Gwenhyvar's Rapiers

Crowley

Rear Admiral
Something occurred to me when replaying Secret Missions 1 recently. The way the Gwenhyvar is spoken of makes it sound like it's a ghost story that has been out there for years. Yet when you encounter it, the only human fighters which accompany it are Rapiers. Here's the dilemma: Rapiers are supposed to be a brand new model which is just coming to use during the main campaign of Wing Commander 1. So, where did the Kilrathi get these things?
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
Something occurred to me when replaying Secret Missions 1 recently. The way the Gwenhyvar is spoken of makes it sound like it's a ghost story that has been out there for years. Yet when you encounter it, the only human fighters which accompany it are Rapiers. Here's the dilemma: Rapiers are supposed to be a brand new model which is just coming to use during the main campaign of Wing Commander 1. So, where did the Kilrathi get these things?

Well One Possibility is that the Rapiers that were encountered were acquired via Mandarin defectors. Another possibility is that the Kilrathi acquired the parts for Rapiers via a Fighter Transport that was intercepted and managed to reassemble them.

It was around SM1-SM2 that we were first becoming aware of the Society of Mandarins existence, there is no telling how long they were around. If you play Special Operations 2 you encounter Sabres and Broadswords that are Piloted by Mandarin pilots patroling around Ayers Rock.
 

Justice

Rear Admiral
I also thought it was odd, not so much that they had rapiers, but that they had so MANY of them. I had been under the impression that there just weren't very many available yet. You also see some Kilrathi rapiers in SM2.
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
I also thought it was odd, not so much that they had rapiers, but that they had so MANY of them. I had been under the impression that there just weren't very many available yet. You also see some Kilrathi rapiers in SM2.

Right I forgot about that. It is true that you do encounter them again in SM2. I think That Blair Comments during the Debriefing to Haylcon that they were the last of the surviving fighters from the Gwenhyvar (Johann). As for the Numbers of Rapiers being around the information on their numbers is a bit sketchy. All that we do know is that the Claw had the first Active Squadron of Rapiers in the Black Lions and that the Kyoto also had Rapiers that you Rendezvous with in the Venice System on Mission 2 I believe.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Well One Possibility is that the Rapiers that were encountered were acquired via Mandarin defectors. Another possibility is that the Kilrathi acquired the parts for Rapiers via a Fighter Transport that was intercepted and managed to reassemble them.

Then the questions would be: how did the Mandarins get them? Planting a bomb or leaking some intel is a lot easier than stealing a squadron of fighters or two. Fighter transports are a more plausible explanation, and I don't even think there would necessarily be reassembly required. Ultimately we may be trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. There is time between Rapiers showing up in WC1 and then fighting them off the Gwenhyvar. It's not impossible that the Gwenhyvar just got a normal shipment of them after testing and then was stolen.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
Seeing as how at the beginning of this mission, you think you are going out to rescue a confed ship, it is entirely plausible that in order to keep the ship supplied, the Kilrathi regularly destroy an Exeter and then put the Gwenhyvar in place to intercept a confed resupply ship.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
There was possibly once upon a time an actual ship called the Gwenhyvar that went missing, but it's turned into a ghost story of sorts... an urban legend. The ship that was actually encountered was the Johann or something like that... Anyway, here's a discussion you might have fun reading through:

http://www.crius.net/zone/showthread.php?t=8058&highlight=Gwenhyvar

Heh. I've read the old thread, and came up with one more possible answer.

Maverick: We managed to reach Nav 1 without too much difficulty, sir. But Kilrathi-piloted Rapiers and some Dralthi were waiting for us. Those Rapiers were probably the last surviving wing from the Johann… it was very tough, sir. I just hope that communication interceptor didn’t break when I was flying that high-speed Immelmann. There was another enemy wing waiting for us at Nav 2. And I don’t think we should use these captured fighters again, sir – the enemy are using some kind of recognition code and they obviously recognised us as Terran pilots.

Now, unlike many people assumed it doesn't state that ship destroyed in SM1 was the Johann, just that the rapiers came from it. It is completely possible that the ship you destroyed WAS actually Gwenhyvar, and that it's crew commandeered the Johann, took her Rapiers, and then destroyed her, as she was damaged beyond salvation. (or that she couldn't be repaired by the cats in current tactical situation)
 

DaveO

Rear Admiral
Having played thru and completed the WC1 missions including the Secret Missions expansions recently, I do recall that one of the pilots mentioned that the cats captured the ship intact. This is past the time when you've flown the Rapier a few times, so other ships were no doubt getting supplied with them too. The Mandarin threat became more of an issue during Wing Commander 2 and its expansions.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
It would be logical for kilrathi to transfer as many rapiers as they can get (from anywhere) to the Gwenhyvar.
It's basically the best Terran fighter and newest, which makes it indeed unexpected to be with ghost ship, improving the illusion. Anywhere else they'd have limited usage (the way our dralthis in SM2), on Gwenhyvar they make the most of captured rapiers.

So I think they just send there all possible captured rapiers and as there was some time between WC1 and SM1...
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I've read the other thread, and this one, and I think we're all overthinking it.

In SM1, the scriptwriters are obviously setting us up to encounter the "Gwenhyvar". We hear a ghost story about an Exeter that was captured by the Kilrathi, being used to lure pilots to their doom, and then the next mission, we're sent out after an Exeter that turns out to be captured by the Kilrathi, trying to lure us to our doom. Obviously, it is the Gwenhyvar! Or at least, it seems obvious that that was the intent. And Blair even confirms it by saying that it was the Gwenhyvar that he encountered.

So what about the Johan? Does this mean that the Kilrathi needed to destroy/capture her to lure Blair in? Not necessarily, though everyone in the other thread seems to think so.

Scenario: The Kilrathi did indeed capture the TCS Gwenhyvar in tact, with or without fighters. They have also managed to acquire Rapiers. Maybe these were on the Gwenhyvar, or maybe the Gwenhyvar capture was before Rapiers were out and the acquired them from elsewhere. But it makes sense that if you are using a Terran capship to infiltrate Terran lines or lure other Terran ships into traps, you want to equip it with Terran fighters. And you obviously use the most advanced and up-to-date fighters you have managed to get your hands on.

Now, they know the Claw is following their fleet, and they have their captured Exeter handy. They maybe know the name of an Exeter that is patrolling nearby the area. There's no need to destroy or capture that Exeter...all they need to do is send their Exeter out and have it radio the Claw claiming to be the Johann. The real Johann is presumably maintaining radio silence, or has even patrolled on to a completely different patrol station, and probably was fine the whole time. The Claw gets a distress signal from an Exeter claiming to be the Johann, and sens pilots out to help.

If I know a given ship is in an area, and I get a distress signal from a ship of the same type claiming to be that ship, in a different location but with an explanation of how it got there, I probably believe it and send pilots out to help, especially if the situation is dire and it would take hours/days to try to verify that the ship is indeed what it is claiming to be. If the Claw thought the Gwenhyvar was the Johann, they would not spend hours and break radio silence trying to raise the real Johann on its patrol station just to make sure that the distress call they got was real.

As to the reference in SM2, it could be as simple a matter as whoever wrote the game script getting mixed up and using the wrong name--the name that the Exeter was pretending to use instead of what it actually was. Or, if you perfer an "in game" explanation, when Blair said "the last wing from the Johann", he could have meant "the last wing from the Johann incident", i.e. that time that they got fooled into thinking a ship was the Johann.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Keep in mind, the intentions of the original writers don't actually matter. Regardless of whether they intended the ship to be the Gwenhyvar or the Johann, we're free to draw our own conclusions from the published material.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
From a game design point of view, I think Origin were on the money by having Kilrathi piloted Rapiers serving off of the Gwenhyvar - if I remember correctly, you're flying a Raptor in this mission - it would have been more plausible if the stolen ships were Scimitars or Hornets, but it wouldn't have been a decent fight.

Those Rapiers are fast, powerful, and there are lots of them - it's the type of mission that takes a few attempts (especially after that wing of Jalthi you face beforehand.)

It's a great test of old tech vs. new, and if you're a good pilot you'll soon get the hang of how to take on the Rapiers in the Raptor...I found that if you can emerge from the Jalthi dogfight with most of your armour and Spirit intact, you've generally got a good shout at winning the mission. If you're lucky, she'll make a kill herself, at best she'll keep them off your back.

Fighting the Rapiers in the Dralthi though, now that's another challenge altogehter. Did anyone else find, like me, that during SM2 you spend most of the Dralthi missions just running away from Kilrathi and reaching the navpoints as best you can, engaging in combat only when necessary?
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
Did anyone else find, like me, that during SM2 you spend most of the Dralthi missions just running away from Kilrathi and reaching the navpoints as best you can, engaging in combat only when necessary?

I did. The Dralthi gets my vote as worst ship you can pilot in the entire series.
 
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