Mission 1 takes place on June 24, 2160 and is part of the Operation Shield campaign.
OK people, no more sim pods, no more target pods. From now on, your callsign is Alpha Wing. I just hope you rookies are ready.
You will be taking part in Operation Shield. Our orders are to secure the area and escort any Alliance ships to Neptune's moon, Triton. Long range scanners have picked up a convoy that we believe to be the remnants of the British fleet. How they got this far without fighter cover is a miracle. Your job is to make sure they arrive at Neptune in one piece.
Intelligence reports suggest the convoy consists of one heavy cargo carrier, and a number of light transports. Upon launch, your first objective will be to rendezvous with the convoy. Once you have made contact, take up escort positions and provide fighter cover until you reach Fort Sherman, where you will be relieved.
If you encounter the enemy, torpedo bombers are your priority target - fighters are secondary.
Everyone clear? Time to lock and load people!
- Predator is lightly armored, but fast, and has the Blind Fire option, which make torpedo interception quite easy. However, the added firepower of the Grendel or Crusader can come in handy if you prefer to intercept and destroy the bomber first or take out the Basilisk. A pod of Screamers is quite useful here.
- This is the first mission and it's a low challenge. You won't be put on the frontlines for a while. Upon launching from the ANS Reliant, jump out to the convoy's position and take up escort position. After a while, you will be jumped by a Basilisk Black Guard fighter, which will destroy the rear guard Tempest in a scripted cutscene. You can go after the Basilisk and destroy it. It will periodically cloak and eventually call for a wing of Sabers to jump in and help him.
- Taking the Basilisk out is a bonus objective. It can be a challenge, as he will attempt to jump out once he's taken enough damage. The key is to either use one of the heavier fighters or pack Screamers, make sure you have him in your crosshairs when he tries jumping and then mash the missile launch button like a mad man. As they fire as fast as you can press the button, you can empty it in less than two seconds, junking the fighter.
- Six Sabers jump in once he's gone and present a moderate challenge. Don't count on your flightmates and just take them down yourself. Once they're junked, another wing jumps in, consisting of four Sabers and a Kamov. Ignore the fighters, as per the briefing, and afterburn towards the Kamov. It will likely have launched a torpedo or two. You can either take them down or ignore them and destroy the Kamov, earning a bonus kill and getting that much closer to the Coyote. This can be risky, as the torpedos might be close to the convoy by the time you junk the Kamov.
- Once the threat's destroyed, you jump out to Fort Sherman. The convoy is taken in by the station and offers its compliments (or not, depending on your performance).
- Success + Bonus: All cargo ships survive and the Black Guard fighter destroyed
- Success: All cargo ships survive.
- Partial success: At least two ships survive.
- Partial fail: One cargo ship survives.
- Fail: All cargo ships destroyed.
|Opening||Outstanding, the Captain is very pleased with this first performance.|
|Ships destroyed||The defense of the convoy was exemplary. Not one of the ships was destroyed, despite the fact you were attacked by a full Coalition hunting pack.|
|Basilisk destroyed||Taking down the lone Black Guard pilot showed good skills. This squadron, led by the infamous Ivan Petrov, is the Coalition's best. Great job.|
|Ending||Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I'm glad basic training seems to have paid off, but keep practicing. Things are only going to get harder as Command assigns us to more active duties.|
|Ending||The raw materials on those transports are going to prove very useful to the war effort.