Monday, February 9, 2009

Summary of Events Stardate 0209.10

Summary of Events
Stardate 0209.10

TNG Era:

There have been no further communications from Ambassador Endara Khan onboard the USS Exeter, in orbit of Oblissa Three. She had stated that she didn't expect to receive a response from the Kazon-Oglamar in less than a week, maybe two. In the meantime, she remains in almost continuous meetings with First Maje Jabin of the Kazon-Ogla.

The USS Guadalcanal detected a Romulan Warbird in orbit of Oshionian Six. It is engaged in combat operations with the warbird, and will attempt to download all data from the enemy computer core.

The USS Arizona remains on station in the Archanis Sector, watching for any further marauding Klingons. The USS Archer has been ordered to join the Arizona, but is not due to arrive for four days.

TOS Era:

There has been no further communication from the USS Xerxes. Based on it's latest communique, Captain Lionidas expected to be at Archer Four by now, investigating loss of contact with the outpost there. There has also been no contact with nearby automated outpost MZ-5.

ENT Era:

Challenger NX-07 left Starbase Five on a long range mission to attempt to chart the full extent of Romulan-claimed space. This mission is expected to last for at least several months. While the advanced starship would be useful on an increasingly dangerous front, it is also one of few starships deemed capable of operating on its own for extended hazardous duty. Captain Carpenter advised Admiral Coto that he would continue to communicate with Earth forces as long as it was deemed safe.

Command College

"What Are Your Orders, Captain?"

"Enemy Action" Resolution

Captain Lionidas is surprised to see the Federation outpost at Archer Four to be devoid of Klingons and seemingly at peace. However, as the USS Xerxes approaches the planet, he finds that they cannot make contact with the outpost. Further investigation of the surrounding area reveals that the Klingons have built a device nearby that is whiting-out all sensors and communications. That outpost is in an uncharted star system just inside Klingon space. While he is relieved that the Klingons haven't attacked Archer, Captain Lionidas believes that they will at some point. He now must decide what to do about the jamming device. He can either:

A: Destroy the outpost immediately and summon assistance from Federation space (simultaneously alerting the Klingons to your presence), or:

B: Find some way to work past the jammer. This would take more time, but would be less likely to bring an immediate attack.

Captain Lionidas determined that discretion was the better part of valor. While destroying the jammer would have enabled immediate communications and sensors, it also most likely would have brought an immediate Klingon attack. Working closely with science and engineering teams on the Archer Four outpost, Lionidas is confident that he'll be able to work around the jammer, bringing Federation reinforcements without alerting the Klingons.

Members who chose this solution:

(Ent Era) "The Enemy of My Enemy"

The Challenger NX-07, patrolling what they believe is unclaimed space, drops out of warp in an uncharted system. They are immediately faced with an unusual sight. Two Klingon Birds of Prey are locked in a pitched battle with a ship of unknown configuration. The alien ship is twice the size of the Klingon ships (as well as the Challenger), and is overwhelming the Klingons with a combination of laser weapons, antimatter warheads, and chemical-propelled missiles. Captain Carpenter can see that the Klingons are in danger of being destroyed in minutes, but also recognizes the inherent danger in intervening in Klingon matters, no matter his good intentions. On the other hand, he doesn't want to stand by while anyone is being attacked. Knowing that all three ships will have noted his arrival in the area, he has to make a quick decision. He must:

A: Come to the aid of the Klingons. Willingness to join them in battle might impress the Klingons, but would endanger the Challenger and make an enemy of the unknown ship. He should also consider that Klingons rarely appreciate aliens coming to their aid. Or...

B: He could warp out of the area, hoping that both sides are too busy with each other to care about Challenger. This seems the safer alternative, but both sides could take offense at the lack of assistance.

(Moderator's Note: There are no predetermined right or  wrong answers. The most popular solution will give the players who chose it a "Command College Point". Ten of those equal an experience point.)

Choose A or B, or a third course of action, and write a brief explanation

Captain's Log

(From last week)

"...make do with visual scanners..."

(Again, I used the random planetary mission tables to spice this up)

Class H Desert
Age: 4-10 billion years
Diameter: 8,000-10,000 km
Location: Hot Zone/Ecosphere/Cold Zone
Surface: Hot and arid, little or no surface water
Atmosphere: May contain heavy gases and metal vapors
Life forms: Drought- and radiation-resistant plants, animal life
Example: Rigel XII, Tau Cygna V

9) The Q entity causes mischief on the surface of the planet and in orbit.

(TOS era)

USS Constellation. Constitution Class Starship.

"We entered orbit around the fifth planet in the Tau Cygna system on a general survey mission. As soon as we started running detailed surface scans, science officer Masada reported strange readings from what is supposed to be a desert planet. We detected readings from all over the planet of five distinct environments, ranging from desert, at the polar regions, to frozen wastelands in the equatorial regions. There was even a large area in the northern hemisphere bathed in thick clouds of methane. I decided that a planet this unusual was worth sending out multiple shuttles to investigate."

"Reports from the surface did little to broaden our understanding of this planet. Rather than find some strange but measurable, quantifiable explanation, we found nothing but an average hot, barely habitable H-type desert planet. Needless to say, I ordered the shuttles to do a complete survey. And considering the fact that our sensors were proving to be completely unreliable here, they were to make do with visual scanners for all information. It made for a less than complete though more reliable survey."

"As it turned out, Tau Cygna Five had one more curve to throw at us. As we began to pull away from the planet, our sensor readings finally presented us with an accurate picture of an H Class planet. Out of curiosity, I went to the observation lounge to get a look at the planet visually. The bright yellow disc suddenly took on an unmistakably red shade, with a bright blue upper-case 'Q' superimposed on the atmosphere."

Commodore Decker considered his log for a moment, imagining the reaction it would get from the Admiralty. "Computer, delete last sentence."

For Next Week:

(Expand the following into a log entry of at least 100 words. Members post answers to the yahoogroup or the 'comment' feature on the blogsite. Lurkers feel free to leave comments on the blogsite)

"...break the laws of physics..."

Developer's Notes

As I'm playing the second round of orbital combat, I continue to learn and tweak, and sometimes I think I'll never finish it. Be that as it may, here are some lessons learned so far:

Batteries are there for a reason. The USS Guadalcanal used batteries for emergency warp to pull out of range before the Decius could destroy it. The Decius had charged up its plasma torpedo and was decloaking when the Guadalcanal accelerated coming around the planet. The Guadalcanal used the Decius's vulnerable decloaking moment to let fly with phasers and photons. At the same time, it used up one of six batteries to add a burst of speed to get out of range before the Decius could return fire. That required (and I seriously debated) changing the rules which stated that a ship using emergency warp couldn't do anything else in the same turn. The rule will now read that a ship using emergency warp cannot fire any weapons on the next turn. This wasn't to stop the Guadalcanal from being destroyed. This was so that a ship could use emergency warp in an offensive manner. Otherwise it would be an impractical, last ditch tactic.

I am going to employ a tractor beam in this combat operation. It is a part of the ship, and any decent captain will find a way to use every tool at his disposal. The rules for tractor beams should be pretty easy. Use points to allocate 1 to 5 points to tractor power. Your opponent can either cloak, if he has a cloak, to break sensor lock, or apply 1 to 5 points to repel. A tie in the tractor lock goes to the one repelling. Battery power can add one point each to tractor or repel power.

Attractive an idea as it may be, overflying to attack is a risky and dangerous tactic. Odds are your opponent has the same advantage of a point blank attack as you do. If you must overfly attack, make sure that your enemy cannot return fire and/or you can get out of range before he can.

Unlike most torpedoes, plasmas move slow enough to result in a pursuit situation. That makes it necessary to track launched plasmas on the text map.

One other thing I've never bothered with in combat is system repair. In the case of orbital combat, when ships move out of Line Of Site (L.O.S.), this is an important tool, which you can use in moments of quiet. Again, any decent commander will use every tool to complete their objective. The L.O.S. issue will come back up once the Guadalcanal starts to beam over boarding parties. Before I get to that point, I need to revisit the STD's to make sure I've determined how many defenders each class of ship has. And speaking of STD'S, I need to go back through them and make sure they are up to date.

How Much Star Trek Can You Handle?
Fantasy Trek. Not Just a Game. It's a Star Trek Experience

No comments: