Hi there, everyone.
I have, unfortunately, just discovered Artemis. Not unfortunate that I have discovered it. Unfortunate that I have JUST discovered it. It's pretty much the sort of thing that I've wanted for just about my whole life.
I discovered it while signing up for events for GenCon 2012. The description intrigued me and I delved deeper into the subject. I was instantly hooked when I saw the YouTube videos. I immediately signed up for both types of events, purchased the software and began thinking of a location and layout for a bridge.
My family and friends get together multiple times a month to play various role-playing and board games. We are all gigantic sci-fi geeks. I knew this would be a huge hit. First, however, I had to get my brothers (usually we do the testing for new games that we may want to introduce to the group) to check it out.
I'm happy to say that, after a couple of hours of quick and easy board games, one of my brothers asked me how quickly I could set it up so that the three of us could play. I just replied, "Don't blink" and promptly relocated a computer that I use for various game serving to the living room 55" LCD, whipped out two laptops and a netbook with Artemis already loaded on it (I was doing some testing myself), and gave them a quick primer on various things I had learned watching videos and reading these forums and the wiki. We were underway in short order.
My oldest brother was on the helm (using my brand new Razer Blade). My other brother was on the Tactical/ Comm station (powered by an approximately two-year-old HP laptop). I decided that I would use the netbook to man Science/ Engineering along with shouting the orders. As you can see, we had a nice range of hardware specs running the game. I have to say, I am really impressed with the performance.
Our first "mission" didn't go all that well. Following my quick explanation to them on the operation of their respective stations, I ordered tactical to bring the LRS on screen. I went to my science station and began scanning the various bogies in the sector. After determining our first target, I ordered helm to the proper bearing and called for warp 1 just to get a feeling for how our shiny new Light Cruiser moves.
Our target was a Kralien Battleship. We were bearing down on it quickly and at about 4k out, my helmsman finally figured out how to drop us out of warp. By the time we were under impulse power, the battleship was upon us. I ordered tactical to fire torps and the circling dance of combat began.
After the first twenty or thirty seconds of combat, I decided to switch from science to engineering and noticed all of the red dots on the damage control display. "Hmmm..." I thought to myself, "Something's not right." I ordered the helm to warp us out and we barely limped away at warp one.
As we approached DS2, I ordered comms to contact them and inform them that we were going to dock. As the ship was being repaired and resupplied, I scratched my head trying to figure out what went wrong. We were doing decent against the battleship, but it seemed to me that we were taking far too much damage. As I looked at the engineering screen, it dawned on me.
Both of my brothers looked up at me in confusion when they heard the sound of my palm slapping my forehead.
"We forgot to raise the shields."
My helmsman and tac/ comm officer looked just as stupid as I felt when I said this. I then asked my tactical officer if he had the beams set on auto. He replied, "Yeah, they're on auto." I then asked whether he had selected a target. He just looked at me and asked, "How do I do that?"
Things went far better from this point on.
That is until, we decided to get fancy and tried to set a minefield to stop the advance of one enemy squadron on DS2 while we would go off and personally intercept the Dreadnought headed for DS1 on the other side of the sector. After doing quite well at dispatching our primary target, I ordered a course set for DS2 after noticing that our hastily and poorly laid minefield was avoided by the enemy squadron. The crafty aliens had decided to tag after a transport that caught their fancy before they had reached the station.
The order was give to dock with DS2 before proceeding to the defense of the transport. As we approached the station, all of us had forgotten about the mines we had laid.
Thus ends the first mission of our career as an Artemis crew.
After deciding to try again, we did much better. The difficulty was still set on 1, but we were just getting the hang of things.
Mission two was a rousing success. No stations lost, all enemies destroyed.
For mission three, we moved the difficulty up a notch. Still, we were meeting little difficulty. Our helmsman was getting the hang of things. The tactical/ comm officer was routinely requesting the shield frequency of the enemy ship and relaying any requests for assistance from our allies.
I had noticed a large cluster of vessels moving up from the lower-left of the sector, seemingly on a direct course for DS4. They were protected by a large asteroid belt, with a minefield interlaced with it and a very large nebula between the asteroids and the station.
The crew agreed that we would attempt our mine-laying shenanigans once again. We were now a weathered and experienced crew (in our minds at least). We could do it right this time. We laid out a few mines in an arc along the enemy fleet's projected course. After doing so, I informed the crew that I would keep them appraised of the fleet's progressed and ordered a course set for a smaller squadron of vessels in the mean time.
After clearing out the other enemies in the region, we set our sites on the large fleet heading for DS4. My tac officer informed me that he could no longer see them on LRS. I glanced at my science screen and informed them that they had entered the nebula and that I could continue to track them.
We docked at DS2, which was relatively close to DS4, and I decided that we would try some hit-and-run tactics to at least make it easier for our minefield to finish of a few of the ships.
After a couple of runs warping in and out of weapons range, we had eliminated a cruiser and done some damage to another. There was still a kralien battleship and dreadnought and also an arvonian light carrier remaining.
The helm initiated evasive maneuvers and we slipped into the nebula to lick our wounds. As we were maneuvering through the haze, I noticed an anomaly on my science screen. When I looked up at the main screen, I noticed the dreaded crystal entity. I quickly called for hard to starboard and full impulse away. We were still about 10k out from it, but I had heard the horror stories.
By this time, DS4 was under attack by the fleet. We knew that we had to get their attention, or the station was lost. Engaging warp 2, we closed to torpedo range, dropped to impulse and launched. After ensuring that we had their attention, we came about-face and began pulling them away from DS4.
The fighters were harrying us relentlessly. Our forward shields were down and we were sustaining terrible damage.Thankfully, my helmsman gave a burst of warp and pulled us away from the bee-hive of doom.
My tactical officer put the camera on aft view and we saw, still not so far away, an imposing creature loom out of the nebula and engage the mixed fleet. The three of us gave a cheer.
Without thought, we all moved into action. Helm turned us on a course that would skirt the outside of the enemy formation that was currently preoccupied. I began calling targets to tactical and relay shield frequencies. Tactical began loading nukes.
Our first pass got their attention. According to my screens, the first nuke caused crippling damage to the closely-packed fleet. That was enough to make them forget that pesky space bug. They all bared down on us again and I ordered the ship away at warp 2.
At about 16k distance, we came to a full-stop to consider our next course. Then the unexpected had occurred.
We saw the victory screen.
There was a slight pause, three shared glances and then, a deafening cheer.
It seems that our hasty retreat brought the nearly crippled squadron into our minefield. It had finally worked.
I must say, this experience has truly hooked the three of us like nearly no game ever has. I can't wait to introduce this to the rest of the group and do it with a full crew.
I already have computer parts (complete with an HP touchscreen) to begin prototyping my console setup on order. Soon we will have a full bridge. Then, I'm sure we'll move on to uniforms. We can REALLY get into our games.
Thank you so much for making this game. It is everything I have EVER wanted in a starship simulation and I can only believe it will get better.
EDIT: Holy cow! Longest first post EVAR!
[Last edited May 28, 2012 20:28:46]