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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #1  
Old October 27th, 2003, 09:40 AM
maitrejeanth maitrejeanth is offline
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Hello,

I'm currently running a naval campaign set in 1107, on the eve of 5FW. The PCs are officers aboard the Agidda, a Kinunir-class ship on a crap detail : patrolling shipping lanes in District 268 subsector. Their NPC skipper is modeled on Capt Queeg of Caine Mutiny fame, and things are rather tense at the moment.
I'm using GT but I'm considering switching over to T20.
Has anybody worked out a T20 profile for the infamous Kinunir "cruisers" ? And for the Shivva frigate ?
Thanks in advance.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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This sounds like a pretty fun setting; please keep us posted on its progress!
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  #3  
Old October 28th, 2003, 09:00 AM
maitrejeanth maitrejeanth is offline
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This is, indeed, a fun setting. Basically, this is 1107, a few months before the start of 5FW. All 5 players run two naval or marine PCs aboard an obsolete Kinunir cruiser (the Agidda). This ship has something of a "widowmaker" reputation, complete with a long history of bad luck and accidents, some of them lethal. I also wanted to introduce a soap-opera feel to the whole camapign, with a lot of PC-PC, PC-NPC, NPC-NPC interaction. To spice things up, the PC XO of the ship is an extremely competent vargr, posted there as a PR move towards the Vargr community within the Marches. His interactions towards the CO feel like something out of "Crimson tide" (you know, cool, competent black XO against bigoted, redneck captain). Another PC is a Marine reporter, sent along on the cruise to cover it for the media.
Another player plays a slightly hysterical, slightly nymphomaniac ship surgeon, while another PC is the ships's S3, an arrogant, much bemedalled young noble, rather angry and frustrated because he's been sent on such a "crap assignment".
Captain Avram Franssen,Agidda's NPC skipper is a really fun character to play. The PCs and even the players really are starting to fear him and hate him at the same time. One of them hav already started a journal logging all his gripes and complaints against his CO. Caine Mutiny, here we come !
2 of the players and yours truly are actually regular or reserve officers in the belgian navy, which allows us to go rather in depth as far as the recreation of naval and shipboard atmosphere is concerned (not that the belgian navy has any starships, but sailors will always be sailors).
I will keep you posted about the highlights of the patrol cruise around District 268.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 11:29 PM
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You mentioned the Caine Mutiny.
Does this mean that your PC's ship is gonna tow a target for a cruiser to shoot at and afterwards inadvertantly cut the tow line?

Will they screen a landing force invading a planet and then throw out an airlock a yellow dye marker for the landing craft to follow when they reach within a kilometer of the surface all while the captain is hiding?

Will they be assemblied in the ward room in the wee hours of the night to investigate the missing quart of strawberries from the galley, then search the crew and the ship looking for a non existant duplicate key to the food locker?

Sounds like lots of fun and I'm looking forward to future posts.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 06:39 AM
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>Does this mean that your PC's ship is gonna tow a target for a cruiser to shoot at and >afterwards inadvertantly cut the tow line?

No, but the next time they reach an imperial naval base, the local commodore will commandeer the ship for a bit of target drone maintenance and operation.
By the way, during the last session, their patrol orders got countermanded by one of Admiral Santanocheev ONI cronies. They now have to shuttle a bunch of scout trainees to an INSS OpsArea on a particularly backwater world in Egyrn subsector, 4 jumps away from their current location (there’s more to it, of course, but the players don’t know yet) This pissed of Capt Franssen no end : “Well gentlemen, if the admiral wants us to be a school bus, let’s at least make sure we are the best ▮▮▮▮▮▮ned schoolbus in the whole navy !” Of course, he said it in French, this being belgium , but Caine connoisseurs will recognize the quotation. In the same spirit, after the briefing, he ordered the PC vargr XO to go back to the imperial embassy, “and not to come back without the dope!”

>Will they screen a landing force invading a planet and then throw out an airlock a >yellow dye marker for the landing craft to follow when they reach within a kilometer of >the surface all while the captain is hiding?

No, but the ship got into a skirmish with a flotilla of drug smugglers/pirates in the Judice system. Capt Franssen fairly panicked, hovering at the back of the bridge, looking scared and yelling “mais faites quelque chose !” to the puzzled OOD when missiles started flying toward Agidda.

>Will they be assemblied in the ward room in the wee hours of the night to investigate >the missing quart of strawberries from the galley, then search the crew and the ship >ooking for a non existant duplicate key to the food locker?

There will be a “strawberry incident”-like episode in the future. Capt Franssen has already started calling officers in his stateroom at ungodly hours, always over trivial subjects, always ending in yells and tremendous ass-chewing. The last time he did this was on arrival in Collace, where a ball was scheduled at the imperial embassy. The skipper wanted to check which wardroom members were the best dancers. Not feeling really satisfied with the report, he then summoned all officers to the wardroom for a crash refresher course. Great roleplaying ensued…

On the other hand, Capt Franssen nearly succeeded manipulating the XO into organising an all-ship, all-crew strip search because illegal drugs had been found aboard. The XO very sensibly backed off at the last moment, getting even deeper into the captain’s balck book at the same time, of course.

What else ?
- Capt Franssen kicked off his first wardroom briefing with : “There are four ways of doing things : the good way, the wrong way, the navy way and my way. From now on, I want things to be done my way”. He wrapped it up with “On my ship, good performance is unsatisfactory. Excellent performance will be the norm. On my ship, I want everything and everybody to give 110% of his best, all the time. Failure is not an option !” (these sentences found their way into several real-life briefings aboard belgian Navy ships or units in the following weeks, as a matter of fact).
- No twirling of ball-bearings, as this would have too obvious, but he keeps playing with an antique silver pencil-holder.
- Anonymous crewmembers have begun circulating hard copies of Articles 184 to 186 of imperial naval regulations, pertaining to relieving commanding officers in exceptional circumstances.

What other events from “Caine mutiny” will I try to implement in the future ?
- the water famine
- the incident when Queeg tries to sneak contraband liquor into the US
- the shirttail incident


Of course, I’m using other sources of inspiration as well, and mixing them all, but for those who are not familiar with it, I strongly recommend reading “The Caine mutiny”. Not only is it excellently written, but its depiction of shipboard atmosphere is really accurate. It also shows WWII in the pacific from another viewpoint than the usual carrier perspective.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:51 AM
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You can probably get even more incidents from the film Mister Roberts. If I remember rightly the captain of the supply ship the action is set upon was played by James Cagney. There is also an incident involving a palm tree which could be quite entertaining. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old October 29th, 2003, 02:18 PM
maitrejeanth maitrejeanth is offline
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Are you some kind of Zho telepath spy, or what ??
The XO of the good ship Agidda (who the paranoid skipper, you'll remember, just sent along to see the admiral about their change of orders ) will probably run into a situation involving a flag officer, some marine guards and a potted palm tree.
I didn't think about the Cagney movie while planning this, but it is probably some subconscious throwback to those black and white saturday afternoon TV programs that heavily contributed to the current warping of my mind.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 02:21 PM
maitrejeanth maitrejeanth is offline
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I think the scene where the skipper tells a draftee sailor : "This is a winch ! Make sure you remember this !" and the sailor picks up a piece of chalk and writes "winch" in huge letters on the winch casing also comes from "Mister Roberts".
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Old October 29th, 2003, 03:27 PM
vermeylenhans vermeylenhans is offline
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Well, I'm the "arrogant, much bemedalled young noble, rather angry and frustrated because he's been sent on such a crap assignment", but I'm S2 (intelligence and security officer) of the Agidda, the S3 (operations officer) being our beloved Gladian-born Vigdis Finbogadotir.

We KNOW there is more to our new mission than shuttling a bunch of scout trainees to an INSS OpsArea on a particularly backwater world. But we don't know what. Yet!

And I don't fear captain Fransen! But I hate him, right.

110%!
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Old October 29th, 2003, 03:51 PM
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Please keep posting about the adventures of the Agidda's crew - very good stuff and an excellent example of how to run an 'in service' campaign.
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