Sunday, 29 September 2013

New Recruits, Communications and Fleet Orders

TSN Command reported that a number of new recruits would be shipped out to Promethean to boost our numbers in this system. Now that there is an established core of professional officer, they felt that we could handle the training of larger numbers of new recruits. Last duty shift, I assigned Commander Feltes and Commander Corwin to train the new cadets. With 12 new recruits arriving on a shuttle, there were two full crews to man the academy ships. Both Commanders went through all the basics about how we run things on station with all the new cadets. Although most cadets come with some training, it is our job to show them how a real TSN crew operates. Many have little awareness of the Combat Orders, or procedures aboard station, and this final stage of their training is to ensure that they learn these.

Whilst the Commanders trained the cadets, I took the full officers and conducted simulations to further refine the Fleet Orders and operations. The simulations went well. Lt. Jr. Alice, who I assigned to command the Osiris, quickly picked up the Fleet Orders, and was able to closely coordinate with the Falcon. Due to the Lt. Jr.s performance, I decided to promote her at the end of the evening to full Lt.

The final simulations of the evening saw four ships, the Falcon, Pegasus, Gallant and Osiris, fighting in the same sector. To make things more manageable, we paired off; the Falcon and the Osiris working together, and the Pegasus working with the Gallant. Although the Pegasus and the Gallent were unable to coordinate as closely due to the crews being training crews, they were able to successfully work together in an area of the sector to defend it from enemy fleets. The Falcon and the Osiris, with more experienced crews, worked in close coordination with one another to eliminate a number of fleets.

The simulations were yet another test of the Fleet Orders. Before the simulation, a way to communicate with all the bridges had to be established (until now, we have only had two ships working in a sector). This was discussed with the senior officers and the links between the ships were decided upon. All the captains had direct links to one another on a private comms channel. Each captain also had individual links to each bridge for a more open broadcast. The system worked well as ships could communicate actions clearly on the open broadcast. Captains also had the private channels to discuss finer tactics or issues without having to broadcast openly to the bridge.

With such an influx of new recruits, the Ensign examination documents are being finalised and made ready for the next duty shift. I have started to set up the examination suites aboard Promethean Command, and have been uploading the examination software for the practical simulations. The examinations themselves will include general questions about each role aboard a TSN vessel. There will also be more difficult questions specific to their own area of expertise. For certain roles, the cadet will also have to conduct a practical examination to test their skills.

There are a few cadets who are eligable to take the examination. The requirements are that the cadet must have served in all roles aboard a TSN vessel (whilst on duty), ahave a more indepth knowledge about their specialist area, know procedures on station during duty shifts, have a working knowledge of the Combat Order, and have served on at least 2 -3 duty shifts.  I think I may allow them to put themselves forward for the examination if they feel they are ready, however to pass the examination, the cadet will have to answer the questions, demonstating very secure knowledge. Only those that answer the questions in a satisfactoy way will be promoted to a full officer. It may result in a few failing to meet the mark, but it will also result in the Light Division having the best officers.

I have continued to work on the Sandbox mission script, but rather than focus on adding to the mission packs, I have started to tailor it to meet the needs of the RP Community. I have devised a way to significantly increase the number of GM keys that I can set, and have started working on creating more functions for a GM console. Once completed, I want to run missions using the GM console for the RP community, with missions starting at Promethean Command. With the addition of a number of new systems and a waypoint sector, I have managed to link Promethean system to Atlantis system. I want to add a number of other systems that are not under TSN control; "badlands" which have dangerous anomolies and phenomena (blackholes that bounce around for example); and areas which are "contested" where it is likely that the ship will meet enemies, or where nagotiation missions might take place. I think though, that I will develop the Sandbox script for more for GMs. I'll still write in the odd mission for crews to play without a GM, but I feel that it has much more scope and potential as a GM controlled script.

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