Part 18: Mission #15: 19 May 2654, Venice systemMission #15: 19 May 2654, Venice system
Previously on Wing Commander: Victory in Kurasawa allowed us to move into one of the key systems of the Kilrathi Empire, known to us under the name Venice. Victory in Vega sector seems near!
I'm guessing Paladin has a tale to tell... But first, the joke of the day.
Course, the hairballs have their own name for it... Kharak Tar, I think. Its habitable planet is a water world, like Port Hedland's. We call it Venice 'cause of ancient ruins on it, sinkin' into the ocean.
So a starbase, huh? We'll be attacking it at some point, I presume; that'll be interesting.
Tactical thinks if we find that station and take it out... we'll take out the brains of the Kilrathi operations in the whole sector!
If you think this is a bit of an awkward way to start a conversation, you're not wrong. If you kill Khajja in Rostov, he has an extra line before this one which makes it a bit less abrupt.
'E's the coldest furball I've ever seen! I was flyin' with Dragon, out of Yellowjacket squadron...
We shot 'is wingmen to bits, and put 'is own shields and lasers out... but still 'e keeps comin' We're tight on is tail, but 'e holds 'is course and fires off a missile. One shot, right up the tanker's tailpipe, and she blows, big as day! An' while Dragon an' me are dodgin' 'er debris... the hairy bastard makes 'is escape!
No worries, we'll take care of it.
I can't wait to get out in one of these new Rapiers, mate! As I recall, she's got both lasers and neutron guns, right? The lasers were designed for firin' at a distance... an' the neutron guns for extra punch up close!
Right then, time to get down to some serious business here!
Some intelligence reports indicate that Kilrathi High Command may be located in a starbase somewhere in this system. If that is the case, we need to find it as quickly as possible. We'll immediately commence an intensive schedule of recon patrols to identify all vessels and large objects in the system.
Maverick, you'll lead Epsilon Wing.I'm putting Hunter with you.
Here's your route, gentlemen. Computer, display Epsilon.
At the first Nav Point, you'll fly by one of our own Exeters. From there on out, though, you'll be in unknown territory. Now there's a lot of debris floating around out there... and we believe that a lot of it is going to be Kilrathi mines. You'll be flying near debris at Navs 1, 2, and 3, so be careful. And I want a report on the locations of any mine fields you encounter.
Since this is a major Kilrathi base system, we expect a strong enemy presence. You could meet almost anything out there.
Maverick'll have to make that call... but I'd recommend engaging anything up to a Ralari.
So we are running patrols to see if we can find anything big, which should in turn help us to figure out the location of the Kilrathi Vega sector command, hopefully. We are again flying a Rapier, but as usual, new sector means new wingman, and other than Maniac, there is only one left that we haven't flown with, and that's Hunter. Logically you would expect for something this important to be flying with somebody more reliable, say Iceman, but as long as it's not Maniac we should be ok, I guess. A bunch of mines and asteroids, but we should be used to it by this point.
Obviously, we will be encountering an ace on this mission, the already seen in Rostov detour, Khajja the Fang. He is the last named ace we'll be seeing, at least in this game.
Khajja the Fang is not-so-affectionately called "the Machine" by Terran intelligence. He is the most efficient, mission-oriented pilot the Kilrathi have. He pilots a Krant-Class Medium Fighter.
Strengths: Khajja's greatest asset is his clear thinking. He never panics or falters and appears to have utter confidence in his wingmen. He is not vulnerable to taunts, goads, or insults
Weaknesses: Khajja's faith in his wingmen may be misplaced. Analysis indicates that some Kilrathi pilots may be afraid of him. He will single-mindedly ignore incoming ships in order to concentrate on a strike objective, meaning that he might ignore you.
Tactics: Khajja prefers straight-in, straight-out strafing approaches. He uses his laser cannon for most encounters, saves his heat-seekers for mission objectives or particularly troublesome enemies, and saves his friend or foe missiles for emergencies.
Recommendation: If he's approaching a mission objective, you might get a free shot by eluding his wingmen. If he's moving in on you, utilize classic dogfight tactics: Try to outfly and outshoot him, or lead him toward unengaged friendlies. He doesn't like bad odds.
However, he was not really a problem on our Rostov detour, so we should be fine, I expect.
Was anybody else surprised when that Exeter fly-by really turned out to be just that, and not a defence? Also, our fist minefield dogfight was surprisingly tame, considering it was against Jalthis (or perhaps that's why?).
Not much to be said about Khajja, but in the couple of test runs I did of this mission, my conclusion is not to leave him for last as he starts to be very evasive at that point. He will not run away, but you will have a hard time actually landing a hit on him.
It is possible to get a medal in this mission, but only if you kill all enemies yourself.
And finally, I am not really sure what to think about that miscount... 2 Jalthi+4 Krant+4 Gratha+1 Ralari is definitely 11 ships total. From the video, it's clear that Hunter killed one, I killed 10 and none had escaped. Still, the game somehow lost one of them somewhere and we are only credited for 9+1 in the end. Weird.
The triumphant return of the killboard:
Next time on Wing Commander
Too many cooks...