Darkest Hour

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The following information has not been confirmed by Volition
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe.

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Fighter squadron: 170th Fighting Navajas

Description: The Navajas are scrambled to defend Earth-orbit Rheza Station from fighters and warships from the GTD Imperieuse battlegroup.


Shortly before this mission begins, Enabran Kassim, unable to cope with the massive loss of life involved in the war, suffers a nervous breakdown. In an alcohol-fueled episode, he "goes off like a magazine breach" and is subsequently removed from active flight status.

Later, Admiral Byrne reports to the crew of the Solaris that the GTVA, in the personage of the battlegroup of the GTD Imperieuse, has launched a major assault on Earth's orbital installations. The Navajas are scrambled to assist in defending Rheza Station, which is under attack by the GTCv Redoubtable and several fighter and bomber wings. While Athens Station and Malta Station share an orbital slot with Rheza, their contributions to the war effort are not as important as Rheza's; as a result, they are given a lower priority for defense.


As usual, you start in an Uhlan. For loadout, I would suggest loading a Vulcan or a Scalpel in the first primary slot, and a Maul in the second; the Scalpel will make it easier to de-beam the corvettes you'll be facing. The default secondary loadout is one bank each of Javelins, Dirks, and Hellfires. I'd recommend replacing the Hellfires with either Javelins or Dirks.

This mission is the first time you are given wing command. While Brie is still in command of Alpha wing, you will be leading Beta wing, along with Gamma and Delta when Rheza Station launches them.

As soon as you start, you see Rheza Station is under attack by the Redoubtable, a Deimos-class corvette and some strikecraft consisting of Artemis bombers with Myrmidon escorts, with the Vatican, a Sanctus-class cruiser defending it. If you want the Vatican to survive -- and you probably do, as it will make things easier later -- destroying the beams on the Redoubtable is your first priority. You only need to destroy the two front beams and the rear left beam. Destroy the left beams first, as they're already in firing range. You can see the enemy cruisers Novikov and Courageous in the distance, but they are very far away and not a concern.

Once you've disarmed the Redoubtable, you can ignore it and start focusing on the strikecraft attacking the station. As usual, prioritize the bombers. A wing of Uriels (Omega) will arrive to run off the Redoubtable. After the Redoubtable leaves, you get a short break, but probably not enough to rearm yourself. If you want your wingmen to survive, it is a good idea to order them to cover you. Soon, a wing of Boanerges and Artemis bombers will arrive, along with their Myrmidon and Kulas escorts. If the Vatican is still around, the Artemis will attack her. If you want the Vatican to live, you'll probably need to send your wingmates to protect her while you focus on the Boanerges and their escorts, which will head straight for Rheza Station.

Once the bombers are destroyed, more wings will jump in and harrass your charges. Eventually, two wings of Rheas will jump in from opposite directions to launch a volley of Trebuchets at you. Evade the Trebs; you can destroy the Rheas if you want, but this is optional. They'll jump out shortly after launch.

After the Treb strike, two wings of Boanerges bombers will jump in to pincer Rheza. Meanwhile, 3 Charybdis-class AWACS ships, the Sagacious, Acuity, and Killian Bard, will arrive and start setting up SSM strikes. Assign one wing to each of the bomber wings, and one wing to the AWACS. If the Vatican survives to this point, they will begin attacking the AWACS.

After the bombers and AWACS are off the field, the Diomedes-class corvette Valerie will jump in close to the station. It will launch a wing of Artemis bombers from its hangar (with some fighter escort on higher difficulties). Intercept the bombers if you can, but stay out of the Valerie's firing solution. Soon, the Indus will jump in and attack the Valerie. After killing the bombers, you will probably need to de-beam the corvette in order to take some pressure off. After the Valerie is destroyed, the Atreus will come and attempt to attack the station, but will be driven off by the arrival of a pair of Narayana-class frigates. After this, you can jump out or stay a little longer for the dialogue.


  • You will fail the mission if the Indus is destroyed.
  • Keeping at least one wingman in Beta alive is a bonus objective. You also get dialogue if all of them stay alive (but you do not get an additional bonus). If you wish, you can tell any one of Beta to depart at any time, especially if you believe they won't last against the Valerie.

Total number of forces

Forces involved