FreeSpace 2 Tactical
- 1 Basics
- 2 Mission Types
- 3 The HUD (Heads Up Display)
- 4 Preferred GTVA Hardware
- 5 Preferred Primary and Secondary Loadouts
Alright pilot, lets get to the basics of space combat in FreeSpace 2. In the deep cold of space, nobody can hear you scream, so don't get yourself killed, that's the first rule in any handbook.
If you have the choice, you should make sure you check ever aspect of your ship and wing configuration. Going with the standard loadout may get you by, but there may be better or preferred weaponry out there.
When you hit space, first thing you should check is the nearby friendly ships, your current velocity, armed weapons and configurations, and if there is any immediate threats nearby.
Protecting a friendly vessel can sometimes prove quite challenging, especially when the enemy forces outnumber you. Fortunately, you can use some things to your advantage. Order your wingmen to protect your escort target, or escort wing. The target being escorted usually has some defenses of its own, use those to your advantage. I've seen many a Basilisk splashed because escorting fighters drew the Shivan fighters into range of the bigger ships guns. If you have 2 wings to work with, this is even easier, you can usually assign one wing to escort while one engages the enemy ships at long range.
If you're helping fend off an opposing capital ship, remember to take out its main beams as soon as possible. When stripped of their beam weapons, capital ships lose much of their offensive firepower, and this can give you a critical advantage in battle. Once the main beam weapons are out, target the anti fighter beams, especially if you're defending a small ship like a cruiser.
Assault missions usually come in a few flavors. If your attacking an enemy cap-ship, then you'll be wanting a bomber of some kind (usually Sekhmet or Boanerges) and a loadout of Cyclops or Helios. If your mission requires the escort of a bomber wing, then you better have a few Perseus with Harpoons at the ready.
When attacking enemy cap-ships, make sure you knock out some of the turrets or the weapons subsystem before letting loose with the space bombs. Anti fighter beams and Flak cannons are particularly good at eliminating incoming bombs, but even standard plasma turrets can find their marks on occasion.
Stealth missions can be among the most challenging to fly, requiring top notch reflexes and situational awareness. Remember to stay as far away as possible from patrolling fighters, and avoid firing your weapons at all costs.
The HUD (Heads Up Display)
The most important interface in the entire game is your Heads Up Display, or more commonly known as HUD. The HUD used in FreeSpace is robust, giving you many options on the brightness, color, and numerous displays designed to help you during the conflict.
The Main Target Display
This helps with aiming of weapons and also gives warnings for missile locks, collisions, and other important messages.
This shows the current wings under your command. Each dot represents a fighter. All are organized into their respective wings (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon). Something to note is that more wings may be under your command than are displayed here! You can discover all wings under your command if you bring up the Communications window (default 'C' key), and choose "Wings" ('2' key).
When one of the fighters is under fire and taking hits, their dot will flash briefly. Be sure to keep an eye on the status of vulnerable wings like bombers. A solid green dot is good; a solid red dot means that the fighter is badly damaged. If the dot turns to a hollow green circle, then the ship has left the combat area. On the other hand, if it's a hollow red circle, then the ship is unfortunately destroyed. If your entire display is full of hollow red circles, it's probably time to be looking for the nearest allied ship to hide behind or the nearest escape vector.
This display allows you to keep tabs on friendly or enemy craft that are vital to your mission objectives. It allows you to quickly target these ships with a single key press. The monitoring display shows the current hull strength of the target, and will also flash briefly if that ship is under fire. A "D" is shown next to the line if the ship is disabled and unable to move. Be aware that you have a control to add or remove ships from this list.
The top of this display shows your primary loadouts (cannons such as the Avenger). The bottom shows all secondary loadouts (missile weapons). All active weapons are marked with a single triangle. In the secondary display, missiles can be dual fired. When such an option is selected, a double triangle is used to mark the display.
This shows where your energy is being allotted to. When your craft is equipped with shields, this is broken into 3 bars, when there is no shields, this is shown with 2 bars. Each bar represents Guns, Shields, and Energy respectively.
Target Ship and Shields Display
This gives you vital information on the stats of a targeted ship. These include, the direction that the ship is flying in perspective to you, the hull strength, distance, target velocity, and shield strength.
Preferred GTVA Hardware
Best All Around Fighter: GTF Ulysses Second Place: GTF Valkyrie
Best Interceptor: GTF Perseus Second Place: GVF Horus
Best Heavy Fighter: GTF Erinyes Second Place: GVF Tauret
Best Bomber: GTB Sekhmet Second Place: GTB Artemis
Preferred Primary and Secondary Loadouts
Best Primary Weapon: UD-8 Kayser Best/Most Compatible Primary Weapon: Subach HL-7
Best Secondary Missile: Harpoon Best Anti-Bomber: Trebuchet Best Space Bomb: Helios