29/11/2016 at 03:00 #18704MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Senior Conrad Matsiyan, Acting CO TSN Excalibur, 4th L.D.
Cut off and storm-bound in a partially explored territory beyond the frontiers of civilization and having fun.
Excalibur has her new insignia!
Cdr. van Leigh passed on the news that Quinn’s last proposal as reviewed by Excalibur’s temporary crew last shift has been accepted. The initial design had the scroll on top suggesting a crown but it looked oppressive on top in the tilted square and the elongated diamond would have looked too narrow and empty at the same height as other insignia. This now looks as if the diamond is nestled securely in a support, reinforces the sword-in-the-stone motif, emphasizes the sword over the stone and makes the top point look very purposeful. The scroll harks back to some British Royal Navy designs of the 20th century and earlier but, in contrast to some of our contemporary designs, nicely evokes the mediaeval imagery of her name.
It is always cheerful when a shift starts with a promotion. Commander Verok confirmed that Cadet Clay Reynolds had passed his exams with a silver pin and was promoted to Acting Ensign.
I guess part of the fun was having a respite as a humble bridge officer. I am prepped and looking forward to commanding Excalibur again, but it is always going to be subject to opportunity since it requires a full complement of officers or the standing down of another vessel, for example if her senior officers are away or on CIC. Computer, link to my Standing Orders for future reference.
This shift so many crew were seconded to help mitigate the potential effects of the plasma storm that we only had four ships running; Raven, Phoenix, Horizon and Viper. Not sure exactly how I escaped CWO Edwards notice on that one. Not having to attend the Engineering briefings since I changed specialty to serve at Science aboard Lancer must have helped, but still. Maybe the old curmudgeon has a soft spot for officers on the command track? Not likely. Although all senior officers except Jemel and Evans were present which is why Excalibur didn’t stand much chance of an outing.
Instead, no longer being permanently assigned to Lancer, I can serve on other vessels temporarily, which is a nice change of pace and a good broadening of experience since Lancer has a very unique combat doctrine. I guess my consolation if I flunk out of CT is that I can happily go back to a seat aboard her.
I finally had a chance to lookup Eric Aramond and serve aboard Viper with Verok in command. With Blaze at weapons and Greybeard floating at Engineering, they put me on helm and we had a blast. She is an Apollo-class light cruiser variant design for close-in beam combat, sporting a reduced heavy munitions load. Her beam cycle times are improved 15% over a standard CL and while they could not increase her turn rate, they were able to widen her fire arcs on both emitters which gives her a compensating improvement to both angle of attack and drone point defence.
Of course with the plasma storm raging, live missions were off the table and the active crews were committed to simulations to maintain combat readiness. The brass dug out a major exercise from the archives to use after the warm ups. The division’s available vessels were despatched from Promethean Command to the Cerberus system to intercept Kralien convoys transporting personnel with important information. With Verok commanding the division, Viper was the flagship which relieved me of the responsibility to maintain formation. The other ships have some room for improvement in that department.
We made rapid progress across the necessary sectors keeping to the cover of nebulae wherever possible and took up ambush positions in Sector V. We did wait for the right time to trigger the ambush and split up to deal with the four fleets present. The transports were isolated and the personnel retrieved before the two transports were scuttled.
Using the information obtained we trekked across the system and successfully made a surgical strike taking out a heavily defended weapons development station. We disengaged from the enemy forces and retreated to the exit gate only to find it offline. Division analysis revealed that an alternate gate could be expected to be brought online much more quickly. We reached it but had to beat back a major interception attempt before it could be activated.
It was very satisfying to take the helm for an extended period and with such smooth bridge crew support from Engineering, Science and Command particularly. I don’t have the instinctive touch of a primary piloting officer. I overshoot on occasion, fail to coordinate tactical view with a secondary long range scan and have to be a little more tentative around mines and asteroids, but I acquitted myself very creditably. I was quick to disengage, when needed, didn’t wallow around when there were no targeting orders, pulled off a very nice high speed docking, and manoeuvred into engagements in sensible and direct ways. I was unhappy with the couple of Echo mine runs we pulled. First time I forgot that helm calls the drop, what a rookie mistake. Second time I was so concerned about the dense fields of overlapping fire that I called it slightly late. Fortunately I was able then to lure the enemy onto the second mine. We scored one exceptional kill taking down a Torgoth Command Ship solo with nothing but an EMP and our beams. Blaze must have risked RSI to keep the beams operating at that frequency.
What I was most proud of though, was several engagements where I was able to keep us out of multiple arcs of fire or even blindside enemy vessels to take minimal damage while we took out one after another, something I learned watching Aposine on Lancer. One thing I really appreciated was Aramond calling range to destination while we were in transit.
This was an excellent sim full of strategic purpose and variety.
For the final cooldown we switched around mostly off primaries, so Greybeard took Helm, Aramond Engineering and I took SciCom. I was better than last shift at double scanning the right targets in a timely manner and providing key combat information as needed. Verok took Weapons and shooed a mildly protesting Blaze up to command. Most of Lancer’s crew were aboard Raven and with the FleetCap running the sim, that left Lt. Cdr. Aposine, usually a hotshot pilot and XO, not only commanding the flagship but also coordinating the division. ^_^ Viper was caught in the interceptor role, frequently re-tasked with intercepting elite vessels across the sector or cleaning up after ships whose remaining ordnance was needed elsewhere. Without a bit of practice and diplomacy this often yanks the interceptor away from unfinished business or chews up a lot of her time in transit. Blaze mostly handled it with aplomb, but Verok’s feedback was to be really brief about issuing orders, to prevent interruptions and maximize clarity.
The plasma storm continues to rage and I hope ECS Asia has the sense to keep well clear of it. I think she was slanted to be one of the first chartered resupply runs. I am looking forward to sharing a little treat that should bring an appreciative gleam to the eyes of Xiph and Greybeard. We’ll have to see if my name-dropping paid off.
[End log]29/11/2016 at 12:30 #18723Blaze StrifeParticipant
//Interesting Standing Orders. I would argue some of them, if I served with you. 😛
//”This was an excellent sim full of strategic purpose and variety.” Oh, yes. @admin, told you so.
//In the last sim, Verok was on Weapons and me in command, in case you forgot. If you didn’t forget, but actually chose not to write it, there are some interesting opportunities for RP in there. 😀
//Btw, you’re missing a closing bracket on your “End log”29/11/2016 at 12:45 #18726XiphParticipant
//Repetitive Strain Injury
Computer, request an appointment with Lieutenant Matsiyan for shortly after the arrival of ECS Asia. Clear my schedule for the following morning.
29/11/2016 at 13:57 #18729MatsiyanParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Xiph.
// Hi, Blaze, thanks for keeping me honest.
Every commander has their own preferences. I would rather have a discussion before a mission than have misunderstandings during one. I have no problem considering improvements. These were reviewed with Excalibur’s last crew.
Thanks, I had forgotten you and Verok switched. I now remember a bit more but my brain was shutting down a bit after the excellent long mission. I’ll think about adding more and fixing that bracket – stupid iPad cut and paste!29/11/2016 at 19:35 #18756AramondParticipant
//Stealing and modifying that Standing Orders doc if I ever get my own ship.
Sure, you overshot some stuff, but that just means you need more helm practice!30/11/2016 at 13:46 #18776NhaimaParticipant
// I like the new standing orders formatting! Thanks for the log, it was a fun read.
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