Q: A quick question on (509.35) and SOP Step 2B7. Does this include newly-built pods? Can I designate an existing tug to carry a battle pod that I built the same turn? My reasoning is that I assign mission of "battle tug" and the pod is shipped out by those "dedicated staff officers" as soon as it is built.
A: Yes, but that's not the way you do it. Rule (509.35) refers to newly-built tugs, not newly-built pods, which are covered under (431.22). Newly-built pods are built in Step 2B3 and are assigned in Step 2B7. So, yes, your "dedicated staff officers" will make sure they get to where they are assigned in time for them to be used by your tug.
Q: How do independent fighters that have moved into the hex by Reaction Movement work in capital assaults?
A: They are grouped as independent squadrons and used per (205.7) and can be placed in either the mobile or static forces. If placed in the static forces, they must return to that system each round.
Q: The F&E rulebook has been reprinted several times (1986, 1990, 1991, 1993, 2000), and only the latest is "valid". Are the counters from earlier editions of the game different?
A: Check the SIT for each empire to see what the counter value should be. If it is different, toss it out. I have very large bag full of old counters (I had several sets, only a few of each sheet changed value) that don't have the current value. I can't force myself to throw counters away.
Q: Do the Neutral Zone hexes between the Hydrans and LDR effectively count as Hydran/Lyran? That is, in a free campaign would a Hydran ship entering such a hex be an act of war against the Lyrans?
A: You are overthinking it. Hexes adjacent to a neutral power are treated by rule (503.64). If the LDR is part of the Lyran Empire for your campaign, then the NZ hexes are treated as adjacent to an enemy and require wartime status to enter.
Q: Regarding rule (302.732), are crippled ships counted as half ships (as in the pinning rules)?
A: Rule (302.732) does not state "ship equivalents", so it is the actual number of units/ships counted.
Q: Can I overbuild a Federation POL for 5 EPs without using a FF-slot?
A: No, rule (531.22) specifically says the maximum of one produced POL counts against frigate production. Counting against the production means it takes one slot in the normal production schedule. You can overbuild an FF for 6 EPs to replace the FF you gave up to produce the POL.
Q: Can the Gorn Special Marine Attack (308.87) be defended against by a defending G unit? I know by the rule that the "G" can not affect the die roll (and any BIR can be selected), but can the "G" factor be taken as a casualty instead of a SIDS or PDU destroyed? Rule (521.0) is silent on the matter.
A: It is just like a standard "G" attack, but with a different result table. An intrinsic or fleet "G" could be taken as a loss. Note that if the Gorns use this rule they cannot use regular "G" attacks and they will not be using them in major assaults.
Q: Rule (308.132A3), part of the morass that is CEDS, allowed replaced escorts taken from future production to be sent to the fleet only if the carrier is at the end of a valid Strategic Movement Pathway from the place the escort was built. If the lonely carrier in question (pining away for escorts) is in a hex adjacent to an enemy fleet, what happens?
A: The arrival of future production for CEDS replacement has to follow current Strategic Movement requirements. If you have a fleet adjacent to your enemy, a path to your hex, and you have more ships in your hex than he does in his hex, you can use Strategic Movement to bring the future production ships into the hex. If you don't then you can't.