A Failure to Communicate
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ACT 3 MISSION 3
- Red Alert! The Beta Aquilae installation is under attack. The Lucifer has been sighted in the area. Protect it at all costs. Additional orders will be given to you on site.
As soon as you enter the mission, you should start afterburning towards the fore-end of the SD Lucifer, signaling Alpha wing to attack it. The wingmen of course will never get there in time to attack it and damage themselves. When the installation goes critical, target Deva 2 and order your wingmen to attack it, and then go after Deva 1 yourself. Make sure you are flying directly into the Dragons path (the lead indicator should be near the center of the targeting brackets), once it enters Phoenix V range, slow down, lock on, then afterburn and fire your ordnance.
Deva 1 should be hit by the force of two Phoenix Vs and go down right away, if it doesn't, start over, you don't have time to deal with two SF Dragons. If Deva 1 is, in fact, destroyed immediately, try to destroy Deva 2 as quickly as possible (if your wingmen haven't already) you need to get it down near-instantly or the next Shivan wave will decimate the escape pods. With Deva 2 safely out of the way, order Alpha and Beta to protect Escape 2 and Escape 4, and afterburn to catch up with the Hermes escape pods. When Karna wing of SF Basilisk fighters arrive select one of them from the group and order all fighters to ignore it, go ahead and destroy other fighters but let one be.
Whichever fighter you selected to preserve (temporarily) keep distracting it, fire in front of it, fire a couple of rounds into its shield, just enough to keep it off of the GTEP Hermes. This is a cheap trick that will prevent more enemy wings from respawning. If you want to play the mission seriously, kill all the wings and be ready for several wings of fighters and bombers.
Keep targeting the Hope and checking its remaining time on its waypoints, when it completes its waypoints destroy the Karna fighter and afterburn over to the Aquilae Communications station (a GTSC Faustus science cruiser), after a minute or so, you'll be clear to return to base.
If the PVD Hope did not survive the previous mission, then the PVD Pinnacle will be available to assist you instead in guarding the communications station.
This is one of the more frustrating missions in the game. In order to complete the bonus objective -- protect all escape pods -- you might have to restart this mission a "couple" of times. The pods are frail as matchstick men and your wingmen are idiots. If you lose a pod, simply restart. Alright, you will pass with just 2 pods intact, but you won't receive your bright and shiny medal, then.
There's a couple of things in the mission data that you probably should use to your advantage. The likely target for this example would be the last surviving ship of Karna wing. As stated above, order all your wingmen to ignore it and keep harassing it until it starts attacking you. If you stay in close proximity of this last Karna ship, it will focus all intentions on you and thus—while still alive—will prevent the next wings' arrival. Keep up this (on the surface of it quite meaningless) cat and mouse race, and let the FreeSpace game engine take care of the rest of the mission for you. The last bit is to simply eliminate the last Krishna survivor. By this time your reinforements should have arrived. With the added firepower, eliminating the following hostile wings should be a breeze.
If you cannot take down one of the Devas with the dual Phoenix, you could still have a chance to finish the mission, but a very slim one. Have your wing tackle one Dragon while you solo the other. If you can down the one you were chasing, rush to the pods and look out for the Basilisks. While your teammates are generally incompetent, they can tie down the second Dragon to the point that it cannot get to the pods, and will eventually down it.
After the battle, the Isis repair will try to "repair" the terminal. If the Isis appears from the "wrong" fighterbay of the Hope, the direct route to the terminal is by going through the Hope. When so happens, position yourself near it, grab some soda, and get the pleasure of watching the Isis pilot commit suicide.
Notable ships present
- SD Lucifer
- PVD Hope
- PVD Pinnacle