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Brainstorming an admiralty campaign

posted Mar 25, 2018 19:57:08 by JohnPatrickLee
So the basic notion is a Sovereign class ship commanded by an Admiral, leading a small fleet on the edge of explored space. It’s effectively a mobile starbase, and there’s a mixed fleet of maybe a dozen ships of various makes and models that use it as home base.

The Admiral is assisted by a Fleet Captain, who manages the fleet as a whole, and a Flag Captain, who manages the day to day operation of the flagship. The flagship also has some specialized staff to handle some of the fleet-level stuff we don’t usually see on the shows. All of the major departments are thee, but they are geared toward the big picture stuff, coordinating a dozen ships in tactical, exploratory, scientific, diplomatic, and emergency response missions. The senior staff is probably all Commander or above, and maybe there are some civilian scientists and diplomats in the mix, too.
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16 replies
briandavion1982 said Mar 26, 2018 02:37:53
an intreasting idea,one idea for an alteration might be to instead of having a Soverign, go with a modified galaxy class, with the suacer section modified into a fleet command center well enabling the star drive to do it's own thing if and when nesscary. The Galaxy may have less weapons and advanced tatical systems then the sovvy but just looking at it you can tell it's likely got more rooms for labs etc. these rooms could be used for berthing for fleet personal. tatical breifing rooms yadda yadda ya
PatricHenson said Mar 26, 2018 03:09:13
A Galaxy class does seem like a more fitting command center for an admiral to me as well, but I like the concept. It sounds like a lot of fun! Let us know how your campaign goes.
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jonrcrew said Mar 26, 2018 09:07:31
I'm not sure I agree - the Sovereign is a big ship and, suitably-outfitted, would be well-suited to this kind of project. It's obviously designed as a "show the flag" kind of vessel and has the firepower to be an active part of any fleet actions.

Having said that, modern (ie 21st century) doctrine would put the flag on a smaller dedicated command ship, making it less of a target. This could be something like a New Orleans, Nebula or even a Miranda, with extensive C3 technology. Starfleet does seem to lean towards Admirals on big ships though!

Kudos for the correct historical use of Flag and Fleet Captain btw. As you may have noticed, rank and position is a subject close to my heart :)
JohnPatrickLee said Mar 26, 2018 11:39:45
Galaxy class is not a bad idea . . . use all that extra space for some of this fleet support kind of stuff, instead of an arboretum and a kindergarten.


I haven't quite sorted out some of the chain of command stuff . . . for example, does the flagship have a science department that reports to the Flag Captain, or does it host some sort of Fleet Science Operations division that reports to the Fleet Captain?

jonrcrew said Mar 26, 2018 11:51:05
Traditionally, the Flag Captain would be the central command of the flagship and all its operations (you can only have one actual captain on the ship after all) but would be in the same position as all the other captains in the flotilla as regards the chain of command (Wikipedia Flag Captain, Fleet Captain)

In other words, Fleet Captain Jones couldn't order Lt Commander Smith of the science department to do something without going through Flag Captain Thomas. It looks clumsy, but the chain of command is considered to be inviolable.

As regards a fleetwide science division, that may exist, but the individual department still reports to, and follows orders coming through, their own ship's chain of command. I imagine the departments would cooperate, probably with someone in admin coordinating, but all operations would be subject to the CO's review.

Does that make sense?
Shran said Mar 26, 2018 14:07:12
I don't think there should be something like a Fleet Science Operations division. Obviously, the admiral orders the fleet to do some science stuff. As per the Command Division Supplement, the admiral's staff consist of an adjutant, fleet liaison officer and strategic operations officer (among others). Then maybe it should be the responsibility of one of those to coordinate the science departments of all ships involved. I'm not really certain here. Also, I'm not sure what role the Fleet Captain would have. Is he/she the admiral's adjutant (as described in the Command Division Supplement)?

The Flag Captain should not have any broader responsibility since he/she is basically just a normal captain.
JohnPatrickLee said Mar 26, 2018 16:35:12
The Fleet Captain is an adjutant, yes. He's the Admiral's XO, running the day-to-day operations of the Fleet the same way a starship's XO runs the day-to-day operations of the ship.

My current thought is that the flagship itself is geared toward fleet support, so you can have all the regular departments reporting to the Flag Captain as usual, but the actual work the departments carry out will be a little different --- the Science Department is looking at data from a bunch of survey ships, the Engineering Department has additional resources for fleet repairs, the Tactical Department can manage larger-scale tactical ops, etc.

Maybe, however, there are a few independent advisors (and their teams) that are on the flagship but not under the Flag Captain. The diplomatic attache, the intelligence officer, maybe some civilian agencies?

Like I said, still brainstorming.
Shran said Mar 27, 2018 08:47:51
The Strategic Operations Officer should probably handle all of the Fleet Science/Engineering/Tactical stuff with an appropriate staff (I guess you could call that a Department). This all seems very reasonable and playable.

BTW, as an admiral, I would go for a Sovereign class :) But thats just my personal opinion. The command ship should be a large, multi-role cruiser (in TNG, this was mostly an Excelsior class). So any vessel in that lineage fits well.
jonrcrew said Mar 27, 2018 09:46:20
I think you're on the right track for responsibilities and the command structure. The Admiral would certainly have his own (substantial) staff for fleet ops and probably at least one deck devoted to them (with restricted access to the Flag and his crew). Civilian presence would definitely be restricted to certain areas but is possible.

Plenty of opportunities for interdepartmental and interagency rivalries! One possible tension (depending on player preferences) is between Flag and Fleet Captains.

A suggestion as a cosmetic detail (although I'd guess you're looking along these lines anyway) is a Battlestar Galactica-style ops centre, with a large (holographic?) situation display at the centre. A scene for many tense planning sessions! Many years ago, I visited HMS Belfast in London, a WW2 heavy cruiser that operated as a flagship. There was a second "admiral's bridge" sat on top of the main one, which included a high chair with a (literally) commanding view of the surroundings - presumably the Admiral's staff bustled around behind conveying orders to the fleet...
JundlandBanshee said Mar 27, 2018 19:00:35
Strictly speaking, any ship could serve as a command ship with the Mission Profile: Strategic and Diplomatic Operations. That being said the ships that are more suited to that role (and thus could serve as command ships with any mission profile) are traditionally the ones that have born the name Enterprise (with the notable exception of the NX-01): Constitution, Excelsior, Ambassador, Galaxy, and Sovereign. Though notably the Miranda and a Nebula with the Command & Control Pod also meet to the prerequisites.

Your choice might depend a lot on what the make-up of the fleet is and the fleet's general mission profile. If the fleet is composed of Galaxy-class, Steamrunners and Sabers, and the mission for the fleet is to secure the borders in addition to scientific exploration I would take Sovereign with the Strategic and Diplomatic Operations package (you would want the flagship to have the highest command rating in the fleet). It the fleet is to be composed of Olympic, Oberth and Norway-class vessels, with a focus on scientific exploration and humanitarian aid I might take a Galaxy as the command instead. If there are no other vessels that give a boost to command you might not even need to have the Strategic Operations profile for your command ship (with the exception of the Technical Test-bed as that would make your ship ineligible to be a command ship).

That being said, Multi-role Explorers are all well and good for a solitary vessel that doesn't know what it is going to be dealing with, week-in and week-out, but given the admiral has a fleet at his disposable, it might behoove you to make every ship in the fleet a specialist. A Saber-class that acts the Pathfinder and Reconnaissance vessel, a Nebula-class as the fleet's Technical Test-Bed, an Akira-class for Tactical deployment, a Nova-class as the Scientific Surveyor, a Norway-class for Emergency Response, with you Galaxy/Sovereign taking up Strategic and Diplomatic Operations.

For your convenience here is a list of ships that get a +2 bonus in the respective departments.
Those is parentheses would have been retired from service by the 24th century

Command: none
Conn: Centaur, (Hermes), Saber, (Sydney)
Security: Akira, Defiant
Engineering: (Daedalus), Excelsior, Nebula
Science: Intrepid, Luna, Nova, Oberth
Medical: Olympic, Norway
JohnPatrickLee said Mar 27, 2018 21:25:25
Yeah, I was leaning toward a model where different ships covered different roles.

Having said that . . . seems to me that a Sovereign class could be a great mothership for a whole squad of Novas, although those Novas could in turn be fitted out for different scientific specialties. Every six months or so, something with a little more umph (Akira class, maybe?) shows up to escort some of the Novas back to civilization.

I thought about an admiral's bridge, but then I looked at the ridiculous number of stations on a Sovereign bridge and said, that'll work. Admiral sits in the middle, Fleet Captain is starboard side with the Strategic Operations guy at the standing station behind him, and various fleet-related stations further to starboard. Flag Captain is port side, with the Tactical Officer behind him, and the flagship station further to port. But that's just when the fit is hitting the shan, and probably most days, there's some sort of Fleet Operations Center where they manage this stuff.

jonrcrew said Mar 29, 2018 08:11:38
@JohnPatrickLee: I see what you mean about the Sovereign bridge (and the Enterprise B is actually much worse!), but would the Admiral would want to be away from the main bridge in a battle situation? The activities of the ship they're on would distract from the need to look at the overall picture and the temptation to micromanage the Flag, with all the chain of command issues that would cause (as the Flag could legitimately have the Admiral removed from the bridge), might be too much!
JohnPatrickLee said Mar 30, 2018 20:07:47
You may have a point, although I'm not sure that my head-canon allows for the idea that the Flag Captain could remove the Admiral from the bridge, notwithstanding historical naval precedent.

TimLintern said Apr 02, 2018 04:25:54
The Sovereign class is certainly fit for purpose as a flagship (I believe the good folks at Modiphius even gave it the Command Ship talent as standard). She's not quite as big as a Galaxy, but she's every bit as impressive, not to mention even more technologically advanced. The Galaxy certainly has the space for suitable refits, though, so either would make an ideal command ship in my view.
[Last edited Apr 02, 2018 04:26:39]
Nathan.Dowdell said Apr 02, 2018 21:37:44
The abundant space for Talents on a Galaxy mean that it's a good choice as a command ship (though they're not as well-suited to intense combat as a Sovereign), and this seems to follow the Dominion War usage of them - a common formation seems to be a single Galaxy-class and several smaller ships operating around it.
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