Iíve gotten around to finishing my carrier trials! :) Hereís how
I conducted them: I took one
carrier (it didnít matter which one, but it must be a full carrier and not an
auxiliary carrier) with a fighter complement depending on the types I thought
would be best against a particular race, and then picked for the Admiral AI a
ship that was particularly good against fighters (Hydrans would have an
abundance of phaser-Gs, while the Romulans/Gorn/ISC would have plasma-Ds, for
example) with roughly equal BPV per the 220.127.116.11 patch
(Taldren-please stop this new variant madness-makes my job so much harder
:) ). Then, I went and tried to
smack down the other ship with the carrier.
Hereís what I learned from the experience.
Must Suck To Be A Pilot,
or How To Protect Your Fighters
first rule to follow is quite obvious: Donít
let your fighters die. Once they
are destroyed, your ship will be under-armed and unable to fight back against
that grinning ISC bastard with two PPDs and a bunch of enveloping plasmas.
But how to prevent this?
first of all, ask Autolycus. Iím
relatively new to carriers, so some of these strategies might not hold, but as
heís the only Hydran that frequents this thread, he would be the best person
to ask for advice. However, these
strategies seem to hold against the AI, so why not use them?
avoid getting your fighters killed, fly with an escort armed with hordes of
missiles (the NCD+, CADR, and BCG are particularly good at this) that can be
used to soak up enemy AMD or plasma-D fire while your fighter jocks get primed
and ready to go kick some butt. Those
escort ships, like the NEC, also work wonders, carrying FIVE G racks with FIVE
supplemental AMD as well. Theyíre
not called ďescortsĒ for nothing.
way is to set those fighters on Harass mode, which actually works-well,
somewhat-because of the tweaks the 18.104.22.168 gave to the fighter AI.
That means they fire their complement of phasers at the enemy and launch
some drones while theyíre at it as well-forget the photon torpedo.
Follow this up with a full overrun with proximities and overloads and,
together with your fighters, begin to smash their systems.
ships are especially annoying, not only because of the plasma-D (the carrier
captainís nightmare) but because damage is continued from one fighter to the
next. That means if you have a
squad of two Raven Is and he shoots an enveloper G at your fighters, itíll
kill the first and the remaining damage (28 points!) is applied to the other,
which kills it as well. Thatís
why you donít fly carriers against plasma-races unless you fit in one of two
You can kill a Romulan dreadnought with a Federation POL+
You are insane
I didnít think so. Instead, take
those fighters of yours to the opposite side of the galaxy unless you are VERY
confident in your ability to win (or youíre using carriers as auxiliary
firepower while youíre personally flying your own beautiful Federation BB).
Those fighters will eat the Mirak alive while providing an excellent
point-D force, will utterly and completely kill the Lyrans providing that the AI
actually cooperates and stays out of ESG range.
AMD isnít much of a threat-use your phasers and proxies to knock some
of them out (following up with an hit-and-run on that system).
Can I Borrow That NEC?,
or How To Fly With An Escort
is one simple reason to fly with an escort ship, and that is to protect your
fighters. Your typical escort ship
is armed with a boatload of missiles and phasers, some with the occasional
photon tossed into the mix, that serve to suck up enemy phaser/AMD/plasma-D
fire. Also, your escort serves as
the all-too-expendable rear guard just in case your fighters are destroyed.
scenario I played was in a light carrier accompanied by an NEC.
I was flying against a Romulan KCR, armed to the teeth with plasma-Ds and
enveloping plasmas. First things first: I
brought my two ships to Red Alert and started looking for the big, bad Rommie.
I found him about 100 klicks away, charging headlong towards me at speed
20. Immediately, I switched by
photons to proximity mode and began to move towards him at minimum speed (around
speed 5). My earnest ally, on the
other hand, started to charge towards the KCR until I ordered him to start
acting like an escort and escort me. My
fighters were still safe in their fighter bay.
this time, he was only 40 klicks away from me, so out went the proxies and a
quick turn. The NEC had also
launched all of its drones on my command, which were immediately shot down by
the plasma-D. The sequence was
repeated until the NEC's drones started getting shot down by the KCR's phasers,
rather than its Ds. Then, I
launched my fighters, executed a full alpha strike on its front shield with
overloaded photons and a drone wave (and my fighters shooting phasers into its
burned hull), and proceeded to kick the Romulan's butt. That couldn't have been achieved unless the NEC hadn't
launched its drones and tied up the KCR's D-racks.
And until it did, my fighters could never have survived.
are good things. You NEED escorts.
or How To Use Fighters
once played against a good friend who took a Federation a heavy assault carrier
against my BCF. It was a slaughter.
A description of his strategy:
Launch fighters on Attack mode
Charge after them with full overloads
to say, it didn't work very well. I
simply retreated with my Fs turned off and started tossing proxims at his
shields. Meanwhile, I let the
fighers close and then transported a t-bomb in front of them, which heavily
damaged all of them. Then, my BCF
chewed them apart with its massive phaser battery, accompanied by one F-type
plasma. When his fighters were
gone, the game was over. While he
struggled to catch up to me while holding his overloads and throwing his
missiles at me (dutifully shot down by my point-D systems), I proceeded to use
my proximities and then laugh as he scrambled to reinforce his shields before
one of them went down. Eventually,
I let him close with me and all of his overloads missed when I jacked my ECM up
to 6 and dumped a weasel out the back. When
he had no weapons left, I charged him and tore him up with plasmas.
let this happen to your carrier.
of all, USE YOUR ESCORT! Your
escort is there for a reason--to escort your carrier.
Its weapons are there to keep their weapons away from your weapons, the
fighters. Your fighter squadrons
are fragile. They die easily.
try to pin the enemy between your fighters and a missile wave.
If you're lucky, your fighters will stay outside of plasma-D/AMD range
while he wastes them on the drones. If
you're not lucky, have your ship launch its own drones as well, and tell the
fighters to get out of there and return to the fighter bay.
While they're coming, watch their plasma-Ds and AMD racks kill the
missiles, and then return your fighters to Harass mode without them ever coming
back to the hangars!
BTW, if any fighter squad is getting ripped to shreds, target it (the button
will flash periodically on the fighter control panel) and tell it to return
home. Even if there is only one
fighter left, the squadron will be repaired back to full strength and be rearmed
with its heavies. Then, send it
back outside with a vengeance and watch the fighter pilots blast them apart.
a carrier fleet is helped greatly by a scatterpack shuttle, which launches six
missiles at the opponent simultaneously. While
the drones blossom out of the shuttle, your fighters begin to launch their own
missiles while your escorts launch theirs as well.
By that time, they'll be completely and utterly overwhelmed by your
missiles and then you can proceed to let your fighters do what they are designed
for--blowing the enemy apart.
interesting trick is to work in a multiplayer team with three other players
(four humans against four AI). You
and another human command a carrier while the two escorts (light cruisers,
baby!) are played by two other humans. Immediately,
have your force split apart into pairs--sounds like suicide?
Let me elaborate. One escort
will stay with your carrier while the other covers the other.
Then, you split apart and proceed to pin apart the opponent by chucking
your proximity photons at them between your ships.
If worked correctly, the enemy will be caught between a photon and a hard
place, a crossfire of deadly proximity photons accompanied by a missile wave.
If they try to kill one group, you charge towards them and start beating
on them, and if they try to kill you and your escort, they leave the other
carrier group ready and waiting to pounce.
In effect, splitting your carrier force into two means that they will
have to split apart as well--and your fighters will provide the firepower of an
extra heavy cruiser or two, enough to blow apart their ships quite easily.
SíTasik, ISC Division, Xenocorp
Rod and Berry, DNT
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