Paving the Way
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ACT 1 MISSION 6
- Due to increased encounters with Shivan forces, Terran Command has ordered the Galatea to the Beta Cygni system to monitor Shivan activity. The Galatea has taken a beating since her last repair, and there isn't time to follow the safest route.
- The Antares-Beta Cygni Jump Node lies in the center of a dense asteroid field, making it one the least used jump nodes in the galaxy. Standard procedure would have us circumvent this node completely, requiring two jumps. Now we have no choice.
- Weapons systems have taken damage from enemy bombers. The Galatea should be able to make it through the asteroid field, but Alpha wing will be deployed to destroy approaching asteroids.
- Alpha wing will fly point for the Galatea and destroy any asteroids that cross its flight path.
- Asteroids that are considered a threat to the Galatea will be marked with white targeting brackets. Destroy these asteroids first.
- Once the Galatea has jumped out, you are to report to the GTD Bastion, stationed at Antares. The Bastion will take you to Ikeya for your next mission. Your wing will rendezvous with the Galatea in Beta Cygni upon completion of that mission.
- In the event of enemy attack, you are to cover the Galatea's escape from the system at any cost.
This is a very easy mission on medium, but not on the higher difficulties, if you're trying to get the secondary objective of keeping the Galatea above 50 percent. Fly around destroying the asteroids with white targeting brackets around them. Your MX-50's are useless in this mission, because the MX-50 missiles do not home in on asteroids. Hence Furies are the only viable option as secondary weapon.
The main mistake you might make is to sit there pounding an asteroid with lasers and rockets until it blows up. This is a waste of time and ammunition. Fire 4 Furies at each asteroid while shooting your primaries at it, then move on to the next target. It takes a whole second or so for the rockets to reach their target, so don't sit there watching them. Saving time is crucial on Insane.
Near the end of the mission, two Shivan bombers (Shaitan) will attack. Alpha 2 will engage them so just keep destroying asteroids. It's not that difficult to kill them, so on the lower difficulty levels you may want to take the bombers out. Make sure that you are not in front of the Galatea when she jumps out once reaching the node, or you will be killed in the collision.
If you think that your job of destroying asteroids is not important, order Alpha 2 to depart and don't do anything. Then sit back and watch the Galatea's hull integrity meter rapidly fall down towards zero.
Again, you can target the Shivan Shaitans by targetting Alpha 2 and pressing 'J' ("Target my Target's Target").
Be careful with the Shivan bombs, though. You have no shield system this early in the campaign, so if you're planning on taking out the Shivan charges make sure you're quite some distance from them when they go ka-blooey. You'll be obliterated in no time if you're too close.
Because the game only hurls asteroids at ships on your escort list, removing the Galatea would make this mission a lot easier. This is possible with the FreeSpace Port, but in Descent: FreeSpace you cannot remove a ship that has been marked "Escort Ship" from your escort list. If you edit the mission with FRED, removing the escort flag, the Galatea can make it to the node at 49% hull on Insane without any help from you, and most of that damage is from the Shivan bombs at the end.
Notable ships present
- GTD Galatea