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wingcommandertimewarp

Wing Commander: Time Warp

TODO: Better name.

  • “Blast from the Past” is *not* a better name.

Overview

Summary

An alternate-reality Wing Commander mission pack that pits you in WC1 fighters against WC3 fighters.

Artificial Stupidity keeps the Kilrathi from annihilating you. Kilrathi fighters have WC1-like AI and friendlies will usually outnumber them.

Objective

Help the Tiger's Claw survive in a more advanced world and conquer Kilrah in place of the disabled TCS Victory.

Story

In an alternate universe, the Tiger's Claw from WC1 jumps in time to a second alternate universe in the time of WC3. Both young and old Blairs exist, and old Blair goes crazy when he sees his old shipmates in a ship that he personally saw get blown up in a more canonical timeline. There is also friction between WC3's Admiral Tolwyn and the Claw's officers, who are not desperate enough to blow up a planet to end the war.

Background

In canon:

  • The TCS Claw was destroyed on approach the K'tithrak Mang shortly after WC1.
  • In WC3, the TCS Victory destroys the Kilrathi homeworld with a Tremblor Bomb shortly before the Kilrathi would have launched several dreadnoughts.

In these two alternate universes:

  • The TCS Victory was disabled by a Kilrathi attack before reaching Kilrah.
  • The TCS Tiger's Claw jumps into the timeline right after the Victory is disabled, and takes its place in the attack.
  • The dreadnoughts have already launched by the time the Claw attacks Kilrah.

Game World

Star Systems

System To Be Named

The system in which the TCS Victory is disabled and the Tiger's Claw appears.

Kilrah System

The system where most of the action takes place.

Retreat System To Be Named

The system where the losing track takes place, as you engage some enemies on your way back to Earth.

Sol System

The end of the losing track. The Claw charges into a line of warships that have already destroyed most of the Sol system's defenses; there is no one left to coordinate with, so they take the element of surprise while they have it. If you survive, you find that most of the Earth's major cities have been destroyed.

Confed Ships

TCS Tiger's Claw

A Bengal-class strike carrier with the offensive power of a battlecruiser and the mobility to conduct long-range missions. Now in the future, its great offensive firepower has been downgraded to merely good.

TCS Victory

A normal carrier which carries a weapon that could end the war. That was the plan (and canon) until a cloaked torpedo took out its engines (not canon) on the approach to Kilrah.

TCS Sita

A strike carrier (Jutland class?) that has been spying on the Kilrah system for several months. It gets involved when it sees another Confed strike carrier in the system come under attack, but continues to make efforts to hide its existence by giving the Kilrathi the impression that its fighters launched from the Claw.

The Sita carries Wraith fighters and upgraded Raptors. When in combat, the Sita's pilots use combined-arms tactics with the Wraiths harassing their targets and the Raptors dealing massive damage close-in and retreating to recharge their guns. The Raptors are powerful but slow, and the Wraiths protect them.

Confed Fighters

Hornet (WC1) - Killer Bee Squadron (Tiger's Claw)

Still in service? These are flown in the first few missions and quickly offloaded onto the Victory in exchange for modern fighters.

Every single Hornet would be launched in the battle against the first Dreadnought with orders to concentrate fire on capships and to harass fighters if needed but to get out of the way if anything turns towards them.

Scimitar (WC1) - Blue Devil Squadron (Tiger's Claw) - Probably Not Appearing

These were decommissioned in the Firekka campaign and should not appear in this game. My artistic vision still sees these as the first obsolete Confed fighters that the Victory encounters.

They may be replaced by Talons (WC:Priv) or Sal al-Dins (Scimitars with four mass drivers) or by a wider rollout of Rapiers as the replacement medium fighter; or we can cite “alternate universe” and throw them in anyway.

Raptor (WC1) - Star Slayer Squadron (Tiger's Claw)

Same as WC1. These heavies are now the only WC1 fighters that can stand up to the Kilrathi medium fighters on an equal footing.

Rapier (WC1) - Black Lion Squadron (Tiger's Claw)

Same as WC1. Black Lion is moved into the Killer Bees' patrol job.

Broadsword (WC2) - Lancelot Squadron (Tiger's Claw)

Same as WC2. The Claw's bombers are quickly moved onto the TCS Victory in exchange for Longbows and experienced pilots. They still are involved in the fight, using the Victory as a base from which to refuel and jump into the Kilrah system.

I made up the name; if the literature has an official name for a Claw-based bomber group it should be used instead.

Thunderbolt (WC3) - Unnamed Squadron (Victory)

The most powerful fighters were taken from the TCS Victory.

All of the Victory's fighters are too big for the Claw's facilities and need to be berthed in the bomber bays or on the launch deck itself, so the Claw took the heaviest fighters under the assumption that the Claw's fighters could fulfill the medium and light fighter roles.

Longbow (WC3) - Unnamed Squadron (Victory)

Longbows are brought on to replace the Claw's Broadswords, along with their pilots.

Excalibur (WC3) - Prototype Fighter (Victory)

The prototype is brought on board so that the Trembler Bomb can be used on Kilrah.

Arrow (WC3) - Unnamed Squadron (Victory)

These stay on the TCS Victory and no longer appear in the game.

Hellcat (WC3) - Unnamed Squadron (Victory)

These stay on the TCS Victory and no longer appear in the game.

Wraith (Sita)

The Sita's Wraiths are much like the WC Academy version. They may be minus the laser cannons. They may have better shield recovery in exchange for lower shields. They are still very fast, very big, and have high shields.

Raptor (Sita)

The Sita's Raptors have better shields, armour, and energy capacity. They lack the mine to make place for a bigger power supply, but what good did it ever do? They are all piloted by veteran Raptor pilots who swore that it was still the best Confed fighter at the time of its decommissioning. One Terran admiral was able to allocate the funds for a Raptor production facility to produce one last line of Raptors with the best armour available at the time.

Characters

Player Character

The player plays Young Blair from the Tiger's Claw.

Main Allies (Co-Pilots)

Iceman

Iceman is dead at this time in the literature, but I'm bringing him back for the story. In the victory path, he will try to use the Tremblor Bomb on Kilrah and you have the choice of helping him or stopping him.

Most Other WC1 Pilots

Many – if not most – of the familiar Tiger's Claw pilots should not be in this game because they were given histories after the Claw was destroyed, meaning they were not on it to be killed. However, I will cite Alternate Timeline to bring them all back, except for Chen who died in Secret Missions 2.

Hobbes

Hobbes's reason for turning traitor a second time is hereby retconned into him not wanting to see his home planet destroyed. It is possible (but difficult) to reach an ending where Kilrah survives, the Kilrathi still surrender, and Hobbes remains a Confed pilot.

Tolwyn may order him to stay behind on the TCS Victory, especially since his strongest defender, Old Blair, is brigged.

Most Other WC3 Pilots

Pilots from the Victory transfer over to the Claw.

Fireball

One of the pilots on the Sita. She flies a modified Raptor. She is an aggressive pilot and person who was once drummed out of the military for punching a superior officer to end a long string of insubordinate acts that outweighed her high kill count in the view of the court martial. She got back into the good graces of the military during the Battle of Earth (pre-WC3) after shooting down a Kilrathi ship in a borrowed pre-war fighter, taking a spare Hornet after being told to get a better fighter at a starbase and finding that was all they had left, and shooting down three more to rescue a wing of Sabres.

She enjoys killing in a deranged way. While Iceman is satisfied with the death of Kilrathi due to his suffering at their claws, Fireball seems to enjoy it.

Jazz and Doomsday?

They were on the TCS Austin, but they were sometimes dispatched to the Claw when it needed extra pilots.

Jazz was the traitor in WC2 and he swore to see everyone on the Claw killed. Having him involved would complicate things.

I do not think these two should be in the story.

Minor Allies (Story Characters)

Old Blair

He loses his sanity when he sees the Tiger's Claw flying around. He thinks it is one of Thrakhath's tricks and opens fire. His wingman has to talk him down, and he ends up in the Claw's brig for most of the story.

Admiral Tolwyn

From the TCS Victory. He wants to blow up Kilrah.

Colonel Halcyon.

The Wing Commander on the Tiger's Claw. He is not so happy about blowing up a planet full of civilians, even if they are Kilrathi. When the Victory's personnel come over, he has to reestablish himself as the Wing Commander of his wing's facilities on his ship.

Tiger's Claw Officers

This story introduces bridge officers in the introduction. They may not play a serious role in the story. They would be involved in the Claw's tactical planning, but you the pilot would not hear about it until you see the results at Halcyon's briefing.

Main Enemies

Prince Thrakhath

He is on one of the dreadnoughts.

Prince To Be Named

The Admiral in charge of the Home Fleet. Given that the Tiger's Claw has to rout the Kilrathi Home Fleet all by itself, this Prince's future job prospects are dim.

Missions

01 - Welcome To Whenever

The Claw launches Hornets in standard patrol formation to learn more about where you are and see if there are any enemy out there.

You have a tough fight against two or three Dralthi IVs, then return to rescue the Star Slayers from more nimble Darkets.

When you get back on board, you learn that you have lost several pilots, including Spirit.

All pilots will stay on full alert and Black Lion squadron is being geared up for immediate launch.

02 - Counterbalance

The Tiger's Claw has identified the source of the disturbingly powerful Kilrathi fighters and is launching an immediate counterattack with everything they have. Given the reports of the fighters you encountered, Halcyon doesn't want to see any more of them. The half of Black Lion Squadron that launched after you landed is already in space and on its way to engage whatever fighter screen they send. Star Slayer Squadron is to follow, with the first launch assisting Black Lion Squadron and the second escorting four Broadswords that have already launched and are on the way. The Black Lions who landed to rearm will launch next, followed by the Killer Bees.

If any Darkets escaped in the previous mission, you face an extra fighter at each engagement.

This mission is a success if two torpedoes hit the Kilrathi carrier. With four bombers, there is a good chance they will destroy it.

If you fail this mission, the Claw is destroyed by a counterstrike.

03 - The Cavalry Has Arrived

The Tiger's Claw has received a distress call from a Confederation carrier in the same system, the TCS Victory. The origin comes from the direction in which the Claw had seen a mass of fighters leave the carrier. These fighters have since returned to the site of the destroyed/disabled carrier, and are headed back to finish the job.

Halcyon apologises for asking you to fly again on such short notice.

You meet Hellcats led by WC3 pilots.

If you fail this mission and the Victory is destroyed – which is difficult to do since you will engage the enemy a ways away from it – a Kilrathi dreadnought jumps in and destroys the Claw.

04 - Toe To Toe

A modern Kilrathi destroyer is on an attack course. The Claw will fight it head-on since it is too close to run away from. They would really appreciate it if you fighters helped out.

Any damage that the Claw receives stays with it through the rest of the campaign.

05 - Mousetrap

The first Kilrathi dreadnought fleet appears. Thanks to Tolwyn's intelligence sources, the Claw and Victory have launched all fighters and bombers, with the Claw in position to attack it from the side when it jumps in. Your job is to shoot down fighters as they launch from the big guy and its support fleet.

A second Dreadnought may appear. Possibly a third. The element of surprise, the Claw's torpedoes, and the melting force of dozens of lasers should do them in. In this story line, the Kilrathi did not send all of their dreadnoughts through one jump point.

06 - Entre Nous

The Tiger's Claw jumps in and immediately engages a defense station that was in the middle of a personnel shift after celebrating the launch of the victory fleet. There is a delay of about three minutes before they launch fighters. After blowing it up, you run a standard patrol and encounter nothing.

The surviving Broadswords jump in one minute into the battle.

07 - Skirmish

All nearby Kilrathi Home Fleet ships attack the Tiger's Claw after getting the distress call from the station. Fortunately they are attacking without coordination, charging straight into battle. The Claw will be sending fighters to harass and slow down the larger ships and any escort they have while the Star Slayers destroy the corvettes and then concentrate on one larger ship at a time.

The surviving Broadswords jump in to help. They leave for the jump point when the last capital ship is destroyed.

At one of the nav points, WC3's Flash jokes that he harassed the ship too much as it explodes when you arrive.

Around the time you destroy the last cap ship, some Kilrathi light fighters appear.

When you return to the Claw, you get the message “Do Not Land” and a new nav point where you engage unescorted bombers.

08 - Sleepless Night

Halcyon apologises for sending you on a third straight patrol without any rest. The Kilrathi have begun to organize their defense and are running long-range patrols. Wipe them out.

The Claw will heading at a bearing that threatens a direct assault on Kilrah. Tactical expects the Kilrathi to move their fleet to defend the home world, and the Claw will then attack another space station whose presence restricts its movement options.

The enemy's activity and broadcasts have exposed the fleet position, but it is too far away for the Claw's fighters to engage it directly.

A minute into each of your engagements, an extra Raptor appears to help you out. It does not respond to hails.

09 - Starbase Beta

The Claw attacks the most nearby space station, dubbed Starbase Beta, to prevent its fighters from being a problem to it in the future.

If any Broadswords survived to this point, you have to go back to the entry jump point, get them, and bring them to the fight.

This starbase is better defended and sends fighters to defend itself, but a pair of friendly Raptors joins the fight.

10 - Crackdown

The Home Fleet's fighters and bombers engage you in force.

A minute into the first engagement, a Wraith/Raptor pair appears to help you out.

When you get around to the bombers, the Sita's fighters are already tearing them apart.

The Sita's fighters return to land on the Claw, lacking the fuel to immediately return to their home ship.

11 - Estoc

The Claw engages the Home Fleet.

The Sita reveals itself in a surprise attack, flanking the capitol ships. It brings any surviving Broadswords with it.

12 - Homeworld

Iceman steals the Tremblor bomb and flies down to Kilrah. You can tell him to stop or help him destroy the planet.

You get a victory of a sort if you let Iceman use the bomb.

13 - Defender of the Crown

If you did not destroy Kilrah, the Claw and Sita must fight Thrakhath's dreadnaught fleet which returned when a corvette sent news that Kilrah itself was under attack by an entire Confederation fleet. You only have two carriers and your fighter capacity is down, but he sends enough to destroy an entire fleet. This is the hardest fight in the game.

There are five endings:

  • [victory] Both Confed carriers survive
  • [victory] Tiger's Claw survives, Sita does not
  • [victory] Sita survives, Tiger's Claw does not
  • [loss] Neither Confed carrier survives
  • [loss] Neither Confed carrier survives, but Thrakhath's ship was destroyed as well. Surviving Terrans become personal pets of the Emperor for as long as you amuse him.

On victory, you all have to accept that you are stuck in the future. Everyone you knew is twenty years older.

You are also in an alternate universe. You helped this reality, but another reality is missing a Tiger's Claw.

21 - Retreat

On the loss path, the Tiger's Claw heads towards Earth and catches up to one of the dreadnought fleets. The ship is not running active scans, but tactical can tell it's there because of the Terran distress calls. You attack with everything you have and attempt to destroy it before it jumps out.

Victory only reduces the number of enemy ships in the next mission.

22 - Welcome Home

The Claw jumps into Sol. Noticing that the usual control signals are not being broadcast, the captain assumes that there are no starbases left with which to coordinate a defense. He puts the ship on a course to Earth, full speed with radio silence, to attempt to surprise the orbiting Kilrathi fleet.

You attack several nav points of large numbers of fighters and capships, with the Claw appearing behind you a short while later.

On “victory” with the Claw surviving, you get an ending where you learn that many of Earth's cities have been destroyed. The Claw's appearance “after a secret 20-year mission” inspires the outlying colonies to continue fighting. If the Claw does not survive, you float around until you eject or get blown up. If you eject, you parachute to Earth and get blown up in the bombardment of a nearby town.

Scripts

Introduction

Enigma Sector. The Tiger's Claw retreats from an aborted assault on the Kilrathi colony of K'tithrak Mang. The Claw attempts to use the gravity of the Enigma Sector's black hole to whip itself around and away from the enemy fleet, but the Kilrathi have sent fast attack craft that will catch up to the Claw before it completes the maneuver.

On a tactical display, concentric spheres show the limits of how close the Confederation and Kilrathi carriers can get to the black hole before risking becoming trapped by its gravity. The Tiger's Claw is already inside its sphere, heading on a course parallel to the black hole. Most of the Kilrathi fleet is circling the outside of its sphere, although three ships are inside the claw's sphere and ahead of the main fleet.

Telemetry Officer: “The gravity whip maneuver should put us 24,000 klicks ahead of the enemy fleet once we break the sphere of influence.”

Radar Officer: “Bad news. I'm seeing three hostile craft chasing us in, small capital, probably deep-space corvettes or light destroyers. Nothing else would have the thrust and the fuel to catch us.”

Tactical Officer: “E.T.A. before they reach us?”

Radar Officer: “It's hard to say. They are still accelerating.”

Captain: “Give me a worst-case scenario.”

Telemetry Officer: “I'll work on it.”

Tactical Officer: “Worst case, they think they can catch us or they wouldn't be coming in after us. How much acceleration can we gain by dropping unnecessary mass?”

Captain: “Most of the ship's mass is in hull and armour. We wouldn't gain much.”

The captain thinks for a moment, and pushes a button at his console.

Captain: “Captain to all hands. We will begin dumping unnecessary mass through rear cargo bays Charlie and Delta. Anything that we can restore back at the supply station should be dumped, including one-half of our food, fuel, and water, with priority for heavy items. All compartments should begin delivering replaceable heavy items to cargo bays Charlie and Delta.”

Captain: “We might not gain much, but it will be less the longer we wait.”

Col. Halcyon: “So long as we are dumping mass, we should rig a few torpedoes as mines.”

Captain: “We will have to wait until their angle of attack is close enough to behind us, but that gives Engineering time to work on the mines. Get on it.”

Tactical Officer: “Yes sir. Tactical to engineering…”

Captain: “Can we stop to fight and continue with the whip maneuver later?”'

Telemetry officer: “It would need to be a very short fight. If we stop our acceleration, we probably won't be able to escape the hole's gravity.”

Captain: “And we can't pull out without exposing ourselves to the main fleet.” He takes a moment to think. “Take us in deeper. Let's see if they'll keep chasing us.”

Telemetry Officer: “Yes sir.”

… time passes …

Radar Officer: “All three of the cats are past our mines.”

Tactical Officer: “The triggers must have failed to activate.”

Radar Officer: “They could have been confused by the chaff we hid them in.”

Telemetry Officer: “If they maintain acceleration, they will intercept us three hours after we begin the whip, plus or minus two hours.”

Captain: “We can't send fighters at them. They won't have the fuel to return to the ship.”

Col. Halcyon: “I have pilots who will do it, but I would rather not ask them to.”

Tactical Officer: “Let's turn the ship around during the whip. When they do catch us, our guns will be pointing at them.”

Telemetry Officer: “We still need to accelerate out of the sphere of influence.”

Captain: “And if we get in a torpedo fight, there is no guarantee that we'll be able to turn back around and accelerate out afterwards.”

Radar Officer: “Is it bad enough to start looking at the uncharted jump points near the event horizon?”

Captain: “Yes. How do they look?”

Radar Officer: “They're fluxing in and out of existence, but the pattern on some of them is predictable.”

{TODO: finish writing the script. They go into an unstable jump point near the event horizon using a technique never used before. I've considered reusing the “double jump” but that puts ships inside gravity wells and they're sitting next to a black hole, so they need to do something different. }

Metadata

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wingcommandertimewarp.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/27 01:47 (external edit)