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Hopelessly stuck on mission 14 "Chasing Shadows" ? (Figured out a trick)


I've made it through nearly all of FSport and Silent Threat Reborn on hard difficulty, but now, on chasing shadows - I find myself having it set to very easy after failing a dozen times or so on my usual difficulty, and I still can't complete this mission no matter how hard I try.

Now, the main issue isn't me dying, I survive every time to see the Hope die.

I've of course at this point decided to ignore every objective except to protect the hope, and generally i have commanded every fighter to defend it.  Except for when there is a general enemy presence, for short periods, during which I'll give a general engage command.  To give everyone a chance to clear the untargetable Lokis and other non-bomber waves.

I make sure to use B to target bombs, then bombers.  I desperately chase down every last one but still, time and time again I fail.

I got these games for christmas as a child, so the general 90'sish difficulty is in my blood.  But I'm just feeling at a total loss over this.  I have no idea what I'm not doing.

I can't think of any worse mission to get forced into not only not choosing the loadouts, but also to get forced to use the leech (which I do like and use elsewhere) But this mission is clearly PERFECT for the EMP warhead since that can be used to temporarily delay launching of warheads - which could be critical here, since bombers warp in already in lock on range here.

Ugh I'm just frustrated and unsure of how to proceed.  Any advice humbly accepted.


I answered my own question, but in a way I haven't seen mentioned in any tips or on the community walkthrough.

For Mission 14 Chasing Shadows, if you struggle


This prevents any bombers from coming to attack them, thus freeing up the rest of your available resources to focus on protecting the hope.

I was entirely focused on the hope the entire time, so I failed to stop the blockade running freighters however doing this also will make doing that A LOT easier as well.

Finally, at the end when the Hope warps out, DONT LEAVE.

Now that the hope is gone and has been replaced with a fresh Orion class (Bastion?) The Soyakaze, I think. ANYWAY now that that the fresh destroyer is here, NOW scan the Vasudan wreckage in order to trigger bomber spawns targeting said wreckage.

This way you can complete each of the two bomber protection objectives at completely separate times, and devote your full focus to each.

Like I said, I didn't see this mentioned on the walkthrough or on any post. (People did say to ignore other objectives, but the nuance of what exactly that entails wasn't there.  i had been scanning the vasudan wreckage when cued, and then not trying too hard to protect it, but the result was that my fellow fighters were still becoming stretched too thin)

Excuse all the responding to myself, I hope this helps someone.

Chasing Shadows is probably the single most difficult mission in ST:R due to a combination of luck and how wingman AI handles enemy targets. You have plenty of wingmen in the mission, but you also have a wealth of hostiles--I think you can end up with 20 or 30 kills if you fly aggressively--and your wingmen get so bogged down in attacking fighters and enemy transports that they forget to prioritize the defense of the Hope. The Medusa bombers are by far the biggest threat to the survival of the Hope, but if they jump in while your wingmen are busy with other targets, they won't break off to attack the bombers unless you order them to. This often results in a situation where you have to fly bomber defense single-handedly, which can't be done realistically because there are too many bombers and each Medusa can take a lot of punishment.

The way you've completed the mission is effectively a cheat that exploits how the scripting works in order to give you fewer targets to engage. Not pointing any fingers, but the mission can be completed "normally," and in a way that allows you to complete all of your objectives. If you should decide to rerun the mission through the tech room, here are some tips that might make things run a little more smoothly:

- Don't use your leech cannon, as it consumes too much energy and inflicts no damage. Limit yourself to the Prometheus.

- Rearm yourself frequently, at least until the Medusas begin jumping in. Missiles will help you make short work of the Zeus bombers and Valkyries. (You can ignore the Lokis, for the most part, as your wingmen will usually be able to handle them.)

- When the mission begins, order your wingmen to engage all targets.

- Immediately go after the Zeus bombers making a run against the Hope. Once they're dealt with, immediately start scanning the Vasudan cruisers; don't wait for orders to do so. Let your wingmen handle the Leviathan cruiser.

- The first Zeus attack wings should begin arriving shortly after you finish scanning the third transport. Shoot them down quickly and rearm if you need to.

- When the enemy transports and freighters start jumping in, go after the Valkyries first so they won't harass your wingmen. You can target the transports and freighters afterward. Don't spare your missiles, as you can still rearm at this point.

- It's in your best interests to protect the Vasudan cruisers, as they will continue firing upon enemy targets even once they have been evacuated, but their survival is not required; your secondary objective is tied to the medical transports, not the cruisers, and once they've jumped out, you can let Zeus bombers destroy the cruisers if they're taking up too much of your time.

- Once the Medusa bombers begin jumping in, order all of your remaining wingmen to defend the Hope. Prioritize destroying these bombers at all times; you will no longer be able to rearm yourself because the bomber wings will jump in too quickly for you to replenish your missiles.

- Once your wingmen are ordered to defend the Hope, they will continue to engage enemy ships that they deem a threat to it, including the freighters and transports. If there are other enemy targets on the field when the Medusas arrive, it may be necessary for you to manually order your wingmen to attack them. This can potentially cost you the blockade objective, but as you've discovered, the bombers will simply destroy the Hope if they aren't cut down quickly.

- Continue to run bomber defense until the Hope jumps out.

- You can jump out as soon as the Orion arrives, or you can stick around a little longer to hear some extra snippets of dialogue and help the destroyer's fighter escort take out the Lokis that jump in. After you've destroyed several wings, you'll receive an order to return to base.


--- Quote from: fergrim on December 01, 2021, 01:09:17 am ---IGNORE ENTIRELY THE "WRECKED" Vasudan ships.  This means DON'T SCAN THEM.

This prevents any bombers from coming to attack them, thus freeing up the rest of your available resources to focus on protecting the hope.
--- End quote ---

Well done figuring this out. :yes:  Certain mission sequence cues can be exploited this way.

The main problem this mission is so difficult, however, is due to inadvertent balance changes over the history of FSO.  We hope to fix them, but it's been difficult to track down the root cause.


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