From FreeSpace Wiki
By strike missions, we usually mean a mission in which a player must destroy a hostile warship or installation, sometimes disregarding losses.
Here are some hints to follow while making strike missions:
- Do not forget to put in the ship(s) you have to destroy into the Escort List. The player, especially when flying bomber escort, must know the hull integrity of all mission critical vessels.
- Strike missions should involve a lot of friendly forces as well as hostile ones. Four fighters in Alpha wing facing a hostile cruiser and eight other fighters is hardly considered to be a good strike mission. Sometimes mission balance demands that the player's side is outnumbered by, say, 5 to 1. In these cases, improving the AI's skill or giving it a better loadout is to be considered.
- Playing around with the Special Hits feature in FRED_Open can also be used for mission balance purposes. Raising a hostile installation's hull integrity by 20% has an impact on game balance.
- If you want the player to attack an installation, encircle it with sentry guns, unless you have a reason why there should not be any.
- Be support ships available. Strike missions are not scramble missions, especially when the plotline determines that the assault you are FREDding is important and pre-planned. Observent players will notice this, if you do not explain the absence of support ships in any way.
- Finding a proper balance between Friendly and Hostile AI is crucial. Strike missions cannot be as tactical as escort missions, meaning that the more powerful force will win. The player's actions must be determining.
- If you can afford, have a single wing of patrol fighters and launch the other wings later. The enemy is not able to respond to a fast and unexpected attack by launching a dozen of fighters after 20 seconds. Unfortunately, mission balance sometimes demands hostile fighers being launched as soon as possible. Try to compensate by placing sentry guns, cruisers, or perhaps a corvette.
- If you can, give the player fighters of both fighter and bomber types to let him choose which role he prefers. This also demands you to test the mission more intensively, but giving the player a choice like that can only make you good.
- The "defensive team" must do everything to win the battle. Have some bombers deployed also, even if there are no hostile cruisers present. There are three reasons why:
- The attackers may deploy cruisers, corvettes, or warships at any time.
- Bombers can still face heavy attack fighters and even destroy some of them with their Harpoons or Tornados.
- They can also unexpectedly attack and surprise the attackers' bombers with their Trebuchets.