Cheat Sheet: WC4 Turrets

This is a followup to our article on Wing Commander III capship turrets. Wing Commander IV did not include a printed manual with detailed ship specifications, so this is not so much a correction as it is an addition! These counts are most interesting where they differ from those in Wing Commander III; in several cases, the same ship model is used with a different turret setup.

The Concordia-class carrier is the strangest of the group, featuring nine laser turrets and a clearly visible 'space' for a tenth. In flight, this tenth turret always shows as destroyed (on both the Lexington and the Princeton) though it is visible in cutscenes. Another interesting change to call out is that the Border Worlds version of the Tallahassee-class cruiser lacks the 'twin' turrets on the center/top that are still included on the Confederation model. The yellow turrets found on the Vesuvius are often mistaken for antimatter guns; they are heavy photons.

CapShip Missiles are used sparingly in Wing Commander IV, though the disclaimer from the WC3 article applies. THe Caernaven frigate fires up to three during Orestes 1. All stats are 'in game,' so while it's likely the destroyer and cruiser can carry the missiles (as the same designs mounted them in WC3) they are not mentioned below. Both warships are 'nerfed' from their WC3 state, replacing all previous anti-matter guns with lasers (presumably because the player must fight them regularly instead of defend them.)

Transport (Clarkson-class)
  • (2) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Transport (Evansville-class)
  • (4) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Destroyer (Southampton-class)
  • (9) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Cruiser (Tallahassee-class, Border Worlds Version)
  • (10) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Cruiser (Tallahassee-class, Terran Confederation Version)
  • (12) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Frigate (Caernaven-class)
  • (4) Dual-Mount Laser Turret
  • (3) CapShip Missile Launchers

    Light Carrier (Durango-class Conversion)
  • (8) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Carrier (Concordia-class)
  • (9) Dual-Mount Laser Turret

    Heavy Carrier (Vesuvius-class)
  • (14) Dual-Mount Heavy Photon Turret

  • Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

    Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans. Recent updates:


    Wing Commander Music Kickstarter Relaunched - With Extras!
    2017-07-27 -- George Oldziey is back for a third attempt at creating a second album of reorchestrated music from Wing Commander 3, 4 & Prophecy. He's learned some good lessons from the last two trips out, and this time he's significantly retooled the effort with some exciting changes.For starters, he's framing today's launch as Volume 2, Phase 1.

    Happy Birthday Wing Commander Arena!
    2017-07-26 -- Today we're celebrating the 10th anniversary of Wing Commander Arena's release! We're used to a steady stream of 25th birthdays ticking by as the classics from the early '90s each reach a quarter century, but this one's a little different. The baby of the family has reached double digits, and while it really just seems like yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting its release, a lot of time has passed!

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    2017-07-25 -- The popular Spacedock YouTube channel has chosen Wing Commander as its latest subject. They are dedicated to profiling the specs and history of spaceships from across the vast swath of science fiction, and it's pretty cool to see the angle they took on this. WC's Yorktown class light carrier is the primary feature, and there's some fun highlights from WC3 pulled in for good measure.

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    2017-07-24 -- Here's a pretty sharp ship from DefianceIndustries' massive fleet. This is his impressive Talon model. He originally built the fighter several months back, so give him a poke and see if there's a finished version stashed away in some hidden asteroid base somewhere.

    Top Shelf Library Contains Wing Commander Music
    2017-07-23 -- On Friday, we shared the Royal Marine Bands playing the Wing Commander movie overture… and then we got to thinking: just how do you license music from Wing Commander, anyway? Investigation revealed that FOX Music handles licensing songs from composer David Arnold. The overture recieves two listings: one for the original soundtrack and one for a 2006 library of production music.

    Lost WC3 Object Appears on Radar
    2017-07-22 -- Here's another cool lost 'ground target' asset from Wing Commander III: a Kilrathi radar station! It's not clear why this didn't make it into the finished game, but it's possible it was hard to place a wide flat object... or there may have been issues animating the radar dish as intended.

    Wing Commander in Concert
    2017-07-21 -- Here's a crazy surprise: the United Kingdom's Massed Royal Marine Bands recently opened the annual Mountbatten Festival of Music at Royal Albert Hall with… David Arnold's Overture from the Wing Commander movie! The result is a brilliant live performance of the excellent overture, which is now available on popular music streaming services. Want a physical copy?

    Arrow Kit for Sale!
    2017-07-20 -- Alfred Wong's Arrow model is here! The promised plastic model kit that allows you to build your own 1/48 scale Terran Confederation Arrow fighter is now shipping. The unfinished kit costs $165 Canadian plus shipping and measures 9.

    Countdown To Party Time!
    2017-07-19 -- An important date is fast approaching, and as we're just about a month away, it's time to firm up details for the CIC's 19th Birthday Party! The milestone technically arrives on August 10, but this year we'll be observing the event on Saturday, August 19. Everything gets going at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) in #Wingnut on irc.

    Destroyer Updated
    2017-07-18 -- Murphy's law! Wing Commander Prophecy Model Upgrade Pack... and it's very handsome indeed!

    Greetings, Starfighter
    2017-07-17 -- Did you know that Lockheed Martin build a real starfighter to play Wing Commander? Well, kind of. Today we have an interesting oddity in Wing Commander history: the packaging for a Real3D Starfighter AGP graphics card.

    Lost Tank Found
    2017-07-16 -- What secret lurk in the heart of Wing Commander III's TRE files? Well, this Kilrathi missile tank, for one! The general design of this tank should be familiar to WC veterans… but you haven't seen it with a missile turret before!

    Super Wing Commander Trailer Hints at Lost Ship
    2017-07-15 -- Yesterday, we reported on footage of an early build of Wing Commander II digitized by the University of Texas. Today, we have a second treasure from a VHS provided by Origin producer Warren Spector: early footage of Super Wing Commander in action! The video clearly shows an early, unfinished build that has a more elaborate 'loading' screen for the VDUs (and is still using some Wing Commander I art as placeholders!

    Early Wing Commander II Footage
    2017-07-14 -- The University of Texas at Austin's Briscoe Center for American History has digitized several VHS tapes donated by famed Origin producer Warren Spector including a VERY interesting tape previewing Origin's 1991 lineup. The tape, likely created for a trade show or as a preview for distributors, walks through all of Origin's current releases. It includes a lengthy trailer of the already-released Wing Commander I, The Secret Missions and The Secret Missions 2: Crusade… and then a VERY exciting preview of Wing Commander II.

    Cheat Sheet: WC4 Turrets
    2017-07-13 -- This is a followup to our article on Wing Commander III capship turrets. Wing Commander IV did not include a printed manual with detailed ship specifications, so this is not so much a correction as it is an addition! These counts are most interesting where they differ from those in Wing Commander III; in several cases, the same ship model is used with a different turret setup.

    Cheat Sheet: WC3 Turrets
    2017-07-12 -- It's easy to find 'mistakes' in the ship stats published in Wing Commander manuals. The biggest reason for this is that physical manuals needed to be locked down for print before the final testing and balancing of the games would have been finished. Changes to ship stats to better balance gameplay are common, meaning that a booklet like Victory Streak gives a better look at how the team thought the game would work rather than how it actually does.

    Fusion Visits Wing Commander IV
    2017-07-11 -- Fusion was a short-lived magazine which ran for seven issues from 1995 to 1996. The publication billed itself as the "magazine of interactive entertainment," which is about as 1990s as a gaming magazine can make itself sound! The November 1995 issue included a wonderful set visit report from the Wing Commander IV film shoot.

    Cerberus and Friends
    2017-07-10 -- Set desktop backgrounds to stunning! DefianceIndustries has created an extremely cool 'Cerberus Fleet' image using only assets from his Wing Commander Prophecy Model Upgrade Pack.

    More French Advertisements
    2017-07-09 -- Here are three fascinating Wing Commander advertisements! The first is a 1992 ad produced by Electronic Arts for the European market, which does not have a US equivalent. In 1992, EA was particularly interested in establishing that they were now the sole distributor of Origin games (which had previously been put out by companies like Mindscape and Ubisoft on a case-by-case basis.

    WC4 Remaster Reaches the Razor's Edge
    2017-07-08 -- Pedro Is working on a pretty exciting project: a fan-made remaster of Wing Commander IV's gameplay! Today, he posted the first test images, showing one of the game's Razor pirate fighters… and you can certainly already see the possibilities! You can learn more about the project (including how you can help!

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