Part 63: Mission #59: TCS Concordia, Ghorah Khar systemMission #59: TCS Concordia, Ghorah Khar system
Previously on Wing Commander: We encountered Kilrathi stealth fighters in our solo patrol, but somehow our flight recorder got damaged, so we still have no proof. In any case, we are now in Ghorah Khar system, which rebelled against the Kilrathi Empire long ago, but there are indications that they may try to reacquire it soon.
Ah, so that's why he was absent last time!
No, I think I would...
In other sectors, a ship can only jump from one star system to the next, but here in Enigma, it is possible to cross the entire sector in a single jump.
Does this have anything to do with the black hole in the Enigma system?
Our astrophysicists are certain there is some connection, but regardless of the cause, the strategic value of Enigma is tremendous.
So, who IS my new wingman actually?
Wait, what! I will be HIS wingman? Am I not supposed to be the wingleader?
The Kilrathi may be launching a major offensive against Ghorah Khar. Reconnaissance data is critical now!
You should be honoured to fly with him! You will both fly the mission, as assigned, and I will hear no more on it!
Well, we flew that test flight back in Vega together, so not like I don't know that.
Understandable. In any case, I am now your wingleader. I expect you to obey my orders, Captain. Is that understood?
Of course... sir.
Excellent. Then my first order is that you take command of this wing. I would like to observe your skills personally, both as a pilot and as a wingleader.
Ah, that's more like it.
Well, we are out of the Ferret for now at least; that's gotta be good. Not only that, but we are back in our trusty Rapier which are still being flown after many years! This is in fact a modified version of the original Rapier we flew 10 years ago (in fact it's the fifth official revision), so here is what it looks like nowadays:
Class: Medium Fighter
Length: 19 Meters
Mass: 15 tonnes
Max Velocity: 450 kps
Cruise Velocity: 250 kps
Maximum Yaw: 10 dps
Maximum Pitch: 10 dps
Maximum Roll: 10 dps
Weapons: Laser Cannon (2x), Particle Cannon (2x) Dumb-fire missiles (2x), Friend or Foe missiles (2x), Heat-seeker missile (2x), Chaff pod (2x)
Shields: Fore: 8 cm equivalent; Aft: 8 cm equivalent.
Armour: Front: 6.5 cm; Right: 5 cm; Left: 5 cm; Rear: 6.5 cm.
So it looks a bit more streamlined now and has had a few small changes. First of all it has slightly better armour than before; also it now has a particle cannon instead of a neutron gun and finally a slightly improved missile loadout. With all that, its weight has increased a bit, but it has nevertheless remained just as fast as before. What's the downside, you may ask. Well. There is none. Literally, there is no trade-off; everything on it is simply better than it was and that's it! Of course, like with Strakhas, we are talking 10-year old technology again, so what was once a superfighter isn't quite nowadays, but it's still pretty good (although there is something better in this game, but much later). One of the shortcomings due to age is the lack of ITTS; that would have been useful to have in this mission as you will see. But, let's see how the cat flies, then.
The Jalkehi at the start aren't much of an issue really, except for the fact that Hobbes will probably get himself damaged quickly. I have come to the conclusion that AI wingmen can't deal with rear turrets on Jalkehi and Grikaths, and Hobbes is no exception. As I've mentioned, it's quite normal that he will either eject or return to base at some point; I don't think I've ever had a mission with him that one of those didn't happen. Although honestly, since he is so aggressive, you face a great risk from friendly fire, so it could be argued that you are best off without him anyway in this mission. While he is around, though, he'll tend to score a lot more hits than any of the other wingpeople we've flown with so far, so use him while you can basically. Also for some reason his voice reminds me of James Earl Jones's Darth Vader in Star Wars, don't know why.
And then we come to the Grikath. Four Grikath is bad enough, but one of them is flown by the Kilrathi ace Kur nar Tr'K H'hra, better known as "The Human-killer". The Grikath in this mission are pretty annoying as they will not in general allow you to get close, but will instead try to get their back towards you, so that they can destroy you with their rear turret guns (also try to remember these are turrets so they can shoot in other directions than just straight ahead!). So you will have to try and shoot them from farther away from the most part. This poses a problem when they are flying in a vertical direction relative to you as Rapier has somewhat limited cockpit visibility. So use your radar to help your aim, basically.
Also, don't forget they have chaff pods, and will use them. So if you keep firing missiles at random enemies, they will ALL go to waste. I would suggest saving them for Kur (who you should tackle last as always with aces) so that you can waste a couple until he uses his pods and then fire off a few for real--this will help immensely in destroying him. Make note that he is likely to start running when nearly destroyed; however you are in a faster ship so should be able to catch him (mind the turret though).
Make sure you don't run out of fuel in this mission; you might be tempted to use your afterburner extensively in order to be able to come close to Grikaths. Don't. Shoot them from afar. You have the range on both lasers and particle guns.
Yeah, it actually kinda was.
Another almost destroyed fighter that she is fixing! Luckily it wasn't me, since this is not a Rapier! Actually this one looks almost like somebody lightly sneezed at it at some point!
"Litter-mates"? Really? REALLY?
Hm. We'll have to find out more about this at some point.
Current kill total: 59 missions/548 kills
Next time on Wing Commander