Star Fleet Warlord News
Issue #6 The Official Newsletter of the Greater Magellanic Cloud Sept. 1994
SFW HALL OF FAME UPDATE ERRORS FOUND IN THE NEW RULEBOOK
We‟d love to be able to say there were no mistakes made in the new Game Winner Corporation Victory
17A Charles Morriss Thugs Inc. Sole survivor rulebook, but we did find some (although surprisingly few considering the
19 Bruce Spears D‟s Demonic Psychos 102 sites book‟s size). These are listed below.
20 Bruce Spears Galactic Toxicology 7 sectors
21 Matt Smyth Catnip Inc. 7 sectors Page Error
22 Robert Vandenberg Mrachne More Flot 86 sites 41 The list of terrain immunities says monsters are immune to
Game 17A was the “Texas Challenge,” a custom game offered to eight nebulas, but this is not completely true. Their shields are not Texan players. On turn 27, Charles Morriss defeated his last competitor and dropped to zero as with a normal ship, but if they should be in the game ended. combat within a nebula, their shield factor will not protect them. (A
Bruce Spears became our first two-time winner, and then a couple of subtle distinction, but an important one.) weeks later became our first three-time winner! Of the four games he‟s 51 The UPGR order description says that repair planetoids cannot be played, he has won three of them. We asked him about the secret of his used to upgrade ships, but in truth they can. The description of the success, and he said, “I basically won both games—and game #9, too—with repair planetoid on page 12 is correct. diplomacy.” 62 The EV order cannot be used during the initial build. There is no
Matt Smyth was a first-time winner, and Robert Vandenberg won his Random Event Phase of your turn during the build turn, so there‟s second game (game #18 was his previous victory). Congratulations to all no way to get one. (Besides, you have better things to do with your these Warlords! 10 orders than waste one on a random event.)
A more in-depth report on these games, complete with quotes from the 64 The RSVP parameter of the ME order was found to cause winners, can be found in Captain‟s Log #16, coming soon from Task Force confusion when first encountered. The effect was that you received Games or a fine hobby store near you. the name and address of a player (in the standard player address
section of your turn) with no explanation of where it came from.
To alleviate some of this confusion, messages sent with RSVP are NEWS & THINGS now preceded with the Corporation number followed by a double- As many of you know (though some may have forgotten), the STAR greater-than-sign (>>) marker. So if you see “305>> Call me!”, you FLEET WARLORD NEWS is now free to all currently active players in any game. know to look to your player address section for Corp#305‟s name Those who aren‟t in a game but would like to receive an issue can purchase and address. one for $1. Back issues are available for all previously published issues at this 69 In the A% order description, near the bottom, “...Andromedans same rate. (Overseas customers will be charged $2 due to the higher cost of have very low attack factors but high staying factors...” should read postage.) “staying power.” 74 In the example, the attacking ships would have taken damage from WARLORD’S AIDE NOW AVAILABLE! the asteroid field terrain when they entered the hex (before this A computer program is now available from Agents of Gaming to help battle even started), but this is purposely left out of the example for you with your turns. This program is known as the WARLORD‟S AIDE and is simplicity. (You might note, however, that the battle would have currently available for IBM-compatible computers only. gone even worse for the attackers than it did, considering the The Warlord‟s Aide is a database utility which enables you to maintain amount of damage asteroids cause upon entry). records for each of your ships in each game you‟re involved in. You can enter a ship‟s basic combat factors, officers, optional items, and so forth, and There are also a number of glitches in the Ship List, which are as find its combined combat abilities with the touch of a key! More importantly follows: than this, however, you can enter moves and orders for each ship, and the Aide will check these moves to see if they‟re legitimate. No more “Your ship Page Error moved illegally” reports on your turn sheet! 2 F-CVE should have a “Y” variant as well as “S” and “V”. You can also enter miscellaneous orders, and the Aide will check these 6 R-H+ should have a “B” variant in addition to “O”. for the proper formats, displaying all legal parameters if you make a mistake. 7 Z-SRV should have a “Y” variant as well as “S” and “V”. Once you‟ve entered a turn you can create one of two sorts of files: a 8 G-SRV should have (you guessed it) a “Y” variant as well as “S” text file suitable for printing (and acceptable as an official turn by Agents of and “V”. Gaming), or an encoded file you can send to AoG by electronic mail or 12 A-INF is not available until Y174. media. This can then be read directly by the STAR FLEET WARLORD 12 A-KS, A-DIA, A-BUL and A-RAT possess displacement devices computers, with no chance of a data entry error! And of course, if you send in Star Fleet Battles, but these were purposely left off in Star Fleet your turn by electronic mail, you cut out the post office as the middleman, Warlord as a balance factor. saving you a stamp or (if you normally fax your turn) that pesky $1 fax fee. 16 D-PSC should have an “S” variant letter (this was our most The best part is, the program‟s free! Agents of Gaming provides it as a embarrassing mistake in the whole rulebook). service to you, the customer. The only thing we ask is $5 to cover the cost of 17 S-SC is listed as having a designation of “DD”. (The one with the the disk we‟ll mail you, the packaging, and the postage. Interested? Give us a name “Scout” is the SC, not DD.) call or write a note on your turn, and we‟ll even include pre-entered databases for your ships in every game you‟re in, at no extra charge!
STAR FLEET WARLORD NEWS September 1994 — page 2
BIZARRE PLANETOID PRIMER HISTORICAL GAME NOTES by Steve Forsythe
Okay, so you have a Bizarre Planetoid (BP) as one of your sites. The The Historical Game, a simulation of the General War, has recently been
rulebook says its value varies widely from turn to turn, but that‟s pretty developed for STAR FLEET WARLORD. In this variant, two teams of six vague, isn‟t it? Here‟s some more information that will help you understand players each take the roles of the Alliance and Coalition races. The team
these strange sites. concept, and the roles of the individual within the team, make the Historical
Every BP has a base value, which is what you see when you conquer Game quite a different challenge from standard SFW. As one of the original
the site or use a Scan Value order on it. This number looks awfully small, and playtesters of this variant, I‟d like to share with you some of my
can actually fall below the normal minimum (20) for any resource planets observations.
normally possess. Judging a BP by its base value is only half the story, The Alliance and the Coalition players must remember that they are a
however. part of a team. A team wins by controlling twice as many sites as the other
When your turn runs, the computer generates a value called the Bizarre team; this is the game‟s bottom line. It won‟t do much good for your
Planetoid Value for your Corp. (I picked the acronym for all you Star Fleet Corporation to do extremely well while the rest of your team is wiped out!
Battles aficionados.) This value can range from 1 to 25, and this amount will With this in mind, when making any decision during play, you must choose
be added to every bizarre planetoid you own on that turn! (In other words, a the path that provides the most benefit to the team—even if it may not be the different value is not determined for each BP.) So if you have a “good” BP best move for your individual Corporation.
turn, in which a large value is rolled, all your BPs will produce extra Of course, acting in concert to implement a really bad strategy might not
resources. On the other hand, if you‟re unlucky, they‟ll all produce less than yield the hoped-for result. Both sides have strengths and weaknesses. The
normal. two basic strategies hinge on maximizing your strengths or minimizing your
The Estimated Income Calculator assumes you will get the minimum weaknesses (and of course, negating your opponents' strengths). Both sides
(base) value from every BP, by the way, so if you have a lot of them, you‟ll have at least one player who is likely to be attacked by two or more
almost always find yourself with more EPs than your accountants predicted. opponents with friendly forces too far away to help. Primarily, these are the
This should come as a pleasant surprise...most of the time, that is. Hydrans on the Alliance side and the Western Romulans for the Coalition.
(The Kzinti and the Eastern Romulans are in a similar position, but the
Kzintis can get help from the Northern Federation, while the Eastern Roms QUANTITY OR QUALITY? by Jim Christensen will only be attacked by one opponent, not two.) The Eastern Romulans are In STAR FLEET WARLORD, you‟ll often be faced with the choice of likely to have more income than the Eastern Gorns and so are OK as long as quantity or quality. In other words, should you buy a lot of little ships or one the Western Romulans survive (assuming both Gorn players don't target the or two very large ones? Eastern Romulans). In general, quantity will win out. Why? Here are a few reasons: Each team must decide if they are going to send aid (via the Economic • Flexibility. You can‟t split a battleship and send the pieces in different Gift order) to their vulnerable player. They could also decide to send aid to directions, but a four-ship fleet could be broken up if need be (perhaps to the player(s) attacking the opponent's most vulnerable position. A good prospect). strategy will secure a war-winning advantage while preventing the opponents • Site conquering. A lone ship can only take one or two sites a turn, but from gaining an equally good advantage. Capture of players'„ homeworlds, a cluster of small ships can sweep an entire sector in no time flat. Since most or at least “bottling them up” on their homeworlds, is the basis of a good sites are undefended, and any size ship can conquer them, your little ships strategic plan. Which sectors a player should be exploiting should also be are just as good as big ones. explicitly stated in a team's overall strategy. Each player should know the • Combat. Check out the example of combat in the rulebook. When you team's strategy and plan accordingly. have a multi-ship fleet, the damage coming in is divided out amongst them. A All players should try to prevent the opponents from gaining sector lone ship, on the other hand, will take everything the other side can dish out! bonuses and good prospecting. Destroying many of their ships while losing • Cost. Small ships are cheaper to maintain, and also cheaper to refit, few of yours is also helpful in reaching your objectives. Strong effort should upgrade and repair. And if a small ship gets damaged, it‟s not that severe a be made to prevent the opponents from scanning your home sectors while blow. getting scans of theirs. Battles for homeworlds may involve well over 100 Like all concepts, however, there are pros and cons. Large ships have ships, so adjust your defense to match the threats. Remember to plan ahead; their advantages, too. Here are a few situations where bigger is better: it is impossible to build a defense against a 50 ship fleet in two or three turns! • Terrain. Some terrains simply cannot be survived by small ships— The following paragraphs describe the important considerations from magnetic meteors and variable pulsars, for example. You want to go in these each of the twelve participants. hexes for the prospecting., and if you can‟t afford or don‟t have the Hydrans: Survival is the paramount issue for the Hydrans. Without enhancements (high crew, legendary officers), only a big ship will do. significant aid, the Lyrans and Klingons will crush the Hydrans. If the • Special buys. If you have a chance to buy Frax or Seltorian ships, or Hydrans are to be sacrificed in order to focus all efforts on destroying the Monsters, don‟t let size stop you. This is the only chance you‟ll get. Some Romulans (one option for the Alliance team to consider), then the Hydrans random events (like the one that gives you speed-6 on your next purchase) should try to do as much damage as possible and survive as long as possible. are begging for big ships. And, of course, you‟ll probably want a large ship With significant aid, the Hydrans could be as strong as both the Western for the Graveyard. Lyrans and Western Klingons. While still fighting a defensive war (using • Build limitations. If you don‟t have enough order lines available but interior lines), effort can be spared to send lone raiders into Lyran and need ships fast, buy the largest ships you can afford. Having money left over Klingon space. probably won‟t do you much good if your Home Office is coming under Western Lyrans: Exploitation of sectors 01 and 11 is important. attack (or you‟re hitting someone else‟s). Destroying the Hydrans and providing aid to other players are two important • As fleet anchors. In a close battle, the largest ships are going to survive goals for the Western Lyrans. Sending s warp gate through Eastern Lyran at the end, and little ones will be swept away. Your major fleets should all space could also prove very useful, and gives you something to do when they have one or more big “anchors” that the little ones protect. A fleet of 80-90% Hydrans have finally been taken out.. DWs or smaller will make its anchor ships nearly invincible in a close fight! Continued on next page....
STAR FLEET WARLORD NEWS September 1994 — page 3
eight cruisers can force a player to defend a homeworld and is certainly
Eastern Lyrans: Control of sector 30 is necessary; exploitation of strong enough to take a planet or two in a player's home sector. The sector 21 is good and exploitation of 11 a possibility. Destroying the Kzinti is Romulan players (especially the Western one) must balance offense with a noble goal (from the Lyran point of view) but it is difficult to accomplish defense. A totally defensive Romulan player is not taking advantage of his since the Northern Federation can get there just as quickly as you can. greatest weapon, the cloak. Knowing when to cloak and when not to is Again, a choice must be made between providing aid to others or attempting important. Improved cloaks and refits are available but should be used the quick demise of the Kzinti. In any case, a large fleet in sector 40 will carefully. If a ship does not need to be refitted, use those resources bottle-up the Kzintis, making things easier for the Lyrans. It‟s up to either elsewhere. Warp Gates and FRDs should be refitted and given improved you or the Klingons to remove the Kzinti threat, so make sure the Klingons cloaks at the first opportunity, of course. know your plans (and which of you will be the one to take the responsibility). Eastern Romulans: Exploit sector 92 and 81. Destroy the Eastern
Western Klingons: Control of sector 12 and possibly 11, 21, or 31 are Gorns (or perhaps the Western Gorns) and then the other Gorn player. The possibilities. The goals of destroying the Hydrans and providing aid are same comments apply to Eastern Roms as they did for Western Roms similar to those of the Western Lyrans except the Western Klingons have an except that the Eastern Roms are more likely to end up in a one-on-one additional option of attacking the Kzinti via sector 31. A Western Klingon matchup and have more income than the Eastern Gorns (much more, if they warp gate in sector 31 or 32 would help defend the Klingons from the Kzinti properly exploit sector 92, which is theirs uncontested). and the Federation. Don‟t put too much effort into destroying the Hydrans, Western Gorns: Exploitation of sector 71 (and to some extent 60 and
as this is the Western Lyrans‟ job, but don‟t fall into the trap of leaving your even 61) is paramount. The Western Gorns should (a) kill Roms, (b) keep border unguarded, either. their home sector from being scanned, and (c) provide aid to others (if
Eastern Klingons: Many options are available to the Eastern Klingons. applicable). You‟re unlikely to come under serious attack, but you can never These include all-out attacks against the Kzinti (in conjunction with the be sure with those sneaky Romulans, so allocate something (a base or a high-Eastern Lyrans) or against the Feds via sector 41. The Eastern Klingons must crew ship) to scan for cloaked ships every turn. put pressure on the Federation in order to force them to allocate some Eastern Gorns: Exploitation of sector 81 is critical. Exploiting 90 will
resources to their own defense. This is the best way the Eastern Klingons not be easy because the ISC have large, powerful ships, but it‟s the only way can assist the Romulans. Sacrificing the Romulans to destroy the Hydrans to have an income close to the Eastern Roms. Attempting to tiptoe through and the Kzinti is probably not likely to win, as it gives the Alliance over half sector 91 and come in the “back door” to Eastern Rom space generally fails the map to control. If even one Romulan player survives, however, victory due to the huge quantities of ISC ships you‟ll encounter. If the war stagnates, would be likely. Destroying a Federation player might be enough to win the however, a foray into sector 92 to steal the sector bonus might be war and if any opportunity to do so becomes available, go for it! appropriate, but always try the direct approach first
Northern Federation: The Northern Federation needs to coordinate its There are also a number of general observations that tend to hold true activities with the Western Gorns, the Kzinti, and the Southern Feds. A plan for all participants. Getting scans of all adjacent sectors on the third turn is so for exploiting sectors 40, 41, 60, and 61 must be worked out early. In the case important that you should consider using two scouts just to make sure. of 40 and 60, it‟s generally wiser to let one Corporation control the entire Starbase orders take on a greater role, especially when helping to locate sector (for the bonus) rather than try to split it up—but the Feds can‟t afford enemy bases. You should really consider counterespionage until several turns to give both of these sectors away entirely. You‟ll need to split up the into the game, if only to keep the enemy from locating your Home Office prospecting carefully, too. Also, the Northern Feds should be sending aid to with an ES order, then scan-hexing a safe path to it (enabling a sneak attack someone virtually every turn. A warp gate and fleet should head towards the without a sector map). And, as always, don‟t forget the monsters and NPCs Kzinti homeworld. It is reasonable that a Northern Fed fleet would try to in the wild sectors—you have to take out their base as quickly as possible, attack the Eastern Klingons or the Western Romulans. Defense of the and of course any battle report you generate will probably be read by your Southern Feds might also rest with the Northern Feds! It‟s important that the opponents, so they‟ll know where that base is as soon as you‟ve conquered Feds have a plan and work to accomplish it. Both Northern and Southern it. Don‟t underestimate the value of this sort of intelligence!
Feds can easily become overextended by trying to do too many things For each of the above, and in fact any objective in the game (no matter simultaneously. how minor), keep in mind the team concept. If you don‟t have the money for
Southern Federation: Southern Feds have five different sectors they an EC order, get a loan from a teammate. If you need a scan of a particular could reasonably move into: 41, 42, 52, 61, and 62. Of these, the Southern hex but your starbase orders are all in use, a teammate‟s starbase will do the Feds are the only member of the Alliance who can quickly reach 42, 52, and job just as well as yours. If the pirate base in a sector is too far away from 62. Sector 52, the Tholian sector, is a potential source of income, but it could you, but an ally‟s fleet is nearby, get him to conquer it (he probably won‟t also tie up many ships that could be used elsewhere (and the enemy is going mind the crew training, anyway) and then drop it so you can take it over to hear most of the battle reports you generate in Tholian space, so they‟ll easily. know what you‟re up to). Exploitation of 42 and 62 is required to some In summary, every action taken should contribute towards extent just to prevent the other side from having unopposed access to those accomplishing your objectives in the most efficient way possible. Income is two wild sectors. Southern Fed will probably want to focus its efforts on important in accomplishing other objectives. Each player must weigh the either the Western Romulans or the Eastern Klingons. One of the Federation return on the investment in time and resources. The NPC sectors will be players should focus effort on the Eastern Klingons. Destroying the difficult and require a good sized fleet to dominate. Most important of all is Romulans is a popular Fed pastime, but if the Gorns kill them first, a large to have fun. Hopefully these observations will help you fight an exciting war Fed fleet may find itself flying through space, not accomplishing much. and, win or lose, know that you fought well!
Obviously, it‟s important to make plans early and follow them through.
Western Romulans: Next to the Hydrans, the Western Romulans have
the smallest hope of survival. Most likely one Gorn player and one Fed
player (Southern, most likely) will attack in force. The Western Roms must
exploit sectors 61, 62, and 71. Getting scans of the home sectors of the Feds
and the Gorns is an important goal. It is much more effective to fight the
Gorn fleets in open space than to defend a site against their attack, because of
all those commandoes and site-attack bonuses. To survive, the Western
Roms must destroy the Western Gorn fleet in sector 71. They must also
have strong defenses to deal with the Feds. A cloaked fleet of even six to
STAR FLEET WARLORD NEWS September 1994 — page 4
GAME VARIATIONS EXPLAINED ASK THE GALACTIC COUNCIL!
Every now and again Agents of Gaming offers minor variations to their What happens if I have a neutron star located in a negative energy
standard game, in order to keep things interesting and less cut-and-dried. field? Do I have my engines drained twice? Actually yes, but after the first Some of the variations are explained below. Note that in games with fewer draining, your ship‟s speed will already be “1” and the second drain won‟t
than 50 players, no prize is awarded for victory, other than the satisfaction of have any effect. (Warp-draining terrain cannot take your ship‟s speed below a job well done. 1.) This effect can actually come into play if you use a repair ship to enter the
Express Game: This is a game which runs on a one-week cycle, instead terrain. The negative energy field will use up one repair point, and then the
of the standard two-week turnaround time. There are usually 16 players in neutron star will use a second point! So be sure you have two repair points
such a game, and the winner is the first to control three sectors (not seven); available when entering such a hex.
sites are used only as a tiebreaker. Turns are due by a certain hour of a certain What determines the bounty given for killing a monster? It‟s based on
day of the week, and late turns are waived (i.e., no lateness allowed). Turns the monster‟s combat statistics, and (in the case of ones which carry them)
are accepted by electronic mail or fax, and to play you‟ll want to be able to whatever optional items it has. Experiment with the numbers for a while and
do either of these on a regular basis. you might be able to come up with the exact formula!
Three-Week Game: This is a game with a three-week turnaround time. If I can raid my own sites, why can’t I raid in direction zero? The raid
All other rules are the same as in standard play, including victory conditions, depends at least a little bit on surprise, and if the ship‟s sitting there in orbit
except that the number of players is less, usually 12 or 16. for days on end, it‟s hardly a surprise! Seriously, though, it‟s a matter of
Doomsday Game: In this variant, a turn is chosen secretly at startup game balance. Raiding in direction zero is just too easy.
time. The game ends at the start of this turn, but the players won‟t know Exactly how does Guido go about repossessing ships? If you don‟t
what it is. At that time, the player with the most sectors (or sites, if tied) wins. pay your loan completely during Y180, he takes two ships at random at the
The ending turn will be at least turn #20 (Y185). start of Y181, then four ships in Y182, six in Y183, and so on. This is
All-Wild/All-NPC Game: Normally a game has 50 player sectors, 25 particularly annoying because he‟s been known to take really important
wild sectors and 25 NPC sectors. These variants, then, post the obvious ships, like Warp Gates. Just make sure you never have to experience this!
changes. All-wild sector games tend to last longer and have larger fleets, Why can’t you get stock from raiding sites? I’d think this would be
while EPs are a little more scarce in an all-NPC game. just the sort of thing that would raise stock values. Early on in the history
Pairs Game: This variant is for those who like gaming with a friend. of the game, you did get stock from raiding, but we found that veteran Each pair of players is placed diagonally adjacent to each other, so players were raiding the sites in their home sector every turn to maximize
cooperative play is allowed and encouraged! Of course, everyone else out their loans, and to go after the highest stock increase award. Later on in the
there is going to have an ally, too. Victory conditions are normal, but when game you could also use this to jack up your stock so your allies could make
the game ends, the winner and his partner split 20 free turns. money playing your Corp on the market. In other words, it became a rules
Scrambled Corp# Game: In this simple variation, the Corporation loophole, so we removed it. Problem solved!
numbers are scrambled for every Corp (except the wild sector pirates and
Nasty Space Monsters). Note: If you don‟t know why this is significant, it‟ll PUBLISHER’S INFORMATION come to you eventually.... THE STAR FLEET WARLORD NEWS is published quarterly (at the end of Undead Game: You can keep playing even if your Home Office is March, June, September and December of each year) by the Agents of conquered! In this variant, the only way to be completely knocked out of the Gaming, and is copyright ? 1994 Amarillo Design Bureau. Each issue costs game is to have all your ships destroyed and sites taken away by other $1 ($2 for overseas readers) except for those players currently active in any players. You can even build ships at your Warp Gates, even if you don‟t game of STAR FLEET WARLORD, who receive one issue free. Subscriptions are own your Home Office (something you normally can‟t do)! available at $4 per year. Mail subscription requests and all submissions to:
Agents of Gaming, P.O. Box 31571, Dayton OH 45437-0571.
AGENTS OF GAMING
POST OFFICE BOX 31571
DAYTON OH 45437-0571