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Author Topic: You're the Admiral! Sector Alpha
Mark Nguyen
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Hello, and welcome to the first of our series of "You're the Admiral!" threads here on the Flare forums.

In the spirit of the old "What Starship Would You Send?" threads on r.a.s.t., I've come up with this series of partially-guided hypothetical discussion. In this, you will assume the role of a Rear-Admiral in the TNG-era Starfleet, given authority over a sector of space with orders to demonstrate and enforce Federation policy as best you can. To do this, you'll be asked to first assemble, and then utilize a fleet according to circumstances.

Wanna play?

Well, let's start with a few assumptions. I've constructed a series of simple maps, each detailing a single sector of space. The first one is "Sector Alpha", and is found here:


For each map, assume that:

-the sector is essentially flat, and is approximately 20 ly on a side. At Warp nine, a starship will take approximately five days to traverse a side.
-each asterisk represents a main-sequence star with little interesting about it.
-each planet is in a star system, and except where noted is class M. Circle sizes are not relevant.
-the space in the adjoining sectors is essentially devoid of anything interesting or valuable. Borders extend in staight lines beyond that which is noted.
-unless noted, all inhabited planets are occupied by humanoid species with a variety of bumpy heads.

And for the Sector Alpha map, assume that:

-the Really Big Nebula is really big, relatively harmless, but a nifty place to hide stuff.
-The aliens on the other side of the border are known, but have kept out of contact with other races for several decades (assume a parallel with the Romulans in the first season of TNG)
-Tekanan III is recovering from an invasion by the mystery aliens that devastated its population (which used to number in the billions). The aliens left long before the Federation explored this part of space. Tekanan III is the only planet which has petitioned for Federation membership.
-There is a rudimentary trade network between the three planets. All three planets have agreed to allow a Federation presence in the area to improve trade. The Federation sees trade potential in this area and wants to establish relations to that effect.
-The class-L planet has not been explored by any of the planets.

QUESTION ONE (three parts)

A) Given the information above, define what the priorities of a Starfleet presence should be. Keep in mind the unknown military capabilities of the aliens beyond the border, and the political nature of the three planets involved. Also, note any deficiencies in the information provided and what should be done to fill in the gaps.

B) Based on your answer to (A), choose a location to place a space-based Starbase to operate from. Assume that the Starbase will be able to defend itself from most threats, and will carry with it a very visible Federation presence regardless of where it is placed. It can be placed in orbit of a planet, in orbit of a star, or in the middle of space. Think Starbase 375.

C) Assume Starfleet will allocate you no more than TEN Federation starships to accomplish their goals given the priorities you've outlined. Define what clases, or types, of ships should be assigned to your fleet. Assume that:

-There can be no more than ONE Galaxy/Sovereign/Ambassador class ship in your fleet. If you include one, justify its presence.
-Your fleet will include at least TWO non-combat type ships (science, transport, etc.). Justify their presence and/or use.
-Of the remainder, explain their primary and secondary missions.

When enough answers have been recieved, the next question will be asked based on the answers you gave. So don't forget 'em. I'll upload other maps as they are created.


"This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff." - Doctor Who
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(Question: How canon does it need to be?)

A) Sector Alpha is a reasonably stable sector, with two out of the three planets friendly to the Federation. The emphasis in this sector lies on Kestu IX and the unknown Threat Force.
Kestu has a totalitarian regime and opresses it's people. The planet has limited resources. I could use that to force the Kestu government.
I will patrol the Threat Force border and will perform classified Intel operations near and beyond the border. The Really Big Nebula is a potential safe-haven for the Threat Forces, so I must regularly check the Nebula.

B) My forces:

  • Intrepid, 2: Fast diplomatic cruisers, rapid-response missions.
  • Nova, 1: Exploration of the Really Big Nebula (if that is of any interest to Federation sciense) and possibly in the future the Class-L planet.
  • Nebula, 1: Performs command and coordination missions, also very suitable for scientific and Intel missions.
  • Excelsior, 2: Performs basic Starfleet functions, like deliveries, patrols, transports.
  • Akira, 1: Together with the Intrepids and the Nebula it forms the basic defense. Also base for fighters, and escort for cargo lines.
  • Springfield, 1: For scientific studies, but most importantly it can perform Intel and recon missions.
  • Deneva, 2: Maintains trade line between Tekaran and Lysara.

C) The Starbase. (Another question: What type of Starbase are we talking about? Spacedock-type or SB-375 type?)
Tekanan III orbit seems to be the best choice. Tekanan is the only planet applying for membership, and has relative weak planetary defense systems. Furthermore, it is located centrally in the sector.

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A) Show the purpose of the Federation. Which is in order of importance: exploration, diplomacy, defence. Thus, a Federation presence is to explore the nifty nebula and the adjoining sector. Also fostering trade and amnity between the three inhabited planets. And finally defending against the nasties next door.

Exploring the sector will most likely convenietly bring out the bad guys one way or another. Depending on how they respond: either extremely hostile (fight to the last bumphead) , or something slightly less malevolant, action can be taken from that point. Either defeating them in battle, or bringing them into the fold of sewing up sector relations. Doing this also shows the locals that the Feds are committed to their defence while not being "we'll kick the ass of your enemies if you pay the membership dues".

B) I wouldn't put a starbase around Tekanan III until they were officially a member. Instead, because of immediacy requirements, I'd place a SB-375 style base on the sector border. But closer to Tekanan III than Kestu IX. For ships:

1 Galaxy: One ship explores the unknown sector. Due to the almost certainty that there are going to be a hostile confrontation, then you want a powerful ship which can defend itself. But for PR reasons concerning the three inhabited planets, you don't want a Sovvie or something else as acting as the group leader. The all purpose Galaxy can be seen and touted as an explorer for the peaceful Takannans and a powerful warship for the more hostile Kestus.

1 Nova: To alternatively explore the nebula and assist with the Galaxy's exploring.

1 Nebula: To be stationed at the starbase and act as a standby if Kestu/Takkanan/starbase are attacked. If an admiral were present, he would be based on this ship.

2 Excelsiors: To perform basic Starfleet operations; patrol, defense, independent exploration. The two would patrol the sector indepedently of each other and all other ships and perform any needed function.

2 Deneva: To open trade routes.

3 Akiras: One to be based around the nebula. Other two to perform convoy duty for Denevas. All to provide basic defense for planets as needed.

If God didn't want us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

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This requires thought. I'll get back to you with my answers shortly.

"The French have a saying: 'mise en place'—keep everything in its fucking place!"

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David Templar
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A. My goal in this sector would be to foster trade, evaluate Tekanan III as a possible Federation member (plus render humanitarian assistance in the hopes of getting them back on their feet ASAP), and act as an early warning line in case of aggression from the unknown race.

B. Form a right angle between Tekanan and Lysara, that's where I'll place my SB. It'll be closer to Lysara. It gives me a reason to string out a network of subspace relay stations in the area, which I'll also use as early warning stations and eavesdropping on any transmission leaking out of the nebula.

C. My Taskforce composition:
-2 fast merchant ships: foster trade, runaway really fast when trouble arrives, evacs SB if it comes to that
-4 Excelsior (Ent-B model, Lakota standard): usually running supplies and goods around, but forms a solid strike force
-1 Norway: like what everyone else said, it's going to scout the nebula
-1 Galaxy: it'll assist the Norway by laying a sensor network on our side of the nebula (probes, basically), it's not to venture too deeply into the Nebula itself, it'll also be carrying its max load of runabouts (I'm counting runabouts as auxiliary craft! muahahahahaaa! they'll have the strap on sensor pallet and aid the Norway, they'll act as a screen for the Galaxy incase of combat)
-2 Intrepids: they'll be doing just about everything

I would like to word this thing better, but it's almost 3AM...

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Just a captain's yacht.

"a three hour tour... a three hour tour..."

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a flat sector? 2 dimensional thinking, Khan...

"Are you worried that your thoughts are not quite.. clear?"

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A) Starfleet's mission statement for this sector is to provide for the common defense of its protectorate states, help to rebuild the Tekannan infrastructure much in the same way as Bajor was aided, and to continue its primary exploration imperatives beyond the border. As the frontier is pushed back, the sector will flourish as Starbase 728 becomes a staging ground for colonization and trade as well as Starfleet and other allied missions.

B) See map.

C) As follows--

  • one (1) Olympic-class medical transport, USS Barnard (NCC-58136), to supplement the local infrastructures on the two protectorates and act as a troop tranport in the event of crisis.
  • one (1) Maccabee-class tanker, USS N'g'orn (NCC-25463), for resupply runs.
  • one (1) Yeager-class light cruiser, USS Boxer (NCC-76998)
  • one (1) Richmond-class cruiser, USS Breadalbane (NCC-76695).
  • one (1) New Orleans-class frigate, USS Ashurbanipal (NCC-71845).
  • one (1) Bastille-class frigate, USS Laxness (NCC-60914).
  • two (2) Minerva-class destroyers, USS Akureyri (NCC-76409) & USS Lagos (NCC-76951).
  • two (2) Peashooter-class scouts, USSNerrod (NCC-72738) & USSSchwegel (NCC-75429) for short-term intelligence gathering and exploration.
  • The cruisers and frigates have the roles of patrolling the border and enforcing the sector peace, as well as short-to-medium-term exploration over the border. They are also of small enough size so as to conduct effective S-&-D ops inside the nebula. Breadalbaneis "fleet leader."

    As you can see, this is set up as a "ready response" border fleet. I happen to know that there are three (3) large explorer-type vessels nearby: USS Chesapeake (NCC-73628), Galaxy-class; USS �le de France (NCC-69985), Nebula-class; and USS Al Safha (NCC-31033), Ambassdor-class. They are 8 days, 6 days, & 3 days away from the sector respectively, and are on their own missions. While they are not considered part of the standing fleet, they are available for the time being should a major crisis arise. Of course, note the travel times. All short-term crisis and long-term affective action burdens are borne by the standing RRF.

    [ September 23, 2001: Message edited by: Shik ]

    "The French have a saying: 'mise en place'—keep everything in its fucking place!"

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    A. The main priority should be creating a Federation presence in this area. Secondary goals are to guard trade routes, explore/map the sector, and provide defense to any threat from the aliens across the border and Kestu IX.

    B. See map. Type is of Starbase 375.

    Map of Sector with Starbase and Starship Deployment

    C. Ship locations are on the map (ignore registries; I just put them in for fun ). Ships to use:

    • Nova Class (2) - One should scout the Really Big Nebula, and the other should do scans across the border, especially of the Class L planet. It should not cross the border, however.
    • Excelsior Class (1) - It will escort the Nova Class scanning across the border.
    • Defiant Class (2) - One will escort the Nova Class exploring the nebula. The other will remain at the starbase for support.
    • Miranda Class (2) - Each will patrol a seperate trade route.
    • Akira Class (2) - Both will patrol and map out the lower portion of the entire sector.
    • Nebula Class (1) - It will patrol and map out the upper portion of the entire sector . Mission module should be equipped for sensor enhancements and additional tactical facilities, should any threats arise. It serves as task force leader.

    Because the area is quite remote in terms of other planets and civilizations, a large ship like a Galaxy Class would be a waste of resources when a Nebula Class can handle the situation. However, a Galaxy Class ship should make routine stops at this sector every month unless the situation here changes.

    What do you think?

    [Edit: Added the Defiant Class ships after rethinking the situation.]

    [ September 27, 2001: Message edited by: Ace ]

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    Mark Nguyen
    I'm a daddy now!
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    Answering questions:

    -Canonicity: It is prefereable to stick to canon classes such that more people can visualize and understnad what ships you've chosen; however, in the end it is your discretion. The object of this excercise is to satisfy the requirements of the environment presented - a science vessel will be science vessel, a frigate will be a frigate, etc. That's why it is asked to justify WHAT uses your chosen ships will be doing. Remember also that your fleet composition will be tested in the upcoming questions; you're stuck with it for the remainder of this thread.

    -Starbase type: Assume a smallish starbase, like SB 375. A big Mushroom starbase would likely take years to build, wheras the smaller ones could be built much swifter or assembled in-place in a matter of months.

    -Backup: Since there's little of apparent strategic interest in the surrounding sectors, help of any sort is likely to be over a week away. An Explorer or Cruiser or two *may* be found relatively closeby fulfilling exploration duties, but this cannot be counted on for any regular basis. Assume that your fleet and Starbase will form the "hub" of Federation actvity in the area, with the next closest "hub" being at least two sectors away. Elements of your fleet will also likely be used for exploration and scientific duties in these adjoining sectors, should the need arise.

    Remember, it would take over a week to traverse the diagonal of your sector at WARP NINE. At a cruising speed of warp five or so, it would take more than a month. A sector can be a really big place.

    Question Two will be in a couple days, after the weekday visitors have had a chance to answer. The answers to th first question so far have been quite enlightening - keep it up, everyone!


    [ September 23, 2001: Message edited by: Mark Nguyen ]

    "This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff." - Doctor Who
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    I'll have my answers tomorrow...

    "This is why you people think I'm so unknowable. You don't listen!"
    - God, "God, the Devil and Bob"

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    Here comes a weekday visitor. I already typed something over at rec.arts.startrek, but I'll compact it for audience enjoyment here, too. It's playing it safe in comparison with many of the other approaches.

    A) Mission priorities would be 1) establishing a a good PR facade of the UFP and luring in the two friendly planets while not alienating the Kestu, 2) protecting the sector against internal and external attacks, 3) aiding the locals in their silly little crises, and 4) performing exciting scientific discoveries. To this end, I'd establish a compact self-sustaining force that can perform limited-scale military strikes, can be easily spread out to protect commerce, and poses no direct or biased threat to any of the locals. Goals 3 and 4 can be met by using the defence ships in their secondary capacity.

    B) I'd put the SB in deep space between the Kestu and Tekanan systems, providing a) a buffer between the hostiles and the most-vulnerables, b) a line of defence against the alien threat, not too close to the border but not too far away, to give some reaction time, and c) a nice non-offensive waypoint for a trade circuit that begins in my "home territory" (supposedly roughly "south" of the map, and goes through the Lysarans (who'll provide the freighters and the trading incentive) to the Tekanan system, and then to the SB, possibly also extending to Kestu. I'll regulate the trade at the choke point between Tekanan and Kestu.

    I'll use an Akira as an "auxiliary starbase" further "south", and alter the balance of defences by moving my other combatants closer to her.

    C) Ten ships for permanent presence, but one Galaxy or Nebula at first to do a promotion tour. Once this ship has visited all the systems and done the diplomatic magic, and the starbase has been towed in, the ship will do one final mission - a joint survey of the class L planet with representatives from all the local races. Then the behemoth can leave. I'll ask Starfleet to send a Picard-equivalent to do the tour for me, to make the best possible impression and to get the representatives back alive.

    1 transport of my own, a sufficiently big one. (Of the known Denevas, one was not seen at all but the other only had a two-man crew!) I'd take a Sydney or a Yorkshire, and trust Starfleet to keep running supply ships to and fro in addition. I'd try to get help from the Lysarans in this respect. My ship would of course have the Starfleet extras, like combat-strength shields, struck-down field hospitals and field labs, troop transport capability... Her secondary mission would be to assist in planetary crises of noncombat nature.

    1 tanker/tender, to act as an "auxiliary starbase" in case I have to move my operations to one of the planets. No known canonical class, but I'm sure there are some available in Starfleet. Primary duty near Tekanan, giving the mother's milk to my combatants. Can be deployed to the territory of my Akira if I need to shift my balance.

    1 Akira, full of planetary-assault auxiliaries and stuff, to act as another "auxiliary SB" element. She'd be deployed near Lysara, performing "space control" duties and standing by to bolster the planetary defences of Lysara. If I can't get an Akira, I'll take an Excelsior and deploy the small craft and defences directly on the planets - but only after I'm reasonably sure the Kestu are either willing to agree to mutual defence, or too frightened by my presence to attack.

    4 small combatants, preferably something fast and potent like New Orleans, but going down to Miranda range if that's all I can get. These will primarily secure the spacelanes in solo escort/police missions, but can be grouped together for decisive military action.

    2 large combatants, Excelsiors most probably. Securing the spacelanes near Tekanan and the SB, standing by to defend that planet. These need not be as fast as the four smaller ships, but probably they will still outrun my Mirandas...

    1 courier and errand-runner, Intrepid or Yeager, with a primary mission of "standing by while running around". Can be used for the odd scientific study or diplomatic envoy mission.

    No science ships. If there's something interesting at the class L planet, the Yeager can check it out every now and then and then get the heck out of enemy territory, until a diplomatic contact can be made. The nebula is another target for the Yeager. The Akira and the SB have equal status as command centers, and I try to establish service facilities or at least refueling piers on the two friendly planets under the pretense of furthering trade.

    I won't give overt military support to anybody until I fool the Kestu into joining, perhaps using trade as the prime carrot, perhaps frightening them with stories of the aliens and offering joint protection. A joint Kestu-SB-Tekanan defence line looks good on paper and would allow me to up-gun the Tekanan system while keeping the Kestu happy.

    Once I get the mutual-defence racket going, I might change the balance of ships a bit, using heavier and slower ships nearer the SB and leaving the two ally worlds largely to their own devices.

    If there's something interesting or threatening in the nebula, my balance is all wrong. Once the baddies take out my Akira, I'm in trouble. But I'm sure Mark won't take advantage of that. He wouldn't.

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    I wuld send 8 defint class ass-kick escorts and a 9 promethues class and twelve soverin class refit with 3 warp nacelles and phaser cannons they got from the borg and then id ..

    oh sorry, no that wouldnt work.

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    A) The priorities of a Starfleet presence in the Alpha sector, in order of precidence, are:

    1) to maintain the Prime Directive.

    2) to foster peace and understanding among the three inhabited worlds of the sector, and between each of them and the Federation.

    3) to attempt to initiate peaceful contact with the mysterious aliens. This will only be done after all defensive measures have been implemented, and then will be done in a totally non-invasive way, i.e. sending an automated message to the edge of their space announcing our presence and intentions.

    4) to explore unknown regions of the sector.

    B) As the presence of a starbase should foster the above goals, it should not be placed in any inhabited system, lest we discourage contact with one race by appearing to favor another. We should not place the starbase near the border, to avoid any appearance of hostile intent. I propose that the starbase be constructed at a point half-way between Tekanan III and Kestu IX. This allows the starbase to be placed on a potential trade route, in addition to being a central location in the sector.

    C) My proposed fleet will have the following primary directives:

    1) to defend the starbase against attack.

    2) to defend trade routes against piracy

    3) to implement a scanning and communication infrastructure

    4) To explore the sector

    Secondary directives:

    1) There will be at least two ships stationed along the border at all times, with the tasks of infrastructure implementation, front-line defense, and possible first-contact duties.

    2) There will be at least two vessels patroling inter-system trade routes at all times.

    3) There will be at least two vessel at or near the starbase at all times.

    4) There will be at least one vessel stationed near the Tekanan and Lysarra systems at all times.

    5) All vessels will, when at or conveniently near an appropriate location, offload an unmanned communications relay/sensor post.


    The trade route patrols will be handled by three Intrepid-class starships, with two on duty at all times. The third will be either at starbase, or relieving an Excelsior at the border.

    The border patrols will be handled by by two Excelsior-class starships in a two-on, one-off rotation pattern. Their relief will be one of the Intrepid-class vessels.

    The localized trade patrols will be handled by two Nebula-class starships in a two-on, one off- rotation pattern. Their relief will be the Ambassador-class vessel.

    The fleet will thus consist of the following:

    Three Intrepid-class vessels.

    Two Excelsior-class vessels.

    Two Nebula-class starships.

    One Ambassador-class starship. This ship will be the sector flagship. In the event that a full diplomatic team is required in any location, they will travel aboard this ship. It will also serve to transport flag officers, or other VIPs. Otherwise, it will remain stationed at or near the starbase, or act as relief for one of the Nebulas in their near-system trade patrols.

    One large, multi-function transport ship. This will originally be used for placing sub-space relays/sensor pods in appropriate locations, in conjuction with the rest of the fleet. After that task is complete, it will be used for mass evacuations of planetary colonies, the transport of cargo, etc. It is to carry two Danube-class runabouts, for transportation and, if necessary, defense.

    One science vessel (Nova class). This ship will be assigned to explore first the uninhabited system southeast of Kestu IX, then the binary star south of it, and finally the RBN, before returning to base for refit and further orders.

    "This is why you people think I'm so unknowable. You don't listen!"
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    CaptainMike, if you don't wish to contribute to this thread, then don't waste posts just so you can bump up your status line. We all here now know how you turned into a senior member, don't we?
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