Q: Just to make sure, when is war declared? I've got a Klingon diplomatic ship within range of Sherman's Planet on Coalition Turn #6. The Shermanites allied with the the Federation last turn, and I want to see if I have a chance to roll to convince them to return to neutrality before my armada crosses the Neutral Zone on Coalition Turn #7. I sent the diplomats there during the Movement Phase of Coalition Turn #6, but I don't get to roll until the Economic Phase of Coalition Turn #7, so is the Economic Phase before or after I declare war?
A: War is declared at the instant that there is an action that causes that declaration. As long as you perform the action to change their minds before you commit an action (say, entering Federation territory) that causes war to be declared, the diplomats would have a chance to neutralize Sherman's Planet before your hordes of DSF ships cross the Federation border.
Q: It is the Alliance half of Turn #3 and I am moving the Hydrans. I moved a fleet in Hydran space from 0915 to 1015. Can the Klingons react ships from the West fleet, currently at the BATS in 1214, into the Neutral Zone? The scenario rules say that the West Fleet is released, but that it cannot attack the Hydrans unless the Hydrans attack first. Thus, we are in a gray area.
A: It's actually not gray at all. Once an enemy enters a neutral zone hex adjacent to your territory and does not accept internment (503.61), a state of war exists and the Klingon ships on battle station 1214 can, indeed, react into the Neutral Zone.
Q: We are about to start a scenario, which lists two mobile bases in my Order of Battle. Can I deploy them in my territory or must they remain undeployed?
A: All mobile bases listed in a scenario Order of Battle are undeployed (and stored at any convenient starbase) unless the scenario rules say they are set up. See (510.122).
Q: When can the Klingons "capture" the neutral zone hexes adjacent to the Tholians?
A: It depends on which hexes, and when, and with which ships. The Klingons cannot grab these hexes on Turn #1 due to rule (601.1611). They can grab 2618, 2619, and 2718 on Turn #2 or any later turn, but only by using ships which are "released" or which are "new construction". The East Fleet is still "inactive" until the Klingons are at war with the Federation, and its ships are not available. Once the Klingons and Federation are at war, hexes adjacent to both the Tholians and Federation become available to be captured by the Klingons. See (503.64).
Q. Is there any rule that allows diplomats to be deployed prior to Turn #1 (i.e., during setup) in the General War (601.0) Scenario?
A: No, there is not. The diplomatic teams in the game are assumed to be specially created to deal with a wartime situation. Certainly, you have non-game diplomats in an allied capital, but not the special kind of diplomats that the game rules reflect. The diplomats are assumed to be in the capital. They are released once the empire is at war, and could use a small transport even before the Home Fleet is released. Now, there is one small loophole (600.35) about sending diplomats to neutral zone planets.
Q: The Hydran Expedition has succeeded in activating the Federation on the Alliance portion of Turn #5. What does this do about releasing the Federation Fifth and Seventh Fleets?
A: Nothing. The release rules for those fleets are not changed. The Fifth Fleet Detachment is released only if the Klingons enter Federation territory, and the Seventh Fleet is released only on the second turn after an invasion (there are other conditions, as well). If the Federation decides to invade the Klingon Empire, and the Klingons do not invade the Federation, the Federation will fight this insane war of aggression against a peaceful Klingon Empire without those two fleets.
Q: In my current game we are about to enter Turn #7 without a Klingon attack on the Federation. This puts the Federation into a Limited War situation and says it can send the Fourth Fleet into Kzinti space. The rules state that the Federation Home and Third Fleets are able to move freely inside of Federation space. Does this also allow ships in those fleets to be converted?
A: The second-to-last sentence of (654.2Y) in the F&E2KX rulebook [Fighter Operations (602.49B)] covers this. This is the section that is about what is not allowed when at Limited War. It says "Anything not otherwise covered." This means no, the ships in the Home and Third Fleets cannot be converted as they are not expressly permitted to be converted by that rule. For those who were not aware, the original rule (602.49) defining endless details of Limited War was published in Fighter Operations and, with very minor edits, became rule (654.0) in F&E2KX.
Q: Are auxiliaries (carriers, scouts, troop ships, drone ships) "ships" or "non-ships"? In cases such as the Kzinti Marquis Fleet or the Federation Fifth Fleet, are auxiliaries released or not?
A: This was answered in F&E2KX. In the case of the Kzinti Marquis fleet, those items (auxiliaries, non-ships, slow units, police ships, and small transports) cannot be counted as units left behind, and are released because of the "desperate" situation. In the case of the Federation Fifth Fleet, specific ships are released, and those units (auxiliaries, non-ships, slow units, police ships, and small transports) are not on the list of released ships and thus are not released.