A Renewed Threat
|The following information has not been confirmed by Volition |
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe. Also, it may contain spoilers regarding Series Resurrecta campaigns.
||Campaign Walkthrough||Next Mission
Player squadron: 144th Ghost Dolphins
Description: Following the recent victories on all fronts, the GTA and PVN finally move to secure the Ross 128 jump node in Delta Serpentis...
Created: August 28th, 2009
Released: October 16th, 2020
- Fiction: September 2nd, 2341 - Report of Akheton Corporation Delegation to the Imperial Palace
- Preload quote: "Through me, the way is to eternal dole"
Despite the heavy losses to the SC Megalodon and Malebranche, the Alliance has a clear advantage over the Shivans so the time has come to secure the Ross 128 jump node in Delta Serpentis and corner the Shivans in the star system where they first attacked. Preliminary sensor scans report a number of fleeing transports and freighters, but information concerning the units guarding the node is sketchy and ambiguous. Fighter wings are deployed to pave the way for the PVD Imhotep and a full blockade force, which will secure the jump node once and for all. The big question is: are the Shivans retreating, or merely regrouping?
You will be designated Gamma 1, so no change from the previous mission. The intro cutscene exposes unrecognized Shivan units guarding the node, which are designated SC Abel and SF Succubus. Ignore them and head to the fleeing freighters, assisted by a Cain and several escort fighters. Taking out these units will be the first objective of the mission, but be advised they can also escape, so don't take unnecessary risks if they approach the node and get their backs covered by sentry guns and other units. As you eliminate convoy assets, you'll hear that a number of Azrael transports are heading to the node: once they jump in, they can be dispatched very easily. You'll also hear that a wing of Succubus fighters is going after you: eliminate these units using secondary weapons, as engaging them in close combat may be time consuming due to their high speed and maneuverability. Command will then order you to clear the node of enemy sentry guns, but you'll be able to damage the two cruisers guarding the jump node as well; there's a lot of flexibility during this stage of the mission. Once the Imhotep jumps in, you'll get to watch some fireworks, in the form of Vasudan neutron cannons and Shivan plasma cannons; the Alliance has the upper hand, but damaging the cruisers would be welcome.
The mission now has its settings completely changed - we are switching from a pursuit to a defensive pattern around the node. A Lilith will pass through the blockade and jump to another position in the system before you can inflict any serious damage to it; don't worry, this is expected. Two Aten cruisers will reinforce the Imhotep, and it'd be a good idea to order your wingmen to defend them considering how fragile these ships normally are. The Imhotep will be just fine with that as its durability negates the need for dedicated escort fighters, at least for the time being. Soon afterwards, two Abel cruisers will jump in and follow unpredictable patterns while their front Baciel plasma cannons inflict damage to the Atens. It may be advisable to destroy the Abels outright, as their cannons are small and hard to hit and disarm. In case you have depleted your secondaries, it'd be a good time to rearm, because the node blockade is about to be stormed by two Moloch corvettes, and this will be the first encounter with these ships. Note how the preliminary designation for these vessels is "SC Moloch." The corvettes will pass through the blockade, so the best option is clearing the area of enemy fighters and bombers: in fact, the corvettes will deploy Shaitans from their hangarbays, and they'll go right after the Atens. In addition to that, a wing of Seraphims equipped with Mandragora subspace torps will jump in and spread, with each bomber targeting a specific ship: make sure to take care of these threats as well. The campaign will progress if the Atens are lost, but they'd better survive or you'll regret it in future missions.
More ships will join the blockade, but they'll be in a safe position so you're not required to order your wingmen to protect them. Focus, however, on the scout wings deployed by the Imhotep, because - as you'd expect - they will quickly come under heavy attack by three wings of Shivan fighters, including the newly encountered SF Hydra. Prioritize the Hydrae, because they go right after the scouts you're meant to cover, and ignore the other fighters. Ordering your wingmen to attack them may be more effective than forming up escort around the Seshat scouts. Regardless of the fate of these scouts, once the area is clear, you'll be authorized to return to base.
Notable ships present
- SFr Nebudracon (may survive)
- SFr Octomammoth (may survive)
- ST Calbrena (may survive)
- ST Lugabolg (may survive)
- ST Myrmeleon (may survive)
- ST Obscurus (may survive)
- ST Pyromater (may survive)
- ST Pythonissam (may survive)
- SC Dracul (destroyed)
- SC Gizamaluke (destroyed)
- SC Lahar (destroyed)
- SC Lesmathor (destroyed)
- SC Megaera
- SC Serphuren (may survive)
- SCv Stygimoloch
- SCv Triarchigos
The escape of three Shivan warships, two of which with carrier capabilities, effectively postpones the Alliance's plan to secure Ross 128, though the scouts (providing they survived the mission) will provide data once they come back. The attention is shifted to the blockade runners, which have regrouped in a specific region of Delta Serpentis and need to be taken care of. Once again, Allied tactics have exposed poor strategies, because the Imhotep alone did not have the firepower to disable or disarm anything attempting to storm the system. No friendly bombers were present in the node to assist, either. Many frontline combatants begin to wonder on the extent of Shivan forces, and the appearance of several new classes of spacecraft and warships alike; in addition to this, Shivan tactics show more coordination and efficiency than before, as if they were receiving orders from an entity with command and control capabilities. The optimistic strategists believe this may the bulk of their behind-the-line fleet, but as an hypotheses, this is more than questionable.
The first version of Gehenna's Gate had this as the first mission, as Chasing Megalodon was designed precisely one year after, on August 28th, 2010.
The SC Serphuren was a late addition to the mission, meant to make the first stage a bit more challenging than it used to be. However, the cruiser begins the mission in a very bad shape, so it doesn't pose too much of a threat to a well coordinated strike: its initial hull integrity is in fact randomized between 24 and 31 percent. Capricorn wing of Seraphim bombers equipped with Mandragora subspace torpedoes was a late addition as well.