|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
||Campaign Walkthrough||Next Mission
Description: The Sulsian-Malikan war begins with an emphatic statement of intent.
Created: September 1st, 2020
Released: October 9th, 2021
Gadaria's Militia continues to grow in power, absorbing the last remaining rival Fringe group. The Malikans now have uncontested ownership of a large swathe of Fringe space, and enough materiel to challenge the Sulsian Navy. Tensions with the Sulsian Hegemony are at breaking point.
Kaur, rolling his eyes at Lau's fiscal thriftiness, advises Ross that the Hoshikuzu finally has some new equipment. Maxim cannons are available, which do less damage per second than Huaqings but have a higher muzzle velocity and accuracy. Depending on the player's piloting style, this has the potential to get more rounds on target, increasing the practical damage per second.
Lau gets a distress call from the Sulsian flagship Protogeneia. The Malikans have drawn the battlecruiser into a trap, disabled her reactor and are attacking from range with an artillery cruiser. The Hoshikuzu is the closest ship in range, and likely the only one that can arrive in time.
Loadout options are still limited to the Comet missile gunship, Sparrow AAMs and either Maxim or Huaqing primary cannons. Both cannons have a similar performance.
The mission starts with the Protogeneia about eight klicks away from the Hoshikuzu with the Malikan cruiser Opus bombarding the battlecruiser with Javelin ASMs. A wing of Malikan swarm fighters is burning to attack Hoshikuzu and the gunships. The player is vulnerable docked to the fighter rail and should detach as soon as possible. The Hoshikuzu is already making best speed to the Protogeneia, so there may be slight collision damage from a messier-than-usual combat drop.
Meiks tells Ross to ignore the fighters and head straight for the Sulsian flagship, but the player can launch missiles at the Malikan fighters without losing too much time. Once there the player should intercept incoming ASMs while the Hoshikuzu takes position alongside Protogeneia. Opus launches a wing of gunships and escorting Armadillo fighters. Both ships are new to Hoshikuzu's crew, but Lau notes the heavy gunships carry a single underslung ASM and Limonka grenade launchers. Meiks notices missile pods on the fighter escorts and warns Ross to be careful.
The Jackals are the clear threat to the player's friendly capital ships, but the escorting fighters won't let the player attack the Jackals unimpeded. Similar to the player's Comet gunships, Armadillo missile gunships are well armoured with poor manoeuvrability. The same approach should be taken as with the missile corvettes in the Rights_of_Manprevious mission]], with early launching of countermeasures and evasive action. However, unlike the Mace swarm fighters, both the Jackal and Armadillo carry countermeasures of their own and Sparrow AAMs are ineffective against these craft.
A second wave of Jackals and Armadillos is launched, along with a simultaneous Javelin silo launch from the cruiser to try and saturate friendly CIWS defenses. Missiles in flight should take target precedence over the incoming gunships. It is imperative that any missiles heading for Hoshikuzu are intercepted, as the corvette will go down with only a few hits.
The Protogeneia is able to restore power to her engines, and approaches Opus for a counter-attack. The Opus turns and flees, charging her impeller. Ross and Meiks must disable the Astrogation systems of the cruiser (or the much tougher Engine subsystem) to prevent her escape. The full firepower of the Protogeneia is demonstrated against the Opus, and the ship is reduced into a floating hulk.
The logistics ship Palos and destroyer Fafnir arrive to assist the Protogeneia and Hoshikuzu. The mission is complete.
Notable ships present
- Hoshikuzu - Rasputin-class corvette
- Protogeneia - Impetus-class battlecruiser
- Fafnir - Leonidas-class destroyer
- Palos - Fortitude-class auxiliary
- Opus - Goliath-class cruiser
- Sulsian victory
- Cruiser Opus is mission-killed
- The Protogeneia's spinal mass driver turrets have a longer range than turreted Combine equivalents.