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Surviving Black Hole in an Armstrong Class

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:53 pm
by PegLegHeg
So having figured out how to “Drill” all my crew up to 30/30/30 and have all skills, the campaign became a little less challenging, even on the black hole difficulty. So at the suggestion of my toddler son, I decided to attempt the campaign on the black hole difficulty with the “small ship”.

So with an Armstrong class ship named USCV (United Star Command Vessel) Hornet, and an overabundance of crew (from the déjà vu thingy) we embarked on the black hole missions in cramped style.

Things were going well, and all seemed as planned, blowing through the first several missions with ease… until our encounter with the Cortex… Having crew members that have 30/30/30 stats and all the skills, usually makes hull breaches less severe of a problem, however, in an epic case of the wrong place at the wrong time, two of my crew ( Lieutenant. Deeoop, and Lieutenant. R. Cupit) were heading from their stations at the bridge down the long main walkway to take up positions at varying lengths along the Armstrong class corridor…. When a colossus volley of enemy fire blew our shields down and ripped off almost ¼ of the wall of the main corridor… both the crewmen were sucked into the cold vacuum of space…. This was especially demoralizing since in the previous campaign the crew of the USCV Hornet had only lost two crewmen during the entire length of the campaign. However, they were able to pull themselves together and defeat the Cortex. The following are copies of the two Lieutenants’ eulogies:

We regret to inform you that Lieutenant Reuben Cupit who lived and worked aboard the USCV Hornet was sucked through a hull breach into the vacuum of Space during a recent battle against the Cortex. He was a hard working and competent crewman and his quirky and often off color sense o f humor will be missed by his crewmates, although his belief that "duct tape can fix anything" will not. May the Health and prosperity that evaded you in this life embrace you in the next Crewman Cupit.

Eep oop tet fall ymk oup[ treb numb gut geef groof took hump reek fink reeck yook elyym gimp- grim on Tue nites – hhef hji nnme ded ffr hhyiu ndtg nbfesc vguj bhgyb frrth juyyj n iioin wljfnrogjh nkejfjefkj eoo djsdjs lomjd od ojcc
(this was Lieutenant. Deeoop’s eulogy, and was offered in the native language of the Midorians, and Capt. Hegwood is still awaiting the full translation, to know if he should be offended.).

Progress continued on from there and the crew made it through the next several missions, including the battle of Earth without the loss of a single additional crewman. Morale was high as we pursued the Antorians and the traitor Micari to the Ant’s home world of Antoria.

-Note here that at the battle of Antoria… the ants and Micari’s crew actually destroyed the USCV Hornet and it’s entire crew 13 times. It was repeated crushing and maiming… mainly as the result of the fact that on the small Armstrong class ship you can not revive, nor can you have grenades… as a result if you plan on attempting to beat the game on the black hole level with the Armstrong class ship, resign yourself to the fact that if you make it to Antoria you may be subjecting your crew to sort of reception the Serenity might have received from the Reivers… repeatedly… and I quote:

"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And, if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."
―Zoë Alleyne Washburne

Having said all that here is the synopsis of the last battle at Antoria in which the crew of the USCV Hornet Armstrong class star ship won the day.

After dropping out of hyperspace, and exchanging the usual un-pleasantries with the Antorian Captain, the battle began. Capt. Hegwood had come to the conclusion that if this Armstrong class vessel was going to win here, that the guns (laser cannon & Machine Gun) would have to manage on minimal crew, freeing up two additional tactical officers to beat back the boarding parties that would inevitably be coming. That gave us a total of 8 Tactical officers (4 Bridge Crew & 4 Gunners), although each gun would be run by 1 crewman, leaving 6 to man the hallways. The Battle started with a volley from them, that ripped down our shields and we got the familiar warning sound from the computer alerting us to the fact that we were being boarded. At once Jr. Lieutenant Eli sprung into action, barking orders and leading the charge against the Ants. Lieutenant Eli had been in charge of the drilling process that resulted in every permanent member of the Crew having a ‘30’ Tactical score, and the ability to fire rapidly and accurately. The crew respected him nearly as much as they did their captain! Meanwhile, the Capt. kept the Engineers and Science officers on top of the shield levels, and maneuverability. As soon as the power was sapped to dodge an enemy shot, they were beginning the production of another unit of energy for the next blast. (it is important to note, on black hole at Antoria in an Armstrong class ship, you must be producing tokens EVERY time one is used… immediately). Shields management was a little more tricky. Part of the process was trying to determine, when to reinforce them… often this meant taking another shot from the Antorian Dreadnaught while shields were already down, and hoping the hull wouldn’t give way in too many places, so as to be able to reinforce the shields literally just before the enemy’s transporters were ready send over more ants, delaying the Antorian Hoard, and buying Eli and his boys some time to clear the corridors. And clear they did, with surgeon like precision… All the while the two men manning the Guns, Ensign Tison on the Machine Gun, and P.P. Mike on the Laser Cannon, worked with perfect accuracy, meticulous in their execution. (It is also important to note that during this battle, you can not miss… ever… not with one laser cannon blast… or machine gun bullet… they must die fast, because every time either of these two ships shoots or beams over parties your chances of dying increase drastically… you may think this is hyperbole, but I’m not kidding… you’ll just make it out of Antoria on Black hole in an Armstrong by the skin of your teeth… so DON’T MISS!! Your Crew’s life may depend on it!) They landed every shot!!!! As the sound came ringing over the intercom that the Antorian Dreadnaught had been destroyed, there was almost involuntary cheer that rose across the ship… followed by the sounds of phaser blasts, as Eli and his boys finished off the remainder of the boarding parties… and then silence… as we all waited for the other shoe to drop… and we knew it was coming… really… but it never came… in the unexpected long pause, Engineers scrambled to put out fires, and churn out units of energy (tokens) while our two science officers (that’s right only two … did I mention we were on an Armstrong class?) hurriedly tended to the wounded. In the midst of this odd moment of peace, while searching the ship for damage, we noticed it… there was an ant left, in the engine room… (honestly this was a blessing, since he delayed the arrival of the next ship allowing us to finish repairs and make tokens... but for story purposes)… an Ant TRYING TO SABOTAGE OUR LIGHT WAVE ENGINES!!! APPARENTLY the reason the other ship that our long-range scanners had picked up wasn’t already attacking us, was because they were trying to give this ant time to do his dirty work, and blow us from the inside! But Lieutenant. Eli found him just in time and put an end to his scheme… Just then… Micari and his Modified ship showed up…. And what ensued was more of the same… only this time it was totally impossible for us to out maneuver (dodge) the enemy, or keep shields up for any significant length of time… Their ship was just too powerful!! Lucky for our crew the hull breaches were in unoccupied areas… on the other hand, we weren’t lucky enough to have any enemies sucked out into space either… There was literally fire EVERYWHERE!! Every Engineer that had the instant repair skill (4 of the 6… the Midorians we had received from Gorn didn’t go through drills until they were at 30/30/30… now that I think about it this was just arrogance on my part… they had been peripheral on the last two campaigns, and you don’t get to keep them, but the fact that I didn’t spend the time to train them up to the caliber of the rest of my crew… was stupid…anyway) had exhausted their “instant repair” skill within the first 4 volleys of enemy fire. It was one blast of enemy fire after another, and the boarding parties never stopped! The one good thing about the small size of the Armstrong class is that almost every battle goes on near the Shield room if it is centrally placed, allowing for Tactical crew members to run there for quick medical attention as the battle rages on… Finally there was Micari’s voice… We had defeated his ship!!! As the crew cheered the distant explosion of the enemy vessel, we got too carefree, and while cleaning up the remainder of the enemies, we heard the call no captain ever wants to hear… “Capt. Man down, It’s Eli sir”. Before Medical could reach him Leut. Eli had finished off the last ant, but one of the traitorous humans had done him in… Captain Hegwood yelled at the chief Science officer Jo “Revive Him NOW!!!”. She could only reply “ I can’t sir… this is an Armstrong Class vessel… no big rooms -sniff-“ So with a heavy heart the Crew of the USCV Hornet Armstrong Class Star Ship returned home, down one man…

We regret to inform you that during a battle against the Antorians, Lieutenant Eli Thomas, while in the defense of his crew and ship, gave his life to ensure victory. He is awarded the highest honor that Star Command gives… a BIG ROOM in his name… which can produce revive tokens… so that by his death he can continue to serve ‘so that others may live”. You will be missed…

Re: Surviving Black Hole in an Armstrong Class

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:07 am
by pancake
I loved reading your story!! it was wonderful and exciting, really captures the zest and excitement of the game!!

Re: Surviving Black Hole in an Armstrong Class

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:38 pm
by sammyjones
I am glad you wrote this wonderful story and the best thing you did is you took your son's suggestions which is a very nice thing for a father son relationship. Now for the story, you have really written it wonderfully with all the minute details about the game and its missions.

Re: Surviving Black Hole in an Armstrong Class

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:53 pm
by TheOmniscient
Wow, such a good story. With a sad ending.

Re: Surviving Black Hole in an Armstrong Class

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:55 am
by Tami213
Wao such a great posting... Thanks alot!