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cousinsp

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I'd really appreciate some advice.
I'm having an all day Artemis party for my 50th Birthday (you can never be too old for your dream party!).
I have 4 old PCs with 4GB RAM (might be able to increase), which will run Windows 7 Professional. Should I install 32-bit OS or 64-bit to be able to use all the memory. Which would be better for stability/performance? The rest of the PCs are much better and will be running Windows 10.
Which version of Artemis should we use - I'm currently thinking of using the latest 2.7.1?

BUT what should we do with regards to running missions - i.e. which ones? Some of us will never have played before, others only had minimal experience. Should we try any Mods like TNG? I guess stability is the most important thing.

Any other suggestions to enhance the experience? I'll have 2 touch screens which I plan to use for Comms & Science, a black widow joystick for helm, and a large projector for the main screen. Comms will have a 2nd screen, and I'll have a data screen for the captain. Hoping to have 3 fighter stations, but I'll need to source more monitors.

The party is on Monday May 7th in Bournemouth, UK in case there are any locals who'd like to drop in. Although my birthday isn't until 19th.

Many thanks in advance
Pete Cousins

cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #2 
BTW, hoping to get some cheap Start Trek t-shirts to add a little something.
Longbowman1346

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsp

I'd really appreciate some advice.
I'm having an all day Artemis party for my 50th Birthday (you can never be too old for your dream party!).
I have 4 old PCs with 4GB RAM (might be able to increase), which will run Windows 7 Professional. Should I install 32-bit OS or 64-bit to be able to use all the memory. Which would be better for stability/performance? The rest of the PCs are much better and will be running Windows 10.
Which version of Artemis should we use - I'm currently thinking of using the latest 2.7.1?

BUT what should we do with regards to running missions - i.e. which ones? Some of us will never have played before, others only had minimal experience. Should we try any Mods like TNG? I guess stability is the most important thing.

Any other suggestions to enhance the experience? I'll have 2 touch screens which I plan to use for Comms & Science, a black widow joystick for helm, and a large projector for the main screen. Comms will have a 2nd screen, and I'll have a data screen for the captain. Hoping to have 3 fighter stations, but I'll need to source more monitors.

The party is on Monday May 7th in Bournemouth, UK in case there are any locals who'd like to drop in. Although my birthday isn't until 19th.

Many thanks in advance
Pete Cousins



I suggest that to get up to speed, you simply do a single front game at level 3 to start and then go from there to get your crew aclimated.     You may want to do this a few times to really get a feel for the game.  And yes, you should do 2.7.1.  It has some really good additions to it and you might as well start with the latest!   Not sure what missions come stock with 2.7.1 as I got a ton from the Armada convention so now they are all blended in the missions options.  But simply play the game first.  Have fun.  Switch duty stations.  Let everyone play something different and then you find that you will be able to do any of the missions.  (Don't do the 3 bases module as that is a GM'd game)
   But simply have fun!

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #4 
Definitely set up the day before if possible: good to have your network problems all sorted before guests arrive!

4GB RAM is enough for Artemis, and you can use either 32 or 64 bit Windows 7. 

Note on Windows 7 vs Windows 10: Depending on how strong your main screen+server PC is, you might find that the graphics are smoother on Windows 7 rather than Windows 10. A recent update to Windows 10 significantly degraded the performance of DirectX 9 games like Artemis, most notably on my bridge with previous-generation laptops. For example, I have 2 identical Core i5-24xx laptops about 5 years old, and upgraded one to a fresh install of Windows 10. The frame rate (press Alt-F to see it...) was almost cut in half on Windows 10, despite my best efforts to ensure the CPU wasn't throttled, etc. Windows 7 and Linux+Wine on the same laptop runs at 50+ FPS all the time. Windows 10 barely maintains 30.

To test your bridge, set up Siege solo game at level 3+, "few" of everything, and on the main screen PC press the letter "E" to start the automatic AI mode. It will take over Helm and Weapons and start randomly attacking things for you while you can play with all the other stations to ensure they're working. Note that you have press "E" again to turn off the AI mode; otherwise it just keeps restarting the mission indefinitely.

I'd recommend letting this test mode run for an hour or two. If you have any quirks related to your PC hardware or network, that should shake them out.

To keep Comms from getting bored, ensure you set Friendly Ship count to MANY, and advice them to Hail every friendly at mission start to check for booby traps; also ships named "Escort" and "Destroyer" are extra allies to send against enemies and defend things. And check for side missions for additional engineering coolant, etc.

Touchscreens on Comms and Science = good call!

I recommend a keyboard for Engineering: this makes the "reset all power and coolant" button (spacebar) easy to deal with, and the top row keys are for presets. There is a neat fan-created online app for building engineering presets: https://www.cattail.nu/artemis/engineersRigbook/index.php gets you there. (It even has my set!)

If you haven't already... check out the Ximni ships. Wow, they're fun! Beams fire really fast, and they're maneuverable. 


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cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #5 
These are brilliant pieces of advice. Thank you so much.
The engineers rigbook is great.
Sandman

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Reply with quote  #6 
If possible, have everyone watch one of the tutorial videos at a minimum. None of them are up to date for the latest versions of Artemis, but they still do a good job of introducing players to the basic concepts for each of the stations and will help get everyone up to speed sooner. 

If any of your players have played before, get them to teach newbs at specific stations for the first run or two. We rely on our experienced players to get newbies up to speed wherever possible. They say the best way to demonstrate knowledge is to teach someone else (or something like that).

Somebody around here suggested running IIRC the Border War scenario with something like a 10 minute lead before war breaks out. That would give comms a chance to pursue some side missions and gain some buffs before combat priorities leave them feeling left out.

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cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #7 
More great advice.
I've got 8 computers almost ready to go. With one doubling as a server, that's enough for the 5 bridge stations and 3 fighters.
2 touch screens (comms and science), and a projector.
Looking forward to it now.
ogremasch

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Reply with quote  #8 
Non game play considerations,
Comfortable seating
Take little breaks between missions, get a drink, or a snack, debrief about what went well and what could have gone better


Gameplay/host considerations
Try to keep everyone involved, if you are playing the captain be sure to get a strep from every station, some players may feel left out if there isn't much to do during some parts of the mission, the check in helps keep them in the game.
Play a 10 minute time limited game where the players can do whatever they want just to get used to the controls. The short time limit and the understanding that this game doesn't count helps new players feel better about pushing buttons since they pretty much can't mess up. I also use this time to go through a quick one on one with each station covering at a high level what that role is and who they are likely to interact with most. Like telling Comms that they communicate to friend ships, enemies, and stations, directing friends, taunting enemies, asking the wouneed to surrender and advising stat ions what armaments to build as well as advising the station we are about to dock. They will talk to science to get information about the enemy ships and the captain for which ship to communicate with, as well as advising of available side missions... that whole talk should take about 2 min.
I like the Trials of Deneb, I forget the number but it's the map with 1 station and a line of nebulas, a mine field and a lot of enemies. It would be a good 5th mission or last mission in my opinion especially for a new crew.

Most importantly have fun.

Hnefatafl

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Reply with quote  #9 

Our group has done this multiple times now, and each time we start with about an hour and a half "Academy" session. We go through the basics of the game, walk through each station and how to play it. We then randomize the stations and have all the new folk rotate through each station for a while, until everyone's at least tried everything (not Captain at this point).  

By then the experienced gang show up, we break for a bit, and split into multiple crews.  At the start we just run separate servers, running the random Solo missions, increasing difficulty.  We've been letting people try a hand a Captain at this point.

Our intention from now on is to pick up after lunch running multi-ship missions, to practice our fleet manoeuvers. 

We've been doing this about once a month.


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DupeOfURL

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Reply with quote  #10 
Get the BIGGEST screen you can for Main Screen display.  I use a 32" flat-screen TV when I run @ conventions.  Would go bigger, but that's about what I can haul around.  I try to have Main Screen in a darkened area, better visual contrast that way.  {BUT players need to see keyboards, et cetera.}   Don't run the sound so loud it interferes w/ game play.  Make sure cabling is taped down, best to have that area cordoned off.   
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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #11 
Go to my thread "Stock Missions Updated for 2.7" and download them, as well as the Simple Sandbox mission. The Sandbox is basically a Peacetime mission where Comms is given a selection of random missions which can be repeated until you get tired of it. Once you've run a couple of Siege missions and a Border War, that's a good place to start if you want to play some scripted missions.

And please, report any bugs you find to me! 😃

I also recommend "The Sirius Feint", "The Battle of Elihu 12" and "Havok in the Hamok Sector". The first two I think are better with an experienced crew, but the latter is fairly easy, and a lot of fun, with a lot of voice acting. Comms will be very busy in that script. (That's true of the Sandbox too)

As Longbow1346 noted, you'll want to avoid Module_3_bases, that's for a Gamemaster-run mission.

I would not recommend mods unless that's the reason your group is playing. (i.e. they're all hardcore Trekkies and want to play Star Trek ships) The stock game is just as fun and you're likely to have to revert to a previous version to get a mod running.

cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #12 
Am I right in saying that all your 'Stock Missions Updated for 2.7' except SimpleSandbox just replace the existing folders in dat\Missions? And that this only needs to be done on the server?
cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #13 
We're going to have 3 fighter positions. We'll probably play the ship with 5 shuttle bays (dreadnought?) Is there any point in putting shuttles in them, or just go with fighters and bombers? And is there any difference between fighters and bombers?
sixpack

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Reply with quote  #14 
Fighters carry three missiles while Bombers have six.  There are other differences such as turn rate, speed, etc.  It might just be easier for me to share this link that has all those details in a nice chart:  http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/53260454/Ship%20statistics
Good luck with your Artemis party and happy birthday!
cousinsp

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Reply with quote  #15 
Many thanks for that info. I've printed out the ship details. Stuff mostly packed up ready to go.
Not sure I'm going to sleep much tonight - I feel like an 8 year old waiting for his dream party.
Got some interesting characters playing tomorrow so that will add to the drama.
Hopefully I'll report back on Tuesday when my PC is all back together.
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