So I'm trying to practice Chasing Shadows in Silent Threat: Reborn for this weekend's stream, and I have to say that it seems like a very unforgiving mission. So obviously, I'm trying to narrow down every little detail and find the best strategy to improve my chances of success, and I couldn't help but notice a detail at the very beginning of the mission which shapes the entire rest of the mission. Consider this my first real complaint about an otherwise outstanding campaign.
When you arrive, Vargi wing (the Zeus bombers) start at a RANDOM location from your ship. Their orientation relative to the PVD Hope, as well as their DISTANCE can be anywhere between 5 o'clock and 2 o'clock, putting them far outside the field of engagement but with an advantageous approach to the Hope, or directly behind the Vidar. Likewise, in the former, they are ~4500 meters out, while in the latter, they are ~2200 meters out. This introduces a ridiculous level of variance, and I only noticed this because upon IMMEDIATELY issuing an All Fighters, Engage Enemy command on one of my attempts, the entirety of Vargi wing was wiped out by Beta wing in literal seconds. I could not figure out why, until I noticed that during one of these "lucky" runs, Beta in Hercs would dump their entire missile payload upon Vargi and obliterate them before they could launch a single missile, giving the Hope a 5% HP advantage compared to other runs.
Personally, I like consistency in my missions, but I can accept some variance when you're not already juggling 50 balls in the air. Doing this on Medium (as with all of my playthroughs), and having to maintain the blockade, not get shredded by their fighter support, and wipe out incoming bombs and bomber wings to keep the Hope alive, WHILE also in a miserable pre-determined loadout on account of it being a Scramble mission... it's incredibly frustrating. I'm going to keep banging my head against this wall since I have a stream on Sunday and I'd like to give a decent performance. I've already sacrificed a few perfect missions in my plathroughs thus far trying not to keep the audience groaning through 20 attempts 2 hours later of a single mission, but this one is really chuffing me.