September 2009
Download Transmissions

The latest Communique brings you more Ship Cards, scenarios, fiction, and more news from the Star Fleet Universe! It can be downloaded from the Commander's Circle.

We continue to improve the Commander's Circle. (Please make note that it is now at a different location.) We have now uploaded all of the ships and scenarios as separate documents (the ships are organized by empire) so you can quickly see what is available. Check it out!

Star Fleet Universe News

The big news this month is the release of our fall schedule, with many exciting new products. See at right.

Our 30th anniversary customer appreciation sale ended on 31 August, and was a major success. Many customers used the period of the sale to replace their worn out copies of many SSDs books, Captain's Logs, and rule books.

The big release in June was Captain's Log #39. We released the Captain's Log #39 Supplementary File just a few days ago.

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

We are looking for a few good Star Fleet Ambassadors! Our marketing director can't be everywhere and that's where you come in! Do you go to gaming forums like Board Game Geek, RPG Net, or The Miniatures Page? Then WE NEED YOU! To get complete details of the Ambassador program, please see the Federation Commander Ambassadors category on the Federation Commander Forum.

Have you missed an earlier Newsletter? Click here to get caught up!

FC Forum Recent Posts

The Federation Commander Site and Forum continue to grow as more gamers find it. We have added a new section to the Forum called Web Requests. If you have any comments, questions, or requests for our Graphics Director, this is the place to let him know.

We have added a new Star Fleet Battles section to the Forum to discus everything SFB. For new players, the Federation Commander Forum is a little easier to manage whereas the Legacy Discus BBS can be a bit overwhelming.  Come see what the commotion is about and join the Federation Commander Forum now!

Don't forget our original (Discus-based) BBS where most product development takes place!

FC Tactic of the Month

The Klingons and their allies the Lyrans can combine their secondary weapons (drones and the ESGs) to defend against the swarms of drones they encounter when fighting the Kzintis. I will assume that the Lyrans and Klingons are flying in the same hex or close formation. The first line of defense is the Klingons' own drones, which can be used to shoot down enemy drones at long range. If the target of the drones is a Lyran ship, the drones can be allowed to impact and be eliminated by a defensive ESG burst without affecting friendly ships. If the target is a Klingon ship, then it can maneuver in a way to draw the drones over a Lyran ship which will kill them with an offensive ESG burst. Alternatively, let the drones impact and, if any are held in tractors after defensive fire, they can be eliminated by an ESG offensive burst during the offensive fire phase. This will result in some damage to the Klingon, but shield reinforcement will mitigate this and it probably will not be a shield facing the enemy.
(End of FC Tactic of the Month)

Café Press
Cafe Press Café Press is an online marketplace that allows the Star Fleet Universe to produce unique products such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more with the Star Fleet logos, cover art, and other artwork used for our products. We have added tons of new shirts, mugs, and other products. Want something you don’t see? Please contact Eric Olivarez (Graphics Director) with your request. Visit our Star Fleet Café Press Store for a complete listing of the products available.

SFB Tactic of the Month
- Captain Ken Burnside, USS Iowa

The X-technology revision from Captain's Log #25 and the sensor drogue from Module J2 combine very well together.
Consider, an X-ship with a minus one ECCM shift subtracts one from all weapon die rolls under (XD6.34), and can generate eight points of self-generated electronic warfare. A sensor drogue raises a unit's self-generated lending limit by two points, allowing an X-ship with a sensor drogue to generate ten self-generated electronic warfare points. For an X-ship, this amount of power is feasible. Most other ships would come to a grinding halt after putting ten points of power into electronic warfare.

But wait, there is more!

Because of rule (XC12.312), X-ships can change speed every six impulses, and rule (XC2.21) allows them to accelerate by triple their speed in the previous 32 impulses, i.e., they can accelerate from speed twelve back up to maximum speed of 31 after recovering the drogue. These rules almost completely negate the principal drawback of drogues: that the ship has to slow down to Speed 12 to use it. X-ships can slow down to Speed 12, deploy the drogue, wait four impulses for it to stabilize, fire their weapons, wait two more impulses, recover the drogue, and then accelerate up to Speed 31 (or whatever speed they want). Because X-ship movement has precedence, even when they are at speed twelve, the X-ships move last.

Is that not enough for you? Consider the interactions with scouts.

A scout with a sensor drogue deployed lending to another unit with a sensor drogue deployed can lend two more points of ECM and ECCM, for a total of six points each using two sensor channels. With sensor drogues deployed, it is entirely reasonable for a scout-supported X-ship to have ten self-generated electronic warfare points, eight lent ECM points, and eight lent ECCM points. With up to eighteen ECCM to play with, and immunity to offensive-electronic warfare lending, it is going to be very difficult for the target of an X-ship to avoid letting the X-ship fire with a minus one shift to the die roll.
(End of SFB Tactic of the Month)

F&E Strategy of the Month

The debate over whether the Hydrans should build Horsemen or Travelers is as old as the game of Federation & Empire itself. The main argument against the Horseman is that the Coalition will use directed damage on the ship when it is on the line.

This has little validity as the Coalition is going to use directed damage on a Hydran ship in most battles lest he see the Hydran take damage on fighters and retreat with no real damage. So, accepting that Hydran ships are going to die whenever the Coalition scores sufficient damage, the Horseman is superior to the Traveler for the following reasons:

1) Horseman puts cruiser attack strength in a battle group.

2) Horseman is one and a half ships for pinning.

3) Horseman provides a ship equal in production cost and density to the Coalition CAs and D7s.

4) Horseman converts cheaply to the NEC once available.

Compare these two battle groups: [3xHR+3xLN] and [3xTR+3xKN]. The first is the Hydran fusion battle group, but more importantly, the second is basically a Coalition battle group. The first group has 44 points of Combat Potential (ComPot), with 15 fighters and 8.5 ship equivalents.

The second group has 41 ComPot, 0 fighters, and 6 ship equivalents. With the extra 15 damage that can be resolved on the fighters and the extra 2.5 ship equivalents for pinning, the case for building the Horseman keeps getting stronger.
(End of F&E Strategy of the Month)

Mini of the Month
Every month we will feature one 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 Battlecruiser by Dale McKee.

Star Fleet Newsletter

New Releases

Communique #45 has been posted to the Commander's Circle.

SFB Module G3: Master Annexes, SKU 5423, $29.95
SFB Module G3A Supplementary Annexes, SKU 5424, $19.95
Galactic Conquest Rulebook, SKU 5716, $19.95
Federation Commander: Briefing #2, SKU 4022, $19.95
FC Reference Rulebook (5th Edition), SKU 4020, $14.95
Captain's Log #39, SKU 5739, $19.95
Captain's Log #39 Supplementary File
FC: Booster #91, SKU 4291, $9.95
Squadron Box #91, SKU 4391, $34.95
Valkenburg Castle Computer Game
Asteroid Zero Four Computer Game

Klingon Armada: SKU 6101, $16.95
Starmada: SKU 6100, $16.95
Prime Directive PD20M Klingons: SKU 8723, $24.95
Starline 2400 Drones (6 drones per pack) SKU 0051, $9.95
Starline 2400 Plasma Torpedoes (7 plasmas) SKU 0052, $14.95

Federation Commander Hydran Attack: SKU 4107, $29.95
Booster Packs #25, #26, #27: SKU 4225, 4226, 4227; $9.95 each
Starline 2400 Fighters & Shuttlecraft: Data to be available soon.

F&E-2010: SKU 5016, $59.95
Squadron Boxes #25, #26, #27: SKU 4325, 4326, 4237; $34.95

Captain's Log #40: SKU 5740, $19.95
Border Box #9: SKU 4409, $99.95

(These two products are in final development and may be added to the November or December release schedules.)
Federation Admiral: Campaign system for FC. Price TBA
Federation Commander Briefing #3 Support Ships: Price TBA

Star Fleet Fiction

"Status report!" Commodore Valgan literally screamed at his bridge crew. "Who is on my ship? How many? Where? What are they doing?"

"Still processing reports," the Executive Officer said. "That ship that went by us was a fast courier, the one you said was the only thing that could catch us."

"We hit it with that last shot," the Deputy Weapons Officer said. "I know we did. He won't be back." The man was trying too hard to prove he was worthy of his post. The Chief Weapons Officer was locked in one of the conference rooms.

"He doesn't need to come back," the Executive Officer said. "Whatever he was here to do, he did."

"Why did the shields go down?" Valgan asked.

"Because traitors in the shield control room switched them off," the Engineering Bridge Officer said. "They're dead now. I have transferred shield controls to the bridge. It won't happen again."

"They went down twice," the Executive Officer said.

"The traitors turned them off," the Engineering Bridge Officer said, "so I turned them back on and sent security up to the shield control room. Before they could get there, the traitors turned the shields off again. I turned them back on, and the traitors are, as I said, dead now."

"How many transporters on a fast courier?" Valgan asked.

"Two," the Science Officer responded, "according to the database. They could have made as many as four transporter lifts each."
"That's nearly fifty hostiles," the Executive Officer said. "We're going to have a serious problem since over half of the crew is locked up, including most of the Marines."

"Worse," the ESS officer said, "the internal sensors are largely non-functional. What works is confused by decoys."

"Put the ship on full alert!" Valgan said. "Deploy guards on critical systems, and send patrols to find the hostiles."

"I have already put the ship on alert," Major Kenyil, the Marine Commander, said calmly. "The problem is that all of the Marines, security troops, and others you consider loyal are already deployed guarding prisoners and the most critical systems."

"So what have you done?" Valgan demanded.

"I had the security troops guarding the officers locked in the conference rooms on Deck Four check the boom; they report that they cannot enter the Computer Compartment or the wardroom. One of them is on his way down to Deck Five to pass under the Computer Compartment and try to enter the wardroom from the ladders. I sent the Security squad that recaptured the shield controls down to Deck Four. The guards on the barracks in the rear hull report that Deck Four is clear and the engine room secure. I have sent my one roving patrol of Marines through Deck Five of the rear hull, and they're working their way down."

"What was that about the internal sensors?" Valgan asked.

"We have reports from all over the ship, and coverage is limited," the Security Commander said. "The security stations took a lot of damage when my troops received orders to arrest you, and you sent Marines to attack them. What security technicians I have left are trying to search the decks with the heat sensors from the fire suppression system. There are, indeed, a lot of people moving around on this ship, doubtless some of them being crewmen disloyal to you who have taken the opportunity to leave their posts and create mischief."
(Continue reading here)

Ask Admiral Growler
wild weasels

Frank Brooks asks: What is the electronic warfare penalty when firing at an active wild weasel, if no other electronic warfare applies? All I can find is rule (J3.27), which says that the (E1.7) small target modifier is in effect, but according to that chart, there is no shift (as the range is less than eleven).

ANSWER: That a wild weasel does not provide any electronic warfare protection for itself is given in the rule you cited (J3.27). So if the range is less than twelve hexes, the shuttle has no electronic warfare benefit unless some outside source provides it, e.g., offensive EW at the firing unit.

Geoff Conn asks: A plasma ship takes feedback from a torpedo launched at a target at Range zero that hits while the launcher and target are still at Range zero. If the target were to launch a wild weasel, would the plasma ship take both feedback and collateral, thus receiving the equivalent of half his own warhead in damage back?

ANSWER: Assuming the target ship and the launching ship were in the same hex at launch, and that the wild weasel (it does not matter about the target ship) and the launching ship do not leave the hex, then yes, the launching ship would take both feedback damage (on the facing shield) and collateral damage (on a random shield). It is one of the few ways to do more damage to yourself than to your enemy.
(Continue reading here)


Question: A planet, owned by Empire A at the beginning of the game, is attacked and seized during an enemy Combat Phase by Empire B. Later, during the same Combat Phase, the planet is liberated by a friendly Empire A fleet that (accidentally) retreats onto the planet and drives away the enemy forces. Assuming the planet ceases to be a supply point for the Empire A when the Combat Phase during which Empire B seized the planet is complete, when does the planet again become a supply point for Empire A?

Answer: Empire A loses a planet to Empire B on Empire B's turn. During combat and retreat, Empire A arranges for a retreat onto the now-conquered planet and liberates it from Empire B. It is, from that point, no longer a supply point for Empire B. According to rule (413.2), once a planet is (re)captured it becomes part of the old (new) owner's supply grid at the beginning of the next Player Turn after it is recaptured. So, at the beginning of Empire A's next turn, the planet will be considered part of the Empire A supply grid.

Question: When can you pay for supply for ships in a partial grid? (Any time? At any point you check your supply? Only during Economics 1A? Never, because it's not specified?) How long does the purchased supply last? (Until the next check? Until the start of the next player turn? Until the start of your next turn? Until the same point in the next Player Turn? In my next Player Turn?

Answer: The supply for being in a partial supply grid is paid during the owning empire's step 1A of the sequence of play. This is good for the entire turn (both players). If the partial supply grid is created during the turn, then for combat you have two opportunities to be in supply for combat: one is in 1A, the other is in 5-3A. If you are now isolated in combat, then certain things like salvage goes to the newly formed partial grid. Rule (413.41) implies that Economic Points can be produced in a Partial Grid (note that this existed before the salvage rules); (430.12) says that "only those planets linked to a supply grid and provinces that have one or more of their hexes linked to a supply grid produce Economic Points"; (413.1) indicates that a supply grid must include one or both of the capital or Off-Map Area; (413.4) says that a partial grid contains neither the Capital nor the Off-Map Area.
(Continue reading here)


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 90827 Early Warnings (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 90821 New Releases (Adobe Acrobat Required)
Alert 90622 Captain's Log #39 (Adobe Acrobat Required)


This is the bronze master for the new shuttlecraft miniatures to be released in October or November.

Federation Commander Newsletter