So, I’m writing about the siege of an asteroid base. This asteroid is near the outer edge an asteroid belt at the solar radiation equivalent of Saturn’s orbit from its star (although the raw distance is actually far less, since the star is a smallish K-type). It is an oblong, ~4km x 5km, stony-metallic asteroid.
The base is tunneled into the asteroid’s substrate, and there are relatively few and well-protected entrances/exits for humans. There are also many underground missile silos (missiles are guided; can be explosive or can be small EMPs programmed to attach to enemy ship hulls) and partially underground-mounted anti-aircraft weaponry (microwave pulse weapons, railguns, electrolasers etc.). There are also underground hangars which contain small 1-2 person fighters (armed w/ missiles). Artificial gravity is supplied by the centrifugal force method- The asteroid rotates on its long axis (to provide a greater radius so that it doesn’t have to rotate as fast). Gravity varies from 0.2g-0.9g depending on where you are in the station.
The core of the station houses a small modular helium-cooled fast nuclear reactor similar to the Energy Multiplier Module of today, only better perfected technologically. These are (even irl) very safe reactors because the fire hazard is so low, they require so little maintenance, they cannot melt down in the same way as some other reactors (they simply shut down and don’t work instead of exploding), and they so rarely need refueling. Humans cannot directly access the reactor, but control and monitor remotely from outside the sealed chamber. Waste heat from the reactor is used to heat the station’s outer layers, and to regenerate the CO2 scrubber if needed, on the way to the surface via loop heat pipes.
The atmosphere is maintained with A) Regenerating CO2 removal system similar to the one on the space shuttle, and B) Photosynthetic algae growing hydroponically. Water is recycled wastewater, but there is some backup supply put aside from when the station was dug (water in the tailings was extracted). Food is about 65% farmed insects and fast-growing hydroponic leaf veggies, 35% stored rations (this is a station that normally sees a lot of traffic). Human waste is processed and used for fertilizer; as time goes on they do that with corpses as well.
Now, as for the siege. There are ~18,000 personnel on this station. They are humans, ~50/50% male and female, all trained soldiers via a national universal conscription policy (so, pretty much nobody’s fighting this war by choice), and ~80% between the ages of 16 and 35, although there are some senior officers, medics, and engineers who are older. There are also ~120 extra hydroponics technicians and munitions engineers (also military or military contractors) who had arrived with a shipment of ammo and spare parts/upgrades for some of the systems, and then got stuck there at the beginning of the siege.
Nobody was prepared for a siege. The enemy is fully committed and surrounded the station, where they set up a blockade and shell almost continuously in order to suppress fighters from being sent out, destroy near-surface weapons systems, and disrupt the artificial gravity bad enough that the people inside can’t do anything. They do not want to destroy the station, but capture it more or less intact. They want to force surrender, but they also generally don’t take prisoners. Meanwhile, the defenders are completely unwilling to let the station fall into enemy hands, and if things get bad enough they will self-destruct the station. In fact, when they are finally liberated, their own government destroys the station after evacuating the troops, because they aren’t sure how long they could hold the station and also it’s quite damaged (more resources/time/people/risk to repair it = unfeasible).
The enemy is also in a position to send out ships from the rear and engage any reinforcements that come to liberate the station. Furthermore, although ships here are a good deal faster than modern spacecraft, they are still orders if magnitude below light speed, so friendly reinforcements may take weeks or months to arrive. The enemy also A) Holds the territory near here, so it takes less travel time for them, and B) Has a LOT of fanatically loyal, cheap, quick-maturing troops to draw from.
I’m trying to go for a siege of Leningrad + trench warfare type of vibe. The defenders are stuck here for 3 years, continuously being bombed. Attempts to break the siege are thus limited to sending out small, fast fighter ships that can possibly dodge return fire, and have them drop every bomb and EMP they have within enemy lines. This is usually suicide, and uses up 75% of available fighter craft as well as hundreds of lives. The jarring and weird gravity shifts within the station flings people against walls or kills them with falling objects, and damages systems. Electrical fires happen. People also have to start doing more hazardous work by hand as automated systems get damaged.
Now, with this information, here’s my question. Do you think it would be too hot or too cold as automated systems start to break down, fewer people remain alive to maintain them, etc? Also, do you think fire or disease would be a bigger day-to-day worry? Keep in mind that bathing is mostly out of the question, they are starving, and they have less medicine or sanitation as time goes on. OTOH, explosives + electrical shorts + no ventilation. I need to essentially be able to set a scene and describe how much it sucks from the protagonist’s POV, so I pretty much need a realistic physical/temperature ambiance and rough hierarchy of types of daily survival worries.