|年 代||出 来 事||場 面||参 考|
We sat around the lounge, a bunch of pilots, doing what we loved to do - talk about starfighters and flying them.
"What's your favorite target!" Raider asked me.
"My favorite? That's a hard question to answer. I guess a TIE Bomber might qualify. I mean, it's not that I like them at all. In fact, I hate them. But I always have to target them before they get me or the ships I'm protecting."
"How do you fight the Bombers!" asked a new pilot, a Sullustan we called Speedy because we couldn't pronounce his name. He had just earned his wings and gone out on two tough missions. The fact that he was still here meant that he showed promise.
"You try to get them from a distance, with torpedoes or missiles. If you have to use cannons, put shields and cannons to max, and then come up from behind and blast away. If you're in a hurry..."
"If you've got shields," interrupted Raider, "just ram 'em."
The Sullustan's oversized eyes seemed to grow even wider, if that was possible.
"Me," interjected Hamo, "I like to go one-on-one with a TIE Interceptor."
Raider laughed, and said; "Really? They're too easy. I mean, they always seem to think they can outrun our lasers. Haven't you noticed how they turn after an attack run and vector directly away from you? As if our X-wings and A-wings couldn't keep up!"
"Yeah," conceded Hamo. "But they usually have better pilots than the TIE fighters."
"Those are my favorites," said Jan-lo, grinning. "I just like how easy it is to blast them."
"My last mission, I caught a TIE with a fantastic shot," said Naeco, one of the new veteran transfers. As he spoke, he used his hands to demonstrate the action he was describing. "I'd slowed down to blast a TIE Bomber, and this TIE fighter comes up behind me too fast. I caught him coming on the rear sensor, and just pushed my nose down a little. Then, as he came over me, I raised the nose and squirted a laser blast. He went nova on one hit. It was a beautiful deflection."
"I hate the Gunboats," said Speedy. "One jumped out of hyperspace right behind me on my last mission. Just about scared the scarns out of me."
"Scarns!" Both Hamo and I asked at once.
"Yeah," Speedy answered. "Scarns. You know..."
I didn't know, but I decided not to press the issue. Hamo just nodded as though he had just remembered what scarns were, but I was sure that he was bluffing.
"Gunboats are tough, but they're slow," said Raider, smiling inscrutably. Did he know what scarns were? "They're a nuisance, but you've got the advantage of speed and maneuverability. Me, I like to shoot a container. Just sits there, doesn't shoot back."
We laughed. Every one of us could agree with that.
"Oh, come on, Samuel," said Hamo. "You're kidding, right!"
"Yeah. Well, those chemical containers sometimes blow up nicely. Pretty colors, eh Speedy!"
"Actually, we see in a different range from you humans. I guess we probably have different esthetics."
"Different esthetics, is it? Hey, to me an explosion is an explosion."
"Yes," answered Speedy. "But to me, a human is a human."
None of us knew exactly what that meant, but the Sullustan was smiling, so we figured that it was a joke and laughed.
"The truth is, I like to shoot up corvettes," said Raider a moment later. "Maybe someday, I'd like to tackle a Star Destroyer."
"You're crazy," said Naeco. "You can't take on a Star Destroyer in a fighter. Stick to something five or ten times your own size."
"Yeah. Just give me 20-to-1 odds, and I'm a happy spacer," said Raider, winking across the table at me and Hamo.
"Me, I like a nice, dense minefield," said Hamo. "Or maybe a cross fire between two Nebulon Frigates."
Speedy was beginning to look a little nervous. Then the mission call indicator came on, and a klaxon blared. We all scrambled for the briefing room.
OP 6: Ambush in the Cron Drift
File Name: crndrft1
Fly escort for two Rebel ships, the freighter Ojai and the transport Magnus. They are to rendezvous with the corvette Jeffrey. Make sure that this convoy delivers its cargo. You will lead a two-ship flight of X-wings as you escort the freighter and transport to where the Jeffrey awaits. The Jeffrey is on the edge of the Cron Drift, so you must beware of the danger of collision with asteroids.
Farlander's After-Action Report
After a standard mission-start procedure, I assigned my wingman (Naeco) and the other three friendly ships to memory locations in the targeting computer. Less than a minute after we arrived, a pair of Assault Gunboats (Mu) appeared about three clicks behind us, and we turned to engage. I ordered Naeco to assist me with the lead 'Boat.
I decided to make some adjustments from my normal firing mode, and changed the cannons to quad-fire-linked and then switched to torpedoes. I fired as soon as I had a solid lock, and then targeted Mu 2. Immediately after launching my next torpedo, I switched back to cannons and quickly destroyed the target.
Another pair of Gunboats arrived, followed shortly by a transport. Since a transport can be armed with torpedoes, I saw it as a serious threat to the Ojaj and the Jeffrey. I left my wingman to finish off Mu 1, and took off after the interloper.
I brought up the transport in the CMD and switched back to torpedoes. Since it was about six clicks away, I redirected everything to the engines and got my speed up to 150. As soon as the targeting computer began locking on, I reset the recharge rates to maximum. I decided that I would use the same method which had worked on Mu 2.
Unfortunately, the transport was able to launch one of its torpedoes at the Ojai before I could completely close the gap, though I then made the ship pay the ultimate penalty for its transgression.
Next, I targeted the nearest enemy fighter, GUN Mu 2, part of a replacement wave for the original Mu group. As I engaged it with cannons, another transport arrived about nine clicks away. Mu 2 was almost dead, so I stuck to it a moment longer before locating the new transport, and heading off after it.
I followed the same tactics and procedure as before, but this transport was farther away, and was able to get off two torpedoes before I could take it out. Also, during the chase, a Gunboat fired a missile at me that I couldn't take the time to evade! The missile hit me right after the transport blew up, but my shields were charged and my ship withstood the hit. I quickly rebalanced and recharged my shields. The Magnus made it into hyperspace after that, leaving me with one less ship to worry about.
Mu 1 was the nearest enemy now, so I turned to engage him with cannons. I was just starting to hit him when another transport came in about five clicks away. I broke off to engage the transport, intending to use the same tactics as before, and right away R2 indicated that I had another missile homing in on me.
I let it hit me, and, as I was balancing the shields, Mu 1 began blasting me with lasers. Then the R2 gave me another missile warning. The new transport was still some distance away, and my shields were getting pretty thin, so I did some weaving this time. I straightened out and destroyed the transport as before, taking another missile hit in the process. R2 made a plaintive "bleep," and I decided that it was time for Mu 1 to die. Yet another transport arrived as I was finishing him off.
I targeted the new transport about seven clicks away. As I headed toward it, another replacement wave for GUN Mu arrived, but they were a good nine clicks distant.
Using my now-standard procedure, I launched a torpedo at my target, and was surprised to see it sail astray! I would have to kill this transport with lasers, and as quickly as possible. I reduced speed by raising both shield and cannon recharge rates to maximum, and then began firing.
Something must have glitched with that torpedo I'd fired, because it missed in a second pass. Finally, my cannons did the job the torp had neglected, and I turned toward the nearest Gunboat, Mu 2. My wingman and I proceeded to destroy the Gunboats as fast as we could get on their tails.
Finally, Ojai had completed docking, and we just kept dogfighting while we waited for the Jeffrey to leave the area. A new Gunboat group arrived from Tau squadron. Soon afterward, I saw the Mission Complete message, but I wanted to bag a few more Gunboats. GUN Tau must have had some rookies, 'cause some of them went back into hyperspace as soon as they saw us coming! Eventually, no enemy ships were left, and we went home.
"Good mission, Farlander. Good to see you're back to your old form," Lagrane told me. "Just one thing our analysis suggests: We think that you might have taken out all the Gunboats before turning to the transports. It's a small point, though. Well done."
Debriefing (Win Conditions)
The CRV Jeffrey must dock with the FRT Ojai, and then escape into hyperspace.