Let's discuss tactics...

iamtheman83

Spaceman
Re. THAT mission...

'Here's what I want to know.

How do you stop your bombers or transports from getting toasted. Given the insane odds in Standoff and the woeful targeting computer I'm having real trouble with that mission to take down the Relatha and the Snakier.

Speaking of which, how many fighters do those sodding things hold?' -- BattleDog.

It depends on a number of things...

1-What difficulty level are you on?
>Nightmare is better for enhanced wingmen AI - not too good against heavy odds. I got past this mission after many attempts (always ended poorly due to a universal factor - no more torpedos to take out the Snakier) on Nightmare, then I set it to Ace and beat it.

2-What are you flying?
>I prefer fighters over bombers any day as would most people I suspect. I tried to beat the mission with a Rapier by taking out fighter screens for the bombers - the first wave went smoothly, but the second was insanely hard to protect them. Yes, you can rack up over fifty kills in this mission flying the Rapier - but your hard work will be wasted when no-one can fire that last torp to take out the Snakier. Oddly, I beat this mission flying a Gladius, here's why...

Don't be ashamed to set the difficulty down a notch - I did from Nightmare and it didn't bother me. I hated this mission.

I focused on clearing out fighters as if I was in a Rapier - get them taken care of ASAP and you'll ensure more bombers get their rocks..er, torps off.

Restart the mission if both your wingmen eject before the second wave (Snakier) - and restart if both fail to take out either the Snakier's bridge or engines before they eject in the second wave (They'll be in Gladii too like you). Listen out for this, because you'll need your only 2 torps to take out the engines if they only got the bridge! - they usually take out the bridge first and then might get a lucky shot at the engines - but you'll often be the one to deliver the final shot. Some players opt to get in and launch their torps at the Snakier to prevent reinforcements.

In the second wave, the enemy is surprisingly less aggressive as usual, Short bursts of afterburners or just flying at cruising speed mostly will be fine - just watch out for those dumb fires! Kills can be quickly made with full guns at close-range. You WILL need all the fuel you can ration - very long battle! **I noticed many times an enemy looked like he was flying in circles, not really taking much notice of me - they WILL shoot you if you get in their sights - other than that, it's pretty easy. I think the Standoff team "dumbed down" the enemy in this section on purpose to offshoot the difficulty.

I don't know how many ships the Snakier hold. A lot is all I know. Don't know whether the reinforcements sent in wave 2 are from it or are jumping in separately.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
iamtheman83 said:
Don't be ashamed to set the difficulty down a notch - I did from Nightmare and it didn't bother me. I hated this mission.

Considering that the Snakeir was NOT defeated in the original storyline, the mission is designed in a way that achieving this goal is extremely difficult. Or in other words, you are not supposed to kill it. But rather then outright forbid this outcome the Standoff team just made it quite hard.
 

BattleDog

Spaceman
Ah, that tells me nothing new, thanks anyway though.

I went back to that mission because the next one is insane. Protecting the transports is hard enough but with all those fighters and the diversion to take out the bombers there just isn't enough fuel.

It'd be okay if the Cats weren't always on burners.
 

Toast

Space Marshal
BattleDog said:
Ah, that tells me nothing new, thanks anyway though.

I went back to that mission because the next one is insane. Protecting the transports is hard enough but with all those fighters and the diversion to take out the bombers there just isn't enough fuel.

It'd be okay if the Cats weren't always on burners.

Yeah, the cats are always on burners. If this is a major complaint, though, consider the possibility that you've got some target fixation that you need to let go. If a cat's running from you on full burners, and you burn lots of fuel trying to chase him down, remember - you are on an escort mission. Even the strike on the Snakeir - the reality is, if you're flying a Rapier, you're escorting the Broadswords.

You are on an escort mission, handily outnumbered more than 4 to 1. A Drakhri launching dumbfires and spamming those tightly clustered triple lasers can kill a Broadsword in two passes, and if you spend 10 seconds trying to chase down a Drakhri intent on running away from you, odds are good that a trio of Drakhri are having a grand time knocking down Broadswords while you're on full throttle trying to chase down one pesky target. He's trying to lead you away, don't fall for it.

If you have to, swallow your pride and turn back to the Broadswords. It's actually easier to knock down the Drakhri and Sartha once they've developed their own target fixation and have matched speed with the Broadswords.

And if you stay near the Broadswords, chances are, you won't run out of fuel on this mission, since you won't have to burn lots of afterburner fuel running back to the bombers.
 

iamtheman83

Spaceman
In that infamous mission:

-fly a Gladius
-don’t worry too much about protecting the Broadswords - they'll retreat anyway
-concentrate on close-range combat
-take out fighters as quickly as possible
-use short bursts of afterburners (mainly to dodge missiles)
-restart if both your wingmen fail to take out the Snakier's bridge before ejecting
-if all else fails, downgrade difficulty level

Try, try and try again and you'll beat it - I did using these tactics (and luck).

For the mine-layer escorting mission, just take out the enemies as quickly as possible - it helps to stay close to the transports as well. It's quite hard to explain tactics like this because each player approaches things differently and has their own style. But we all try to follow the basics in any case.

**just a random thought, THAT mission was so frustrating for me that it took many plays through to realise Major Wright is Stingray from WC2 - that was cool.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
Just a thought here, this might or might not work. But try lowering the difficulty as you lose wingmen and things might become easier.
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
And why not loose the mission ? We're not coding tons of missions variants and branchings for nothing, people ! ;)

CFF was right:
cff said:
Considering that the Snakeir was NOT defeated in the original storyline, the mission is designed in a way that achieving this goal is extremely difficult. Or in other words, you are not supposed to kill it. But rather then outright forbid this outcome the Standoff team just made it quite hard.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
BattleDog said:
Here's what I want to know.

How do you stop your bombers or transports from getting toasted. Given the insane odds in Standoff and the woeful targetting computer I'm having real trouble with that mission to take down the Relatha and the Snakier.

Speaking of which, how many fighters do those sodding things hold?

The Snakier was a BEAR and a half to take down...I think I replayed this mission at least twenty times, and I'm still not exactly sure how my flight got through everything. I ended up flying one of the Gladii when I finally took it down because the Gladius in the AI seemed to just SIT there and fly in circles like they were waiting for something, even when I'd had most of the fighters cleared near them when flying the Rapier. I barely survived that time around, but it was finally doable.

The Ralari (Ralatha...? I'm tired, sorry), however...being in the Crossbow was a deathtrap and I died the first three times I flew it because there is no afterburner and at only about 300kps, you're too easy of a target. However, switch it over to the Sabre, and suddenly you have a lot better firepower, a lot better chance of staying alive when your fighter screen gets blown away after the first few minutes and you still have a torpedo load to take out the ship...that one time, I was the last fighter in the air, period, but the Capship (Catship? heh) died at my torpedo-throwing hands.

Methinks that Sabres, then, when having to go on bombing runs, are you best option. At least you have a fighting chance to survive, and I now remember why the Sabre was my favorite fighter of WC2.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Ah yes the Snakier mission. That caused me a load of troubles when I first got to it.
I initially played standoff on Keyboard and doing that mission on ace seemed unwinnible to me on both rapier and gladius. When I got a joystick however I won first time round! So if you don't have a joystick its worthwhile buying one and practicing until you get the hang of it (after all its a free game and it wont hurt to spend a little money:) ). That instantly makes the game much easier.

I usually play on hardcore now and when flying the rapier never stray too far from the broadswords. Don't get hung over trying to take out a Dralthi or Krant that is attacking you cause you tend to waste afterburn fuel + valuable time pursueing them if they flee from you which they do. But keep turning so they can't hit you with any dumbfires. Maybe call for help so you get your wingmen back to the Broadswords where they are more useful.

When flying around the Broadswords keep pressing 'U' otherwise just 'T' to find the target closest. If its a Sartha, Dralthi or Krant chances are its attacking the broadswords so take them down first. This is usually quite easy cause they tend not to be on their guard against rear attacks and are easy kills. Esp with the Rapier which can take out a Sartha in about 3 volleys. I usually keep using about 5-10 secs of afterburn pursueing all the nearby cats if there out of gun range. This is reasonalby fuel efficient. Afterburning in close also allows you to kill them faster.

But make sure you have at least 2/3 AB fuel left by the time the first part of the battle is over. Cause the 2nd half is much longer

If fighters are ganging up on a bomber and your out of beam range try using your dumbfires. Its really easy to hit with dumbfires in Standoff (compared to WC4) so make good use of them.

In the 2nd part of the battle the Sartha will appear off the Snakier in about 12 seconds. Take them out first (unless any Krant make it to the bombers first). They are easy kills but also present the most threat to the bombers because of their dumbfires. Just keep nailing every light-medium fighter that comes close to the broadswords and you'll be fine.

Never stray far from the bombers cause the Snakier will launch Gratha later which I found also go for the bombers.

Note that sometimes the battle goes badly for reasons beyond your control. EG the Epee's may not get many kills or you might lose all the Gladii or some Broadswords in the first half. If that happens it might be worth starting again cause the Gladii tend to draw the light fighters away from the Broadswords which makes it easier to defend those bombers


Hope that helps.
 

BattleDog

Spaceman
Thats better advice. I wouldn't say I have target fixation but I'm an X-Wing pilot first and TG's AI means that once you have a beed you better nail him because as soon as you break off he'll go for the bomber again. Although in X-Wing the bomber pilots are more single minded and you have a much more useful targetting computer.

You just have to love A, E, R, O and U keys.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
PopsiclePete said:
And why not loose the mission ? We're not coding tons of missions variants and branchings for nothing, people ! ;)

CFF was right:
We're just trying to come up wtih ways to cheat that! :p
 

iamtheman83

Spaceman
Re: The Ralatha & Snakier strike mission…and the other ones after that.

This is a more in-depth and fine-tuned approach to what I described earlier.

I used my following method with 'Nightmare' difficulty that enabled me to consecutively beat this mission (not taking into account restarting on several occasions):


#1. Fly the Gladius. The Rapier may help you get over sixty kills, but will render the mission unbearably hard (most players know why). So pick the Gladius for best results.

#2. Ensure at least one of your wingmen and at least 3 (to be safe) of
Tango wing are with you after the Ralatha fight at Nav 3 - if not, restart.
There should be no problems for your wingmen or Tango wing to take out that Ralatha fairly quickly. Often, Saxman and Flakbait will eject soon after the Ralatha is taken out due to reinforcements coming in - don't worry too much if you lose one of them because you might still win (get them back on your wing if you want to, they’ll be safer with you). The Broadswords are key, however, if they’re all destroyed it will render the mission a failure because once Bradshaw orders the retreat, your wingmen will not launch torpedos even if they've still got them. If all 5 Broadswords and both wingmen are with you before the Snakier fight, you're doing great.

#3. During the Ralatha Nav, your role will be to swiftly clear out fighters. If you suck with the Gladius, practice in the simulator - gun projectile speeds are slower and
deflection angles are much greater compared to other ships; therefore, it's more effective to rely on close-ranged attacks and firing full guns at incoming fighters while quickly performing evasive afterburning and turns before their guns can get a bead on you - then close in from the rear.

#4. Have comms open at all times ("c" key) and regularly check your wingmen's status (4). If they're not doing too good, particularly during the Ralatha fight, expect them to eject. They will be barely useful for the Snakier Nav, so it'd be wise to restart – although you might still win.

#5. After hitting Nav 4, target the Snakier’s bridge (press "r" twice). Launch the torp as soon as it's able then immediately target an engine (by pressing Shift "r"). You may have to adjust your speed because timing is everything here – you need to get a lock without overshooting the Snakier. You have to fly very close without bouncing off the hull and without losing your lock, make sure you have the exhaust squarely in your sights then fire the torp at point-blank range (it will not explode your ship). If you’re successful, the Snakier will have one engine left and you should be afterburning out just before incoming enemy fighters get within range. (I’ve noticed the Snakier’s turrets don’t open fire at you during your bombing run – a glitch perhaps?).

#6. Now, here's where you have to be lucky; with your remaining wingmen, they must have torps left or they will not attack the Snakier - so you'll need to restart if they don’t. Order them to attack the Snakier (often, one may decline while the other accepts due to amount of torps left). You can time the order moments before you lock your last torp to prevent them wasting one on the same component. Provide cover fire for their bombing runs by taking out nearby enemies or use the Nav map (Ctrl "n") to target their attackers - it may be helpful to destroy turrets or divert Snakier fire.

#7. While this is all happening, Tango Wing will be getting a beating - just make sure they don't all die before that last torp is fired. This is why it's best to enter the Snakier Nav with as many Broadswords as possible. Remember, they're survival means the difference between success and failure. Even before the retreat order is given, your wingmen may already have just launched a torpedo for the killing blow.

#8. Breathe a sigh of relief if the Snakier is taken out - because no more enemy waves will be coming in (another reason it must be destroyed ASAP). All you need to do is mop up and bring your ship back in one piece. This first time I beat this mission using this strategy I finished with only 15 kills.


This might all sound complicated, but it's not. This method DOES work - even on the hardest difficulties.


For the “Protect the mine layers” mission, I don’t know any other way to win except to rely on luck. The better you are in the cockpit, the closer you remain to the transports and the faster you take out the enemy is the only advice I can give. You’re doing well if all are accounted for when you hit the second area, sacrificing one or two in the third area is okay – because you can still win.

As for the “Destroyer rescue” mission – same rules apply; luck and speed. However, taking out the bombers quickly is your first priority. Flying close to the aft side is helpful when you can face bombers making their runs allowing opportunity to shoot incoming torpedos.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
iamtheman83 said:
As for the “Destroyer rescue” mission – same rules apply; luck and speed. However, taking out the bombers quickly is your first priority. Flying close to the aft side is helpful when you can face bombers making their runs allowing opportunity to shoot incoming torpedos.
I really don't think there's any luck involved in the Sao Paulo mission. It's really a remarkably easy mission, if you do what's expected of a fighter pilot on a defence mission - stick close to the capship and intercept enemy bombers and torpedoes instead of going after enemy fighters.
 

iamtheman83

Spaceman
Yeah Quarto, I basically already said what you said about intercepting bombers and torpedos while staying close to the cap ship. I have to argue luck and speed do apply: (A) luck that your wingmen will help keep fighters off your back and (B) the speed to take out bombers and torps ASAP.

What did you think of my "Ralatha and Snakier mission" strategy? Did you try it? Does it work for you?
 

Bombadier

Spaceman
Flying the Rapier on the Snakier mission

I haven't tried this mission in the Gladius yet, its just not my favorite craft to take into any kind of dogfight environment. But I have beaten the mission with the Rapier, I'll admit flying on Ace and the next level up isnt nearly as death defying and challenging as Nightmare. The secret is to stick close to those Broadswords like glue and not to get dragged off chasing down Kilrathi fighters.
I choose not even to race ahead of the bombers and break up the fighter clusters, I let the Eppes and my wingmen do that. I find that tends to work decently well with myself only having to worry about going after one or two fighters at a time that are actively engaging the bombers.
I do lose a bomber or two but if you stick close to them and aggressively take out the fighters that are actually in range to attack and score hits, you can survive with enough bombers to take out the cruiser and then the carrier.
Haven't tried it on Nightmare yet, but when I do my tactics might change.
 

Sharpshooter

Rear Admiral
I almost always play on Rookie, but I thought that mission wasn't that hard in a Rapier. I had a lot more trouble with the Gladius. Maybe it depends on the difficulty level? On Rookie, the mission might be easier with a Rapier whereas on Nightmare, it might be easier if you pick the Gladius.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
iamtheman83 said:
Yeah Quarto, I basically already said what you said about intercepting bombers and torpedos while staying close to the cap ship. I have to argue luck and speed do apply: (A) luck that your wingmen will help keep fighters off your back and (B) the speed to take out bombers and torps ASAP.
Pah! Real pilots don't rely on luck! :)

What did you think of my "Ralatha and Snakier mission" strategy? Did you try it? Does it work for you?
I find it hard to have an opinion about it, because the mission hasn't posed much difficulty for me in a long time - not because I'm such a super pilot, but simply because I had to play this mission probably several hundred times during testing. Right after this episode's release, I was just about ready to vomit little Snakeir bits :p.

One thing I can say is that this mission was specifically written in such a way that it becomes (almost) impossible if you choose the Rapier, but is actually fairly easy to win (...but harder to survive) if you choose the Gladius. So, that's really the most important element of your strategy right there - the rest, I would argue, is fairly unimportant, because there's a dozen ways of achieving the same thing, and what it all comes down to is that you have to fly real good. IIRC, it's even possible to win the mission if you use up your torpedoes on the Ralatha.
 

Lazy Panda

Spaceman
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to tell you I'm still alive and that I've just beaten the Snakeir Mission with the Rapier. It was a run on ace difficulty, and I got really lucky killing kitties here and there. It was a lot more fun than all my Gladius runs on that mission. The Gladii got shot down early and failed to deliver any payload on the carrier, and the sluggish Broadswords didn't help much either. I noticed that the Epees had their single torpedo loadout, as they were. in fact, doing all the work on that Snakeir. Pity there's no replay function.

Oh, and thanks for the U key tip. I feel really silly now that I know how useful that key is. It really helped with my run.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Quarto said:
this mission was specifically written in such a way that it becomes (almost) impossible if you choose the Rapier, but is actually fairly easy to win (...but harder to survive) if you choose the Gladius.

That's some real evil scripting you've done there. :p
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Dyret said:
That's some real evil scripting you've done there. :p
Indeedly, but you gotta do such things every once in a while to encourage people to try other ships and other paths ;).
 
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