Their Finest Hour

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ACT 3, MISSION 8

Fighter squadron: 70th Blue Lions

Description: The title says it all. Maybe.


Background

The 70th Blue Lions are, along with the GTVA Colossus and a small contingent of warships, to create a diversion while the Meson Bomb-laden GTD Bastion collapses the Capella-Epsilon Pegasi jump node.

Walkthrough

A recommended loadout is the GTF Ares, armed with a GTW Maxim on the quad mount and a bank of GTM Trebuchets. Alternatively, you can use a GTF Erinyes, armed with a GTW UD-8 Kayser, GTW Maxim and two banks of Tempest dumbfire missiles.

This mission was planned big and executed small; the Colossus has a complicated set of waypoints that are never executed. Also, although all allied ships are beam freed, they are beam freed before they jump in, so they hardly fire their beams, if ever at all.

Your objective in this mission is extremely simple: survive, and get as many kills as possible. You will face off against multiple Shivan fighters and cruisers. If you want some extra protection from the enemy fighters, stay near the Sobek-class Khepri. If you have loaded your ship with a Maxim cannon and a bank of Trebuchet missiles, use both to destroy the Shivan warships at long range.

If Beta wing gets destroyed, the Colossus will send out Gamma and Delta wing. Gamma comprises of four Perseus interceptors by default, while Delta wing consists of four Boanerges bombers. If Gamma is destroyed, the Colossus will deploy Kappa wing, comprising four Myrmidon fighters. Should Delta be destroyed, the Colossus will send out Iota wing, consisting of four Boanerges bombers, as replacement.

Near the end, a Ravana-class destroyer, the Beast, jumps in to attack the Colossus. The Colossus destroys it, but sustains moderate damage. When the Ravana has been destroyed, a Sathanas-class juggernaut jumps in. As the Colossus takes heavy damage from the Sathanas' main guns, Command orders the warship to jump out. The Colossus, however, defies Command order, and instead chooses to hold off the Sathanas to buy some extra time for the Bastion. In the ensuing engagement, the Colossus is destroyed.

You will be ordered to return to base when the Colossus goes down.

Notes

Real-life Reference

"This was their finest hour" was a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1940 during World War II, referring to the Battle of France. The name of the mission Dunkerque (SM3-07), another mission in Act III, was also reference to World War II. Here is an excerpt from the speech:

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."

Allied Warships

The event that allows the Allied fleet to fire its beam cannons triggers before the bulk of the fleet has arrived. The Heket, Khepri, and Stalwart begin to arrive just over twenty seconds into the mission, moments after the beam-free-all event is triggered. The warships are then limited to firing turret lasers and flak, since beams can only be freed for ships already in play.

Actions of the Colossus

Many community members have noted that the Colossus' last stand, although bold, was rather illogical as she was destroyed in just a few seconds by Sathanas 17, which never jumped to attack the Bastion, as mission dialogue would suggest they were trying to prevent. The Colossus may not have been able to escape because she begins the mission moderately damaged and with engines disabled, but this is never mentioned in the briefing or messages even when Command orders the ship to jump out.

However, examination of the mission file shows that the Colossus was intended to have a much longer and more dramatic battle with the Sathanas, but this was scrapped. The scripting and waypoints for much of this battle still exist, but the Colossus' engines were disabled, rendering it largely irrelevant. However, modding the mission itself or using cheats to send a support ship to "repair" the Colossus will cause it to go on its programmed waypoints, but won't save it from the Sathanas as the latter has a simple Ai-chase goal to attack the Colossus.

SJ Sathanas 17

The 17 in SJ Sathanas 17 is taken from events logged by the game's Event Viewer (F4, Events tab). At around the same time the SD Beast is destroyed, the Event Viewer logs SJD Sathanas 17, one of the many Sathanas juggernauts at the Capella sun, departing. Moments later, an actual Sathanas juggernaut jumps in near the Colossus and proceeds to destroy it. This Sathanas is hence called Sathanas 17, even though it is only listed as Sathanas in the player's escort list.

Notable ships present

Technical information

Their Finest Hour
File name: SM3-08.fs2
File size: 82.0 KB
Author: James Agay
Total number of objects: 56 (+11 waypoints)
Total number of wings: 10
Number of mission events: 48
Number of messages: 27
Event music: 2: Exodus
Briefing music: Brief2


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