Orders are duties all crafts of a given Flight Group perform during the mission. Each Flight Group can have up to 4 orders in each of the (up to) 4 Regions. “Order X, Region #Y” on the bar on top of the order rectangle means “order with X priority among orders performed in Region Y”. X and Y are positive integers ranging from 1 to 4. Each Flight Group can only have 1 order with a given priority number in a given region. Orders are performed following priority number (from 1 to 4) provided that all Jump conditions are set to “Always true” (default setting). A missing order is set by default to “Hold Steady”.
There are 4 kinds of orders: orders requiring targets, orders requiring waypoints, orders requiring targets and waypoints, and orders requiring no targets and no waypoints.
Orders requiring targets
Attack targets: the Flight Group attacks Primary targets, then Secondary targets when there are no more Primary targets available. The first box serves to specify target primary component (not for fighter category targets), the second one indicates target secondary component (see the first one to get the right number-component matching). The FG with this order first attacks target primary component; when primary component has been destroyed, the FG attacks secondary component. Set the second box to 1 (secondary component: Main Hull) to make all crafts of the FG continue to attack the target until it is destroyed instead of attacking a specific secondary component. All components are shielded when playing at Hard difficulty level, regardless of the Team. The third box indicates usage of warheads: 0 is Default (missiles against fighters, proton torpedoes and heavy rockets against transports, starships and stations), 1 is “All targets” (warheads are used against every target, regardless of target category), and 2 is “Never” (warheads are never used). If the FG is made of crafts carrying 2 warhead loads (the first one is always concussion missiles, the second is the load set in the Ship tab), then setting the third box to 1 makes those crafts use both the warhead loads against every target, regardless of target category and warhead types.
Kamikaze attack: each craft of the FG attacks targets with lasers, but no attempt to avoid a collision with current target is made. Warheads are never used.
Escort (prevent boarding): the Flight Group attacks AI controlled crafts performing an “Attack” or “Board to” order versus designated Primary targets, then Secondary targets. Player’s craft can also be attacked after he or she hit the craft being escorted provided that the second box is set to 1. It is recommended to assign a single craft FG as target with this order. The first box serves to specify the position of the leader relative to the position of the craft being escorted. (link: https://www.xwaupgrade.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10819&start=38 ) AI bug report: assigning this order to a Flight Group belonging to player’s Global Unit and enabling player’s FG as target causes such Flight Group to attack player’s craft with turrets when the player gives order to inspect an enemy craft type.
Disable targets: the Flight Group attacks Primary targets with both lasers and ion cannons to bring down shields, then only ion cannons (if available) are used. If ion cannons are not available, crafts of the FG continue to perform attack manoeuvres without firing until the target has been disabled. It is obviously recommended to assign this order only to ion-cannon-armed fighters and transports.
Board to Give/Take/Exchange/Capture/Destroy: the Flight Group boards the designated targets and gives them cargo/takes cargo from them/exchanges cargo with them/converts them to FG’s Team and IFF/makes them explode when the docking operation has been completed. If multiple crafts are performing this order, it is sufficient that one craft completes the docking operation.
Pick up/Bag: each craft of the FG docks with nearest target and carries it for the rest of the mission. No more than 1 object can be carried at any given time. This order prevents the Departure event from triggering immediately as soon as the Departure condition becomes true.
Deliver/drop off: the craft of the Flight Group carrying Primary target delivers it to a docking post on the leader of the FG specified in the first box, provided this one is not moving. You need to input 1 less than the number shown on the main bar of the datapad since FG #1 is actually FG #0. It is recommended to assign this order to a single craft FG carrying a single target.
Inspect targets: the Flight Group inspects Primary targets, then Secondary targets. Inspection range depends on target size and category.
Park at: crafts of the FG dock with target and stay docked for the time specified in the first box. It is recommended to assign a single target FG containing only 1 station or steady capital ship.
Work on: crafts/objects of the FG approach the target component indicated in the second box and operate on it for the time specified in the first box. It is not possible to set the distance from the target where work takes place. This order is generally assigned to space workers and droids.
Follow Targets: the nearest target is automatically targeted and immediately tracked in autopilot mode at a distance that depends on target size and category, just like pressing “F” in the gun turret. Target is brought into turret firing range as soon as possible and it is kept in such range for the most time possible, though it can be faster or outmanoeuvre the craft performing this order. This order is only used in the second mission of the stock campaign (B0M2) to allow player’s craft to track targets without controlling the ship’s course. Warning: assigning this order to player’s FG might affect player’s ability to control his ship, so it is highly recommended to have at least another craft in player’s Global Unit (a wingman) in such case.
Homing: each object of the FG sets a collision course with target, then it rotates around the target according to the second box before setting another collision course. Weapons are not used. This order is generally assigned to high precision missiles and homing mines.
Orders requiring waypoints
Circle waypoints: the leader of the Flight Group travels to the enabled waypoints with the other wingmen in formation; once arrived to the last waypoint, they start over with the first waypoint or perform the next order depending on the number of loops specified in the first box (set 0 to have infinite loops). The FG skips Waypoint 1 during the first loop in case it also serves to determine the hyperspace-exit vector (in addition to the orientation). Each craft of the FG returns fire with turrets (if there are any) if attacked, but no evasive manoeuvres are performed.
Circle and Evade: same as “Circle waypoints”, but evasive manoeuvres are performed in case of an enemy attack.
Hyper to Region: crafts of the FG travel to the enabled waypoints; once arrived at 0.40 klicks to the last enabled waypoint, they enter hyperspace and exit in the Region specified in the first box. It is recommended to enable at least 2 waypoints to set the hyperspace-entry vector, with the last 2 enabled waypoints being farther than 0.40 klicks from each other. AI-controlled crafts performing this order cannot trigger any order with a “Jump to order” condition. They are also prevented from triggering the Departure event immediately as soon as the Departure condition becomes true.
Drop off/Deploy: the leader of the Flight Group drops off the designated FG, releasing one member of such FG at a time. The second box indicates the number of the deployed FG. You need to input 1 less than the number shown on the main bar of the datapad since FG #1 is actually FG #0. The leader of the FG travels to the first enabled waypoint before releasing the designated FG. If such first waypoint is Waypoint 1, this works regardless of the fact it also serves to determine the hyperspace-exit vector or not. All enabled waypoints after the first one are ignored. Note that this order cannot be cut: it is not possible to release a part of the designated FG and the remaining part at 2 different times, therefore it is advisable that the player does not give orders to a craft performing this order in case it belongs to player’s Global Unit.
(Release carried cargo): the leader of the Flight Group travels to the enabled waypoints with the other wingmen in formation, then crafts of the FG carrying an object release it at the last waypoint. (**) The last waypoint is where the object is released, not where the crafts travel to release it, so it is recommended to assign this order to a single craft FG to avoid collisions during the release. (**) It is also highly recommended to avoid enabling Waypoint 1 alone if it also serves to determine the hyperspace-exit vector.
Orbit/Permanently disabled: objects of the FG travel in a circular orbit with centre on Waypoint 1. (*) The first box indicates the number of loops. 0 means infinite loops. (*) Looking from the positive Z semi-axis, the orbit is clockwise if the second box is set to 0, or counter clockwise if it is set to 1. It is recommended to make the orbit lay on the XOY plane or at least to set the Z coordinate of the Waypoint 1 to ≥0 because the orbit cannot fall under a certain Z level. It is also highly advisable to avoid using this order if the Waypoint 1 also serves to determine the hyperspace-exit vector.
Orders requiring targets and waypoints
Star Ship (SS) orders are designed for capital ships and they often require targets and waypoints. This means that, contrarily to what happens with non-SS orders, a craft travelling to a waypoint can also fire to designated targets in the meantime (in addition to the usual “returns fire”). It is highly recommended to use SS orders for capital ships because of the number of turrets they have, their size and their low manoeuvrability rating.
SS Circle: the capital ship travels to the enabled waypoints the number of loops specified in the first box while attacking targets in range. Primary targets are prioritized. Waypoint 1 is skipped during the first loop in case it also serves to determine the hyperspace-exit vector. Returns laser fire. When the last loop has been completed, the ship starts performing the next order.
SS Patrol + attack: same as “SS Circle”, but only 1 loop is allowed. The ship stops at the last enabled waypoint and continues firing at targets until there are no more targets available.
SS Patrol + disable: same as “SS Patrol + attack”, with ion cannons (not lasers) used against targets.
SS Patrol + protect: the capital ship travels to the enabled waypoints while attacking any craft performing an “Attack” order against designated targets. Returns laser fire.
Orders requiring no targets and no waypoints
Fly home: each craft of the FG returns to assigned mothership’s hangar or enters hyperspace at the Depart Hyp coordinates depending on “Via” set in the Departure tab. AI-controlled crafts performing this order cannot trigger orders with “Jump to order” conditions.
Disabled: all systems immediately go down to 0%. Shields are not affected. When a craft “starts performing” this order, the player gets the message “[That craft] disabled”, but he does not receive such message when he exits hyperspace to a region where there is at least one craft which had been previously disabled by this order, and still “performs” this order. Disabled crafts cannot start performing any other order through “Jump to order” conditions except “Self-Destruct” or another "Disabled".
Rendezvous: the leader of the FG travels to the Start 3 point (regardless of it being enabled or not) with the other wingmen in formation, then they immediately stop and wait for boarding craft. The first box serves to specify the number of docking operations each craft of the FG needs. 0 means the crafts of the FG do not proceed to the next order regardless of the number of dockings performed by the boarding craft. Crafts return fire with turrets (if there are any) if attacked, but no evasive manoeuvres are performed. No waypoint affects the FG course (except the Start 3 point). If the FG belongs to player’s Global Unit, an order given by the player will overwrite this one.
Await boarding: this order has the wrong description since the systems do not go down to 0%. If the FG belongs to player’s Global Unit, an order given by the player will overwrite this one.
Wait 1: the simplest order in the game, the FG waits for the time set in the first box.
Self-Destruct: all crafts of the FG explode after delay time specified in the first box has expired.
Defect: all crafts of the FG immediately defect to the IFF indicated in the first box and the Team specified in the second one. You need to input 1 less both for the IFF and the Team than the numbers shown on the Ship tab since IFF 1 is actually IFF 0 and Team #1 is actually Team #0.
Beacon: the default order for holographic buoys.
(*)…(*) Different members of the community have obtained contrasting results.
(**)…(**) Info achieved through tests with uncertainty of measure 0.01 klicks.