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I have Blue (crafted) Grade 2 Upgrades in every slot. I have the Power Conversion module, and I'm using it to increase my firepower, since my own ship isn't taking any damage on this run.

I cannot keep this damned escort alive. Every single time, around the two minute mark, just as he clears the narrow gap in the asteroids, he goes from 80% health to 20% and after that it's game over pretty quickly, I can't keep him up for the last minute.

Is there some secret trick I'm missing here? It's far harder than any other space combat mission I've flown.

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Are you using your missiles? –  svick Jan 3 '12 at 13:36
    
All 48 of them, yes. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Jan 3 '12 at 14:26
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It sounds like this is the Imperial equivalent of the Syvris Evacuation mission, which annoys the hell out of me for much the same reason. I haven't failed it yet, but it's always been far too close for comfort -- and I've got the level 3 green upgrades.

A few general tips:

  • Take out every turret you can take a potshot at. When two frigates show up simultaneously, fire a quad of missiles at one and start blasting the other. I don't know if blowing up their engines helps, but I can't see it hurt in any way.

  • Pay close attention during the asteroid canyon dive. You get a split second's worth of warning when a large bunch of fighters come in from ahead of you before a dive in the path takes them out of your firing arc and gives them a couple of seconds of unopposed fire at the shuttle. If you're quick you can get a missile lock on half of them and take them off the field before they start chopping away the shuttle's health.

  • That bit of canyon run gets very confusing very fast near the end when the shuttle gets attacked from ahead, behind and from the side more or less simultaneously. Don't lose your head, just track from one target to the next as quickly as possible -- IE, change targets as soon as you've fired enough blasts at the current one to be lethal instead of waiting for it to blow. You'll need to get a feel for this.

  • In the final stretch from the canyon to the safe point the shuttle will start taking a great deal of hits. Even shooting down every turret that can take damage and every ship as soon as it crosses into your sights can't prevent it from losing nearly half its max health in that final run. It might be possible to prevent some of it by physically moving your ship in between the incoming fire and the shuttle but I'm not sure of this last one.

Hope this helps. Fly safe.

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I've completed this about 10 times now, and I've managed to reliably finish the escort with anywhere from one tiny sliver left to about 10% health left.

The key seems to be taking on the frigates early. Upgrade yourself to the 80-missile bay, and then let loose on them every chance you get.

You can ignore the early fighters over the frigates; those early fighters do very little damage to the shuttle.

Like the above poster said, when you are getting through the canyon, there is a split second where you can see the incoming fighters; use that chance to unload.

Don't worry about hitting your own shuttle. I've tested shooting at it and it causes no damage to it that I can see.

You want to completely disable at least a couple frigates before you get into the canyon, if you can. Note that while everything else on the frigate is a one-missile-hit, the central shield generators (at least I think that's what they are) will seem invulnerable — that is, they'll flash like shields. Don't give up and unload a couple more missiles into each; you'll find that they do go down like everything else. Perserverance!

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Good advice. However, shield generators don't fire at the shuttle; concentrate on the targets that do. –  Sjoerd Jan 4 '12 at 20:26
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