Counselor's Mission Log
for Wing Commander II

Advance Notes

My favorite way to play Wing Commander was with a mouse. Wing Commander 2 does not handle the Microsoft Mouse and Mouse Driver properly (in combat the guns often just keep firing away, with little or no connection to the number of times the mouse button is pushed). I found that rather distressing and a great irritation during play.

Also, like many Wing Commander players, the chalk board and the medal count were important to me. WC2 doesn't award medals, does not keep much of a chalk board (the game save method keeps a cumulative kill record ...). WC2 also does not keep track of stardates as tightly.

Further, if you want to know things, like the range for Particle Cannons, don't count on finding it out in any method other than experience. Guess the same guys do the pilot briefings as designed some of the control panel ergonometrics.

Finally, I'm not big on turret play and would have liked an option to automate that.

Advice to Origin

The games ought to have a list of call signs and names that it advises players not to use. I used Shadow for WC, a friend used Jazz, and a buddy used Spirit.

A fun add-on product would be a "front end" (like Sierra On-Line uses) that allows players to customize the face of their character. Given the method used by Origin to manipulate the images, two compressed 1.44 meg disks, at $20.00 or so, ought to carry enough data to allow a wide variety of races, facial types, hair, etc. (scars, war paint, tattoos, and such).

I'm hoping that the Privateer campaign expansion packs will cover things such as crew members (to handle turrets), custom faces and multiple races, etc.

Enigma Sector

Gwynedd System

Stardate 2665.112, Caernarvon Station.

Mission One [1,1]

In Ferrets, on patrol with Shadow (Liz).
At NAV 1, 10km out, 3 Sartha (3/3)
NAV 2 Asteroids (remember, 250km/sec.)
Note that WC2 has far fewer asteroids and mines to deal with than WC.
NAV 3, ~20Km out, 3 Drakhri (3/3).

The Ferret has no missiles. Further, you can run out of fuel if you are a habitual slide and tail player. // Shadow is an excellent wingman.

Mission Two [1,2]

Relieve incoming ship from Kilrathi fighter pursuit -- a swarm of Sartha.

This mission puts you in a race to kill fighters before the ship's gunners get them all. Seems really easy. Did make me wonder why Confederation Ships need to worry about neutron guns blasting through phase shields...?

You'll encounter old friends and meet the evil Jazz.

Concordia interlude (Angel's carrier).

Mission Three [1,3]

Escort a pair of Broadswords on an intercept.

INTERCEPT is clear, NAV 1 is clear. Fralthi is met at 25K with an escort of Sartha. You take the escort, the Broadswords take the Fralthi. On future missions (when you fly the Broadsword) you'll long for a fighter escort of your own.

[The official clue book stresses that you have to have the Fralthi destroyed to continue on the winning path. It always seems to happen like clockwork. As it is a random event {determined by the computer played Broadswords vs. the computer played Fralthi} the threshold is a bit of a crock.]

CONCORDIA at 50k has 3 Jalkehi. First chance to deal with rear turrets. With the Ferret's mass cannon's you don't have the range to tail and fire back at the neutrons.

The best approach is to keep on the inside of the curve, blasting at the sides (3/3). Alternatively, use afterburner slides, but do not settle into a tailing position when they go past.

Meet Sparks.

Mission Four [1,4]

Return to Caernarvon. To Station, alert, return to Concordia to relieve from enemy assault. First a wing of two Drakhri (with a Fralthra in the distance -- ignore it as you can't affect the phase shields). Then the computer kills off Shadow in an animated sequence (no way to forestall this). Then two more Drakhri, five Salthra.

You can lose the Concordia! That caught me completely by surprise while I was killing enemy light fighters. First the computer killed off my wingman, then the Concordia gave the abandon ship... Then I was left with the Fralthra (I'd killed all the fighters). The Fralthra eventually got me (I should have left and then I'd have been able to see the sequence the game uses for when you lose the Concordia).

Comment: In the first four missions, the outcomes for two [number 3 and number 4] are completely dependent on computer controlled objects fighting each other. Additionally, the system kills off a wingman regardless of what you do or the tactics you use.

Niven System

Mission Five [2,1]

Funeral for Capt. Norwood. Mariko makes a speech. You are sent on a solo mission in a Broadsword to do trace analysis (non-combat). Viper?

NAV 1 is clear.

NAV 2 has three Jalkehi. They will run away on you (I only killed two, the third had a higher top speed and got away when heavily damaged, but not killed).

In a Broadsword, when your shields are down, loiter until they recharge. They will not recharge properly while you are on autopilot. Janes to the contrary, you have about 50cm of shields, and you'll want every inch of them. NAV 3 has two Grikath. They'll run just like the Jalkehi. Often, when enemy pilots decide to run, if you taunt them enough, they'll come back and let you kill them.

Poker game (you'll see this a lot).

Mission Six [2,2]

Deliver Com Packet in Ferret. No wingman.

NAV 1 has five Sartha (with Drakhai pilots -- they are not particularly good).

NIVEN COLONY base is clear. Animated sequences, meet Downtown.

Back on the Concordia there is action (animated sequence, traitor, murder).

Comment: The game has a good deal of animation in it. A mission often takes an hour or so, most of which is spent on sequences.

Mission Seven [2,3]

Return to Concordia, handle escort duty for two transports (without wingman) on the way back.

4 Sartha about 78k out from Jump Point. Follow the standard procedure for light fighters on intercept. Ramp speed up to max, hit afterburners, fire a volley as range closes, slide, and kill on tails on way in. Transports should take only shield damage (and may kill a damaged Sartha on you if you are not careful).

3 Drakhri about 10k out from jump. Intercept, taunt heavily, slide in, tail and kill. A missile or two would really have been nice.

Mission Eight [2,4]

Quarters searched.

Wide escort patrol through three nav points.

NAV 1 empty.

NAV 2 three stealth fighters at 20k out.

With stealth fighters you really need to watch for missiles (they'll lock on you and fire just as they become visible) and collisions. I had an inordinate number of collisions with invisible fighters when I ran this encounter.

NAV 3 60k from Concordia, three more stealth fighters. Change course every three seconds, ready to afterburn and slide when they appear. No one believes your report (your ship will take damage...no flight recorder record). Stingray is in trouble from the search. Enigma system's strategic value is explained.

Ghorah Khar

Mission Nine [3,1]

Patrol with Hobbes (Kilrathi) in Rapiers.

NAV 1 Three Jalkehi.

NAV 2 about 14k out, the Ace Kur and three Grikath. Kur is a real runner. The Grikath are not inclined to let you tail them, rear turrets or not (you have range on their neutrons). Easiest attack is the afterburner slide, repeated. Hobbes will attack recklessly, go home early. Hobbes discussion. Mandarin society discussed.

Mission Ten [3,2]

Assigned to escort a free trader in. Briefing room used.

NAV 1 (?why go to Nav 1, why not direct to the trader? Some day I'm going to fly this mission straight sometime and skip the Nav point). Three Drakhri. Easy kills.

BONNIE HEATHER (with Paladin!) is assaulted by two wings of three Jalkehi each. Nasty. Need to engage in point defense techniques. Paladin will kill some of those Jalkehi you heavily damage.

NAV 2 (?why not skip NAV 2?) empty. CONCORDIA no encounter. Paladin/Maniac updates. Hobbes requests "a consequential assignment"

Mission Eleven [3,3]

Assaulted during launch (why should the Concordia care?). Five Sartha. NAV clear.

STRIKE FORCE -- Hobbes just rushes in. Four Grikath and a Kamekh. Kill what is available. (You can kill a Kamekh, phase shields or no).

STATION clear

Hobbes has a heart to heart.

Mission Twelve [3,4]

Five Drakhri attack when you launch.

When they are killed, next action sphere is four Jalkehi, so take some time with the last Drakhri (to let shields regen, etc.).

Remember chaff. CONCORDIA clear.

Debrief with Sparks. Meanwhile ... Prince Thrakhath talks with Khasra. Treason is discussed, but their goal is to destroy the Concordia. Heart to heart with Paladin.

Novaya Kiev

Mission Thirteen [4,1]

Back in Broadswords. With Doomsday.

JUMP POINT (clear)

VALDEZ (a tanker, in joke, clear)

4 Drakhri & 2 Dorkathi -- the transport's flack is now dangerous. LET YOUR SHIELDS REGENERATE BEFORE THE NEXT ENCOUNTER. TRAVEL AT 10KPS, DO NOT ENGAGE AUTOPILOT -- or, if you are playing the "old" version with an adjustable frame rate, run it "real fast" until your shields are back, then adjust it back to proper speed -- time dilation that way is kind of neat.

SUPPLY DEPOT. 3 Jalkehi (easy). 1 Dorkathi (hard. It defends the depot). Supply depot. Doomsday sometimes ejects, sometimes goes home, sometimes just disappears. You don't know if he survived until debriefing. He will refuse any assigned target except for the Dorkathi. Send him.

This is the "easy" way to win the mission.

Kill the Jalkehi, remembering taunts to get them away from the depot's supporting fire. Assign Doomsday to the Dorkathi (and you can spend your missiles on it) so that when he breaks and attacks he kills something rather than wasting his efforts. Then sit at 11K from the station until shields have regenerated. Let torp lock while you sit still. Then engage engines at full speed. Fire torp around 2400k -- make sure you can miss the station -- and run out to 11K again. Sit and regen and do it again until the station goes down.

If you've had Doomsday take the Dorkathi on his kamakazi run (instead of his going after the station) it is pretty easy.

Mission Fourteen [4,2]

Actually pretty easy. Search and Rescue. At 85K four Jalkehi. Kill as you close with ITS, then keep going and kill those who chase with your rear turret. Your shields are really thick.

Let them regenerate. Ignore the command to return to base. The Drakhri are nothing. Nail them, regenerate shields if they are weak. Then the two corvettes. The Kamekh are impossible to kill with torps, but a single run with the guns will kill one (so much for its phase shields).

Close up on Stingray slowly, veer past him, stopping, and the tractor beam will pull him in. Dispatcher chews on you. Admiral chews on you (just a little "reprimanded" but with the kind of force a real military man knows means approval). Bluehair is graceless in talking with Stingray. Spirit is being blackmailed about Philip (but does not give in as you will later discover).

Mission Fifteen [4,3]

JUMP clean MINES no encounter (they don't show up). HECTOR/FRALTHRA you fight the four Jalkehi, Hector takes the Fralthra before you can use your torps on it. Let your shields regen before you move on...

NAV at 14k four Grikath. Taunt to get them back so you can kill all of them.

JUMP make sure your shields have regenerated. Post jump I had an immediate collision -- but full shields prevented any damage. Angel confab. Admiral "not impressed." Heaven's gate discussion. Mariko/Spirit talk about E-Mail that is bothering her (the blackmail attempt starts in earnest).

Mission Sixteen [4,4]

I played through the rest of the game and quit updating the computer log. Really, the script overpowers the game elements. There is little to work out, other than the right way to use a Broadsword and torpedoes.

Oh, on any other torpedo carrying ship, get a lock at about 11k (out of range of flack), then ramp up to full speed, hit afterburners and launch (at a speed slower than torpedo speed...) at about 1500 or so, pulling out sharply to avoid the station or ship, then hitting the afterburners hard to clear out before the flak hits you. Regenerate shields (and repair damage even) and do it again.

Don't believe the clue book, missiles will chase Jazz and not get lost. Even with the mouse glitch (and I went through three mice -- two Microsoft and one Dell -- and two computers -- a Mitsuba and a Dell -- trying to work around it) Jazz was relatively easy to beat. Biggest damage I did was afterburners in the asteroid field (I wasn't sure if the action spheres required you to go after Jazz at full speed or if you could autopilot after him and travel at safe speeds).

Part of the problem I had was that the plot character's attitudes differed from mine from time to time. Also, the win/loss points in some scenarios did not make sense to me (e.g. in one it is whether or not the Bonnie Heather makes it back to the Concordia -- but all the hostiles are encountered before the Bonnie Heather [they are all stealth fighters] and none after -- you would have to kill it yourself to lose the scenario).

I gave the game away and cleared of the disk space for something useful -- like Privateer! That is my next project after Wing Commander Academy (which shares the same mouse autofire problem).


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