Battlecruiser 3000AD – Tour Of Duty 2

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6.7 TOD2 M1/5 – Tactical Operation (Empirian Raiders)

6.7.1 Overview

  • Start location: Varan, Alpha Centuri.
  • Pre-mission time: 5 minutes.
  • Mission duration: 30 minutes.
  • Primary Objective: Your battlecruiser must be in Varan at the end of the mission (mission text suggests the sector must be clear of hostile ships, but that part is optional).
  • Secondary Objective: Destroy 3 Empirian raiders labelled “Unknown Contact”.
  • Rewards: 150 experience points for primary objective. Unconfirmed – up to 200 total for secondary objectives.
  • Artifacts: None.
  • Time till next mission: 15 minutes.

6.7.2 Events

During this mission three Empirian raiders may appear, all labelled “Unknown Contact”. One an Aestrom carrier. It is possible that these raiders will not appear at all, giving you no option of fulfilling the secondary objectives. Instead you will face more general threats – mostly criminals. Whatever happens, you must be in Varan at the end of the mission.

6.7.3 Strategy

You will probably face a few heavier ships during this mission. The main ‘aim’ of this mission almost seems to be to weaken your ships: Don’t let them hurt you πŸ™‚ . You must be in Varan at the end of the mission, so don’t be tempted to head to a station for repairs once the enemy ships have been destroyed.

6.8 TOD2 M2/5 – Evacuation (Starball)

6.8.1 Overview

  • Start location: Arima, Tau Ceti.
  • Pre-mission time: 5 minutes.
  • Mission duration: 45 minutes.
  • Primary Objective: ECV-Starball must be under tow or docked by the end of the mission.
  • Rewards: 250 experience points.
  • Artifacts: None.
  • Time till next mission: 15 minutes.

6.8.2 Events

At the start of the mission the ECV-Starball will arrive in Arima from Xylan, and issue an SOS. ECV-Vagrant will be launched to tow the Starball back to Galcom HQ, Earth, Sol. You must ensure the Starball is not destroyed before it arrives back at Galcom HQ. There are no specific threats, however there is a hostile station in Arima.

6.8.3 Strategy

If the hostile station in Arima is still launching fighters, the ECV-Starball may come under attack at the start, and will need to be defended. There is a chance by this stage that you will have destroyed all hostile fighters, in which case the mission should be quite relaxed. In theory a few interceptors can be sent along to watch the recovery and cover the two ships’ retreat to Earth.

However, you should prepare for the next mission during this time, which means working your way up to Sirius. Logically you will fly with the retreating ships back to Earth, and hence a few more jumps into Sirius. Pugwash has a variation on this approach: “Ignore the mission brief and tow it [ECV-Starball] with your BC or a Shuttle back to Galcom HQ. The reason for this is you will have 35-45 minutes to do what you want before you must be in Lennen for the start of the next mission. You can repair/upgrade your BC, strip those debris fields of any goodies and collect cargo from any mining drones you deployed at the start.” If you have not been back to Earth since the start, this is certainly a good time to extract mining drones, and also fill up with fuel. Galcom HQ is the cheapest place to buy fuel, at least while inflation remains 0%.

6.8.4 Why does the Vagrant not appear?

It is possible it got destroyed on route, in which case tow the ECV-Starball back to Galcom HQ yourself. This has also been reported as not happening while the game is in debug mode (/d1 switch on in the batch file used to launch BC3K – see Why does the freeware version ask for the CD? Why is it running in debug mode? below for further explanation). Removing debug mode fixes it.

6.9 TOD2 M3/5 – Hostage Rescue (Pixan)

5.9.1 Overview

  • Start location: Earth, Sol.
  • Pre-mission time: 1 minute.
  • Mission duration: 90 minutes.
  • Primary Objective: Rescue Dr Myan Rolne.
  • Secondary Objective: Capture Pixan.
  • Rewards: 5000 experience points and Commander’s Shield medal (Clint Raines says “Order of Universe” medal has been awarded, but Commander’s Shield is what you actually get) for primary objective. 2500 experience points for secondary objective.
  • Artifacts: None.
  • Time till next mission: 15 minutes.

6.9.2 Events

If you play this in a logical order, responding to orders and instructions directly, here is what happens (times in minutes from start of the mission – there are some variations):

  • 00:00: GCV-Prime1 and GCV-Prime2 head for Lennen.
  • 00:01: GCV-Vagabond starts in Earth and proceeds to Starpath, Mars. They indicate you should send a probe to Lennen.
  • 00:02: Prisoners transferred to GCV-Vagabond in Mars.
  • 00:02: If you can still view Earth region, you will see an enemy labelled “Stolen Shuttle” head to Galcom HQ and dock.
  • 00:03: GCV-Prime2 arrives in Lennen.
  • 00:06: GCV-Prime1 arrives in Lennen.
  • 00:08: GCV-Vagabond leaves Mars for Lennen.
  • 00:13: GCV-Vagabond arrives in Lennen and clears minefield.
  • 00:18: Prisoners beamed to Pixan.
  • 00:23: Prime Force discovered. You are ordered to capture Pixan.

This mission is utterly confusing, essentially because it is almost impossible to complete. The problem is that the “Stolen Shuttle” that docks at Galcom HQ in the first few minutes is carrying Dr Myan Rolne. Once it docks, completing the mission’s primary objective becomes impossible. If you follow GCV-Vagabond to Mars, you might not even see this event. Even if your battlecruiser waits in Earth region at the beginning, the shuttle still heads for Galcom HQ. Josh comments: “This shuttle is only supposed to launch when you are in the system, but it doesn’t. It launches at the beginning, no matter who tells you otherwise.” Following the mission brief will fail the mission, earning you 5 violations (half way to a court martial) for your trouble.

The only way known to complete this mission successfully is for your battlecruiser to be in Lennen at the very start of the mission. In this case, the shuttle will recognise you on launch, and everyone will beam aboard – primary objective met. This means pre-empting the mission and completely disregarding the orders and storyline. I have tried mugging the renegade shuttle once it arrives in Earth region, even tractoring it and hauling it back to Lennen, but nothing except being in Lennen at the start triggers Dr Myan Rolne to beam across.

6.9.3 Strategy

As described above, the only way to complete this mission successfully is to be in Lennen at the start of the mission. This means flying there before you get the mission instructions, since the one minute of pre-mission time is not enough to jump more than one sector. Position yourself close to the Lyrius jump point. At the start of the mission the Stolen Shuttle will launch. Pugwash notes: “Remember to turn the PTA off or they may destroy the shuttle before it reaches you.” Once the Stolen Shuttle comes close, everyone will beam aboard.

If you wish to wait for the rest of the drama to play out and then attack Pixan, you can. However, at the start of the mission none of the station’s weapons are working, nor will it launch new fighters at you. Consequently it is far easier to capture the station before you are ordered to capture it, and before any of the other Terran Military ships arrive. In the first 15 minutes it is possible to complete all the mission objectives with the minimum of damage. If you wait until you are instructed to capture the station, other Terran Military ships in the area will help, although you cannot order them, and at best they provide covering fire whilst you capture the station. Suitable tactics are covered by the Station capture tutorial above.

If you have played straight through from the start without delaying in-station for repairs, your crew will want to take their first meal-break around now. Their Fatigue Factor will start to drop – take them off-duty and they will head for the Galley to eat, assuming you have Nutripaks in stock. The downtime after this mission is quite useful for resting your crew.

6.10 TOD2 M4/5 – Operation Star Strike (Sygan)

6.10.1 Overview

  • Start location: Earth, Sol.
  • Pre-mission time: 1 minute.
  • Mission duration: 90 minutes.
  • Primary Objective: Toron-1 must not be captured by Insurgents.
  • Secondary Objective: Capture Sygan.
  • Rewards: 2500 experience points plus Order of Wraith medal (Clint Raines says “Planetary Shield medal”, but you get an Order of Wraith) for primary objective. 2500 experience points plus Planetary Shield medal for secondary objective.
  • Artifacts: None.
  • Time till next mission: 15 minutes.

6.10.2 Events

At the start of the mission, GCV-Centauri will leave Galcom HQ, Earth, Sol, and attempt to capture Sygan station in Barnard’s Star. GCV-Lunguard will leave Starpath, Mars, Sol, and attempt to attack Sygan. GCV-PForce1 will also leave from Starpath, but heads to Toron-1, Krystar, Tau Ranis. When GCV-PForce1 arrives in Krystar, an Insurgent fleet will attempt to capture Toron-1.

6.10.3 Why didn’t I get Fleet Command and Control?

Haha… I was wondering when you’d notice that. The mission description suggests you should go to Orion HQ (Jupiter, Sol) at the start of the mission, where the Supreme Commander will beam aboard, granting you Fleet Command and Control. This mission would benefit from it. “SCMDR Karl Reines” does indeed beam aboard if you go to Jupiter, which sounds like the Supreme Commander. Unfortunately for you, the rest of the fleet only recognises the authority of “Karl Reines”, without the “SCMDR” part. Consequently, you never actually get access to Fleet Command and Control during this mission – none of the Fleet commands become available.

6.10.4 Strategy

Fleet Command and Control would open up a lot of options in this mission that don’t exist when you have only your own ship to control. Accompany the three ships into Sygan. I suggest you launch a probe in Sygan to monitor the battle.

Now you have a choice. You can either, (1) abandon GCV-PForce1 and Toron-1 to chance, and get ‘stuck in’ attacking Sygan station; or (2) leave GCV-Centauri and GCV-Lunguard to soak some of Sygan’s defenses, accompany GCV-PForce1, engage the Insurgents in Krystar, and then return to Sygan to capture the station.

Toron-1 is not attacked with overwhelming force. It is unlikely that the Insurgents will succeed in capturing the station, and far more likely that Toron-1 will be able to repel the Insurgent fleet using only its own defenses. The problem is there is a very small chance that Toron-1 will be captured, at which point the primarily mission objective will be failed.

The second option ensures Toron-1 remains out of Insurgent control by personally disposing of the Insurgent fleet. It is possible to assign interceptors for this, and hold your battlecruiser in Sygan. Interceptors alone aren’t enough to deal with the Insurgents, they have to augment the station’s defenses. Controlling interceptors in such a way that they don’t get destroyed is exceptionally hard, even more so without probe coverage, and verging on impossible if you are engaged in the battle for Sygan at the same time. Instead, fly with GCV-PForce1 to Krystar, and return to Sygan when the Insurgent fleet has been destroyed. The two friendly ships attacking the station will have exhausted some of the station’s missile and fighter defenses in the meantime.

Sygan is quite a tough station, with 9 gun turrets, and a support fleet that includes 4 carriers and 40 fighters. Unlike earlier station capturing, Sygan will use its defenses against you. You need to use a few tricks against it. Liberal use of missiles will help – try STS-Vagrant missiles – fire 2 magazines worth and capturing becomes almost a formality πŸ˜‰ . Sygan is shaped like an X with a tower sticking up from the middle. The station’s blind spot is on the exact opposite side from the tower, but covers any range, so you can attack from a range of 15-20 clicks, which may be an easier position to hold than one very close up.

Personally I found I was primarily battling against the low frame-rate caused by shear number of different battles taking place – at least until all those other ships the Terran Military had sent along had been destroyed. Your mileage may vary, but I can’t imagine this is playable on lower specification machines. It may be preferable to find a quiet sector, wait 20-30 minutes for the AI-controlled ships and missiles to burn out, and then move in against Sygan on your own – slightly harder, perhaps, but at least you will be able to see what is going on…

The mission brief instructs you to go to Tramis, Alpha Centauri, once the battles are over. This is not required, although you should be heading in that direction by the end of the mission, in order to carry out the next mission. If you re-deployed your mining drones on Earth, it may be time for another extraction ‘mission’. If you have successfully completed all the missions thus far, around now your experience point total will be enough to earn you promotion to Fleet Commander. This sounds great, but has few advantages – essentially one’s salary goes up from not much to not much πŸ˜‰ .

6.11 TOD2 M5/5 – Operation Ghosthunt (Reingard)

6.11.1 Overview

  • Start location: LV-130, Alpha Canis (mission brief says Earth, Sol).
  • Pre-mission time: 1 minute.
  • Mission duration: 90 minutes.
  • Secondary Objectives: Tow GCV-Reingard, locate probe, locate shuttle, locate Enhanced Nav Module.
  • Rewards: 1000 experience points for towing GCV-Reingard, 500 for finding probe, 500 for finding shuttle. Star of Merit on completion of this tour of duty. Unconfirmed – 2500 experience points for destroying Salamanda.
  • Artifacts: Enhanced Nav Module.
  • Time till next mission: 15 minutes.

6.11.2 Events

This mission contains four separate events, however the first may not happen, leaving you variously confused or in need of a work-around.

  1. Reingard’s ship, GCV-Reingard, starts in LV-130, Alpha Canis. The problem seems to be that at the very start of the mission, the ship decides it wants to dock with the local station. It never re-launches. Unless you are in LV-130 at the start of the mission, you will arrive and not find anything. Ghosthunt indeed. The only way I have found to complete the first part of the mission is to be *in* LV-130 at the start of the mission, which obviously means pre-empting it. The second the mission starts, order one of your shuttles to tow the GCV-Reingard. The shuttle will chase the ship and stop it docking. Over the next few minutes your officers will talk, during which time you must keep the ship tractored. Once you get the message “+1000 experience points for towing GCV-Reingard” you can deliver the ship to the nearby station.
  2. Find the probe one of your officers mentioned as being in Polaris – it is in Polaris-1. Once you find the probe, your officers will investigate it, and reveal that one of the ship’s shuttles is in LV-105, Alpha Cygni.
  3. Once you arrive in LV-105 you will find a shuttle marked Reingard Shuttle. Your officers will have further discussions, revealing that the artifact has been stolen and the thief is in Tyrinis. If you remain in LV-105 the Reingard Shuttle will head towards you and explode, inflicting heavy damage on your battlecruiser.
  4. To complete the mission, find and destroy the Gammulan carrier Salamanda. The Salamanda will turn up in Tyrinis eventually, however it may be cloaked making it rather hard to spot. Also mug the Enhanced Nav Module (see below) from the Salamanda.

If you enter Xylan, Tau Ceti, the GCV-Warmage will start to escort your battlecruiser.

6.11.3 Strategy

As noted above, if you wish to complete every part of this mission, you must pre-empt it by being in LV-130 at the start. Every part of this mission is optional. There are no negative consequences as a result of ignoring this mission. Indeed, the only real reason to look for Reingard is to recover the Enhanced Nav Module.

Ensure your officers are on-station throughout, otherwise their discussions won’t happen and you will not know where to look for the next part of the puzzle. Likewise, your battlecruiser must travel to each location – if you just send a support craft, nothing much will happen.

Although 90 minutes sounds like a long time, you will need most of this time to criss-cross the map. Don’t hang around. Subtle techniques like using afterburner to reach jump points faster can help. There is limited scope for speeding up the mission by using flux fields. Between Alpha Canis and Polaris you can make use of flux field Majoris (FL-06) Alpha Majora to Sygan, Barnard’s Star. Between Polaris and Alpha Cygni you can make use of flux field Polaris-1 (FL-07) to Darian in Trenis, and flux field Regis IV (FL-09) in Regulus to LV-104 in Alpha Cygni; or return via the Sygan flux field to Majoris, and then use the flux field in Ylisia (FL-12) Omega Eridani to reach LV-104, Alpha Cygni. Save beforehand because some of these routes involve a chance of reaching a blackhole. The actual time saving from the use of flux fields is relatively modest. If you pass through Xylan you will gain an escort. Your escort (GCV-Warmage) will probably not be able to keep up with you, so don’t worry too much about losing it. It will chase you, and eventually may show up again.

It can be hard to avoid the Reingard Shuttle exploding. The moment you enter the region, turn around and ‘burn towards the worm hole. Be sure you wait long enough for your officers to reveal the final part of the puzzle. If it does explode, it will take half your reactor with it, which is likely to spread radiation onto at least one deck – use radiation control units to clean this up as fast as possible or expect to see your Medibay fill up with ‘radiated’ crew. To make matters worse, it will probably also damage Engineering, sending half your Systems Engineers to the Medibay at a time when you need them to patch up the ship.

Finding the Salamanda can be somewhere between hard and impossible. I suspect it may patrol several sectors in Gammula, although it will pass through Tryrinis eventually, and this region has an advantage of no hostile starstations, so you can fight without tens of extra craft joining in. Listen for the voice saying “battlecruiser acquired” when there are no hostile ships on the radar – that is the best indication you and the Salamanda are in the same region. The Salamanda may launch attacks against you using other craft, in which case the best tactic is to injure the hostile craft until it tries to escape. The hostile ship’s order may read something like “RTB Salamanda”. At that point follow it. With luck you will see the Salamanda momentarily de-cloak. Keep firing at it and it will never fully re-cloak. If you cannot get close, Pugwash suggests assigning the ship to the priority list when it becomes visible, then: “when it cloaks again just use attack – priority – Salamanda and although you can’t see the Salamanda the HUD will give the location for a few seconds.” An alternative strategy is simply to wait in the sector for the Salamanda to attack you. This may work, but some players report waiting 30 minutes before anything happens, so you may not have enough time.

In spite of ensuring I personally killed the Salamanda, I cannot get anything except the default 1000 experience points for destroying a Gammulan carrier. See Objectives and rewards above for further discussion of this problem.

Look out for bonus cargo during this mission. The GCV-Reingard can be mugged for a large number of spares. The Salamanda also has plentiful stocks.

At the end of the mission, head back towards Sol. If you wait in Gammulan space until the next mission orders arrive, you will miss much of the next mission. If GCV-Warmage survived, it will continue to escort you for the rest of the ACM until it is destroyed.

6.11.4 Artifact: Enhanced Nav Module

The Enhanced Nav Module must be mugged from the Salamanda in or around Tyrinis, Gammula (see above). No installation is required, just keep it in your battlecruiser’s cargo hold. When the artifact is available, the ENM text on the left-hand side of the bridge view will light up in green. The Enhanced Nav Module removes the need to fuel hyperjumps, and recharges the hyperjump engine instantly. Unfortunately, it is another of the artifacts with officer-AI requirements. In this case either the Flight Officer or Navigation Officer must have an AI above 50 (see The AI problem above for more). Consequently it is quite likely that you will not be able to use the artifact immediately.

Index: Battlecruiser 3000AD FAQ ·