The Romans Blunder
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ACT 1, MISSION 3
Fighter squadron: 53rd Hammerheads Description: You have been ordered to intercept the Iceni.
The 53rd is scrambled to intercept the Iceni, before it reaches Sirius, but somone high up made a mistake... if it was a mistake.
This is a more difficult mission. You seem to have no chance of catching the NTF Iceni, and it leaves the area. After a small conversation between the pilots and Command, two enemy freighters jump in with cargo, who are escorted by some fighters. Prioritize the fighters. Once they are gone, destroy the freighters. Do not splurge much effort at the containers, they are always destroyed by the shockwave of the explosion of the freighter carrying it.
After the freighters and the fighters are down, two NTF cruisers (NTC Glorious, NTC Imporvious) jump in and make your day difficult. They have fighter assistance as well. Try to lure them away by pulling back at the time they begin approaching on you. Without the assistance of the cruisers, they do not stand much long against you and your wingmen. Attack the cruisers after the fighters. The Glorious is the weaker one, target the anti-fighter beam(s) on it, and attack it with the GTM Tempests. Fire at will with your rockets to destroy the cruiser.
The Impervious is tougher (GTC Leviathan-class), the GVD Psamtik jumps in and will destroy it on her own. After these cruisers have been destroyed, you can leave the area. The mission is more difficult to survive than completing its mission goals. Disarm the cruisers of their anti-fighter beam turrets first.
The Psamtik won't arrive until you take out the cruisers' fighter cover, so make sure you do that first. Despite what command says, the cruiser's anti-fighter beam cannons will not fire at you.
As usual, your teammate's AI is lacking. it may be difficult to keep them alive in this mission.
Notable ships present
This mission is quite well known for the opening dialoge in the mission.
Command: Engage full burners and intercept the Iceni. They are two kilometers from the Sirius jump node.
Alpha 2: Command, we're five clicks from that corvette! Those coordinates you gave us were bogus! We don't stand a chance of catching that ship!
Command: You have your orders, pilot.
Alpha2: Command, where's the blockade? Why isn't the Alliance guarding this node?
Command: Our line of defense has been reprioritized for engagements elsewhere in the system.
Iceni Jumps Enemy Leader: I regret your efforts to intercept us have failed, pilots. You would be well advised to question the wisdom of your leaders. Helm, engage subspace drive.
Beta1: The Iceni has jumped! I repeat. The Iceni has jumped!
Command: Acknowledged, pilot.
Alpha2: Request a status brief, Command! What the hell is going on here?
Command: You're out of line, pilot!
Alpha2: Out of line? I don't think so. We're risking our lives out here! We deserve a straight answer!
Command: You can discuss this at your debriefing. We now have reports that rebel vessels are heading for the jump node. Stand by for mission update. Command out.
Alpha2: Damn it! Command let Bosch escape!
Alpha3: What are you talking about?
Alpha2: They pulled the blockade. They gave us the wrong coordinates. There's no other explanation.
Alpha3: Why? Why would they let him go?
Alpha2: You tell me, pilot. I'm informed on a need-to-know basis.
Alpha3: Stand down. We're on your side here.
Alpha2: Why did we attack the Iceni? Why did we destroy that cargo? I can live with being a pawn if the game makes sense.