FreeSpace 1 Tactical
From FreeSpace Wiki
Alright pilot, lets get to the basics of space combat in Descent: FreeSpace. In the deep cold of space, nobody can hear you scream, so don't get yourself killed, that's the first rule in any handbook.
If you have the choice, you should make sure you check ever aspect of your ship and wing configuration. Going with the standard loadout may get you by, but there may be better or preferred weaponry out there.
When you hit space, first thing you should check is the nearby friendly ships, your current velocity, armed weapons and configurations, and if there is any immediate threats nearby.
Protecting a friendly vessel can sometimes prove quite challenging, especially when the enemy forces outnumber you. Fortunately, you can use some things to your advantage. Order your wingmen to protect your escort target, or escort wing. The target being escorted usually has some defenses of its own, use those to your advantage. I've seen many a Basilisk splashed because escorting fighters drew the Shivan fighters into range of the bigger ships guns. If you have 2 wings to work with, this is even easier, you can usually assign one wing to escort while one engages the enemy ships at long range.
Assault missions usually come in a few flavors. If your attacking an enemy cap-ship, then you'll be wanting a bomber of some kind (usually Medusaor Ursa) and a loadout of Tsunamis or Harbingers. If your mission requires the escort of a bomber wing, then you better have a few Ulysses with Interceptors ready.
When attacking enemy cap-ships, make sure you knock out some of the turrets or the weapons subsystem before letting loose with the space bombs. Turrets on the Demon and Typhon destroyers are usually weak against fighters but do a damn good job of shooting bombs up in your face.
The HUD (Heads Up Display)
The most important interface in the entire game is your Heads Up Display, or more commonly known as HUD. The HUD used in FreeSpace is robust, giving you many options on the brightness, color, and numerous displays designed to help you during the conflict.
The Main Target Display
This helps with aiming of weapons and also gives warnings for missile locks, collisions, and other important messages.
This shows the current wings under your command. Each dot represents a fighter. All are organized into their respective wings (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon).
This display allows you to keep tabs on friendly or enemy craft that are vital to your mission objectives. It allows you to target other enemies while allowing you to check the hull strength of the other ship.
The top of this display shows your primary loadouts (cannons such as the Avenger). The bottom shows all secondary loadouts (missile weapons). All active weapons are marked with a single triangle. In the secondary display, missiles can be dual fired. When such an option is selected, a double triangle is used to mark the display.
This shows where your energy is being allotted to. When your craft is equipped with shields, this is broken into 3 bars, when there is no shields, this is shown with 2 bars. Each bar represents Guns, Shields, and Energy respectively.
Target Ship and Shields Display
This gives you vital information on the stats of a targeted ship. These include, the direction that the ship is flying in perspective to you, the hull strength, distance, target velocity, and shield strength.
Preferred GTA and PVN Hardware
Preferred Primary and Secondary Loadouts
Best Primary Weapon: Prometheus Cannon
Best/Most Compatible Primary Weapon: Avenger Cannon
Best Killing Power Gun: Banshee Cannon
Best Secondary Missile: Hornet
Best Killing Power Missile: Interceptor
Best Anti-Bomber: Phoenix V
Best Space Bomb: Harbinger