October  2021

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: We have a lot of big news this month, so let's get to it!

        The first new product for F&E in five years has been released. F&E TACTICAL OPERATIONS includes over 1,100 new counters, all of them representing new ships added to the game system. The staff was told to go through SFB and bring into F&E everything worth bringing, and they brought the thunder and lightning, added the behemoth and leviathan,  and then brought the house down. Five hundred new ship types are ready for construction at your direction, including the first WYN counters. Available for order now (and shipment in a few days) this is the F&E product you have been waiting for. This includes three copies of Countersheet Tango and one of Countersheet Oscar and a rulebook all for only $36.96.

        You can download the Tactical Operations Rulebook from these sources:

        Warehouse 23: https://warehouse23.com/products/ADB3216-2
        DriveThru RPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/374490/
        Wargame Vault: https://www.wargamevault.com/product/374490/

        It is available as a complete expansion (including the rulebook, three copies of Countersheet Tango, and one copy of Countersheet Oscar) from either your local game store or direct from ADB: https://www.starfleetstore.com/expansions-c-22_88/fe-tactical-operations-p-1343.html


        Now through the 15th of November, we have bargains for you!
        Captain's Logs #20 through #29 are now available  at serious discounts. It's time to replace your worn-out copies with new ones!
        F&E countersheet grab bags: Eight full-size sheets (over 1700 counters) or only $9.95, or one-fifth of the usual price. These include mis-cut sheets with plenty of good counters, obsolete sheets, sheets with scratches, sheets with missing counters, and sheets with a few counters defaced by smeared glue. For little more than the cost of one sheet from our spare parts department, you can expand your fleets by a thousand ships or more!
        Selected Starline 2500 Miniatures at special reduced prices.

ADB Releases New Ships for October 2021

       On October 1, 2021, ADB released 21 new items to its shop on Shapeways, which has over 2,775 items available in total. This month we focused on the Federation, Carnivons, and the Baduvai (located in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud). Please note that all miniatures are available in both 3788 and 3125 scales, except when noted.
       The Federation gets a full line of military vehicles in 285 Scale: M3 Ground Combat Vehicles, M4 Armored Personnel Vehicles, M5 Command Post Vehicles and M8 Combat Engineer Vehicles (two of each), M6 Ground Assault Vehicles, M7 Ground Weapons Vehicles, and M190 tanks.
       Historically, the Carnivons were wiped out by the Kzintis and Lyrans before they got to the era of the "Modern Age." If they hadn't been, they would have continued to evolve their ships. These ships are described in Star Fleet Battles Module C6. The Carnivons gain their Dreadnought. The Carnivons also get their Core Collection in 7000 Scale to go with the Builder Collection released last month. The Core Collection of six ships contains a dreadnought, heavy cruiser, light cruiser, destroyer, and two frigates.
       Described in Star Fleet Battles Module C5, the Lesser (or Small) Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is the second-nearest galactic neighbor to the Milky Way Galaxy. The Baduvai are large herbivorous quadrupeds, weighing over 2,500 pounds. They formed the Baduvai Imperium. That navy gains its Heavy Cruiser, Strike Cruiser, Light Cruiser, Destroyer, Battle Frigate, and Improved Frigate.
       Check all these out here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amarillo-design-bureau-inc


        Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, 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 400 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 StarFleetGames.com websites have been changed to match. The new site is http://federationcommander.blogspot.com
        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:http://www.starfleetgames.com/starlist.shtml.
         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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/index.shtml
         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: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml  

        This month we feature Battle Group Hampton Roads, headquartered in Hampton, Virginia. CO William Phillips reports they play Star Fleet Battles and Federation & Empire. They also enjoy attending gaming conventions. Read more here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/battlegroup_HamptonRoads.shtml

         Do you have a battle group? Be sure to report your activities here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/report.shtml

         Do you want to see if there's a battle group near you? Check out the map here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/battlegroup/gather.shtml#US

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!


        As announced in Captain's Log #54, Jean Sexton Beddow's husband, Al Beddow has been appointed to take over the day-to-day of running the SFU Ranger demo team. He come with a bit of experience both teaching various types of games as well having been in quite a few demo teams (and ran/helped run a few). He is most familiar with GURPS Prime Directive but early on played ACTASF and spent Gencon 2012 demoing it in the Mongoose Publishing booth there.
        They announce: We have big changes coming to the program. A new handbook, suggestions for demoing our games, and vastly improved rewards. All we can safely say about the (already approved) rewards is they will include ALL physical products and PDFs – but nothing on shapeways.com.
        To kick all this off we are verifying everyone’s email, plus getting their handles on the Federation Commander Forum and BBS. Our official comms will be the hidden Ranger section of the Forum, which are for handling business, answering questions, providing links to resources, etc. The Facebook group will be our more public social space, but no one required to join FB if they don’t want to. 

        So, we are asking each of you to email Al at the address below with the following:

        - Name
        - Email (preferably the one used on DTRPG/Wargame Vault)
        - Forum Handle
        - BBS Handle

        Al will add you to the Ranger group on the forum once he has this info, which will let you access our area there. He is looking forward to working with all of you to spread the news of the Star Fleet Universe!

        Current stats: We have heard from 22 of our Rangers and have three new ones! We are excited to see the Rangers becoming active as playing in person and cons once again start up.

Jean Sexton Beddow
Ranger Commandant 

Al Beddow
Sergeant-Major for Ranger Operations

Ranger Email:  adbrangerhq@gmail.com

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517647465103651/

ADB Forums: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/index.php

ADB BBS: http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/



        Jean Sexton Beddow 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 Beddow 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 www.tenneshington.com. Or if you prefer, email Will McCammon at: will@tenneshington.com or Tony L. Thomas at: scoutdad@tenneshington.com.

        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: JupiterIvdecals.com



         Sapphire Star 9 is currently in the sign-up phase. There is room for five more players!



        Alex Chobot is holding a Star Fleet Battles tournament at the Las Vegas Open tabletop gaming convention. This will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from January 28-30, 2022. The con's website is here: https://www.lasvegasopen.net/home-1 Register and signup early -- Alex has plans for great prizes!

        Due to the COVID-19 virus, many conventions have been cancelled. We encourage you to check out Star Fleet Battles Online where there is a free demo version. It is a good way to hang out with others who play Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander. Check it out here: https://www.sfbonline.com/index.jsp

        Star Fleet  Battles games are  played regularly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday afternoons at the Soldiery. Lee Hanna is the contact person.






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: This monthly magazine repeated much of the same information that Hailing Frequencies does. December 2019 was the last month it was published. Old issues 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!

New Releases


All Hallows Heavy Cruiser ship card

Disruptor Pistol

You can look at Hailing Frequencies Extras here.

Click here to see our previous issues of Hailing Frequencies.

       We’re now offering some of our miniatures and some new designs on Shapeways.
       You can check out the store here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amarillo-design-bureau-inc?sort=newest

Click here and you can see all of the products we have avaliable as PDF and Ebooks.



Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations
SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5

Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021

Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021

Captain's Log #33

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook 

SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle  - Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs 
GURPS Romulans Revised

Captain's Log #32

Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook

SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs
SFB:Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs
Captain's Log #31

Captain's Log #49

Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White)

SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Rulebook

SFB: Module J – Fighters! Black/White SSDs
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Color SSDs
Captain's Log #30

SFB Commander's Edition, Supplement #2 
Tholian Master Starship Book

Battleships Armada Unity
Nexus #18
Star Fleet Marines: Counter-Punch

Nexus #17


Federation & Empire: Tactical Operations (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R2 Rulebook Revised for 2021 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation Commander: Klingon Ship Card Pack #5 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Combined Operations 2021 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Federation & Empire: Planetary Operations 2021 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #33  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB:Module R4J - Shadow of the Eagle - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
GURPS Romulans Revised (DriveThru RPG)
Captain's Log #32  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Marines Battle Manual (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will -  Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module R4T - The Tholian Will - Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #31  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 ( DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #49 Color SSDs  (DriveThru RPG or  Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Black/White) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module E5 - North Polar Republic (Color) (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Rulebook (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Black/White SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB: Module J – Fighters! Color SSDs (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Captain's Log #30  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
SFB Commander's Edition, Supplement #2  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Tholian Master Starship Book  (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Battleships Armada Unity (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Nexus #18 (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)
Star Fleet Marines: Counter-Punch (DriveThru RPG or Wargame Vault)

For the Glory of the Empire


Ask Admiral Vanaxilth

Crew, Boarding Parties

        Sean Hunt asks: A strict reading of rule (G9.431) tells me that disbanding boarding parties is only an option when there are two boarding parties remaining. Surely this is not correct, and you can do that whenever you need a skeleton crew?
        ANSWER: There is no enabling rule that lets you convert boarding parties into crew units, except for (G9.431), which lets you convert the last two boarding parties to satisfy the minimum crew requirement. In fact, (G9.432) specifically prohibits converting boarding parties to crew units on enemy ships for purposes of creating a skeleton crew under (D7.51).

        Sean Hunt asks: Can boarding parties or deck crews be killed by (G9.21) or other rules that kill crew units without specifying which sort of crew, such as radiation zones? If so, does the owning player allocate the casualties?
        ANSWER: The crew of your ship consists of general crew, boarding parties, deck crews, and possibly other specialized crew units. Rule (G9.21) does not require you to take the losses on any specific crew unit or crew type. You could take one general crew unit, or two boarding parties, or two deck crews, or one boarding party and one deck crew, etc. You could not take the last general crew unit or either of the last two boarding parties as a casualty here; however, you could by (G9.22). For example, a ship with four crew units and two boarding parties remaining would have to take the crew casualty from (G9.21) on a general crew unit, even though it reduces the crew below the minimum.
        The same applies to the (P15.1) losses from radiation zones, except that radiation can kill the last crew and boarding parties. Other crew damage rules, such as (D7.21), have to be applied to specific crew types.

        Roch Chartrand asks: At what point does radiation zone damage start affecting boarding parties in a ship that has some of its shields down? Is it one crew unit only even if there is more than one shield down? How does it affect boarding parties? What is the ratio of boarding parties that will die due to radiation?
        ANSWER: The radiation zone will kill one crew unit on each dogfight resolution interface when the ship has one or more down shields (P15.11). Having more than one down shield will not increase the casualty rate. This does not use the procedure from (D7.21). The player owning the ship can choose which crew unit to take as a casualty. He could take one general crew unit, or two boarding parties, or two deck crews, or one boarding party and one deck crew, etc.
        The crew units shown on the SSD include the boarding parties and the deck crews. For example, a Klingon D5 shows 40 crew units and eight boarding parties, but really has 35 general crew units, four crew units consisting of the eight boarding parties, and one crew unit that is the two casual deck crews (J4.814). If a Federation NVS, with 42 crew units, eight boarding parties and 12 deck crews shown on the SSD, drops its shields in a Radiation Zone, it would become a contaminated derelict (P15.12) in 10.5 turns (42 dogfight resolution interfaces) later.

        Robert Russell Lender-Lundak asks: The rules state that there is no "technical" limit to the number of crew units that a ship can hold (save for the limitations given for fast patrol ships and some vague references in some scenarios and ship descriptions). However there does seem to be an indication that surviving crew units (regardless of how many) can hitch a ride on a ship until they get back to base etc. This does not go in depth at all as to how long an overabundance of crew on a ship can live on board on an extended trip. (The print seems to infer that it would be a temporary matter in any case.)
        I know that I am asking a vague question that technically is not covered since the number of crew units on a ship is covered only as a vague overview. Is there any reason a Federation police cutter could not temporarily house 125 crew units for a period of six months? (Say to transfer survivors or badly needed crew to other ships elsewhere in a campaign setting.) If not, then what about a cruiser? I know this is not a question that can be answered by someone pointing me to rule number (XYZ.123), but can I get at least a consensus as to whether or not this is feasible or not?
        ANSWER: Short term, there is no limit to the number of crew units. (Common sense says there is, but for game purposes, no limit has been defined.) Long term (over a week), you are out of the province of Star Fleet Battles combat rules and into campaign rules. An overcrowded ship would probably have hampered operations, higher maintenance cost, less strategic range, etc.
        The Star Fleet Battles rules give us limited guidance. Per Annex #6, any ship could purchase four extra crew units, 14 extra boarding parties (10 regular, two commando, and two heavy weapons squads or engineer squads), and possibly four extra deck crews (if it were a carrier), as Commander's Options. So it can be assumed that a ship can operate normally with this many extra people. Per (G28.31), each barracks box can hold 10 boarding parties, or about 50 individuals. The Federation Starliner pod has 22 hull and 12 cargo boxes, and a total of 340 crew and passengers. There is no rule for converting cargo or hull boxes to passenger quarters, but it would not be unreasonable to assume that a cargo box could be made into comfortable quarters for a crew unit, or tight quarters for five crew units. Shuttle overcrowding rules let us put double the usual number of crew units, but with restrictions. One can assume that a shuttle is already pretty crowded at normal transport rates.
(End of Admiral Vanaxilth)



        Q: When can the Coalition attack the Tholians?
        A: There is some potential conflict here, but (603.16) is general where (602.11) is specific. So, only the Klingons can attack the Tholians on Turn #7 or later, and only if at war with the Federation. The other Coalition members must wait for Turn #10.

        Q: Rule (312.45) says an SFG unit in "single combat" is hampered by this rule. I assume that if an SFG unit is in Small-Scale Combat, but has two consorts, then these penalties don't apply and the SFG can freeze targets normally. The question is, how do you resolve damage in SSC then? Does each frozen ship take only "one casualty" to destroy?
        A: Remember SSC has two die rolls: One by the attacker's offensive ComPot on the defender's defensive ComPot; and one by the defender's offensive ComPot on the attacker's defensive ComPot. If the SFG ship freezes a unit, the frozen unit cannot use its offensive ComPot. There is no provision for "directed" or double casualties; the frozen unit simply has zero offensive ComPot to offer which affects this die roll under (310.2).
        The specific rule you asked about (312.45) applied to the old OLD Single Combat rules, before the addition of Advance Small-Scale Combat rules (318.7) in AO. This rule (312.45) will need to be reworded when CO is updated.

        Q: When taking voluntary SIDS (308.84), each one resolves 4.5 Damage Points, but you lose the half point to rounding, so does scoring two SIDS on different battle rounds lose a point? I mean, if I score two SIDS in the same round I resolve nine points but if I score the same two SIDS in separate rounds I resolve only eight! That does not seem fair.
        A: Fair or not, that's what the rule says. The rule has no provision to "carry over" the last half point. This was a deliberate design decision, both to reduce record keeping and to reflect the fact that the same damage over a longer period is inherently less effective.

        Q: Can a retreating force capture a pursuing ship during a pursuit battle (307.4)?
        A: No, see (305.12).
(End of F&E Q&A)

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

Alert 190709 CL53 (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 190309 Distribution (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 170327 CL52
(Adobe Acrobat Required)
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)

by Ensign Jonathan David Amery, HMS Cambridgeshire

          Federation Commander makes Mizia's Tactic a lot harder to prosecute than it is in Star Fleet Battles because there are only eight firing opportunities in each turn, but it does give you one additional chance to exercise it, namely shield burn through (3C8). If, for whatever reason, you do not expect to be able to get in close for an alpha strike, then dividing your fire into two or three bursts at Range 3 to Range 4 can get you a "mini-Mizia" effect.
          Two disruptors and two phasers (they have to be phaser-1s at Range 4) give you a very good chance of getting ten points of damage, and a single photon backed up by a phaser-1 gives you a 25% chance. Having done your ten points of damage you get nine shield hits and one internal. If you opt for "targeting weapons" then you will have a 50% chance of getting a phaser, allowing you to wear away at your opponent's weaponry.
          If you have drones, then they count as a separate volley to your direct-fire weapons, hence giving you an extra point of burn through. However if you can arrange to hit with two or three of them at the same time then that is probably a downed shield which is even more useful, and might allow you to get to one of the all important "torpedo" results on the Damage Allocation Chart.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
Cadet Jacob Karpel, USS North Carolina

          The Alpha Octant Spearfish drone, Magellanic Cloud boson drill, and the simulator Qari dilithium penetrator (and a couple of other weapons) have one terrifying thing in common. They can bypass your precious ship's first and best line of defense: its shields. It does not matter to the Uthiki that your cruiser has 24 shield boxes facing him; if he strikes you with a fully loaded boson drill, two of its Damage Points will cause internal damage. Column A on the Damage Allocation Chart is full of important systems and one or two bad rolls can take them out almost before the game gets going.
          There are things to keep in mind on both sides of this.
The attacker needs to keep in mind that, although his enemy can sneak damage through and have it be important, half of all column-A Damage Allocation Chart rolls are either hull, cargo, or a control space, all of which can be safely ignored. Although the attacker can hit warp engines as well, this will deal so little real damage that it is basically just an annoyance except against ships that are power-starved to begin with. Thus, the best time to use these penetrating attacks is when more of the Damage Allocation Chart will mean something, specifically against an enemy that has already taken significant internal damage and turned a new shield to guard itself (a process known as "running away" to many). Once they are out of free hits, those two points of internal damage per weapon strike will mean a lot more, and previously "annoying" hits become much more deadly.
          Another good way to use penetrating weapons is if you can use them in very large quantities, which largely negates the "small volleys" problem. In addition, you should know what makes your weapon stop ticking and act to prevent those situations from rising (probing for shield reinforcement energy with other weapons, for example).
          On the defense, note that nearly every one of these penetrating shots has some way to keep it from striking hull, so plan for it. For example, one point of general reinforcement will stop all boson drill bits from hitting hull on that impulse, instead causing them to join the helix component in hitting the shield. Drones can be shot down and the kinetic cannons still cannot punch all the way through a particularly thick shield (or one that is heavily reinforced). When your opponent brings a weapon of this type to the table, try to be certain you know how it works. It will save you a lot of pain and deny a lot of free Victory Points to your enemy.
          To both sides, please note that certain ships will be much more vulnerable to this kind of attack pretty much by definition. These are usually smaller ships, which have the twin problems of possessing fewer "free" hits and much less spare power to use preventing such penetrating strikes. Andromedan units also hate facing penetrating fire due to it denying them power absorber panel power. (However, in some cases the power absorber panels ignore the trait; read up!) Most of all have fun, whether you are sending the shots out or trying your best to stop them.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month


        Coalition players think the Klingon and Lyran capitals are unassailable in the first 15 turns of the General War scenario. Think again. There may be rare instances where you either blunder or the opponent outmaneuvers you and is able to move a fleet into your capital hex - a fleet strong enough to take your capital if left undefended. The Lyrans are especially vulnerable to a "surprise" attack, as the non-upgraded defenses include only one starbase, and no sudden appearance of an Imperial War Reserve is even possible, as with the Klingons. The devastating effects of losing a capital (loss of ship production, the activation of capital defense priority, loss of income, and cost to replace the shipyards) will likely win the game for the Alliance in the long run. This can happen even if the Alliance self kills 50-75 ships in the process of taking your capital.
        That being said, as you likely enjoy a major pin count advantage throughout the first 15 turns of the General War scenario, you can usually avoid this nightmare scenario through the careful placement of reserves and retrograded ships. Still, the "what if" scenario should be considered. So, buy yourself a little bit of cheap insurance.
        That cheap insurance takes the form of one or two planetary repair docks, built, of course, during or after Y170, at a cost of three economic points if built at a major planet (note the rate of one per turn). To maximize survivability, one planetary repair dock should be at the capital planet. Also make sure you have at least a few warships available to fight in or able to go to the capital if the enemy is ever within six hexes of your capital with a fleet. If the unthinkable actually comes to pass, each planetary repair dock can use up to 12 points of rapid combat repair (at the cost of 12 economic points - but hey we are talking about your capital here) to repair combat units and send them back to the line. That way you can keep your planetary defense units alive a bit longer, hopefully long enough to hold the capital.
        Incidentally, you also gain an additional 12 repair-point capacity for each planetary repair dock for use in repairing ships normally in the capital hex. So, your cheap insurance will likely pay for itself in other ways. Finally, a planetary repair dock is vulnerable to "ground assault" attacks, so consider keeping a commando ship available to the capital hex (either because it is there or can move there via reaction or reserve movement) to be able to defend it.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

A Call To Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month
The Tactics of Terrain
- Lt. Commander Tony L. Thomas, USS Tennessee

        All previous games in the Star Fleet Universe have had rules for terrain but none have emphasized it to the extent that ACTASF does. Both Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander have terrain as part of some scenarios, but most scenarios do not have any terrain at all. In fact, many players of SFB and FC have never even played a scenario that involves any terrain other than open space (that is to say, no terrain).
        ACTASF is quite different in that respect. Some of the general scenarios and tactical challenges specify a particular setup for the terrain features. Almost every other scenario specifies a random selection of terrain. (Players who just don't like terrain can ignore the requirement for random terrain, but some terrain is an important element of some scenarios. A scenario based on a ship hiding in terrain won't work without that terrain.)
        In ACTASF, the occurrence of terrain is determined by rolling a d6 for every one square foot square section of the map. Any section for which a "6" is rolled has terrain located in it. With the typical map starting at 4 x 4 feet, this gives you 16 opportunities to have at least one piece of terrain. That's almost a 95% chance that you'll have at least one piece of terrain on the map. This means that in ACTASF, open space battles are the exception, not the rule.
        So... what does this mean for you? Generally speaking, the various types of terrain have many characteristics in common. They all block line of sight, so while you can fire into or out of terrain, you typically cannot fire through it. This allows you to use the area immediately behind a piece of terrain to great advantage. You can use it to protect a critical ship or to allow a damaged ship a chance to repair shields and critical hits. Movement through terrain is not without risks either. This means you can often use terrain to guard your fleet's flanks from an attack.
        Of course, all of that is true for Star Fleet Battles, Federation Commander, or Starmada. It just doesn't happen often enough for players to get familiar with terrain rules. To master ACTA, you must learn how to use terrain because it is going to happen almost every time you play the game.
        Cloaked Romulans are especially fond of terrain. The Disengage Cloaking Device! special action allows the Romulan to make a 6-inch move in any direction as part of the de-cloaking process. This can often be used to "leap" across a piece of intervening terrain, either to get a bead on a juicy target or just to get out of the line of sight. Bear this in mind whenever facing Romulan ships and the cloaking device.
        Kzintis (with their drones, and Klingon and Federation ships which use drones to a lesser extent) tend to hate terrain as it reduces the opportunities for waves of drones. They also love terrain in that they can use drone swarms to block the gaps between terrain features, forcing the enemy into less desireable areas.
        Gorns and Romulans, with their heavy plasma torpedoes, must learn how to use terrain to trap an enemy who would just as soon avoid being hit, and to get closer to the target before launching.
        Tholians also love terrain (but you will need the web rules from ACTASF-2.0 to find out just how much they love it).
(End of A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Tactic of the Month)




Mini of the Month
         Every month we will feature one or more of our miniatures. If you paint miniatures, submit pictures of your minis and they may be selected for the next Mini of the Month!

Nick Samaras painted this Federation Light Tactical Transport (3788 Scale Smooth Fine Detail Plastic).

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