Tactical Operations Briefing: TOD 3 Operation 13

Attack Death Star Surface

Somebody's gotta do the dirty work on the surface of this beast before a run at the trench can be made, so it might as well be you!

This mission can be a pain for those who have never seen it, but if you've flown it before, it can provide a good test of your stamina (not to mention all the bonus points you get for clearing out everything you see on the surface).

Since your wingman's likely to be toast by the end of this mission anyway, you might as well send him after something that can take you out with a couple of well-placed shots. In this mission, these would be the T/Bs...target one of them, give your wing attack orders, and say your prayers for him.

Don't commiserate your friend's fate for too long though...you've got more important work to do, namely taking out the hangar ports so the Death Star doesn't keep launching TIEs after you. The good news is that the closest CON (hangar port) to your starting position is where your biggest threat, those pesky Bombers, are launched from. Target that one and head for it using an ELS of 100/100/50, Wotan-Weaving and rolling to avoid fire from the T/Fs and dumping lasers to shields and rebalancing if needed. Arm your torpedoes and get a lock on the CON; three torps will nuke it completely, but you must be careful that you attack it from almost right on top of it...the ports are all placed inside of a narrow trench and your torps may wind up hitting the edge of the trench instead of the CON unless you're careful. I recommend setting your Death Star surface detail level to at least 4 lights so you can get a decent view of the trench when you're within weapons range.

Once that CON is out of the way, dogfight until you are fairly clear (making the T/B's your priority...there are only 2 to begin with and those will be the only ones once the 1st CON is out of the way). The T/Fs will retreat back to their hangar ports once they're hull-damaged, so you will want to spare one in each group if you wish to make your life easier. When clear, target the closest remaining CON and nuke it with your remaining torps.

After this second CON is out of the way, you may then dogfight the remaining T/Fs to the death as you make your way to the remaining CONs. Since you've expended all of your torps at this point, you must make strafing laser passes at each of the CONs until destroyed, dogfighting any T/Fs when you need to recharge and clearing out some of the turbolaser towers surrounding the CONs to lessen your exposure to their fire during subsequent passes.

And What About Those Laser Towers?

There are two types of towers...one type of laser towers will appear as obelisk-shaped structures and may be targeted anywhere on their surfaces. The other type will appear as spherical domes perched atop antenna-style supports and shots must be directed towards the dome portion of the structure in order to destroy this type of tower. Usually, 4 or 5 boosted laser hits will be enough to destroy a tower, while one hit by a tower will lower your shield indicator one notch.

Once the last hangar port CON has been destroyed, take out the remaining fighters and target the NAV. Set ELS to 100/100/50+ (according to your personal preference) and make your way toward the buoy. Once you are within 2.5 klicks of the NAV, blast away at the towers surrounding it...you must get every tower within the aforementioned range of the NAV in order to complete this mission. When you have done so, you may continue to make strafing passes at the towers and other buildings on the surface until you get bored or crash...preferably the former!

One last note: Use care when maneuvering near the Death Star surface...a collision with a tower or anything on the surface itself is fatal and, although you are rescued if you wreck your sled, you must refly the mission if you haven't already completed all of the mission objectives.

This can be one of the most fun-to-fly missions in the game...just be careful and keep the above tips in mind! Clear Skies and Happy Hunting!