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SPOILER WARNING -- FULL ARTICLE
This entire article contains spoilers from Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. Proceed at your own discretion.

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. Proceed at your own discretion.


This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Domino.

"Anchorhead Raid" is the second DLC mission in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The player must destroy a large Erusean naval force at Anchorhead to prevent them from defending Farbanti and to prevent the Alicorn from joining with them.

"Anchorhead Raid" released worldwide on October 23, 2019 on all platforms and can be accessed within the "SP Mission" main menu option.[1] Players can purchase this mission standalone for USD$4.99, JPY¥540, or regional equivalents, or purchase the Season Pass to access this mission and other DLC packs.

Objectives

Initial

The first part of the mission is a 15-minute Annihilation battle, uniquely featuring three Return Lines at the north, east, and south ends of the operation area. The northern part of the map, Anchor Bay, has many ships in the harbor and an Aegis Ashore. The southern part of the map, Dakiouk Bay, has only a few ships but houses AH-64D helicopters, multiple containers which spawn MQ-99s, as well as another Aegis Ashore. The player must reach the following score requirements to complete this stage:

  • Easy: 30,000
  • Normal: 35,000
  • Hard/Ace: 40,000

After about three minutes, Tucker Team will begin to inform the player of enemy MV-22 helicopters leaving the battle area with high-ranking Erusean officials on board. They award high amounts of points (1500 points per helicopter), so the player should attempt to shoot them down whenever they appear. They are not mission-important, however, and can be safely ignored if necessary. They will spawn at set locations within Anchor Bay and Dakiouk Bay and will flee northwest and southwest respectively.

After around six minutes elapse, a large fleet of several destroyers, one cruiser, one aegis vessel, and one Battle cruiser enter the operation area from the east. They are not mission important but destroying the fleet yields large amounts of points.

After about seven minutes, an SLUAV enters the area. While initially harmless, the Alicorn eventually fires railgun shells from outside the mission area toward the SLUAV; the railgun shells detonate in mid-air and will severely damage the player if they are too close to the SLUAVs, with the damage increasing with proximity to the drone. More SLUAVs will continue to spawn throughout the rest of the mission. The player must evade the SLUAVs before the railgun shots arrive, or shoot down the SLUAVs before they arrive. AWACS Long Caster will call out approaching railgun shells, after which point the SLUAVs' maneuvering becomes severely reduced, making them much easier to shoot down at this point in time, though is far riskier if you fail to shoot down the SLUAV before the shell arrives. The SLUAVs' movement is also directly tied to the player's movement, and as such, staying level or in the same position after firing a missile should land the player a kill on the SLUAV.

The first phase ends after 15 minutes elapse.

Mission Update

The second part of the mission is a battle against Mimic Squadron. Both Rage and Scream use lock-breaking ECM similar to "Unexpected Visitor"; if the player locks on to one of them, the player's radar and HUD will short out after about one second of lock, breaking the lock temporarily. In addition, both Rage and Scream will continuously fire stealth missiles that do not trigger a missile alert immediately, making them harder to detect and dodge. SLUAVs will also continue to spawn as in the first part of the mission, but their recurrence will only last for three minutes. After three minutes, either one or both of the targets will aim for Count as he tries to lure them into attacking him. After that, they will switch between targeting the player and Count so the player should take the opportunity to shoot down whoever is chasing the latter.

Depending on which pilot the player shoots down first, the other will display unique behaviors. If Scream is shot down first, Rage becomes frenzied and fights the player far more aggressively, firing up to four missiles per volley, similar to Mobius One in The Gauntlet. If Rage is shot down first, Scream will become slightly less aggressive. That being said, she also employs incredibly agile homing missiles similar to QAAMs that have an incredibly long flight time, to the point of "orbiting" the player's plane if it can't line up a hit. The mission is completed once the player shoots down both Mimic aircraft.

Enemy List

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirEnemy Aegis 1400 2
Icon-AirEnemy Battle Cruiser 1200 2
Icon-AirEnemy Cruiser 950 2
Icon-AirEnemy Destroyer 850 4
Icon-AirEnemy Frigate 300 4
Icon-AirEnemy AH-64D 200 8
Icon-AirEnemy F-2A 300 [note 1]
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-99 350 16 [note 2]
Icon-AirEnemy MiG-31 500 4 [note 3]
Icon-AirEnemy F/A-18F 500 [note 4]
Icon-AirEnemy F-15J 650 8
Icon-AirEnemy Su-35S 700 [note 4]
Icon-AirEnemy Su-37 750 8
Icon-AirEnemy SLUAV 800 [note 5]
Icon-AirEnemy MV-22 "PRIN" 1500 1 [note 6] [note 7]
Icon-AirEnemy MV-22 "TARNAT" 1500 1 [note 6] [note 8]
Icon-AirEnemy MV-22 "ALMAZOV" 1500 1 [note 6] [note 8]
Icon-AirEnemy MV-22 "TARRAGÓ" 1500 1 [note 6] [note 9]
Icon-AirEnemy MV-22"LY" 1500 1 [note 6] [note 9]
"Pristine Fleet"
Icon-AirEnemy Aegis 1400 1 [note 10]
Icon-AirEnemy Battle Cruiser 1200 1 [note 10]
Icon-AirEnemy Cruiser 950 1 [note 10]
Icon-AirEnemy Destroyer 850 4 [note 10]
Mission Update Icon-AirTGT Su-47 "RAGE" 1200 1
Icon-AirTGT Su-47 "SCREAM" 1200 1
Icon-AirEnemy SLUAV 800 5 [note 5]

S Rank

Earning an S Rank on this mission requires earning a combined score and time bonus of 70,000 points or more.

The maximum time bonus available is 8,100 for completing the mission in a total of 19 minutes or less. This includes time spent retrying from the checkpoint. If the player can complete the mission in that amount of time, they only need 61,900 points from destroying targets in the mission itself to earn the S Rank.

If the player goes past the 19 minutes threshold, the time bonus decreases by 30 points every second, so the player must compensate by destroying more targets to hit the 61,900 point threshold.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The track "Mimic" was previously featured (albeit not in its finished state and in a mix with the track "ADFX-10") in the "Open Fire" launch trailer for the main game, which was posted nine months before this mission released.
  • The aforementioned "Mimic" is composed ingame 4 separate tracks that are played in unison in-game - a "normal" or "default" drumline, a furious and fast drumline for Rage, a broken and chaotic drumline for Scream, and the main guitar melody. At the beginning of the battle, the "default" drumline and guitar solo play at the same time. Depending on which pilot is shot down first, the drumline will change to just the remaining pilot's drumline to reflect their change in behavior.
  • One of the MiG-31s that spawn in the first phase of the mission will claim that he has mechanical trouble and retreats from the airspace. This same pilot appeared in the previous DLC mission, Unexpected Visitor, where he also retreated by falsely claiming engine trouble.
  • Characters refer to the ship at the center of the reinforcing fleet as a battleship in dialogue, when it is actually a battle cruiser in gameplay.

Footnotes

  1. Reinforcements will enter combat area from the east.
  2. MQ-99s will be launched from container trucks if they are not destroyed.
  3. MiG-31s are only equipped with machine guns. And one of them will try to escape again, like in Unexpected Visitor DLC mission.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Reinforcements will enter combat area from the northwest after destroying all Su-37s.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Railgun projectiles will create numerous large explosions on impact around the SLUAVs unless they are destroyed first.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 MV-22s will attempt to exit the combat area by heading southwest or northwest, depending on their initial spawn point.
  7. Prin spawns alone.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tarnat spawns at the same time as Almazov.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tarragó spawns at the same time as Lẏ.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Spawns to the southeast of the map after about six minutes elapse.

References

  1. https://twinfinite.net/2019/09/ace-combat-7-interview-future/
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