Wing Commander III - Playerís Guide Of Skipper Missiles And Other Common Headaches One of the most formidable weapon systems in the Kilrathi inventory is a Skipper missile. It possesses a tremendous warhead which enables it to destroy almost any size ship with a single hit. This includes all of the Confed fleet carriers. If it were a simple torpedo, it would be bad enough, but the Skipper possesses the ability to cloak itself, decloaking only momentarily in order to maintain its lock on a target. Although it can be blown up with normal starfighter guns (a Skipperís EM signature is not large enough to enable a missile lock), itís difficult to hit something you canít see. Thus, itís only really vulnerable when itís out of cloak. Thankfully the missile is not as fast as others in the Kilrathi inventory and this enables most starfighters to overtake it using afterburners. Taking out a Skipper missile is difficult, but not impossible. In order to ensure the ability to overtake it, a light or medium interceptor should be used. On full afterburn, a light fighter is easily twice as fast as a Skipper, and this allows the pilot to engage the missile before it reaches its target. The Skipper is a large missile, and can only be launched by Kilrathi capital ships. This is helpful since you can disregard other targets and close on the launcher vessel, perhaps even destroying it before it gets a Skipper off. If you cannot destroy the launcher vessel in time, you should still be close enough to the Skipper to destroy it before it hits home. Keep a sharp eye on the radar for missile launches (yellow dots), since it may be your first indication of a new Skipper. Ship Selection Providing you donít blow her out in the love stakes, Rachel the mechanic is happy to provide you with a default ship and weapons payload for each mission. However, itís worth checking out the loadout terminal yourself prior to flying, just to double-check her selection. Her defaults are not always ideal - on a mission involving battles with Kilrathi capital ships, for instance, the heavily-armoured Longbow, with its devastating selection of missiles and torpedoes, is whatís required to do the job. Bear in mind, however, that it is a sluggish ship and is easily outflown by, say, a Vaktoth or Sorthak class fighter. In straight dogfighting scenarios (which normally emerge from patrol missions), the best choice is the very nippy and manoeuvrable Arrow. Fighters vs Capital Ships Like the Confederation, the Kilrathiís fighter craft are incapable of extended operations in space. As a result, for deep space campaigns they operate from a mother craft. All Kilrathi ships of destroyer size or larger contain hangar bays for the storage, re-arming and resupply of Kilrathi starfighters. If you ever encounter a squadron of Kilrathi fighters in the company of a capital ship, attempt to destroy the cap ship first. This will keep it from launching additional waves of fighters after the existing waves are destroyed. The removal of the extremely power-hungry and inefficient ‘phase shieldsí means that cap ships can once again be destroyed by fighter-class weapons, but the Kilrathi have countered this by adding more armour and gun turrets. These changes have forced pilots to modify their tactics somewhat. One method to attack a heavy ship is to pick the least defended side (normally the rear), and clear it of gun turrets. After a side of a cap ship has been stripped of protection, repeated attacks on that side usually yield spectacular results. Another attack method is available when flying the Arrow and the Excalibur. The pilot will need to set a course which will intercept the cap shipís course, yet not collide. After this is done, increase speed and activate the slide function. The starfighter becomes a floating gun turret and can provide a stable firing platform while throwing off any enemy gunnerís aim. After repeated runs, the ships armour will be melted away to nothing. Both methods are made much more difficult by the presence of enemy fighters. Morale As the commander of a Confed starfighter wing, the Wing Commander is responsible not only for success in the field, but for maintaining the morale of the pilots under his command. The way a commander interacts with his personnel will affect the way they think of him, and the way they perform in the field. The wingco must also understand the way his subordinates think, since not all personalities are the same. Some personnel fly well after a kind word, but not everyone responds to the same treatment. Still, success in the field will have a profound effect on the shipís morale, as will personal sacrifice. While conversing with characters on board the TCS Victory, bear in mind that itís possible to ‘cheatí - if what you say seems to have a bad effect on the outcome of the conversation, simply play the scene again and try out the other choice. Not really in the spirit of things, but advisable if youíre dead set on winning. And who isnít?