Star Fleet Universe

A blog for all subjects related to the Star Fleet Universe from ADB Inc. Talking about the games, the background, or its relationship with regular [i]Star Trek[/i].

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Y161

James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
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The Y160 variant of "Lone Gray Wolf" was the last thing on the group's docket for that year, so we're advancing to the next year in the SFU timeline.

Here's the summary of the year:

Post-TOS: The initial scenarios for SFB tend to be set in the 5-year missions of a couple Federation heavy cruisers that happen right after Enterprise's famous five-year mission.

The Four Powers War: The Klingons and Lyrans, after doing well become increasingly stymied by new technologies: Hydran deployment of hellbore torpedoes (which are exceptionally dangerous against Klingon ships), and Kzinti fighters, which allow for sudden, large drone waves.

Scenarios:
SH1 (BS) Sabotage Federation Klingon
SH7 (AM) Rescue the Hostages Federation Klingon
SH54 (S1) ...And Settle Their Hash Klingon Kzinti
SL157 (CL17) The Fog of War, The Frenzy of Space Hydran Lyran


Two of these scenarios feature USS Kongo (NCC-1710) on its five-year mission (also seen in "Coming of the Meteor" last year).

SH1 Sabotage is another very early scenario, and possibly a good 'training' scenario for a new Klingon captain, but I don't see how it should be balanced, and I'm currently planning on skipping it.

SH7 Rescue the Hostages looks more interesting, though base battles often go a bit sideways for us. It's also another early scenario that looks like a possible TOS plot.

SH57 ...And Settle Their Hash is the first scenario to really cover the Four Powers War in a bit. A Kzinti drone bombardment mission is interrupted by a Klingon squadron. Victory conditions are the usual... but the Kzintis can get a bonus for continuing the bombardment mission. Should be very interesting.

SL157 The Fog of War, The Frenzy of Space is a huge fleet battle, and Patch looked at it and said, 'no way'. Then I started reading through the terrain effects (supernova!), and he started saying, 'okay, I've got to see this...'. So, yes, we'll get to this one.

Technology:
Tholian Web strength is now rated at 1.5 times the energy put in (instead of 1.0). In-universe, it's the Tholians getting some of their old galaxy tech back; out-universe, it's a balance for the fact that ship speeds and energy are starting to go up.

Naval developments:
Kzinti AS
Lyran HDD


Fighters: The Kzinti develop the Attack Shuttle as a small weapons platform with some help from the Hydrans. It does have some advantages over a regular shuttle (such as being able to do a HET), but the ship its based off of has to provide all the tracking for the two drones it's carrying, making it something of a piloted reusable scatterpack.

Heavy Variant: The Lyrans apply their new larger center section to the DD, beefing it up to about the size of a light cruiser. A few of the HDD and HFF are kept into the General War period.
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Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:34 pm
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Y160

James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
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Having gotten in a regular game for Y159, our group now advances to Y160 in the SFU timeline. This is where SFB originally 'started', as a lot of early materials assumed the game was set right after the original series, during the five-year missions of a couple Federation heavy cruisers. So every year from here to the end of the timeline has at least a couple scenarios and new ships showing up.

Here's my summary of the year:

The Original Series: The 5-year mission of the original Star Trek series is considered to be Y155-Y160.

The Four Powers War: There's not a lot of detail for this year, but the initial drives are petering out, and the war is threatening to turn into a stalemate, though with Coalition gains.

Scenarios:
SH3 (BS) The Coming of the Meteor Federation Klingon
SH53 (S1) Border Incident Federation Romulan Gorn
SH76 (R3) Quarantine Federation Klingon
SH176 (M) Kobol's Rock Klingon Kzinti
SH191 (R6) Returning to the Scene of the Crime Federation Orion


Showing the TOS roots of this period, the Federation is involved in four of the five scenarios for this year, and Klingons are in three of them.

SH3 The Coming of the Meteor: This is one of the original scenarios of the game, and should be good for an afternoon at some point.

SH53 Border Incident: Romulan KRs (and a WB) vs. Federation ships. I'm not sure when or with who I'll play it, but there's Romulans with Tac Warp, and we're going to see them in action!

SH76 Quarantine: A CLH has to hold off an F5J while trying to cure a disease and evacuate a colony. Could be very unusual.

SH176 Kobol's Rock: This is a ground-combat only scenario, using the more detailed rules in Module M. To my surprise, Mark expressed interest in it.

SH191 Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Something of a typical Orion scenario, showing off the FLG.

Naval developments:
Federation FFG CAR
Klingon D6S
Romulan K5R KR VUL+
Kzinti FH SDF DD BC
Tholian PR CA
Hydran LM
Lyran HFF
WYN OLR OCR OFC
ISC POL FF DD SC CL SR TUG CA


WYN Shipyard: The WYN government allows the Orion Cluster Cartel to set up a shipyard within the cluster. In return, the WYN get some of the LRs an CRs produced there, and convert the first CR into the OFC, a short-range cluster-defense flagship.

New Hull: The Kzinti DD is an all-new design, with good power, firepower, and shields for its size. For the moment, it is a better ship than the larger CL, though it would get a decent refit, and the DD is already maxed out.

Early refits: The Federation and Kzinti both start a round of improvements to existing ship classes this year. The Federation starts installing rear-firing ph-1s on CAs, and extra power on FFs. The Kzintis upgrade a damaged CS to the first BC this year, taking it past the capabilities of the existing CA design.

[It has been noted that Type-G drone racks don't exist yet, and the FFG should have a later date; instead, this would be the FF+, possibly with an ADD in place of the drone rack, but a one-box change just hasn't been worth ADB's time.]

Heavier variants: Both the Lyrans and Kzinti try getting more out of their frigates this year. The Kzinti FH is meant as a refit for the FF, but as it suffers from shock, remains a rare variant/squadron leader. The Lyrans develop a slightly larger center section to create the HFF. Tholian CAs are a C with more disruptor mounts, allowed by recent improvements to their ship-welding techniques.

Kestrals: The Klingons have been delivering older D6 and F5 hulls to the Romulans, who have reworked them to use Romulan technology, creating the "KR" or "Kestral" series of ships.

Hellbores: Hydran deployment of hellbore torpedoes continues, with the new Lord Marshal command cruiser, which replaces two of the Lord Commander's fusion beams with hellbores.

Drone Bombardment: The Kzinti combine their scout frigate and drone frigate designs into a single hull, the SDF. The DF either needs a SF or a larger drone bombardment ship (like the CD or CLD) to lead it on a drone raid for targeting. The SDF can handle this job on its own.

Heavy Scouts: The Klingons use a D6 for a dedicated scout platform, allowing it to provide good EW coverage while remaining combat-worthy.

ISC: During this year, an ISC ship witnesses a fight between Romulan and Gorn starships, and the ISC finds out that war is still very much a thing in the rest of the galaxy. All the major ISC classes have an intro date of Y160, though there probably should be some variation (most likely, the POL would pre-date this for monster patrols and the like).
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Sun Feb 5, 2017 6:00 pm
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Y159

James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
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"Catching Hell" was the only scenario scheduled for Y159, so with that, our SFB group's 'clock' now goes to Y159.

Here's the summary of the year:

The Original Series: The 5-year mission of the original Star Trek series is considered to be Y155-Y160.

The Four Powers War: There's not a lot of detail available at this point, but the 4PW has already taken it's final form, with both alliances fully in the action. The Coalition generally has the advantage, and is pressing offensives forward.

And that's it. There's no scenarios set in this year, and there's no ships with a 159 "Date Available" entry. This is the last time this happens until the end of the timeline.

Now, that's not entirely true. There's a few ships with a Y159 "Year in Service", which is the date given in F&E when they truly first enter service. The SFB date is just when they're in 'squadron service', i.e., easily available. But, since this is an SFB group, I'm sticking with its internal dates for reporting.


With no 'historical' scenarios existing, it's not quite sure what we'll do. Most likely, at some point two of us will get together and do a Lyran vs. Kzinti points battle. We haven't really seen either lately, and the Lyrans have a couple classes (DNE and BCE) that go away after the war, so involving one of them would be nice.

On the other hand, Captain's Log #41 proposes a bunch of variants to T3 "The Lone Grey Wolf" (from Star Fleet Battles: Advanced Missions) one of which happens in Y160. I don't see any reason why it can't be shifted to Y159 instead, but it may be a bigger project than we want to do.

Once one of those has been done (and probably a solo session of SM2), we'll advance the clock to Y160.

In the meantime, if you're playing an SFB scenario that does not require later ships, consider explicitly setting it in Y159, and reporting what happened here!
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Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:52 pm
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Y158

James Lowry
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When my current group started playing Star Fleet Battles, the idea I came up with was to pick an early date, and then slowly play our way through the timeline to get a solid sense of how the ships changed over time.

The original date of Y135 (the Hydran Reconquest) was probably a bit too early. There's not a lot of interest that far back. (Scenarios are also somewhat rare, and we tend to prefer them to points battles, even if they are often not that well thought out.) Annoyingly, the dynamics of the group changed, cutting down on the amount of SFB we were playing, just as we were hitting some more interesting parts of the timeline. We've been 'stuck' in Y157 for some time now.

Anyway, "The Sally" was the last scenario I wanted to see from Y157, and our group is now 'officially' playing in Y158. Here's my summary of the year:

The Original Series: The 5-year mission of the original Star Trek series is considered to be Y155-Y160.

The Four Powers War: The Hydrans attacked the Lyran Empire late in the previous year, and early in this one the Klingons attack the Kzinti in the "Fourth Klingo-Kzinti War". The Hydrans have a treaty with the Kzinti, and attack the Klingon Empire in support of the Kzinti. The Lyrans (never needing an excuse to fight the Kzinti) attack the Kzinti Hegemony, citing their treaty with the Klingons.

Treaty of Smarba: The Treaty of Smarba is signed in this year, where the Klingon Empire provides technical assistance (and ships) to the Romulan Empire as a way of giving the Federation other worries.

Scenarios: I know of three scenarios set in this year:

SH4 (BS) Cruise Drones Klingon
SL254 (CL34) Catching Hell Hydran Klingon
SL294 (CL42) Operation Stabilize Lyran Hydran


SH4 Cruise Drones: This is a solo training scenario in Basic Set. ...I'm not going to bother with this one.

SL254 Catching Hell: This is an interesting looking Hydran vs Klingon scenario from Captain's Log #34; it's kind of a sequel to "Where Wisdom Fails".

SL294 Operation Stabilize: I didn't get the Captain's Log for this until after we'd 'moved on', but it looks interesting.

Naval developments:

Federation MS
Romulan SNS+ HK+ WB+
Tholians PDD+
Hydran CU CRU KN SRV SRG DG


Minesweeping: The use of mines/trasporter bombs seems to be getting slowly more common, with the Kzinti fielding the first dedicated minesweeper variant in Y152. Responding to a growing number of minefields along the Klingon and Romulan borders, the Federation starts converting CLs into MS this year.

Romulans: The Romulans use Klingon technology to start immediately refitting their main ship classes with phaser-1s in place of the short-range lasers, upgraded tractor beams, and transporters.

Tholians: The PDD was originally just a test of the concept of welding two small ships together to produce a larger one, but has now entered more general service. This year, improvements in welding techniques have allowed the Tholians to remove the shock penalties from the class (the 'shock refit' has no official designator; I'm calling it the PDD+), and start construction of CAs.

Hydrans: The new Hellbore Torpedo sees widespread deployment in the Cuirassier frigate, Knight destroyer, and Dragoon heavy cruiser. Also, the Crusader mixed-weapon frigate leader is deployed, which will eventually replace the older Saracen class. Finally, some of the Hydran Outrider survey ships are outfitted for combat by carrying extra fighters, or extra boarding parties and ground attack shuttles.


The current plan is to play "Catching Hell" at some point (probably me and Patch reprising our usual Hydran and Klingon roles) and then advance the clock to Y159.

In the meantime, if you're playing an SFB scenario that does not require later ships, consider explicitly setting it in Y158, and reporting what happened here!

Edit: Just discovered a new Tholian ship in CL40, and added a new scenario from CL42.
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Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:25 pm
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