I just got the optional this weekend solo, after I figured it out I got it twice.
Hegh'ta, with Gravity Well and Eject Warp Plasma.
I started below the shielded freighters so that the two pairs were within 10k but the patrols were outside of 10k. Dropped cloak, GW on the left freighters and open fire on the right (Scatter Volley). The pair had an escort and when that was down I looted them, the whole time being careful not to aggro the patrols. This meant keeping out of optimum cannon range until the freighters pulled away from them.
As soon as the first pair was looted I cloaked, deuterium and evasive, and caught up with the other pair. Gravity well was back up and I hit the last pair, killed the escort and looted.
The first time it went so well I didn't pop EWP, another time I needed to stall them even longer and used it to slow them down.
The most important part for me was not drawing the patrols from above the bubble shield, and delaying the second group so that sprint in between is as short as possible.
Well, based on blowing up the freighters, I'd say Mel is a tactical captain, which makes it easier than being a science captain. And that's better than being an engineer. And, of course, flies a tactical ship.
Myself, I can barely pull it off as a sci captain in a guramba with all rare Mk XII consoles and green Mk XII and purple Mk XI weapons, with 135 attack power. Since I don't use siege mode to try and get the optional objective, I could slightly increase my performance by swapping out my two DBBs for some extra DC/DHCs. But since I can do it with what I have, I don't bother.
Mel's list is pretty much what I do, minus the decloaking, of course.
The main difference if that for #1, I don't care about aggro'ing the patrols, I use Photonic Fleet and let it play with any extras while I blow up that first escort and go on to step 2. And for step 3, I use APA and evasive, possibly a deuterium surplus. And it is close, very close.
For step 2, I go for the ones that are heading right. For the second group, I go for the ones that are fleeing directly away from where you came into the system, not the ones fleeing left. Shorter distance, pythagorean theorem and all.
It is all about speed. You need to quickly loot the first freighters, then scoot and loot another pair of two.
Once the bug gets fixed on live, they'll be easy, since you'll only have to get 2 of the first 6 and can then fulfill the requirements with the 2 in the shield bubble.
Of course, there's always a second way to go:
1. Ask for another klingon to work with you to get the optional.
2. Have the lower level invite the higher level and match level.
3. One goes after the freighters fleeing left, the other after right.
4. Blow up the escorts.
5. Disable freighters and loot.
6. First one done tries to get the two fleeing directly away from spawn point.
This becomes much easier with a gravity well, if you're a cruiser or a carrier I recommend tanking finding a bird to help you or getting a bird for running this mission and 2 copies of grav well. Drop one grav well on the first 2 freighters then loot, jet over drop your 2nd grav. well on 2nd freighter group, don't kill. Then go to group 3 loot and kill. You should get the 4 looted before the 2nd group warps out because you slowed them with grav wells. I recommend running a tactical officer in your Lt cmdr. slot. I love that this mission is challenging, even if it is still bugged. Thanks Gozer for upping the HP disable threshold, my carrier would often fail because my birds would have several torpedos in the air when it disabled at 35% and it would die when they hit.
Anybody have any luck with Chroniton Torpedos to slow?
I'm not sure that would really benefit you. On the transport one, if one gets away, you fail. And on Eriksson, you've got to stop 4 transports, so the snare only really helps on the last one. Now, maybe if you used the AoE torpedo ability, but then, you're again trading off DPS, as that could have been a T:HY.
And in return, you're doing less DPS the entire time.
You'd probably be better off using a science ability to slow ships, like tractor beam or GW.
Also how about a Tricobalt to quickly drop the freighters to loot status? I got a sweet [CrtD]X2 launcher drop yesterday.
I'd see two problems with the tricobalt. First, the loss of DPS due to its long recharge. You can use it on one, but that's about it. And second, especially with the one you found, a "lucky" crit could kill the freighter. Unless you use it to hit shields, in which case you're looking at only doing 25% of the damage, which brings us back to the 1 minute recharge time.
Man do I just love these missions. Lets see, today while doing Eriksson Outpost Incursion mission, all the ships just followed me and kept shooting me, so I could only get 2 freighters. Then the Transport Raid mission, the one ship that usually stays in the rear of the convoy decided that it wanted to move up front with the other ship. So I even failed that one. Not only the optional objective but the main mission too. I hit those ships with everything I had and it seemed like I was shooting paperclips at them with a rubberband. Suffice it to say, my keyboard almost paid the price because of my anger. I am hoping that since the holiday season is now over, we will be getting some fixes for these missions very soon. It's just sad that they made us these nice new missions and most of the players can not even complete them because of bugs.
We end the day with a glorious victory again. I was able to complete the Path of the Warrior mission the Chauncellor gave me, by completing the Eriksson system mission by the skin of my fangs. Must run drills first thing, certain crew members are getting soft. They'll either shape up, or ... heh heh. Because of this darn cargo pick up bug, I have missed out on getting at least 20 ships' cargo already. We are talking about at least 100 data samples that I worked real hard to steal from the spineless Federation. I need to kill my transporter officer and find a suitable replacement who will get the job done properly. Note, we need to get some fresh gagh. We are starting to run low again. At least once I kill that worthless p'tahk, we will have a few extra days worth. Also, pick up more blood wine. We can never have enough of that on board. Ha ha ha ha.