I too thought the miner asteroid defence mission had lots to offer; and some here might be too quick to berate it.
If you want to develop an engrossing story, you've got to have some believable characters. Of course, when the 'characters' appear as all relatively similar ships on screen visually, you've got to use the comm chatter and other methods to flesh out each personality. When you're fighting in the thick of a dogfight, let's be honest, we miss most of the comm chatter.
These quieter misions - insights into what the everyday life for a Viper pilot of sensor sweeps, CAP picket duty and riding shotgun for Colonial One is like - gives that opportunity. Take a look at Blue Planet, which uses whole missions where you don't fire in anger to build their characters and the story.