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Fighter squadron: 56 Squadron
Description: With the Shivans pressing hard, and the GTD Orestes cut off in Delta Serpentis, the GTD Temeraire's battle group must make a desperate run for a Knossos portal in N362.
Retreat to Laramis is cut off by a formidable Shivan blockade, and the GTD Orestes is too far away to assist. However, examination of the GTC Duke's navigational data has revealed a Knossos portal in N362 that was possibly activated by the Duke upon its entry into the system. Although there is no information as to where the Knossos leads to, entering it is deemed to be a better option than running a Shivan blockade in a Shivan-infested system.
As the Temeraire distracts Shivan forces at the Laramis node, the 56th must escort the remainder of the battle group, including the Sanctuary, through the Knossos.
You are strongly recommended to fly a fighter that can mount the GTM Trebuchet and, for good measure, the GTW Maxim. Good choices include the GTF Myrmidon with three Trebuchet banks (or 11 Trebuchet missiles in total), GTF Kulas with a quad Maxim and one bank of 6 Trebuchet missiles, GTF Perseus with two banks of Trebuchet missiles (or 10 Trebuchet missiles in total) and GTF Hercules Mark II with one primary weapon slot allocated to a Maxim, and two full banks of Trebuchets (23 Trebuchet missiles in total). Allocate your wingmen to ships that will allow them to survive an extended period of escort on the battlefield and equip them accordingly (recommended ships for Alpha and Beta are the Perseus, Myrmidon, Kulas, or Aurora fitted with at least either a Prometheus S, UD-8 Kayser or Balor and as many Tornadoes as you can cram).
More than almost any other mission, Forced Entry requires situational awareness and good command of your wingmen. At any point during the mission, call in Delta wing (flying two Boanerges-class bombers) if you need any help with eliminating Shivan cruisers faster.
Engage the Mara fighters first. Once they're destroyed, eliminate one Rakshasa and then the other. Save your Trebuchets - you'll need them for later. As soon as the Duke jumps in, scramble at least one wing to defend it. As additional cruisers jump in, run a rolling escort: as ships jump out, move the defending wings to new arrivals. Expect some Taurvi and Nephilim bombers while you're at it.
The biggest threat in this mission are the Aeshma fighters loaded with swarm missiles. Take those out yourself. Again, save your Trebuchets.
Assign at least one wing to escort the Sanctuary the moment it jumps in. When the Naberus, a Lilith-class cruiser, jumps in, use two Trebuchets to disable its main beam, then order your ships to ignore it.
As soon as the Temeraire arrives, the Shivans will switch their attention to it. Order all of your wingmen to engage the enemy, then boost your engine power, hit your burners, and get to the Temeraire. Fly past it.
When the Abel arrives, use your Trebuchets to disable its beams—the two main beams at the bottom and the two stinger beams at the rear. The Temeraire can then destroy the Abel easily with its torpedoes.
Watch out for Shivan bomb shockwaves.
- The original incarnation of this mission was extremely unforgiving. While subsequent revisions of this mission have toned down its difficulty significantly, trial-and-error playthroughs may be necessary, and failure is still almost assured if players are not positioned to deal with the Abel when it jumps in.
- Informal polls on HLP have placed Forced Entry as one of the most popular missions in the Freespace community.
- If you choose to use a Hercules Mark II with the abovementioned loadout for this mission, make sure that you are familiar with the ETS, and be prepared to shunt all energy to Engines in order to cover large distances quickly. The Herc II's lower velocity may not be worth the Maxim and number of Trebuchet missiles it can store, in which case you may be better off with faster craft such as the Myrmidon or Perseus.
- However, given the fact that the Mark II has heavy armor, and a higher missile capacity than the Zeus or Artemis (including that no support is available), a good idea is to give that fighter to a wingman. Recommend loading a UD-8 Kayser, Maxim, and full Tornado missiles.
- Using a bomber is not recommended for this mission. There are too many things going on at several different areas in this mission for you to focus on bombing runs.
- Keep in mind that the biggest threat all Shivan warships present are their forward beam cannons. Your job in this mission is only to disable the main guns of the Shivan warships so that they will present a much lesser threat to the Allied ships passing through. You can completely ignore any Shivan ships once their main beams are destroyed; the Temeraire will deal with them once it jumps in.
- Some Allied ships require no escort, such as the Solace. Because you only have three wings at the start of the mission, you should assign them only to escort ships that are taking a beating. Both the Target Nearest Attacker (G key by default) and Target Target's Target (J key by default) buttons can be put to good use here.
- Switch to dual-fire mode only when disabling the Lilith's main gun. For every other Shivan warship, including the Abel, a single Trebuchet is usually more than sufficient to destroy a turret.
Total number of forces