I don't think I've said it before, so let me make sure to say it: Artemis is an Awesome game. It's at the top of my list right up there with Civilization. Thank you Thom for the fantastic job you've done.
Ship: USS Rita South Central Flotilla.
Crew: Four members of The Mallory Clan (Eric, Dean, James, Mark)
Port of departure: Eric's house (affectionately called Rita). Houston TX. 77006
Stardate: 2013.01.05 6pm-ish.
Eric Mallory reporting.
SPOILER ALERT. This report includes our strategy for defeating a level 11. If you're not interested in hearing how we did it, stop reading now.
I'm also not sure I’m calling things the right thing. Drones, Elite. I’m using the ItBLnf, names get mixed up, and if I see it, I blow it up. I don't take it's picture. That said, feel free to correct my nomenclature.
The Mallory Clan, in the middle of a 2-day Artemis expedition, decided to try a level 11 mission. What follows is the contact report for that mission. We were a 4-man crew. James was on Comms and Science. Dean was on Weapons. Mark on Engineering. Eric was Captain and Helm. Helm had two screens with Science and Observer running on the second screen. Everyone else also took Science so when they weren't doing something more important they could look at LRS and help develop a plan for what was next.
We ran Artemis 1.66 with the ItBLnF mod as provided by Dean Mallory.
Very interesting sector
Dreadnaught - We fought about this. We wanted to go big or go home. Some of the crew thought level 11 wasn't big enough. That we should try it with the light cruiser. We debated for some time until the Captain decided "We'll do this one with the Dreadnaught. After we beat it, we'll try it with a different ship." Optimism!
The main projector screen was split between the server window (left mostly on Tactical) and on Observer client.
Before we started, I issued starting orders:
Helm was to head straight for the nearest monster.
Weapons was to look at the LRS and determine the closest fleet to drop the monster on and give Helm heading to get there.
Science was to identify the Elite that was the greatest threat for us to head to after dropping the monster.
Comms was to tell all the Starbases to produce mines and then start rounding up the friendlies near our most protected starbase.
Engineering was to set us to the Monster Towing Preset:
125% Warp. We've found we travel the same speed as a monster when we're at warp 1 at 125%. Helm uses warp 1 with short jumps to warp 2 and back to 1 to get the monster in the sweet spot: close enough that it will follow us, far enough away that it won't attack us. Once we've got the monster in the sweet spot, we can travel across the whole system without getting hit by the monster. We can even maneuver at warp one and put the monster anywhere we want.
Flashing front shields when we're picking up the monster, then rear while Helm get the monster in the sweet spot.
With the blinds open, the light from the windows dampen the clarity of the projector screen, so our missions start like this:
Captain: Stations, report in for duty:
Helm: Helm, standing by.
Weapons: Weapons, standing by.
Engineering: Standing by.
Science/Comms: Science and Comms standing by.
Captain: Polarize the blast shields
Helm, Weapons, and Eng each have a blind to close. When this is done:
Captain: Take us out.
The keyboard and mouse for the server are next to Eng, so Mark did the honors. Someone usually starts the Star Trek theme music at this point.
DS1 and DS2 were close to the Eastern-most side of the map. DS3 was South-Central. We figured that would be the 1st to go. Two singularities and two monsters. More enemy fleets than we could count. We picked up the first monster and drug him maybe 1/2 a sector to a close enemy fleet. Then it was on to DS1 to protect it from an elite that was already threatening. An ECM/Nuke/Nuke combo took it out and damaged, but did not destroy DS1. We were liking the Dreadnaught's 3-tubes. We docked, restocked, healed, and headed to DS3. Several elite were hammering DS3. Good thing DS3 was a fully-automated station as another ECM/Nuke/Nuke combo took out several elite and DS3. We went in with mines, homing missiles, and beams and finished off several more.
We docked with DS2 and Eng noticed that if we moved 1 monster it would intercept several enemy fleets. We did that and then tracked the elite heading to DS1 and 2. We took a particularly long time with the 1st one. Weapons did not have it selected, so we lost an ECM to space. Then it jumped and we lost another ECM and a Nuke. We reacquired and the 2nd ECM/Nuke/Nuke combo finished it. Several rounds of Dock, ECM/Nuke/Nuke saw several more elite and DS2 fall. Four elite and one DS left. Two were attacking DS1. A homing and a taunt got them heading towards us and leaving DS1 alone. We managed to take them out with mines. We've found a single homing missile is enough to get an elite or a whole enemy fleet coming after us. But that took us so long that another elite had taken out DS1. Yikes! Two elite and all the enemy fleets that had not been eaten by the monster left. We had 600 energy, 2 mines, 1 ECM, and 2 Nukes. 1 ECM, 1 Nuke, and beams took on the 2nd to last elite. It looked like everyone was heading towards us. We scanned for anomalies. Two were directly between us and the last elite. We snagged them and noted the position of the remaining two. 2500 energy. Very nice. We used the last nuke on the last elite and finished it with mines, beams and homing missiles. The elite disappeared off the radar and we weren't sure if it died or jumped. Comms noticed the explosion on the observer console on the main screen and we all cheered. We took up position South of a nearby singularity, took an breath, and took stock. It was not looking good for us. 1000 energy. No ECM/Nukes. 2 mines. 5 homing missiles. Front and rear shields were at 0. Several systems damaged. We were the only friendly in the system. No starbases. Destroyers and transports all dead. I think I was the most demoralized. I did not think we could succeed and asked the crew if they wanted to continue with our mission to make this sector safe, or turn tale and head back to the pleasure colony on Risa. I was met with a resounding "Continue!" from the crew and my spirits were lifted.
We put Eng into energy conservation mode. 15% sensors. Max shields to get them back online. 0 everything else. We figured we'd hold here to draw some enemy fleets into the singularity. One fleet just North of the singularity seemed to be making circles unsure of what direction to head. Another to the East was close. We raised power to maneuverability enough to get us to the west of the singularity and powered down again. The fleet got close enough to fire drones at us.
Here is our drone-handling procedure (From the South Central Flotilla Officers Manual):
When someone sees drones they shout it out with a range: "Three incoming drones at 15K."
Eng determines what shields are best to take the drone and informs the crew: "Rear shields if possible."
The Captain decides if we want a front or rear shield impact. "Helm, put the drones on our rear shields."
If rear shields (we prefer not to as we won't be able to beam them), helm gives us a status. "Impact in 5…4…3…2…1."
Eng flashes the shields to 300% just before they hit. Flashing the shields like this for less than a second minimizes energy consumption, damage to the shields, and overheating.
Someone yells "Brace for impact," and we all do the little "throw ourselves forward" maneuver as they hit.
If front shields (preferred, but not always possible. Sometimes our front shields are down and we can't take a hit on the front without taking damage), helm gives us a status.
Weapons targets the drones as they approach our beam arc, moving to the next one as we shoot them or they hit our shields.
Eng raises beams to 300 and flashes shields.
We all do the little "throw ourselves forward" maneuver as they impact us.
With the dreadnaught and a rear beam, we should practice moving away from the drones fast enough that they can't get us but slow enough that our rear beam could take them out one by one.
The drones and the fleet both seem to skirt the edge of the singularity. Is this new behavior? It looked like our "draw them into the singularity" plan was not going to work.
There were two very nice and mostly intact minefields to our East, and it looked like a monster was moving. We figured the monster was tracking and damaging an elite none of us could see (we hate those). We circled a large disperse grouping of fleets to get them closer together, and guided them in the direction of the mine fields. To conserve energy, we would raise Eng power to Maneuverability only long enough to set a heading, then lower it back to 0. We'd go to warp 1 and raise power to warp until we were in position, then lower everything again. We kept power down on everything while we waited. We did a lot of waiting and managed to maintain our energy levels. We'd recover as much energy in our wait periods as we'd expended moving and handling drones. We waited on the far side of the minefield for the massing of enemy fleets that was now an armada. More ships than we could count closer together than we could distinguish. We let them get too close and another volley of drones came after us. We realized we didn't have to stay close to them. Every ship in the system was heading straight for us. We didn't have to stay close to keep them heading into the minefield, we just had to keep the minefield between us. We backed off. The massive armada went into the minefield. The minefield was rectangular. 4 wide (East to West) and maybe 10 long (North to South). The armada was going through it East to West, taking 2 rows of mines with it, but it was going to make it through. When the last mine in the row went off, we headed to the North end of the field. The armada turned and started going through the mine field the long way. No way they would make it through that! They did not.
We were now close to the remaining two anomalies with another massive fleet near another minefield to our North. We didn't need the energy from the anomalies so we maneuvered to a position that would take the final fleet through enough mines to finish it off. We got close enough to see the explosions on the Observer screen and celebrated as the mines finished off the last of the enemies. The summary screen showed the mission took 48 min. We're ready for a level 12!
Hi fives all around.
And a good time was had by all.
[Last edited Jan 16, 2013 05:49:32]