Part 18: The Sicilian Defense
The Sicilian Defense
Here we gooooooooooo! You can click on any image in this update for a 1600x1200 version.
Watch the briefing / Mirror (Video 5.4MB)
Listen to the briefing / Mirror (Audio 1.0MB)
Commander Beckett: "Reconnaissance has located one of the NTF's rallying points within the Gamma Draconis system. The rebels are preparing to execute a coordinated strike to acquire control of the Knossos subspace portal. Intelligence believes the NTF has sufficient firepower to mount a credible offensive."
Commander Beckett: "Your primary target is the Iceni, Bosch's command ship. The 64th Raptors will lead the strike. The Vasudans will sortie the GVC Hyksos and a wing of Serapis fighters to assist. We will deploy additional forces as they become available."
This is a relatively straightforward mission. The 64th Raptors jump in, launch some torpedoes, shoot some ships, and jump out. Plus the Vasudans will assist in blowing the everloving fuck out of Admiral Bosch.
Seriously, at this point I wouldn't blame anyone if they kept firing at the Iceni until the debris were reduced to space dust. He's eluded destruction so many times he has it coming!
Since Psion always jerks off to the Artemis D.H. I'll be using it for this mission. You actually have a choice between bombers, interceptors, and fighters for this mission, but I'll be using a bomber. My favorite spunky little bomber, the Medusa, will have to sit this one out.
Don't tell anyone, but I think this mission is loads more fun than The King's Gambit.
I'll also be trying out a brand new weapon: the GTM Piranha. The Piranha is a dumbfire missile that "releases multiple submunitions" upon detonation. This means it launches 15 smaller heat-seeking missiles that attack any enemy within range. It's not actually very useful, despite the description, but it's fun to use for a change.
You fire the Piranha with your secondary trigger and then manually detonate it by pressing it once more, or waiting until it reaches the maximum range (400m in this case). If you're accurate with it then it royally fucks up any fighter or bomber caught in the blast radius, including friendlies, so it's really a double-edged sword in this case. Downsides include an extremely limited range, slow projectile speed, limited supply per secondary bank, and extreme difficulty to use accurately.
If you're curious the smaller warheads are almost twice as fast as the Piranha, do decent damage to hull/shields, but have a limited cone of fire and turn rate.
Okay, let's do this! COMMIT!
Beta 1: "Command, we've got a problem here." (Audio 0.7MB) Mirror
Command: "What's the situation, beta?"
Beta 1: "I've got a visual on the Vindicator, but the Iceni's nowhere to be found."
Beta 1: "Either recon screwed up or Bosch jumped already."
Beta 1: "Heads up! Enemy wing closing in!"
Beta 1: "Should we abort out attack, Command?"
Command: "Negative, pilots. Destroy the Vindicator. Neutralize any rebel ship that reaches the rallying point. We'll intercept Bosch at the portal."
Command: "Recon will track down the Iceni. Keep an eye out in case Bosch jumps in from another rallying point."
Beta 1: "Roger, Command. We'll take 'em down!"
Alpha 1: "..."
Epsilon 1: "This is Epsilon wing of the 33rd fighter squadron, GVD Memphis. Escorting the Hyksos into position." (Audio 0.3MB) Mirror
The Vasudans have arrived! We're saved! If you're observant you'll notice that Epsilon wing said "GVD Memphis" instead of "GVC Hyksos," which is correct. The Sobek-class corvettes do not have a fighter bay, so Epsilon wing is attached to the corvette for this mission but actually resides on the Memphis. Nerd.
FreeSpace 2 is pretty good about being accurate with regard to little details like that. Certainly there are some continuity errors, but overall it's very accurate.
Orion destroyers have some serious broadside power. Three heavy beam cannons just unload on whatever poor vessel happens to be there, plus a fourth beam cannon covering the forward ventral arc. Thankfully the beam cannons on board the Vindicator have randomized hitpoint values so the Hyksos stands a fighting chance.
We still have a lot of work to do. If those beam cannons aren't neutralized with torpedoes they will obliterate the Hyksos.
That is what happens if you don't blitz those beam cannons. Poor Vasudan corvette.
MUCH better! Port and forward beam cannons destroyed. NTT Venture destroyed. Aries wing destroyed. Time to watch the Hyksos sweep the poor disarmed destroyer.
It's a shame she has to be destroyed. Orion-class destroyers are HOT.
Command: "We've taken down the Vindicator!" (Video 3.0MB) Mirror
Hey, wait, we already blew up a destroyer, why is a corvette jumping in? THAT'S NOT FAIR REBELS!
The GTM Piranha kind of sucks, but it looks pretty neat!
Command: "The Yoshitomo has been neutralized!" (Video 2.6MB) Mirror
Epsilon wing is gone. Beta and alpha wings are down to 50% strength. The Hyksos is afloat, but seriously damaged. Command! We could use some reinforcements here!
Are you kidding me!? I would kill for a Mjolnir network right about now.
This mission really showcases how the Sobek is the workhorse of the Vasudan navy. With one wing of bombers and two wings of fighters she's sunk one destroyer and one corvette thus far.
The Alba jumps in and immediately opens fire on the Hyksos. That little cruiser packs a punch, but it's not enough to phase the might of the VASUDAN NAVY.
I never said the Vasudan Navy was accurate, just mighty. It's a small vessel alright! Let's see you hit a moving cruiser. <>
Command: "We have destroyed the Alba." (Video 2.0MB) Mirror
Everyone is a little on edge since Bosch escaped [again]. You show that debris who's boss!
Command: "An Aeolus-class cruiser has jumped in! Watch the flak guns on that ship, pilots!"
God damnit NTF! Stop jumping vessels in right on top of the Hyksos!
This new cruiser really does have a cool name though. The Epigoni? Just try to tell me that isn't cool. It's some Greek mythology name I believe.
We really don't have time for this ship though. So let's blow it up! (Video 1.4MB) Mirror
Command: "The NTF have commenced their attack on the subspace portal! All ships return to base!"
Commander Beckett: "This is the beginning of the end for the NTF." (Audio 0.4MB) Mirror
Talk about an understatement. Between the Mjolnir RBCs last mission and the GVC Hyksos this mission their entire fleet just got blown to smithereens. That's not to say they're ready to give up just yet. The Knossos subspace portal is lightly defended by GTVA warships, with most of the vessels in-system deployed to the Capella-Draconis jump node or busy flushing out rebels at rallying points. Not to worry though! The Colossus is already en route.
If you're curious the GVC Hyksos destroyed:
- NTD Vindicator, Orion-class Destroyer
- NTCv Yoshitmoto, Deimos-class Corvette
- NTC Alba, Leviathan-class Cruiser
- NTC Epigoni, Aeolus-class Cruiser
This screenshot didn't really fit into the update but I really really wanted to post it:
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program.