Secret Missions 1 Replay Week 1


Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Hello everyone! This week we head into the first expansion. Secret Missions 1: Operation Thor's Hammer. This first week we are doing 6 missions in 3 systems: Goddard, Border Zone and Midgard.

I'm going to try something a little different in these weeks. Instead of focusing on the combat side of things I'm going to look at the story elements and how they go along with the combat missions. Just wanted to shake things up a little bit.

Good luck and Good hunting.
I wanted to get this in before the thread fills up with AAR's, but I just wanted to let everyone who is doing the playthrough know that I am enjoying all of them thoroughly.

Keep up the good work!
Well, my play through of SM1 came to a quick halt when I realised it wouldn't just automagically grab my old pilot info. Off to the Readme....

Turns out it would show up as an option if I wasn't skipping straight to the .EXE's for Vista's compatibility stuff. Now to the game...

Goddard 1:

It's interesting to hear what Iceman is saying. Do CAG's command as much authority on USN carriers as they do in WC? I seem to recall Angel having a fair bit of influence on the Concordia as well. Also, setting the stage for the Johann later in the game.

Damn, I'm not used to the Hornet after spending so much time with 4 guns. The Hickock managed to jump out somehow, there was two Krants point blank on it when Hunter & I arrived. I must also remember that head to head with a Krant doesn't work as well as it does against Salthi. Oh well, 12 kills for me, 1 for Hunter and a lot of fuel needed for my Hornet.

Goddard 2:

Not much to say here, it's kind of sad hearing about Shotglass' concern given that I already know what's happened.

You know what I like about Hunter? Even though he can stubbornly refuse to return to base, when the going gets to bad, he'll do it himself. Saved me nurse-maiding him too much after he rammed the Claw. Must have hit near Halycon, too, because he chewed Hunter out for no kills. I got a promotion, a Raptor and a Silver Star after this, but it seems kind of pointless watching the remains of Goddard.

Border Zone 1:

I really some of the character building going on at the moment. Especially for Maniac & Shotglass. I wonder if that was the dream he was having when he forced two Ralatha to collide...

I love Halcyon's face during the briefing, it's very well done.

Ahhh, back to some serious firepower. I still prefer the Rapier but taking out Gratha in a Hornet takes forever. Fralthi and her escorts weren't any problem for Angel & me. I must have a chat with her about Dralthi, though, I single IR was all it took to take the first one attacking the Claw out.

Border Zone 2:

Shotglass is still in the dark, you think they'd let him know.

Mines, lots of mines. That's my main impression, especially trying to escort two troop transports to the jump point in the minefield. I guess that's to be expected at the border. I wonder if the troops had any fighter cover that jumped with them.

Dang, I'm back in a Scimitar. I'll deal with that and Midgard tomorrow after some sleep.
OK - started SM1 using my Kilrathi Saga CD's :

Goddard 1

With Hunter on my wing we manage to take out 4 Salthi and a Lumbari at Nav 1, followed by a swift despatch of 2 Salthi lurking in the asteroid field (I hate asteroids!) Somehow managed to protect the Hickock until it jumped - it was being attacked by 2 Krants when we arrived - hard work killing Krants in a Hornet, but if you can get behind them, they dont like being hit with a D/F up their tailpipe followed by a continuous burst of the good 'ole MK25 Laser Canons !

Goddard 2

Got jumped by a couple of Grathas and 3 Krants as soon as we launch - they are soon despatched with a little help from Tiger Claw ! Nav 1 shows up and we find 4 Salthis escorting a Lumbari. "Break and attack" is the order to Hunter, which he does admirably. Between the 2 of us we wipe the whole Kirathi convoy and on to Nav 2.

Here we find 2 Krants protecting a Dorkir - I take out 1 Krant and order Hunter to keep the second one busy while I take out the Dorkir, then swing back to help out Hunter before heading back to Tiger Claw for some much needed rest and repairs.

Jumping to the Border Zone next - report to follow !
Midgard 1:

I wonder what Blair's regular is? I can't recall it being mentioned in the novels. It appears Shotglass knows what's happened now. Spirit and Hunter are both setting up later plot points, her fiance and Maniac's breakdown. There's a bit of a theme of not knowing what happened to your loved ones going on.

Ugh. The Scimitar. Did I mention that I'm not a fan of it? Especially against Jalthi, I'd rather something I can avoid those big guns with easier. The mission went well, despite the plane. Charged straight at the Drayman and took her out. None of the Krant's attacked Bossman, so I was stuck dealing with 4 of them while he plinked away at them, occasionally hitting me. The Ralari seemed almost underescorted, with only 2 Salthi there. Easy target, which is good, because my Scimitar was badly damaged by that point.

Midgard 2:

Poor Shotglass. His last desperate hope and I blew it up. :( Maniac keeps living up to his name, though.

Two Scimitar escorting a Dralthi. Maybe the Kilrathi will be too busy laughing to put up a fight. I'll give that Reaver pilot props, though. He scored 2 kills, and finished off the Fralthi. It helped that most of the Kilrathi focussed on me as I focussed on blowing up the one's near the Reaver. I landed with only one Mass Driver, though. The Colonel has good news for me, I've damaged enough Scimitars that he's putting me in a Raptor to shut the techs up.
Goddard 1: If you want me to protect something, give me the time to do it. I jump out and get ganged up on with barely enough time to reach the Hickock. The Kilrathi claim a cowards death upon the crew of the Hickock only to find out later that the explosion was an expertly timed jump and that I had bought them enough time to get to safety. Another jump and here we are again more Kilrathi, for all this talk of honor in combat, they sure don't ever want to face me 1 on 1. It's a shame they don't understand what honor truly is. Met up with the Exeter and filled the void with more cat guts and space debris. Hope the scavengers appreciate the salvage that I leave them. 9 kills for me Hunter got 1, he's too busy whining about needing assistance to be of much himself.

Not much connecting the story at this point.

Goddard 2: Who was watching our back door? Launch out into a big bad frey of 3 Krant followed by 2 Gratha that really want to down Tigers Claw. After slogging through those big boys I jumped into a dogpile at Nav 1. I find it hard to concentrate on what needs done with the constant babysitting of my wing man. Seriously someone give me a trained monkey in that cockpit and maybe I won't hog all the kills. 1 Lumbari and 4 Salthi down no thanks to Hunter, who I believe only got his name by hunting down flimsy excuses to his viability behind his flightstick. Next jump 2 Krant and a Dorkir all mine again, and instead of actually helping, this time Hunter just bugs out on me. Well at least he didn't die, poor guy life as the worst pilot on the Tiger's Claw must be hell. He must have switched his name and Maniacs on the Killboard. 13 kills for me none for Hunter, and Tolwyn is noticing the lack of support from Hunter.

Poor Goddard, the cats have a super weapon that burns down planets now, I'm really not connecting with the "Honorless Cowards" that gets splintered in my "Not in the Face" yells from Hunter every mission.

22 kills so far, Silver Star, and a Raptor to boot. Not too bad for not having played the game in over 10 years.

DosBox is a godsend.

Think I'm going to start painting "Pillsbury, holding Hunter's hand, so you don't have to", on the side of my cockpit.
So I return to TCS Tiger Claw after completing the 2 Midgard missions only to find Spirit and Angel in the bar. What have I done to deserve going on the retreat ?

Well, lets see. I was assigned Bossman for the first Midgard mission. We were jumped at Nav 1 by 2 Jalthis which I took out on my own. A bit further on and we come across 2 Krants and the captured Drayman. I tell Bossman to go attack the Dray while I take out the Krants. He does nothing but bleat about not being able to shake them and the Dray gets away - the Krants however, do not.

On to Nav 2 where I waste 2 Salthi and a Ralari - Bossman gets no kills.

During the second mission briefing, I again choose Bossman as my wingman. Have I been smoking some funny baccy ? Must have to choose Bossman again, especially when expected to fly a Scimitar on an escort mission. Anyhow, we launch and I waste a Ralari and 2 Gratha at Nav 1, followed by the 3 DRalthis that are shooting at the captured one. They soon dead and amazingly Bossman gets one of them - only because he got in the last shot after I got its shields down.
At Nav 3 there are more Dralthis which I take out and the captured Dralthi helps me take out the Fralthi which jumps in.

Anyway, the mission says to escort to captured Dralthi back to Tiger Claw no matter what, so with a "Form on my wing" order, I hit the afterburners to outrun the Jalthi waiting for us at Nav 1 and head as fast as possible back to the Tiger Claw.

Think I got 19 kills for both missions and the only objective missed was Bossmans inability to take out the captured Dray which escaped.

So, here I am in the bar talking to Angel and Spirit and we're in Retreat !! Make mine a LARGE one :)
Border 1: Not much to say, we are sneaking in the back door and trying to stay inconspicuous. So how do we go about that, put me in the loaded to the gills raptor and have me destroy everything that drifts.

Border 2: I feel really sorry for Shotglass, he's a lonely guy. You have to imagine how much it hurts him to see hotshots like me coming back from missions and rushing to the leaderboard to check my kills. He must really miss that. I'm sorry for his loss back at Goddard, but all the dreaming in the world couldn't help him out of that mess.

Midgard 1: Kinda hard to leave my beatiful Raptor, but you know 2 mass drivers with wings isn't the worst ship in the world. Poor Spirit is setting herself up for some disappointment, and yes Hunter we know Maniac is crazy. At least being crazy helps as an excuse when the the CO rips you up and down for not doing things safely. I really hope that wasn't Shotglasses family on that Drayman.

Midgard 2: Kill stuff, check, escort stuff, check, no mine fields, double check. I can't wait to get behind the stick of the Dralthi, oh man I love that design. So we have more rumors of the Gwehyver and Maniac wanted me to die. Hmm, ghost ships and death wishes, sounds like a bad chapter heading for me to star in.

6 Sorties 66 kills, the Killboard is also spooking me out now.
Let the hunt for the Sivar begin!

* For SM1 I'm looking more at the story than the mission combat so don't be surprised by the lack of detail in the after-actions.

So right off the bat we know something big is going on. Shotglass makes it very clear that the 'Claw has been jumping quite a bit lately. We are going somewhere and fast.This is the first time Shotglass has asked us to feed him any information instead of the other way around.

Ahh the Gwenhyver. A nice little piece of story that foreshadows what comes later on. This is one of the few times in the original that foreshadowing in one of the conversations doesn't have immediate effects in the next mission series.

It's interesting the Kilrathi were able to capture a dry dock facility intact. You would think that the people onboard would have blown the place when they knew hope was lost. It must have been a surprise attack.

Iceman reinforces Shotglass' point. We are jumping like crazy to get some place. Confed High Command sent a message and the Colonel sent everyone off the bridge. Tension is rising.

Contact has been lost with Goddard in the Deneb Sector. We've been transfered from Vega to Deneb for the duration of the crisis. It's interesting how Halcyon makes a point to say not to mention this to the rest of the crew. The mission is escorting several capships around the system. We are back in Hornets and Hunter is on my wing.

Goddard 1

Nav 1 starts off with a bang because instantly we've got a new capship to destroy! You can never have too many transports and the Lumbari is a great addition. It's also a sign of a significant Kilrathi presence insystem.

Nav 2 doesn't slow down and we get another new capship to check out. While neither of these new ships are really anything special, it's nice that right off the bat we get something new to look at.

This mission has far too many Krants for my tastes. Flying a Hornet does make the job a bit easier because you can quickly get behind them, but I still hate Krants. I complete the mission successfully and can't wait to get back to the Rec Room.

Shotglass adds a personal touch to the search for what happened at Goddard. He has a cousin that works as a shuttle pilot and his wife is a Chief Engineer. He's got no time to chat though I've got a briefing to get to.

Goddard 2

We've got to sweep the system. Transport hunting is always a joy. Although taking-off into a firefight isn't always nice. Krants and Gratha in 2 waves. Get me outta here.

Back-to-back missions with the Lumbari. Think they want us to check it out or what. Hunter and I make easy work of this mission.

Upon landing we still learn that no contact has been made with Goddard. After all that jumping you'd think we'd just rush straight to the planet. However, we seem to be securing the system first before making an approach. I'm surprised they didn't send out a recon Hornet to evaluate the situation.

I get transfered into the Star Slayers flying Raptors again. Oh how I love the Raptor. I also get a Silver Star for my actions in Goddard. Immediately afterwards we find out what happened to Goddard. It's been destroyed with some Kilrathi secret weapon (Sivar!). There were no survivors. The last sentence is interesting. "Testament to the shift in the balance of power now held by the Kilrathi."

We just destroyed the Kat HQ in Venice. How does one attack with a secret weapon shift the balance of power? If anything Confed has the advantage. I don't recall the situation in Enigma during this period, but if the Kats have been pushed from Vega, that's a major victory. This raid only hit one colony before retreating to Kilrathi space.

Rumors are spreading around the ship. The results of the attack have silenced the S&R crews. Halcyon is pissed. Angel is surprised by the amount of Kats and Maniac. Heh, he's having a recurring kamikaze dream. Tension is extremely high.

Border Zone 1

I'm pretty sure this is the longest briefing so far. A quarter million people have been killed. We are going after the fleet that did this and destroying the weapons platform. We are taking the fight to the Kilrathi on their own turf. About damn time. The Kats are on to us and I launch into a firefight again.

Nav 1 has a Fralthi. From the amount of fighters in this mission it's probably the light carrier variant. I love destroying big capships. Not to jump ahead but I love the variety of kat capships in WC3 to destroy. I can't wait till we get there but anyways...

The Claw is under attack again when I return. Dralthi aren't really much of a concern in a Raptor. I was out of missiles but guns rip through them in no time.

Everybody is on edge. The fact the Kilrathi nailed a quarter million people in one shot isn't sitting too well. It's interesting that the Border Zone is uncharted territory. If you look at Epsilon Sector you can see it's not too far off the beaten path. Granted it is out in the border worlds.

Paladin's conversation carries a lot of weight in light of later events. He's talking about how one of us has to destroy the other for the war to end. In 15 years he's going to be the one who has the means to end the war and we are going to be the one to carry it out. If we win Paladin...I say you run for a seat in the Senate.

Border Zone 2

We are escorting a elite marine unit (presumably commando?) through the system so they can complete their own secret mission. Confed is pissed about what happened at Goddard and is making sure the Kats pay for it.The mention of meeting them later on is a nice way to get your mind racing as to what we are going after. It's too bad the first tiem I played SM1 I already knew what had destroyed Goddard from some of the early WC sites, mainly the Terran Confederate Underground. After I first got into WC I printed out the entire website and read it almost every night at the dinner table for years.

What a nightmare. Jalthi versus Drayman is never good. You've got to kill them or distract them as soon as they present a danger. Their guns can wreck a Drayman in only a few salvos. An issue with SM1 is there is no failure. You need to win every mission. Victory or Death! I had to play this mission twice in order to succeed. The first time one of the Jalthi just lined up and unloaded before I could finish the other two. I wanted to make sure the entire convoy survived.

Pilot and fighter deleption is becoming an issue. The Claw is losing a lot pilots and planes. You know it's got to be a major issue when we go from a Raptor to a Scimitar.

What is Blair's regular? Ah well. More talk about a captured Confed ship. Shotglass is pretty depressed over the loss of his cousin. It's nice how they connected Shotglass out of everyone to the lost colony. He's been the cornerstone of the story from day 1. We've always got to talk to him and he's always got at least something that's worth hearing.

Hunter boasting about Blair's flying skills. That makes me feel real good. You've got to respect a guy that always has a cigar in his mouth. Talk about Maniac's kamikaze dream into the Kilrathi weapon is becoming a common occurence. He's the last thing I need.

Now here's a conversation with Spirit that will become the central part of the rest of her character's story. Her fiance, Philip (although not named yet) was an officer in the Medical Corps on Epsilon station. The station was attacked by the Kilrathi now adding more to Spirit's already stressful situation. This will shape her flying for another decade before...

Midgard 1

Now I get to take out a Drayman. This will feel oh so good. The Falstaff was captured at Goddard and of course its databanks are bursting with vital information. There's also a Ralari that needs to be destroyed as well. The capship kills are certainly racking up, especially in the transport department. We are just picking at the edge of this fleet, sapping away its strength so we can go in for the kill. Good, there's bastards deserve to be picked off one at a time like prey.

Shotglass seems to have lost his shit. Drinks are on the house. He's pretty upset over the loss of his cousin and it's really showing. He's ready to get blacked out until the booze runs out.

Bossman again with the Gwenhyvar and to Maniac of all people. His argument is pretty crappy. It's not surprising even Maniac doesn't buy it. If they only knew.

Maniac is gone. Who starts off a conversation with "Hey Maverick. Still alive?" I mean seriously. You've got to be toasted to say something like that. What's even worse is the rest of the conversation...

"I was certain you were going to die out there today. We’re all going to die, you know. It’s just a matter of time. But I know I’m being saved for something. Something wonderful. Everyone here teases me because I’m such a hot pilot, and I’m not afraid to say it. But they’ll see. They’ll all see… and they’ll remember me as the man who aced the Kilrathi secret weapon. Won’t that be great?"

Wow. I mean just wow.

Midgard 2

The Reavers have captured a Dralthi. Very nice. This mission is a perfect ending for week 1. Talk about a gauntlet and more capships picked off from the Kilrathi fleet. A Ralari and a Fralthi. Nailing Fralthi is especially satisfying because I know those are the primary carriers at this point. Note to developers of new WC, I've got a craving and the only prescription is more carrier killing.

The real bitch of this mission is you have to fly it in a Scimitar. The most important thing is making sure every shot counts and ram when you have to. The Dralthi isn't the sturdiest ship when escorting it, altought what ship besides the Claw is? The most important thing is to target any ship that is going after it and kill it ASAP. With two Fralthi down hopefully the fighter cover will start to weaken in the coming missions.This mission also has a ridiculous amount of Dralthi. 12 all together, it's important not to randomly hit the captured Dralthi in the heat of combat. They certainly increase the probablity by throwing so many of them into this one. Nice one.

Transferred back into the Star Slayers. Nice, get me the hell out of that flying pig and back into something nice.

The hunt continues next week...
First two missions: I hate flying hornet because I consider lasers are too weak in a dogfight. The only thing I like about hornet is it's cocpit (very good visibility). Somehow I managed to kill all the Lumbaris and protect ours.

I like scimitars, not very fast and agile but at least I've got mass drivers instead of lasers, loads of missles and.. roomy cocpit :) I can't wait the transfer to Star Slayers though..