Wing Commander 2 Replay Week 2

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The fight continues this week with the rest of the Niven system and all four missions of Ghorah Khar. I'm keeping it short so pilots get to work and continue the campaign through Enigma.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
Gah! Look at the time! It's past midnight without realising it. Good thing I'm only doing 6 missions tonight.

Niven 3:

I meet another Concordia pilot on the ground at Niven. Downtown's escorting food shipments to the rebel Kilrathi system of Ghorah Khar. He didn't seem too eager to detail how it came to be his home system, him being a human and them being Kilrathi, but given the way the Kilrathi treat POWs it may not be a pleasant story to retell.

My trip back to the concordia is interrupted by the need to escort two transports carrying medical supplies out of the system. At least it's not Watson's disease this time around. I like the look of the new freighters, very sleek while still bulky enough to ship stuff. They do pretty well in combat, too. Despite the Sartha and Drakri trying to stop them, both ships left without even a scratch on the paint. I return to the Concordia to find that there's been a murder and I have to surrender my pistol when I land. The Comms officer won't give me any more details over an open channel.

Niven 4:

The guy who was murder is called Specialist McGuffin. Jazz seems awfully blase about the whole thing, and very smoothly tried to blame me for it. It's possible that the brass know more but aren't telling anyone. Sounds about right for Tolywyn to let me stew for something I didn't do.

Angel puts some fears to rest, it seems that McGuffin was shot by a pilot and all the blame goes to Stingray for his absence from the briefing. My mission is to patrol the port flank of the Concordia as she approaches Ghorah Khar. I'll be alone in my Ferret for this one.

A wingman would have been nice on this mission. I took out 6 stealth fighters by myself, with the only damage to the flight recorder, but without any evidence to back me up, Angel doesn't believe my report. I don't think she's ever believed in the stealth fighters.

Ghorah Khar 1:

Had a nice chat with Stingray in the barracks before the mission. It seems his pilot wings were found in McGuffin's hand when he was found and that's why Stingray's off the flight line. You'd think we'd find an opportunity to connect a little with our similar experiences at undeserved blame. On the flight deck, Angel explains why the Enigma sector is so important to the war effort, if we lose it Earth and the homeworlds will be at risk. I'm to join her in the office to meet my new wingman.

It turns out that my wingman is to be the captain of the Fralthi we rescued a decade ago, Hobbes. I'm a little unsure about flying with him, especially since he's very eager to put us into the thick of the fight. I'm also reintroduced to an old friend, the Rapier. The Neutron guns have been replaced with Particle Cannons, but it's still the same hot rod that I flew ten years ago. Hobbes suprises me when he puts me in charge of the wing at the start of the mission. It seems I have a bit of a reputation amongst the Kilrathi. A reputation that will no doubt be enhanced by taking down Kur. That fight with all the Grikaths was a little hairy with Neutron Bolts all over the place, but it was a victory. I have a bit of a chat with Sparks as she repairs an Epee, apparently Downtown can offer a more complete story about Hobbes.

Ghorah Khar 2:

I have a meeting with Hobbes on thr bridge, trying to find out why he wants me on his wing. Things are little tense, it seems that Jazz has been telling tales. I haven't exactly done much to stop those tails with the way I've been treating him. Especially since Hobbes has enough pull to get me on the flight roster. In the Barracks, Downtown and Doomsday are discussing the Mandarins. Apparently the original Mandarins converted repeated Mongol invasion to the Mandarin way of life and defeated them that way. I don't quite see that working with the Kilrathi. Downtown definitely has some history with Hobbes, he fires up quick smart when I mention him being a traitor.

Hobbes definitely wants to be on the front lines but it seems the Admiral considers him too important to risk in that sort of battle. Instead we're sent out to escort in a Free Trader that's apparently vital to our work in this system. The Drakhri at Nav 1 are a breeze in the Rapier but the Bonnie Heather is already under heavy attack when we arrive. My Rapier definitely took some hits during this battle as I tried to keep the Jalkehi away from the transport. Hobbes had to eject, but finally the last Kilrathi ship exploded. I thought the voice on the transport sounded familiar, it's Paladin. I escort him back to the Concordia and he's going to meet me on the Observation Deck.

Ghorah Khar 3:

Paladin's brought some Kilrathi booze with him to the Concordia. It must be easier to get when you've got a Kilrathi system on your side. He also brings news of Maniac who apparently saved an entire strike fleet at Deneb, either by chance or skill. Knowing Maniac, probably skill, but I'm glad to hear he's got a good head on his shoulders again. Paladin leaves to discuss something with the Admiral. He tries to brush it off, but Admrial Tolwyn doesn't just chit-chat with anyone.

Ralgha's requests for an important mission have gained the Admiral's attention. We're to escort broadswords launching a strike against a Kilrathi force moving against Olympus station, in orbit around Ghorah Khar. Tolwyn's wonderful assesment of my abilities is interrupted by an attack on the Concordia. Those Sartha never stood a chance against an even number of Rapiers. Mount a torpedo on them without losing too much speed and you might have something decent. The minesweeper guarded by the Broadswords was in the clear, so they joined in our formation and headed towards the Kilrathi strike force. Fighting all those Grikath in the shadow of the Kamekh's flak wasn't one of my favourite activities. Again, Hobbes was forced to eject we managed to take out the entire strike force. I land on Olympus Station.

Ghorah Khar 4:

Hobbes and I have a deep discussion onboard Olympus Station. I apologise for my actions towards him and he apologises for the Admiral's attitude. I also learn that Downtown was rescued from Kilrathi hands by Hobbes, which would explain the bond between them. I'm glad Hobbes is on our side, he is a truly honourable warrior.

Our trip back to the Concordia is interrupted by another Kilrathi attack. They certainly have good timing. Hobbes and I blast the attacking Drakhri and Jalkehi away with ease and return to the Concordia. Chatting the Sparks, it seems that the rumour mill has decided the Hobbes alone saved the station. Par for the course, but I'm not really in this for the fame. The Concordia's now blocked a major Kilrathi offensive, I'm sure that the Kilrathi will have something to say about that.
 

Skanks

Rear Admiral
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had Hobbes ejecting. First mission he had to return to base and the other 3 he had to eject. Granted my rapier wasn't in the best condition most of the time either (I hate tail turrets, especially on Grikaths)
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I actually remember getting so frustrated with Ghorah Khar 1 initially that I stopped playing WC2 for several days. The Jalkehi were just tearing me up and I couldn't take it! (Ahh the joys of youth) So I took a few days off from WC2 and played a bit of Privateer IIRC (I got WC2 Deluxe right after my family got a PC, Priv/Armada actually came with it in a gamepack!).

I came back a few days later and breezed through the mission. I still remember though being so damn angry with Hobbes and the Jalkehi. It just seemed like I couldn't win.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had Hobbes ejecting. First mission he had to return to base and the other 3 he had to eject. Granted my rapier wasn't in the best condition most of the time either (I hate tail turrets, especially on Grikaths)
The Grikath's turret is particularly nasty for some reason. The Jalkehi's rarely causes me problems but I'm always damaged after an encounter with Grikaths.
 

Skanks

Rear Admiral
The Grikath's turret is particularly nasty for some reason. The Jalkehi's rarely causes me problems but I'm always damaged after an encounter with Grikaths.
I find the Grikaths tend to keep their rear facing me while the Jalkehi's soon turn and I get clear shots at their side.
 

DaveO

Commodore
Niven 3
Before takeoff, I meet Downtown. He’s a pilot from the Concordia, and we have a discussion about the situation taking place at Ghorah Khar. It’s a rebel system that broke away from the Kilrathi empire ten years ago. I’m given escort duty over two transport ships. Along the way, I meet up with a wing of Sarthas and Dralthis. One of the transports takes some damage from the Dralthi wing, but I save both transports without issues. Upon arriving at the Concordia, I find that somebody has sent classified data along with murdering a fellow crew mate. Admiral Tolwyn’s not taking any chances, and has confiscated all personal firearms.

Niven 4
Spirit and Jazz discuss the alarming events that have occurred. I state my thoughts on whether it’s connected to the sabotage that happened before, and Jazz states the unpleasant fact that all of this messiness started happening when I arrived. I certainly KNOW I’m not a traitor, but somebody is playing me to be implicated in this mess. Who besides the Kilrathi wants to see me dead? During the briefing, Angel mentions the suspicions from the investigation that a fighter pilot was responsible for the killing. Anybody on my wing could turn on me and leave me a pile of space dust! Watching my front and my six for friendly and unfriendly fire is going to get on my nerves pretty quick. Upon launch, my radar detects odd blips again. Suddenly, I’m catapulted right back to before the Claw was destroyed. Sure enough, stealth fighters try to take me out. Cloak is the only advantage these ships have, with the lousy armor and weapons not being a serious threat to me. Upon landing, I find that my flight recorder was damaged. I take my story to Angel, but she refuses to believe it. Without proof, it’s my word that what I am saying is true. Unfortunately, with my disgrace from the destruction of the Claw still fresh in the mind of Angel I can only strongly make my case, but what good is that? ‘Show me’ state of mind for Angel.

Ghorah Khar 1
Before launch, I meet up with Stingray. He’s bitter about being thought of as the assassin, since his pilot wings were missing and the victim’s body had pilot wings in his hand. I tell Stingray I understand his situation. I meet up with Angel, and she emphasizes the strategic value of the Enigma Sector. Ships can jump the whole sector with one move, and this gives whoever holds it an advantage. Angel invites me to her office where I will meet my new wingmate. I meet again with Hobbes and learn that he will be my new wingmate. I express my desire to have somebody else on my wing, but Angel is appalled by my bigotry. Together, me and Hobbes launch in Rapiers. As good as the Ferret is, I feel much better in a heavier fighter like the Rapier. Our first fighter encounter together is against some Jalkehis. Together, we take them down but are both of us are damaged. On the next encounter, there are Grikaths with Kur Human-Killer as the leader. I keep my cool in this situation, and worry about the little kitties first and then go after the leader. Hobbes is forced to return to base early in the fight, and it’s me against the Grikaths. My idea to take down the leader last is good since he’s one heck of a flyer. It takes a lot of skill and some luck to take him down. Upon landing, me and Sparks discuss Hobbes' history. Apparently, he and Downtown have some history but the story will have to wait for Downtown’s return.

Ghorah Khar 2
I meet up with Hobbes again, and we discuss why he has decided to fly with me. Hobbes explains that he feels that I am too good a pilot to be stuck on the carrier all the time. Hobbes also gives me information about his callsign, but I suspect he was misled by Downtown. A certain Calvin would likely agree. Me, Doomsday, and Downtown discuss the situation about the spies aboard the Concordia. Doomsday is his cheerful self and believes defeat is inevitable. Downtown and I discuss the Society of Mandarins. I flatly state that those who turn against their own are traitors, and Downtown sticks up for Hobbes as an example of one who is not a traitor. Angel discusses our next assignment, which is to escort the Bonnie Heather back to the Concordia. Both Hobbes and I complain that this is not a ‘consequential’ assignment, but Angel sticks to her guns and tells us that she’ll discuss ‘consequential’ later. Our first fighter encounter with me and Hobbes is Dralthis. They are no match for the Rapiers and we proceed to the rendezvous point. A wing of Jalkehis are pummeling the Bonnie Heather. Together, me and Hobbes make the Kilrathi turn and fight us. On this sortie, Hobbes is forced to eject and I’m left with most of the Jalkehis. Some deft flying and some missiles help take destroy the remaining fighters. Upon hailing the Bonnie Heather, I find that Paladin is flying it! It’s nice to see another friend from the Tiger’s Claw although Paladin did retire from active combat. Search and Rescue picks up Hobbes, and Angel debriefs me upon landing. I’m hoping that Hobbes was just unlucky on these first two sorties, and that he does not make a habit of pushing himself too far.

Ghorah Khar 3
Paladin’s in the Rec Room celebrating his return with a Kilrathi drink. He tells me of the latest exploits of Maniac, and heads to off to meet Tolwyn. Paladin explains the mystery of the wrecked shipyard he found and wants the Admiral to give me another chance. Tolwyn is not convinced by Paladin’s defense of me, and firmly expresses his need to see my value to him. At last, our 'consequential' assignment! Me and Hobbes are given escort duty for Broadswords to attack some capital ships. Tolwyn urges Hobbes to reconsider his wingmate choice, and questions my courage. Hobbes defends his choice, and the alert klaxon goes off. A wing of Sarthas crashes in on our mission before launch, and we scramble to our fighters. The Sarthas are again easily dealt with, and we proceed to our escort. The nav point with capital ship has Grikaths defending it. Me and Hobbes make a go of it, and this time he makes up for his flying on the previous missions. We both take damage, but at least our ships are still for the most part in one piece. The Broadsword torpedoes the capital ship, and there’s one less big hairball to worry about.

Ghorah Khar 4
Hobbes explains his connection to Downtown before our return flight from Olympus station. He rescued Downtown from certain death, and considers human slaves a disgrace of the Empire. He reminds me of my need to be constantly on guard since this sector is very important. On our way back to the Concordia, Olympus sends out a distress call. She’s under attack by a wing of fighters! Me and Hobbes head back to defend the station. The first wave is Dralthi, and they are easy to pick off. Next wave are some Jalkehi. Hobbes takes out one, but is forced to eject. I hold my own against the remaining fighters, but silently swear at Hobbes. I autopilot back to the Concordia, and talk to Sparks again. For some insane reason, I state that Hobbes is a good wingmate even though he’s ejected two times and returned to base once. Even with Hobbes’ poor performance, there are people who think he saved the station alone.
In another sector, Prince Thrakath and Khasra discuss the need for a morale boost from Thrakath flying along in a mission. Thrakath explains that the Emperor is controlling his actions for the most part, but Khasra points out that he may get an opportunity sooner than he expected to take over the throne.

P.S. - Here's hoping that somebody flying Ghorah Khar will get good mileage out of Hobbes!
P.S.S. - I managed to get a recording of the first mission action using Fraps. It's without sound, so I'll experiment to see if sound may be captured or not. I was able to before, but that was months ago before this replay started.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I've got better than screenshots. My video recording worked pretty well for the most part, though I missed Kur and another mission. Kur was a challenge without Hobbes, but afterburners helped a ton. It seems Fraps is a bit unreliable for recording, but I have most of the missions up to #12. And yes, I'm usually damaged in each one. So I'll let people put in some votes on what they want to see. I can pretty much pick anything from a mission with the exception of the two that would not record.

P.S. - I'm planning on still recording, but there have definitely been unique moments on some of the missions.
P.S.S. - Hobbes did MUCH better on his sorties on my second progression thru the missions.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Niven 3

General Snell wants me to escort two transports from Niven Colony to the jump point. Sounds easy enough...oh...I'm going alone in a Ferret? Great.

I'm hardly off the deck when four Sartha come barreling in. The high refire rate of the MD's makes the difference here. I lay down a barrage and take two down extremely fast before roll behind a third. He gets it after about five seconds. The fourth Sartha is of course nailing one of the transports with everything its got. Little bastard. I afterburn over to him and send a hail of silver mass driver rounds directly into his cockpit. How's it feel to suck void kitty?

We quickly autopilot into...Drakhri. Great. I afterburn to the flank of the group and take out one quickly. Coming up behind the other two I send a long burst into the second, however the third has gotten on my six and started to open fire. I can tell because my cockpit is starting to look like the Fourth of July. Not good.

I pull up on the stick, roll right, afterburn slide and jockey to get position on the final drakhri. Head-to-Head. Not the wisest decision. Needless to say I played this mission more than once. Not many times but more than once. :)

One transport is shot to hell and the other isn't going to win any awards for looks. At least they made it.

Dunn Dunn Dunn...no not me...Traitor subplot...going on now. Speaking of let's go fly a mission...



Niven 4

All alone in a Ferret again. Simple scout mission. Sure.

According to the WC1&2 USG Blair muttered "Good Grief," upon seeing the Strakhas again. Who the hell is he Charlie Brown? Anyways, I've got three Strakha flying around. The only thing Strakha having going for them is that they can cloak otherwise they are just flying marks ready to be added to my kill score. (The WC3 Strakha is even worse in this department) I make my way through the three stealths easily and move on to the next nav point.

I don't encounter anything else until between Nav 2 and 3. More Strakha. I have to play hide and seek more with these three then the first but the outcome is still the same.

So while a new traitor subplot is open, Blair's is now closed with evidence from his...oh son of a....! Damn it! Stolen. Stringray still thinks I'm the greatest...asshole he's ever met.

We all know about the special properties of the Enigma Sector and how much holds in the balance with our holding the line here.



Ghorah Khar 1

Angel wants Hobbes and I to fly a simple patrol. The start of a beautiful betrayal...and continues the traitor spree to...well you know. At least we are flying Rapiers. On a side note, I remember back in '94-'95 when I started to really get into WC, I got stuck on this damn mission for what seemed like the longest time. Kur and his buddies just kept nailing me. Now it's a piece of cake compared to what SO, UE and Standoff throw at you, but still amazingly fun as well.

Hobbes tells me I'm not a bad guy. I guess that's our luck, a Kilrathi thinks I'm alright but not the famous Tolwyn...sheesh.

Nav 1 has three Jalkehi waiting for my attention. These big bastards can be a problem, but I just try to stay out of head to head attacks and stick to the sides whenever possible. This fight doesn't last too long before the autolight comes to life...

Nav 2 has Kur and his buddies. You aren't going to stop me this time you bastard. Grikath can be deadly with that rear turret so you've got to watch out. I like to use missiles on anything carrying torpedoes so I expend them here. I save Kur for last. I have a smug satisfaction from blasting him away. On to the next nav point and mission....



Ghorah Khar 2

Time to escort the Bonnie Heather and Paladin back to the Concordia. Again Hobbes and I are in Rapiers. We have to take the long way to throw off the Kilrathi. Before Nav 1 we encounter three Drakhri. Hobbes and I take little time in destroying them as the Rapiers are far superior spaceframes.

In between nav points we encounter six Jalkehi in two wings. Now this was a fight. I use my missiles quickly to try and lower the odds. Two Jalkhei explode under missile and gun barrage. Four to two. I come up behind another Jalkhei and launch a DF and some particle cannon rounds into the top of his ship. It explodes it a beautiful blast as I swing around to get his buddies.

When the fight is over, Paladin is a bit worse for wear but he'll make it back to the Concordia no problem.


The interlude has Paladin and I exchanging kind words before Tolwyn and Paladin meet. Paladin tries to convince Tolwyn, but I've got to prove it to the old man.



Ghorah Khar 3

A mission of consequence...when it turns from an intercept strike force to ...scramble! Five Sartha are attacking the Concordia when Hobbes and I launch in Rapiers. They can't hurt the Concordia so I have little to worry about from that end. Hobbes and I make quick work of them before heading off to meet the Broadswords we're supposed to escort.

We successfully find the broadswords and move onto the attack phase of our mission. Four Grikath and a Kamekh are the strike force. Broadswords carrying torps is a bit of overkill but I have no problem taking out torpedo bombers and ship killing corvettes. I head after the Grikath first and quickly down two. I'm saving my missiles for the corvette though. However, before I can do that Hobbes and the two broadswords bring it down. I use my remaining missiles on the Grikath and we head for Olympus Station.

I've always liked the look of WC1-2 Terran stations. Eder's Standoff model is another gorgeous interpretation of the model. Moving on...

Everybody feels bad that I'm the ugly duckling in Tolwyn's eyes. It's all right though. Soon enough...


Ghorah Kar 4

Scramble. Defend Olympus Station. We've got 5 Drakhri upon launch. Flying Rapiers they aren't too much of a challenge. One is particularly difficult to kill, but I manage to land a missile and he goes up like a litterbox.

Four Jalkehi arrive after the first are destroyed. I'm a bit banged up from the first encouter. I use my missiles liberally and manage two quick kills before it turns into an old fashion furball. Turn after turn until I land enough hits to send the kilrathi bastard to Sivar.

After we head back to the Concordia for debriefing....
 
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