Monday, February 7, 2011

SW:EAW: Forces of Corruption - Carida

Star Wars: Empire at War - Carida
This is a hint / walkthrough for a planet in Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. The index of all our guides for Empire at War: Forces of Corruption is here.

Carida is accessible starting in Mission 15 (Baiting the Hook). You can send Defilers in to capture the planet, but it will make no difference to the special mission in space.
After the space battle for Mission 15, your Tech Level jumps from 3 to 5.

Black Market
Any units that haven't been located when you find Admiral Dalken Hol will converge on his location.

Space Battle
The special space mission over Carida in Mission 15 does not change the forces over Carida, and even if you succeed in that mission, your fleet retreats (by Tyber Zann is automatically moved immediately to the planet to which your fleet retreats).

Mission 15 Space Battle
You have to bring Bossk, but he does not appear in battle in any way that you can control or interact with.

The Hypervelocity Gun adds a sense of urgency to the battle, but it appears to fire on script rather than with the regular frequency of a Hypervelocity Gun.

The sequence of events is:
  1. Initial dialogue (you can fast forward by pressing ESC).
  2. One of four free Interceptor IV Frigates is destroyed by the Hypervelocity Gun.
  3. Tyber Zann destroys an Acclamator with the main gun of the Merciless.
  4. When Thrawn's ship, Admonitor, is heavily damaged (about 50%), there is a cutscene where Bossk leaves.
  5. When the Admonitor is critically damaged (about 25%), it hyperspaces out, the Hypervelocity Gun fires again, and mild reinforcements arrive.

You will probably lose the free Interceptor IV Frigates, but (on Hard Difficulty) can still come out with your original fleet.
I entered the battle with Tyber Zann, five Vengeance-Class Frigates, and five Marauder Corvettes. On my best play-through, there were two Interceptor IV Frigates left at the end, and the second time the Hypervelocity Gun fired, it failed to destroy the Vengeance-Class Frigate it had targeted.

At the start, I moved the free Interceptor IV Frigates ahead (but not too far ahead to be the entire focus of the Imperial fleet), the Vengeance-Class Frigates slightly behind, and left the Marauder Corvettes much farther behind. I then stopped the fleet from moving ahead and instead concentrated fire on whichever Imperial cruiser poked its nose out first. This was a way of "crossing the T".
The Tartans ahead of the Imperial fleet were taken down as quickly as possible because they would probably be sent on a fast suicide run to kill the Marauders.

When a cruiser turns to flee, let it go and hit something else. Focus on weapons so that you are continually reducing firepower directed at you.

Throughout the battle, I struggled to keep Tyber Zann's ship (Aggressor-Class Destroyer) pointed in the right direction so it could keep firing at whatever ship I was focussing on at the time -- This largely meant getting it to simply hold position, as it was very sensitive to ships in the way and would make overly wide turns to edge around.
The ion cannon part of the main guns takes out the shields, and subsequent concentrated fire on the weapon hard points eventually makes the ship turn to flee. I then try to hit the engines quickly if I can, but otherwise let the ship go. Letting the ships flee is critical as you would otherwise spend precious time trying to down it when you could be taking out weapons and forcing another ship to flee.

Watch for the Acclamators to start their run and the Imperial Star Destroyer on the left to make a rush toward your Marauders. I ended up having to retreat one Marauder, and later one Vengeance Frigate, but otherwise the line held.
You should pull back any of your larger ships before they take too much damage because one of them will likely be hit by the Hypervelocity Gun when it fires again. I tried to keep one Interceptor IV Frigate largely out of combat, but the Hypervelocity Gun did not take that bait and did not fire on it.

Against the Hypervelocity Gun, the best defense is probably to keep your frigates moving. The long pulse is three shots, and if you keep your ships moving, whichever one is targeted may get hit by anywhere from 0 to 3 of the shots -- Yes, the Hypervelocity Gun can miss (though it is unlikely to miss any of its three shots against anything bigger than a Frigate).

SW-EAW-FOC Mission 15 Battle over Carida won with full initial fleet

Land Battle
The planet has a Hypervelocity Gun and you can destroy it as part of capturing the planet before the special space battle in Mission 15, but it makes no difference there.

Carida is tricky for infantry at the river ford because they cross (and retreat) slowly in water, and there aren't any Build Pads to build Bacta Healing Tanks in ready access on the islet.

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