Rebels & Renegades
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SOC LOOP 1, MISSION 1
Fighter squadron: 185th
Description: The Iceni has to reach Regulus...and you are one of the many pilots in the NTF protecting it. Only...you are an undercover GTVA operative sticking around to get a scan of it.
You have been chosen to fly undercover with the Iceni, and gather information about the new ETAK project.
Scan both friendly capital craft right at the start for some brownie points with SOC. Aside from that this a standard asteriod-field escort mission, you can just fly along next to the Iceni and blast any bombs or rocks that come its way. Defending the Hinton as well will be more of a problem, as Faustus science cruisers are less then sturdy; fortunately the Hinton's survival is not necessary for a successful mission. Ordering your wing to defend the Iceni and making the defense of the Hinton your sole responsiblity generally works...but see below. Concentrate on killing bombers and bombs, followed by anything that you find particularly offensive.
During this mission two capital craft will attempt to attack the Iceni, a Sobek and a Mentu. You would be well advised to keep the Iceni between you and the Mentu, since the Iceni will eat the cruiser alive no matter what you do, and the cruiser has AAA beams and flak guns that can hurt you. If those VSlash beams on the Sobek make you nervous for your charges feel free to take them out, but try not to get murdered by the corvette's antifighter defenses. As long as you've been doing a reasonably good job keeping the Iceni safe, its paired BGreens will take care of the enemy capital craft without your intervention.
The Hinton, thanks to its fragile nature, has a tendancy to get blasted. You can witness an amusing Volition flub if it is destroyed by a collision with an asteroid (or the Iceni, see below), as Snipes will say the Vasudans have destroyed it regardless of who layed the final blow and/or whether any Vasudans are actually present.
Unfortunately both the Iceni and the Hinton try to jump out at the same waypoint. And have the same speed. This results in a long series of collisions at the node before they jump out. Stay away from them while this is going on, because they will probably jump out at odd angles and you don't want to get run over. Roughly 50% of the time the Iceni batters the Hinton to death at the node regardless of your efforts. Take that as yet more evidence that the NTF must be destroyed for the good of the Terran race.
This is the only campaign mission where you can actually get Vasudan kills on your list, so do as much damage as possible if for some reason you want those.
It is imperative that you get the Iceni to the node, even though you are an allied operative. If you fail, you will be executed.