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Created/Written by: Commander Hobbes
Revised: Ensign Chandler, Commander Sprocket, Tyrone Kirk
Sources: Experiences of Commander Hobbes, Ensign Chandler, Commander Sprocket and Tyrone Kirk
Star-Date 239806.01 Version 1.0 (Hobbes)
Star-Date 239912.03 Version 2.0 (Chandler)
Star-Date 240107.25 Version 2.1 (Sprocket)
Star-Date 240401.10 Version 3.0 (Kirk)
II. History of Star-Bases in UCIP
III. Serving on a Star-Base
i. The differences between a Star-Base and a Star-Ship
ii. Operations Command Center
iii. Strategic Operations Officer
vi. Helm & Fighters
viii. Operations & Science Officer
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the UCIP Academy, located on Planet Honegah in the Xenoride System. This guide is designed to aid you in realizing the differences that exist in being an officer stationed on a Star-Base compared to an officer stationed aboard a Star-Ship. This guide will also outline the duties of the various assignments on a Star-Base.
At first glance there are little differences between base and ship operations, they do, however, exist and need to be studied, observed and explained so that officers can fully understand and react to them.
II. HISTORY OF STAR-BASES IN UCIP
For a couple of years, UCIP (called UCIP Internet at the time) was made up of all IRC SIMs, which were all star ships. Obviously this has changed dramatically over the years, as now there are not only many E-Mail SIMs, but also Star-Base SIMs.
The first Star-Base SIM in UCIP was Star-Base 220, which was drafted up by Fleet Captain KTF, Vice Admiral Adam Naim, and Commander Michael Droxi. It was located in between Federation, Klingon, and Romulan territory, and quickly became popular among many in UCIP.
This of course was not the last Star-Base SIM in UCIP, as there have been some great ones over the years that have taken in Bergen awards, such as Star-Base Arcadia, Deep Space 7, and Deep Space Orion.
Currently, there are four Star-Base SIMs in UCIP. Deep Space Europa (IRC SIM, Sundays at 2:15pm EST, http://www.ucip.org/Europa), Star-Base Midway (E-Mail SIM, http://www.ucip.org/Midway), Star-Base Versailles (E-Mail SIM, http://www.ucip.org/Versailles), and Star-Base Aurora (E-Mail SIM, http://www.ucip.org/Aurora).
Please keep in mind that this guide serves to teach you the *basic* understanding of SIMming aboard a Star-Base. Each Star-Base runs differently, and in some cases (such as Versailles, which is made up of officers from various Empires), they may not have much besides the basics in common with this guide at all. It is in your own best interest to do some research on any Star-Base you wish to join to get a feel for what those differences might be, and contact their command staff if you have any questions.
III. SERVING ON A STAR-BASE
i. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A STAR-BASE AND A STAR-SHIP
Obviously the main difference between a Star-Base and Star-Ship is that a Star-Ship moves, while a Star-Base is stationary. As such, when you are role-playing aboard a Star-Base, you must be prepared to not always be on the move. If youre in UCIP to zip around from planet to planet boldly going where no one has gone before, then in most cases, a Star-Ship is probably your best bet (having said that, however, there are Star-Bases which are on the frontier with the unknown).
However, if you prefer the idea of planting your seeds somewhere and staying awhile, a Star-Base might be more up your alley.
An analogy often used to compare the two is that on a Star-Ship, you have to go to the story. On a Star-Base, the story has to come to you. This of course has its advantages and disadvantages, and which you prefer is based upon your desires.
One advantage a Star-Base does have over most Star-Ships is that when you have to fill time, it is usually easier to find something to do on a Star-Base, since most Star-Bases are bigger than Star-Ships and there are usually civilians and other visitors coming and going. Since everyone who has ever role-played in the Star Trek universe knows that there are going to be times when your character simply has nothing to do, this can be a major advantage that a Star-Base has if utilized properly.
There are other differences between the two that you will find as you role-play, but there are also fundamental differences in positions, such as Engineering and Science, which will be discussed below.
ii. OPERATIONS COMMAND CENTER
The Operations Command Center (Ops for short) is the equivalent on a Star-Base to a Bridge on a Star-Ship. This is where all the operations that would occur on board a Star-Ship occur, along with the added duties of managing docking arrangements, scheduling the arrival and departure of ships, as well as scheduling their repairs.
The Commanding Officers (CO) office will more often than not be located adjacent to Ops, and depending on the size of the Star-Base, the Executive Officer (XO) may also have their office located adjacent to Ops.
COs of Star-Bases have as many if not more duties than a Star-Ship CO, as besides overseeing the operation of the Star-Base, they also must play host to any visiting dignitaries, and more often than not any trouble that Security is having will wind up having to be solved (sometimes very diplomatically depending on the visitors) by the CO. As such, the CO has the right to grant and cancel the shore leave of any visitors to their Star-Base, whether they belong to the same Empire as him/her or not.
iii. STRATEGIC OPERATIONS OFFICER
The Strategic Operations (StratOps) Officer has a very important role on board a Star-Base. Not only do they perform the normal functions for his or her position, he or she is also expected to act as an air traffic controller. He or she would assign headings, docking ports, or a docking bay to a vessel requesting the permission. If the vessel is large enough it may require to be docked inside the station, through the outer space doors and into the main Star-Ship docking area. Each ship must be prioritized on a necessity of aid basis. The strategic operations officer must make sure that the correct size port/bay is assigned for each ship, although most ports are generic and can fit any ship. It is customary to keep certain sized vessels in certain areas in order to avoid accidents.
Another important task is to assist the CO on any strategic decisions that may arise when the station is under attack. Strategic operations are also responsible for the cooperation between the Tactical and Security departments. Because of the size of a Star-Base those departments need to work side by side.
As there is no Helm officer on a Star-Base (see further down), this is the position that will often replace it in Ops. Since this role puts the person in it above both the Tactical and Security department heads, it is recommended that this person also be the 2nd Officer (2XO).
If the position cannot be filled by an experienced SIMmer, it may be best to leave it empty, as it is not required and is optional for a CO should they wish to utilize it, but when it is utilized properly the SIM can find themselves having a great time with it.
As such, it is highly recommended that anyone holding this position have completed both the Tactical and Security courses in order to effectively manage both departments. It is also recommended that they have served as either a Tactical or Security (or both) officer before taking the role of Strategic Operations officer.
The Tactical (TAC) officer is responsible for the defensive systems including shields, phasers and torpedoes (if any) on a Star-Base. He or she manages communications and controls hailing frequencies. Another important job function is the control the alert status of the station. The Tactical officer is one of the most intelligent officers onboard a Star-Base. He or she is usually self-aware, clear minded, and flexible. The Tactical officer should have knowledge about alien cultures, spaceships and an array of weapons. As a Tactical officer you have to think and react quickly among strange, sometimes unordinary situations. You have to expect and be prepared for everything. It is recommended that an officer take the Tactical course to effectively hold this position.
Security is a very important position on a Star-Base due to the large amount of non-Starfleet personnel on board. Security needs to keep peace and arrest violators of any laws. They are to settle any disputes that may occur between a stations crew and/or any visiting aliens or ship's crew. They manage the brig, making sure that no one escapes the brig. Other common tasks include armoury inventory, security team assignments, and guarding and protecting any ambassadors, high ranking personnel, or other dignitaries It is recommended that an officer take the Security course to effectively hold this position.
In some cases, there are Security officers who handle anything to do with officers of the Star-Base, and then those that handle anything to do with the civilians. In most cases though these are subdivisions of Security who both report to the Chief of Security.
Both the Security and Tactical department heads make weekly reports to the Strategic Operations officer (if applicable).
Onboard a Star-Base the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is in charge of hundreds of officers in the Medical department. These officers are in charge of the lives of thousands of officers and civilians. The CMO should stay on board at all times unless something calls him or her away. The position can be compared to a Chief of Staff in a hospital. The Chief of Staff is in charge of the entire hospital much like the CMO is in charge of his or her infirmary.
On a Star-Ship, the area for medical treatment is called Sickbay. On a Star-Base, it is referred to as the Infirmary, and is usually used with the locator symbol M> on IRC Star-Base SIMs. It is recommended that one take the Medical course to fully understand this position.
While the medical facilities on a Star-Ship may be split up into different areas (a room for general treatment, one for surgery, one for studying viruses, etc), the Infirmary holds all of these abilities within it. There may be other medical labs on board a Star-Base, but for the most part anything medical that needs to be done can be done from the Infirmary.
Some Star-Bases have separate Infirmaries and separate Doctors for officers and civilians respectively, but it all depends on the size of the base in question.
vi. HELM & FIGHTERS
As a Star-Base obviously does not move, there is no need for a Helm/Navigations officer like on a Star-Ship.
Every Star-Base does, however, have Runabouts and Shuttlecraft. While there is often not much for someone in the position to do, a CO may utilize a Runabout Officer should they wish to.
An alternative (and what happens much more often) would be to have the Star-Base equipped with a squadron (or squadrons) of Fighters and perhaps even Bombers. Fighters provide a mobile defence that a Star-Base does not have, and they also can be used to patrol the immediate area, or to go out and escort a vessel that may be having troubles to the Star-Base.
With Fighters aboard, whoever is in charge of them will also more likely than not be in charge of piloting Runabouts and Shuttles as well.
The counsellor is in charge of the psychological well being of the many officers and civilians onboard the station. He or she also evaluates crewmembers, assisting the XO if the officer is under review for a promotion. When a new group of crewmembers get assigned to the station it's the Counsellors job to show them around the station and make them feel welcome.
As there are so many people aboard a Star-Base, a Counsellor can expect to have a bigger staff under him/her than a Counsellor on a Star-Ship would. In some cases, there is a Counsellor who is there for the officers, and one who is there in a drop-in basis for any civilians who may just want to talk.
It is suggested that one take the Counsellor course to function at this position.
viii. OPERATIONS & SCIENCE OFFICER
These next two (Operations and Science) is where some people become confused. Simply put:
On a Star-Base On a Star-Ship
Operations = Engineering
Science = Operations & Science combined
Keep in mind that the way a Star-Base is run in this area is up to each individual CO, but this is how it basically breaks down.
Operations (OPS) is sometimes broken into two sub-departments. One department makes sure that the station maintains reparation, while the other department specializes in Star-Ship repair. The department specializing in Star-Ship repair can have tasks ranging from the most basic thing such as replacing a malfunction warp core to the most advanced tasks such as refitting an entire ship. With this, if a Star-Base has two Assistants it is recommended that the OPS officer assign one to be the head of each sub-department.
While the position is titled Operations Officer and the Chief is called the OPS officer, people who serve in this department are still commonly referred to as engineers. It is recommended that one take the Engineering course to fully understand this position.
Anything to do with the study of life form readings or analyses of peculiar readings from a ship is done by the Science officer. There are often dozens of Science labs throughout a Star-Base, and it is the Science officers duty to make sure they all are operation at peak efficiency.
The Science officer will more often than not spend his/her time in Ops at their station for the majority of their shift, checking in on the Science labs both before their shift begins and as its ending. It is recommended that one take the Operations (Star-Ship) and Science courses to fully understand this position.
One of the biggest advantages a Star-Base has is the leisure activity. While some Star-Bases have separate areas for officers and civilians respectively, they often are open to everyone.
The place with the most buzz on a Star-Base will always be the Promenade, a deck or multiple decks devoted entirely to recreational activities. Here you will find shops, restaurants, lounges, bars, holosuites, and everything in between. Some docking ports will even open up directly on to the Promenade (this is usually reserved for civilians and civilian transports).
Because the Promenade is where all the action normally occurs, it is also where Main Security and the Infirmary are often located as well.
Any award that can be given out to a crewmember on a Star-Ship can more often than not be given out on a Star-Base as well.
What it all comes down to is if you truly enjoy the idea of SIMming on a Star-Base or not, and if you do, then you may find yourself never wanting to SIM on a Star-Ship again, as Star-Base SIMming can be quite enjoyable if you have the right group of people together.
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you wont be going on too many away missions on a Star-Base. You must be prepared to look within yourself for the adventure, as opposed to looking outside.
I would like to thank Commander Hobbes for beginning this course back in 1998, as it really opened the eyes of many to Star-Bases and just what SIMming on one meant. Ensign Chandler and Commander Sprocket also for their revisions over the years.
I especially would like to thank Fleet Captain KTF, Vice Admiral Adam Naim, and Commander Michael Droxi (two of which are no longer in UCIP unfortunately), for putting the project Star-Base 220 on the table that got things going for Star-Base SIMming in UCIP. These three were the pioneers for Star-Bases in UCIP, and Commander Droxi was the first CO of SB220, a position that I was honoured to serve in right after him.
All material listed above is from the minds of Hobbes, Chandler, Sprocket and myself and our experiences with Star-Base SIMming over the past 8+ years.