A hydran ship analysis: Fighters
Fighters are life for most hydran ships, and knowledge of what each of them are is very important.
Early Era fighters
Killerbee J - 2 Ph3 Fh
YellowJacket J - 2 Ph3 Fh
Hornet J - 2 Ph3 Fh 1 Hellbore (2 round)
Wasp J - 3 Ph3 Fh 1 Fusion Fh (2 rounds)
Middle Era fighters
Killerbee JI - 1 PhG Fh
YellowJacketJI - 1 PhG Fh 1 Hellbore Fh (1 round)
Hornet JI - 1 PhG Fh 1 PhG Rx 1 Hellbore Fh (2 rounds)
Wasp JI - 1 Ph2 Fh 1 Phg Fh 1 Fusion Fh (2 rounds)
Late Era fighters
Killerbee JII - PhG Fx 1 Ph3 Rx
YelloJacket JII - 1 PhG 1 Hellbore Fh (1 round) 1 Ph3 Rx
Hornet JII - 1 PhG Fx 1 PhG Rx 1 Hellbore Fx (2 rounds)
Wasp JII - 1 Ph2 Fh 2 PhG Fh 2 Fusion Fx (2 rounds)
General descriptions of classes:
Killerbees - They suck, really really bad. The early ones are just fast admin shuttles that cant go kamakazi. Changing the Ph3 to a gatling doesnt make it any better.
YellowJacket - The early suck, but in mid and late, they can be used as cheap replacements for hornets. If you have the choice between Hornet J's and YellowJacket JI's, go for the yellowjackets, if only for the gatling. Remember, the damage of a gatling phaser is multiplied accross the entire squadren.
Hornets - If these dont have an allied sign over them, you need to run faster than 27 or have AMD. These are the heavy hellbore fighters, they can rip dreadnauts to shreds in large numbers, that is, if you remember to recall the fighters after their two shots. This series is the mainstay of any fusion ship's fighter bay, dont leave space dock without them.
Wasp - Wasps are the beat the hell out of the idiot that let you get to range zero fighters. By middle, these fighters a phaser 2 and a gatling, by late they have 4 fusion rounds apiece. Does AMD make this fighter useless? Not really, use their heavy phasers for sniping on harass mode and use their attack mode as a coup de grace to finish a crippled foe, without wasting your heavy weapons.
All fighters die to AMD. All fighters die to ESG. Now, you think "well, if i cant fight lyrans or klinks, what use are they?!". You would be wrong to think that. There are two spiffy modes for fighters other than die (aka attack): harass and defend me.
In the begining of a battle, you have to ask yourself these questions:
1) How many enemy ships are there?
2) How many have AMD?
3) Do you think that the pilot will use heavy weps against fighters?
Fighters can avoid ONE ship's weapons and AMD, not two. This will very much change your tactics to use.
If you are against one foe without AMD or ESG, launch fighters at range 25 on harass or attack, your call. Recover them after they fire their heavies or start taking heavy damage.
If your enemy has AMD or ESG, launch fighters on harass mode. The beauty of this mode is that hornets will still do massive amounts of damage, even from range 8 with their hellbores, and wasps can do damage with their Ph2's.
ALWAYS RECOVER FIGHTERS AFTER FIRST RUN!
Never let them stay out for more than a turn or two, that is, unless you want them to be killed by heavy weapons and phasers.
Do not use attack mode until enemy ship has lost their defenses. This is where i use wasps as a coup de grace, they are beautiful in this role.
Against multiple ships, you must have good situation awareness. I reconmend the setting of defend me. Fighters in this setting will fire upon any enemy ship that is in range (10 hexes). The trick here is to dance in and out of range, while your wingmen (if any) do full assaults. Keep track of how many times your squads fire their hellbores (or fusions, if you felt lucky and went in.). If your carrier has hellbores (unlikely) get down to range 8 if possible, the enemy ship(s) will get a nice dose of concetrated fire and will probably have crippled shields.
Always ask yourself these questions when supporting fighters:
1) Do the fighters have any heavy weapons left?
2) Does the enemy have any heavy weapons (AMD included) loaded?
3) How far away are all hostile ships?
4) How many fighters are left in each squadren?
A squadren of hornets and one of wasps follows my Lord Commander into battle.
My squad of hornets fires a salvo of hellbores while my wasps bite the dust. Be careful with the attack mode.
Gatlings add insult to injury for this poor little D7.
Wasps show the D6 how pretty fusions and Ph3's can be.
A D6 and a D7 were destroyed in the making of these pictures. (the D7 was destroyed in less than 3 minutes.)
Hope you found this helpful.
Dont be afraid to question each fighter's armaments, the ftrlist.txt file is HARD to read.
Pictures will be up in a moment.
Hydran Squadren commander, xenocorp\
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