Smoke and Shroud
|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
||Campaign Walkthrough||Next Mission
Description: The Commonwealth finally takes action. Katherine Lau's group challenges the Combine.
Created: December 30th, 2020
Released: October 9th, 2021
Andri Gadaria is Sulsia's most wanted man, but is only a bit player in the greater picture. An unknown actor has been supplying his militia with advanced weapons, which he has put to deadly use. The Sulsian Navy is reeling, and the economy is crippled. ANI has also uncovered evidence Gadaria was behind the attempted nuclear attack on Covenant, even though it's not clear how this would advance his agenda. He has no direct conflict with the Children of Renewal, and has shown no interest in engaging in Great Power espionage games previously. The Commonwealth plans to uncover who is behind the Malikan weapons supply and gather evidence against them.
Commander Cameron from HMS Aria briefs Stuart Ross as senior officer. The Commonwealth has a mission for Katherine Lau.
Aria's crew have conducted a preliminary interrogation of Kendra Lau. Kendra didn't know the identity of her employer, who utilised an intermediary in all negotiations. However, contact tracing of the intermediary led to a requisition of a Combine light cruiser CS Sumerki to guard a convoy headed to Guardador Station. Intel on communications between the intermediary and the Commonwealth Command wants Aria and Katherine Lau's flotilla to capture one of the convoy freighters to dissect her cargo.
The Hoshikuzu will try to present the minimum credible threat against the Combine convoy, occupying the escorts enough for a backhand disabling strike against one of the freighters. Once the freighter is unable to jump, the rest of the flotilla, including HMS Aria, will arrive to engage the escorts and capture the freighter's cargo. Until help arrives, the situation will be precarious. There will be no support drones for Meiks and Ross, and little chance to recover if things go wrong.
Recommended loadout: Vulture-class Striker, Gattler
Craft and loadout options are similar to King's Oath.
The mission takes place near a large convoy approaching a mining station. Three Carthage freighters are escorted by two frigates, a light cruiser and two wings of Ka-15 light fighters. The convoy remarks on the presence of the Hoshikuzu but the escorts remain in position. Lau orders an ASM strike against the convoy to try and force an engagement. The cruiser Sumerki responds in kind.
After a few minutes, Tango wing of fighters is sent to engage the corvette. Stay within the Hoshikuzu's defensive fire envelope to help dispatch these fighters. Once they're engaged, there should be a window for the player to target the rearmost freighter's engines or astrogation system. The heavy weapons and fast speed of the Vulture striker will help with this objective.
Once the freighter is disabled, the rest of the flotilla jumps in to engage the convoy escorts. Support drones are available with the arrival of the Hopewell. The player's wingmen should engage the rest of the escorting fighters before the weapons subsystem of the cruiser Sumerki is targeted for neutralisation.
Destruction of the convoy escorts leaves the disabled freighter open, and the freighter's master submits her ship to HMS Aria. The mission is complete.
Notable ships present
- Hoshikuzu - Hoshikuzu-class corvette refit
- Nassau - Horizon-class destroyer
- Hopewell - Argus-class carrier
- HMS Aria - Arrowhead-class corvette
- CS Sumerki - Halbered-class cruiser
- Lovkost - Khopesh-class frigate
- Rurik - Khopesh-class frigate
- Pelikan - Carthage-class freighter
- Dakhurva - Carthage-class freighter
- Stalnaya Avrora - Carthage-class freighter
- Successful completion of contract
- The Commonwealth gains evidence of the Combine supplying weapons to the Malika People's Militia
- There is a bonus objective for disabling the engine or astrogation of one of the freighters before the Combine fighters move to attack the Hoshikuzu.