Wing Commander Prophecy Replay Week 3

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Four missions in H'hrass. Take care of that Relay Station, it will pay off later!

This is the last of our "short" one system weeks. Next week I'm going to split T'lan Meth into two parts, still short weeks (5 and 6 missions respectively) but with the branching potential it allows people to explore options they might not have taken, or never knew existed before.

WCP's branching seems to be the one over the years we've all paid the least attention to. It can add a dizzying number of missions and variables that some of the early games lacked. I highly recommend we all take the time to explore the different paths put before us. I know it hurts, but let a torpedo or two impact the Midway and see where it takes you...
 

DaveO

Commodore
I did not have quite enough time to get everything I wanted for screen shots, but I'll share some of what I have so far along with this journal.


H’hrass 1
There is nobody in the Rec room to talk to, so I go into the briefing room to find out about my next mission assignment. I’m to head with the Marines to the transmission relay station so that they can secure it and get it online to send a message to Confed. Enemy forces in the area have been distracted from the station by multiple hit-and-run strikes by the Midway’s fighter wings. With the Midway also acting as a decoy for enemy fighters, the enemy resistance is expected to be light. The CAG reminds me that this is a very critical mission, and she’s about to tell me who my wingman is when I hear Blair’s voice that he wants to fly this mission with me. The CAG says to Blair that this might not be a good idea, but he says that he is the best pilot choice due to his experience. The CAG lets Blair go thru with being my wingman, and I congratulate him. Blair says to not thank him yet since it’s been years since he flew a mission. I tell him that he should do fine, and that I’m looking forward to flying with a legend like him. The Commodore says that one problem with being a legend is that people always expect him to win. I reply that he does not have to worry about winning this time, and that he should focus on keeping up with me.

Upon launching, the Midway asks Blair to look after me since I’m still considered a bit green. Blair and I head to the station, and immediately our communication with the Midway is disrupted. They were able to get off a warning, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open for surprises. There are only three Morays at the station, so we go after the fighters together. Blair says that we should be able to re-establish contact with the Midway after the Marines secure the station. I have the first Moray in my sights, and squash that bug easily. Another Moray takes exception to its wingmate dying and launches a missile. A dropped decoy from my Tigershark makes the missile no longer a threat. I attack the Moray that launched the missile, and it follows the first Moray in extermination. I see Blair giving that last Moray a pounding, but he breaks off once he sees me engage the fighter. I’m able to take down the final Moray, and watch as the Marines dock at the station. The Marines ask Blair to land on the station since there is something they want him to see. Maverick complies with the request of the Marines, and warns me to stay alert for more enemy forces. Blair tells me a few moments after landing that the relay station looks like a slaughterhouse with all the dead bodies. The Marines notify me that they have some communications online, and they notify me of a friendly approaching ship. It turns out to be the Redeemer refueling ship, and they say they came to our position to help out. The Redeemer also lets us know that the Midway is on the run, and that we should return to them as soon as possible. I dock with the Redeemer, and the Marines say that the station might get fully online in an hour. I’m warned about another wing of fighters coming to attack the station. This wing consists of Morays and a Skate cluster, and I go after the Morays first. My Tigershark takes a missile hit that almost eliminates the port armor. I’m finishing off the first Moray, and Blair comes over the communication line to ask if Dekker has any men on the landing bay level. I finally finish off the fighter, and Blair says that there is something else on the station before he is cut off. The Marines then tell me the bad news that an alien ship launched with a human life sign on board. I’ve downed another Moray fighter, and the Marines say that even more ships are inbound. My priority is to defend the relay station and not worry about the ship that abducted Blair. I watch helplessly as the alien ship jumps out, and the Marines assure me that we’ll have a chance to recover Blair later. I make my duty to protect the station a top priority. Another Moray is pulverized by the power of the Tigershark’s guns. Three of the small Skate sections are scratched by missiles. There are multiple Mantas attacking the station, and I get in range to distract them. The distraction works too well, and I have to deal with a Manta on my tail while pursuing one in front of me. I see that rear Manta getting to close with gun fire barely avoiding my ship. I launch a Friend-or-Foe missile, but the Manta I’m after has ample opportunity to decoy it away. The Manta on my six tags me with a missile, and I drop multiple decoys to avoid another missile hit. I’m able to get some separation from the Manta on my rear and try another missile on the Manta. He again decoys it away, and then presents a good target for my guns. I make a mess of that Manta, and turn around to face his friend. All his friend does is to let me get on his rear where he has no gun defense. I don’t give that Manta any time to recover from that mistake, and there is just one left Manta to deal with. It also gets gunned down, and Dekker comes on the communication line to say it’s time to take a break on the station.


H’hrass 2
Dekker comes on the internal transmission line of the relay station and says there are more fighters inbound. Dekker tells me that we can’t communicate with the Midway or send a warning transmission to Confed. I’ll have to keep the bugs busy while the Marines do their work.

I launch in Maverick’s Tigershark since mine took a minor beating. More Morays and a Skate cluster to deal with. The Midway comes back on the communication channel, and they tell me that Panthers have been launched to assist me. I attack the Morays first, and my Tigershark takes a direct frontal hit from a missile. I get that Moray with my guns, and a second soon follows. An enemy fighter launches a missile, but I safely decoy it away. I go after a Manta, and a second one gets on my rear and chews up the shields and rear armor. Maniac and his wing of Panthers come in to give me a hand. This arrival is enough to distract my pursuer and let me take down a Manta. Maniac’s wing also immediately destroys a Manta. I bump into a new enemy fighter identified as a Devil Ray, and pursue a second Manta. A torpedo is launched and hits the antenna array of the station. I decoy away a missile coming my way, and do in another Manta. My fighter took some more damage, and I see independent Skate sections. I get two with Javelin heatseeker missiles, but that Devil Ray gets two successful hits on my fighter with its guns. My Tigershark can’t take much more of this punishment, and now it seems like multiple fighters are attacking the Devil Ray. I take out its rear armor with a missile, and then pound on its rear with my guns. That enemy ship is destroyed, although the dying pilot says that its mother will avenge it. Maniac kills the last fighter, and asks where my wingman is. The Marines tell Maniac about Blair’s abduction, but give the good news that the transmitter is online. Time to alert the rest of Confed about the new alien menace. I ask the Midway for landing clearance, and they say that the loss of Blair is a tragic day for Confed.

After landing on the Midway, the CAG tells me that I’ve been recommended for transfer to the Black Widow squadron as well as a promotion to First Lieutenant. I tell the CAG that I don’t feel I deserve this due to what happened to Blair, and she says he knew the risks. The Black Widow squadron takes the same risks every time they fly. The CAG says that there was nothing I could have done to save Blair from abduction. She thanks me for buying the time to get the relay station functional so that a warning could be sent to Confed headquarters. The CAG gives me an order to stow my gear and head to pilot country in the Rec room for a break. She warns me that she could send me to the medical division if I keep acting the way I am. I accept her order and head to the Rec room to celebrate my promotion, but I hear the CAG swearing at Blair as I’m walking away. I enter the Rec room and see Maestro handing out drinks. He congratulates me on my performance since we’ve now been promoted to the Black Widow squadron. We give each other a high five, and I ask if Stiletto has heard this news. Maestro says he does not care since she is no longer in charge of us. Rachel comes over to the bar and also joins in on the celebration. Rachel asks Maestro if she can talk to me for a while, and he gives a thumbs-up as head over to a different part of the bar to talk to her. Maestro sees Maniac looking glum, and Maniac asks why he can never find romance. Maniac wonders if it’s luck or himself that is causing his strikeouts, and Maestro tells him bluntly that it’s himself that is the cause to his woes with women. Maniac spits out his drink after hearing that. Hawk comes over to interrupt Rachel’s conversation with me to say that the CAG needs her analysis of spy data from T’lan Meth. Rachel says that she’ll do so shortly, and I ask her about this spy data. She tells me that probes launched from the Midway have been used as additional eyes and ears to track enemy ship movements. I ask Rachel if I can help, and she says that I should stay with my friends tonight to continue the celebration. Rachel does say that she’s proud of what I’ve done and gives me a kiss. That does take the edge off a little bit with my frequent feelings of competing against my father. Maestro gives up on his attempts to cheer up Maniac, and gives him the bottle of booze. Maniac then proceeds to drink directly from the bottle in an attempt to forget his troubles as quickly as possible.
 

Attachments

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The on station refueling shot is gorgeous. I forgot how great that scene looks, even if we only see it for a few minutes.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I'll definitely be late to this party. Brisbane's north was hit by a bad storm on Sunday. My house is okay, but my girlfriend's house is currently uninhabitable so there's all sorts of stuff to deal with at the moment.
 

DaveO

Commodore
Hey, help your girlfriend pick up the pieces. Hopefully not too many people have the same situation. We can wait, and I'm looking forward to your return.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Are you guys going to experiment with the other paths?

This is one of those branches where Midway damage influences how things go. An absolutely great feature that I think has gotten lost in the intervening years.
 

DaveO

Commodore
Experiment with other paths? Yes. Add videos of the failing path missions to YouTube? Yes. Journal the videos? No

I have most of the failing path recorded with the exception of T'lan Meth. That excludes the Shrike Escort mission in G'wriss. You'll have eight additional videos with the five for T'lan Meth this Saturday barring accidents or other unforseen issues.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
Things are back to normal, and I've finally managed to get some WC:p time in. I tried to get one of the other missions to trigger by letting a torpedo hit the Midway, but apparently it wasn't enough to change the script. I figure I'll just let things go as they fall.

H'Hrass 1:

I report straight to the briefing room as the Midway jumps into the H'Hrass system. Command wants to move fast in this operation. I've been given the lead role in our efforts to bring the relay station back online, escorting Colonel Dekker and his marines to the station while the rest of the Midway's complement distract the aliens. I almost fall out of my seat when Blair declares that he'll be my wingman for this mission. The CAG obviously has doubts about as whether that's a good idea, but I'm looking forward to matching my skills against his. I score some nice conversational shots before I fill him in on the mission plan but we both know that only shots that count are the ones in the cockpit.

Anderson and Blair return the verbal shots shortly after launching, poking fun at my relative newness to the fight. Things get serious once we arrive at the relay station with the Midway's warning being cut off by the alien jamming. There's only a light guard around the station and Blair and I cut through them with ease. I'm proud to report that I took down 2 fighters to his 1. I continue to patrol as the Marines dock and they eventually call Blair down to check out the situation. He lands and says that the relay station looks like a slaughterhouse, not a good omen for any pilot that gets captured. They manage to restore the stations radar and inform me that they've detected the refuelling vessel Redeemer inbound. The Redeemer figured that we would need a hand after the Midway lose contact.

I refuel and rearm at the Redeemer just in time to get word from Dekker that they'll have the station online in an hour. He also reports that some enemy fighters are inbound, escorting a single bomber cluster. I barrel straight for the cluster and manage to break it apart as Blair heads to the flight deck to join me. His next message sends a chill down my spine, there's something on the landing bay level and it's not one of Dekker's men. Dekker reports the launch of an alien ship with human life signs on board and I instantly know that they've taken him. I break off from my current dogfight to attack the new target, but don't manage to deliver enough damage to force it to break off from the jump. My head full with pictures of what the aliens will do to Blair I turn on the remaining alien fighters. I discover that the Manta fighters are armed with a cannon that can penetrate phase shields, though it does little damage to the armour underneath. I take them out with priority to protect the station before eliminating the rest of the enemy. My fighter's a little dinged up afterwards and I'm almost out of missiles but there's not much else you can do with 9 to 1 odds. I land on the station to catch a break.

H'Hrass 2:

My break is interrupted by a comm message from Dekker. The news isn't good. There are more enemy fighters inbound and we still have no word from the Midway. The aliens are scramblin all channels and the short-range transmitters can't get past it. Worse still, the long-range signal is down and we can't get a warning to confed. I launch in my fighter determined to keep the aliens at bay long enough to get a warning off to Confed. The first wave are three light fighters escorting two bomber clusters. I use IR missiles at long range followed by Dragonflys and guns up close to break them apart before they can release their loads. I move in on the Morays as a message from the Midway comes through, help is on the way. I'm in the middle of a 3-1 dogfight when the Panthers launched by the Midway arrive and help me clear up the mess. Some new alien fighters arrive at well, including one identical to the ship that took Blair. Resolving not to let them take anyone else, I set course straight towards it. The alien pilot seems to have accepted my challenge are heads straight towards me.

The Alien's fighter, what intel are calling a Devil Ray, is more than a match for my Tigershark. It's big gun takes enormous chunks out of my shields to let the lighter guns chew my armour and it's speed and acceleration are too much for me to keep up. Fortunately, the pilot isn't up to the standards of his machines and continuously exposes his rear at close range to me, inviting a HS or two and I oblige. Two solid hits are only enough to down his shields and chip some around away, but it's enough to let me guns cause damage to his core as the enemy pulls away. He tries the same trick again and dies to gunfire and a third HS. With the assistance of Maniac's wing, the remaining fighters are cleared.

Maniac's question about Blair brings some less than pleasant thoughts into my mind and I'm not in a good mood as I land my fighter. The CAG comes down to inform me that I've been promoted and assigned to the elite Black Widow squadron but I know I don't deserve it. If I deserved it, I'd have kept Blair safe. The CAG reminds me that he knew the risks when he went up and that our actions have let us warn Confed, but that doesn't help much. Finally, she orders me to either go to Medical or the pilot's bar. I decide to pick alchohol and friends over sedatives and nurses.

Seeing Maestro in full party mode is enough to break me out of my slump and I give him a hearty hug before heading over to grab a drink. I wonder how Stilletto feels to lose us from her squadron but Maestro doesn't care. It's not long before Rachel shows up unexpectedly and pulls me away. We both have some things to deal with after Blair's abduction and we're talking through it as Maestro says something that makes Maniac spit out his drink. We're seperated by Hawk, who needs Rachel's insight into some spy eye data we've received. The Midway has sent probes into nearby systems to determine what's going on. I offer to help her out but she says that I should spend the night with my friends. As she leaves, she says that she's proud of me.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Things are back to normal, and I've finally managed to get some WC:p time in. I tried to get one of the other missions to trigger by letting a torpedo hit the Midway, but apparently it wasn't enough to change the script. I figure I'll just let things go as they fall.
What did the torpedo hit? I believe to trigger the other missions it has to be bridge or engine damage. Each hit will trigger a different mission. Hits to other areas have no effect.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
What did the torpedo hit? I believe to trigger the other missions it has to be bridge or engine damage. Each hit will trigger a different mission. Hits to other areas have no effect.
It was definitely an engine hit, I watched it slowly track in with my finger twitching on the trigger. I think it only took the engine down to Yellow.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I believe they need to be destroyed to trigger the other paths....worse luck next time I guess :p
 
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