Before I get into the business of reporting on the action from last week's exciting battles, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that First Strike has now been made available via ModDB's Desura download and installation facility, which is big news. This will hopefully raise the profile of our mod and make the process of installation all the easier.
Now we just need EA to release BF2142 on Steam to help rid us of the complication of all those different supposedly final patches they released for BF2142, which will also encourage new people to pick up the vanilla game, and we'll finally be cooking with gas.
The deck plates rocked under foot as another blast struck the Imperial Star Destroyer, Lieutenant Cumba caught himself on a bulkhead to steady himself and reached out to grab a fellow pilot who was in danger of tumbling through the doorway ahead, beyond that lay the gantries and catwalks that lead to the TIE Fighter launch racks, and that was somewhere you really didn't want to venture when off balance, it was a long way down to the hanger floor below. The pilot thanked him, and regaining his footing, headed to the ready room to pick up the last of the gear they'd need before grabbing a ship and entering the battle. Other members of their squad were already in there snatching up their helmets and rebreather gear. Another blast struck the ship causing it to shudder. The sound and impact wasn't consistent with a laser blast.
The Alliance didn't have much capable of cutting through an ISD's formidable ray shielding. They had to be using a planetary ion cannon, and a powerful one at that. Uncharted settlers my arse. Thought the Lieutenant. Captain Piett's hunch about the Hoth system had been right, only the Rebellion would be packing that sort of weaponry. Cumba headed out to the gantry above the vast main hanger helmet in hand, and raced over to the twin cylindrical hull of his chosen vessel. Dropping into the crampt cockpit he placed the shiny black helm over his head and proceeded to complete his pre-flight checks as the hatch closed above. His TIE Bomber's twin ion engines swiftly warmed up and he was given clearance to launch. With a dull thud explosive bolts released his ship from the rack and taking control he swooped across the hanger and out into open space ahead, momentarily blinded by the bright surface of the ice world below. No Rebels would be escaping today. Not on his watch.
ROUND 1: TATOOINE: BESTINE
Following the unfortunate shooting down of one of their transports, which had ventured too close to the Imperial capital city on Tatooine of Bestine, Rebel forces were faced with no choice but to set down their remaining transports to search for survivors, and disable the city's powerful turbolaser towers before they could leave. Sending in a covert team of commandos, the Rebels hoped to secure the hill that overlooks the city and houses the Imperial Overwatch complex. They were after a quick and decisive victory here to minimise their losses and swiftly disable the turbolaser control systems. Unfortunately the Imperial troops garrisoned there were ready for them, and once they had secured the Overwatch defended it tenaciously. Turning what the Rebels hoped would be a surgical strike into a wholesale slaughter of some of their best troops. This was not a promising start for the Rebellion.
ROUND 2: TATOOINE: BESTINE
Following the failure of their initial tactic of a surgical commando strike on the Imperial Overwatch complex above the city of Bestine, the Rebel forces had to adapt and formulate a new plan to assault the city. offloading heavy equipment from their transports the Rebels mobilized armoured APC Freerunners to support their advance through the city. Deploying troops and providing valuable sensor support for their infantry, the Freerunner proved vital in allowing the Rebels to advance on their dug in foe. The main route up the hill proved to be problematic however, with Imperial engineers deploying anti-vehicle mines to hamper the Rebel advance, but once this was overcome and the Rebels achieved a significant foothold at the top of the hill, the Imperial forces started to fight a loosing battle. Even with the support of the formidable AT-ST Walker they could not hold back the Rebel advance and had to retreat from their stronghold, giving this victory to the Rebels.
ROUND 3: ESCAPE FROM HOTH
In the aftermath of a pivotal battle on the planet Hoth, Rebel forces made a desperate attempt to flee the ice planet, utilising a powerful planetary ion cannon to cut a hole in the Imperial's orbital blockade of the planet. They deployed Gallofree medium transports escorted by Rebel starfighters along that vector. Though the Imperial Star Destroyer was partially disabled by the powerful ion cannon fire, it still managed to launch it's compliment of TIE Fighters and Bombers, with orders to intercept the fleeing Rebel ships. In addition to this the Imperial cruisers technicians were hard at work attempting to get the vessel's main heavy turbolasers back on line, which could have devastating consequences for the approaching Rebel craft. As the first wave of transports approaches things look pretty promising for them, despite strong defensive measures from the Imperial TIE Fighters, Rebel Y-Wings manage to break through and destroy the Imperial cruiser's heavy turbolasers. However when the first wave of transports close into range Imperial TIE Bombers do a formidable job of assaulting the craft, and despite augmented shields and defensive quad laser batteries only one of the Gallofree transports survives the dangerous gauntlet and makes it past the Star Destroyer to make the jump to the safety of hyperspace. The second wave fares even worse, with a slightly longer trip to the hyperspace beacon, these last two escaping transports take the full brunt of the firepower of the Imperial bombers left in orbit, and both are destroyed long before either see the freedom of open space. Victory this day belongs to the Empire.
So with one round left to go in the second Nations In Conflict First Strike Campaign things still remain very interesting. After two weeks of devastating defeats at the hands of the Rebel Alliance, last week the Empire has made a phoenix from the ashes like comeback, punishing the Rebels for ever thinking they could take on the mighty Galactic Empire with a convincing round of victories which leave the scores at 55 to the Empire and 95 to the Rebellion. Is it too little too late? Perhaps not, as don't forget that this week's battles will award double points, which means there are a maximum of 60 points up for grabs. Which in turn means that if the Empire do really well this week they might just possibly grab a victory from the claws of defeat. As ever it is very much still all to play for.
If you like what you see here, fear not, you haven't missed this event, it is still ongoing. We hope to see more players than ever for the final battle of this campaign, so if you haven't joined up already get involved and sign up here:
Until next time,
May the Force be with you.