I’ve yet to beat them without losing my bomber and most of my crew. Everything other than flying in a straight line requires 5-6 seconds of manual input, and the “medium” missions quickly overwhelm you with things that require your rapid attention. Between the swarms of enemy fighters that you have to manually tell your gunners to engage, the objectives that require your constant attention, and the navigation that requires your manual input. If you don’t have insane reaction time you’ll be swiftly overwhelmed and with no way to automate any of these processes (simply being able to automate gunner targeting would make the game so much better). And things only get worse when you start losing crew. You can only carry 2 pieces of equipment at the start of the game, with each additional equipment rack capable of carrying only 1 piece of equipment costing most of the profit of an early mission. This wouldn’t be as large of a problem if medkits were multi-use items like the fire extinguishers, but they’re consumed on use. So if you lose more than 2 crew, they will die. And you will lose a lot of crew. Losing your bomber and most of your crew in this early stage of the game essentially forces a restart, because you won’t be able to afford to rebuy all your plane and crew upgrades which you need to even have a chance of making it back home, and you lose 80% of your experienced crew and all their abilities which are needed for more accurate shooting, or avoiding damage, or setting your own waypoints.
I understand that this is a game much in the line of FTL, but even FTL isn’t this level of hard. On the first “critical mission”, when you’re being swarmed by 16 fighters, being shot at by AA, having to open your bomb bay and arm bombs, tell your gunners to shoot the fighters ripping you apart, keep an eye out for more fighters entering the area, keep an eye out for and set the next navigation point, tell your mechanic to repair damage, wait for the perfect line up to drop your bombs, tell a crewman to heal the dead gunner, tell your gunners to reload their guns, put out fires, keep an eye on the friendly ship you have to escort, and set new navigation waypoints all at the same time, it’s impossible to keep up. Something as simple as a pause button, or the ability to automate targetting of enemies so you can focus on manuevering, bombing, and repairs would make the game much more playable.
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