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13Clocks

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone. After a few practice rounds, my relatively new crew and I just managed our first proper victory on a siege scenario. I thought I'd write up a post-mortem here so that we could learn from the judgement of more experienced officers.

So, what did we learn?

You know what they say about comms being proactive?  That.
It's a bit of a cliché, but comms is a really useful station.  We've only got five people, so we double up on science/comms.  Normally, she's my science officer first and comms officer second, but this time I asked her to focus more on comms.  She got three or four ships, including a Goliath and an elite Skaraan, to surrender.  The best part, though, was when we were dealing with a very powerful threat to a space station in D4, and the station in B2 got attacked.  Rather than breaking off or letting the B2 station be destroyed, comms managed to taunt the group away literally seconds before every man, woman, and child on that station died.

The chain of command is really, really important.
The comms officer carried out that taunt on my order as captain.  As you know, there are two stages: find a ship and get intel from the science screen, and then actually deliver the taunt from comms.  Halfway through the first stage, the weapons officer destroyed his target and asked for the shield frequencies for the next one.  My order to taunt was forgotten in the confusion.  For next time, I've been considering a "priority one" order system, in which most orders I give are to be considered fairly malleable based on the priorities and knowledge of each individual crewmember, but priority one orders are to be followed to the letter, to the exclusion of all else.  Is that something you do?  Does it work?

Don't shoot Biomechs.
We began the simulation in style by destroying a stage 1 Biomech that was getting a little too close for comfort to a particular space station.  I should have remembered that this would anger all Biomechs in the area.  We had to cross three quadrants at maximum warp to get to another station before the two Biomechs there attacked it.

I don't think we're using mines to their full potential.
We've perfected the art of using mines as backup nukes, and we've won some impressive victories by dropping mines directly into enemy groups.  I'm pretty sure we could do better.  Tactically, is it worth laying down curtains of mines around space stations?  Wouldn't that impede your ability to fall back?  How do you use mines in your battles?

I don't think I quite get the point of homing torpedoes either.
Another tactical failing on my part, but in my experience, if something has too much shielding to be taken out by a single homing torpedo, a nuke or an EMP would be more useful.  If it's got little enough that a torpedo would make a sizeable dent, we should be able to almost destroy the shields by the time the torpedo is loaded and a PShock would be the better bet.  Given this, I tend to regard my homing torpedo stores as a reserve battery, to be converted to energy in extremis.  Am I missing something?

Unexpected bugs can ruin your day.
Our helm officer couldn't move her mouse for about five seconds.  It wouldn't have been so bad if we weren't going into battle at the time.

Remember to target the carrier.  Ignore fighters as much as possible.
In a previous simulation, we focused on destroying a fighter group because it was closer and looked dangerous.  Big mistake.  We won that engagement, but it would have been over a lot more quickly if we'd nuked the carrier.  This time, we hit the carrier hard and the fighters took care of themselves.

Think a lot about anomalies.
This is going to be a fairly contentious issue, but in my opinion, anomalies are one of the most useful parts of the simulation.  I've seen tactical analyses that recommend only falling back to certain anomalies if they're power cells.  Today, we harvested some wrecks and got a couple of promising-looking white dots.  They turned out to be extra coolant, a scanner boost, and a secret code case.  The first two were fairly useful, but the third allowed us to avoid a tricky and dangerous battle with the Goliath I mentioned before.  Falling back to a code case when chased by a single elite ship could mean the difference between life and death just as much as falling back to a power cell.  Does that sound valid or am I talking through my hat?

I do not like ships with cloaking devices.
Call me racist, but I operate a strict kill-on-sight policy with regard to any large Skaraan ship.  We started the game by sweeping for the large loners; previous experience had shown us that they had a tendancy to attack space stations in one place while we were busy in another.  We got one, hit it with an EMP-nuke combo, and avoided a few minutes of time-wasting while we waited for it to decloak again.  On that note, I've seen nukes manage to maintain lock-on even while the target is cloaked.  Does that mirror your observations?

The captain is important too.
My crew are capable enough that, other than decisions about which torpedoes to launch, I leave the fighting to them.  My engineer especially does his job effectively with no input from me.  Before this session, I had suffered a small existential crisis, wondering whether I was wasting space when all the decisions I was making seemed so obvious.  This session cured me.  I gave two orders, both in defence of the same station.  The first was the taunt I've discussed earlier, and the second was to put our ship between the attackers and the station so that we could fend off approaching drones.  Neither of these moves would have occurred to my crew, who were focused -- quite rightly -- on the nitty-gritty of the shooting.  I might be the only captain who's ever felt useless, but something tells me I'm probably not.

The TSN has no idea what it's doing with minefields.
At least twice now, we've seen mines laid right next to black holes.  These proceed to devour the mines slowly over the course of the game.  This is interesting, but I really wonder what the TSN tactical planners were thinking.

Please forgive me if any of this is presumptuous or offensive; I just mean it as something for more experienced crews to analyse and discuss.  I hope this is of interest to some of you.  Any advice you have on this basis would be greatly appreciated.

Also, we're getting a little bored of always flying Artemis.  Today, we transferred to Serenity, by popular demand.  We're going to try a Juggernaut next, and I'm tempted to call her Gorgon (she's big and ugly and can kill you from very far away).  That's as far as my ideas go.  What do you name your ships?
clavestone

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Reply with quote  #2 
My Privateer (Pirate Longbow) scout ship is well known in the online community as the Jimi-Saru. I also captain the Privateer Fulminata (Pirate Carrier) with the 59th Pirate Fighter Wing "The Reapers" at the Armada battles in Cleveland.
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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.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 13Clocks

You know what they say about comms being proactive?  That.


I call Comms an "optional" station, but a great Comms officer can really shine on high difficulty. Even more so if the Friendly Ships setting is set high enough that Destroyers and Escorts appear in the mission. You also miss out on side missions if you don't have a Comms officer, and friendly ships in the sector. Many scripted missions and Peacetime mode require Comms.

I only got a full crew quite recently, but I was nice to finally have someone on Comms. She didn't have enough experience to make it a major part of the mission, but that will come in time.

Quote:

The chain of command is really, really important.


Other folks will probably echo this, but I find it very helpful to use a standard protocol for giving orders. Name the console (optionally the crew member, but console for clarity) and then give the order. The crew member should respond with "Aye", "Acknowledged", or echo the order. That way you KNOW the order is being carried out.

It's up to you, but personally I would put the burden on myself to make sure the order is carried out. I don't use a Captain's Map, so normally I request shield frequencies from Science and echo them to Weapons. If Weapons asks for shield frequencies directly, I would make sure to request the taunt Intel myself and deliver it to Comms rather than wait for Comms to ask.

Quote:

Don't shoot Biomechs.


Indeed. BioMechs should not be a threat to bases or shipping. Only attack them if they fire first. Remember that if there is a Stage 4 on the map, you can get Comms to contact it to calm them all down. Basically try a "taunt" that gives you a positive message back, and then repeat it four times. The "taunt" will be ignored if the BioMechs aren't aggroed.

If there are no adults in the sector, you will have to exterminate the lot, unfortunately.

Quote:

I don't think we're using mines to their full potential.


Unless you're using the Mine Layer, I would not worry about trying to lay your own minefields. It isn't worth the time. Your best bet is the old Bombing Run. Just warp into the center of a formation, drop a mine, and get away. Mines are also great for getting rid of fighters.

Quote:

I don't think I quite get the point of homing torpedoes either.


Unfortunately, at this time Homing Torps are just used as batteries, nothing more. There have been some suggestions, like the ability to load up to three of them in the same tube, but nothing has come of it.

If you'd like to experiment with it, you can edit the artemis.ini file to make Homings do more damage. 50 or 60 damage seems to be quite adequate. That would make them less useful as batteries, though, unless you triple that number as well.

The only place Homing Torps seem to have any consequence is as missiles on fighters. And those are in infinite supply.

Quote:

Unexpected bugs can ruin your day.


Not really much you can do about that. However, I would advise to keep your head and remember that as the saying goes, "the show must go on". One time I had my helmsman lock up, and it took several minutes for me to force her off the server and re-establish a second console. After the fact, it occurred to me that if I had just had Engineering cut power to Warp, we wouldn't have been sent on an uncontrolled ride across the sector.

In other words, think of it not as a game malfunction that you have to deal with as a player, but as a console malfunction that you have to deal with as the captain. Once you have regained control, THEN you can see about fixing the networking issue.

Quote:

Remember to target the carrier.  Ignore fighters as much as possible.


See above. You can also make things hard for Arvonians by goading them into launching as you approach, and then turn around and keep the fighters out of range. They will run out of fuel and return to the carrier, and you can shoot them with impunity in the back. [biggrin]

If you are playing a carrier and on high difficulty, Arvonian fighters are SCARY to your own fighters. It is best not to engage them at all. Drop a nuke or a mine and only then let the fighters enter the area.

Quote:

Think a lot about anomalies.


There may be people who think the new Upgrades are useless gimmicks, particularly in comparison to how much energy anomalies USED to give, but I've found the scan boost and code case in particular to be almost overpowered. You also want to make sure you pick up Vigoranium only when you have lost DamCon teams, otherwise you are needlessly wasting them. Since Science can scan anomalies, there is no reason not to know exactly what resources you have available and which you want to pick up.

In addition, hunting enemies and monsters is a viable way of upgrading your ship and extending its range and capabilities. Overall I think the feature is a net improvement.

I'll add that anomalies can be particularly useful in the Deep Strike mission. You have the transport ship, but anomalies are easier to get to.

Quote:

I do not like ships with cloaking devices.


Cloak only effects Science, the LRS, and targeting, it does not confuse torpedo tracking and enemies seem to be able to see them fine. Remember that some Skaraans have Anti-Torp though.

I tend to prioritize Skaraans above all other enemies, unless a base is under attack. If they aren't an immediate threat, they probably will be, far before the enemy fleets can get into position. Skaraans are essentially the front line scouts of the enemy force.

Quote:

The captain is important too.


This is a matter of individual choice, but yeah, if your crew has the experience, they should not need to be micromanaged. Again, I leave the standard orders protocol to communicate everything I need both from me to my crew, and from them back to me. If you're not talking, you're not playing Artemis. [biggrin]

You're absolutely right that your role is to see the forest for the trees, when your crew can't. That means you should be careful not to become to concentrated on one thing. Let your crew handle that. You should be keeping an eye on the big picture, so as long as you aren't caught by surprise, your crew won't be caught by surprise.

Quote:

The TSN has no idea what it's doing with minefields.


Amusingly enough, yes, the game is laid out randomly, so sometimes these silly things happen. I find it amusing to watch a Black Hole devour mines and asteroids. To the point where I will sometimes create that situation in the Module_3_bases script. [biggrin] (Or my edit of it, anyway)  

Quote:

Please forgive me if any of this is presumptuous or offensive; I just mean it as something for more experienced crews to analyse and discuss.  I hope this is of interest to some of you.  Any advice you have on this basis would be greatly appreciated.


No, this is a great post. It is informative for new players, and a great opportunity for old players like me to respond. [biggrin]

Quote:

Also, we're getting a little bored of always flying Artemis.  Today, we transferred to Serenity, by popular demand.  We're going to try a Juggernaut next, and I'm tempted to call her Gorgon (she's big and ugly and can kill you from very far away).  That's as far as my ideas go.  What do you name your ships?


Although we stuck with "Artemis" for our early games, more recently our crew has settled on the name "Plutonium Nyborg". If you don't get that reference, look up the film "Heavy Metal".

After a discussion with Mike Substelny, I think I've decided the "Plutonium Nyborg" is a Ximni cruiser, and we're a multiracial mercenary crew. [biggrin]

13Clocks

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra

Unless you're using the Mine Layer, I would not worry about trying to lay your own minefields. It isn't worth the time. Your best bet is the old Bombing Run. Just warp into the center of a formation, drop a mine, and get away. Mines are also great for getting rid of fighters.


We tried using the mines like you described.  I didn't want to be stationary anywhere near the center of an enemy formation, so we kept at warp the whole way through.  That also got us out of the center of the blast radius.  The problem was twofold: we took a tonne of hits to our forward shield as we passed through everybody's beam range in turn, and it took fairly good timing to lay the mines.  So, we devised a new method.  Once you've got a formation properly mad at you -- I tend to hit them with an EMP -- you come to a full stop, spin around to face away from them, and wait.  You can even reverse onto them if you're too far away.  Once they're between 700-900 away, depending on difficulty level, launch the mine and warp out.  It plants itself inside the formation.  We took a few beam hits, but our engineer was able to boost the rear shield because he knew that the front one wouldn't be taking any damage.  The main problem was drone launchers, but our helm officer worked out that she could come in fairly close (just out of beam range), wait for the drone to launch, destroy it with beams, and immediately swing around and reverse into the formation.  I don't know how well this works in a Juggernaut, but a Light Cruiser is fast enough to get away with this.  Is that something you've tried?
Clicky

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi everyone. After a few practice rounds, my relatively new crew and I just managed our first proper victory on a siege scenario. I thought I'd write up a post-mortem here so that we could learn from the judgement of more experienced officers.

So, what did we learn?

You know what they say about comms being proactive?  That.
It's a bit of a cliché, but comms is a really useful station.  We've only got five people, so we double up on science/comms.  Normally, she's my science officer first and comms officer second, but this time I asked her to focus more on comms.  She got three or four ships, including a Goliath and an elite Skaraan, to surrender.  The best part, though, was when we were dealing with a very powerful threat to a space station in D4, and the station in B2 got attacked.  Rather than breaking off or letting the B2 station be destroyed, comms managed to taunt the group away literally seconds before every man, woman, and child on that station died.


The TSN has no idea what it's doing with minefields.
At least twice now, we've seen mines laid right next to black holes.  These proceed to devour the mines slowly over the course of the game.  This is interesting, but I really wonder what the TSN tactical planners were thinking.

QUOTE]

I know what you mean regarding the minefields, my crew saw the same thing last time we played.

Regarding always having comms and science double up, have you tried different combinations? my crew usually has science double up with something, because no one finds that station particularly interesting and we rarely have 6 people, but it is not always comms that gets science.

We usually decide double up by what mission we are doing and the experience level of crew members. As comms, I do double with science for deep strike missions given there is less for comms to do on those missions but for border war missions with the countdown to war, we usually have weapons or engineering take science. Occasionally we give the captain science duties or I take it on (but I do find the game more enjoyable when I can concentrate purely on communications except deep strike missions).

That said, my crew is still fairly new to the game and also changing players a lot at the moment so we might change later on to always having comms double as science if needed. We might also find someone who likes the science station.

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