Good answers, all. Since there's no really right or wrong answers for any of this, it's pretty cool seeing how you would respond in Starfleet's shoes. Anyway, on to the next question:
QUESTION TWO (four parts)
A) OBJECTIVELY CRITIQUE one of the other answers to question one. Point out what you believe are the strengths and/or weaknesses in how the answer differs from yours. You may critique another answer which has already been critiqued.
B) Assume the fleet composition from your first answer represents your recommendation to Starfleet for what you need to accomplish the mission in Sector Alpha. Starfleet accepts your recommendation and provides you your (permenant) force - however, at the last minute the TWO LARGEST or BEST EQUIPPED ships in that fleet are suddenly reassigned elsewhere for independent duty. All your other ships arrive as assigned, but Starfleet cannot assign you another ship for the forseeable future. Explain which ships would no longer be in your fleet, and how you would redeploy your remaining assets to best accomplish your goals. Note any possible diplomatic deviations from what you originally planned. Your fleet will remain unchanged from this point forward.
C) What follows are three possible scenarios for events in Sector Alpha. For each scenario, describe what the nearest (or most relevant) starship to that event should be, what that ship should do in response, and how your fleet status could or should change as a result. Describe also any diplomatic efforts your staff should be making. NOTE: Assume that events from one scenario will not directly affect the others.
i) Pirate attacks on shipping increase sharply throughout the sector with the increased commercial traffic. The technology they use has not changed (assume they use relatively small ships like the Maquis), there's just a lot more of them. The Lysarans want to hunt down and end this threat, but do not have the resources to do so.
ii) Half of the warships at Kestu IX are suddenly called away from whatever they were doing, and appear to be massing at the border directly "north" of the planet along with non-combatant support ships. The Kestu government has not issued a statement concerning these maneuvers; they've been known to sortie up to three of their larger ships at a time for maneuvers or patrols, but never five in a single force. This has caused the other planets to become rather nervous. Tekanan III has closed its direct trade route to Kestu until the resolution of this crisis. Lysara has not, but is moving two of its warships to the border to investigate.
iii) An alien probe was detected going into the Really Big Nebula. Before contact was lost, it was determined that the probe's warp signature matched records of the alien warships from across the border that attacked Tekanan III. Possible weapons signatures of this race are also detected from the probe. These findings are confirmed independently by the planets, resulting in increased patrols around the sector by their forces. Tekanan III is actively asking for a repsonse from Starfleet.
D) Create another scenario like the ones presented in part (C). Any reasonable military, political or scientific scenario is acceptable. However, DO NOT ANSWER the scenario yourself. Rather, it will be answered by the others as part of Question Three.
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
Member # 343
A) This is more a general critique. Everyone is focused on trade & exploring the nebula. Starfleet isn't there to take over everything, it's there to help & assists. The Lysarans have a sizable trade fleet; they should be allowed to act as agents. Similarly, all three cultures have probably studied the nebula for centuries & so they've probably collected a lot of information on it over that time that can be shared (indeed, might HAVE to be shared) for Federation help. To assign a rare spot to a dedicated surveyor in a potentially volatile area seems foolhardy & wasteful to me. A separate non-standing force vessel would be better in my mind to handle that aspect.
B) OK, looks like I've lost Boxer & Breadalbane. Not surprising. Ashburnipal becomes team leader. Except for slight decreases in equipment capability & availability, there's really no change in missions statement for the task force.
C-I) Assign one of the destroyers, Lagos, to Lysaran escort duty. She does not stay WITH the convoys but far enough away where her more powerful sensor suites can track the attacking ships & then run in to drive them off & track them.
C-II) A frigate, Laxness, is to sortie to the border. She'll stay far enough away to not interfere with the Kestu or to invade their space, but close enough to keep an eye on them. If queried about her presence by the Kestu, she'll report that she's performing midrange stellar survey scans of one or both of those two stars just over the border.
C-III) One of the scouts, Nerrod, is to enter the nebula & find that probe. She doesn't have to encounter it, just find it & track it. No better ship for the job. The other destroyer, Akureyri, is holding just outside the nebula. The two ships are coordinating their efforts, with the destroyer processing the tactical data from the scout. Akureyri stands by on Yellow Alert should she be required to take action.
D) A three-vessel force is detected approaching the border from the opposite side at medium warp, headed for the spot where Kestu forces are amassing. Preliminary scans indicate its composition to be two medium-sized vessels & one small scout-class vessel. The Kestu force is now shown to be three medium-sized vessels and one small scout-class ship. No overt hostile actions or moves have been detected from either side.
[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Shik ]
-------------------- "I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."
Registered: Jun 2000
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There is not enough information with regards to specific duties and duty shifts for the individual ships. Placing the starbase in an inhabited system would seem to be a mistake, in that it might turn the other systems against you. Otherwise, this is a well-made proposal.
B) My fleet consisted of three Intrepids, two Excelsiors, one Ambassador, one transport, one Nova, and two Nebulas. If the two most powerful ships are removed, I would assume them to be the Ambassador and one of the Excelsiors. I am therefore left with one Excelsior, three Intrepids, one Nova, one transport, and two Nebulas.
My ship deployment will be modified as follows: the remaining Excelsior will become the sector flagship, and assume the diplomatic duties formerly held by the Ambassador. The localized system-area patrols will be canceled, and replaced by increased route patrols. The Nebulas will be reassigned to patrol the border on a three-on/one-off basis. The three Intrepids and the Excelsior will patrol the trade routes on the same rotation, with at least one ship at starbase at all times. Thus, excepting travel times, there will always be one ship at starbase, three patroling the trade routes, and two patroling the border. This will require a master scheduler. One will be requisitioned.
3) i) The pirates are causing trouble. I would use diplomacy to convince the Kestu that their survival depends on trade, due to their lack of resources, and that it is therefore in their best interest to use their ships to help hunt down and destroy the pirates. This would lead to increased amnisty between the three worlds, as they realize that they are all interdependant, and further, that we are friends to them all. The combined resources of all four powers would surely be enough to defeat the pirates, as well.
ii) In the event of a major military mobilazation on the part of the Kestu, I would contact their government and cordially ask for information on their activities and intentions, as a matter of course. There are two possibilities: this is a legitimate military exercize, or this is preparation for an attack. A military excersize would pose no problem, and we might even offer assistance. There are five possible targets for any attack. The starbase's defensive capabilities would be more than enough to handle any attack by the Kestu, and any attack on Tekanan would have to pass the starbase. I would subtly rearrange patrol schedules so that more ships were within range of Lysarra in the event of an attack. Assuming that an attack is their intent, the final possibility for their target would be on the aliens at the northern border. My only concerns in that event would be to prevent misdirected retaliation, and to ensure that my border patrols were not attacked by the Ketsu. Prevention of an attack on my patrols wouldn't be a problem so long as orders were given to stay out of the attack force's way. In the event of a misdirected retaliation, I would use the border communications emplacements to broadcast sensor records of the Ketsu fleet buildup and attack.
iii) I would divert the Nova-class starship to the nebula from any current activity, along with an Intrepid. They would drop sensor/communications posts in a ring around the nebula, and then proceed to launch unmanned probes into it. No ship would enter the nebula unless absolutely required. In that event, the Nova would be sent, with the Intrepid hanging on the perhiphery, so as to stay in communication with the sensor ring, but still be able to act if the Nova encounters trouble. If the Nova does encounter the probe, it will take all possible sensor readings at maximum range. Any possibly hostile reaction from the probe will be met with retreat, the objective being to gather information, not to outright destroy the probe. If conflict becomes inevitable, the Intrepid will engage.
D) The Kestu have attacked and destroyed a Lyssaran transport. They claim that the captain of the ship who attacked the freighter was acting against policy, and is now acting as a rogue. The Lyssarans, who do not believe this, are threatening to cut off all trade with the Kestu unless the captain, ship, and crew are all turned over to them. The Kestu say that this is not a possibility under any circumstances.
-------------------- "This is why you people think I'm so unknowable. You don't listen!" - God, "God, the Devil and Bob"
Request: Using the map at Ex-Astris, can you give us a rough idea where this sector is in relation to everything else, and which direction is towards the galactic core?
A: This is a general critique: seems like quite a few people didn't read the rules carefully. We have DS9-era ships and more than one Galaxy/Nebula/Sov/Amb flying around per fleet. No mention of the Akira was made anytime during TNG, and I'm sticking to that. Reg number dating is about as accurate as me shooting a rental paintball gun without my contacts. To be honest, I made the same mistake sticking the Intrepids and Norway in there. I'm trading them for two New Orleans and a Niagara.
B. I just lost the Galaxy and Niagara. Before the Galaxy had to turn away, I ordered it to send the 5 runabouts it was ferrying to Tekanan III. They'll be ferried to my SB by my other ships at the earliest oppertunity. With the departure of my Galaxy and Niagara, I have lost a significant portion of my taskforce. I no longer have anything on par with the Ketsuian, which could be interpreted as weakness on my part. I'd cancel most of the patrols by the nebula, relying on probes, a temperary sensor network and close in patrols of the space in front of Lysara and my SB with my New Orleans and Runabouts instead. Because of my lack of resources, I'm suspending all exploration done in or near the nebula. However, I'll still be keeping a close eye in that direction (it's pointless to orient a large amount of my forces towards a threat that may or may not come, I'm counting on the aliens to be just as xenophobic as the Romulans, if I make no threatening move, they shouldn't attack, besides none of my ships are of a clearly threatening apparence or size).
C.i. I'd put two New Orleans and two Excelsiors on the trade routs. This might be cheating, but is there any reason I couldn't base Pereguines from my SB? I don't really consider them "ships", they're suppose to be "fighters". If I can have those, I'd use them to patrol the length of trade route closest to Lysara. If not, I'd pull two runabouts off patrolling the nebula front, equipe them with torpedoes, and have them do that. I'll also work closely with the Lysaraian spaceforce, practicing joint manuvers.
ii. I find it strange that the Ketsuians would be moving their forces towards an area strange described to us as deserted and of little value. In anycase, I would convince the Lysaraians and Tekananians not to worry, since moving the force "north" is not an open threat to them. However, I would try hard to open a line of communication with the Ketsuians and find out just want is going on. I would consider sending one of my Excelsiors to do a long range scan north of Ketsu, assuming the pirate situation improves and the Ketsu don't open object. In the mean time, I would ask for permission from the Lysaraians and Tekananians to study their historical archives, in the hopes of finding out more information about the mysterious aliens which raided this sector. I'd also send a report to Starfleet Command, informing them of the situation change and asking for a re-evaluation of the level of force currently commited to this sector. Privately, I'm beginning to consider calling in a few favors. See if any Admirals or Captains in the nearby sectors owes me any favors, if I can "borrow" a few ships from them.
iii. I'd put all my ships at constant yellow alert, and reorient my forces towards the nebula as discreetly as I can. All ships are to run daily battle drills, and partial war-footing in terms of supplies and ship configuration. I'd also send Starfleet an update and express my concern over the increased instability and potential threat to the Federation in the sector, plus Tekanan's request for assistance. I'd use any historical evidence I gathered regarding previous incursions by hostile aliens into this sector to support my request for additional forces. Thanks to my forethought, the subspace relay network I laid down should cut a few days off the time it takes my messages to reach Starfleet Command (local) and their response. At this point, I'm calling in my IOUs and seeing if I could get any additional ships through unofficial channels. Maybe I'll file a report that I'm short on regulation-issued left handed tricorders, and the nearest ship with some happens to be a Nebula or something. I'd also ask the Lysaraians to see if I can get additional parts or entire sensor probes off them, because I want to increase the density of the sensor network monitoring the nebula by at least 5% (I sure hope these guys don't have cloaks, cause I don't have the numbers for a remotely credible tachyon network).
D. The redistribution of naval forces in the sector has left the trade routes all but unprotected. Despite the increased tension, races like the Lysaraian still maintain a good deal of trade to support their economy. That trade is now being threatened like never before. The Lysaraian Monarch is faced with the tough choice of either guarding the nebula-facing region, or the trade routes. He chooses the nebula. As a result, the powerful trade guilds of Lysara began actively challanging the Monarch. Civil unrest ensues, and there is much division inside the Monarch's court. All in all, the government of Lysara effectly grinds to a halt. Fearful of negative opinion from the Federation and the reprecussion from the trade guilds of using force to quell the unrest, the Monarch has asked for your help.
-------------------- "God's in his heaven. All's right with the world."
Regarding DS9 v. TNG-era ships, what of ships which we see in the "DS9" era (that is, the five years DS9 aired when TNG didn't) that existed prior to the five years? Yes, I'm speaking of the "Akira" here. The "Defiant" also existed in the TNG era ... it was built after Wolf 359, just not seen until DS9 because Starfleet left in a shed somewhere. And considering that Voyager departed on her "mission" shortly after the TNG-era "ended", it's reasonable to assume that the Intrepid-Class entered service priot to the end of the TNG-era.
Also, one final nail in your arguement ... Mark specificly mentions the "Sovereign" as a ship which can be used. If "Sovereign" is a TNG-era ship, why isn't the Akira, Defiant, Intrepid, or even Prometheus?
Sorry for getting off track, I just wanted to respond that. I do think, David, that when Mark says "TNG-era", he means the 24th Century (as seen in The Next Generation and the show's two spin-offs: Deep Space Nine and Voyager) ... so if people started using a Wells-Class timeship, or an unrefited Constitution-Class ship, there would be trouble. However, there is no conflict in using anything from a Miranda to a Sovereign-Class starship.
Mark, did I get that right? I guess we're waiting on you to make the final ruling.
This might just be me, but I would rate your two Nebulas as being your most advanced starships, instead of the Ambassador- and Excelsior- as you state. Probably the greatest reason I have in this conclusion is that the Nebula-Class is a far newer and more modern design than those two. Please explain why the Ambassador- and Excelsior- outrate the Nebula?
[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Malnurtured Snay ]
Well, the criteria were "largest" or "best-equipped". Size doesn't matter all that much, so I went by armament. The Nebulas are generally presumed to have been designed for scientific purposes, ala the Miranda. Thus their punch wouldn't have been as great as those of the Excelsior or Ambassador. Of course, this is all guessing, since we don't have technical specifications.
When the ship was built doesn't particularly matter to me. If the ship is still in service, I'm going to assume it's fully upgraded.
-------------------- "This is why you people think I'm so unknowable. You don't listen!" - God, "God, the Devil and Bob"
1) About the TNG-era thing: Snay's right. Listen to Snay.
2) I only considered that Sector Alpha was far enough away from anything such that it won't make a difference how close any of the known powers are - in fact, the proposed "Advanced" series of "You're the Admiral!" threads would have you presiding over three sectors *and* dealing with some major power politics. However, for the purposes of this sector assume you're somewhere on the outer rim, with the core to the "South" of the map. The alien territory extends rimward for an unknown distance.
3) Depending on how you interpret it, the Excelsior and/or Ambassador may be more powerful, or more versatile, than the Nebulas given the Nebbies' widely-assumed modular nature (not to mention the scientific thing). However, as it has been stated before it's not as important as the reasons WHY you'd remove ship X from the line.
4) Yes, you can suppose that you've got runabouts and fighters. However, assume that in general they're no serious threat to the larger ships short of some technobabble excuse, which we're generally avoiding here. Also, assume that your fighters wouldn't be used much except for times of war - after all, we've only seen the fighters during wartime.
Well, in terms of number of hulls avaliable and readiness front line service, I don't think the Akira, Intrepid, or Defiant reached operational status before the Klingon/Federation war. If they were there, most would probably still be in shakedown trials, or too rare to be given such an apparently unimportant mission.
As for the Nebula thing, the Nebula is barely half a step down from a Galaxy. The two shares much of the same systems, and the Nebula has the equivilant forward firepower of a GCS. The Nebulas should have been the first to go. As well, I think Mark missed the Nebula when he said only one of the following ship, yadda yadda. The Nebula can almost certainly beat an Ambassador or Excelsior class ships.
-------------------- "God's in his heaven. All's right with the world."
Actually, I consider the Nebulas not to be big Explorers like the Galaxy, Sovvie, Amby et.al. We see them FAR more often than those ships, and they tend to be engaged in more mundane activities, from terraforming research to supply runs to ferrying evil dictators. Tactically, they may be closer to a Galaxy than an Excelsior, but it's all relative. We're not trying to synthesize one common scale for ranking ships or anything - it's your fleet, and within that fleet is where things should be kept most consistent.
And for the curious - the "You're the Admiral!" series comprises three threads with three maps. I've finished Sectors Beta and Gamma, but they may be tweaked before we start on them. When all three threads are finished, we'll do a review of everything and see how we can incorporate them into the "Advanced" series later on.
The Sector Alpha thread will have two more questions after this, BTW. Also, I'm looking into having.. er.. "Guest speakers" from the fan community ask some future questions, too.
[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Mark Nguyen ]
A) Since others have condemned Harry's imperialistic-aggressive approach already, I'll attack Stingray instead.
Trying to goad a response from the aliens seems unwise at this early point. By the rules of the game, it seems the mere ten (now eight) ships have to pretty much stand guard alone. So I'd do a spineless impression of a Regulan bloodworm and stay out of the trouble until I've fortified my positions better. If I don't have the full support of the locals first, I can't stand up to what the aliens might send against me, be it a war fleet or a diplomatic proposal.
Using a small number of strong ships for trade protection seems unwise compared with using a larger number of small units. With a whole sector to cover, you have to be unpredictable and flexible in your response. You can't escort each and every ship, and you can't force everybody to convoy up to just three big formations at a time (or just one, since a convoy escorted by a single vessel cannot send off ships to pursue the attackers).
The whole fleet is a bit on the heavy side to begin with, but then again, we could guess Mark would cull a few in the early stages... It's still a bit much to assume Starfleet would cough up so many big ships.
Oh, yeah, and Denevas (the real ones) are puny. Use a Yorkshire or something.
B) So I lose my Akira and one of the Excelsiors. Now I can't have a strong "south pole" to my operations, so I guess I'll concentrate more on Tekanan now. The remaining Excelsior stays there, and the tender also goes there to bolster local response. One of the Mirandas now gets more permanent duty near Lysara, and the Yeager also gets a more permanent assignment to the "south". I still run the Mirandas unpredictably along the spacelanes, and try to speak the Lysarans and Tekanans into bolstering their defences on their own while I suggest to the Kestu that it would be a good idea to let Starfleet upgun everybody's local defences. I can't stay completely neutral now that I have no strong presence in the "south".
C-I) Pirates may move unpredictably, but their motivations are pretty predictable. I set a trap. Starfleet troops will man Lysaran freighters, the Yeager will stand in wait under silent-running conditions, and the Miranda flight patterns will be subtly altered to allow them to spring a trap. I strike heavily once or twice, trying to destroy as many pirates as I can. They will either go in hiding or target me (perhaps indirectly, through attacking my allies). If they hide, I rejoice. If they attack, I'll be waiting. The time to hunt down the very last one will come later.
C-II) I divert a few Mirandas to help my Excelsior in the region, since trade is down anyway, but my first response is to send the Yeager over to have a look. The Miranda-and-Excelsior fleet will just breathe heavily on the necks of the Kestu and kindly ask them to behave themselves. I also ask for both Lysaran and Kestu cooperation in sending a fleet to survey the border, hinting at something my sensors have found. Both sides will be asked to send ships and observers and more or less forced to cooperate within the framework of my superior-firepower fleet. If the Kestu have a legitimate concern, my fleet can help. If they are just plotting, I'll call their bluff and challenge their fleet with mine, thus holding a big part of their military hostage. They can choose - even if this was all a ploy, they can join my forces and jointly hunt for the wild geese for a while, thereby both saving face and paving way for future cooperation.
C-III This is a job for the Yeager alone. I won't alter the rest of the fleet deployment pattern.
D Let's say the Klingons want to open trade with the Kestu, too, and have exactly what they want to buy: cheap weaponry of 24th century standard. The Klingons are cheapskates, though, and trade through the existing spacelanes, using Lysaran assets. Lysarans know their citizens do their share of gunrunning, but insist it's an internal matter. When you inspect a few ships, the Lysaran privateers start to sail outside the 'lanes. It also seems they are using cloaking devices now. The Tekanans insist that the smuggling be stopped, and the Kestu escalation ended. If the Feds won't do it, they'll ask somebody else - say, the Romulans might like to have their share of the Tekanan resources AND foil the Klingon plans.
Who do you hit and how, to stop the crisis from escalating? How can you stop cloaked smugglers?
(NOTE: My computer crashed on me when I was on Ciii, so excuse me if THIS time, this report isn't so specific.)
A. Omega's plan seems pretty good. I like how all the parts of the fleet have an auxillary to deal with unseen changes such as losing two ships .
B. When I first wrote this post, I explained in detail about the revisions. Now, I'll simply write that I lost the Nebula and one Akira. The remaining Akira will become task force leader and do what the Nebula was supposed to do. The Excelsior will be diverted to take care of the lower half of the sector just as the two Akiras were supposed to do. The Defiant at the starbase will now escort the Nova scanning the Class L planet.
I would really push for at least one introductory visit from the Galaxy Class (or the Nebula I lost) to help set the tone of the Federation in this sector. I'll assume because of Starfleet's new orders, that the Galaxy Class vessel won't be able to make monthly visits.
Ci. Reassign the Excelsior to help the Mirandas. Use sensors and probes dropped off at key parts of the trade route to monitor shipping activity and track down the pirates and thier base of operations.
Cii. Ask the Kestu for an explanation. Send a Nova and a Defiant with the Akira to stay nearby the fleet until a valid explanation is given.
Ciii. Simply have the Nova in the nebula with her Defiant escort take a look at the probe. Studies should be taken on level of technology and various other cultural developments.
D. The Kestu government is facing a revolution. With the Kestu people witnessing the prosperity of the Federation and the other two worlds, many on Kestu want change. A civil war is likely to break out and the Kestu officials are blaming the recent Federation activity in the area. It is threatening to break off trade if the Federation continues to keep so many ships in the sector on patrol, which the Kestu government is comparing to imperialism. What do you do?
Now on to the making of films!
Member # 621
A. Grrrr...lost my whole damn post. So I'm gonna be super brief on this point at least.
Timo's plan sucks bullocks. (just kidding, in case I needed to say it)
B.OK, I lose my Galaxy of course. Also lose the Nebula. I agree w/ Mike that Nebs are more or less on equal footing w/ Galaxies, just that Galaxies are good on everything all at once where Nebs are mission specific.
i) Excelsiors and Akiras run around and defend the shipping lanes as needed. I'm assuming that Lysara and Takkanna are both protectorates right now, and that I'm legally required to defend them. If not, being the Federation, I'm morally required to defend ships from unprovoked attacks. Meanwhile, the Nova tries to track down the staging area for the pirates. My two trade ships (Yorkshire, Deneva, whatever) stopgap breakdowns in the shipping line wherever my other ships are unsuccessful.
ii) My group commander (in an Excelsior now) goes to the gathering group of ships and asks them what the hell they're doing. Also tell them that I'm here to provide any support they need and pray that they tell me whats going on. I invite representatives from Lysara and Tekanna onboard to partake in the investigating as well.
iii) Nova checks out the RBN and runs if the fecal matter hits the occilator. The command Excelsior and an Akira stay stationed at the SB while the other Excelsior and two Akiras standby at the center of the sector ready to fight if need be.
C. I don't feel like retyping it, and it wasn't all the clever anyway.
-------------------- If God didn't want us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.
Heh. Perhaps I'll make my little fleet period-specific. Let's say the Akira I had to abandon was in fact an Ambassador or a Federation, and that the Yeager I have is in fact a Constellation. It all takes place in the early 24th century, then, perhaps a bit before the Romulans isolate themselves. The Lysarans might in fact be technologically more advanced than I am... Might make for more interesting gaming.