Arjak's Combat Log

Don't give up so easily... you will get better as you go along... it might take multiple runs through the entire game if you want it to be like riding a bike... but achieving the good ending isn't really that hard...

Brimstone isn't an easy system, and Maniac is a terrible pilot. Often it comes down to sheer luck, whether he will get himself killed or not.

Brimstone 3 is a tough one. I just played it the other day. I've got a couple of tips for you on that one: First of all, when you encounter the Jalthi, kill them as quickly as possible, but try to save your missiles. However, the priority is keeping Maniac alive -- if he dies here you will have a really hard time at the next waypoint. None of the AI pilots seem to handle Jalthis very well, but with Maniac it's especially bad. So don't fixate on one of the Jalthis, but switch between them.
At the next waypoint, take out the Krants before attacking the Dorkir freighter. One of them is Khajja, a Kilrathi ace. You can tell by the name in your target display... he is hard to kill, so deal with the other Krants first. Feel free to use your Heat-Seeker missiles here. After you killed all the Krants, another two of them will appear. With all the fighter cover cleared the Dorkir should be quite easy. Expend your remaining missiles if any, but guns alone will destroy it easily. Just try not to collide with it. If you are very damaged and/or unsure, you can just let Maniac handle the Dorkir (provided he is still alive).

On a general note: Maybe you are setting your speed too low in dogfights and/or under-utilize the afterburners. With the Scimitar, I would recommend going at full 360 against the Krants, and at about 300-320 against the Jalthis. Use afterburners to evade enemy fire as well as to maneuver yourself into a good attack vector. Try to get a feel for how much fuel you have got. You can conserve fuel by tapping the Afterburner instead of holding it. Also, unlike with the Hornet, you have to pay attention to your blaster energy. You can only fire a couple of volleys before it runs low. The range of your mass drivers is 3000. Try not to fire if you can't hit.
One of the great things about the Vega Campaign is that there are so many branches and alternative routes through the mission tree that it's impossible to fly every mission in one run. That being said, the outcome of the campaign isn't really determined until the last couple of mission series. So it's possible to fly abysmally for most of the campaign, yet still come out victorious for the Confederation. Conversely, it's just as possible to crush the Kilrathi with victory after victory, only to be foiled in the last crucial missions.

So go ahead and have your time in sick bay. When you're ready to return to the war, do so with the knowledge that the outcome - win or lose - is never certain until the end.
You can't expect perfection first time out, stick with it dude.

"If you are struggling in combat, log some simulator time in the off duty bar/lounge. It might help you to find weakness in kilrathi fighters (you've already picked up on the salthi breaking to the left and the drathi breaking up or down), plus it will get you used to fighting out numbered without risking your life or the mission. Everytime you are out there you are outnumbered; the kilrathi have more, but quantity doesn't always beat quality!!!"
Don't give up! Brimstone is a very tough system. You're in the Scim, confed's worst fighter, up against Jalthi and Gratha, the Cats' best fighters, and have Maniac on your wing, which is actually worst the flying solo! The first time I played through Wing Commander I wound up in Brimstone and almost quit then and there. But don't lose heart...there are a couple things you can do.

As some folks suggested, practice will eventually get you there. Brimstone is beatable--you just need to fly really well, and that takes practice.If you want some flying tips, try the "Shelton Slide" maneuver I told you about in an earlier's the best way I found for dealing with Jalthi and Gratha. Or just get good with afterburning maneuvers in general. Also, these are heavy powerful fighters you're up against...never go head to head with them. They will win. Even in a Scim, you're faster and more maneuverable, so dance around them, and evade at the first sign of trouble. It may take longer to get kills, but you will live longer.

You can also eject through a lot of missions if it's too tough. The only problem is if you eject in a critical mission, you'll stay on the losing path (Brimstone is losing path), and those missions are in general tougher than winning path missions.

It's also possible that your computer is too fast and that's making these missions harder than they should be. I assume you're running DOSBOX could try turning the emulator clock cycles down, which will slow down the game and make it easier. This may seem like cheating, but it's only cheating if the game is already running at the "developer intended" speed, and given how varaiable DOSBOX is on different modern computers, you may well be playing the game way faster than it is intended. In any case, you should slow it down until it's challenging but fun...not frustrating.

Finally...I'll go back on my own advice. You're in Brimstone because you lost the destroyer in Mission 6 (the first Gimle mission)...that's the mission that determines success/failure in the Gimle system, and whether or not you end up in Brimstone. This is NOT the virtually impossible mission I's certainly hard to save the destroyer, but quite possible. If Brimstone frustrates you too much, you could go back and re-try that mission. If you beat it and the other Gimle missions, you'll go elsewhere than Brimstone, have a better wingman, and get to fly better fighters. To save the destroyer, you have to act quickly. Attack any kilrathi fighter that's shooting at the destroyer, ignore any that aren't, and unload your missiles as fast as you can to try to disrupt the Cats' attack.
you've already picked up on the salthi breaking to the left and the drathi breaking up or down
Except those are examples for some of that bar-talk which isn't correct. (possibly a matter of "Gameplay And Story Segregation")
  • Jalthi also have two pairs of Laser cannons and one pair of Neutron Guns -- not three pairs of Lasers like Shotglass claims.
  • Dorkirs (as well as all capships for that matter) actually can be damaged (and destroyed) by guns alone, despite Paladin's claim to the contrary.
Any more examples?
A lot of it has to do with the game balancing being done up until the very end, while the script was finished early on. So it's likely the Jalthi had that armament at one point in the game's development (and it's possible that capital ships were much easier to damage at one point.)

The Salthi thing is funny because there's an angry ex-Lucasarts guy going around the web telling everyone who'll listen that that's proof that Chris Roberts stole the code to Wing Commander from Battlehawks 1942 and the proof is that that game featured a bug where aircraft would always turn left. Except it's not something that actually happens in Wing Commander...
and it's possible that capital ships were much easier to damage at one point.
you mean "harder to damage", don't you?

Any capship in Wing Commander 1 can be destroyed by guns alone (although missiles obviously help). However, in the bar Paladin says at one point, that if you are out of missiles, it's "time to head home"...

And about the Jalthi armament, I always fancied the "explanation" that, because it has been a while since Shotglass actually flew himself, that the Kilrathi may have upgraded the Jalthi in the meantime. So that, back in the days when he flew himself, they still had 3 pairs of lasers...
WHAT!? You mean that if I give up on this mission and go further onto the losing track that the game will get HARDER!?

That's it! I'm returning to Gimle as Farbourne recommends. Good thing I started a new save game every time I lost a mission...

*Does the Wayne's World magic time travel finger waggle and chant...and returns to Gimle...*
Excerpt from Psychologist's Report - January 26, 2012

...On a happier note, Arjak seems to have mostly recovered from his psychological trauma in the Brimstone system. It is expected that he will return to active duty shortly...

Excerpt from Arjak's Journal - January 26, 2012

I expect to be returned to active duty in the next few days. I shall be returning to the Gimle system to fix the problems I caused myself by giving up on a certain mission too easily. Unfortunately, my personal terminal has been malfunctioning, preventing me from accessing my log from it. I had to write this entry on a terminal belonging to a friend. Hopefully, I'll be able to fix the problem soon, and when that happens, I will definitely be ready to go on a new/old mission!
January 28, 2012 - 2:10 PM


Mission 6

Back in the Gimle system, I must say that I sat in the pilot's seat with much trepidation and fear. Would my time travel make any difference? Would I do any better than I did the first time, when I failed miserably?

The answer to both of these questions? F*** YES.

As Angel and I shot out of the launch bay and into the darkness of space, we were immediately attacked by no less than FIVE Kilrathi. Luckily, the pilots were terrible and we made short work of them. Then we set up our nav computers and made our way to the destroyer we were to protect. I kicked in my afterburners to get there ASAP, so I could take out the Kilrathi before they took out the destroyer. Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough, the carrier was destroyed, and I ejected to quickly go back in time.

Not willing to give up, I quickly fought my way back to the destroyer, and this time I remembered my missiles and decided to make use of them. I quickly went back and forth between targets to protect the ship, and within a minute, it was over, with the victory being ours.

I couldn't believe it. It had been so EASY this time! Only two tries!? I guess that rest period did me some good. Angel and I motored back to the Tiger's Claw where I was promoted to Captain for a job well done. Angel commented during debriefing that in all fairness, we shouldn't have stood a chance. I just smiled and thought to myself, 'It doesn't matter how good your ship is; it's the pilot flying it that makes the difference.'

You hear that, Maniac?

Anyway, talk at the bar is that the Confed has developed a new ship, the Rapier. It's supposed to be heavily armed and shielded, yet light enough to fly like a dream. Apparently, the Tiger's Claw has been given a few prototypes to test fly! Things seem to be looking up!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go celebrate this victory...
Wing Commander can be a lot like that, in all its various different iterations. Sometimes missions just fall into place. We'd all like to think that it's us just raising our game every so often, but I think it's more likely that the AI occasionally does some really daft decision making. Sometimes the targeting algorithim forgets it has a mission to do. Or gets so single-minded that it doesn't bother dodging (which is terrifying if it's a WC3 Paktahn flying against an Arrow, and rather easy if it's a WC1 Gratha against a Rapier).
Possibly...the ships at the beginning of the mission seemed to have a strategy of flying straight at me and firing once in a while, but the ships attacking the destroyer seemed to be pretty focused on their mission. Firing Heat-Seekers seemed to distract them a little though, allowing for a quick kill. I really do think my skills have improved since I last tried this mission. :cool:
I don’t know if you noticed or not but hitting an enemy fighter with a missile will often cause it to spin around for a few seconds. Hitting one at the right time can prevent him from shooting at the ship your escorting long enough for you to destroy it.
I did some intentional failing to get to fly with Maniac (In Brimstone), but no matter I tried, the challenge become more of an annoyance than anything else.
I will always hate this smart-ass as wingman in WC1!

The guy ignores any order, jumps on target as soon as it is on radar... He either gets himself into troubles, or worst the both of us!
The only mission where the kilrathi use a trap, he always springs it!
I even took the commander advice and shoot him out of the sky one time. But the campaign gets incredibly harder without a decoy wing.

In other systems (with Iceman, Hunter and even Bossman) loosing the wing man makes harder but nothing like in the brimstone system!
No balance there I say - That's my opinion, anyway...

I've got to do that some day - finish Brimstone campaign with Maniac alive - now that's a challenge...
Indeed. I have no idea how Maniac managed to pass combat training. Several times, on that mission in Brimstone, I had taken out all of the ships except the ace, and what happens? MANIAC SHOOTS ME! I'm not kidding! I was killed by him several times on that mission, always when I was almost through! I think he was trying to take out the ace, but somehow, he always tries to shoot him through me.

March 14, 2012 - 10:50 AM

Note to self: 'Tomorrow' does NOT mean 'a little over a week.'

Mission 7

I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE asteroids! It took me FOUR tries to complete this relatively simple mission, all because of those damn rocks. All it takes is one second of lost concentration, and a fast-flyer will pound you into dust.

The mission was a simple patrol of the Gimle system. Check out three nav points, and come home. There was one twist, though; we would be test-flying a prototype ship, the Rapier! A fine ship, if I do say so myself. The first nav point was near an asteroid field that caused me three deaths. When I finally got through unscathed, the rest of the mission was pie. At the second nav point, we ran into three Kilrathi ships; Dralthi, I think. Within a minute, though, Angel and I had massacred them with our neutron guns. At the third nav were three Krants, and they shortly joined their ancestors as well. With that, we flew home.

The Rapier is an amazing ship, with excellent firepower, strong shields, and impressive speed. I can't wait to fly one again. Word at the bar is that we've already received a full squadron of them, based on the results of our test flight. There have also been rumors that a Kilrathi ace, the one they call 'Deathstroke', is in this system. If this is true, and I end up facing him, I will definitely be giving my all to take him out of commission.
I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE asteroids!

Boy, you're going to really love the Rostov system, then... (grins evilly).

The first nav point was near an asteroid field that caused me three deaths.

The Rapier is an excellent ship, but it's not perfect. You've already discovered one of its chief flaws--it is so fast and maneuverable, with acceleration so much better than other ships you've flown, that you will find yourself colliding with things (asteroids, mines, Kilrathi fighters) a lot more often than you'd expect, especially if you're used to flying Raptors or Scims. And these collisions will highlight the Rapier's other weakness...although it's shields give the (sometimes false) sense of invulnerability, it's hull is, in the words of Hunter, "no tougher than a Hornet". You have to be extra careful not to overfly it, because it can't survive much in the way of collisions. (Also, overflying makes gunnery challenging, because the Rapier's guns are powerful but slow-firing, so you have to be accurate--but the ship is so light on the stick that accuracy is tough. The Rapier is a pilot's ship, but the Raptor is a much more stable gunnery platform).
I decided to celebrate the recent release of WC4 on GOG by playing some more WC1.

April 4, 2012 - 11:00 AM

Mission 8

After a couple of stupid moves (ramming Kilrathi fighters with my Rapier, letting my wing-man die without even noticing), I finally got this mission in the bag almost perfectly.

Angel and I were sent out in Rapiers to check out a group of Kilrathi fighters on the move. Rumors were going around about Dakhath being in the system, so being careful was a necessity. When we reached their last known location, sure enough, there was a wing of Dralthi. After the couple false starts that I mentioned earlier, I managed to take them all out. The moment the last one was killed though, ANOTHER wing showed up! This one was lead by Dakhath! He wasn't that good of a pilot, but unfortunately, he knew when the odds weren't in his favor. I took out the entire wing, except for Dakhath. The moment the tables turned, he ran for it.

Kilrathi honor is a strange thing. They seem to make up the rules as they go along.

We returned to the Tiger's Claw without incident. I had taken out seven Kilrathi, bringing my total up to 40. Angel didn't take out any, but at least she makes for a good decoy-I mean wing-man. Just kidding, Angel! I'd rather fly with you for a whole year of missions than withManiac a single time!

We're currently on route to the Dakota system, a prime farming zone. Apparently, disease is running rampant there and vaccines need to be delivered. As I type this, everyone is talking about that daring raid in the Brimstone system. Apparently, a small group managed to take an entire Kilrathi outpost by surprise and destroy it! Things are starting to look good. The way they look right now, we might just win this thing!