don't let it run away
I'm trying to make a mission where the player has to board a ship. The ship is trying to run away. If the player succeeds in boarding the ship, everything is fine and the plot progresses. If the ship manages to run away, I want to run an on_whatever field. Specifically, I want to give the player another mission to chase down the target vessel in the next system.
The only way I can think to work this is to give this ship wimpy trader AI, ship goal board, and run a silent timer mission (with invisible ships that die). OnShipDone of the board mission aborts the timer mission. OnShipDone of the timer mission aborts the board ship mission, and starts the next board ship mission. So, if the time runs out before the player boards the target, then the player must chase the ship into the next system.
My solution works, but only barely. The player will have to move quickly, and use a tractor beam or ionization. Boarding can take some time (especially for players who haven't quite gotten the hang of it), and so the timer would have to be very long, much longer than it would take the ship to run away, leaving the player sitting there waiting for the "you failed, hurry, now chase it!" message.
Can anyone think of a more elegant solution?