Attack from Nowhere

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The following information has not been confirmed by Volition
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe. Also, it may contain spoilers regarding Series Resurrecta campaigns.


Campaign Walkthrough Next Mission



Shadows of the Great War - The Spirit of Ptah Mission 1

Player squadron: 223rd Moonbears

System: Vasuda

Description: The Ixion has entered the Vasuda system. PVN Command promised the deployment of several escort wings to ensure a safe path to the Ixion, but the HoL won't sit and wait the Orion to be fully protected and able to launch its wings...

Created: March 13th, 2007

Released: October 16th, 2020


Background

We're in October 2336, and the Alliance between the GTA and the PVE is about to enter a new stage, with a bright future ahead. However, the Hammer of Light, the group of Vasudan fanatics who have tried to interfere in the war against the Shivans more than once, has regained momentum in Vasuda and several other peripheral systems. The GTD Ixion, an Orion-class destroyer, is deployed to that system to provide assistance to the PVD Hedetet and the rest of PVN forces dealing with the HoL. Many defections have been reported, and some help from Terrans could significantly make the difference. The Ixion should have enough firepower to deal with the fanatics and turn the tide of the battle.

Walkthrough

As per SerRes' tradition, our designation will vary throughout the campaign. We'll start as Rho 1, leading Rho wing. After the intro cutscene, we have to form up with the Ixion; the Deneb jump node area in Vasuda seems too quite, especially considering its strategical value. The mission seems a cakewalk at first, and the Vasudan escort fighters meant to rendezvous with us arrive only a few seconds into the active part of the mission - the problem is that they quickly turn out to be Hammer of Light units disguised as regular PVN wings. The consequent dogfight with them may be time consuming, but we don't have to get distracted: we need to rush in and intercept Capricorn wing of Amun bombers before they deal too much damage to the Ixion. Sigma wing from our squadron will take off after we clear these threats. The HoL assault intensifies and two cruisers, as well as one science vessel and several wings, jump in soon afterwards to storm the Ixion; we have to be quick and eliminate the HLSC Seneb due to its capacity to jam the main railguns on the Ixion. A warning message reports that the Seneb has induced a reactor overload, so we have to be extremely cautious and avoid getting caught by the explosion when it goes down. The elimination of this rather weak but disturbing unit will allow the Ixion to bring its turrets to bear on the Pedibastet and Shmiken, taking them down in a matter of minutes. Meanwhile, Tau wing will take off so we'll have three wings at our disposal, guarding our homebase destroyer, and our fighter screen will be efficient enough to counter any incoming enemy wings. At this point, it'd be a good idea to prioritize Sagittarius wing of Chensit bombers, and watch out from Aquarius wing of kamikaze Nhu fighters. With the warships and bombers down, it'd be only a matter of time before the area is secured again.

The actual PVN escort wings will jump in and form up with the escort, and the COs of both the Ixion and the Hedetet will discuss the accident and HoL manipulation of critical data for the Alliance. An Isis transport, the Qanun, will jump in and move to land on the Ixion: don't worry, it's not going to come under attack. Be ready, however, when the Orion launches three Hermes pods designated Mercurius: they'll come under attack by a wing of Ulysses-class fighters and they can go down very quickly if these threats are not adequately handled. Move ahead of the Ixion and face towards the gas giant on the starboard's side of the destroyer, and get your wingmen to form up with you in the process. The moment the Ulysses fighters jump in, order your wingmen to attack and monitor carefully any enemy fighters that pass through the furball - they'll be your priority, and they'd better off cleared using secondary weapons. You should be able to get all pods to depart safely. Regardless of the survival rate of the pods, we'll be able to land on the Ixion soon afterwards. The Walton will jump in from Deneb, but we're not supposed to form up with it.

Notable ships present

Outcome

The Ixion survived the Hammer of Light assault and contact has been officially established with Vasudan forces led by the Hedetet. It seems that they've been in quite some trouble, much more than previously thought, and they've also experienced several and dangerous data leaks. The violation of the T-V-TUR-1 protocol is however bad news for the Alliance: in fact, said protocol was introduced shortly after the Great War to integrate the targeting systems of GTA and PVN turrets, in order to better manage artillery barrages in battlefields where warships of both species would be in place. In order to counter the protocol violation, the entire system has to be turned off, and that'd make joint GTA-PVN assaults involving warships more complicated.

Notes

This is the oldest Shadows of the Great War mission, designed on March 13th, 2007.

The PVT Qanun, Mercurius pods and GTC Walton were later additions to the mission, meant to enforce certain aspects of the plot seen later on in the campaign.

Screenshots from this mission, featuring the GTD Ixion, the HLC Pedibastet and the HLC Shmiken, as well as the old nebula background, have been used as during a presentation by composer Georgios Savvinidis, which took place at the Recital Hall, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge in 2009.