off cheaply by the ESGs after they impact. This method is more energy efficient than just using ESGs.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month

     Andromedans face a difficult problem when assaulting a big Galactic Powers base (base station or larger). The problem stems from a weapons technology mis-match, as tractor-repulsor beams and phaser-2s are not terribly effective against bases, particularly big bases, until close range is achieved (Range 3 or less). However, at these close ranges, heavy-hitting phaser-4s might be able to punch through power absorber panels like a hot knife through butter. At longer ranges, you might wear the base down, but what if reinforcements are present or on the way? So, what to do? Take your phaser medicine like a . . . whatever?
     No. The key is to use your displacement device to trick the enemy into firing on you at a sub-optimum range. Announce displacement on an impulse such that you won't move on the next impulse, or such that you can move to maintain the same range to the base on the next impulse. Also, announce displacement at a critical Andromedan weapons range that is outside of the optimal phaser-4 range [i.e., pick ranges such as 12, 8, or 5 (risky)].
     Then, secretly designate the target of one displacement device as the base. A base with phaser-4s has positional stabilizers, so the displacement will automatically fail. However, the opponent does not know you have targeted the base, and may be surprised that you picked a target against which displacement automatically fails. By announcing displacement at a critical Andromedan weapons range (12, 8, 5), the opponent is more likely to be tricked into believing that you are about to fire and then run away. He may then fire on you at the longer range. However, you hold weapons fire.
     If he does fire most of his weapons, then you are now free to close to Range Zero and pummel the base. If he does not fire, then on the subsequent impulse fire anyway and run away. You will have not have lost anything for doing so. If you have two displacement devices, so much the better as now you can self displace to more quickly escape.
     This tactic is more effective against an undefended base, because he is less likely to anticipate you attempting to displace the immune base. This tactic is harder to use when the base is defended by ships, but is still applicable. In this case, a defending ship can be the target of the deceptive displacement; hopefully to cause the enemy ship to move farther from the base and thereby make the base more vulnerable as you close in on a base with its (hopefully) now depleted weapons.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

     The economics of the early war period dictate that the Kzinti-Fed commercial convoy takes the shortest possible route between the Federation and Kzinti Supply Grids. Most F&E players think that is between the Federation Fourth Fleet starbase at 2204 and the Kzinti Marquis starbase at 1704; it is not. The shortest and safest route is between the Federation and Kzinti off-map areas.
     Rules (443.51) and (443.52) make it clear that if the commercial convoy arrives at 1704, while the Marquis is detached from the Main Supply Grid to the capital, it delivers nothing. This is something smart Coalition players can and do arrange.
     There is also the further danger of raids per (443.24). A lowly E4 or Lyran frigate can raid the commercial convoy for one-to-six Economic Points per raid without risk of destruction. Escorts for the commercial convoy only reduce the number of Economic Points lost rather than increasing the chance of the raider being destroyed.
     The on-map route counter-tactic to this plan is to move the commercial convoy from battle station to battle station to starbase so that the raider must fight under the guns of a base before rolling for the results of the raid on the commercial convoy. This is something that even a light dreadnought with a Prime Team would balk at.
     That being said, there is also the danger of drone/fighter raids from Planetary Operations, which can still strike the commercial convoy at a battle station, risking only the chance of an interception battle. Plus, when the Coalition has fast patrol ships with CPX counters for their light dreadnoughts, while the Federation and Kzintis do not, any unsupported Alliance battle stations start to worry about themselves rather than the commercial convoy.
     Do not take the risk of losing that income; send your commercial convoy off-map.
(End F&E Strategy of the Month)


Throughout the month our graphics director places on the website various cards called Demotivationals. These are like postcards with a image and a phrase that is often used for humor.
These are the Demotivationals for the month of October:
Ancient Powers
Call to Arms
Lone Wolves

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!

Lyran Tiger-Striped Dreadnought
Mark Notestine


Call to Arms Klingon D6

New Releases

Communique #71 has been posted to the Commander's Circle.

Recently Released
Federation Commander: Transports Attacked, Stock #4109, $29.95
Federation & Empire: ISC WAR, Stock #3213, $47.95
Distant Armada, Stock #6104, $16.95
Starship Aldo, Adventure for GURPS and PD20M, $3.00
SFB Module E4, Stock #7104, $10.00
Omega Master Rulebook 2011, Stock #5670, $45.00

To be Released in November
Captain's Log #44, Stock #5744, $19.95
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Stock #30000, $29.99
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Reference Cards, Stock #30001, $14.99
Starline 2500: Squadron Boxes #1, #2, #9, Stock #30002, #30003, #30004, $29.99
Starline 2500: Sqaudron Box #9a, Stock #30005, $39.99
Starline 2500: Federation Fleet Box, Stock #30006, $99.99
Starline 2500: Klingon Fleet Box, Stock #30006, $99.99
Starline 2500: Romulan Fleet Box, Stock #30006, $99.99
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $12.00
Boosters 31,32, and 33, Stock #4231, #4232, and #4233, $9.95

To be Released in 2012
Captain's Log #45, Stock #5745, $TBA
Captain's Log #46, Stock #5746, $TBA
Traveller Prime Directive (four or five books)
Federation Admiral, Stock #4080, $TBA
Federation Commander boosters #31, #32, #33
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA

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.

2011 Star Fleet Battles Basic Set SSD book
Captain's Log #15
Federation Commander LDR Ship card Pack #1
Captain's Log #14
Captain's Log #13
Omega Master Rulebook
Captain's Log #12
Captain's Log #11
Captain's Log #43 Supplemental File
GURPS/PD Starship Aldo
Starmada: Distant Armada Rules

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

Star Fleet Fiction
Burden of Duty, Debt of Revenge

     Captain Kinzek watched the Federation heavy cruiser recede and marveled at her aggressiveness. The Fed had taken a pounding in the first weapons exchange. Surely her captain already knew he was not facing a standard D7. If not, he knows it now. But the Federation captain had spun his ship as rapidly as possible, and had come right back toward the Kagan, managing to hit him without exposing themselves to the Kagan's disruptors. Even more aggressively, the Federation captain had sent several Marine raids.
     Audacity is its own reward, he mused to himself. He took a risk, a risk I had not anticipated he would take, and so it paid off for him. Not again. It has been a long time since I have been surprised.
     "Hostile shuttle launch, speed Warp 1.8. It's coming straight for us."
     Kinzek nodded slowly, comprehension dawning. "Most likely a scatter-pack." A close battle pass, hit-and-run raids on the phaser mounts, and now this? With the damage to our phasers and phaser controls, Kinzek mused, he might have left my ship vulnerable to those drones. Bah... his plan had too many "ifs" in it. He didn't kill enough of my phasers.
     He did rough mental calculations. No. I can't guarantee the destruction of the scatter-pack at this range.
     "Has the Federation ship begun a turn?"
     "No, Sir, wait! Yes, energy surge indicative of a turn."
     "Which way, damn you!" Kinzek snapped, leaning forward in his command chair, barely restraining himself from leaping to the sensor console. Every muscle in his body was tensed, ready to explode.
     "Turning to starboard, Sir!"
     "Helm, turn to starboard, come to heading 096. We'll try to stay between the scatter-pack and the enemy ship, with our forward end facing toward him. We'll move parallel to the enemy course." Sudden cold chill.
     "Sensors, is that shuttle still coming at us? Still in seeking mode?"
     "Y-Yes, Sir, it is. Unconfirmed if seeking or piloted."
     He needs more training before he should be on my Bridge. At least the shuttle is still acting like a scatter-pack. Hopefully there's not another one waiting.
     "We'll drive straight toward the scatter-pack, and place it behind us with a starboard turn when it bursts. Our rear phasers operating in aegis should deal with those drones. If it hasn't burst, we'll target the shuttle itself. We will have our forward phasers and disruptors to deal with the Federation cruiser. If we are quick, perhaps we can avoid his photons. Understood?"
     The Bridge crew acknowledged in chorus. Kinzek continued, "Reserve power to disruptors, overload two on each side. Bring ECM to 100%."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler


      Tos Crawford asks: A drone with a half-space explosive warhead will destroy a type-H drone (FD21.42). A type-VI drone will do eight points of damage to a type-H drone. What damage does a type-IX drone do to a type-H drone?
      ANSWER: Under (XFD2.1), a type-IX would score eight points of damage on a type-H drone, the same as a type-VI drone. The text under (XFD2.1) reads: "This drone has a fixed warhead which cannot be changed in any way (XFD10.2). It is a warp-seeking dogfight drone (XFD5.14). See (XFD2.51). The warhead operates under rule (FD2.54)."
      You are in essence asking if the type-IX would score additional damage on a shuttle over and above the warhead strength given in (XFD2.1) simply because it is an X-drone. It does not; it scores the same damage under the same rules as a type-VI drone. See (FD2.1) and (FD2.54).

      Ken Lin asks: I am controlling four drones and my scatter-pack releases six more drones for a total of ten. Clearly, I need to drop control of four of the drones since I only have six seeking-weapon control channels. The question is: do I get to choose which of the drones to drop?
      ANSWER: Rule (F3.32) LOSS OF QUALIFICATIONS: If at any point the controlling unit fails to meet or maintain the conditions in (F3.31), the seeking weapons it controls are released (F3.4) and may become inert (FD1.7) if control cannot be transferred (F3.5) or assumed by the weapon itself (F3.42).
      Note that the above rule specifically states: "if at any point".
      Rule (F3.532) Involuntary transfer takes place at any point in the turn in which the controlling unit must release control (F3.4). This includes:
      Destruction of the controlling unit.
      Any event which disqualifies the controlling unit under (F3.3).
      The controlling unit is placed in stasis (G16.0).
      The unit receiving control does so immediately.
      Under the above, the release of the scatter-pack drones creates a "disqualifying event" under (F3.31), i.e., there are more seeking weapons than the ship can control, so an "involuntary release/transfer" must occur. Under (F3.352) [which could occur for many reasons during the impulse procedure, e.g., controlling unit destroyed by seeking weapon or other movement-related damage during movement, displaced by an Andromedan (other than the one it was guiding seeking weapons towards), forced to launch a wild weasel, etc.] if another eligible controlling unit is able to assume control it does so right away, i.e., at the same point in the sequence of play.
      Essentially, voluntary releases and transfers can only occur at one point (where given), but involuntary transfers (and even the launching of a wild weasel, while a voluntary action in that you could have chosen to suffer the negative effects of not launching the weasel, is an involuntary release condition) can happen at any point and any unit able to assume control can do so.
      Ultimately the use of the seeking-weapon control channels of the ship is a choice of the ship's commander, and if he chooses to retain control of drones he launched earlier rather than taking control of all of the drones the scatter-pack is releasing, it is his choice. The ability to immediately switch the drone control circuit that was controlling the scatter-pack to control a drone pretty much confirms that it is a choice he can make at the point the drones are released. He decides which control channel will control which seeking weapon, and he does not have to switch all of them to the drones released by the scatter-pack. However, if he does not (assuming the scatter-pack drones do need specific guidance), the drones he does not assume guidance of will go inert.

      Michael Lui asks: A drone bombardment ship is basically authorized to carry a 100% load of limited availability drones (type-IIIs): Can a drone bombardment ship load its racks and storage with restricted availability drones instead of the limited availability drones it is authorized to carry? I mean 100% of them. Or do they have to carry a normal percentage load if they do not carry all type-IIIs?
      ANSWER: Rule (FD10.671) Drone bombardment ships on a bombardment mission can have 100% of their drone spaces taken up by type-IIIXX drones (S3.222). Drone bombardment ships are marked with a "DB" on the Master Ship Chart (Annex #3). The modules on those drones remain under the original percentages, but note that a type-IIIXX drone is a two-space drone with a single payload space (FD10.24), i.e., six type-B drone racks would hold 36 spaces of drones but only eighteen payload spaces for warhead-calculation purposes.
      Basically if you are on a bombardment mission, you get 100% type-IIIXX drone frames, but the warheads are still under drone percentages, i.e., at least 50% of the drones will have standard explosive warheads.
(End of Ask Growler. )


      Q: A Hydran fleet has cut off the Lyran supply route into the captured (and now former) Hydran capital. The Klingons, however, have a valid supply path, as well as both PDUs and a BATS at the former Hydran capital. Are the Lyrans in supply by (410.4) since they're with a friendly base?
      A: There would have to be a homeless supply line (410.5) established or an expeditionary fleet (411.7) established to leave the hex and operate. The forces, per (410.25) would be in supply as long as they are in the same hex as the friendly base.
      Q: By the definition of (413.1), a Supply Grid is a network of bases and/or planets that contains a friendly capital hex or off-map area. Also by definition, a Partial Supply Grid (413.4) is any other grid that does not contain the capital or off-map area.
      Here is where it gets confusing. The Federation's supply path has been cut off from the capital in 2908 to the off-map area. By definition, the off-map area is not a Partial Supply Grid, but in fact is a (regular) Supply Grid. There are rules (413.44) concerning EPs in a regular grid and a partial grid, but (technically) never address the question of two separate regular grids. I am not trying to claim that EPs generated in the off-map area are magically available to the Capital Grid, but, technically, (413.44) doesn't cover two "regular" grids (one Off-Map Grid and one Capital Grid) so there is (technically) no rule about how to move those EPs back and forth once the connection is rebuilt. So, can I use the (413.44) rules to move any EPs stockpiled at the Off-Map Grid to the Capital Grid when the two are reconnected? Also, can the Off-Map Grid use deficit spending since it is not a partial grid?
      A: You have found a valid gray spot in the F&E2K rules which we have fixed in the F&E2KX rules, and everyone is grateful that you noticed this just in time for F&E2KX. By definition (413.1) there can be a maximum of two Main Supply Grids: a Capital Grid and an Off-Map Grid. Each can do anything that a Main Supply Grid can do (since they both are Main Supply Grids) except of course that the "main shipyard" is only in one of them. EPs in either grid can be used, by and in that grid, for valid uses such as ship repairs (420.0), PDU self-generation (433.42), base repair (420.6), conversions at non-capital starbases (433.0), etc. If two main grids are separated and then joined, the EPs again flow freely between them, so you can certainly use (413.44).
(F&E Q&A continues here )


      Q: Can you give us more information about the Brecon?

      A: Sure! They first appeared in the original UFP sourcebook designed to complement the first Prime Directive RPG-system. There was a Brecon included in the Prime Team and the species was first described there. While basic information on the Brecon was included in the GURPS Prime Directive core rulebook, the Brecon had to be omitted from the PD20 lines due to space issues. However, they were fully described in the Federation sourcebooks for both GURPS and PD20M. You can read a quick introduction to these Federation Associate Members here:

     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 uploaded three new sites that discuss the products we are making in partnership with Mongoose.
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 next 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 110830 OMRB (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 110615 Mongoose (Adobe Reader Required)
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 100928 Mod Y3 Release (Adobe Reader Required)
Alert 100914 CL#42 (Adobe Reader Required)


Starline 2500 Tholian CA 3D Model
Click here to see the full range of images.

THolian CA