An aerial fortress and deployment station (known more simply as an aerial fortress, or 'airfort') is a base of operations for a group of battlesuits. Aerial fortresses must also have a ship capable of transporting to the fortress to a mission area.
You can purchase an aerial fortress at any capital planet. The ship which can transport a fortress is classes as a "mule," and must be found elsewhere.
EQUIPPING AN AERIAL FORTRESS
First of all, you do not need your own aerial fortress, particularly if you're just starting out. There are probably a handful of aerial fortresses already owned by people in your alliance, and early on you will just be joining other pilots on one of these.
When or if the time does come to purchase your own aerial fortress, you can do so at the same facility where you purchased your battlesuit. You must already own a fortress-transporting ship in order to purchase a fortress.
There are some things you must buy in order to prepare your aerial fortress for combat.
- Synthesis supplies: An aerial fortress will synthesize all battlesuit ammunition from this as needed, so make sure you have plenty on board.
- Ammunition: Your fortress will often have to fight off defenders as it approaches a mission site. Its weapons require ammunition.
- Vehicles: If you're going to be performing more dangerous missions, you will often want surface assault vehicles and fliers on your fortress. Don't forget the ammunition that goes with them.
- Other supplies: Other items, like demolition charges, are quite good to have on board.
One thing you do not have to supply are battlesuits. Pilots will all bring their own when they board your aerial fortress.
DESCENDING TO A MISSION AREA
Once you have found a planet, space station, or other structure that can be attacked, you must move an aerial fortress to it with the help of a fortress-transporting ship (for instance, the Masterson Mule transport).
Once there, move into the aerial fortress's control room and type DESCEND
At many locations, your fortress will be attacked as it descends! Fortunately, it has a starboard and port turret that can fend off attackers.
Weapons at each turret are:
- Lasers: For firing on targets alongside the fortress.
- Missile rear/forward: For firing on targets ahead of or behind the fortress.
- Grapeshot rear/forward: More of a passive defense that your target may fly into as it moves.
You must fight off your attackers by successfully keeping track of their position and firing weapons as appropriate from the correct turret.
As the aerial fortress takes damage, someone aboard should go into its engineering room and type REPAIR
. Repairs will be ongoing as long as this room remains manned.
ARRIVING AT A MISSION AREA
Once you are at a mission area, the first thing you will probably want to do is type REMOTE
. This will send your airfort transport off to an adjacent sector where it is hopefully less likely to be disturbed.
Next, type SCAN
. Your fortress's computer will analyze the situation provide you with one or more missions. On planets, your fortress will take time to move to the next mission.
FINISHING A MISSION
Once all battlesuits have launched and are back aboard, someone should type CLEAR
to return them to storage. The fortress will also set about repairing them.
ONTO THE NEXT MISSION
Often the attack is over with the completion of a single mission. Operations on planets, however, are often much more complex. Return to the fortress control room and type SCAN
once again to pick another mission.
LEAVING THE MISSION AREA
Once operations have concluded or you're done for the day, type REMOTE
again to call back your fortress's transport. Once it has arrived, type ASCEND
to return your fortress to the transport.
MOVING YOUR FORTRESS FROM SHIP TO SHIP
Whether you have rescued someone's fortress from a mule destruction or you just want to move it to a different ship, the process is relatively simple. Have both ships involved on the landing pad, then go to the place where you buy aerial fortresses. Use the STORE
commands to move it around.