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  Firebird Squadron Commander report #18 (02/05/2021)
 
This report was submitted by CMDR-WARD/COL Stryker/Firebird/Wing X/ISDII Challenge


 
FIREBIRD SQUADRON WSR
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Firebird PatchFIREBIRD SQUADRON WSR #18 (6-FEB-29 ABY)Firebird Patch

FROM: Colonel Stryker, Squadron Commander
TO: LC Denys Elara
CC: HA Anahorn Dempsey, Firebird Squadron
DATE SUBMITTED: February 6, 29 ABY

Firebird PatchFROM STRYKER'S DESKFirebird Patch

Chapter 1

Eight X-Wings and two Y-Wings, each proudly bearing the colours of Firebird Squadron, exited Hyperspace at the coordinates the attack on the Retribution and Audacity had taken place; the two ships were still adrift, the ships assigned to salvage them and tow them to repair bases still several days away. Even from hundreds of kilometres away, the damage looked extensive; the Retribution’s Bridge appeared to be open to vacuum, and several large breaches were visible in the superstructure of her dorsal hull – whatever had hit her had hit her hard, like a volley of Proton Torpedoes from an assailant she had been unprepared for. The Audacity was similarly damaged, her engine bays blasted into wreckage and her weakly-armoured hangar bay blown out from inside by secondary explosions. Stryker was no engineer, but even his limited knowledge told him that the ships would be in drydock for months before they would be spaceworthy again.

[I have sensor contacts ahead, over two dozen.]

The crackling voice of the recently-promoted Commander Travis Cook echoed in his headset, and Stryker shifted uncomfortably in his ejection seat; the presence of interlopers would make their investigation more difficult, especially if they were scavengers out looking for an easy score. The Victory-class design might be fifty years old, but the technology carried within was still military-grade and would make your average pirate or smuggler a hundred times more deadly if it were to fall into the wrong hands.

[Unidentified vessels, you are in restricted space. Power down your vessels and prepare to be boarded.]

The voice was unknown to Stryker but it was clipped, Imperial, and conveyed an implicit threat that not immediately complying was to mean death. In a way, this was both better and worse than pirates – better because the situation might be able to be defused by declaring his identity and orders, worse because if it wasn’t, they would be fighting pilots with training and experience on a par with their own and, more than likely, in superior craft- his pilots were some of the finest in the fleet but he didn’t rate three-against-one odds in X-Wings and Y-Wings against Defenders…

[I’m reading Kawolski IFF signatures on the inbounds; look like Gunboats and Avengers.]

That made it Stelek and Zlatan squadrons, neither of which Stryker had any experience with or personal knowledge of. Still, firing upon fellow Imperial pilots was not how Stryker wanted to start his investigation.

“Incoming fighters, this is Colonel Stryker of the Star Destroyer Challenge. Stand down. We are here under orders from the Security Office.”

The response was Sparky shrilling warning that multiple ships were painting him with missile locks, and would be in firing range in less than ten seconds. Even with the upgraded engines of the Firebird craft, they wouldn’t outrun the incoming Avengers or the missiles they were about to fire. With a sigh, Stryker switched frequency back to the squadron.

“Lock S-Foils in attack position; they aren’t our enemies, so fire to disable.”

As the formation broke into combat formation, with four X-Wings and a Y-Wing per flight, Stryker diverted power to his front shields and targeted the nearest ship; aiming for a classic disabling shot by severing one of the incoming Avenger’s wings from the main body. As the range decreased, his finger hovered over the trigger, waiting to see who would flinch first…

The lead TIEs fired first, a dozen Concussions Missiles lancing out ahead of the agile craft as they closed, screaming in on the less agile X-Wings and Y-Wings. Fortunately this was something the Firebird pilots had become very experienced with in recent months; Stryker, Ricaud and Travis opened fire almost as one, the others a fraction of a second later, laser and Ion Cannon fire scything through the blackness to intercept and destroy the incoming warheads – those that were not destroyed by direct hits were immolated by the explosions of their brethren. Stray blasts grazed the shields of the incoming Avengers, who, disturbed by the unflinching advance of their targets, scattered and left the slower Gunboats in the line of fire. The Gunboats unleashed a powerful but brief barrage of missiles and cannon-fire before their formation also scattered, tagging the craft of the less-experienced pilots SkyHigh and Bowman; leaving their X-Wings adrift and without power. NiksaVel and Travis in the bulky Y-Wings formed a protective shield for the disabled craft, blasting away at whatever came close with their lasers and Ion Cannon turrets.

In the cockpit of his X-Wing, Stryker grunted with effort as he tried to keep pace with the fleeing Avenger, marked by its transponder as belonging to the squadron’s commander. The range was good but the Avenger pilot was just slippery enough to evade presenting a good solution, right up until he snap-rolled to avoid colliding with a Gunboat that had just been disabled by one of the Y-Wings. Four scarlet bolts of energy pierced the Avenger’s engine assembly one after the other, and the Avenger began to tumble uncontrolled through space. Elsewhere, similar events were occurring and the number of damaged or disabled craft began to climb in Firebird’s favour until broadcasts of surrender began to crackle through the speakers in his headset – with both squadron leaders out of the fight, the remaining pilots weren’t about to throw their lives away against pilots who had much more recent combat experience.

With hostilities ended, Firebird’s support U-Wings arrived; loaded with technicians, they would analyse any surviving sensor data on both derelicts to determine whether Shadow Squadron had been responsible for the attack, and where they had gone afterwards. Even if Shadow Squadron had been innocent, they’d gone dark and were not responding to orders to return, and the TIE Corps could not afford the Shadow-class Y-Wing falling into the wrong hands – Stryker’s orders were very clear when it came to preserving the secrecy of the design...

With the data downloaded, the U-Wings took the disabled X-Wings under tow and dropped distress beacons as the squadron hypered out of the system; forces from the Kawolski would respond to the call and retrieve their disabled craft, and hopefully would be smart enough to stay out of Firebird’s way in the future…

Firebird PatchSQUADRON NEWSFirebird Patch
MSEs have been submitted for review, of the currently-active player base that isn't on leave or brand new in the last week, most of you are getting something shiny to add to your uniform. Well done.

Flight of the Firebirds: Shadowhunters, aka the February narrative campaign, has begun! Chapter 1 of the story was, as you have read, a success. There was some fierce multiplayer competition, with Woody edging Ricaud for top spot by a mere 15pts. A little lacking in the Single Player and Other categories, however, with three and four entries respectively (including myself). Chapter 2 of the story will be e-mailed to you shortly. Your new challenges are as follows:
SP: BoP-Free 21; highest score in BSF form.
MP: Star Conflict (all modes) and Squadrons (Dogfight): Helping Hand - Highest number of Assists.
Other: Tetris: Score of 5,000 or more.

TIE Corps in Battle (TCiB) has returned for another season. Last year we didn't participate at all, which I'd like to see change this year - we demonstrated our worth to the other Challenge squadrons in November, and we're demonstrating our MP capabilities in the Chalquilla Cup, it's time to show that we've got SP players as well - if nothing else, it's more competition points for the MSE charts! Assignments for February: TIE-TC #223, XvT-TC #48, and XWA-TC #42.

Finally, and perhaps the most exciting news, is that uniform wings now acknowledge MP prestige! Rather than only tallying SP FCHG points as has been the norm in recent years, the new system goes back to the old ways; adding all cumulative points (FCHG, Combat Rating, PvE Rating) together and assigning a value based on that. The wings for the first 20 Echelons are the old FCHG wings and follow the same scoring system, while a new 21st Echelon has been created for those with 5,000 cumulative points or more - every pilot who has already achieved this is a TIE Corps legend (including Brucmack, Zosite, our own Woody and Dempsey), and I look forward to seeing who is added next!
Firebird PatchSQUADRON ACTIVITYFirebird Patch
Callsign Echelon
Rating
SP MP
(PvP)
MP
(PvE)
Comms Competitions IU Medals Other
1-1 COL Stryker
13th
(1,036 pts)
XWA-F139.
XvT-TC48
EABF2,
SWS

X
Shadowhunters,
Chalquilla Cup, TCiB

MoC
Wiki & WARD stuff
Uniform
1-2 GN Jarek La'an

15th
(1,859 pts)

SC

X
Shadowhunters

MoC
COMM stuff
1-3 GN Elwood the Brave

21st
(43,820 pts)


SC
X


MoC
CA:TO
& DGM stuff
1-4 COL Ricaud

10th
(468 pts)

SWS

X
Shadowhunters,
Chalquilla Cup

MoC
Uniform
2-1 LCM Turel

9th
(346 pts)



X


MoC
Uniform
2-2 LT Ein Bowman

2nd
(33 pts)








2-3 MAJ Jedgar
11th
(745 pts)
XWA-F139
SWS

X
Shadowhunters,
Chalquilla Cup

MoC

2-4 LCM SkyHigh

4th
(80 pts)



X


MoC
On Leave
3-1 CM TI-40026
10th
(440 pts)

SWS

X
Shadowhunters,
Chalquilla Cup

MoC

3-2 SL Golf
None
(0 pts)








3-3 VACANT









3-4 COL NiksaVel

11th
(525 pts)
XWA-F139 SWS

X
Shadowhunters,
Chalquilla Cup

MoC


Firebird PatchSQUADRON EVENTSFirebird Patch

Firebird Squadron Training: Every two weeks, Firebird will assemble for Multiplayer Training! Star Wars Squadrons, EA Battlefront 2, and others; let's try to get full flights working together!

Flight of the Firebirds (Shadowhunters): Narrative campaign starring Firebird Squadron, story progresses each week. Challenges issued to squadron every Saturday in report, with rounds concluding every Friday.

Chalquilla Cup: 3v3 Multiplayer event using Star Wars Squadrons. Match pairings and results can be found here.

TIE Corps in Battle (TCiB): The TCCOM's High Score Hunt, one battle each from TIE, XvT, and XWA will be assigned monthly.

Firebird PatchCLOSING COMMENTSFirebird Patch
I'm very pleased with how Firebird has done so far both in the Chalqulla Cup, where even the team's losses have been hard-fought, and in round 1 of the Shadowhunters campaign. Roughly 2/3 of the squadron participated in the Multiplayer portion, but we saw less interest in the Singleplayer and Other portions.

I know we were founded on the back of Squadrons so we're predominantly a Multiplayer unit, but I'd like to see us dipping our toes into Singleplayer a little more, especially with TCiB now restarting - this is not only important for Firebird pride, but also the pride of the Challenge - we've got some of the most active squadrons in the TIE Corps, it would be a shame if we didn't make a good showing!

COL Stryker
CMDR-WARD / COL Stryker / Firebird / Wing X / ISDII Challenge