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3-player game suggestions.

posted Nov 07, 2012 18:28:23 by ChrisHayes
Ok, first off, I understand that this is in no way ideal; however, I only have 3 regular crew members (including me). Is there any suggestions for an optimal setup this way? We are very new to the game, and at the moment we're all 3 doubling up. We have Captain/Helm, Tactical/Engineering, Science/Comms. Now, reading through the "4-players what stations?" thread, I'm getting the idea that this is about the worst configuration possible, and in truth, it didn't work brilliantly. Science/Comms did really well, but I had trouble pulling my weight as Captain during firefights while also at helm. Also, to be frank, I'm pretty sure that Tactical and Engineering is just too much work for one person. Still, finding out that you can create presets, and that Space returns all systems to 100% will certainly help. On top of all of this, our Science/Comms officer is not suited for helm and is not fond of tactics (she's very good at Science and Comms though). Our Tactics Officer/Chief Engineer is great at tactics, fair at Engineering, and I suspect he would fare well enough at any station given him. Anyone have better ideas for a skeleton crew with limited skill sets?
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15 replies
TommyLee said Nov 08, 2012 04:08:29
Well ive only had 1 go at the game myself so i cant realy comment on this but id sugest get yourself another 2 or 3 crew so your not having to double up as when in battle having to switch between 2 different actions can mean the death of you.

Thats my opinion anyway some people might think different.
RamonSnir said Nov 08, 2012 11:53:53
Hey Chris,

I've played several dozens of games, usually with 3- or 4-player crews. The one thing I've noticed the most, is that the Captain must have his hands free. For 4-player crews, we usually found it good to put the 3 players on Helm/Weapons/Engineering (a good engineer is very important), and the Captain just captains and uses the Science map to get idea of what is happening with the sector (and occasionally scanning, when he feels it is important) and peeking at Comms to look for interesting offers.

For 3-player crews, Artemis is quite more difficult than it should be. As with most small crews, Comms fades back a bit (which is unfair, as Comms is a station with a lot of potential, and great important - when you have an officer to spare), usually goes to be the secondary station of the Weapons officer. Engineering and Science pair quite well, as Engineering requires most of its work during battle, which is when Science is a low priority (assuming targets were scanned and the Weapons officer knows the frequencies). That leaves Captain/Helm for the last player. That is quite difficult, from experience, and I almost always do that with two screens for myself (you need a lot of information coming in all the time, and you can't spare the time to switch views).

Hope that helps!
ChrisHayes said Nov 09, 2012 05:47:42
Thanks for the tips so far. I realize that it doesn't help when my Science/Comms officer isn't all that flexible. I might be able to get her to try engineering, we'll have to see. As for taking on more crew, I would if I could, I may be able to get a 4'th player from time to time, but by and large 3 players is where I'm at.
RamonSnir said Nov 09, 2012 06:20:24
If there really is no flexibility with Science/Comms, then I suggest first that the Sci/Comms officer will learn everything about those stations (which are very useful, if mastered), and second that you join Helm and Engineering (quite difficult, but definitely possible) and let the Weapons officer captain the ship.

I have only tried this configuration a handful of times, and only as Helm/Engineering or Captain/Weapons. I do know that Captain/Weapons needs a second screen, and Helm/Engineering should have very good presets (because there won't be a lot of time to fiddle with the scrollbars). I'm guessing Sci/Comms should have some paper and pencils, and possibly an additional screen.
ChrisHayes said Nov 09, 2012 18:00:26
Well, I tried my Science/Comms on Tactical again yesterday. She didn't like. She really enjoys the Science and Comms, stations, but if she has to play as Tactical very often, she'll probably just quit (she's a fairly casual gamer). I really appreciate all the feedback, we'll see what we can come up with to alleviate some of the stress.
RamonSnir said Nov 09, 2012 18:57:04
Please do share with us your finds!

Good luck!
Hissatsu said Nov 13, 2012 09:20:56
Three players is really too little. Four I'd say is a reasonable minimum where you can enjoy the game

When we only have 4 people, I'd, as a capitain, use game master console instead of capitain's map. Then we'd have Engineer, Helms and Tactical/Comms.

With 3 people, you will most likely have to go Helms/Capitain (with GM console substitute for capitain's map), Engineer, Tactical/Comms, but that takes a lot out of the game formula (like "Helms set a course 090, prepare for Warp 4, on my mark...").
Wheatbread01 said Dec 15, 2012 18:52:53
I've got a 3 person crew also. Here's what we've been running and it has worked alright so far. Captain(captains map)/engineering, Helm/comms, weapons/science. The reason for this is the science officer demands to always play science and refuses to play helm or comms.

It actually works out alright though. When in battle helm and weapons work mostly autonomously. I'm the captain and only occasionally give orders when needed. I mostly react to the situation with engineering power distribution. While not ideal, it mostly works. Obviously we're not getting the most out of engineering since my attention is divided but it's better than no engineering at all.

Out of battle science scans, comms checks the chatter while I check the situation and decide a course of action, then get helm to plot a course.

I feel that the captain shouldn't be helm or weapons. Those need to be manned independently. I know this doesn't exactly help your situation but it's something to consider.
Hissatsu said Dec 15, 2012 19:35:54
This depends on how serious you are about engineering. If you want to dodge every shot manually by putting your shields to 300 then back to 100, and fire fast by putting your beams at 300 exactly at the time beams are ready to fire again then back to 0, or do mining runs effectively (manipulate shields and warp energy to sustain minimal shield damage and be as fast as possible) and so on and so forth, you need a dedicated engineer.
cornmaster said Dec 31, 2012 11:39:23
I've played mostly 2 player, and a bit of 3 player last night.

2 players is brutal. We did:
- Captain/Helm/Engineering/Comms (Me)
- Weapons/Science (S)

With that config, I spent so little time at Engineering and Comms that I really didn't know how they worked. When we got an additional player last night, we tried these two configurations:
- Captain/Helm/Comms (Me)
- Weapons/Science (S)
- Engineering (C - Newbie)
It was great when we could ask someone for more power when the situation called for it.

In our final game, we switched up roles a bit and did:
- Engineering/Science (Me)
- Weapons (S)
- Helm/Comms (C)

Running Enginneering and Science was a decent fit, but this was the first time I didn't play with a map in front of me, and that was a bit tricky. Really couldn't be captain at all in those roles, so that duty was split between S and C. I did get some appreciation on how difficult Helm was though, which was nice, and a dedicated weapons officer was also quite effective. I found that during battle I was mostly on the engineering screen, and warping between battles, scanning various targets and preparing information for weapons.
RussJudge said Dec 31, 2012 19:25:11
When doing 2 players, I found that combining Weapons and Helm should work well together with the right tools.

In my case, I have a sophisticated Logitech Joystick. With both weapons and helm, and weapons is the active console, the joystick still maneuvers the ship. You don't have warp, but when in a battle situation, you can live without warp.

That leaves all other stations for the other guy.

And I found using the new Android Client on a Android tablet sitting nearby gives easy access to Comms.
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siobhang64 said Jan 01, 2013 03:07:19
We've found these combinations a good fit:

Captain/Comms [Control]
Weapons/Helm [Combat]
Engineering/Science [Support]

As a four-player unit we've done exactly this but split the two Combat roles - one person taking charge of this would likely be tricky but as you're often only doing one or the other, it could work out okay with practise.

RussJudge, thanks so much for that tip - my partner has a joystick but we can't get it working. Good to know we can attempt 2 player if we manage though!
AndrewLancaster said Feb 27, 2013 01:12:54
After playing only a few short games with some very inexperienced crew-members, I have found the following fit well together:

Helm / Science - Science has to communicate a lot with helm to set headings and to avoid mines etc. When looking at the science console, they can easily keep an eye on the position of the ship in space and switch back to alter course if necessary. This is even more effective when using Jump drive.

Tactical / Coms - Although this may sound weird, it can work well. Both tactical and coms need to have a good grasp of which ships have which designations, and this overlap reduces inter-crew communication. Lastly there isn't a lot of coms work that needs doing in a fight, and there isnt much tactical work that needs doing outside of a fight.

This leaves Captain + Engineering: A tough role but far from impossible for an experienced engineer. The captain knows what has to happen in the mission, and from the engineering station they can control much of what occurs. Captain says "we gotta get out of here", they can immediately drop power to weapons and increase power to other impulse/warp/rear shields before even giving the command.

When times are tough and good crew is hard to come by, I find this combination can make an extremely effective and efficient crew.
lucas99801 said Feb 27, 2013 03:22:19
Hissatsu, I have fun playing solo. And have completed level 8/9 sieges with 100% with as few as 2 players.

I think your current setup looks fantastic, but my favorite setup i've played with is:

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ChrisHayes said Feb 27, 2013 04:36:27
Okay. It's been a while since I've been around. I didn't even notice the update to 1.7 until a couple days ago. That said, thank you for the continued feedback. Due to the holidays, a PC upgrade, work, and illness we haven't played a game in a while. But we have started improving on our roles since I last posted. I've started to maintain most of my command mindset in a dogfight, and my crew members we learning to anticipate my preferences in certain situations. My Science/Comms officer is very good at multitasking those two roles, and my Tactical/Engineer is starting to get much more familiar with his engines. I introduced the game to my buddy and his wife and it went over big time. I'm expecting another gamenight with them in the next couple of weeks. We'll get 4 for sure and possibly 5 for that one. Thanks again for all the ideas.

@RussJudge - I do use a joystick. That helps quite a bit though I've noticed the warp "issue" as well. I actually keep the joystick in my left hand and a mouse in my right.
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