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New cadet cruise

posted Jul 01, 2013 16:45:27 by JanxJelantru
We had my birthday party yesterday and ran Artemis for the main event. I'd captained before with some other friends, so I knew what to expect. This was my second session.

The first mission was a bit harried as the new recruits got used to the ship. Immediately from undocking from DS1, we began taking damage. Engineering raced to keep up repairs, and Weapons a few minutes to figure out how to turn on the shields.

Though the tactical map didn't indicate an asteroid field, it appeared that we were taking some asteroid damage (there were rocks flying around as we flew).

Once we got enough repairs done to get clear of DS1, we headed up to DS2 where it was under attack by four ships. We took out half of them before taking on enough damage to need to retreat. We retreated back to DS1, refueled and repaired and headed back to DS2 for another round.

A nuke and some homing chasers later, the enemy (and DS2) were destroyed. The crew was elated, and comforted by the loss of DS2 when I told them how the commander of DS2 had made some serious allegations about me and his daughter that were completely false.

We had a less technically savvy crew this time, and they did take a bit longer to get accustomed to how to do things.

Initially, helm couldn't seem to take control of their own screen, as every time weapons changed the main viewer, her screen changed also.

Science would indicate a heading, and helm would turn to it, and then find their heading was very wrong again before we'd traveled very far not an overshoot problem, and we were stopped when she did the turn). It's more like somebody's system displayed the wrong info.

Engineering kept choking of manueverability and impulse drive right when the Helm needed it. This happened with my first crew as well. It almost seems as if Engineering needs to leave those knobs alone until we need to strip something down for more power.

Weapons took awhile to figure out the torpedoes. Never did figure out how to use the beam weapons, so we set it to AutoBeam.

Comms was pretty simple, but it was never clear how to transfer torpedoes over, or if it happened automatically.

Science basically looked up headings for the Helm. We never bothered scanning the shield frequencies.

Overall, everybody had a good time. I kept it casual on the bridge, but I can see where a more disciplined crew would be more efficient. It is vitally important that the crew give an acknowledgement to hearing an order and a declaration when it is completed.

Especially when most orders take time to complete. If I want to turn to heading 270 to go to DS1 and travel at Warp 1. I'm waiting to give the warp order (so the engineer can transfer energy to it) until we're at 270. But I have no idea of when we're at 270, unless the Helm tells me.

The weapons officer controls the main viewer (a 60" TV on our ship), and at times I would not get the display I wanted. Since she was busy, that would take time until I could get my tactical view or front view.

I was tempted to power up my iPad and setup the Artemis app and run the Captain's map. Last time, I found that gave away too much info (wasn't tied to the static effect when the ship was low on energy), so I avoided it.

It might be nice if there was a Captain's station, which controlled what went on the main viewer, and some other captainy functions.
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4 replies
ZacharyDanielBringham said Jul 02, 2013 15:52:47
Good write-up, and welcome to the group. Those first sessions with new people are always fun.

Some comments: There are always small rocks floating around in the Artemis space. They don't actually collide with your ship and you'll notice the difference between them and actual asteroids. The small rocks are basically there for ambiance, and if there weren't asteroids on any of the maps, then there weren't asteroids around your ship. I imagine that your engineer powered up a system or two without adding coolant. Overheating systems will damage your ship.

It sounds like your helmsman had her screen set to VIS so she could see the ship from the back instead of looking at the top-down map. The problem is the VIS is just a copy of the mainscreen, so when the mainscreen changes, the VIS view changes.

Torpedoes are loaded automatically, but there's a limit to how many the ship can hold and in invasion modes and most missions the ship will start out full. Comms can order the stations to make different types of weapons, but they take time (on the order of a few minutes per torpedo), so they won't immediately have new types of torpedoes.

Scanning shield frequencies is a great way to do extra damage. You'd be surprised at how fast you can destroy a ship if you get the right frequency, and that gives Science something to be doing in between relaying headings.

Quite a few people have worked on building dedicated mainscreen controllers with a few buttons. You can find plans to make these in the hardware/dmx forum area. Most of them use a USB number keypad and some easy programming.

Good luck on your future missions!
Captain said Jul 04, 2013 12:45:41
Just like to add to the frequency part as well. The difference between the right and wrong frequency could be massive. You could be doing 5 damage instead of 20 per beam. Some enemy's like karellians we hardly bother with either. But anything beyond that makes a huge difference.
To Mankind
And the hope that the war against folly may someday be won, after all

Isaac Asimov
JanxJelantru said Jul 08, 2013 19:59:49
On my second session, I took a peek at some of the crew's screens. But I deliberately try to stay hands off/ A bit of ignorance on my part as captain keeps me out of their business. :)

What was unclear to us was whether the station automatically transfers built torpedoes into our ship when we dock or if we had to issue an order to do so.

We had worked out from our first session to always build Nukes on every station. We can convert power into regular torpedoes for free when we dock (because you recharge so quickly).

On the second session, the weapons officer couldn't figure out how to fire the beams. I saw the Auto-Beam button on her screen, and told her to use that instead. We're missing an opportunity to target specific parts of their ship, but the player was able to keep us alive.

We knew about the shield frequencies on the first session, but my second session crew wasn't ready for that level of complexity yet.

I suspect Zach has root caused the mystery of the damaged ship before it launched problem. I had to guess if the small rocks were the problem. i knew the real asteroids show up on the overhead map as a field. I can't say what the engineer did, but as a newbie, it was very probable he cranked up some levers and overheated stuff, not knowing about coolant.

I make enough trips back to the space stations, that leaving all the dials at the default may be safest. Not as much fun for the engineer, but until they get the hang of swapping stuff at the right time, they're causing more havoc than the energy points is worth.

I'm looking forward to a third session with the StarTrek mods loaded up. If I can get them up to harder missions, we'll have ourselves a good challenge. Of course, I may have to fight for the captain's chair. Can't play the birthday card anymore...
ZacharyDanielBringham said Jul 09, 2013 15:22:21
Manually firing beams is tricky, since it doesn't give you as much feedback in terms of "yes, the beams fired and hit" as you get from the main viewer. It's important to remember that the enemy has to be both within range and within the firing arcs, which you can see in the manual target mode in the bottom right hand of the screen. The enemy has to be selected in order for the manual beams to engage and you'll only be able to fire at that one target.
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