Technical Walkthroughs (still in rough draft stage)
1. B1 -- H'rekkah -- Kilrathi Distress Call
Comments. There is only one wave, so use your missiles early.
2. B2 -- H'rekka -- Black Widow Rescue
Comments. In two nav points you are swarmed -- a total of 25 enemy ships to your Tigershark's eight missiles (and 32 rocket pod "mini-dumb fires" -- useful for enemy ships making head on attack runs). This can be a very difficult mission. You should probably spend two or three of your heat seeking missiles on the first two or three enemies -- to get three fast kills and move the odds down from 13 to 7 (yes, with your wingmen and the guys you are saving, you have seven) to more like 10 to 7 quickly. Full guns to the rear shields, then a missile, full guns, then a missile. Then switch to charging mass driver and finish off the encounter.
At the second nav you want to use the remaining missiles quickly to knock the odds down fast. (from 14 to 7 to 9 to 7). At ace level this is helped by the fact that multiple enemies will target you. That is the only way to save enough of the Black Widow squadron to win this mission.
As you close, taunt an enemy and give him a rocket pod to the face. Beware, on full guns your "real" range is 2000k while the ITTS will light up when you are in laser fire range. Charging Mass Drivers are a good idea for this mission as they have better range. You can get a shot off at "long" range and then another if it did not kill the enemy. Charge, taunt, face, fire, rocket pod (immediately after the shot) and next target.
3. B3 (winning -- the losing path is harder -- much, much harder, of course). Tigershark again. The Piranha gets used so little it might as well be a decoration in the game. Eight missiles, 13 total enemies (between the various nav points). You have two wingmen. At each of the first two nav points, use a missile to make a fast kill to move the odds down to 3 to 3. Then, at the last nav point, use your missiles on the two Manta -- heavier ships that your guns will take forever to pound down. That is six missiles (one at nav 1, one at nav 2, and two each for each of the Manta). That gives you two more missiles to use on the Moray at the last nav point.
4. B4 in a Wasp (that is three ships in four missions -- see what I mean about interval training).
The clue book had a good point here. All you want to do is kill the Mantas and stay alive until the Midway calls you back to jump out with it. Good chance to use the [T] button ... Don't use the booster pack [B] (if you can get it to work ...) as that will make the mission harder. Infinite enemies so you definitely want to make the jump ...
Notes on the Wasp.
Charging Mass Drivers have better range than Mass Drivers. If you are a good shot, you might want to use the pair that are on the Wasp. Mass Drivers range is only 2000, Tachyon Guns have a range of 3900, Charging Mass 3600.
If you kill the Manta, then the Midway won't be damaged and you stay on the winning track. If you just kill whatever is close, then the Midway will probably take a few hits and you are one of the losing tracks. Look for Manta that are red, not gray, in the VDU. Target those ships. If you can't tell which are which, just target Mantas.
5. C1 Tigershark -- first set of encounters kill the Skate-Ts. Most of the com messages are for mood. Only the Redeemer isn't destroying itself when you show up. BTW, don't let the panic messages from the Midway hurry you up -- keep the Redeemer safe. Feel free to use all your weaponry as the Redeemer will resupply you with missiles (which I should have paid attention to -- it makes the mission easier if you are feeling free to launch missiles).
Interesting note -- just as in Privateer, the AI is getting better and better at targeting the ship you are guarding and bypassing you. Watch out for Remoras and break up the Ray Cluster ships at the end of any mission (so that the Remora clutter doesn't hide something important).
Back at the Midway, kill the Skate-Ts (that is break them up) and then focus on the Mantas. Once a Skate-T is broken into Skates, it isn't a threat to the Midway.
6. C2a You can use your missile pods on the cap ship's shield emitter and turrets. Use your ship to ship missiles to clobber the Squids/Manta and then go in after cap ships (or, if you want, beat up on the Destroyer a bit first using the rocket pods -- you have a lot of rockets in the pod). You have three wingmen. Remember, fire missiles into the backside of a Manta -- that will kill it. Otherwise it takes two. Squids in combat are also very weak to the backside.
Warning, don't leave until the cap ships are dead -- even if the autopilot light goes on.
7. C3a Kill the enemy bombers first. Always. That means kill Skate-Ts and Red Mantas. You have a Wasp so you have more than enough missiles to swarm them ... Then kill enemy fighters.
You've got twelve missiles. 4 are swarmers -- enough for the 3 Manta and one Skate-T. Then the other eight for the Squids you run into. Remember, Tachyon range is further than your mass drivers (which only reach out 2000k). When the fighters are all dead, go take out shield emitters and turrets.
[Note, the losing DL missions are training missions that route you back on the winning track no matter what happens -- well done Origin!]
8. D1 You have to kill the Skate-T or the station is dead. Feel free to use your missiles on the Morays early and then to break up the Skate-T. You will get to reload and fly an undamaged ship. You can't save Blair on this mission, but will get him back later.
9. D2 Break up the Skate-T
and then save the rest of your missiles for the Devil Ray. He is a tough
enemy ace in a tough ship. Hit him all around and keep those missiles handy.
Watch for him to jump into the middle of the fight when you aren't expecting
the second wave of enemies yet.
10. -- E1 T'lan Meth Treasure Hunt
Comments: As soon as you are down to one or two enemy Moray at Nav 3, leave them to Stiletto and start looking for the jamming source. The buoy you want is not rounded, but pointed. It is indestructable. ^T to turn smart targetting off. [~] to lock afterburners on. Close on each buoy in turn until it is identified, blasting each on full guns (just to damage, not to destroy). If it doesn't take any damage, it is the one you want. Feel free to run the buoys over.
At Nav 1 breaking up the cluster last thing you do to keep down the clutter. then, at Nav 3, take out your share of the enemy with missiles as they come for you.
Your full guns have great range. Remember, to win this mission you have to beat Stiletto to the jammer. She won't start looking until the dogfight is over. You should make certain to start looking before she does.
11. E2 -- T'lan Meth MIA Recovery
Comment: The Devil Ray will grab your guy if you do not intercept him. AltB as you enter Nav. 1. Kill a Moray quickly with guns and a missile, then locate the Devil Ray (it will have jumped in), [~] to close on it quickly, locking and firing missiles at it, full guns when you are within range. It will probably jump out before you kill it.
Then back to the SAR, targetting any ship that is firing on the SAR.
12. E3a -- T'lan Meth -- Perimeter Sweep
Comments: The Stingray will cluster and kill the SWACS if you don't do something about them. The easy solution is to [T] until the Stingray is your target then AltA to "attack my target" as you [U] to pick up the nearest Moray and kill it. As you kill it, the Manta will swing on your six, setting it up to be your next target. Kill it and then head for the SWACS to protect it from anything that is attacking it.
Remember, on Ace level the game will usually assign three aliens to attack you at any one time. This pulls them off the SWACS, especially if your two wingmen are on the Stingray. The Nav makes the task of locating anyone who is attacking the SWACS easy, otherwise it gets hard (you do visual sweeps of the enemy from a point defense position -- which is what I did). Luckily you have lots of missiles, lots of wingmen.
13. E4a Kilrathi Rendevous
Comments: You have two types of torps. Use the heaviest on the cap ships, then the lighter ones if any cap ships are left (you do have wingmen). The Kilrathi make the mission easy -- let them run out and take the heat. All you have to do is watch out for the alien ace that will come to hunt you.
14. F1 Mantas first, then mop up. Don't kill the Kilrathi -- save them for later use as cannon fodder. [You have no idea just how bad of an idea it is to kill the Kilrathi].
15. F2 Escort. Kill the Ray Cluster ships last, Lampreys first (always kill all Lampreys first -- use missiles on them to make a fast, clean kill). The first Nav is the hardest. Kill that Lamprey, kill the Mantas, then finish off the Ray Clusters. Take time to check if anyone has targeted the SWACs (though kill the Lamprey first, then check your Nav computer) and make them a target first. After Nav 1, just kill whatever presents itself, any way you like. The easy way is to use a missile on a Moray, then guns on the Ray Clusters, one at a time.
16. F3 You are in a Shrike. You have 4 useful missiles -- use them early on to help your fighter escort. Pound the Barracudas from behind -- use the Y key when you get real close. Remember your rocket pods and missile mines (fire off the mines on the way to the back of the Barracuda and then lay a few as you set up position -- discourage anyone from sneaking up on you).
17. F4a -- T'Lan Meth -- No Survivors
Comments: Kill the Lampreys first with missiles. If you don't, they run away, warn the aliens and you lose the game.
The rest is window dressing. The Lampreys won't run until the encounter is pretty much finished. They should all be dead by then. They blow up pretty easy with missile fire. You may end up targeting them first and never realize how important it is to kill them quickly. Save the Ray Clusters for last since they clutter things up.
To rescue the other guys, you have to fight with the nav map. "right click" and feel free to click more than once. It is pretty easy as rescues go. Five of you to six of them.
18. F5 About this time the load times get really long with the CD. The problem goes away in a mission or two. I'm not sure what causes it.
Use your missiles early. This is a timed mission. The second wave is timed as well (and variable). If you can kill all the enemy quickly, then you can autopilot home before the second wave arrives.
19. F6a The Kilrathi pay you back for your help. With them in this mission, it is a cakewalk. Three Vaktoth flown by aces make a real difference. If you doublecrossed the Kilrathi, you are in deep doodoo (and it will get lots deeper).
Save your missiles for the second encounter
sphere -- you will defend the Midway against bombers. Kill those Skate-Bs
quick and early (but only when they come into range -- make close in kills
first, waiting on your time). Also kill any Red Manta you see. With the Kilrathi,
you'll have to work to get a chance at any kills. Without the Kilrathi
this mission is really hard.
20. G1 Remember, your Shrike has afterburners. Also, the station has an unending supply of Stingrays replacing them as they die, so don't kill the last one. You want the Squid dead and the Manta dead. Experiment with the range on the light torps. As soon as you have a lock you can fire -- no counterfire exists, no one intercepts your torps. As soon as you fire, switch targets, each torp will kill the point it is fired at -- each run you should get off several torps at the station, starting at maximum range and firing as you close. All you are doing is killing time (and trying not to get killed) until the calvary arrives, so kill the station (otherwise you have to go back and kill it later -- ouch). After the station is dead, watch out for clusters -- use your IR missiles to disrupt them when they happen (they have enough firepower to sting you).
One other note (one that fits into other things as well). Remember that [u] can warn you of enemy ships that are closing on you (it targets the nearest enemy ship). Use it whenever you are out of torp range or when you are pulling back from the station to start another run to clue yourself in on any enemies that are headed your way. Also, if you issue a "break and attack command and let your wingmen afterburner in (as they are prone to) you can then follow-up while the enemy is distracted. Head toward your target, not the escorts -- you are bomber, though this rule will often come in handy when going after the turrets on cap ships and other missions as well.
21. G2 When killing turrets you will miss missile pods. You may need your missiles to hit the Sting Ray Clusters and need to hit them on the way in, but not let them delay you on your turret killing duties. You have ten (10!) maser turrets and four (4) missile turrets to kill. You will need to use Tachyon cannon only with a steady stream of fire to kill them (tachyon cannon give you twice the "bang for the buck" as ion cannon). A Stormfire would have been nice here (long range, no energy drain -- you could set up a power pattern that diverted power to the shields).
22. G3 With the Tiamat -- kill the engines first. You may not have enough torps for anything else. Remember, you can use [R] to cycle torp targets. Also, watch out for the Devil Ray and save some missiles for him. Otherwise, the enemy ace will nail you.
23. H1 The Vampire choice is easier. Nail those two Lampreys, but also send a missile or two after the Ray Cluster -- it is worth mission points. Unfortunately, it is hard to keep that kill to yourself. Remember to clear turrets -- keep it up even if the Leviathan gets clobbered while you are doing it (mission goals).
24. H2 The Vampire is another easy mission. Break up the minelayers. Full guns & missiles. If you break them up, cleaning up the mines is easy -- if nothing else, just run over them <g>. There will only be one or two mines laid if you break the Skate-Ms up fast. Even after the autopilot light goes on, make sure all the yellow dots -- the mines -- are gone.
25. H3 Origin -- in this mission if you choose to unload your missiles (from a distance) on the Kraken, the damage ought to show up later. You can target some components and use your swarmers on the Kraken while closing on full AB before you get the "pull out" command. Otherwise this is just a fly by and play tourist mission. It is you and lots of wingmen against a small number of aliens here and there.
26. H4 Ok, this mission is one where you have to fly the Devastator. Fly a little in the sim first, to warm up for it. Your Plasma gun works just as well as torpedoes do. If you don't kill the escort first, it will kill you while you go after the Kraken. Kill the engines first -- use [R] to target them. The clue book tells you to ignore the fighter escort. If only it would ignore you. Use your missiles on them early and then let your wingmen clean up.
27. H5 Remember -- bombers are a threat to the Midway. Kill them first. Once a cluster is broken, move on to the next. You have long range IR missiles for this mission -- use them. (Or why you aren't in a Wasp). It is nine of you vs. two wings of twelve of them.
28. H6 Remember how to slide and how to set up your AB. [?/] to set the slide. Start AB, hit [?/] to toggle slide on, drop AB (you will continue at the same speed and direction) until you are outside of the blast, return home. In, out & home. You can always loiter if you want to see yourself get killed too <g>. Remember [R] cycles targets. Again, you have to kill the fighter escort or it will kill you. With their speed you can't "just afterburn in, launch & leave."
29. I1 This is where you remember to leave part of a wave intact so that the next wave doesn't kick in -- and that way you can spend time taking out the Leviathan's defenses with less risk to your wingmen.
30. I2 Cap ship missiles can be destroyed by your IR missiles -- though you ought to be able to use your swarmers to kill more of them if they are close together -- but you can't. You can also use your guns on the missiles. There are four of them -- keep count. [B] will work here and is essential to get out and intercept the cap ship missiles in a timely fashion. Remember that Skate-Ts are a threat to the Midway and so are Mantas. Morays are an annoyance, not a game losing threat. The Stingrays are a threat only if there are three of them.
31. I3 Remember, this time you are in the bomber ... [F4] will let you use your tailgun to defend your tail. Use your missiles on Squid as they turn closely. They can really hurt you if you don't thin them down early.
The worst part about this is that the guys you are rescuing can get themselves pretty chewed up *after* you've cleared off the fighter escort. If they get clobbered by the turrets, you still lose that sub-objective.
32. I4 Kilrah -- Defang the Beast
Comments: Take out all the escorts, then move on the Tiamat to kill the turrets & shield emitter. The game won't let you damage the Tiamat's bridge, engine or launcher. You can't fly into the Tiamat or the launcher to fight from the inside (as you could in WC III and WC IV).
33. I5 An enemy ace all for you. Lots of Squids. Some preliminary dogfighting in a bomber. Well, the Devastator has 12 missiles and you can use the plasma cannon against any incoming foe. Get set with the plasma cannon, fire, then hit [F] for full guns (you can swear when you see what full guns gets you -- you basically can switch between plasma cannon and the long range "machine gun") and fire missiles when the Devil Ray comes calling for you. If you did your job last mission, then the torp & plasma gun work on the Kraken is easy once the escort is gone. This might be the time to transfer power.
Checklist something like this. ^T (smart targeting so that you don't target your own guys). [P] to adjust power. Reduce a little off of engines, etc. into shields. Since you launch into a dogfight, start this up after the initial encounter is over, but before you go after the Kraken.
34. I6 The enemy waves are endless, so you can't "clear out the escort and get down to business." The towers change color when they are targets.
Hang loose until you get the message that the tower shields are coming down. (the best way to hang loose is to stay on the six of an enemy fighter). Then target the wormhole [I] to force target mode. Use [R] to cycle towers. Those with their shields down will switch color. They kill easily with full guns. When you've killed all but the last (tower 7 -- use it for reference if you forget which color is up, which is down) head towards Nav 1 and hang loose.
There will be a cut scene. You then get to refuel and pick up more missiles. Remember that FF missiles are useful to fire to brush someone off your six. Lock on the wormhole and tower 7, while hanging loose. Keep within 4000k or so. The moment it turns color, afterburn for it and let loose with full guns to kill the last tower -- if you kill it late, you lose the game. Watch the rest of the movies and celebrate. You can fly in and out of the wormhole, which seems to distract the alien fighters sometimes and is kind of fun.