Star Trek: Tirpitz

The Big Dig

While we were continuing our patrol along the neutral zone, we picked up a priority one distress call from the USS Phlox.  The Federation along with the Vulcan Science Academy had sent a joint team of archeologists to study a temple from an unknown civilization that had been discovered on a planetoid near the Romulan border.  There were obvious risks in setting up a dig in the neutral zone; risks that had increased as tensions with the Romulan empire grew.  Even so, if the Federation had expected the kind of response the Phlox was reporting, I doubt they would have approved the mission.  

Their distress call had reported several Romulan ships decloaking in orbit of the planetoid.  By the time we arrived in the system, we weren’t detecting any enemy ships on sensors, and the Phlox was still in fairly good shape.  We were able to establish communications with the science ship and were updated on the situation.  Only a hand full of the Romulan ships had attacked the Phlox, keeping the science ship busy.  The rest of the enemy task force had deployed ground forces to the planetoid, who took over the dig site and captured the science teams.  Any rescue effort was going to take several away teams.  Even with the MACOs deployed, we were going to need every combat trained officer we had to pull off a rescue mission.  

Rescuing the hostages


We beamed down to the science team’s camp, which had been reclaimed by the Phlox’s security forces.  From there, our rescue teams fanned out to search for the missing archeologists.  It wasn’t Romulan ground forces that we encountered, but Reman.  And instead of rounding up their captives into one location, they had used a number of portable force field generators to imprison the scientists where they had been captured.  The force fields were strong enough to prevent us from just beaming the captives back aboard our ships.  So our away teams had to fight through several squads of Reman troops to rescue each of the hostages.  

Engaging the Romulan reinforcements


Just as we managed to evacuate the last of the hostages, Amy contacted us from the Tirpitz.  They had come under attack by Romulan ships that seemed to be using the same battle strategy as the ones the Phlox had reported.  Several birds of prey were harassing the Federation ships, while a warbird entered into orbit of the planet.  It wasn’t long before our tricorders picked up the reinforcements being beamed down to the surface.  With our ships engaged in battle, we couldn’t beam off the planet.  So we were forced to defend ourselves from the Romulan reinforcements.   

One artifact protected


It soon became apparent that we weren’t the primary targets of the continued assault.  T’Lol contacted me shortly after the Romulans arrived.  Her squad had encountered a deployment of enemy soldiers with a Romulan commander barking out orders to “destroy the artifacts”.  Scattered around the dig site we had noticed several unusual objects that appeared to float under their own power.  These seemed to be the targets the Romulan forces were concerned about.  Because of the battle going on in space, we couldn’t just beam up the artifacts or beam down shield generators to protect the artifacts.  So we had to improvise.  It was Mr. Scharf that suggested we use the force fields the Remans had used to keep the science team captive to protect the artifacts for the time being.  We used the maps created by the archeologists to deploy our forces and prevent the artifacts from being damaged.   

Holding the line


But that still left us with the problem of being trapped on the planet’s surface with several squads of enemy soldiers.  We tried to use the pyramid as a defensive position, but the Romulans just continued to beam in reinforcements behind the lines we tried to establish.  We lost a lot of good people on that rock.   Major Iseli suggested we attempt to take out the Romulan and Reman commanders, saying that without a command structure, the rank and file troops would be disorganized and may retreat.  At the very least, it gave us something to work towards instead of just sitting around and waiting to be picked off by enemy fire.  According to the after battle reports, I believe we eliminated the commanding officers of twenty squads before the Federation reinforcements arrived in orbit.  With the Romulan task force in retreat, our away teams were able to safely return to the Tirptiz.  

Out of Character

Overlooking the dig site


So I accidentally joined this fleet action.  Back when I was working on the Preemptive Strike mission, I had noticed the USS Phlox near the Rator system but I didn’t realize what it was for.  I just noticed I had the option to communicate with it.  So I went back today, thinking that it had a mission I could pick up, not realizing that it was part of the fleet action I already had in my mission logs.  It took one of my fleet mates noticing where I was and commenting on it for me to realize my mistake.  

And the reason my fleet mate commented on me doing the fleet action was because of a possible bug.  It seems the last time he had tried to complete it, the mission had bugged out when the players were given the instructions to protect the artifacts.  They had managed to set up force fields on all twenty objects, but the game had stopped counting at seventeen.  From my experience, I’ll say that all parts of the mission worked out successfully for me.  So the bug has either been fixed, or I just got lucky with my group not triggering it.  The only rough spot I encountered was a lag spike between the last two parts of the mission, just as a group was trying to invite me to join them.  

If my instance for this mission wasn’t full, it was very close.  The final score listed nineteen players, and I did well enough to pick up a weapon.  It looked like the majority of the players in there were tactical captains.  I think I saw a few science and engineer captains as well, but only a couple.  And they weren’t making themselves easy to spot.  It’s not like any of the engineers were repeatedly dropping shield generators.  I’m sure they were using every skill they had, because it was really easy-going.  I don’t want to say that it was easy.  If you weren’t careful, and strayed a little to far from the other players, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.  But it didn’t force the players to be constantly on the move.  I felt like there was a bit more breathing room than there was when I did the Breaking the Planet fleet action.   

All in all, I would have to say that I enjoyed the mission.  I’m curious to see how they tie this in to the Romulan storyline.  It’s mentioned that the artifacts on the surface give off an energy reading that’s similar to those seen during the Hobus supernova.  I just wondering how they’re going explain it.  Either the Federation just stumbled across the location where the Romulans had already found some sort of advanced technology, or the Romulans discovered a similar set of ruins on another planet and they just wanted to keep the Federation from finding any info from the same civilization.


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