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Neo-Terran Front Guidelines

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Written by Su-Tehp

Most of these missions could work for either the NTF or the GTVA. Just remember that a GTVA mission is FORBIDDEN to destroy escape pods, as this would be a violation of BETAC. When scripting your missions, remember that the GTVA NEVER fires on defenseless pods or on civilian vessels. Of course, as the Neo-Terran Front does not recognize BETAC, they don't have this restriction.

This isn't a complete list (obviously). If you think up something that doesn't fall exactly under this list, don't worry. These are just guidelines to help you brainstorm mission plots. If you come up with something different, go ahead and submit it anyway. Here at FRED Zone, we judge every mission on its own merits. :D

Destroyer Defense: This is a simple mission: guard a destroyer from hostile attack. (One possibility for an NTF mission would be to defend the NTD Repulse during a battle in Epsilon Pegasi. Obviously, this would have to occur before the battle where the Repulse is destroyed. This should occur early in the NTF-GTVA War, before the start of the FS2 single campaign.)

Destroyer Attack: As above, but this time the pilots are flying bombers to attack an enemy destroyer. 

Escort mission: The pilots' job is to escort a valuable ship or ships until either the ship(s) can jump out or until a rendezvous with another ship(s) occurs.

Supply raid: This can be one of two things: a) an attack on a supply base, complete with containers and mines and perhaps some fighters guarding the base, or b) an attack on a convoy of freighters and transports.

Strike: This is a straightforward mission: the pilots' job is to assist with an attack on an enemy ship or ships. The targets can include enemy cruisers, enemy destroyers (which would occur rarely because destroyers are so well defended) or a supply or refugee convoy. (A good NTF mission would be to attack a civilian convoy loaded with Vasudans. These could be Vasudan freighters and transports escorted by Vasudan fighters. Also, the NTF has
been known to attack Terran civilian ships as well.)

Rescue: A friendly ship is under threat of attack and the pilots are sent in to defend the ship until a rescue transport can be sent.

Guidelines for NTF Missions

Fighters and Bombers:

These are the ONLY allowable fighters to be used when making NTF-GTVA historical missions, due to the fact that the more advanced fighters had not been developed until later in the FS2 single campaign:

GTF Hercules
GTF Hercules II
GTF Myrmidon
GTF Ulysses
GTF Loki
GTB Ursa
GTB Zeus
GTB Medusa

Due to historical restraints, the following fighters and bombers are NOT permitted for use in NTF-GTVA historical missions for the simple reason that they had not been developed yet. If I see the following fighters or bombers in an historical mission, I will ask you to change them to the above fighters and bombers. If you, the mission designer, refuse to change the ships to the above recommendations, I will exercise my veto power as the storyline moderator and inform Lonestar that your mission is not appropriate for validation. While I hate to be so heavy-handed about this (it does not come naturally to me, believe you me), I refuse to allow more missions like Cold Sword to be validated. (Storywise, Cold Sword was an utter travesty IMHO.) While I have no wish to compromise playability, I must remain true to the FS history so that the validated missions make sense in the overall storyline. I am giving you these guidelines so that you know ahead of time what you can and cannot do. Thus, it will be easier to make editing changes to the mission if the playability issues are minimized. And so, here are the fighters and bombers that should NOT be used for NTF-GTVA historical missions that occur before the start of FS2:

GTF Erinyes
GTF Ares
GTF Pegasus (The NTF with stealth fighters? That NEVER happened!)
GTB Artemis
GTB Boanerges

If your missions occurred before the start of FS2, NONE of these ships should be in the missions either on the GTVA or the NTF, as they had not been developed yet.

If your mission occurs sometime during the FS2 single campaign, these ships MAY be allowable to fly for the GTVA, depending on when your mission occurs in the campaign. (I have published a FreeSpace timeline that also includes
fighter/bomber ship development.) NONE of these ships should be on the NTF side AT ALL. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I allow any of these ships to fly for the NTF as the NTF never developed or captured any of these ships.

Capital Ships:

I was mulling over whether the NTF had access to certain ships, namely the Charybdis comm ships and the Hippocrates medical ships. Considering that these ships had already been developed when the NTF Rebellion started (I'm guessing this, but I think it's a reasonable guess), I will not restrict any capital ships from the NTF arsenal. If you want to use the Charybdis or the Hippocrates as NTF ships, that shouldn't be a problem. The Hippocrates, in particular is already several years old by the time of FS2; it had been built during the Post-Reconstruction period just after the Great War.

So, to sum up, there are no capital ship restrictions for the NTF.

Weapons Restrictions: 

I don't want to make too many restrictions here because it might compromise playability. So, the only requirement I want to make is that the Prometheus S should NOT be used before the GTVA enters the nebula. Earth was the only place that could manufacture the original Prometheus, so when contact with Earth was lost (when the Lucifer was destroyed), the GTVA created the Prometheus R (a weaker retrofit version of the Prometheus). It was only when the GTVA entered the nebula that they were able to collect the nebular gas and restart production of the Prometheus S. So, if your mission occurs before the fall of the NTF at Epsilon Pegasi (when the Prometheus S was first re-deployed), you should not allow the Prometheus S to be on the weapons menu. This is a hard detail to remember (I forget it myself sometimes) but I'll be making sure of the timeline restrictions. These guidelines are as much for me as for you. (Hey, SOMEBODY'S gotta cover your backs! :D )

Also, I mentioned this before in another post but I want to mention it again: I WILL NOT ALLOW ANY NTF MISSION WHERE THE NTF IS ABLE TO SELECT HELIOS BOMBS. NONE! AT ALL! EVER! The NTF never was able to develop the Helios and the GTVA kept all of its Helios bombs well accounted for, so the NTF NEVER got its hands on ANY Helios bombs. This goes double for the big-ass Meson bomb (duh). The NTF did just fine for 18 months with only the Cyclops bombs. 

Yes, Operation Robin Hood is an exception to the Helios rule, but I wasn't able to inspect this mission as well as I should have (law school keeps me busy). Besides, on some editing changes I wanted, Kosh (as was his right as moderator) overruled me. Kosh didn't have these guidelines to work from at that time, either. These guidelines are here to prevent these issues from happening again.

FRED mission design notes for the NTF Iceni: 

I noticed something while re-examining the briefings in the single campaign. When the GTVA has a briefing involving the NTF Iceni, the Iceni icon is a hostile (red) Deimos-corvette icon. But in the SOC missions while you are flying for the NTF, the Iceni appears as a friendly (green) destroyer icon. Keep this in mind if and when you make missions involving the Iceni. Keep in mind also that it was NOT deployed before the second mission in the single campaign, so NO historical missions that occur before the start of FS2 should have the Iceni in it (because it hadn't been launched yet). 

The NTF Iceni was a unique ship, meaning there was ONLY ONE NTF Iceni in the entire FS2 campaign. If I see any missions that are supposed to occur during the FS2 campaign that have an Iceni-class ship with a different name, I WILL VETO IT AUTOMATICALLY. DURING THE FS2 CAMPAIGN, THERE WAS ONLY ONE ICENI AND IT WAS BUILT BY BOSCH. Any missions that try to have a second Iceni during this same era will NOT be permitted for validation, as this would be a HUGE inconsistency with the FS history. If you design a mission that occurs AFTER the FS2 campaign, I'll judge it on a case-by-case basis, but you'd better have a DAMN GOOD rationale for having a second Iceni. 

(Shameless Plug time: for all of you who want to design a mission that occurs after FS2, take a look at Guardian's campaign titled "Without Remorse." It's well written and we at FRED Zone MIGHT be adopting it as a sort of semi-official future timeline for FreeSpace [but, as always, the final decision on this is up to Lonestar]. So if story incompatibility issues arise with your mission, we could put your story in this era in order to make it worthy of validation. But we're already having issues with a mission that has an Iceni-class ship, so be VERY careful of your mission story if it involves an Iceni ship.) 

In order to minimize story conflicts here's what we'll do: if you have a mission idea that involves the NTF Iceni (or an Iceni-class ship), post your idea here on the FREDZone Story Forum BEFORE you begin working on the mission. If your Iceni idea is not FS story compatible, I'd prefer you not waste time working on a mission that can't be validated. But once I read your post and approve the story idea, you'll get the green light to begin working on the mission in FRED2. 

For the record, the NTF Iceni was never built by the GTVA; Bosch built it inside a large asteroid in the Deneb asteroid field so he could examine the Ancient archaeological digs at Deneb in relative peace and quiet. Remember that asteroid base (NTF Boadicea) in the second single-player mission? Construction on the NTF Iceni began once Bosch managed to capture the Deneb system, which occurred very early in the NTF-GTVA War. Bosch didn't deploy the Iceni until almost 18 months after the beginning of the war. All this is explained in my timeline, so look at that, too.

If you wish to make a mission involving the original Iceni, this IS permissible, but you'll have very little wiggle room storywise as the Iceni was only deployed in the beginning of the FS2 single campaign and was destroyed before the end of the campaign. Look at the timeline I set up and see if your Iceni idea is in line with that. Let me know what your idea involving the Iceni is and I'll judge it on a case-by-case basis to see if it is FS history compatible.