Sirius Crunch Time
Depending on how they fared in Luyten, pilots of the TCS Cerberus take on either Sirius or Krieger in this week's Community Replay assignment. Here are some of Lorien's notes from the action in Luyten:
The alien presence in this system is best described as heavy. Though Nav point 2 was clear, there was a heavy alien presence at the other locations, including a large number of independent Skate's. These aren't worrying on their own, but they can certainly be an annoyance as you hunt down bigger prey. Nav point 4 is a perfect example of this bigger prey with three Devil Rays and 3 Barracuda corvettes blocking our progress. I'm glad that I'd conserved a number of missiles up until this point, as the Pulse Particle Cannons on the Vampire feel like popguns against the heavy armour and shields of the heavy fighters and corvettes.
Zero is forced to eject by the crossfire from the Corvette's but Maestro and I are able to avenge his ejection with relative ease and mark his location for the SAR as we return to the Cerberus.
Luyten 3: Luyten station has reported that an alien cruiser is moving in to attack it. We need the information available from the sensor array on the outpost as well as a resupply, so the Cerberus herself will be moving to support the station, with all of our Vampires flying in support. True to form, the aliens attempt to stop out mission before we can even reach the station using a mixed force of Mantas, Morays and Stingrays. Only the Stingrays pose a threat to the Cerberus and receive priority targetting until their numbers are thinned down enough to prevent them clustering up and attacking. With the aid of the Cerberus, the rest of the mop is a breeze.
Arriving at the station, we find the situation to be grim. A large number of fighters threaten to overwhelm the Excaliburs defending the station, while the cruiser is sitting off and launching capship missiles towards the station. Targetting the capship missiles, I order my wingmen to cover me as I take out the missiles one-by-one, the first with an ELRIR and the rest with my guns. Once the cruiser's missile banks are emptied, the remaining alien fighters are quickly overwhlemed by our firepower. We move to start stripping turrets off the now exposed cruiser, but it's able to jump away before we finish the job.
With the station now secure, we're ordered to patrol the rest of the system to make sure no more attacks are forthcoming. We find some scattered light fighters, but nothing that poses a threat. With that station and the area surrounding it now secure, we land onboard the Cerberus, ready for our next mission.
Luyten 4: Cerberus has detected an alien convoy moving through the Luyten system. We're not sure what the convoy is carrying but we do know that whatever the aliens want to have, we want them not to have it. To that end, Cerberus is launching a strike force of Shrikes and Vampires to take care of the convoy.
Alien presence in the Luyten system remains numerous, as we discover on our way to the convoy when we're attacked by a large for of Skates and Morays. Despite their numbers, the fragile craft the aliens are flying don't last long under a sustained bombardment and we're soon moving on to the convoy's location.
The fighter presence around the convoy is much heavier, including some Devil Ray Space Superiority fighters, but we've got some extra numbers on our side as well, with fighters from Luyten station joining in on the action. I order my wing to break and attack and move to take out the alien CAP with our escort to give my wing an easier time. I concentrate my fire on the lighter Skates and Morays that get too close to me and swiftly attract the attention of the Devil Rays. As usual against the more maneuverable fighters in a bomber, I'm forced to play chicken with them, relying on my heavy shields and armour to protect me as I tear chunks out of the fronts of the alien fighters with my guns.
It's a tactic that I've used a number of times before and it's no less succesfully now than it was back then. Soon the Vampires and I are moving in on the transports as I watch Amazon begin to pick off the bridges of the transports. I continue to play the support roles and take out the turrets on the transports, especially the vital rear turret, to help my wingmen do their jobs. I still get time to pump torpedoes into two tranports and take them out before we return to Cerberus.
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