CD 2 starts off with Radio Rollins and a few lackeys listening to a news broadcast about more Kilrathi incursions. He is still talking down any chances of us winning and I give him a bit of a lecture about spreading insubordination among the crew.
I’ve got a new scene in my locker for CD2 where I remincess about some holiday with Angel.
The first mission for tonight is to defend the Blackmane base.
This base is huge but has no offensive weapons whatsoever.
I fight off several waves before a squad of bombers with an ace called Bloodmist attack. My wingman takes him out before I get the chance.
After landing Rachel sees some sign that something is wrong. She tells me about a guy she knew who went mission in a Kilrathi ambush and she doesn’t know if he made it or not. In return I talk about Angel and the nightmares I’ve been having.
Maniac sees all this and gets jealous. I’m less than sympathetic about this.
The next mission is transporting supply ships to Blachmane with food.
I’m in a Thunderbolt for this mission and get ambushed by a wing of Strakha at the second nav point. They have booby trapped a transport to blow up when I get near it. These strakha are so small its easiest to resort to my rear turret. The turret also fires automatically if I’m not in it myself so I can just fly away from them trying not to get hit and wait for them to be taken out by it.
Flint is realising that these missions are just as important as those in her own system. If I’d grounded her I’d get the option to reinstate her at this point.
Mission 3 in this system is another babysitting transports, this time carrying weapons.
I get to fly against another new Kilrathi fighter. These have rear turrets but are really quite easy to hit and less challenging than some of the ships I’ve already flown against.
I get a special congratulatory welcome back after this mission.
Then its off on an offensive mission into the ariel system.
Cobra is happy to finally be on the offensive.
Vagabond on the other hand doesn’t trust Confed to send us after non-civilian targets. He’s worried about nothing as far as I’m concerned.
Even Rollins is cheering up and thinks we may have a chance after all.
Our first mission here is to take out a fleet of ships. I get to fly the final ship of the game for this mission – the Longbow bomber.
The longbow is very similar to the broadsword from WC2 in that its big and slow but with a lot of firepower.
There are numberous capital ships to take on in this mission. Something I haven’t mentioned yet is how each capital ship leaves a husk behind after you destroy it.
At the end of the mission is a carrier ship. They may be big but these are actually one of the easier ships to take out if you know how.
If you approach from the back of the ship you can fly straight into it’s docking bays and blow it up from the inside out. I can just sit here firing with impunity – admittedly my shields take a hit when it blows up but its nothing significant.
Vacquero is worried about being on attack for the first time ever. I tell him that the boundaries are just lines on a map and don’t mean anything which seems to cheer him up a bit.
Hobbes is glad that we are flying these offensive missions but confesses that he would prefer combat up close and personal rather than in fighters.
For the next mission, I have to take out a Kilrathi convoy travelling through a nebula.
Travelling through a nebula means that I can hardly see anything – otherwise everything else is the same. This is by far the hardest mission so far requiring a couple of replays before I manage it. I have to take on 6 capships including 2 destroyers and a whole load of fighters. Its not helped by my wingman ejecting halfway through. I make it in the end in what is something of a war of atrition.
Flint is at the bar and starts talking about the history and ancient wars and how its good to know that not all wars last forever.
At the briefing I find out that the Kilrathi are onto us and we need to retreat for the jump point. I have to cover the Victory.
A carrier is waiting for us at the jump point but the jump point has also vanished. Navigation find us a new one and we have a quick change of course.
We safely make it out of system and jump to Caliban.
Thrakhath is not happy about our escape or the fact that I was guarding the Victory. He decides its time to use the traitor whoever that is and orders the message sent.
Hobbes and Cobra are arguing on the flight deck. Cobra thinks Hobbes must have known about the Kilrathi being able to cloak jump points. I stick up for Cobra in order to keep her morale up.
I’m ordered to report to the bridge where Thrakhaths message has arrived.
He talks about having read the bible and how it talks of a time where there will be famine and nashing of teeth and that it has arrived.
Maniac is not impressed. He also says not to be emboldened by the prescense of the Heart of the Tiger (me) and that he will deal with me personally. The message does not appear to amount to much – Hobbes thinks it is an attempt at pyshological warfare.
On the observation deck, Maniac is not impressed about now having to fly in an asteroid field straight after leaving a nebula. I point out its just as hard for the Kilrathi but he seems to think they have some sort of cat sense…..
Flash is worried about the Kilrathi being able to hide jump points. I’m told in my next debriefing that they only cloaked the point using nebula gases and that intel thinks they could only do this in the one system.
Despite what Maniac said the next few missions are still in a nebula. We know from Thrakhaths message that the Kilrathi are onto us so we send out our destroyers to take out the incoming cap ships.
Our destroyers are seriously lethal. The easiest way to win this mission is just to fly near to one and let it take everything out for me.
Flint has received a communication from her father who thinks that we can use the conditions to our advantage and throw them back at the enemy.
We think the Kilrathi are onto our jump point so for the next mission we have to kill them off before they can leave the Nebula. There are a load of capships on this mission again but no destroyers to help me out this time.
There is no one to talk to at all on the ship after completing that mission so I head out for the final nebula mission where I have to escort the Victory out of the system. I have to face wave after wave of fighters on this one and I’m only flying a hellcat. After my wingman has gone and a wing of 4 Vaktoths warp in I take the cowardly option and go and hide behind the Victory. The carrier has a lot of guns and makes cat chunks out of the Kilrathi.
When I land, Admiral Tolwyn himself comes aboard.
Flint has been studying my history and knows that I’ve had run ins with Tolwyn in the past and we don’t exactly get on.
The next briefing is given by Tolwyn himself and I get to learn what hes doing here.
The confederation has developed a super weapon called the Behemoth which is capable of destroying a planet. Unfortunately its not quite ready yet and it has soft spots + no laser turrets. We are being forced to deploy it now as Confed has been losing the war for the last year and the Kilrathi will be on Earth in 6 months unless things change. This is the confederations last ditch effort to win the war outright.
The Kilrathi are attacking before he even finishes the briefing and we have to scramble all fighters to protect the Behemoth.
This being a scramble mission I’m stuck flying an arrow and there are a ludicrous number of enemy fighters – we must take out 40-50 in all on this mission. There are loads of wingmen though so I get a lot of help. At the end of the mission I autopilot to the Behemoth.
This thing is big. I have to afterburn away for a minute just to get the whole thing in a screenshot.
Tolwyn is on the comm when I come in to land and says we have confirmed the Victory was the correct choice for this assignment.
On the landing deck Rachel is looking over the specs for the Behemoth and points out that the shields on it are really thin. Protecting something that big is not going to be easy.
Thats the end of CD2. I don’t think the variety of missions was as good today and they have started to become a bit routine. The idea of the nebula was good but while it was talked up in the plot it didn’t actually affect anything. It was done much better in WC4 where it had a real influence on gameplay. The plot was fairly minimal also until Thrakhath & Tolwyn turned up. It feels like its just about to kick off again at this point though and push towards the big climax.
The missions have continued to get harder. I’m getting some strange joystick behaviour which isn’t helping – its specific to WC3 whatever it is but I’m finding that the joystick doesn’t always work correctly at the extremes and gets stuck in one direction until I move it back. In a game like WC3 you spend most of the time with your joystick right over at one side trying to turn towards the enemy so its making life difficult when it happens. I didn’t have this problem when I played it the first time so it must be something to do with running it in Dosbox.
As I recall this was the longest of the 4 CD’s with CD #3 tommorow being particularly short as it has all the pilot death scenes on that disk. I’ll be doing my best to avoid seeing any of those – the easy way is to pick people I know are pivotal to the plot at the end of the game. I also remember things getting very easy once I get the Excalibur when I won’t even need to bother aiming. I’m sure it can’t be many more missions before it arrives.