Ralatha, When The Walls Fell.

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
For those who have read posts I put up here long looooooong ago... I was trying to figure out how to bomb Kilrathi Corvettes to hell and back. And shortly after that, I began a small run of creativity in capship killing tactics.

Since moving back up here to Canada, I hadn't been able to play Wing Commander in about 4 years. I'm up to Novaya Kiev in WC2, where of course, one meets with the dreaded Ralatha.

With corvettes, you have the luxury of picking a light or heavy fighter (prefferably, one that can slide), and with creative use of distance and maneuvering, you could take out a corvette in the space of minute without a scratch.

The Ralatha is a different story.

Now, it's easy enough to say that all you have to do is arm a torp, lock on and cruise towards it, ready to make it into the newest Chinese firework, but it's not that easy. See, there's this matter of its rather powerful armament augmented by its anti-matter cannon. For those who have played the first Wing Commander, the anti-matter gun can be equated to the Jalthi. In anything less than a Broadsword, it'll turn you into borscht. Cajun style.

So, I'm asking all the old pros out there. When stuck in a Broadsword (Or most anything else with torpedoes for that matter), how do you best destroy the Ralatha and avoid the anti-matter guns? Despite their low firing rate, they can kill your shields in two hits, and then you'll be flying nothing but pieces.

As I recall, the cannon can turn to the back, so circumventing it won't help... approaching from the top or bottom seems best, but I'm certainly willing to bet that it will spend its time trying to turn that cannon towards you.
 

Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
In WC2 i always found it best to clear out all the fighters escorting the capship, get the hell out of there then carefully come back up its ass with torps armed. If you know your ranges you can sit still out of its guns while you get a lock, speed in once you've aquired the kitty bastard then let lose within 2000k.
Certainly not flashy but it gets the job done.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Also you should be able to hang back just out of her guns range untill you get a solid lock.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
My favourite tactic in a Broadsword is to start my approach at a slight angle, so that I'm not flying directly towards the enemy. The Ralatha, when firing its AMGs, predicts where you will be by the time the bullets get there - so if you fly towards the Ralatha at an angle, and then turn straight towards it the moment it fires the AMG, the bullets will miss. They'll still be rather uncomfortably close to your flight path, but you'll be more or less safe. Of course, you have to be careful, because if you start off the approach at too big an angle, you risk losing lock, and then you'll have to start all over.
 

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
I shall have to try these strategies... my memory tells me that the Ralatha turns and squirms to get that stupid cannon on you, no matter where you approach it from. Hopefully my memory is as faulty as ever.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I shall have to try these strategies... my memory tells me that the Ralatha turns and squirms to get that stupid cannon on you, no matter where you approach it from. Hopefully my memory is as faulty as ever.
Naturally... but it has a very low refire rate. IIRC, it usually only manages to fire two volleys during the approach. The first volley is easy to avoid because it's right at the start. So then you just have to approach in such a way that you'll be able to avoid the second volley by turning towards the Ralatha... and of course, you gotta watch out for more AMG blasts on your back way out ;).
 

Mincemeat

Doomsday's Neighbour
It's slightly easier to evade the AMG fire when you're on your way out since your flight path is no longer constrained by having to maintain lock.

While you can jink and weave all you like, by that time youre shields will probably be halfway worn and care must be taken that you don't end up flying around in circles instead of creating the needed distance out of flak range.

By the way, does the "approach on an off-angle" tactic work well with the "you know what" mission in SO1?
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
It was a disapointment to find out that apparently the Ralatha's AMG won't destroy another Ralatha if you align yourself between the two of them on that SO mission.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
By the way, does the "approach on an off-angle" tactic work well with the "you know what" mission in SO1?
It does, but it's still very, very hard not to get hit, because you've got two ships firing at you instead of one.
 

Mincemeat

Doomsday's Neighbour
I found that I could never get the two capships to cross-fire upon each other as they maintain formation while chasing after me.

To directly address the original question, if you end up flying a bomber with afterburners (like a sabre) then it's much easier as long as you have enough fuel.

You may also find that not all capital ships aim their AMGs at you, either.

But in a heavy bomber like a broadsword, if and when the enemy trains their main batteries on you, I find that finding the right distance just outside AMG and flak range in order to make a torpedo lock is the essential ingredient. And never make your approach until you have full shields recharged.

There is also a cheat that you can use that allows targetting outside normal sensor range. Draw distance to about 15000 meters, turn around, have no locked targets, then press F9 until you see your intended victim. Press F1 again and you'll see that ship available for target lock-on at the extended range. Unsportsmanlike maybe, but works well enough in emergencies :D
 

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
Augh, I hate that mission! Did you HAVE to remind me?!

I've gotta try that, Mincemeat. In fact, I think I will.
 

Falcon988

Commodore
You know what's even worse? The final mission of SO1 where you gotta fight two AMG firing Fralthra at once. That mission made me give up in frustration the first time I played SO1 - I didn't actually complete it until last May. :cool:
 

Chernikov

Spaceman
That one is actually a bit easier, mostly because you don't have the illusion that you can survive a hit so it's all dodge. Cruise around at max AMG range dodging shots til you have a lock, then just blast straight in. Bonus survivability points if you can work timing and distance so you don't get shot at during the charge-in part.
 

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
Is it possible for the Fralthra to damage/destroy each other with their AMGs? I see they make contact, but I don't know if they actually do any damage.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
I don't believe I ever killed a Ralatha in the whole of WCII, actually - my wingmen either did it for me or I avoided it, and when it came to the buoy mission I made off at an oblique angle to draw the destroyer away from it and then made full speed, tractored the pod in and got the hell out of dodge. Worked well enough.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
In WC2 i always found it best to clear out all the fighters escorting the capship, get the hell out of there then carefully come back up its ass with torps armed. If you know your ranges you can sit still out of its guns while you get a lock, speed in once you've aquired the kitty bastard then let lose within 2000k.
Certainly not flashy but it gets the job done.
I did this a lot in WCP/SO although it becomes a real useful tactic in UE where a gratha doesn't last too long with a manta attacking you out of nowhere and having to avoid turret fire at the same time. Although I usually get up close to the engines to destroy them, but for the bridge I AB up to at least 10000 before trying to get a lock (ha! turret's max range is not even close the light torp's)
 

overmortal

Bearded Person
The problem with firing your torps at long range is that those turrets (especially in WC2) WILL sometimes shoot it down, which more often than not leaves you without enough torps to complete the mission.

I hate those stupid AMGs. I think in those broadsword/ralatha missions, I ended up dodging the first one on my run, but taking a hit from the second one closer in. After the required second run, my ship looked pretty bad (if it held together at all), but the Ralatha was toast, too, so I was alright so long as a handful of Drakrhi or Sartha didn't some a-callin'.
 

Falcon988

Commodore
I hate those stupid AMGs. I think in those broadsword/ralatha missions, I ended up dodging the first one on my run, but taking a hit from the second one closer in. After the required second run, my ship looked pretty bad (if it held together at all), but the Ralatha was toast, too, so I was alright so long as a handful of Drakrhi or Sartha didn't some a-callin'.


Unfortunately, that type of situation is when the Drakhri generally -do- come a-callin'. :D
 
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