I just finished playing our first 'real' game of Artemis SBS, and wanted to comment on how much fun it was. We've had a few rough games on the easiest difficulty, in a barren sector, just enough to get a bit of a feel for how the ship handles, and so we decided to crank the difficulty up a notch. (Just one!)
We had four people, so we ran with 4 stations (we tried helm doubling up on Comms, in hindsight, we probably should have given that to Science). Things started off a bit rough, as we had issues with our Science station, who kept saying "I can't find an I56". It wasn't until it disappeared off Long Range Sensors that I realized we were dealing with a ship that could cloak. I was on Weapons at that point. Seeing that this was was our first game off of Difficulty 1, I had to inform the Captain what we were dealing with.
Since this was the closest ship to one of our stations, it gave our mission a bit of added urgency. After two aborted attacks, when we lost sight of the enemy and it re-cloaked, we finally managed to destroy it, only to realize we were incredibly close to two other fleets of 3 and 5 ships respectively.
Making it through those battles much more cleanly, we were down to 2 ECMs, 4 mines, and 1 homing torpedo, so we headed back to DS3, which *still* didn't have a replacement Nuke ready for us! (Argh!) With two enemy fleets closing on DS1, and not enough time left to reach DS2 or DS4, we headed quickly to DS1 which had a single nuke waiting for us, and managed to fend off the enemy fleets before they could attack the station.
The overall consensus was, "Holy crap! It's a good thing we didn't crank the difficulty up another notch!", and "If we'd picked anything other than a Barren sector, we'd have been toast!"
Kudos to Thom. I just wish there was a Mac client. (Myself and 2 of my interested friends are Mac folks, and I'm the only one with a Bootcamp partition or Windows VM.) Personally, I'd love to take a stab at a Mac port, but despite nearly 15 years of development experience, comparatively little of it is games related (just a couple 2D games done as class assignments in the past few years), and I understand that that isn't something on Thom's radar. I couldn't guarantee quick (or even any results anyway).
I'm definitely looking forward to playing more. It'll probably be our regular fallback when someone can't make it to our weekly RPG sessions.
Nice! It sounds like you and your friends had an awesome time!
Daredevil Cosmic Cowboys, TNS Hyperion, Weapons Officer
1st Fleet of Southern California Sector.