I finally got around to playing the mission, and recorded my first run at it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsVPGAPDAFo&feature=youtu.be
Some of my thoughts are included within, but a summary in text form: Some pretty impressive stuff, the opening camera and ship motion in the intro cutscene is something I wouldn’t have dared attempt. I will say the pacing drags a little towards the end, with some long pauses waiting for the carrier to move. Maybe you could fade to black or cut away, give the carrier a big speed buff for a few seconds while it’s out of sight, and then cut back? I also expected a big flashy gate activation effect that I didn’t get. Moving on, the mission concept is fairly basic, but rather fleshed out. The asteroid city was a neat idea, and having attacks on the other defenses as window dressing to keep the tension up in the early phases was effective. I was a bit unclear on if the city was supposed to be entirely abandoned, or if it was just the military that had left it behind. If the latter, a few transmissions from the city civilians would have helped it feel alive, perhaps.
The HW2-oid balance hurt my enjoyment of the mission a bit, though. Assault frigates inflict hideous casualties on bombers, and very rapidly. Since I don’t have anything anti-capital that isn’t a bomber, this makes me feel a bit helpless. I found myself badly wanting a second production lane available so I could build be building ints and bombers side by side.
The bigger issues I had were 1) I couldn’t do whatever it was you were supposed to do with the command center. I sent some scouts up to it, but nothing happened. I don’t know if it’s buggy or if there’s more I was missing. 2) The AI captured at most two cargo containers from the field, but that was enough for the hyperspace inhibitor to get built. That felt pretty harsh to me, given the number of containers that I did recover. It felt even more harsh when I saw the defenses that inhibitor had(see point about assault frigates mulching bombers) and the destroyers bearing down on me. An all out attack on the carrier with the inhibitor seemed my only route of survival, but destroyers are fast enough and assault frigates killy enough that that didn’t work out.
I’ve got some idea how I might adjust to beat it a second time, but the fail state seemed very harsh and unforgiving, especially for a mission one.
My only other complaint is that the main voice seemed a bit too monotone at times, felt like it could use a bit more energy. Overall though I’m quite impressed at both what you’ve put together and speed with which you did it.