Wing Commander Special Ops 1

Panther1.0

Ensign
After finishing both WC1 and 2 I started playing Special Ops during the Lockdown, I could not get the expansion to work properly so I copied the old game files from the main folder to the GOG version of WC2 and basically used the settings on the dosboxwc2-conf file with the same small setting changes for WC2 along the settings to get Roland- MT32 sound instead of Adlib and a few joystick tuning and visuals for Full HD and when windowed and tuning the cycles to near perfect (dosbox speed cycles).'

Anyway the expansion is very enjoyable and have not played again since 1992/3 with a really cool story about Kilrathi planets rebelling against the Empire and some Ferret pirates attacks like in Wing Commander 4.

I liked the story and twists especially around mission 11 - I think it's around mission 91 overall - Olympus station, Ghorah Khar system.

you get to fly the Crossbow Bomber class after a few flights with the Epee light fighter ! the Crossbow - similar to a Broadsword but much more agile and added fire power.

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With Major Edmond I believe giving some tactical info and Blair at some stage has a problem with her attitude.

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Flying out escorting Paladin to the jump point with his Tinderbox,
there are 2 Kilrathi Kamekh with some Jalkehi 's I believe to sort out first.

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and then you get to help out the Kilrathi being attacked by human Pirates., really cool, plenty of story and action at the same time.

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Just a quick share of enjoyment with this all time classic with you guys, I think this was a very interesting mission, maybe my favorite in SO1.

cheers
Johan
 

wiese.hano

Master Chief Petty Officer
I'm way distant from the Special Operations. I stuck with first Dakota mission of WC1 defending the Draymans. It's a horrible scenario that I'm unable to beat. I tried following the suggestions of the CIC, but without luck so far.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
oh yes, I recall that mission, is your ingame speed ok ? if you are using a joystick, have you tried your mouse, some players have more success using a mouse.

regards
J
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Great thread! I share your love of Special Operations 1. These addon disks are an interesting thing, they were typically left to small teams to develop as cheaply and quickly as possible... so they ended up using a lot of parts that were cut from the base game and re-working them... but also they would push the limits of the systems developed for the game and you'd get very thoughtful and interesting missions (though also buggy, as testing wasn't as comprehensive!)

(Fun fact: the Crossbow bomber was originally intended to be a Confederation corvette for Wing Commander II but was cut for disk space. Bear's character art was also made for WC2 where he was to be a wingman in an earlier iteration of the script...)
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
I'm way distant from the Special Operations. I stuck with first Dakota mission of WC1 defending the Draymans. It's a horrible scenario that I'm unable to beat. I tried following the suggestions of the CIC, but without luck so far.
First, as Panther1.0 says, what speed are you running at? If in DOSBox, this is the "Cycles Count". It shows up if you're running in a window. If you're running fullscreen, press Alt+Enter to switch to windowed (and Alt+Enter again to switch back). I think the GOG releases are set to 4,000 cycles, which I consider too fast - 3,000 or 3,300 cycles is much closer to the 16 MhZ computers we were running in 1990. Ctrl+F11 will decrease cycles and Ctrl+F12 will increase it. (These are all default DOSBox keyboard shortcuts; if you're using a customised front end, they may be different.) It's worth getting this right for proper enjoyment of the Wing Commander 1 and its expansions.

Second, even if you want to complete this mission by the intended route before continuing the game, make use of the exploit described in the CIC to go straight to Nav 2 and practice against the Jalthi. You don't want to get the first transport out only to run into trouble at the last nav point. Even if you can survive, Knight is liable to go head-to-head with them and die. Also, if you autopilot without giving the Drayman time to move, you'll see the most slapstick cutscene in WC1:

WC1Dakota1Autopilot.gif


This honestly impresses me, because it shows that the WC1 autopilot sequences aren't fixed, but simulate a lot of the ship motion. You can also see shots and explosions in autopilot sequences, although missiles will just hang in space.

See how straight you can shoot against the wave of 5 Salthi. It's possible to destroy one during its first head-on run if you aim right and open fire at the right time. Because they're moving so fast, start shooting while they're around 4,500m away, even though this is outside your range. By the time your shots move, so will the Salthi. This does put you at risk of ramming, but it's the first encounter of the mission, so take that chance. If any of the Salthi engage you or Knight, ignore them. The priority is the ones going after the Drayman, and they'll be flying nice and straight so they're easier to hit.

Against the 3 Krants at Nav 1, it's mostly about denying them the chance to get missile locks on the Drayman. Ideally you do this by destroying them outright, but anything that distracts them is pretty good. If you occupy them for long enough, the Drayman will jump out.

Against the 3 Jalthi at Nav 2, see if you can destroy at least 2 of them before the Drayman jumps in. The Drayman will jump in early if you get close to the nav point, so try to keep the fight from drifting there. This is the one encounter to worry most about your own survival. If you hear shots that aren't yours, assume one of them is one your tail. If Knight gets into head-on jousting with one, go after that first.

This mission has at least 2 debriefing bugs in my installation of WC1. If you lose the first transport but save the second, the debriefing says I lost both. And in one of the sentences, Colonel Halcyon has the wrong background.

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WC1DakotaDebriefing2.png
 

YPersonified

2nd Lieutenant
I'm way distant from the Special Operations. I stuck with first Dakota mission of WC1 defending the Draymans. It's a horrible scenario that I'm unable to beat. I tried following the suggestions of the CIC, but without luck so far.
With eleven fighters to deal with, Raptor's arsenal may help a lot. IR missiles seem to be more efficient against pair of Salthi since they are pretty fragile. I'd save HS and FF for heavier ships like Jalthi. Full guns are blessed with Mass Driver's excellent DPS and Neutron Gun's firepower but the juice runs out very quickly, so you have to be patient and wait until you get a clear shot.

The whole point here is about you routinely gain on enemy backs and focus fire from behind when they are busy with your transport. So try to hold your fire until you see their exhaust on your reticle. It doesn't have to be a rear you shoot at, since what matters is that you keep the damage focused instead of spreading it on all sides, but it's usually the weakest and easy to target; as for Jalthi you definitely have to go for it, though.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
yes I do not recall the mission bugs mentioned earlier but I remember fast killing and playing cat and mouse at some stage, if you can't kill the first enemy quick then go to the next otherwise they will destroy the Drayman, I remember ramming the enemies abit also and barely got through, use missiles after downing the shields, anything you have. this one is not about how many kills but more survival and timing, this is one of the toughest missions in WC1.

let us know.
 
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Panther1.0

Ensign
I'm way distant from the Special Operations. I stuck with first Dakota mission of WC1 defending the Draymans. It's a horrible scenario that I'm unable to beat. I tried following the suggestions of the CIC, but without luck so far.

Ok, I still had some saved games and found the mission, it's mission 9 with Knight after you get the experimental mission with the Rapier's

If I see correctly the problem starts with the 2nd encounter with the Krants coming in, I destroy one by one as quick as possible, they tend to turn after you blast them from the front then you hit them in rears with full guns and missiles, also try to taunt them to get their attention, then the next Nav has the Jalthi's similar to mission 6 where you have to defend the Exeter.

Just attack and destroy as quick as possible with full guns and whatever missiles you have left, just like Dondragmer mentioned, try to destroy as much as possible before the Drayman jumps in, also when they turn to Drayman blast the rears straight on.

Knight really does not do much and that's part of the challenge!
 

YPersonified

2nd Lieutenant
This mission has at least 2 debriefing bugs in my installation of WC1. If you lose the first transport but save the second, the debriefing says I lost both. And in one of the sentences, Colonel Halcyon has the wrong background.
I suppose Bluehair doesn't say anything about first transport he lost and speak of Jalthi wave straight in your game, right?

I think I have good news. By correcting couple of digits in the game data, I managed to fix the issue so that Halcyon will review your report correctly. I'd like to tell more about this problem and solution but I should post it somewhere else since it's kind of off-topic here.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
SO1 is pretty much my favorite part of all WC, even though couple missions are hard and last one/two toughest of any I encounter on my normal WC 1+2+expansions playthrough.
Best plot and dialogue at least, for gameplay I may slightly prefer the easier WC1.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
cool ! thanks for sharing your thoughts, also my favorite,

I found SM1 expansion from WC1 to be the toughest especially around mission 5 and 6, when you fail you get two retreat missions and to make it worse, even if you succeed the retreat missions you fail anyway. WC2 - SO and SO2 is just so much better and more user friendly.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
I'm not sure but I believe SM1 works on some kind of continuous points system, that if you win the first difficult missions, you can fail more of the later ones or so.
I feel SM2 is hardest in total, SM1 and SO1 just have some individual difficult missions.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
yes I agree, I think I was just more frustrated with SM1 at some point in the game which made it feel more difficult.

On SM1, check it out again, if you fail certain missions like 2 in a row at some more crucial point in the game, for example I remember you have to destroy some capships with a few waves of fighters and then again at the next waypoint. just as you think you are through a next wave is waiting at the 3rd waypoint, if you fail (twice ) the storyline or game will go into a defence, the fleet will fled and try to just jump out of the system with the Kilrathi after you, then it is basically game over, try it out. I believe you are thinking more of WC1 itself which goes into a continous (or longer line of missions) like a different path but you can still succeed at the end but that also depends on how many fails and when you fail.

SM1 and I think 2 also are a little crazy, you don't get proper equipt fighter ships with enough guns like a Raptor or Rapier to take on the difficult missions, they give you a scimitar or so (blue devil squadron ) which makes it irretating and illogical. although I have finished both expansions in the past it does not mean it will be easy for me again, I believe I will swear all over again, I did find WC1 the game missions to be relatively easier on my last run just a couple of month back, I finished the Vega campain quite fast. then again, my settings is now much better, game speed especially and I have a much better stick ;)

WC2 expansions was just build so much better in this respect and I feel the same for Secret Ops (Prophecy)

SM2 is very hard !
 
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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'm not sure but I believe SM1 works on some kind of continuous points system, that if you win the first difficult missions, you can fail more of the later ones or so.
On SM1, check it out again, if you fail certain missions like 2 in a row at some more crucial point in the game, for example I remember you have to destroy some capships with a few waves of fighters and then again at the next waypoint. just as you think you are through a next wave is waiting at the 3rd waypoint, if you fail (twice ) the storyline or game will go into a defence, the fleet will fled and try to just jump out of the system with the Kilrathi after you, then it is basically game over, try it out. I believe you are thinking more of WC1 itself which goes into a continous (or longer line of missions) like a different path but you can still succeed at the end but that also depends on how many fails and when you fail.
It's a testament to the game's winning/losing narrative that it makes it seem like there's something more elaborate going on in the background, but WC1/Secret Missions are not tracking points or wins between missions to determine where you go. In both games, there's a key event/mission that you have to accomplish in order to proceed in each system or mission cluster. You can lose quite a few missions and stay on the winning path if you win the right missions.

You can see in the CIC game guides section what it takes to proceed to the next missions or next system:


 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
Hmm... I think I've somehow long ago misread this as meaning performance throughout SM1/SM2.
Welcome to the Secret Missions 1 section of CIC Game Guides.

  • The success / failure outcomes at the end of each series is based on your performance throughout that series, not just how you perform on that last mission.
I knew how WC1 works, but really thought it was different for Secret Missions.
 
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