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The first objective of the mission is to destroy the fuel pods with torpedoes, but the pods don't seem to receive any damage from torpedoes, rockets, or primary energy guns.

The objective icon is in between the fuel pods, right in the middle of a platform they are attached to, shooting at it or anything around doesn't help.

Is this a bug, or is there some other devious something I need to do?

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If you want to answer your own question, use the "Answer your question" button, don't just put it in the body of the question. – kotekzot Jan 25 '13 at 20:38
@kotekzot Users with 1 rep can't post answer until 8 hours pass since posting the question. It's easier to move the answer from question to a community wiki answer for someone else. – user1306322 Jan 26 '13 at 0:24
I guess I'll approve for now, and we can just delete the CW answer if he wants to post it, though. – Ullallulloo Jan 26 '13 at 0:56
@user1306322 ah, I didn't know that. – kotekzot Jan 26 '13 at 1:48

The real torpedoes are not the same as those which are fired by pressing mouse button 2, and are selectable in the mission menu. They are accessed by pressing the space button, which you could have set to do something else, effectively blocking your ability to select torpedoes as secondary weapon. Remove all key bindings using the same key as torpedoes to regain that ability.

You can also cycle through your secondary weapons to choose torpedoes by pressing B.

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