Falling Fire

The Phoenix Ship Rutter for Privateer, Part 2 -- Copyright 1994 Stephen R. Marsh

Privateer Rutter, Part Two


Continuing on ...

N*1* 3 Dralthi. Use missiles to allow you to break into open space, then kill them. (That is the book solution, I think they just had random success... much easier is to jump in at 400kps, switch to chase view, set Nav to Nav 3 [the clear one] and zip out, dodging and using afterburners from time to time. Then kill whoever doesn't run into asteroids chasing you. See the notes at the end for more details.

Taryn Cross 4

A long series of jumps. Too long if you can't refuel. R2 to *3*; R2 random encounters: 50% pirates, 25% retros; R3 nothing; D1 to 5; D1 random encounters: Kilrathi ; D5 random encounters: 4 pirate talons (sometimes aces, sometimes novices)

B1 to 3 to *5* (4 fanatical pirate aces). From 3 to 5 do not autopilot. Stop at 12000m. Lure them out, kill in open space.; B1 70% four dangerous pirates, 30% three novices; B*5* four pirates, aces and pros.

G*1* to *4* (to avoid the hidden sphere) to *5* Jump point (hope for the random Dralthi novices and not the four Gothri random encounter, but if you can do the asteroid shuffle, it is easy).; G*1* three to four Kilrathi; G*5* aces in Gothri or novices in Dralthi (look to ship type see which you got).

Again, basically you can just run through the asteroids untouched. It becomes easy if you have the knack.

Delta Prime 1 to 2. No random encounters. Land with an empty gun slot. Otherwise the game picks one for you and you can lose an expensive gun.

According to the clue book, once you fulfill the mission requirements, you can turn on immunity and get home safely. Just turn it off before you land. If you don't want to try that (after all, it is easy to land with 16 to 20 missiles at this point), save at Delta Prime 2. You can save the game here and you will be glad you did if you did not use immunity.

Taryn says good-bye (she is the closest you get to a friendly good-bye). Next step is to turn on invulnerability and go back to Troy System. Better is to go to Rikel (via New Detroit, take a load of radioactives and gems to cash in on) and Vishnu and visit the bar. As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no way to guess that you need to go to a new mining base and visit the bar to find the next fixer.

Once you get the mission (which is "report to Perry" -- no pay), you finally get some idea of what to do next besides get killed or chased by divine wrath (or a close approximation). If you did not get a clue as to where to go, you can die of frustration trying to figure out what next by going into bars and looking for clues or the next fixer, wracking your brain for what clue you missed. I had the clue book and used it here and missed that.

Take FF missiles.

FF missiles can be fired when you are not looking at something.  There are things that run from FF missiles and while they run, you can buy time.

Eleven Retro fanatical pros in Talons try to mug you at Midgard Nav 1 (or the appropriate alternate Nav point) on your way to Perry. If you've gotten used to afterburner flares and runs, you might miss them (though save and run this mission so that you can get the dialogue).

Routes:

Obvious: Rikel to Midgard to Perry; *4* 20% pirates to *2* 20% retros; Midgard 3 mixed to 1 (retros are us, the ambush); Perry 3 to 9, alternative and best, Rikel (asteroids, but low risk) to New Detroit (Ambush at 7) to Perry.

Few Asteroids: Nexus *3* (40% red dots) to 2; Tingerhoff 6 (60% Kilrathi or Retros) to Nav 4 (ambush); Perry 8 to 9

No Asteroids: Hyades 4 to 1 (possible Kamekh!); Blockade Point Charlie 3 to 1; (lots of enemies, run like crazy & jump); Surtur 1 to 3 (ambush); Perry 7 to 9.

Other routes: Lisac to Blockade Point Tango to Niter (ambush) to Perry Asteroids are us, Kilrathi even more. Or, Hyades to Sumn-Kp'ta to Tr'Pakh to Blockade Point Alpha to Ragnarok (ambush) to Perry. Lisac, only worse.

Finally, Troy to Pender, to Junction, to NC, to ND (ambush at 7), to Perry. No asteroids (except at Pender's hidden nav point), allows an old home visit.

You want the fastest possible route to Perry as you can count on the nasty thing (it is in the opening credits -- and appears to remember you and not fondly) chasing you the whole way there. Gack.

At Perry, make some more money on the exchange. See the admiral. Take the final plot mission. Sell all your missiles. Sell your missile launchers and get torpedoes and torpedo launchers (which should let you fire two at once and won't. Grr.).

Blockade Point "Final Showdown"

You will need to go through some dialog.

(!ATTENTION, ORIGIN! THIS ENCOUNTER SHOULD HAVE SUCKED THE CHARACTER INTO A LOCATION THAT THE PROGRAM WOULD TREAT AS A "BASE" (ALLOWING A SAVE GAME AT). YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT TEN MINUTES OF REPEAT GAME PLAY THAT GETS VERY BORING AND TIRING AFTER THE FIRST TIME THROUGH. A SAVE GAME HERE COULD HAVE ALLOWED A LOAD RIGHT BEFORE THE FINAL SHOWDOWN AND WOULD HAVE REALLY BEEN A KINDNESS). Note that in Righteous Fire the programmers provided Valhalla and Gaea to serve that function and they work well.

Kilrathi Hunting in the Privateer Universe, Ship Rutter, Part 2

Kilrathi killing alternatives (for use vs. heavy shielded ships) to the "advised standard" of two tachyon and two ionic pulse cannons (great vs. Talons and Demons).

Kilrah 5 (Control/Standard)

Tachyon (.4625 cm/GJ) 3.7 cm, 8 GJ
Ionic (.36 cm/GJ) 5.4 cm, 15 GJ
Per TI pair (.39565 cm/GJ)
9.1 cm, 23 GJ

Note:

Gun Range Speed Damage
Plasma 2856 840kps*** 7.2cm
Ionic 4080 1200kps** 5.4cm
¡Tachyon 4250 1250kps*** 3.7cm
¡Particle 3400 1000kps* 4.3cm
Neutron 3060 6.2cm
Meson 1300kps** 3.2cm
¡MassD 3740 1100kps* 2.6cm
Laser 4760 1400kps* 1.8cm

¡ before a gun means that the information in Player's Guide is incorrect. (Specifically, Tachyon does less damage by 1.3 cm, Ionic, Mass Driver and Particle Cannon recharge faster than book rates).

*** high abuse limit (recommended)

** medium abuse limit (acceptable)

* low abuse limit (easily destroyed by enemy fire, unsuitable for sustained combat usage.)

Kilrah 1 (Acceptable for entire campaign)

Tachyon (.4625 cm/GJ)
3.7 cm, 8 GJ
Neutron Gun (.34444 cm/GJ)
6.2 cm, 18 GJ
Per TN pair (.3808 cm/GJ)
9.9 cm, 26 GJ

Kilrah 2

Tachyon (.4625 cm/GJ)
3.7 cm, 8 GJ
Plasma Gun (.3273 cm/GJ)
7.2 cm, 22 GJ
Per TP pair (.3633 cm/GJ)
10.9 cm, 30 GJ

Kilrah 3

Dual Ionic (.36 cm/GJ)
5.4 cm, 15 GJ
Per II pair (.36 cm/GJ)
10.8 cm, 30 GJ
.1 cm less damage than 2, better range.

Kilrah 4

Dual Tachyon (.4625 cm/GJ)
3.7 cm, 8 GJ
Per TT pair (.4625 cm/GJ)
7.4 cm, 16 GJ

Kilrah 6

Neutron Gun (.34444 cm/GJ)
6.2 cm, 18 GJ
Plasma Gun (.3273 cm/GJ)
7.2 cm, 22 GJ
Per NP Pair (.335 cm/GJ)
13.4 cm, 40 GJ

Kilrah 7

Neutron Gun (.34444 cm/GJ)
6.2 cm, 18 GJ
Ionic (.36 cm/GJ)
5.4 cm, 15 GJ
Per NI pair (.3515 cm/GJ)
11.6 cm, 33 GJ

Kilrah 8

Plasma Gun (.3273 cm/GJ)
7.2 cm, 22 GJ
Per Plasma Gun Pair (.3273 cm/GJ)
14.4 cm, 44 GJ

Kilrah 9

Ionic (.36 cm/GJ)
5.4 cm, 15 GJ
Plasma Gun (.3273 cm/GJ)
7.2 cm, 22 GJ
Per IP Pair (.3405 cm/GJ)
12.6 cm, 37 GJ

Average cm/GJ, total cm, total GJ
(from low cm to high cm)

Kilrah 4 (.4625 cm/GJ), 7.4, 16

Kilrah 5 (.3957 cm/GJ), 9.1, 23

Kilrah 1 (.3808 cm/GJ), 9.9, 26

Kilrah 3 (.3600 cm/GJ), 10.8, 30

Kilrah 2 (.3633 cm/GJ), 10.9, 30

Kilrah 7 (.3515 cm/GJ), 11.6, 33

Kilrah 9 (.3405 cm/GJ), 12.6 cm, 37 GJ


Kilrah 6 (.335 cm/GJ), 13.4 cm, 40 GJ


Kilrah 8 (.3273 cm/GJ), 14.4 cm, 44 GJ

Notes:

In hunting military craft, the heavy shields you are attempting to batter down are the important difference between the Kilrathi and the usual Talon or Demon. Also, when using an ITTS, differences in weapon speed often help to identify when a craft is on a closing heading and easier to hit (because the ITTS markers merge). Also, some levels of energy use are not feasible with some engine levels.

In a Centurion with Level 3 Shields, if you could have Level 5 engines, Kilrah 6 or 8 would be the optimum for hunting military craft. Otherwise, Kilrah 2 offers a good compromise and Kilrah 9. For overall use, Kilrah 5 (two tachyon, two ionic pulse), the benchmark, is extremely useful. On a budget, Kilrah 1 is an excellent starting point, sacrificing some range for more power and keeping high abuse limits. I used it extensively.

The standard (K5) and Kilrah 4 are both great for Talon hunting with a high fire rate and some range (since the small craft tend to take direct headings).

Kilrathi Hunting in the Privateer Universe, Ship Rutter, Part 3, or,

Curing a plague of cats...

Some scenarios, some missions, seem like an endless grind rather than a challenge. After all the banter, and after the character gets the only positive response ever (outside of the bartender at the pleasure planet) to a line from a plot character, to think he'd have to go through this.... But he doesn't. There is a solution.

General Technique

First, you have to know all about Kilrathi hunting in Gemini Sector. Or how to handle military craft with heavy shields and power to burn. The method is fairly easy, once you understand it. You begin by knocking down their shields with yours. (Your shields are heavier, so is your ship). This is done by crowding and nudging the enemy fighters.

Unlike Talons and Demons, where you just ram them, with the Kilrathi it is best to nudge them. You lose 25% to 75% of your shield, they lose all, maybe some structural damage. You then hit the unprotected spot with all the firepower you can muster. Maybe a deuce of missiles, maybe heavy blasters.

Which is the next step. If you don't have patience, you use paired Plasma Guns and Ionic Pulse Guns (Plasma in the center, Ionic in the outside slots) [note that for normal plot play you would use Tachyon Cannon and Ionic Pulse Guns, so this is an expensive refit at -25% each time you sell something to replace it -- also, you will find that if you don't mind a little extra time, this is a great combination for shooting up the Kilrathi as well] so that when you take your shots, they are hammer blows. Light weapons just peck at the Kilrathi at about the same speed they regenerate.


The third step is using missiles after the shields are down, rather than before. A pair of missiles often is the touch to finish them off. Almost as well are photon torpedoes. Launched after you've crowded a Kilrathi, at close range, they hit well (and you have them for use against capital ships).

When fighting three Kilrathi (a common grouping...) crowd one of them until you get a brushing collision, then begin firing and follow immediately with missiles. With just two, save the missiles for the next wave. With just one, don't even worry about crowding, just fire at it as it does strafing runs. Checklist: speed set: 500kps. Weapon loadout:  either heavy or stock, twenty IR missiles.

Mission Skills

Once you have cat hunting down (practice it at the R1 jump point, lots of random Kilrathi there) all you need to beat the scenario is to make it to the dance with your carriage in one piece. It is easier than you would expect.

You can run through and to jump points. It is easy to avoid most encounters as they tend to intercept you 12k to 8k off of the jump point. When you are running at 1000kps with afterburners flaring, most can't hit you on the slant. But, some of these jump points have asteroids. R3 is easy, since it doesn't have any encounters, but the jump into Gamma is inhabited by fanatical pirate aces and on the other side are Kilrathi aces just lurking in wait.

It is ok. You can beat the double and survive the nasty group that blocks you later. Try practicing the pursuit view. You can easily thread asteroids at 500kps or better using this view. That means easy travel past the pirates, and out of the asteroids on the other side. A glancing blow will do only shield damage, easily regenerated. You pull the three Dralthi out of the asteroids and finish them off neatly. Go to the asteroids at Nav 3 (empty point).

Then to the asteroids at Nav 4 (3 Gothri, then 1 Gothri and a Destroyer). Kill the Destroyer if you feel like it, outrun it if you don't (it is far from the Nav point trying to intercept you and has a 300kps top end). Last point is Nav 2. Dive in on afterburners, hitting the Nav point for the mission computer. Kill a couple of the Dralthi, but leave one or two (otherwise you have waves of Gothri to deal with). Then head on back to the jump point. You can thread the asteroids faster than the Dralthi and jump out easily. (You are out of the asteroids before the pirates get a bead on you -- though if you kill them, this time they are likely to have cargo and contraband for your tractor beam). Head for home ASAP and you've won. Suddenly it is easy rather than a grind. Too bad the dialogue isn't better for this one (but it is good enough). You can beat it without a cheat and you do not need 250 missiles and Shield/Engine Level 5

For the last TC mission, it is a similar series, except now it is random encounters at the Gamma system. Out at the jump to N2 (the clear space one). These Kilrathi do not pursue insanely (unlike mission enemies who do). Then to N3 (there is a hidden action sphere that going from N2 to N3 to N4 allows you to bypass). Then to N4. If it is Dralthi, they are novices, and easy to ace. If Gothri, just kick up to 400 kps or so and zip into the jump point.

Practice it again (Sometimes a second explanation makes the first clear).

First, before accepting the next mission, change over to twin plasma on the inside, ionic pulse on the outside slots. If you need to, run some missions to raise enough money to afford the switch. (You can do this with the "standard" of two ionic on the inside and two tachyon on the outside -- or the economical two neutron on the inside and two tachyon on the outside -- but it is fun to have a reason to use plasma weapons, and it burns up a good deal of cash, making you feel poor again).

Second, save, then practice launching, setting to 400 kps, hitting F8 (for the pursuit view), and then flying through the asteroids around the jump point. Learn to orient on stars, how to fly into a jump point from outside and generally, how to handle things from the F8 pursuit view. Practice dodging a little, with the occasional afterburner burst.

Third, take missions to patrol the "normal" jump point out of the system (hunt down Kilrathi for profit) -- especially if you need the money for the refit. If not, just fly out there and look to see if you are encountering Kilrathi (run away if you don't meet them and practice on the asteroids again). Learn how to "nudge" and ram Kilrathi ships and how to finish them off.

Fourth, take the mission and run the gauntlet. Until you reach the final system, run from everything. If you follow the rutter's nav point chain, you will not hit any asteroids until the jump into the final system. Fly up to it (rather than using autopilot) using shields at 2 and afterburners. At 18 to 16 k out, stop dead, let shields regenerate to full. Set speed to 450 or 500 kps. Orient on the stars that will take you into the jump point (when you get close, you will see the jump point). Switch to F8. Dodge a little, hit the burners a little, run to the Nav point and jump past the pirates (it is faster than luring them out and killing them).

Once you are in, immediately bring the nav computer up and orient it on the vacant encounter sphere (you do not want to mix more than one group of Kilrathi!). Drop back into game mode (you are at 450 or so kps in asteroids after all) and F8 mode. Do not worry about your heading -- you will correct that outside of the asteroids. Instead, concentrate on running straight (using visual landmarks -- stellar configurations -- constellations -- to guide you) and out, with some dodging to keep your shields up. You want to be out of the asteroids where you can maneuver safely and where the enemy cannot gang up on you and shoot you up from behind.

As soon as you are in clear space, turn on your pursuers. Some will be damaged from asteroid strikes. Lock on one of those and start killing them. Fly the rest of the mission cleanly and according to the outline in the rutter. Run and jump out. If you want, and have missiles left, go after the jump point pirates -- they often have cargo. Otherwise (and I advise this), just run home and collect your pay.


Post Script:

The asteroid set-up in this game causes asteroids to be attracted to you based on your speed.  (If you use the pursuit view you will watch them actually veer towards you).  If you have a Talon you are chasing, the asteroids do not seem to notice it.  If you have a Kilrathi ship you are chasing, it will attract the asteroids instead of you.  As a result, it is actually fairly safe and easy to fight with the Kilrathi in the asteroids if you would rather do that.


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