Star Trek: Tirpitz


Preemptive Strike
April 26, 2010, 9:02 am
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We recently received a priority one message from Starfleet Command with new orders.  Starfleet Intelligence had gathered information from several sources that pointed to a possible Romulan attack in Federation space.  Starfleet had dispatched a small scout ship to Rator prime, a planet near the Romulan border that the intelligence reports suggested was the staging ground for the impending invasion.  The scout ship had been given orders to report back with their findings every hour on the hour, but they had never made a transmission.  Because of this, Starfleet Command decided to send a fleet to Rator prime.  The Tirpitz had been assigned to join the fleet, with orders to rescue any potential survivors from the scout ship and to prevent the Romulan fleet from crossing into Federation space.  

Romulan versus Romulan

Because of how close we were Rator Prime, we were the first ship of the Federation fleet to arrive in the system.  A scan of the system when we arrived picked up a large number of Romulan ships in the system.  More Romulans than we had faced before without back up.  Mr. Toran had an idea to try to even the odds.  By launching a modified sensor probe at one of the Romulan ships he was able to confuse their ship identification system, making their sensor believe they were surrounded by Federation ships.  It didn’t last long, but bought us enough time to get in some hits to critical system and level the playing field a bit.  

Punching a hole in the defenses

Unfortunately for us, one of the enemy ships activated the planet’s orbital defense system before we could stop them.  We came under fire from several orbital weapons platforms.  We were forced to fall back because of the concentrated fire.  It took T’Lol a few minutes to identify a week point in their defense grid.  There was a small section where the weapons platforms were spaced far enough apart that we would only need to engage one at a time.  We punched our way through the satellites and entered orbit over the planet.  

Iseli's MACO soldiers

Once in orbit, a scan of the planet picked up  two facilities on the surface.  Both were highly populated with Romulans, but one also revealed several Federation life signs.  The one with the Federation life signs also appeared to have a functional transport inhibitor, so we couldn’t just beam them up.  We beamed Major Iseli and a squad of her MACO troops down to the surface a few kilometers away from the believed prison facility.  Their orders were to rescue the Federation personnel and to deactivate the transport inhibitor so we could beam them back to the ship.  The away team got the drop on several guard patrols that they were able to take down before reaching the facility itself.  Once they assaulted the prison, they had to work fast to prevent the Romulans from executing their captives.  Among those they rescued another MACO trooper named Tess who was able to fill in details on what had happened.  The scout ship had deployed her squad to the planet when they had detected a number of subspace weapons on the planet’s surface.  Tess estimated that her team had managed to destroy half of the stockpile before they had been captured.  When Iseli reported this information back to the Tirpitz, I gave the order for her away team to finish the destruction of any remaining subspace weapons on the planet’s surface.  Tess requested permission to join the away, but she wasn’t in any shape to assist, and we beamed her back to the Tirpitz.  

Surprise attack

The MACOs encountered heavier resistance as they made their way to the second facility on the planet.  It’s possible that the second facility had been warned of an impending attack by the guards from the prison.  The Romulan guards had enough time to set up a number of phaser turrets and portable shield generators before the away team reached them.  A few guards even managed to get the drop on Iseli and her troops.  If it wasn’t for their personal shield generators, they would have been in bad shape.  It took the away team much longer than we expected to clear the area of guards and set charges to destroy the remaining weapons.  We beamed the away team back onboard the Tirpitz just barely before the Romulan fleet entered the system.  

Battling the Romulan fleet

It didn’t look good for us for a few minutes there.  We were outnumbered and outgunned.  Our sensors picked up dozens of Romulan ships, including one Scimitar class warship.  The very well-timed arrival of the rest of the Federation fleet is what saved us.  We fell into formation with the rest of the Federation forces and engaged the Romulan fleet.  We weren’t the focus of very many attacks by the enemy ships.  The Romulans were attempting to concentrate their fire to take down the larger threats in our fleet.  This gave us several openings to perform attack runs on enemy ships without taking much damage to our shields.  We managed to destroy a majority of the enemy fleet before the remaining ships retreated back into Romulan space.   

Hopefully, with the loss of their forces and weapons, we’ve managed to delay the Romulan’s attack plans.  But somehow, I don’t think this is the end of what they’re got in store for us.  

Out of Character

I am really starting to hate the Romulan ground forces.  It’s not that they’re dangerous.  I can’t recall the last time that my captain or any of my crew got close to being knocked out.  It’s that they have nine lives.  Between shield regeneration, portable shield units, and being able to revive fallen allies, it’s like you have to kill each Romulan soldier twice.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having one down to no shields and a fraction of their health, only to see their shield bar completely refill.  The rewards from this mission included a choice between a plasma rifle and a personal shield.  I’m hoping the rifle will make dropping Romulans a little bit easier in future missions. 

Now while I wasn’t fond of the ground combat, the final space battle was brilliant.  I wish there were more big space battles like this one in the game.  I may be a little biased, as the space battles from DS9 were some of my favorite moments from the series (skip ahead to about 6 minutes in to get to the actual battle, but the whole things good in my opinion).  Most of the time in-game, the player is on their own.  Currently, it looks like a player formed group of ships caps out at five players.  The number of ships that can join the same instance of a deep space encounter also seems to be limited somewhat.  Granted, you can get a fairly large number of players into a fleet action.  But even then it feels like something is missing.  I don’t know how to explain it.  It’s not a factor of how many players are in the fight.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m looking forward to trying some of the group missions later in the game when I get to a high enough level to have access to them.  But what would really awesome in my book is if there was a big set piece battle going on that my group was a part of, and then half way through we would receive orders to break off from the main fleet to complete some objective before returning to help finish the fight.

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3 Comments so far
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I must say I enjoy your Captain’s Log format. You have a great tone and sense of narrative.
I really liked the use of MACOs in your scenario. It occurred to me that one possible use of the second uniform slot would be to completely change the captain’s appearance so it didn’t look like you had joined the away team (as this seems to be the intent from your narrative). I like using the game mechanics in ways the developers might not have considered, but that further the RP side of the story.

I also liked running this mission with Rowan, the big space battle at the end was pretty cool. Cryptic does a great job with many of the storyline quests. I just wish there were more of them and less of the (relatively) repetitive patrol quests.

Comment by rowan

I did think about changing the costumes a bit. Have the ground forces in the leather like outfits that you see on the cover of the game box, and leave the space crew in the late DS9 uniforms. But to effectively pull that off, the captain would have to go around in his away team disguise all the time.

For now, I’m okay with the captain’s look alike in the MACO team. If it was something where my captain was an unknown alien, where I could really make a large difference between ground and ship appearances, I may be more likely to make the switch over and over again.

Comment by captainruz

[…] Preemptive Strike […]

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