Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
janx

Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #1 
Got to play again and run as captain this weekend.

Sadly, my undefeated record is tarnished if I count the initial goofing around runs we did.  the last session, approached more seriousl (albeit with more alchohol imbibed by crew) was successful.

Things we learned:

Our first run was a Level 1 Invasion, to ramp up a new player on helm.  I played Science and Captain.  We died when the weapons officer fired at something too close with a nuke.  That was beer 2 or three for him.

We then launched the Trials of Deneb part 1, and swapped roles.  I played Weapons, new guy on Engineering, beer guy on helm (note, most of crew had beer).  Helm blew most of our energy wad remembering how to steer.  By the time we got to where DS1 was, it was destroyed and we were out of gas and down to 3 torpedos.

So we hid behind the minefield, waited to recharge.

Some new crew arrived, so I had one of them take over my station.  Sitting still was working well, untl beer guy got bored and flew into the enemy fleet. We died.

We then got serious (sort of).  Invasion Level 4.  Had crew on all 5 stations.  Beer was consumed.

We killed ships, ran low on energy, jumped back to space stations, reloaded and jumped back to behind enemies.  It worked pretty well.

We lost 2/4 stations.  Killed all the enemies, and eventually we did help freighter V15 with its problem TWICE.  Things got a little dicey Helmy Beerhat jumped us into the middle of the fleet twice.  I really don't like the Helm jumping without some coordination.

Observations:
I really hate Comms.  And they of course hate me.  I think they get mad that i don't respond if DS1 is under attack.  or that V15 is out of gas and trapped in sector C5.  They seem to think a captain's job is to jump to the beck and call of every distress call.  A captain has to look at the map.  See where his ship is, and what problems he can solve.  A ship that is far out of the way is an expense of fuel and time,  A station under attack now is likely lost by the time we reach her and expend fuel to finish the enemy off.  Often, a captain must decide to tackle the red dots he's in best position to do so now, and ignore the ones he can't help.  This is the hard choice every star ship captain makes, and is why he is the loneliest sole on the ship.  For no one else has to make the hard choice over who lives or dies.

I also hate the fact that though according to legend, Comms can redirect ships, at present, that ability seems limited to changing what direction they are facing.  As of yet, my Comms officers have not learned how to manipulate the ships to arrange things to help the captain, instead of bringing him noise about problems he cannot solve.


I really hate Helm taking initiative with major navigational changes.  When the helmsman decides to make a jump toward the enemy on his own (when I was ordering the ship to hold position), that commits us to action that throws off a prior plan.  It also often turns out miscalculations occurred and now we were NOT where the helmsman had intended.

funny yes.  But not tactically prudent.  The ship should not engage a jump, except in emergency or by captain's order.

Overall:
beer made some of the players sloppier, and I suspect one player took some actions out of mischief making.

The new engineering player did well, better than any previously, and I had minimal choking of resources that I usually get from ensigns mucking with the dials.

Comms is still a thankless position.  I no doubt haven't mastered how to manage them, but in return, they mistake relaying every transmission as being their job.  They would better serve the captain to look at the map and situation, and only relay what the captain can use when he can take advantage of it.  If the mechanism for controlling other ships were known, that would also greatly expand the role.

Helm is a simple position, but the fate of the ship is in his hands.  Taking uncoordinated action (moving toward the enemy) is where trouble begins.  Jump drive is tricky to use, and players who don't follow chain of command can get the ship into trouble when they jump at their own whim.

We had a good time, and I am satisfied that the Level 4 mission was successful as that was the one that was a real test of skill.
ricka

Registered:
Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds like a fun night.

As for comms, you have a few more options. You can tell ships to attack the nearest enemy, go defend a space station, etc.

One way I like to keep the comes people busy is to have them navigate the NPC ships to defend the central most station as a stop gap to make sure if I really screw up it takes longer to loose the last station. If there are obstacles in the way and they can't go straight there I make it the job of the comms person to watch the LRS/Captains map and make sure they don't blow themselves up. So send the ship 90 degrees for 2 squares, then 180 for 2 squares and it has now gone 135 degrees... its basically poor mans navigating but requires concentration on the comms part. This usually helps keep comms a little more busy and reduces the number of emergencies you can't deal with.

It also has the added bonus of those "we'll give you 2 nuke missions" being faster because all the ships/stations are closer.
vfrdirk

Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #3 
Sounds like you captain a Klingon ship...

Yes, beer and Artemis go together like beer and, well, just about anything. But, skills begin to diminish after a couple (although, I'd argue they go up a bit somewhere after #1 and before #3) and then you're at the mercy of the "Oops factor" of your most impaired crewman. I will admit I become much better at yelling at anyone who makes a mistake after a few, usually while careening into an asteroid or mine field...
janx

Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricka
Sounds like a fun night.

As for comms, you have a few more options. You can tell ships to attack the nearest enemy, go defend a space station, etc.

One way I like to keep the comes people busy is to have them navigate the NPC ships to defend the central most station as a stop gap to make sure if I really screw up it takes longer to loose the last station. If there are obstacles in the way and they can't go straight there I make it the job of the comms person to watch the LRS/Captains map and make sure they don't blow themselves up. So send the ship 90 degrees for 2 squares, then 180 for 2 squares and it has now gone 135 degrees... its basically poor mans navigating but requires concentration on the comms part. This usually helps keep comms a little more busy and reduces the number of emergencies you can't deal with.

It also has the added bonus of those "we'll give you 2 nuke missions" being faster because all the ships/stations are closer.


the 90 degree plotting is what I would have done as well.  Does Comms have the ability to set speed or distance on the NPC ships, or is it only direction (assuming the ship already has a velocity)?


pupbrad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 889
Reply with quote  #5 
Just direction. You cannot adjust speed or distance that they travel.

Sounded like a really fun night! I cringed at the comms officer relaying every single message... that'd be WAY too many messages for the captain to deal with!

__________________
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
janx

Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #6 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pupbrad
Just direction. You cannot adjust speed or distance that they travel.

Sounded like a really fun night! I cringed at the comms officer relaying every single message... that'd be WAY too many messages for the captain to deal with!


That confirms my suspicion.

New Comms players are getting into the habit of repeating the computer (like Galaxy Request) and thinking that is "running Comms"

When in reality, the Captain just needs a small slice of that information.  Namely, is there a nearby ship he can divert to for a bonus.  From there, if they can silently manipulate the fleet to the captain's advantage, they'd be doing a rock solid job of running comms.

Instead I get:

Comms: Sir, DS1 is under attack.
Captain: I know, I'm way over here at V15 that you asked me to go to and my next stop is DS2 that you also asked me to go to.
Comms: But DS1 is under attack.
Captain: I know, I see the little red dots around it on my map.
Comms: But sir, they're under attack!
Captain: Sucks to be them.  Maybe if I hadn't listened to my Comms officer to help the stranded ship with a gofer run, I'd still be docked at DS1 like I planned to be to intercept the fleet that is killing them now.
Comms: DS1 is destroyed.
Captain: Yup.  Helm, prepare to jump to DS2 to complete the mission...




pupbrad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 889
Reply with quote  #7 
Ah, that sucks. I've seen one or two people play comms like that before, it's rather annoying.
__________________
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
janx

Registered:
Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pupbrad
Ah, that sucks. I've seen one or two people play comms like that before, it's rather annoying.


Yup.

Bear in mind, overall, I had fun.  But the 2 Comms players that night didn't really have as much fun as everybody else.

I have no doubt that I could learn to manage the Comms people better, but I'd still have made the same choices about what to do next.

The problem is that Comms falls into the trap of "this is a crap job" because it's overwhelming with information, it's not obvious on what to do with it, and inherently, the captain is going to ignore most of it.

Played this way, they are inherently at odds with the captain, because the captain isn't listening to them.  And by "listening to them" I mean, doing what the messages are asking for.

Now my experience is limited to the lower difficulty levels.  I have no problem prioritizing and making decisions on where to go, and how to approach the next encounter.  I tend to only take advantage of the gofer missions when it is convenient to do so (as in I have time to hop over there and back before the next enemy fleet is in jump range to take on).

So I get that at higher levels, all those boosts are downright needed.  I don't know where the ship finds time to go do them, but my crew is still green.

What I think I'm learning in this thread, is confirmation that Comms is being handled wrong.  I need them to route ships closer when they can (stationary ships like we had were a problem).  I need them to only announce information I can use.  In some ways, Comms should be a more silent job.


pupbrad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 889
Reply with quote  #9 
Yea, routing them closer to your bases is a HUGE help.

As for the stationary ships, make sure your comms officer hails anyone who says they will not respond to orders. There might be something wrong with them that's making them stay stationary, but be warned... Sometimes what they say isn't the full story!

Also, keep in mind that if properly managed, a allied destroyer can take out a whole Skaraan on it's own without any help. I've had destroyers take out small fleets of Kralians on its own as well. Escorts are quite a bit weaker and I would NOT recommend having them engage an enemy alone.

Comms becomes a LOT more active position when you try to get enemies to surrender. It becomes this race between weapons and comms to see who will get the upper hand over the enemy. Will comms get the enemy to surrender or will weapons kill them before that? Do know that enemies tend not to surrender when you're more than 3k or so away though.

Between surrenders and comms silently managing allied ships with the Captain's Map, Comms is a rather fun and interesting position with no end to it's job. There is always some ship that needs babysitting or some enemy that is just itching to throw in the white flag.

As for comms reporting things that allies and enemies say, I would only have them report missions or ships with a malfunction (the issues they report when you hail them) and when one of those is updated. When reporting missions, I tend to make it quick and concise along the lines of "Captain, DS2 to V05 for Shields". If the captain needs help remembering these missions, the captain should ask comms, not have them repeat the mission every two seconds. As for bringing up surrenders, I only mention that a ship surrendered if weapons has a history of shooting surrendered enemies or if the weapons officer is in manual beams.

Now, of course you don't need to have comms be played exactly that way. That's just how I personally prefer it. Whatever works for you, since it IS your ship, is what would be best for you.

__________________
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

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 334
Reply with quote  #10 
I have played comm with a little more "role Playing" involved an have exclaimed more then once....

"Captain! Skaran K07 just insulted the mating habits of your mother!"

Just taking the insults we give the enemy and have them "used against us". Make even more fun, when the crew is a little inebriated.... (ie drunk)

__________________
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.

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.