October 2011

Star Fleet Universe News

THE BIG NEWS: This month is the massive amount of progress that has been made on the new Starline 2500 miniatures by Mongoose. You can find a lot of 3D "photos" of the new ships on the BBS under the Joint Venture wth Mongoose (look there for the folder on 2500s, and inside that for folders of each new ship as it appears).

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 color photos of many beautiful 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 Fleet Boxes priced at $99 will contain 16 ships, 6 shuttles, and a quickstart ruleook.

The 2400-series border boxes will also be available (at least by mail order) in 2500-series for a somewhat higher price.

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.  

WEBSITE: Our website, www.StarFleetGames.com, continues to grow and improve. You are welcome to send us your requests, comments, and suggestions. Joel Shutts, our graphics director, continues to update the website, do covers for the new products, shut down pirate websites, help out around the company, and learn more about the game business. One of our newest pages is the Wall of Honor where we recognize our volunteers and their contributions.

FACEBOOK: Jean continues to improve our page on Facebook, adding many new photos and other features.
If you haven't seen the 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 StarFleetGames.com 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.
Ambassador Badge


All players in our FFAC tournament have finished the second round games and a few have started the fourth 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 as the format for the Platinum Hat. The third round will be done before September 10th.


Platinum hat is past the second round with many third round games played and the third round deadline looming (18 Sept).

Tournament Sheepdog Peter Bakija is encouraging people to get their games done.

The entry fee ($10 per person) will be 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-16h: $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 an explosion in the Federation Commander Play by Email topic and even more exciting to see more FCOL Tournaments taking place. Get in on the activity!

While for new players the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage, the original (Discus-based) BBS is where most product development takes place. If you have a proposal you'd like to see worked on, don't forget to make sure it is mentioned here. It also has active F&E and SFB forums where players run campaigns, Rated Ace tournaments and other SFB tournaments are organized (most FC tournaments are organized on the Forum), SVC's "My Day" appears, along with current news and strategies dealing with Prime Directive, and each issue of Captain's Log is created. While less colorful (no avatars or sigs), it is a vital part of ADB, Inc.'s communication.

FC Tactic of the Month

     This is a reverse of the standard Star Fleet Battles mantra of holding the plasma-F torpedoes, as they cost no energy to hold, and cycling through your heavy plasma torpedoes as quickly as possible. In Federation Commander launching the plasma-F torpedoes first makes a lot of sense. They are ready Turn #1, while the larger plasma torpedoes aren't. Mostly the Gorns should launch them because a plasma-F torpedo launcher, which launches its plasma-F torpedo on Turn #1, can fire it as a carronade on Turn #2, and if power is available it can be fired at full strength, too. The only time for a Gorn to hold plasma-F torpedoes is if the target ends the turn too far away, as anything inside Range 15 is likely worth launching at.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

SFB Tactic of the Month
Stop The Self Destruct

     Often a ship cannot be completely captured in a single round of boarding party combat and the following Energy Allocation Phase finds the ship plotting to self-destruct.
     To stop this, ensure that all (or all but one) of the control rooms have been destroyed, either through damage or hit-and-run raids, before you board. Note that while destroying the enemy control rooms with hit-and-run raids can be done, in most cases simply pick a target for capture that has already lost its other control rooms.
     With the first turn of boarding party combat, use four Marine damage points (you did score four or more, did you not?) as Specific Allocation (D7.43) to capture the last control room (or designated temporary control room). The ship is now captured, even though it may still have boarding parties of the original crew available, and so is blocked from ever performing Self-Destruction (D7.503).
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

     It has been said that a cynic "knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."
     This is also a potential problem for fleet commanders. The value of some things is clearly more than the price paid, such as building the B10 for an expected cost of 55-60 Economic Points.
     However, some things are treated as valuable which are really much more expendable than is commonly thought.
     For two examples, we'll look at the Kzintis. First, there's the DD. Some people would look at the replacement cost of this ship and treat it like something worth six Economic Points. However, its use as a base hull for further modifications is very limited. It's only slightly more effective in combat than an FFK, and a bit worse than a CM. These other ships establish a "value" for the DD as somewhere near 3.5 Economic Points. Although this is less than the cost of a DW, a ship with equal combat power, the DW has more conversion options available and is therefore more versatile, and hence valuable.
     The second example is the starting FRD for the Kzintis. If the Coalition is pursuing a "Hydran first" strategy, it is very unlikely the Kzintis will lose their capital. If the Kzintis can maintain their shipyard, the off-map Engineer unit can be diverted to building PRDs in the Barony. This allows the FRDs to be brought on map for use there as early as Turn #5. One can be placed at the Marquis starbase, and one can be returned to the capital if it left earlier. Both allow the Kzintis to use more Rapid Combat Repair than the starbase alone can provide, which might be very useful for a sustained assault. They both also allow more on-map repair, allowing the Kzintis to maintain a "forward presence" against the Klingons. The Coalition can destroy either of these FRDs without much impact to the Kzintis, who maintain adequate repair capacity in the Barony to deal with nearly any expected Coalition assault.
     The concept can be applied to other empires and other ships. Don't get caught thinking about how much it will cost to replace a unit; think of less expensive ways to accomplish the same goal. Keeping this in mind might help you avoid "being a cynic".
(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 September
Fight or Flight
System Defense

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!

Kzinti Battle Cruiser and Heavy Battle Cruiser
Mark Notestine


New Releases

Communique #70 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 this Fall
Federation Commander boosters #31, #32, #33
Star Fleet Marines Assault, Stock #2101, $TBA

To be Released in November
Captain's Log #44, Stock #5744, $TBA
A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Stock #????, $TBA
Starline 2500: Squadron Boxes #1, #2, #9.

To be Released in 2012
Star Fleet Battles Module E3: Borak Star League, Stock #7103, $TBA.
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.

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.

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
Starmada: Distant Armada Ship Cards
Module E4: The Peladine Playtest

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 Dunn watched the monitors with a savage glee on his face. The screens were filled with images of the damage done to the enemy vessel by his weapons. His mind's eye was filled with nothing but Anita Kessler, as she looked moments before she died. He pulled his attention back to the present soon enough to catch the tail end of the sensor operator's run down on the enemy's damage.
     "they're hurt, Captain. Not severely, but definitely hurt."
     "Thank you, Chief Petty Officer Stewart. XO, how about us?" Although he could get the general picture from his own displays, he liked to get the big picture from someone else's point of view.
     "Two phasers, one torpedo tube out; warp capability down by 6%, total power down by 15%. One shuttle is disabled, along with its docking apparatus. Not the scatter-pack. Minor damage on Deck five." That was crew quarters, Dunn thought, nobody there now. The XO droned on. "They hurt us more, but not by much. There was a hull breach on Deck six; damage control has got it locked down and temporarily sealed."
     "Fast work, good for them." Dunn said, dreading the answer to what he was about to ask. "Casualties?"
     His XO winced. "Not as heavy as they could have been, but heavy nonetheless. We've got twenty-four reported injuries, ten fatalities."
     Dunn nodded, taking in the information with no visible change. An image of Kessler appeared in his mind again and his anger and hatred of that ship out there returned, as hot as ever. "Engineering," he snapped, spearing the young officer with his gaze, "I want reserve warp power to maneuvering. We're going to pull a 180° turn, come straight back at him from behind. Guns, I know we don't have photons back yet - we'll hit them with phasers to take down a shield. That's what I want. Make sure the phasers are ready to go." His chair swiveled as he came back around to face his security coordinator. "Tell the Marines at the transporters to stand by for a hit-and-run, target phaser installations. Any of them. Their discretion."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler

     Gary Bear asks: For an oversized squadron, is EW from a single EW fighter sufficent to protect every fighter in the over-sized squadron? Does the carrier only need to generate one set of EW points for the whole oversized squadron?
     ANSWER: No.
     An oversized squadron just means that the given carrier is allowed to bring more fighters, i.e., all of its fighters are considered a single squadron of twelve fighters against the limit of 36 carrier-borne (as opposed to hybrid) fighters, but the 24 fighters that a CVD can bring are still organized for combat purposes as two squadrons on the map. That is why the SSDs include two EWFs (the CVPs include two EWFs also, even though their eighteen fighters are counted as a single squadron of twelve against the limit of 36 fighters). Under the (J4.46) rules you still have to organize the fighters into squadrons of no more than twelve fighters for EW purposes.

     Joseph R. Carlson asks: Rule (FP9.37) says fighters and MRS shuttles cannot bolt plasma torpedoes they carry. Rule (FP13.3) says a plasma-K torpedo can replace a plasma-D torpedo and is subject to the same launch rate. This rule does not say anything about bolting a plasma-K torpedo. Can fighters and MRSs bolt plasma-K torpedoes? Are bombers and heavy fighters under the same restrictions (no bolting)?
     ANSWER: The last sentence of the introduction to plasma-K torpedoes says: "A plasma-K uses all rules of the plasma-D except as noted herein." There is no exception noted anywhere in the plasma-K rules that would allow bolting.
     The introduction to (J4.0) includes this: "Note also that heavy fighters are treated as fighters except as noted in (J10.0)." Rules (J4.864) and (FP8.23) both say that no fighter can fire a plasma bolt. There is nothing in (J10.0) to exempt heavy fighters from either of those rules.
      As to bombers, rule (J14.21) states: "Bombers operate as shuttles (J1.0), fighters (J4.0), and heavy fighters (J10.0) except where noted. They are simply much larger, with more weapons and more resistance to damage. Most medium bombers have a crew of four and most heavy bombers have a crew of six."
      Nothing in (J14.0) provides an exemption that would allow bombers to bolt plasma torpedoes, so they cannot.

      Xander Fulton asks: How do "Heavy Fighters" (J10.0) interact with "Fighter Pods" (J11.0), specifically, the stockpile (J11.13). The rule states: "Fully capable carriers have (J4.752) two EW pods, one combat pod, one cargo pod, and one auxiliary pod for each fighter." Is this true of heavy fighters, too (i.e., one set per fighter)? Or do they have twice this number, since they occupy the slots on the deck previously held by two fighters? The argument would be: Surely the carrier's stores are not adjusted down by the number of fighters! If it had twelve sets of EW pod pairs, combat pods, cargo pods, and auxiliary pods, it should have twelve sets, whether it has twelve fighters or six fighters occupying twelve hangar bay positions. The counter-argument, of course, is that the rule says "for each fighter", which seems pretty clear (unless you forgot something).
      ANSWER: There is no provision for heavy fighters to have more pods per fighter in a carrier's pod stockpile, just as there is no provision for a bomber base to have more pods per bomber in its stockpile. Maybe there should be, someday.
(End of Ask Growler. )

The Crucible of Combat

      Q: Can a crippled ship be placed in the formation bonus position during a pursuit battle? I want to protect it!
      A: Yes, a retreat battle force is formed as per (307.3) and (307.41) allows one ship to be in the formation bonus position.
      Q: During combat of a non-phasing player turn, a carrier group consisting of SAV, AD5, and F5E is damaged. Due to the tactical situation, the Klingon player decides to kill the SAV and cripple the AD5. Are the crippled AD5 and/or the uncrippled F5E allowed to perform CEDS retrograde?
      The argument that they "might not" assumes that once the SAV is dead the group falls apart. The argument that "maybe they can" rests on the thinking that the group participated in combat and was damaged. Rule (308.131) is confusing because it only mentions "carrier groups". The rule was written before (515.0) allowed players to build their own groups, and assumes fixed carrier-group counters, which could not really exist in Basic F&E (which also lacks auxiliary carriers).
      A: The good news is that the consistent intepretation has been that (308.131) should be deemed to have included flexible (515.0) groups, and as such, the AD5 and F5E were part of a group at the time of damage and can be retrograded out of the area; at least, it could have been on 21 Feb 2010. The bad news is the F&E2KX rulebook eliminates CEDS retrograde entirely, so as of 22 Feb 2010, the entire question is moot as there is no longer any such thing as CEDS retrograde.
(F&E Q&A continues here )


     Q: Are the Orion slave girls going to be in Traveller Prime Directive?

     A: I'm glad you asked that because it does let me tell you that Mike West has been hard at work creating careers and working on adapting weapons for Traveller PD. Do remember that the Orion "slave girls" are certainly not slaves and not all of them are girls! Orions are pretty relaxed about showing off bodies and their clothing can be very revealing by today's standards for high-end fashion. The different specializations of the career path include everything from actors and actresses to circus performers to prostitutes to professional hosts and hostesses. Mistaking a person in one type of career for another can land you in a heap of trouble ranging from a slap and a "dis-invitation" from the party to arrest! In Traveller, half the fun is in character creation, so if you choose the Orion entertainer career, be prepared to relax and go with the flow.

     Send questions to Jean at design@StarFleetGames.com 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 Marketing@StarFleetGames.com 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 Klingon C8 3D Model
Click here to see the full range of images.

Klingon C8