Over the weekend I discussed with Thom the ideas of making the taunts more fun for Artemis 2.0. If implemented, this will make the taunts more canonical, increase the interaction between Science and Communications, and make the choice of taunt more important.
The new taunts will be race specific. For example, you might insult the Arvonian royal family, mock the Kralien religion, compare a Torgoth's mother to a space whale, or call a Skaraan ship a rust bucket.
At the start of each mission, every enemy ship will get a randomly-generated personality for its captain. That personality will make one of the taunts a sensitive spot for the captain (e.g. a pious Kralien will become enraged if you mock his sacred scripture). But another of the taunts will seem so silly to the captain that he/she will become immune to all taunts from you (e.g. an Arvonian captain who has publicly spoken out against the monarchy will just laugh if you insult her queen).
After the first scan identifies an enemy ship, Science will get a small TSN Intelligence report on the ship's captain. That report will give a hint about the best or worst taunt to use. For example:
COMMS: Sir, DS3 is under attack!
CAPTAIN: We can't get there now. Try taunting the enemy away from the station.
COMMS: Science, what can you tell me about that ship?
SCIENCE: K52 is a Skaraan Executor. The captain is very proud of his ship's speed.
COMMS: (sends) Attention K52! Your ship is so slow it leaves a slime trail!
K52: What? We will destroy you!
CAPTAIN: Comms, see if you can taunt that Kralien into the minefield.
COMMS: What have you got, Science?
SCIENCE: The captain of G41 was raised in an atheist family. He won't care if you insult their sacred scriptures. Try something else.
COMMS: Attention G41! I'm talking to you, maser-mouth! The deadliest weapon on that pathetic excuse for a ship is your face!
G41: What? We will destroy you!
Of course the classic science fiction taunt that worked was when Kirk said: "Khan, I'm laughing at the superior intellect." The taunt worked because Kirk knew something about Khan.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail taunts are silly and ineffective. Lines like "Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person!" didn't make the characters react at all.
Skakespeare had some of my favorite taunts. "Your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the Great."
What about you? Please tell us all your favorite taunts used in film, television, or literature to help make Artemis 2.0 more fun.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"
(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).