Difficulty: Intermediate Responsibilities: To protect the ship, her crew, and her allies; to provide emergency power by sacrificing torpedoes Abilities: To load and unload torpedo tubes, to adjust beam frequency, to select targets for the ship's weapons Key qualities: Vigilance, quick reaction times Expectations from other players:
Power to the correct weapons systems (engineering)
Authorization to engage targets with munitions (captain)
Keeping beams in arc (helm)
In a nutshell, the weapons officer's job is to click on things the captain wants dead. Nevertheless, there are a few things as weapons officer that you must be aware of.
Your display is remarkably similar to that of the helm, but you have no control over where you're going. You're essentially riding shotgun for the helm, who is driving.
The number one rule is to NEVER CLICK ON ANYTHING YOU DON'T WANT TO SHOOT AT.
The ship's beam weapons (colloquially known as 'phasers', due to their similarity to the Star Trek weapon) will automatically fire on any target that is both in range and 'in arc'. Ships can only shoot at things that are directly in front of them (unless they have rear-facing guns, a rarity).
It is possible to switch to manual control by clicking on the "auto beam" button on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking on the enemy while in this state lets you aim and shoot the target yourself, with various indicators showing where to shoot to disable the ship's weapons, engines, or manoeuvability.
The target ship will always be in front of you, even if the ship itself is facing away (and thus, you may not be in arc to shoot the target). Click away from the target to return to the normal screen.
Torpedoes For the most part, you can simply click on targets and let the auto-beams do the work. The true power behind your ship, however, are the torpedoes. Torpedoes are managed at the bottom left of the screen. Torpedoes come in four flavours:
Type 1 Homing ("standard", "nominal", or "photon") torpedo: A run of the mill torpedo with no advantages or disadvantages. These torpedoes can, however, be turned into energy - providing the ship with a power boost in times of emergency.
Type 4 "Nuke" torpedo: A powerful, destructive, long range torpedo. Has considerable splash damage; use only at the captain's permission to avoid damaging friendlies (or yourself!)
Type 6 Mine: While it's about as powerful as a nuke, mines will be "shot" out of the back of your ship (unlike torpedoes, which are never out of arc).
Type 9 EMP: Halves the target's shields. Has considerable blast radius; use only at the captain's permission to avoid damaging friendlies (or yourself!)
Warning: If a torpedo is fired without clicking on a target first, the torpedo will lock onto the nearest target and make a beeline for it. This is wasteful at best, or friendly fire at the worst!
To load a torpedo, select the torpedo type from the radio buttons on the bottom left, then click on "LOAD" for one of the torpedo tubes provided beneath the radio buttons. The torpedo will then be loaded into that tube. The fire button is on the RIGHT end of the tube; once loaded, the "LOAD" button will be replaced with "UNLOAD", which will empty the tube. Both take several seconds; advise the captain when you're loading and unloading, and try not to do it in combat!
Torpedoes to Energy The "TORP TO ENE" button to the center-left of the screen provides you with the ability to sacrifice your Type 1 Homing torpedoes for a small energy boost. This may prove to be a lifesaver when you're out of power and need to make a run back to the station. Click the button as directed by the captain to ensure the ship has enough power.
The "ENE TO TORP" button is considerably less useful, but you can push it liberally while docked since the station will automatically regenerate your ship's energy. Stations produce their own torpedoes, but this is wholly unnecessary due to this button.
Initiative There are a few things you can take initiative for. The most important is targeting missiles. Some enemy ships will launch brown triangles (missiles) at your ship. These, obviously, should be targeted first with your primary beams before switching back to the captain's target.
Most captains will employ a standard EMP-Nuke punch - the EMP will drain enemy shields, leaving the nuke to finish them off. Some captains give the order to fire both simutaneously; others will say to wait two or more seconds first to avoid having the EMP affect the nuke. You can take some initiative here by loading an EMP in one tube and a Nuke in the other.