'Silver Station, an important Alliance supply depot protected by stolen Imperial technology finds itself under attack. The heavy Imperial bombardment sends a power surge through the defence net scrambling automated sensors and creating targets on both sides. Suddenly new signals appear on the sensor scopes as both Alliance and Imperial ships respond to the growing distress calls. This region of space now faces a new threat, one that takes no sides...'
Continuing on with this series of articles giving you an in depth look at the new maps to feature in our 1.6 release of First Strike, we now move on to Silver Station.
With this map FSDev Twigs continues his one man crusade to create innovative and interesting additions to First Strike's collection of space maps, and this one delivers very nicely, giving us something new from both a gameplay perspective and visually as well, utilizing many assets from the First Strike library not yet featured in any publicly released maps, not to mention many new assets developed specifically for this map. So what is different about this space map? Well all other First Strike space maps have tended to be objective based. Destroy specific targets, escape to the jump beacon, destroy all enemy capital ships, etc, with the exception of Strike at Parmel which is essentially a Team Death Match game with starfighters. In Silver Station, like with most ground based maps you'll have tactical areas you need to gain control of to win the map. So basically the Conquest game mode has gone to the stars.
In addition to this we have other factors that have been added to make things more interesting. As the back story notes, this is a Rebel Alliance supply depot, essentially a huge space station hidden from all but the most focused of prying eyes by its proximity to a nearby sensor jamming nebula, it is surrounded by container yards floating in space, which are in turn encompassed by a defence grid of stolen Imperial automated weapons platform satellites. The engagement on this map takes place after the depot has been discovered and has already been attacked by Imperial forces who knock out essential computer control systems aboard the space station causing a power surge which sends the defence grid loopy. Now these weapons platforms could target any ship in the depot's vicinity, and this has resulted in the devastation of the Rebel ships guarding the installation and the Imperial ships attacking it. Now that reinforcements from both factions have arrived on the scene they'll find themselves falling prey to these pesky weapons platforms, or being assisted by them. So do you go in all guns blazing and take out all the malfunctioning turrets before they can fire on you? Or do you go in more tactically, and wait and see if the turret acts friendly or not before engaging? These devices come in two flavours, Ion Cannon and Turbolaser. Getting caught in the crossfire between an Ion Cannon and Turbolaser weapons platform doesn't even bear thinking about, and if you're about to engage enemy ships, just be aware of your surroundings, as one shot from an Ion Cannon turret could leave you a sitting duck for your intended victim. It certainly spices things up, that is for sure.
Finally there are some tactical advantages to be had at some of the control points. In addition to gaining tickets to win the map, some of them offer advantageous properties such as ship repair and ammunition replenishment, so get to those container yards while they're hot. All in all we expect this map to give you a unique space combat experience to what has gone before, as you hold and defend positions against enemy attacking vessels, dive into dizzying arrays of floating freight containers as you perilously dogfight with enemy starfighters hoping to shake them off your tail with a timely collision. Or sweat it out as you tensely await the sound of your ship's power systems coming back on line after you've just been hit by an Ion Cannon while helplessly watching that enemy vessel moving in for the kill. It is going to be a lot of fun.
Until next time,
See you on the Battlefield Troopers!