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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Got Any Marketing Ideas?

ADB, Inc., is always interested in great marketing ideas, ways and places to sell our products, as well as new products to sell. Our page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf) exists to put our products in front of other groups of potential customers. You will find us on Twitter as ADBInc_Amarillo. We also are releasing YouTube videos that show what you'll find in "the box" and our latest releases. You can catch our videos on our channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/starfleetgames.

We tried a lot of things that didn't work (Google Pay per Click, full-color ads in trade journals) and a lot of things that did work (banners on gamer websites, Star Fleet Alerts) and are always looking for new ideas. If you have any, send them to us at Marketing@StarFleetGames.com and we'll think them over.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Ships that Were Never Built, part 4

LDR battleship Imperial Fealty
Lyran battlecruiser Feline Harmony
Lyran command cruiser Paper Tiger
Orion Battle Raider Benevolence
Orion destroyer 12 Step Program

Captain's Log #17, (c) 1995 Amarillo Design Bureau. Thanks to David A. Coulthurst, Jeff Laikind, Larry Ramey, Richard Brooks, Stephan Fassman, Scott Fridenberg, Jeff Zellerkraut, and Reece Watkins.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Scene That Might Appear in a Story

This is Steven Petrick posting.

When I was very active playing, sometimes events would occur that would seem to make a good climax to a story. I am sure I am hardly alone on this, and many (if not most) other players have had moments in a game where they have thought "this would be a great scene, if only I could write it."

A case in point.

A duel between a Federation cruiser (my ship, surprisingly) and a Klingon ship was coming to a close. Both ships were badly shot up (both were on emergency life support). On this particular turn the Federation ship was stopped, and its photons were unarmed (they might have been arming, but they would not be available this turn).

The Klingon ship turned and approached the Federation ship head on. One can picture the Klingon captain addressing his bridge crew of his intention to close to three hexes range where his ship's phaser-2s would not miss. Some member of the crew expressing the fact that the Federation ship's phaser-1s are effective out to five hexes range, and the captain noting that the limited number of phasers remaining to the Federation ship would force him to hold fire until three hexes range also to maximize their damage, but the then greater number of Klingon phasers and limited number of remaining Federation phasers would leave the Federation ship with almost no weapons while the Klingon ship would still have phasers to fire (on the next turn).

Surprisingly, the Federation ship fires its phaser-1s at Range 4. While this costs the D7 some of its remaining phasers with no answering damage (no "me too" firing in Star Fleet Battles), the Klingon Captain snarls that now they will be able to close to Range 0 before firing, which will almost make up for the lost phasers, and still leave the Federation ship at their mercy, it does not even have any shuttles remaining.

As the ship closes, the science officer, thrown to the deck by the phaser fire, rises and returns to his station. Something about the Federation ship is bothering him. There is an energy build up in the secondary hull.

The Klingon ship closes to Range 1. Suddenly the science officer cries out "Captain! They are arming a Pr . . .

Scene flashes to the damaged bridge of the Federation ship, where the weapons officer says (as if continuing a range countdown) "10,000." and the Captain says "Fire."

View switches to outside of the two ships as the anti-matter armed probe screams out of the probe launcher in the secondary hull and impacts on the Klingon ship, which again is unable to return fire.

The Klingon player in this case had completely forgotten that crippled ships can arm anti-matter probes as weapons (which the Federation ship started to do on the previous turn) and did not consider it when he began his approach, and could not imagine that the Federation ship would hold a weapon back when he fired at Range 4. He simply regarded the Federation fire at that range to be a mistake and changed his intention to fire at Range 3 to Range zero. He was so committed in  his own mind to the Range zero shot that of course he was not prepared for the concept that the Federation ship might have a "pretty present" for him (borrowing from "Enemy Below"). Thus as the Klingon ship approached, the Federation player asked if he would fire at Range 3, then Range 2, then Range 1, and announced his own fire at Range 1. The last chance to fire the probe, and still with a 16.667% chance of a miss, but you have to picture the captain trying to look calm in his command chair as he was pulling off this bluff that might very well have failed. The Klingon commander sees his last phaser-2s reduced to scrap by the Mizia effect (having destroyed some of his phaser-2s with the Range 4 shot, I probably would not have gotten all of them if the Anti-Matter probe had been fired at the same time, and since it was all I had, I needed to wait for that point blank shot that got the chance of a hit up to 83.333%).

I laid the trap, and the Klingon captain walked right into it. It was perfectly reasonable for him to believe I would hold my remaining phaser-1s to Range 3 and fire them at that range at the same time he fired his phaser-2s, but the odds were that if I did so, he would knock out all of my remaining phaser-1s, and I would not get all of his remaining phaser-2s. On the next turn his remaining phaser-2s (after that exchange) would destroy my ship. And I needed him to come as close as possible (preferably Range 1) to maximize the chance of the probe impacting. So fire the remaining phaser-1s at Range 4, getting him to decide to fire his remaining phaser-2s at Range Zero, and gamble on the Mizia effect to strip most (in the event, I got them all) of his remaining phaser-2s from his ship. The upshot is that on the following turn, I may not have had any photons (I did not, I did not have the power to arm them and do what I was doing), but my remaining phaser-1s were undamaged and the Klingon was dead meat.

But that would probably make a great scene at the end of a tense and well told battle story.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thoughts on Strokes

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Join us on Facebook and Twitter

ADB, Inc.’s page on Facebook is now up and running, and we’re finding a lot of new faces who haven’t been around the BBS or Forum. We have pictures up of ADB, Inc. staff, links to many of our videos, snippets of information, and interaction with our fans. Jean Sexton is the main voice you will hear on our page on Facebook. If she doesn’t know an answer, she’ll ask one of the Steves and ferry the answer back.

All that is left is for you to "like" the page for Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. if you haven’t done so already. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf.

Many people on our page on Facebook have not been on our BBS, so perhaps our new outpost on Facebook will become the place for those who want to keep up with current events without the intense atmosphere (and flood of information) found on the BBS. If you are very busy on a given day, checking our page on Facebook would tell you quickly if something important has been announced. The page also has its own art galleries, plus a place where you can post a review of our products. It also has discussions where you can link up with fellow gamers.

We've also added a Twitter feed which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ADBInc_Amarillo.
 Be sure to follow us for a quick look at what is going on!

We hope to see you there! For Facebook users, be sure to add us to an interest group to see all of our posts.

Monday, May 23, 2016

This Week at ADB, Inc., 15-21 May 2016

Steve Cole reports:

This was the week we scheduled to clean up the mess caused by Captain's Log #51. The weather this week was nice. Leanna suffered a mild stroke on Wednesday but got to the hospital in time and was sent home Friday with no permanent damage. All of us (except Leanna) attended the annual company picnic (the Business Connection Trade show at the Amarillo Civic Center where we picked up lots of office supplies and candy and a few new ideas).

New on DriveThru RPG and Wargame Vault this week was Federation Commander: Vudar Ship Card Pack #1.


Steve Cole finished up Captain's Log #51 (we were waiting for a few last pieces of art to come in), worked on the Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File, the Captain's Log #51 FLAP list, and the Star Fleet Alert for Captain's Log#51 + Federation & Empire: Minor Empires + A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Deluxe.

Steven Petrick worked on the final elements of Captain's Log #51 and its Supplemental File and the first parts of Captain's Log #52.

The Starlist Update Project moved forward with eight new entries and six updates.

Leanna kept orders and accounting up to date.

Wolf hunted a squirrel.

Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the inventory.

Simone did advertising materials for Captain's Log #51, website updates, and some graphics.

Jean worked on the PD20M Supplemental File, managed our page on Facebook (which is up to 3,095 friends), managed our Twitter feed (190 followers), commanded the Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam assault on the BBS, managed the blog feed, proofread the Captain's Log #51 Supplemental File, took care of customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some marketing.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Playing Star Fleet Universe Games Long Distance

Playing games by email or by post is an alternative to playing face-to-face. While there are a few differences (i.e., your opponent isn't sitting across the table from you), it is the same game.

When playing Star Fleet Battles or Federation Commander using the Play-by-Email (PBEM) system you and your opponent submit your orders for the turn to a moderator via email. The moderator then processes them, and sends a "SitRep" (Situation Report) to the players via email. You receive the results, write up your next set of orders, and then submit your orders once again. The process is repeated until the game is completed. Sounds simple? That's because it IS! It'll take a little getting used to (after all, what doesn't?), but once you've got the hang of it, you'll be lobbing photon torpedoes (or whatever your weapon of choice is) at opponents from all over the world.

Every FC or SFB PBEM game has at least three participants: two or more players and one moderator. The moderator's purpose is to accept orders from the players and carry them out, reporting the results of those orders to all players. While (s)he is not a player, the moderator fulfills a very important role in the game. Good moderators and good players make for a good, enjoyable game. Moderating a game is also an excellent way to learn more about the game's rules.

Prime Directive games can be played by posting on the Forum. The GM of the game gets players, approves their characters, then sets up situations for the characters to face. It takes a bit longer because the players are not sitting around the table, but it also allows people who are spread out across the world to play.

Players of all our games are expanding the frontiers of playing long distance. Some are trying chat, some are adding webcams to that, many are trying out VOIP so as to get close to a face-to-face experience.

While there are some disadvantages to playing long distance (it does take longer to finish a game), there are advantages as well. You can play against people in other parts of the world (how often do you get to Australia, anyway?), you can play multiple games at once, and you can have large multi-player games (without worrying about running out of chips and soda).

For more information about playing long distance, drop in on the Forum (http://www.federationcommander.com/phpBB2) or BBS (http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/).