Wing Commander 4 Replay Week 4

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Hello pilots,

Your choices play dividends today. We've got the Circe/Speradon branches to complete and we regroup in Telamon afterwards. The number of missions this week is variable on your decisions, so choose wisely pilots and watch your six!
 

DaveO

Commodore
I did up to Telamon, and have only the final Circe mission to document. My choice was to save the planet marine attack for the last Circe mission. Also, the Search and Destroy mission in Circe was a very difficult mission. Nine Excaliburs make things VERY interesting, along with other encounters in the mission. I think I've found my favorite WC4 wingman: Yaeger. He's saved my butt more times that I can count and he seems to be as good as Maniac, Hawk or Panther. My Speradon official mission choice was 'Steal fighters' and the 'Attack carrier' to get the Mace missile. And YES, you WILL see the Mace in action.
 

Flying Target

Swabbie
Banned
This time I went for picking up the fighters and the weapons factory.

Fighters - great, except the game only seemed to allow me to use the Bearcat for one subsequent mission before it disappeared. Is that right? I mean, not the end of the world 'cos we half-inched some Dragons later, but the Bearcat is cool. Anyone else notice that they have a passing resemblance to those new F-35 JSFs us and the Americans are building?

Missiles - what the crap are those starbursts things? Next time, I go for the carrier. What's the Mace like?
 

DaveO

Commodore
The Mace is a cross between a torpedo and a guided missile. I think the real trick is to time the detonation EXACTLY just like in WC2. I'll let you have fun seeing its potential devastation, and it's a better option than the silly Starburst missiles in my opinion. In the shot, I tried taking out two Dragons with it, but missed my timing. It's still beautiful to look at, even if you miss.

P.S. - Speradon missions are almost done uploading to YouTube. I have to refly Circe 1 due to a recording glitch, but all the other ones are ready to be uploaded.
 

Attachments

DaveO

Commodore
Now since 'Attack carrier' was my choice I'm wondering if anybody has specific preferences on perspective shots. I'll have three at minimum for the side, front and aft.

P.S. - Now where oh where is the Phase Transit Cannon on this thing??? :D
 

DaveO

Commodore
Hot diggity dog! I have all twelve mission choices uploaded to YouTube, and fifty nine shots with thirteen from last week's action placed on Photobucket. I still have Circe screen captures to get, but that should be soon. Man was that an endurance test. I think I had nine of the twelve missions done on Saturday, and then did the other three. I'm fairly certain I had to refly a few missions too due to encoding issues. And I do know that I still have to document week 3's Border Worlds missions. It's coming, but obviously will be later than usual.

Plentiful Photobucket pictures:
http://s204.photobucket.com/albums/bb15/DaveO-MM/Wing Commander/

Wing Commander videos:
http://www.youtube.com/davecaspermeyer
 

Attachments

Lorien

Rear Admiral
My game's picked up another weird bug where Catscratch has just disppeared. I definitely saved him on the mission but he's not on the flight roster and Sosa's acting like he's dead, according to Wedge's scripts. I might have a play around with a save game editor, see what I can do with it.

Circe 1:

I walk into the Galley to find Maniac and Dekker having a deep discussion on the topic of pilots versus marines. They're obviously comparing apples to oranges in terms of toughness but I let them continue through the usual male posturing about sex. I'm forced to intervene when it looks like things are going to result in a fight, I can't allow fist fights to break out between the crew. Dekker takes the interference rather personally and makes a veiled threat before I even have a change to start in on Maniac's behaviour. Dekker storms off and I have to stop Maniac making an idiot of himself. I hope Dekker's professional enough to not let this effect his performance.

There are a number of missions for the Intrepid to undertake in the Circe system and Admiral Wilford has left the choice up to me. The first mission involves a tank attack against the planet's climate control centre, if they can destroy that they will cause massive flooding. The second is an escort run protecting shuttles as they ferry refugees from a chemical weapon attack. The third requires us to investigate a concentration of enemy activity near to a jump point. Protecting civilians from a situation that already exists seems like the highest priority to me, so Catscatch and myself fly out in Vindicators to protect the shuttles.

The pirate presence during this mission is very large, with every flight of shuttles coming under attack from a mix of Thunderbolts and Razors. First priority in every attack is to take out the fighers attacking the shuttles, usually the Thunderbolts. The first and third runs land without a scratch as their attackers are missiled to death very quickly but during the second batch of shuttles a Thunderbolt manages to slip past me as I anticipated the Razors going after the shuttles with their speed. It takes out a single shuttle before I manage to put all the attackers down. The mission is considered a success by most standards, but I can't help but think of the refugees on the shuttle as I head back to the Intrepid.

Circe 2:

The Maniac troubles continue as I have a discussion with Panther in the Hold. It seems Maniac continues to hit on her well after he's been told no several times. It's gotten bad enough that Panther's considering violence to make him stop. As tempting as the idea is, I'm forced once again to step in for Maniac to prevent crew infighting. I promise to Panther that I'll have a chat with him and Maniac's not going to enjoy it.

Given the heavy enemy presence during our last mission, I decide that we need to break up that large concentration out near the jump point. Not quite sure what to expect, I take Panther out with me in Banshees, but instead of the usual 8 ImRec load I've swapped 2 missiles for Dumbfires in case we run into something heavier. The first two groups we encounter are just the usual pirate mix of Razors and Thunderbolts and are taken care of easily. The last nav point, though, holds the real prize. A destroyer escorted by 9 Excaliburs. The dogfighting is intense and I switch regularly between lasers to take shields out and the scatter gun to finish off the Excaliburs. I'm down to my last ImRec as the final Excalibur burns in front of me. Panther and I move to engage the Destroyer and I'm suddenly glad I packed the DFs in. They let me score some heavy first hits and exploit the shield hole the create to cause some severe damage. Still, light fighters aren't the best ships to be taking Destroyers out in and Panther and I are both badly banged up as the capital ship finally blows. There's no way this group is just simple mercenaries with high-tech ships like that at their disposal.

Circe 3:

The troubles with my favourite pilot continue as I find Maniac instructing Catscratch in the Galley on how to fly like Maniac. The story he tells is of firing some missiles off-target to throw the enemy off. Wasting missiles is never a good idea, especially with the Border Worlds forces who have little enough to spare already. I decide to interject and give Catscratch an alternating viewpoint on how to fly, I don't want the kid learning lessons off of Maniac. They tried that with the Wild Eagles, but I don't think it's a good idea to remind Maniac of the debacle. I leave the convesation with the feeling the kid's going to make a poor choice very shortly. At least Sosa has some good news for me. A representative of the Circe government is on the line thanking the Intrepid for our efforts during this fight. I tell her that I'll pass their thanks along to the crew. She's also got a little suprise for us, a big data download from a surveillance web they had built around their system during the Kilrathi war. They haven't had time to decode it, but I'm willing to bet that Sosa can work her usual magic on this data. I ask Sosa to keep me posted on her progress.

The Intrepid gets a break from its previous mission schedule as Admiral Wilford discovers the enemy has taken a page from Captain Eisen's playbook, running a convoy through a nebula to avoid detection. Now that we know it's there we're going to go take it out. While Maniac and I take out Avengers, Catscratch has volunteered to go investigate a satellite emitting strange signals. The first fighters to intercept Maniac and I are dispatched easily, even in the lumbering Avengers you only need to line up a Hellcat for a little while before it's space dust. We continue on our way, but a desperate Sosa comes on the comm, instead. Catscratch has gotten into trouble and his craft has been leeched. I'm forced to scrub the mission and go after the kid, especially as I'm pretty sure the person responsible is right there on my wing and I want him present in case the worst happens.

Arriving at Catscatch's location we find the Confed heavy guns already deployed. I order Maniac after the Thunderbolts covering a Longbow on an obvious attack run. I'm trying to coax more speed out of my Avenger to catch up with the Longbow when I realise I won't make it on time and use a missile to distract the Longbow. To my amazement, the bomber pilot completely ignore the missile, not even dropping a decoy. The missile takes the bomber out and we're free to destroy the Thunderbolts at our pleasure. When the last one is destroyed, Catscratch ejects and I destroy his craft to prevent Confed getting their satellite back. I tractor the kid in and set course for the Intrepid fuming.

The crew chief can see my mood as I hand him my helmet and he only shakes his head as I round on Catscratch and a panicking Maniac. I get the full story out of Catscratch. He tried Maniac's trick with the missing missiles but didn't connect when it counted. I can sense that Catscratch is feeling remorse for what he's cost the Border Worlds, so I round on the target that should know better, Maniac. I let him know that I won't accept him trying to create another Wild Eagles on my ship, nor will Panther accept the continued pick up attempts. Maniac's definitely a little shaken as I tell him that the asshole tolerance on the Intrepid's a lot lower than on the other ships we've served on and beats a hasty retreat. I'm tempted to ground Catscratch for his own good, but we need the pilots too badly so I'm forced to just leave it at probation.

Circe 4:

Pliers pulls me aside as I leave the flight deck and enter the control room. He's got some good news for once, which is a welcome change. The Kilrathi have helped him get his cloaking device working again, squeezing some extra charges out of the single crystal we have left. It means flying without a wingman but we're not going to see any more crystals as they're dug up on a planet deep in Confed space. I tell Pliers to make me invisible. After all, who needs wingmen? I find Hawk and Panther in the CIC and we get into a discussion about Captain Eisen's chances. Panther is hopeful about his chances, but Hawk is more pessimistic as the information he's carrying is pretty thing. The other problem is that Eisen can't know who to talk to at Confed. Anybody could be a member of the conspiracy and talking to the wrong people would be worse than useless. Hawk's in favour of taking the fight to Confed but I'm not too keen on starting another war. The only thing I can tell them is that we have to hope that Eisen knows the right people at Confed. He's been in the Navy for a very long time and should know a lot of the brass.

Admiral Wilford has been appraised of our situation and is giving the Intrepid a choice. That supply route we missed last time is still running and waiting to be kicked down. I'm keen to go give it another shot until Wilford reveals our other choice. They've located the Confed Command Centre on Circe V. If we can deliver Dekker and his men in there they'll plant an implosion device and take out the entire building. As much as I want another crack at the supply line, taking out the Confed command centre is going to draw this conflict to a swifter close, so that's our target. As soon as my Vindicator leaves the launch bay, I cloak so as to not draw too much attention to my approach. I have to shut it down as I enter the atmosphere, of course, and I don't want to risk Plier's crystal too much so I proceed to the target visible.

There's a fairly strong defense force around the command centre featuring 5 ground targets and 3 Hellcats. Fortunately, the ground turrets are only equipped with lasers and not missiles, so I have no need to take them out with the same priority. Instead, I focus on the Hellcats, using an ImRec to even the odds up a little before taking out the other two with guns. After a leisurly clean up of the turrets I launch Dekker and his men towards the command centre. It was just in time, too, as a pair of Hellcats crest the horizon just as Dekkar is docking. Dekkar reports that he'll be done in 60 seconds so I'm forced to use a missile on the first one so that I can get his wingman's sole attention and stop him shooting up defenseless MIPs. I manage to win the race against Dekkar, taking out the Hellcats just before he departs from the command centre. I pick up his men and leave the crater of the command centre behind me.

As I'm leaving the atmosphere, Admiral Wilford hops on the comm. Border Worlds intelligence has found a strange Confed transport whose contents will be vital to my efforts. Sosa also has some good news, she's managed to decode some Confed IFF signals from the Circe data and offers to send them my way. It sounds like a good idea to me though how long Confed will trust a Vindicator with IFF codes is a mystery. When I arrive I see a very disturbing sight. The transport doesn't look familiar but it does look very advanced. Protecting it, however, are two very familiar fighters that we saw attacking the Kilrathi convoy. Sosa's IFF codes hold up well enough for me to slide in behind one of them and take him out with an ImRec. The other turns to engage me, shouting something about an inferior race. The forward guns on that thing are quite heavy but without a tail gun I fall easily onto it's rear and take it's shields out. It gives me another suprise as it jets away on afterburner and engages a cloak. Unfortunately, he has a target to protect, so I swing towards the transport and move in towards it. The ruse works and the pilot decloaks and attacks. I avoid his shots and fall onto his rear again. This time I manage to punch through his armour pretty severely. He attempts to cloak but my tachyon guns finish him off before the cloaking sequence is complete.

I drop Dekker off just before 2 more of these craft decloak and attack. I've never liked 2 on 1 odds, so I get very close behind the first one and fire of an IR that delivers it's lethal blow before the pilot can react and cloak. The second pilot proves to be very elusive as we dogfight, only dropping out of cloack for long enough to attack and receive some shots in return. Those shots add up, though, and I finish him off by following the trail of sparks coming off his fighter after he cloaks. After a short wait, Dekker reports that the transport has been captured, a very impressive feat for three marines. I return home and Sosa tells me they're ferrying pilots out to pick up the cargo on that transport.

Telamon 1:

There's a very happy looking Pliers on the flight deck. No doubt he's happy about the shipload of those new fighters that we picked up and I can't say that I blame him. They're very sleek, if a little predatory in my eyes. Pliers shows me a couple of their features. The cloaking device I'm familiar with but it's good to have a proper system that hasn't been jury-rigged together from spare parts. The other feature is a huge advantage. They have matter/anti-matter intakes leading to the power plant. This means that the power for afterburner comes directly from the engines and doesn't drain the fuel supply. Shields and guns will take a beating but it's worth it for unlimited afterburner. Pliers offers to get one ready for me but I decline. We just don't know how safe these things are.

Sosa calls me to the CIC with an urgent message. It's a distress call from planet FT957 in the Telamon system. They're under attack by unmarked ships and people are dying. Admiral Wilford is ordering the Intrepid to investigate the situation. Just because Telamon is a far away system doesn't make them any less important to the Border Worlds. Maniac's late to the mission briefing, which pisses me off a little given the situation. We don't know anything about what's going on in the Telamon system and we need to find out. To achieve that, I'll head out with 2 wingmen and Dekker's shuttle. We're going to head towards the planet and clear out any bad guys along the way. Once we're in orbit, Dekker and I will descend to get a firsthand look at the situation.

The first resistance we encounter are two Arrows making an intercept run. Both are equipped with cloaking devices but Hawk manages to take ou the first before it cloaks with a missile. The second fighter takes longer, but 3 on 1 odds means that the Arrow is chewed up every time it decloaks. Again, Hawk claims a victory in this fight. The second nav point features some other Border Worlds forces that Wilford must have sent through, I'm glad we're not in the unmarked death ships. Finally, it's time for Hawk and Panther to veer off and Dekker and I to descend to the planet. Halfway down, though, two Dragons attempt an intercept. The first one takes a missile to the rear to protect Dekkar and I take my time with the second, making sure it doesn't get near the shuttle. The Dragons are such huge targets that once you get behind them you can't miss.

Landing on the planet, we're confronted by several men with guns. I tell them that we're from the Border Worlds and have been sent by Admiral Wilford but they tells us we're too late. As they lead us into a shelter they explain that bombs were dropped on the colony, confusing me as the colony looked intact on our approach. A local doctor explains that it wasn't explosives they were dropping but bioweapons. Dekker points out the obvious, that we're still breathing and the doctor asks what I know about bioconvergence. I don't know much so he explains. He thinks the attackers dispersed billions of nanobots into the atmosphere. These nanobots are programmed to get into a human body and do a comparison of your DNA against some preset parameters. If they don't like what they find they cause your cells to stop replicating and start attacking each other. The body he shows me to demonstrate the results in particularly gruesome, though Dekkar doesn't flinch. I wonder what he must have seen during his career to let him stay normal in the face of that.

The doctor reports that the unmarked ships come out of nowhere and dropped canisters all over the colony. He hands me a cylinder marked with all sorts of biohazard symbols and I ask how many people were effected. The doctor's reply is terrifying, 90% of the colony has been killed. Dekker pulls me aside to tell me that this planet is now what he calls a ghost planet. If the people aren't cleared out soon, they'll start killing themselves in depression. I promise the doctor that Admiral Wilford will get a full report and take the appropriate action. I'm as glad as Dekker that the Kilrathi didn't figure this weapon out.

After returning to the Intrepid I find Sosa in the hold, lighting candles for the dead. She hasn't seen anything as hideous as the weapon we've reported on. I tell her that evil is the only word to describe it. She must be thinking of the glasses she's not wearing when she asks if she had gone done to the planet would she be dead and in need of a candle as well?
 

DaveO

Commodore
Somewhat caught up with week 4 action up to Telamon. Still have the two optional missions to post and all six from the Circe side.


Speradon 1
I see Maniac outside the CIC, and he looks like he has seen a ghost. I ask him what’s going on, and he tells me that Dekker has placed somebody in the hold. He won’t say who we have captured, so I go to the hold to find out. I get an unusual surprise at seeing Admiral Tolwyn in the hold. The Admiral is very disappointed over my defection to the Border Worlds, and I tell him that a war has not been officially declared and to consider my defection a re-enlistment. Tolwyn points out that we weren’t officially at war with the Kilrathi either, but there were only two sides with defection as the only way to change sides. The Admiral says that I was a symbol for what Confed stands for, and that he can’t understand why I went to the Border Worlds. He wonders if my loyalty is as weightless as space, and I state my belief that Confed has forgotten about loyalty. I explain that there are Confed forces behind efforts to start a war with the Border Worlds. The Admiral believes that I’m correct in my perceptions, and that he was here to investigate the ‘dog soldiers’ behind the acts of aggression versus the Border Worlds. I point out that one of them is using the callsign Seether, and the Admiral admits a run-in with him. He says that he’s had to resort to stealthy techniques to continue his investigations. He admits that finding people to trust has not been easy, and that there were many secret ‘Black Operations’ during the Kilrathi war to finish off the cats. Only now and after so many years is Tolwyn learning about these ‘Black Operations’, which included a Genetic Enhancement program in an attempt to create a perfect warrior. I ask if Seether was a product of this program, and Tolwyn does not know. That particular operation was shut down before the Admiral heard of it. He believed that the cloaked installation would be a good method to track down Seether. He had received the same reports of jamming in the Peleus system, and assures me that Confed headquarters did not authorize it. He asks if I know of Seether’s whereabouts, and I admit my lack of knowledge. Tolwyn points out that time is running out for both of us to prevent war between Confed and the Border Worlds. The Admiral says that there is a still a place for me in Confed, and that we’re both on the same side. I express my doubts, especially in regards to the values of Confed. I tell Tolwyn that I’ve known Captain Eisen too long to have doubts about trusting him. I’ve made my choice and will stick with this side. Tolwyn wonders if he is to be the first prisoner of war. I again emphasize that we’re not officially at war, and that he’ll be released. I express my hopes that both of us are on the side of peace. I head down to the hangar bay and watch as the Admiral boards a shuttle. Before entering, he gives me a salute that I return. I head back up, and see Dekker stewing in frustration. He expresses his surprise in me letting the Admiral go free. I say that we’re not at war with Confed yet, and he wonders why he’s taken so many risks with his group of Marines if we’re not committed to winning. He thinks anybody on the Confed side is an enemy, and I tell him that he had no orders to go out after Tolwyn and that it’s my decision on who is to be a prisoner. Dekker points out that it seemed very suspicious that Tolwyn was trying to run away once the installation was discovered. I explain that Confed would have brought a lot of their resources on us once they found out we had the Admiral imprisoned. Dekker thinks that I may be right, but believes that I’ll be second-guessing my decision later on. I ask if that’s a prediction or a threat, and he says it’s just an observation although he does admit that he may have suffered too many hits to the head for his observations to be reliable. I head into the CIC, and Admiral Wilford explains that the Border Worlds is undertaking fleet actions in two systems. At Circe, we’d be assisting a legitimate Border Worlds government in a fierce civil war against mercenaries. Wilford has reason to believe that the rogue faction of Confed is backing the mercenaries, and says that thousands of civilians are being killed. The other operation is at Speradon where a Confed shipyard is gearing up in anticipation of war. The shipyard seems vulnerable, and it would be an opportunity to get more equipment. Panther points out that innocent people are being killed in Circe and that should be the clear choice. Hawk points out that we won’t win any battles if we don’t have the weapons to achieve victory. I decide that stopping the shipyard is more important to prevent its resources from being used against the Border Worlds. I can’t send forces into battle unless I’ve done my best to give them optimal fighting chances to succeed.

At the Speradon shipyard, new Confed fighters called Bearcats are being built in assembly line fashion. One of the Bearcats takes off for a test run in a dense field of asteroids.

Pliers wants to see me outside the CIC, and he has good news. The Kilrathi were able to help him with his cloaking device, and showed him how to get extra charges from the crystal that runs the device. There is only one crystal left, so there would be no way to have a wingman along to help out. The crystal will still burn out eventually, and we can’t go on a mission to round up more crystals since they are deep in Confed territory. Despite the drawbacks this sounds like just the thing that would be very valuable on my next mission. I tell Pliers to get it ready, and head into the galley. Dekker and Maniac are arguing over whether Marines or pilots are tougher. Maniac makes an insult about Marines by saying they are Space Academy rejects. Dekker thinks pilots like Maniac and me go for the cockpit since we can’t hold our own in hand-to-hand combat. The argument gets more heated, and I’m forced to step in before Dekker can personally show how he’s superior to Maniac in a fist fight. I tell Dekker that a first punch will buy him a ticket to the brig, and Dekker says that Maniac needs to stop shooting off his mouth. Maniac mocks Dekker, and he shoves Maniac back. I ask Dekker how he can keep his cool in the field if it’s so easy for insults to make him mad enough to fight. Dekker thinks that pilots as a group stick together, and he threatens to remember my choice to defend Maniac on a future operation. Maniac thinks he could have stood his ground against Dekker, and attempts to goad another fight. I successfully stop him this time, but this looks like a situation that won’t be easily remedied soon. I go into the CIC to get the briefings for the Speradon missions available, and find that there are three choices of targets. The first is a testing site in an asteroid belt used to shake down newly built fighters and Wilford would like us to capture those fighters. The second target is a weapons plant, and the third target is a Concordia class carrier that is poorly guarded. I choose the mission to capture those new Confed fighters. The challenge is to take out the radar buoy keeping a watch around the area, and this will be an opportunity to use the cloaking capability from Pliers. Once the Confed fighters are disabled, a Border Worlds capital ship will pick them up. Hawk points out that if the Confed forces see us coming on the radar, they will have reinforcements to try to stop us. Leech guns and missiles will disable the fighters, so I go with a split loadout mix of ImRec and Leech missiles in an Avenger.

I engage Pliers’ cloaking device before using autopilot to the first nav point. I select the special Stormfire weapon for my attack run on the radar buoy. Once I get within the Stormfire’s range, I uncloak and let the buoy eat the shells from Stormfire. The buoy is quickly riddled with holes and destroyed. I’m forced to use multiple decoys to get incoming Hellcat missiles off my tail. I then destroy one Hellcat with a returning missile shot, and follow up with another missile on the other Hellcat. I eliminate all of the turret mines in the area with the Stormfire. I head to the next nav point where the fighter testing ground is. I see a new fighter type I’ve not encountered before called Bearcat. It’s obviously a heavy fighter since the opponents are shooting at me with tachyon guns. Fortunately, they can’t get beyond my shields and I shoot at one with a Leech missile. I pull out of my attack before I see if the missile hits and turn my attention to the other Bearcats. I try using leech guns against one of the Bearcats, but his buddies force me to use another Leech missile on the Bearcat I’m pursuing. I launch another Leech missile against a Bearcat, and it hits. There are still two Bearcats left and no more Leech missiles, so I have to use the leech guns. I leech a Bearcat enough that he’s seriously impaired. I can’t finish him off since his friend is all over my rear. I evade the fire, and accidentally run into the Bearcat I was leeching. Fortunately, it was a glancing blow and both my Avenger and the Bearcat survived. I pursue the other Bearcat, but he’s too evasive to get any successful hits. I switch back to my first target and completely leech the Bearcat. Unfortunately, I’m out of afterburner fuel so I can’t keep close to the other Bearcat. I’ll have to make my shots count, and the Bearcat makes a direct pass. He has ample opportunity to hit me with his tachyons, but the shots all miss. I return fire and score a few hits. It takes me many minutes to hit him enough to completely leech the last Bearcat. I wonder how those new fighters will perform for our pilots. The BWS Tango comes to collect the Bearcats, and Sosa tells me that Pliers is doing cartwheels in the hangar due to my success. I guess he wanted his hands on the newest Confed fighters too.


Speradon 2
Our next mission is to go after a Concordia class carrier that has not offloaded its fighters, weapons and spare parts. This could be a very good target to get more materials for the Border Worlds. I’m to take out any fighter cover as well as the turrets and engines of the carrier.

I choose Catscratch and the Bearcat for this mission. I can see that it’s faster than any fighter I’ve been in including the Arrow. That’s very impressive for a heavy fighter, and our first enemy encounter are Arrows. It’s speedy versus speedier, and my guns have the Arrows outmatched since they autotrack just like the ones on the Excalibur. I quickly take down an Arrow with a missile, and I give the same missile treatment to a second Arrow. I then get another Arrow in my sights, and the tachyon guns chew that fighter up. I make another pass to finish off that Arrow, and Catscratch and I combine for the last Arrow kill. We head to where the carrier is, and there are multiple Hellcats defending it. I quickly eliminate one with a missile, and follow up quite soon with a second Hellcat. Catscratch takes down a Hellcat, and another of my missiles gets a fourth one. Catscratch gets two more Hellcat kills, and I blast apart a fighter with my Bearcat. There are no more Hellcats to harass us, so I’m expecting to take down those turrets with the tachyons of the Bearcat. I switch off autotracking since I’ll be making direct runs, and I need to make those shots count against the carrier. My first pass fails on eliminating any turrets, but the second pass is successful. Two more passes fall flat, although the carrier has taken some collateral damage from my missed shots. My next three passes get another turret, and the fourth one fails. The next two passes take down a turret, so there is not much firepower left to defend the carrier. Catscratch is oddly sticking on my wing and taking hits from the carrier that he should be better at avoiding. Another pass trashes another turret, but I miss on another strafing run. It takes two more passes to destroy another turret, and I finally finish off the last remaining turret. I make sure I’m lined up for the rear to disable the engines of the carrier. I let loose with the tachyons and damage the engines up to 50%. The BWS Hopkins comes in to find what is on the carrier, and the carrier itself could be handy to the Border Worlds despite its age. On my approach, Sosa again tells me that Pliers is doing cartwheels so he must be overjoyed at what was on the carrier.


Speradon 3
I see Hawk in the hold, and he’s getting quite angry with Maniac. Hawk feels that Maniac has not yet proven his capabilities by learning how to support his fellow pilots instead of going off solo and doing his own thing. I ask Hawk if he feels I should talk to Maniac, and Hawk says the alternative is to figuratively haul him over hot coals. While that would get Maniac’s attention, I tell Hawk that I’ll see what I can do to avoid this. I then see Maniac in the galley trying to convince Catscratch to fly the same way he does. Maniac says that Catscratch is simply trying to make a name for himself. Catscratch’s choices are to fly by-the-book like I do for the most part or push the envelope like Maniac does. I retort that the only envelope Maniac has ever pushed is the one addressed to common sense. Catscratch comments that Maniac has a kill score to back up his claims, but I tell Catscratch that pilots who rely on luck like Maniac rarely reach old age. There can only be one lucky pilot on each ship, and Maniac thinks there is nothing wrong with some style and attitude to make a name for himself. Flash was the same way when he arrived on the Victory, and I hope I don’t have to make the same showdown to teach Catscratch a lesson. I try one last time to persuade Catscratch that Maniac’s path is a sure way to end up in a coffin. I enter the CIC, and the Vice Admiral is taking me off the remaining weapons factory mission for us to go after a Confed convoy of supplies. I’m to use the Marines to take control of the largest capital ship. Dekker mumbles that he should be getting hazard pay for this type of action, and Wilford says that Dekker is on the wrong side if bonuses are what he wants. I’ll use the insertion pods for delivery of Dekker and his men, so that means either the Avenger or Vindicator for this mission. Other ships from the Border World fleet will come in to complete this raid on the supply line, and I have the final say on green-lighting the attack against the supply ships. There are also unusual red shift signals coming from a satellite orbiting the fourth planet. Wilford wants a retrieval of the satellite for a closer look. Catscratch volunteers himself for that assignment, and I launch in an Avenger with Blade on my wing.

At the first nav point, Lieutenant Sosa comes on the communication line that Catscratch has gotten into trouble. Enemy forces have leeched his ship, and he’s a sitting duck. I can’t let Catscratch die, so I abort our current mission to rescue him. There are multiple Confed fighters here to finish off Catscratch, and my wingman points out that destroying Catscratch’s ship will keep Confed from regaining the satellite. I target a Longbow bomber approaching Catscratch and take him down with a missile. The pilot must have been seriously distracted to let a missile coming directly at them to hit without using any decoys. I see a Hellcat fighter and use another missile to blow his fighter to bits. Catscratch ejects, and I get in range to use the Stormfire cannon on it. The empty Avenger shatters in two explosions, with the secondary one coming from the satellite. I then get within tractor beam range and retrieve Catscratch. As I approach the Intrepid, Sosa thanks me for saving Catscratch from an early end to his life. I hope he can explain what happened to make him fail such an easy assignment. I see Maniac trying to find out what happened as well, but he notices that I’m looking for direct answers as well. I find out to my dismay that Catscratch actually followed Maniac’s advice to fire off some missiles as decoys but his remaining missiles missed enemy fighters. I tell Maniac that if I ever hear him giving advice to other pilots, I’ll let them all take a crack at shooting him down in retribution. I also tell him that Hawk’s about to have a fight with Maniac unless he drops his attitude. I tell him that there is a lower tolerance for bad behavior, and he better shape up quickly. I tell Catscratch that this failure cost the Border Worlds a lot, especially since the Confed supply line is still in operation. I tell Catscratch I’d ground him if we could spare the pilots, but I’ll have to settle for a probationary period for the rest of the decade.


Speradon 4
Outside the CIC, Pliers tells me that it feels that we’re on a winning track. Pliers proposes more offensive capability for my next mission. By getting more space on all of the fighters and bombers, he may be able to add some more missiles. There’s a small risk of a speed hit, but I decide it’s worth it. An extra surprise or two could come in handy for future missions. I see Panther and Hawk in the CIC, and point out that it’s been 46 hours. Hawk mistakes my comment for how long since I slept, but I correct myself and say that I meant the time since Captain Eisen’s departure. There has been no word on how he has been faring, and I express my doubts that the data alone will help to convince other people in Confed to help him against the rogue element. Panther feels that he can convince the Confed personnel, but I point out that everything depends on which faction Eisen initially contacts. Due to the size of Confed, there are no guarantees that the rogue faction is not the majority of the Confed forces in operation. The capabilities of the rogue portion in providing mercenaries, unmarked ships, Confed craft, and Border Worlds craft to confuse everybody indicates some sort of large scale operation. The operations are so sleek that the rest of Confed has no clue about this rogue faction. Any actions of defense on our part play into the hands of this rogue faction to make us look like we are provoking a war. Hawk thinks we should push back, but this would only legitimize increased efforts for more shipyards like the Bearcat assembly line. The vote on the Declaration of War is coming up in five days, and I point out that the Assembly is not aware of what is really happening. Panther wonders what our part is, and I express my hopes that Eisen reaches the right people. Lieutenant Sosa tells me that Vice Admiral Wilford has found another convoy going thru the Confed supply line. I’m given an option to try the same mission that was aborted or to assist more Confed pilots in defecting. Maniac points out that it could be easy to have friendly fire casualties since the defectors are in the same ships as enemies trying to prevent the defection. Hawk says that we could use the additional fighters for backup, and I agree.

I take off in a Vindicator with Maniac on my wing. At the first nav point are friendly and enemy Bearcats. I quickly take down a Bearcat with a missile and let Maniac make his moves. One of the friendly Bearcats assists in the destruction of an enemy Bearcat. Maniac makes a kill, and another wave is coming in. I line up behind a Bearcat and let it have a missile. I see another Bearcat get destroyed before I can get in range, so it looks like the friendly fighters helped out. All that’s left are the dry docks and shipyard. I use the lasers of the Vindicator to get thru the shipyard shields, and then use the Stormfire cannon to quickly obliterate the shipyard. I use lasers on the dry docks, and they all are eventually destroyed. As Maniac and I head away from the wreckage of the shipyard and dry docks, Wilford comes on the communication line to tell us that a very important Confed transport ship is in our area. The transport has top-secret cargo that is very critical for us to capture. I’ll have to use the leech guns to disable the transport. Sosa relays the coordinates of this ship, and tells me that Dekker and his men are coming along in a shuttle to help capture the ship. Maniac and I head for the transport, and I see some very sophisticated fighters. They look quite dangerous, so I try a little surprise from that Confed carrier called the Mace. Unfortunately, I overshoot my target and see the blast wave from it explode without damaging those fighters. I use my Stormfire cannon to slightly damage one of the enemy fighters, and use a missile to destroy another as it attempts to cloak. Maniac gets the other fighter for a kill, and I arm the leech guns to disable the transport. Dekker and the Marines land, and another wave of those high-tech fighters come to attack us. I get one in the rear with a missile, and then open up on the other with the Stormfire. The cannon quickly tears that fighter apart, and Dekker says that there is something special on this transport. On my approach to the Intrepid, Sosa says that more personnel have been dispatched to help bring back what is on the transport. In the hangar bay, Pliers pulls out a large disk device from one of the new fighters we got from the transport. He shakes the disk vigorously, and then drops it on the deck. The small crowd that was gathering around runs away in a hurry, but the disk did not explode.

P.S. - The included screen shots are five from the Circe missions that Lorien describes from his journal and Telamon, even though the above journal is for Speradon. I'll look thru the Circe missions to see if there any other special things to capture. :cool:
 

Attachments

DaveO

Commodore
In which rocks of rubble cause a reckless death

I knew I had the asteroid collision mission somewhere, but it was during the Weapons Depot mission. I hope to have time to do half of Circe soon.


Speradon Weapons Depot
I see Hawk in the hold, and he feels that Maniac has not yet proven his capabilities by learning how to support his fellow pilots instead of going off solo and doing his own thing. I ask Hawk if he feels I should talk to Maniac, and Hawk says the alternative is to figuratively haul him over hot coals. While that would get Maniac’s attention, I tell Hawk that I’ll see what I can do to avoid this. I head into the CIC to get a briefing about the weapons depot here. Vice Admiral Wilford says that a direct approach would put all of Confed’s defensive forces here on alert. Once a path is cleared, I’ll let Dekker and his Marines take control of the facility. A successful raid will provide us with more offensive equipment that could be very useful.

I launch in a Bearcat, and head off with Tex on my wing. I let Tex loose, and I can hear him going after an enemy Hellcat. I go after a separate Hellcat that is approaching directly ahead. As I turn on his tail, Tex sounds surprised when he hammers a Hellcat. I punch thru the shields of my target with the tachyons of the Bearcat, and finish him off with a missile. I see an ace in the group, and I give him a missile at almost point blank range. There is no way the pilot has a chance to drop a decoy, and his fighter is destroyed. Tex accidentally runs into a Hellcat, and both fighters are destroyed. Tex managed to bail, but Pliers is going to be miffed at losing a Bearcat. It takes a minute or two for Dekker to dock at the weapons depot. I see two more Hellcats looking to stir up some more trouble for me. I get on the tail of one Hellcat, and take him down with a missile. The other one I do some damage, but have to break off when I can see I’m heading on a collision course. The Hellcat pilot uses that opening to send a missile my way, but a decoy takes care of it. I shoot a missile in retaliation, and the Hellcat explodes. Dekker and his men sure seem like they’re taking a long time to secure the depot. After many minutes of waiting, Dekker comes on the communication line to tell me that he’ll take more time due to my defense of Maniac. Two more Hellcat fighters come in to attack. One makes a rookie mistake and runs right into an asteroid. The other is an ace, and it takes two missiles to take him down. Dekker decides to finally complete his work in securing the weapons depot. A Border Worlds ship will come in to haul of the weapon hardware. I head back to the Intrepid, and Lt. Sosa says that Pliers is doing cartwheels in the hangar bay. There must have been a pretty good haul if he is happy enough to forget or forgive Tex for losing the Bearcat.


Speradon Supply Line
Outside the CIC, Pliers tells me that it feels that we’re on a winning track. Pliers proposes more offensive capability for my next mission. By getting more space on all of the fighters and bombers, he may be able to add some more missiles. There’s a small risk of a speed hit, but I decide it’s worth it. An extra surprise or two could come in handy for future missions. I see Panther and Hawk in the CIC, and point out that it’s been 46 hours. Hawk mistakes my comment for how long since I slept, but I correct myself and say that I meant the time since Captain Eisen’s departure. There has been no word on how he has been faring, and I express my doubts that the data alone will help to convince other people in Confed to help him against the rogue element. Panther feels that he can convince the Confed personnel, but I point out that everything depends on which faction Eisen initially contacts. Due to the size of Confed, there are no guarantees that the rogue faction is not the majority of the Confed forces in operation. The capabilities of the rogue portion in providing mercenaries, unmarked ships, Confed craft, and Border Worlds craft to confuse everybody indicates some sort of large scale operation. The operations are so sleek that the rest of Confed has no clue about this rogue faction. Any actions of defense on our part play into the hands of this rogue faction to make us look like we are provoking a war. Hawk thinks we should push back, but this would only legitimize increased efforts for more shipyards like the Bearcat assembly line. The vote on the Declaration of War is coming up in five days, and I point out that the Assembly is not aware of what is really happening. Panther wonders what our part is, and I express my hopes that Eisen reaches the right people. Lieutenant Sosa tells me that Vice Admiral Wilford has found another convoy going thru the Confed supply line. I’m given an option to try the same mission that was aborted or to assist more Confed pilots in defecting. Maniac points out that it could be easy to have friendly fire casualties since the defectors are in the same ships as enemies trying to prevent the defection. I decide that collecting weapons from the Confed convoy supply traffic will be better instead of a handful of additional fighters.

I launch in an Avenger with Hawk on my wing. At the first nav point, we encounter multiple small capital ships being used for the convoy. They are being defended by Hellcats, so the weapons and missiles of the Avenger should make short work of them. I get on a Hellcat’s tail, and pump it a missile in its tailpipe. I get another two Hellcats with the guns of the Avenger. Hawk gets aggressive, and he eliminates one of the capital ships in the convoy. I use the Leech guns to disable another capital ship, and do the same on our target ship. Its defensive turrets punch thru my shields and damage my view a bit. I deploy Dekker and his Marines in the MIPs, and it takes several minutes for them to find a good place to dock. Dekker does give me a heads-up about some more inbound fighters, and it looks like two Hellcats have dropped in. I’m going after an ace, and Hawk has to eject after his Avenger is hit. I use my missile to quickly even the odds, and then blast the Hellcat with view screen handicap. Dekker tells me of his success in securing the capital ship with weapons that we can now use on our side. Dekker and his team of Marines launch from the capital ship in the MIPs, and I pick them up with the Avenger’s tractor beam. Vice Admiral Wilford comes on the communication channel, and says that an extraordinary Confed transport ship with top-secret cargo has been detected in my area. I am to disable the transport, and Dekker sounds enthused on checking out the contents of that ship. I head to the nav point provided to me by Lt. Sosa, and some sophisticated fighters I’ve not seen before guard the transport. I get a missile to hit one just as it’s attempting to cloak. The other one is playing a very good game of cat and mouse. He uncloaks long enough to make an attack pass, and then cloaks again when I use the Stormfire against him. He’s also good enough to successfully avoid two missiles I send his way, but two missile hits to his fighter do some damage. He then gets careless by dropping his stealth runs, and I have enough time to shred his ship with the Stormfire. I deploy Dekker and his Marines again on the transport, and two more of those fighters come to attack me once Dekker has taken control. I get one of the fighters with a missile, and the other one tries cloaking. His problem is that he stuck on a straight path letting me do significant damage to his ship. He uncloaks and tries cloaking, but he makes the same mistake and it costs him his life. There are no more fighters to deal with, and I head back for the Intrepid. Lt. Sosa says that it’s good to have me back, and that other pilots are heading to the capital ship in shuttles. I wonder what they’ll find since the cargo is top-secret.
 
Top