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philroi

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Reply with quote  #1 
ran 2 large fleet actions last night.   had a bit of an After Action Review afterward.

had 7 ships flying at one point.  several 1 and 2 man scouts and a jump drive missile boat.    the next one added a light cruiser and dropped 2 scouts.

the first one was a LVL 6(2nd game same at lvl 7) with +300% enemy shield and +220% enemy weapons, with 8k sensors. We won but it was a communications cluster----!  

we were using TS3 and had a dedicated Admiral to coordinate the fleet actions.

we tried to have dedicated whisper-list's  so that captains could talk to captains.   but with so many 1 man ships chating away the missile boat captain suffered information overload and had trouble running his own crew.

The second game we had the comm's officer on the missile boat handle inter ship communications.
the Light cruiser captain due to reduced crew tried to run comm's himself.   He also had trouble with information overload.

In large fleet actions, the dedicated role of the comm's officer for battle tracking is huge.
that said.  after the second game the comm's officer on the missile ship expressed also having issues with information overload.    They did suggest a fix that worked for them.   they simply muted all the other members of their crew except for the captain.

The second round our scouts were much more thoughtful on comms chatter and the command frequency was much less busy but still there was an information overload for our commo/captain on our light cruiser.

tactics:   our missile boat commented that scout ships did an excellent job of providing anti-missile cover fire since they had no beams to knock out incoming missiles.

Jump drive:   less useful with multiple ships.    with as many scouts as we had they were taking out fleets with mines before the jump ship could jump in and provide heavy weapons support.  Looking to try a larger jump fleet in the future if possible.  might be fun.

Admiralty: (Command structure and fleet organization): thoughts were expressed about considering creation of either attack wings with a wing admiral and also coordinating fleet admiral.  or making the fleet admiral take a more firm role in fleet tactics.    I personally saw my role (I was the admiral) as moving ships to different areas to meet threats and trying to strictly manage the big picture.  I was too concerned about delays in commands making it from me to comms officers to captains to helm/weapons to being done. So I tried to stay out of fights. I left how those threats were met up to the individual crews.   this led to some confusion when more then 3 ships were involved in attacking a single fleet.   Something to think about.  Perhaps designating senior captains to take charge of individual tactical fights or something...   not sure what the most elegant and functional is yet.  there is a distinctly different feel between coordinating the actions of 3-4 ships vs. 6-7 ships.  Also the information overload is different between 3 ships co-ordinating on a tactical level and 7 ships coordinating on the same comms freq.

I'm sure some others will add some more comments:   We did have a HUGE blast!







pupbrad

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Reply with quote  #2 
This was incredibly fun. As one of the one man scouts for both missions, I loved the "swarm them till they fall" tactics we used in the lighter fleets. Since the scout ships lacked multiple beam arcs, it was quite commonly necessary to close in with all of the scouts on a single fleet, make multiple mine runs on the targets, then close in to swarm them with beams. There were too many of us for even the larger fleets to handle, though we all needed to be engaging the same fleet to take it out if it was a heavy fleet, though if it were one or two of the scouts, they had an extremely hard time against even a single Kralian Battleship.

The whole time I was watching this, images of sci-fi scenes in which small corvetts or other ships were swarming the larger attack ships of enemy groups, each one pounding away for several minutes with all they have in them to topple even a single ship with some 5-10 of them, which definately seemed like what this was. It was an interesting change in tactics in which all of the scout ships needed to be communicating closely to take out even weaker targets. We would have mass bombing runs where each ship would fly through the enemies and deploy a mine, just to turn about and have the other 5 do the same. The Skaraans we would need to swarm with several of us all pounding away and pulling back when our shields failed. It was quite fun to be a part of, but really really scary when trying to take on even a single Skaraan alone, as it would tear your shields in half in a matter of seconds even with them boosted up to 250% or more.

There was a whole extra aspect to this as well since the sensor range was limited to 8k. The scout ships played a critical role in locating advancing enemy forces so we wouldn't be overrun in a matter of minutes by enemies from every which direction closing in on our stations without us knowing until they were a minute or two from actually firing on the stations.

Space monsters also played much more of a key role for the scouts as that would add more dps than a single scout ship with 300% primary beams to the fight. Destroyers were also used quite effectively and often as they completely outclassed the scouts in terms of dps.

It would probably be best if we had the scout ships all have their own private communication line that they all used heavily to coordinate and only talk to the other ship/admiral when necessary so as to minimize their comms chatter and to facilitate teamwork and close coordination between the scouts. Another option would have been to form squads of two or three fighters that would then work together and be directed by the admiral.

All in all, it was a ton of fun! I got both of the rounds recorded as well and hope to be uploading it sometime in the near future, though I also have other Artemis videos I've been planning on uploading.

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Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
clavestone

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Reply with quote  #3 
As captain/comms of the light cruiser, offering a medium level of support to the scouts where the missile cruiser was unable to help, here is my reflections.

The sounds of battle over the comms defiantly adds to the realism of a massive fleet game (think Star Trek during a big Borg fight or during the DS9 Cardassian invasion episodes). The catch was telling my partial crew what was happening vs communicating with the rest of the fleet. Dedicated Comms officers on fleet maneuvers becomes VERY important.

Hopefully we do it again soon.....

Cpt. Eric Wethington
Artemis class crusier "Jimi-Saru"

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PirateLord Eric Wethington:

Captain of the Privateer Longbow "Jimi-Saru"

Captain of the Pirate Brigantine "Fulminate" and 59th Pirate Fighter wing "The Reapers"

Helmsman of the "Project Draco"

Charter Member of the Eastern Front online group (PirateLord)

Online Liaison Officer to the Admiralty.

pupbrad

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Reply with quote  #4 
Come to think of it, what might help out considerably is to use some sort of actual fleet orders we come up with, much like how the RP does multi-ship combat. The lead vessel designates a fleet order which consists of multiple actions for each ship then delegates out each ship's position to clarify what they would do. A good example of this would be the Foxtrot maneuver used in the RP.

A Foxtrot 2 would be the 1st support vessel in the fleet fires off an emp/nuke combo with other support vessels firing off nukes as well if they have them. Then, the lead ship flies through, does a bombing run, then the 1st support vessel flies through and does a bombing run, then the 2nd support vessel, and so on, eventually ending up with a Charlie 1 or 2 (Charlie 1 is all allied ships close in for just beams, Charlie 2 is the same as Charlie 1 but you also use homing torpedoes). This could greatly reduce the comms chatter as numerous ships won't be fighting over who goes next, but instead would only need to say something along the lines of "Such and such  vessel is clear, proceed".

That would also really add to the feeling of actually being in a large scale battle.

That all aside, I agree with Wethington. The sound of all the comms chatter definately made it feel like a real fight, especially since I was on a bridge alone and had noone to talk to the whole time.

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Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #5 
As pupbrad was saying, in the RP we can effectively coordinate the actions of 2 vessels using the fleet orders. This could be extended to 3 vessels acting together too. As for more, as mentioned, the comms chatter would become too much.

I think to coordinate more ships, it would be easier to organise them in to smaller units of 2 or three ships and assign them an area to defend. Vessels could be "reassigned" and redeployed as necessary by the commander of the fleet, but that commander would have to ensure they are not a ship captain, so as to focus all their attention on coordinating the overall battle. The captain of the designated lead vessel of each smaller unit of 2 or 3 ships would then coordinate the actual actions of those ships on a maller scale e.g. if the vessels will attack the enemy at long range or close to close range beam combat. The final element would be the captains of each ship giving direct orders to their crews e.g "close to beam range" or "load and fire EMP and Nuke" etc.

In the RP, we have gone to the scale of 2 or 3 ships operating together in a small unit, but not in a larger scale battle of multiple small units, mainly because we have strict limits on crew numbers. No crew is to operate with less than four officers (there are no one man scout ships); there is an officer on each of the essential consoles and a captain. We have run two ships in close coordination, using Fleet Attack patterns, and have run three ships in a sector, working together and again using the Fleet Attack patterns and formations where necessary. Overall, we are steadily refining it in to a pretty effective system.

Communication was a big issue that needed addressing, and we have found an effective solution when operating as a smaller unit of 2 or 3 ships. When communicating, we ensure that it is the Captains that have the comm links, but so that they are communicating with both their own bridge, and the other ship bridge. These are classified as 'open comm channels' as they can be heard by both crews and captains. This keeps everyone on the bridge aware of the comms chatter between ships. Though only the Captain may be paying close attention to incoming messages from other ships, the other officers are aware that a message is being recieved by tha captain and usually quieten down. Of course, these messages are brief and to the point e.g. "TSN Pegasus, form up on the TSN Falcon" or "Attack Pattern Charlie 1". (Captains also have a direct 'private' link with one another for more extended or specific communications that would otherwise clutter up the open comms channels).

Of course, the Fleet Orders system is the 'next step up' from the Combat Orders that we use extensively. Once a Fleet Order is issued the Captains quickly instruct their crew on specific approaches and tactics using a variety of Combat Orders. These free up the captain to be able to watch closely what the other ships are doing and coordinate their actions more precisely. A single combat order, or combination of two or three orders allows a captain to have their crew quickly pull off a whole series of actions without having to give specific instructions. The Captain then tells their crew to execute that combat order at the moment that it is needed.

These are reflections from the TSN RP Community and the systems we have developed there. If any of it helps people to develop systems to coordinate large battles and fleet actions, then great!

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Fleet Captain Xavier Wise - TSN Sabre
Link to TSN RP Community website
clavestone

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Reply with quote  #6 
Of course, Fleet orders become harder to follow if you have several rookie crew members or players that don't do the RP.

for example
1 TSN Missle Cruiser
2 TSN 1 man scouts

but a small team from where ever (Canada, Germany, Texas, etc) decides to drop in they could be considered the "local militia" in which case may/may not follow admirals orders or don't know what "Attack Pattern Charlie 1" is.

It would be like having US Navy Seal team jumping into Sweeden and saying we need local help to fight off these aliens.... The locals would have their own "tactics" vs TSN. That makes the "Admirals" job that much more interesting.

Cpt. Eric Wethington
Artemis class cruiser "Jimi-Saru"

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PirateLord Eric Wethington:

Captain of the Privateer Longbow "Jimi-Saru"

Captain of the Pirate Brigantine "Fulminate" and 59th Pirate Fighter wing "The Reapers"

Helmsman of the "Project Draco"

Charter Member of the Eastern Front online group (PirateLord)

Online Liaison Officer to the Admiralty.

philroi

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Reply with quote  #7 
I did some digging and I think i have an awesome solution to our communications issues.

With clients being willing to switch to PTT from Voice activation and one small change to the command line command line shortcut for launching TS3.   they then can "with appropriate permissions on the server" connect multiple clients.(I got that end figured out already!)
This lets them listen and talk in 2 channels with separate push to talk keys for each channel!

But wait!   didn't we basically do that already with our whisper lists?   Yes!  we did do that.   But this way has a couple of distinct advantages!

1. No cumbersome whisper lists to update every game!  (no having to explain how to set them up either!)
2. No pesky "PSHHHT!" every time someone talks!
3. advanced users can set-up 3D audio to separate different channels into their Left and right ears.   Now you know which channel is talking and can better seperate the two audio streams with the power of your brain and "The Cocktail Party Effect!" (yes it really is the technical name for the brains ability to pick one conversation out of dozens at a party!)
4. The ability for Fleet command (via a "Net Control Officer" with sufficient permissions on the TS3 server) to create and change a ships membership in tactical channels that will allow for Local inter-ship co-ordination without spamming the entire fleet with messages of only localized importance.
5. If the "flag ship" is sufficiently staffed.  (Several Admirals each with a CPT's map.)  they can be moved around and take direct command of ships on tactical comm nets and provide more direct operational cross-coordination between ships on those specific tactical nets.
6. A true "command net" would allow these admirals to co-ordinate multiple attack operations and clusters of ships and allow 1 admiral to act as "fleet admiral" and maintain a purely strategic perspective and keep out of the localized fights.
7. did i mention no pesky "PSHHT"!?!

Let me know if this sounds interesting and I'll post a how to to get your  TS3 set-up to make use of this.

Enjoy
PhilRoi




drziegler

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Reply with quote  #8 
I like your idea Phil. The battles were a ton of fun. Gotta do it again some time. P.S. I like the PHSSST
pupbrad

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Reply with quote  #9 
I agree with drziegler on this. The PHSSST is a added bonus to the whisper lists.

Also, don't let stinky into the channel if you're using the 3d audio... it turns into ear/mind rape...

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Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #10 
Can the PSST sound not be switched off using the settings in teamspeak?
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pupbrad

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Reply with quote  #11 
In response to Xavier, I think it may be able to be turned off in the sound options somewhere. I remember running across it once, though I'm not sure if I actually could have turned it off or not.

As for a random question, does anyone have a list of the ships and who all was on them? A quick scan of my video doesn't show any sort of player list anywhere and when I finally throw together the video, it would be good to have the names, not to mention I was going to put it up on the Artemis Vessel Library.

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Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
Fish Evans

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Reply with quote  #12 
I was the Engineer on the Missile Cruiser during the first round - had to go after that.
CptHermi

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pupbrad
In response to Xavier, I think it may be able to be turned off in the sound options somewhere. I remember running across it once, though I'm not sure if I actually could have turned it off or not.


It can:

Options/Playback/Options/Own client play mic clicks

Options/Playback/Options/Other clients play mic clicks



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pupbrad

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Reply with quote  #14 
Not to necro an old post, but I'm finally putting together the video for this. Does anyone know the names of the people that were in this and the positions they were on?

So far I have as follows.

Phil: Admiral
Me: UEE Hornet - scout
Wethington: Jimi-Saru - scout
Trout: TSN Scout - scout
Artemus: TSN Twilight - scout

Ships with unidentified crew:
SCC Concordia - light cruiser
BDS Ferocity - misile cruiser
SDS Tenacity - light cruiser

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Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
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