Gary Bear asks: Can a commando ship only purchase the standard ten extra boarding parties that all ships can (using Commander's Option points) or can it exceed this number if it did not receive extra boarding parties equal to (10x Number of BARRACKS added)? Example: Federation CDW has 28 Boarding Parties. The max of 8 (Federation DW normal complement) + 30 (three BARRACKS) + 10 (Commander's Options) = 48 Boarding Parties. 48 (Max) - 28 (Number on SSD) = 20 Boarding Parties under "Max". So, is the CDW allowed to purchase 20 extra boarding parties to fill its barracks (ten plus ten normal Commander's Options)? If so, are Boarding Parties in excess of 10 allowed as Commander's Options purchased with Force Points or can Commander's Option points be used for these, too?
ANSWER: There is no enabling rule to permit a commando ship to purchase more than fourteen additional boarding parties (ten regular Boarding Parties, two commando squads, and two heavy weapons squads). You are using "Vulcan Logic" to try to create a new rule where none exists. Feel free to submit this to Steve Petrick as a proposed rules change.
Follow-up Question: Does rule (D7.43) allow you to apply "specific allocation" in Boarding Party combat to kill a Legendary Officer (for two damage points), assuming that officer is acting as part of the boarding party action?
ANSWER: It is not clearly stated in the rules, but the various rules put together indicate that (D15.453) applies to Boarding Party combat, and Legendary Officers can be targeted in this manner.
Frank Brooks asks: Rule (D15.81) about heavy weapon squads says in part: "An HWS counts as two offensive points, but counts as a single regular boarding party for casualty and transport purposes. heavy weapons squads function as normal Boarding Parties for ship boarding actions (they leave their mortars and rocket launchers behind)."
Does the above say that an HWS and a Boarding Party are basically the same when it comes to ship boarding actions? As in they both count as one offensive point?
ANSWER: Yes, an HW squad counts as only one offensive point in Boarding Party actions. There is no functional difference with a regular Boarding Party in this case. You cannot fire a mortar inside a ship. Really, Frank, that is what the rule says.
Frank Brooks asks: Rule (D7.512) says that until the skeleton crew arrives, life support will continue and shields will remain at the same operating status as they were prior to capture. Does this mean that the shields cannot be dropped (say for incoming transporter operations)? How about if the skeleton crew were part of the capturing force?
ANSWER: Given the last sentence of (D7.512) (about allocating power to the shields), the part you cite is not to prohibit the lowering of specific shields for purposes of transporter operations, but refers to the necessity to continue powering the shields.
Frank Brooks asks: Rule (D7.539) says that the capturing player may destroy one box for every five boarding parties/crew units not involved in guarding prisoners or running the ship. Can this happen on the turn the ship is captured or do they have to wait until the next turn?
ANSWER: All Marine activities for boarding actions take place at the end of the turn in Final Activity Phase (7). As combat would have to be resolved in order to determine if the ship is captured, you could not begin destroying boxes until the following turn.
Frank Brooks asks: If crew units (i.e., non-boarding party, non-militia) are part of a ground combat action, are they treated as unarmed militia (zero offense, one defense)? Or would they be treated as civilians (zero offense, two defense)?
Steve Petrick replies: Looking at your question, the principal thought that runs through my mind is:
"Someone was watching the opening of 'Stalingrad: Enemy at the Gates' last night."
So the answer to your question is going to be:
non-militia crew units and civilian crew units in a Ground Combat Location cannot be taken as casualties except by specific allocation (i.e., a player does not get to play "Terrorist in Fallujah hiding behind the civilians"), or if all other "combat" units on that side (to include combat units of a third player at that Ground Combat Location that may choose to accept the casualties on his forces to protect the civilians and unarmed crew units) have been destroyed (to include Boarding Parties, commando squads, shuttles with an "offensive potential", ground vehicles with an "offensive potential", heavy weapons squads, engineer squads, militia squads, ground defense stations, and anything else that might already exist or might be added to the game for the purpose of defending the civilians and materials of an empire against attack by another empire).
But I am not going to sanction a player adding ten or so (or even one) unarmed crew units to his attack or defense so that he can take that unit (or units) as a casualty to protect his units with "offensive potential". Beyond that, I would treat such crew units as 0-2s, i.e., civilians.
Joseph R. Carlson asks: When an operations base (R1.45) is carried by a tug or LTT is it treated as an operating pod under (G14.11) or as an inactive pod under (G14.13)?
ANSWER: I would have to say [given the lack of anything in (R1.45) to the contrary] that the base would be treated as an inactive pod. Partly because I just do not want to see OBs being dragged into fleet engagements. This is, again, a decision that is going to be made in Federation & Empire, however.
Roch Chartrand asks: I would like some clarification on rule (D15.833): A militia squad can never be transported by shuttle or transporter, i.e., they cannot be used offensively on turn of arrival . . . Militia squads are carried on a single shuttle at non-combat rates. If I understand this correctly, I can put one militia squad in a shuttle to transport it to another ship, but they could not fight on the turn of arrival?
Roch Chartrand asks
ANSWER: According to (D15.833) they can be transported by shuttle or transporter, however, they "cannot be transported into a combat situation". In a boarding action, this means they arrive but cannot fight that turn. They absorb casualties, but contribute nothing offensively on the turn they arrive.
: At what point can you consider a ship captured? My opponent never declared self-destruction, there was no command station to capture because they were already destroyed. I had 32 Boarding Parties on his ship; he had no Boarding Parties left and all the militia he raised were dead, as well!
: By (D7.501) there is always a command box to capture.