The Let's Play Archive

Freespace 2

by Psion, BloodWulfe, & Gasket Basket

Part 22: Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues
Watch this briefing here! / Mirror
Listen to this briefing here! / Mirror

Commander Vasudan Guy posted:

Your reconnaissance of the Sathanas identified weak points in the Juggernaut's defenses. However, exploiting these weaknesses will require firepower that can be provided only by the main guns of our capital ships. The GVD Psamtik, the GTD Aquitane, and the GVD Toeris are standing by. Your mission is to lure the Sathanas into position.
In the first phase, you will attack the SC Rephraim, a Rakshasa-class warship. Our recon flights have located the Rephaim near the Allied secure zone. The cruiser is accompanied by two wings comprised of Mara-class fighters. Our analysis of the Rephaim's flight pattern suggest the vessel is patrolling the region.
Your first task is to eliminate the fighter escort. This must be achieved quickly, before reinforcements arrive. Once the escort has been neutralized, call in Delta wing. The bombers will help you destroy the Rephaim. If necessary, your wing will need to incapacitate the cruiser's beam turrets to clear a path for your bombers.


We anticipate the attack on the Rephaim will bring Shivan reinforcements. Your squadron is charged with the duty of engaging and destroying these hostiles until the Sathanas arrives. Sigma wing will also be available to assist, once these bombers have returned from their current sortie.
The upgraded Target Acquisition and Guidance warhead is now available. The TAG-B, an aspect-seeking missile, features an improved shock-resistant substrate that enables the beacon to transmit data with greater precision. The GVCv Sopedu will provide fire support for this operation.
The Alliance will execute simultaneous, coordinated strikes against Shivan positions in the nebula. For this reason, our destroyers will not be deployed unless the Sathanas appears in your field of engagement. If we fail to lure the Sathanas, or if the Juggernaut engages our forces elsewhere, we will abort this mission.

Remember when I said the TAG-B pretty much got ignored? I was wrong! It's been in your mission loadout choices for some time (just never equipped by default) but I'll tell you now on this mission it's useless. Your corvette doesn't show up until late enough in the game, as it were, for it to matter. :\ Still, the corvette is called the Thutmose, not the Sopedu. Typos.

Okay! Yes, I certainly enjoy the idea of being bait for the biggest deathmobile this side of, uh, THE GALAXY. Never let it be said the Vasudans don't have balls, or whatever their anatomical equivilant of balls is. I don't know, and frankly I don't want to know. Similar to how I don't know how it feels to be way, WAY, WAY too dry.

Mission start!
Alpha 2: Command, we have hostiles on radar, but we cannot acquire a target.

Your AI compatriots are jerks. The Maxim has a range of 3600m, and they're firing straight away - they aren't affected by the sensor range issue in the nebula that you are. Coincidentally, this means on missions where you're unable to target the enemy - say, missions against stealthed Pegasus fighters (or in FS1, Shivan bombers before you got shields and targeting tech) your AI compatriots could be equipped with aspect-lock missiles because they can lock and fire on these targets.
Command: Are you able to see anything?
Alpha 2: Negative. No visual contact.

Every one of these Serapis fighters is going to be gone by midway through the mission. I ought to equip my wingmen with Taurets, but the Tauret's one major flaw is incompatibility with the Maxim. I seriously don't enjoy a fighter with a hull strength of about 5 spitballs.
Command: Maintain your current heading, pilots.

As I finally get in range and engage the Maras, we get a transmission our computers can't figure out.

Alpha 2: Command, we're picking up an unusual transmission.
Command: Can you identify it, Alpha?

I'm a little busy here trying to kill Maras, but thankfully my wingman is on the case.
Alpha 2: The transmission is coming from the Rephaim!
Command: That's impossible! This is an allied channel!

Inigo "Alpha 2" Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

After we take out the Maras, my wing rolls in on the Rakshasa. It's not a corvette or destroyer, so fighters alone can eliminate this, and my wingmen are believers in peace through superior firepower.

While we're attacking it, we hear another Shivan communication ... but it's not coming from the Rephaim.

No, it's coming from the Iceni.
Alpha 2: Command, I have targeted the Iceni! The rebel command ship is in the field of engagement!

Command orders us not to attack the Iceni.

Not to.

Gee guys, whatever happened to being really quite interested in killing the Iceni?
Of course, this assumes the GTVA didn't know about the saboteurs onboard Colossus ... and who's to say that?

Command: We have destroyed the Rephaim! Excellent work, pilots.
At the same time, someone makes his exit. AGAIN.
Alpha 2: The Iceni has activated its subspace drive!

How many times have we seen this jerk get away? I'm thinking at least three in-game and another two described in the briefings. This is getting old, Bosch!

Command: Shivan reinforcements could arrive at any time. Rearm if you need to, Pilots.
No sign of the Sathanas! We must keep up this offensive to lure the Shivan juggernaut.

Then the belated Shivan reinforcements come in: A wing of Astaroth fighters and a Cain class cruiser, the Thaumiel. Command deploys the GVCv Thutmose to counter, finally making those TAG-Bs your wingmen have been slinging worth something. Feel free to change that in the loadout :p

Thutmose: This is the Thutmose. We are now engaging the enemy!

As we know, the Sobeks are the little corvettes who could, and a Cain has a pathetic hull and a more pathetic beam cannon - we smash it in seconds. It's not even worth calling in the bombers on this one.

The Shivans try again with three Dragon fighters - still the most slippery little bastards in the Shivan arsenal - and a Moloch-class corvette, the Golab.

The Thutmose fires back, and I have to say being in the middle of this is not a particularly healthy spot:

The Dragons aren't quite the threat they used to be - they were always weak on the shield and hull department, but with the newer superior firepower at the GTVA's disposal, they die in just a few hits from a fighter, much less a beam or flak barrage. They die quickly, and then the combination of my entire flight group and the Thutmose pounding on the Golab, it goes down quickly as well.

Command: All units! Return to base! The Shivan juggernaut is heading for the Gamma Draconis node!

Ha. "Let's initiate this multiple-step complicated lure operation, but let's be sure NOT to protect the obvious final destination for the Sathanas with, say, fifty billion Mjolnir RBCs."
The Thutmose lights up its jump drive:

And I decide to follow suit:

Not only is the GTVA still screwed, now the GTVA is screwed with the Juggernaut heading right for the Gamma Draconis node and the Knossos portal.
Good times, huh?

NEXT: Out of this damn nebula. ABOUT TIME!