I'm having tons of trouble with AoA Fallen Angel. I've experimented a bit with different ship/weapon loadouts on insane and very easy. Either the Orestes dies, the Lucifer drops under 12%, or I die.
What am I supposed to do? On insane the Arbiters last about 30 seconds each from the Lucifer planet beam even with perfect bomb intercept, so they contribute little damage to the mission after nuking 2-3 reactors. Lucifer engines feel pointless to target, as there's two of them and each have very large health pools (Vishnan double salvo bombs deal 9% damage. Maybe vishnan bombs just suck?). Reactors are not as tanky, but it's hard to kill them with swarms of fighters all around. Usually if I spend too much time killing fighters (I'm assuming there are infinite waves of them) the Orestes either dies or drops the Lucifer under 12%. When the lucifer jumps, most of the time it has 1.5-2 reactors still up.
I'm trying to beat the mission on Very Easy, and it's still presenting a huge challenge. Any pointers?
I've also noticed that the Demon's AAA will usually fire 4-5 beams at the same instant like a shotgun. It's a bit weird, and it absolutely shreds the Orestes fighters: sometimes they fail to kill either of the Lucifer front beams.
Edit: Okay, so best I've got is to tell all wingmen to C38, let all Vishnan cap ships die as bait, and high tail it to the Lucifer. Do as much damage as I can with bombs and the mission's over. Doesn't work on insane because bomb lock is impossible with the EMP effects... Let's see if I can get wingmen to do bombing runs properly.
Edit2: So I guess Insane wasn't all that bad once I knew what I was doing. My strategy (not sure if this is what's intended): All wingmen and self in the fast/light fighter. Beeline Lucifer. Kill dragons and manticores when they engage. Ignore everything else. Friendly ships outnumber enemies, so they'll tank/evade damage while the rest help you kill reactors. Focus fire C34 down the reactors. Who knew the primaries did so much subsystem damage.
Some new impressions:
WiH is even better than I remembered. Post meridian was a glorious experience that raised the hairs on my neck. The plunder had me pulling all my hair out.
I think the new paveway design is bad. It basically introduces a dice roll into its damage. I insta restart when my first 6 paveways fail to kill the spinal beams, even though I do the exact same shots from the same spot and angle of attack. A better way to balance them may be to lower their carrying capacity from 6 to 4, forcing the player to ration subsystem sniping, but guaranteeing subsystem damage.
Additionally, the Hyperion cruisers are really tough to deal with now. They feel tankier than karunas and their turrets are placed close to ledges in the hull, severely limiting how well AI shoot them. Sniping with paveways usually fails, and getting in range makes you die from AAA spam you can't dodge. I had to beat it on very easy (feels like God mode, nothing aggros on you and nothing does damage) after 7 tries, and the Indus and Yangtze were still under 25 percent each.
Guess I will need to git gud too. I thought I might be fine given how I've played the rest of wih on insane up to this point with less than 2 tries per mission, but this one is especially hard. I actually wonder though if difficulty is tied to framerate. I got a new computer that runs wih at locked 120 fps, so maybe beams are doing more damage on my computer than on a weaker one.