Deadlocked Defence

I recorded another mission in Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock’s replay feature. It’s a long one (14mins plus), and the replay is quite disjointed and changes pace quite a bit because of the desperate defence I had to exert on the tactical situation. It might not be the most stunning replay, but it is the only document of the battle I have (why grab screenshots when a cinematic replay will do?).

However, this was one of the most tense battles I’ve had in the game, and it was all down to the fact that I was a Manticore ship down, and without Battlestar support, but I had to eliminate the Cylon threat from the area. I knew it would be tough. I didn’t know it would be down to the last shred of hull strength tight. Watch the video or not, let me try and explain the situation and how I spent a good hour and a half to two hours squeezing the last drop of firepower out of my battered ships.

I jump in to the system, I forget the name, something like Calculos, and we need to clear the toasters out.

I have the Diadalos mobile shipyard and two Manticore class corvettes, the Lancer and the Perses.

Immediately I see two DRADIS contacts, with Cylon raider support. I have no heavy hitters. The two corvettes have 20 missiles and the impact cannon.

The Diadalos its turrets surrounding the station and it has a squadron of Vipers Mk.1 and a support squadron of Raptors.

The initial plan was to be very defensive, keep my Manticore’s back, make the Cylons approach the station and get a cross-fire going with all three of my assets focusing fire on anything that gets in range.

The Cylon Talon ships move in, these vessels look like cargo ships, but they have 3 side cannons that can effect a powerful broadside if you get in range. They also seem to be fairly well armoured, and can shrug off impact cannon fire – or at least roll left and right to shake any end to end cannon fire fairly ineffective.

I circle my corvettes tightly to keep them under the protection of the Diadalos turrets. As the Talons get closer, I launch Red Squadron (Vipers and Raptor in support) to try and neutralise the incoming Raiders.

Two more DRADIS contacts appear, in drops Cylon Nemesis ships. These are the “hackers” from my previous AAR.

My Vipers start to get chewed up a bit by the Raiders and the incoming Talon fire. I try to cycle my Manticore’s missile barrages so that they alternate rather than blowing them in one go. I think there are about 3 turns between loading the tubes for the next volley. So I “flip flop” between the Lancer and the Perses trying to get fire on one target at a time.

The Lancer is hacked, but still manages to get a volley off. And we drop one of the Nemesis ships. There is a lot of altitude changing, bobbing and weaving to avoid being hit by the Nemesis rocket volleys. I’d assumed altitude didn’t make that much difference, but it really does when everything counts on getting out of the way or matching the enemy so you can land your cannon shot.

The AI is crafty, and knows to circle its Talons just outside of the Diadalos turret range.

Using missiles we manage to smoke another Nemesis. So we have two Talons and some annoying Raiders left.

My corvettes are a beat up. You can repair sub-systems if they take damage but ultimately you can’t repair armour (front, rear, left, right, top, bottom). So the game turns slow down a little because attacks become a geometry game of presenting your fresh armour to the enemy whilst making an effective attack. Altitude, orientation, positioning all become VERY important. This is where it starts to get really intense.

You can set the turrets (in sectors – front, rear, left, right) on the Diadalos to target Capital ships, Closest ships or Squadrons. So these annoying Raiders were in my left sector, I flip the turret switch to Squadron and the Diadalos guns whittle them down over time.

I set my Raptor squad to harass a Talon, and move my corvettes out to wear the Talon down with cannon fire aimed at the rear armour, and whatever I have left in my missile barrages.

 

Soon after, retreating the corvettes back to the cover of Diadalos. Lancer is beat up big time.

It took me a while to realise the subtleties with corvette gunnery. The impact cannons at the front are mounted underneath the ship, so approaching at an elevation equal to that of your enemy, means your shots go under the enemy, add to that the accuracy wiggle of cannon fire and you’re expending a lot of fire without hitting the damn thing that much. So in their beaten state, I’m still having to experiment with my approach vector to the enemy to land any cannon shots. Higher than the enemy, but often trying to follow their anticipated flight path, so that if anything I get to “cannon strafe” them in the vertical plane. As said before these Talon ships seem to jiggle roll a lot, tacking left and right, to add to the inaccuracy situation. They have a knack of presenting fresh armour to you. Whilst emptying a broadside salvo that can cut through your remaining armour!

It now becomes a game of hit and run, all the while trying to maintain armour loss, presenting less damaged armour if incoming fire is on its way, and attempting to coax the Talon’s into breaking the Diadalos turret range barrier.

I found that if you dock your Raptors, their dumb-fire 4 rocket pods are re-armed. This can take up to 3 turns, one to recall to Diadalos, one to make the dock, and one to launch them again – but it does mean (if they stay alive) that I can bring some renewable armaments to bear on these damn hardy and elusive Talons!

Although they are support ships, and they seem to have a Disarm function, that I couldn’t get to engage in this scenario (it may be something revealed in later missions), they are damn nippy and manoeuvreable, so can evade much of the Talon incoming fire. Good for hassling the Talons, and staying alive.

Trying to use my nearly crippled corvettes in actions together to dispatch just one of the Talons.

We “force” it to stray too close to Daidalos and it gets a good pounding. Finally, one down, one to go.

 

The video can’t stress how beaten up my ships are. Lancer has most of his armour down apart from his front and right still have some give. I’d say about 25%-ish on both facings. My Perses is slightly better, but very vulnerable on left and top. I pull them both back to the Diadalos and regroup.

Raptor rockets to the rescue!

Or at least to harass the enemy and whittle down what they can. I’m now using my Raptors as a lure. Talon fishing. And it works!

We pound it as best we can. The Talon starts to get out of dodge. I can see it’s rear armour is very low. I’m at the point where I’m so stressed, I just want to finish this fight now. It’s imperative that I don’t lose either the Lancer or the Perses. Lancer is in much worse shape. Almost all armour gone. Only hull casing left.

But I think, “sod it!”.

I’m off in pursuit with both ships. All I need is a couple of good hits on its rear. If I can angle my approach according to the freshest armour ratings on my ships. Hopefully…

My (two) Raptors make a pass and unleash a fresh batch of 4 rockets into its rear end!

And with combined Corvette and Raptor fire, we finally finish the Talon off!

Wow!

Intense.

Now to the next mission, still have a couple of turns to await the arrival of my new Adamant Frigate…

So say we all!

BSG: Deadlock can be bought from Slitherine or can be found on Steam. It is developed by Black Lab Games. It is also available on consoles, both PS4 & Xbox 1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *