Force Your Way
|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
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Solaris - Mission 2: Force Your Way
Description: The Artemis undertakes a search and destroy mission in the asteroid field.
Created: March 10th, 2018
Released: June 9th, 2019
Relations between the Federation and Combine continue to deteriorate to the dismay of smaller nations throughout the Orion Arm.
In Durius, the Artemis is deployed in response to increasing Qahtadnan fighter incursions in the asteroid field near Durius Installation. It is suspected that major Qahtadnan units are supporting these fighter strikes which need to be hunted down and neutralised. Ahab and Ross are Alpha 1 and 2 respectively, flying Viper fighters. "Raptor" McKearney and "Punchy" Bertone are on standby in Hornet strikers as Beta wing.
As with the previous mission Eyes in the Dark, your loadout is locked to Viper fighters and Maxim cannons.
The mission space is an active asteroid field with asteroids spawning in to collide with Artemis. The cruiser has multiple CIWS and autocannon turrets distributed around her hull which are enough to successfully intercept these hazards most of the time.
Ross is gradually easing into Artemis duty and is building a reputation as a competent pilot. Ahab tells Ross he needs a callsign and wants to know what he used in the past. The Commonwealth don't use callsigns in their Fleet Air Arm, but Ross describes how he got the nickname "Razor" by shaving off sensor antennae from a station while flying carelessly. The conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a pair of gunboats with four escorting M-21 fighters.
The player is not expected to influence the engagement with the gunboats. Maxim cannons inflict negligible damage against the heavy armour of gunboat hulls, and the Artemis autocannons are more than capable of dealing with them. This is instead an opportunity to practice taking out turrets on hostile warships, which tend to be medium-armoured and susceptible to damage from light cannons.
Once these hostiles are neutralised Ahab, Ross, Raptor and Punchy engage in some banter. The quicker the gunboats and fighters are destroyed, the more conversation is revealed, with later dialogue hinting at a bond between Punchy and Raptor. The arrival of a second wave interrupts the conversation - a wing of three A-15 strikers. However, this is a warmup strike to the main Qahtadnan attack - Artemis sensors identify the destroyer Tadna with two modern Ka-15 "Defender" fighters as escort. Beta wing is launched to engage the destroyer while Alpha wing is told to clear out the Ka-15's. The performance of the Combine-made fighters is a step up from the Cobras and can be difficult opponents in a dogfight. The initial approach before the merge is the best opportunity to inflict damage as the fighters will tend to fly in a straight line.
After either taking significant damage to its hull or losing all four of its mass driver turrets, the Tadna will spool her hyperspace impellers for a retreat. Either destroying her or driving the warship off will resolve the engagement.
After being informed by Command of impending friendly reinforcements, you are ordered to return to the Artemis.
Notable ships present
- FNS Artemis - Leander-class cruiser
- Tadna - Ronin-class destroyer
- Federation victory
- Qahtadnan fighter incursions in the asteroid field are ceased
- There is a bonus objective for destroying the Tadna.
- This mission is an initial demonstration of how capital ship combat is handled in Solaris.
- This is the first mention of the "cocktail", which is implied to be a euphoric substance that is potentially distracting to pilots.