Yesterday, I managed to complete the update to the Officer's Handbook for the role of Science Officer, expanding the content considerably. I did receive a message regarding an addition that I could make; stating that the Science Officer should be able to comment on enemy capabilities such as weapon capabilities. It was a valid point and I intend to add the comment in a future update. Before I do so however, I am going to complete the Ship Recognition Handbook in order to reference this as a source of information. The Science Officer can then use the document to aid their recognition of enemy vessels. The completion of the Science Officer's Handbook now means I need to shift my focus on to the next Handbook project of course.
Of the Officer's Handbooks, I still have Communications, Helm, Tactical and Captain to review and update. Both Helm and Tactical Officers already have a great deal of content to draw on, both from version 3 of the Officer's Handbook as well as the Tactical Handbook that I have released. As a result I am considering focusing initially on the Communication Officer's role.
The role of Comms Officer is one that most seem to see as the 'less engaging' role aboard a vessel, with little to do, particularly during engagements with the enemy. I have read many comments of "during combat my comms officer has very little to do", or "I regularly have to shout at comms to keep them awake." Since the beginning of my TSN career, I have found myself disagreeing with the view that Comms Officer is 'less engaging' entirely. I believe however, that it is down to Comms Officers themselves to ensure they are being a productive member of the crew. With some thought and initiative, the Comms Officer can become an extremely valuable addition to any crew. The information that I would include therefore, would be guidance on how to make the most of the role.
As with all the new handbooks, I intend to include a section on giving a status report, outlining the kind of things that the Comms Officer should report on. I also want to include information on ship-to-ship communications when operating with another vessel, or as part of a Division or Fleet formation. In my opinion, the Comms Officer should be relaying orders to the Captain from the Division Commander or an Admiral. I also think an important aspect of being a Comms Officer is having a good strategic awareness. Having access to a sector map means the Comms Officer can effectively coordinate allies, as well as influence the movements of enemies. Knowing how and when strategies should be implemented to affect the course of a mission is learned with experience, but I hope that I can include guidance to make Comms Officer's aware of their potential capabilities in this area.