THE RAILROAD QUEST 06 - Rockets' Red Glare
Triggered by completing The Railroad Quest 05 - Precipice of War
Note: This is one of the two most firefight intensive quests in The Railroad's quest line, so make sure you come well equipped with your best weapons and power armour. At least, if you want to survive on higher difficulties...
Objective: Fly to the Prydwen
When you are ready to take on the might of the Brotherhood of Steel face to face, hop into the vertibird to travel (rather erratically) to the Prydwen. Jump out of vertibird when you arrive and begin the battle.
Objectives: Plant explosives (3)
As soon as a member of the Brotherhood spots you (most likely the minigun wielding knight next to the doorway into the airship) they will open fire. Take cover quickly to avoid taking excess damage to your power armour parts. Long range weapons (especially energy) work well against power armour foes, so take advantage of this when possible. Enemies without power armour shouldn't pose much of a threat except for chip damage, which you can soak up with a few stimpaks as you go.
The main issue is losing your power armour parts too quickly, increasing the damage you take with each one lost. So make sure to use cover and strategy whenever possible to extend their use. Take on opponents one at a time when you can and reposition yourself or use your companion as a decoy when you can't. Now that the basic strategies are out of the way, kill everyone on the landing deck and be prepared to move immediately after going through the door into the airship as another power armour knight with a minigun will be unloading on you as soon as you regain control. You can take cover in the alcove to the left or try your own method. Once this area is clear, climb the ladder to reach the main area of the airship. More power armour enemies and a swarm of initiates and scribes will attack from the hallways. Get to work on slaying. You can use the walls of the hallway as cover if you position yourself well.
Now that you are in the main area of the ship (once the initial onslaught of enemies are dead), you have two main things to consider. The Brotherhood armoury (the caged area with Proctor Teagan inside) holds a significant amount of weaponry and ammo including a fat man launcher and mini-nuke ammo. This will be extremely helpful in the final Brotherhood ambush as you attempt to make your escape. The downside is you will need to cross the whole airship, killing more enemies to get to it. The other concern is planting the explosives. You'll need to place them at three locations on the topmost level of this area (meaning you'll need to head up the catwalks to the upper level) to find three valves to place them at. This area has little in the way of enemies, thankfully.
Note: You don't need to kill every enemy on the ship, the explosion will do that for you.
So make your decision if you want to raid the armoury or not for extra weaponry and then place all three explosives after fighting your way to the locations.
Objective: Escape the Prydwen
It's time to take on the last gasp of the Brotherhood's defense. Elder Maxon will be standing with two knights in power armour wielding laser miniguns that shred through power armour in seconds, even on normal difficulty. You will appear at the base of the ladder already taking damage from their fire. This is where the fat man launcher and mini-nukes you stole from the armoury come in useful as you can simply fire roughly at the elder and his squad to kill them (it may take two shots depending on difficulty). You can try to run from them but it is extremely tough on higher difficulties due to the massive damage per second you take and the lack of cover.
When Elder Maxon and his forces are no more, return to the flight deck and get back in the vertibird to flee the stricken airship. You'll fly over the airport where Brotherhood soldiers will fire up at you but they shouldn't deal too much damage. Use a stimpak or healing item if you're worried about the damage. After a short flight, Tinker Tom will land the vertibird and you'll watch as the Prydwen is brought to an end by your efforts.
Objective: Talk to Desdemona
You'll get the next quest for The Railroad before reporting your success, but you'll still need to talk to Desdemona to finish things off. Return to Railroad headquarters and you'll be tasked with taking the fight to The Institute. Damn, these folks ain't pacifists. Back to back faction destruction.