With WC4 coming out in February of 1996, replaying WC3 is on the minds of some.
This set of comments is written to add some value and some consideration for those who are playing through WC3 again (or for the first time).
It follows the missions on the winning track.
#1 patrol 3 nav points
in a Hellcat with Hobbes
This is just a warm up. Hobbes could fly this by himself. Use your missiles to pick up kills that Hobbes would otherwise steal.
Practice your power settings as you are launching (that is why you start with 0 velocity. Always set them before launch. Generally lock energy at 25% with a ^[, then go down to damage and move it down to 5%/0%).
Comment for WC5 design team
#2 Cobra, in an Arrow. Remember that your wingmen are almost always better at killing large ships than you are.
#3 Escort Transport, patrol some afterwards.
Vaquero (or any) in an Arrow (or practice on a Thunderbolt)
This is a "branching point" mission (I preferred WC1's mission set total method to the branch point method of WC2 and WC3, btw). It seems impossible to lose.
#4 Escort Transport. The real mission is to beat the "skip" missile.
Hobbes in a Thunderbolt is the easy way to win this.
Maniac in an Arrow is recommended by Origins.
Link with Transport.
After Nav 1, leave the transport behind and do 'forward recon' (my term for when you leave the escorted ship behind and fly forward to pre-empt an ambush) at full set speed. About 36m or so out, you'll encounter a Kilrathi intercept group. Tell Hobbes to kill the corvette (it has the skipper missile) and go after the escort (2 Dralthi).
If you take Maniac, he will do what he pleases.
The Origin way is to take Maniac (he can kill Kilrathi quickly) and an Arrow (keep HS missiles though -- Origin is wrong because the HS can kill the skipper missile). Get close to the Corvette and watch for yellow dots (one will be the skip missile. Hobbes is superior for this because Hobbes will not launch missiles and clutter things with extra yellow dots...).
Chase it back towards the transport until you get a missile lock and fire a HS (oops, that is a hidden secret, Origin suggests using guns, but a HS will follow it in and out of cloak).
It is hard to chase the right yellow dot at 600kph.
The moral choices are pretty obvious in the conversations. Be supportive and listen. Agree with most people, slap Flash down from time to time.
Give people breaks, never tell them it is none of thier business. Never score points with Tolwyn (he's a jerk). Punch Paladin. Hard sell. Be nice to Flash in Hyperion. (which is when you will also make the choice between Flint and Rachel. My advice -- chose neither, it is too soon after the news about Angel).
Ship morale starts at 8, pilot morale starts at 8 as well.
All pilots are perfect in flying and gunnery.
Hobbes, Flint, and Vaquero follow orders all of the time. (Vaquero and Hobbes are immune to low morale)
Cobra, Flash, Vagabond follow orders sometimes.
Maniac never follows orders.
Hobbes' and Vagabond's courage is maximized.
Cobra, Flash, Flint and Vaquero are normal.
Maniac has no courage.
Morale changes courage and obedience. (Maniac doesn't have any of either ... so his morale doesn't matter)
#1 Point Defense.
This is a launch and defend the Victory. You launch in an Arrow, listen to Maniac announce kills. This is a success/failure mission, but it is hard to see how you can lose unless you shoot down Maniac before he saves the Victory singlehandedly.
#2 Talk to Rachel (so you can fly the Excalibur). The game says it is, intercept and kill 4 transports but this is your first shot at the Excalibur.
Excalibur, with IR missiles.
Remember ^A is the autofire which hits anything you are locked on as long as you can see it (a quantum level better than ITTS). Lock on an enemy, then start dodging, while keeping him in sight. You can blow them away 1.2.3... that way. Without ^A this mission is difficult. (Origin should have noted reminders of commands like this throughout the book).
Hobbes and Flint will automatically kill all four transports that you are assigned after. If you want any of that action at all, afterburn to the head of the line and work your way back. Hobbes is really, really fast as a transport killer.
This is a success/failure mission, but it is hard to see how you can lose.
#3 Fight with Flash.
Choose the 2nd response (to improve ship morale, knock Flash down a peg).
You start at a good distance. Set speed to 500+. Set engines to 25%, shields to 40%, guns to 30% and repair to 5%. Lock on Flash, leave missiles on HS, and put your finger on E (for Electronic Countermeasures). Dodge and watch for missiles (so you can drop decoys). 8 missiles, 24 decoys, use them liberally.
Flash uses afterburners like a fish uses water. Turn to face him after each pass, move guns to full (hit F). The heat seekers will tell you when you are on his tail. Use them to track him. He'll afterburn even more and use fuel faster if you tail him from time to time. When he comes around, wait until the ITTS ends up in his target square and then fire, dodging as soon as he hits you. (Or, you can just dodge, but this keeps you from getting bored and pushes him to afterburn more). You'll need to use decoys alot, especially if you see that green square pop up.
When Flash runs out of juice, he won't afterburn away when you are tailing him. Start easing up on him. Hit B (for broadside of missiles). Somewhere around 600 is as close as you can get to him (Just under 700 it what it seems like). (For comparison, you can close to almost 200 on a Dralthi).
Fire off all the missiles at this point. If you are too far, he'll decoy all your missiles. Close enough and he doesn't have time (that is why you need to ease up on him). Generally he blows and you still have 2-3 missiles floating around in space.
#1 Destroy 18 fighters to win.
Destroy 24 fighters to get "mission accomplished."
This is a great mission for Maniac (who has learned how to fly. For search and destroy missions, Maniac can't be beat). Thunderbolt, with FF (to hunt Strakha) and IR (to hunt Darket Ace). Full guns (or switch off Photon cannon and wait until your enemy is within 3000m).
Because of some limited manueverability, shields will be important. lock Engines at 25% ^], move damage down to 0/5%, then start the mission.
The Kilrathi Ace Fireclaw is mixed in with the last mission, but you have 24 decoys and he has just a few missiles. Save a volly for him so that you get that ace kill.
#2 arm the torp. Autopilot. As you come out of autopilot, lock on the destroyer.
Toggle on the afterburner ~. You will get a lock in time and can nail the destroyer as you pass by it. Follow the yellow dot (it is the bioweapon) and kill it with your guns (your heat-seekers will not lock on to it).
You can take Flash on this mission just to check his morale. (Hit Alt A so that he will hit the destroyer if you miss it. If his morale is low, he'll say "nope" -- "negatory" if it is ok). Bring Hobbes if you can't connect with the torpedos (he'll obey and kill it. Otherwise you have to chase up to three bioweapons .... ouch, you could run out of afterburner fuel).
#3 On return to the Victory, wait for Eisen to tell you about Flint, then hit the com and tell them you are going after her.
The encounters and Flint location are random. Get near Flint. She has a lot of FF missiles and will be releasing them all, which will disrupt the enemy (piles of Darket, followed by Vaktoth, and that light cruiser she is pounding on).
Remember to reset your power settings (the game sets them back to default).
#1 Defend station. Take Cobra in Arrows (anyone will do, but you need to rotate the wingmen). Cobra will follow orders well enough (break and attack ...).
The clue book says to fight off the light fighters (which will appear at good distances, giving you plenty of time) and then when the Paktahn show up, go after Bloodmist first thing.
No. First off, Bloodmist and the rest will appear a long ways off. You can, with your wingman, kill three of them before they get near the station.
Second, Bloodmist's Paktahn is terribly well shielded, you will pound on it for a long time. If you go for it first, the Paktahn will get the station. (Bloodmist may maneuver when being fired on, but not enough to stop a steady stream of blaster fire and missiles).
So, kill the other Paktahn, then gang up on Bloodmist (which keeps him from launching torps at the base). He will eventually go down. Save a missile if you want the ace kill.
#2 For the second set of transports (the ambush) toggle your afterburners
on and fly by them at full speed (so that you escape the blast). Take FF
and IR missiles for the Strakha.
#3 This is the time for the Shelton Slide. Pull up alongside a Sorthak, set the slide up, turn sideways and pound away. Meson guns have a range of 4500. Need I say more. While the lasers have a theoretical range of around 5000, ion cannons are shorter. Thus using Y to match speeds at a good following distance has the obvious result.
BTW, I liked Vagabond enough that I would have preferred him as the "Blair replacement" for WC5 or WCP.
When they kill the Behemoth, you can't save it, but ... if you lock on the Prince and hit him with a salvo and then afterburn back to your ship, you can get an extra Ace kill and survive it. The prince shows up again, but you'll know that it is just a clone.
Whenever you can cloak, remember you can get a missile lock (barrage or leach) before you uncloak. That can be useful.