Hydran Ship Tactics : Counter: "Frigate Swarm!"

Counter: Mirak Swarm tactics

Some (mirak, some klinks) love it, most others (hydrans, lyrans, most federations, romulans, ISC's and Gorns and most klingons) absolutely HATE the mirak (style) frigate swarm. If you dont hate it yet, I suggest playing k'tujhegh on gamespy arcade. I have played him several times during the last few days, and have only won in a few circumstances. In the interest of free exchange of ideas (ie kill the mirak) lets discuss anti frigate swarm tactics. As a primarily hydran pilot, I essensially only know tactics for them, these may work with other races.

Avoidance: Speed
The CRU, APA, TAR, etc, are your friends against people utilizing these tactics, they can go 31 and charge all/most weapons and get a level 1 repel beam. For the TAR, a level 2 slows you down to 30.3, not bad.

Never ever tailgate a mirak.

Now you ask: what the hell am I going to do with speed if I am not going to chace the mirak?

With speed you dont have to go in a straight line. The drones dont have lead tracking, but you do (unless you are an idiot and cant figure out where the enemy is going). Point to where the mirak is heading, away from where the drones are coming from. If the mirak has slow drones, they will move right past and end up on your tail at moderate range, medium drones will look abit more dangerous, but will fly right past. Fast drones? I reconmend negotiating terms of a cease fire and/or surrender.

If the drones are passing closely to you, do a quick jink to the other side. A ship with turn class 1 (CRU) can easily avoid most missles in this way. A ship that size would certainly die from a spread of large drones.

"Ok, now I can avoid his drones, dont I have to do damage to kill the enemy?" you now think. Dont worry, I have a plan.

Your intercept corse will eventually place you at moderate range of the enemy, say range 8. Most heavy weapons have a decent chance to hit here and will do a decent amount of damage from this range, especially against most mirak ship's shields (tracing paper?). A spread of dizzies will on average crack a shield (or at least do damage to it), a spread of photons will do 16 damage statistically (alternatively use proxies at range 15 for added safety), PPD appears to work like a fly swatter, and my favorite weapon, the hellbore does around 5 damage per hellbore for weakest shield, with 72% chance of hit. Not half bad.

Now, we all want to use our fusion beams or phasers once in awhile. If you must go into point blank range with the mirak, I suggest:

Know if he has drones loaded - Some mirak ships can launch 6-8 drones ever turn.
Repel tractor - the mirak will want to anchor you and force feed you drones, dont let it happen.
Overloads - do as much damage as possible in as little time as possible.
Set h&r - try and hit his tractors, they are easier to kill than a drone battery, remember you are only killing 1 rack at a time.
Manuvering power - Get the hell out of there after you do your damage.

The ideal time to attack a mirak is just after a spread of drone has passed, but you must attack during that same turn and get out of tractor range during that turn. Be VERY careful. It can be very diffucult to avoid even slow drones when launched at close range. Commonly if you take even one drone hit you will be dead in the water.

Weakness - fighters
The DF(+), CD, MDC(+), and DWD all have one thing in common: poor fighter defense.
"But they all have AMD!" you say. Any hydran should know that 1 AMD rack is no match for 14 or 16 hornets of the CAV or IC/ID (respectively). Even a NVL's complement of 10 fighters will do decently vs a mirak ship.

Let me show you, lets say in a battle at 200 bpv, I take a CAV+ with 8 hornet JII's and 6 Hornet JI's, the mirak takes a MDC+ with some medium drones. Lets take a look at possible damage:

CAV+ - 14(number of hornets)*10 (damage per hellbore)*2(number of rounds per fighter)/2 (for weakest shield) + .3(average damage of a ph3 from range 4-8) * 4(number of shots per PhG) * 2(number of PhG's per hornet) * 14 (number of hornets).

That gives you a possible damage of 140 for the weakest shield and 33 damage from the gatlings, this is from range 8. If your fighters can get to point blank range your fighters can do 32 damage apiece or 448 damage total over all fighters, thats only from the gatlings. Keep in mind this doesnt even include the carrier's phasers!

Did I mention that I love carriers?

In a battle last night, my CAV's fighter group casually killed off a slightly damaged MDC+ (and then proceded to kill a slightly damaged KVL). Remember, killing the drone ship kills the drones.

Did I mention that I love carriers?

Thank you for your time, please feel free to add comments/additional advice as you wish.

Additional points, thanks to 762, k'tujhegh and capt. vidmar.

Mirak ships do have mediocre-good point defense and missles can be used against fighters. Make sure that your fighters maintain good speed. To do this you must play with the different fighter orders. Defend me and return will get the fighters up near their top speed (anywhere from 25-29) and harass will get them to go quickly and say out of ONE ship's point defense envelope. Additional tactics for fighters maybe found here.

It is not always necesary for you to match 31 with the mirak. Simply fast enough to out run his drones will work. I reconmend at LEAST 2-4 points above the speed of the drone, so that you can maunvere without the drones gaining too much ground on you when you turn.

Most mirak ships can maintain a level 1 or 2 tractor at speed 31. Assume that the mirak has a level 2 tractor set at all times and set a level 2 repel to counter. If the mirak slows down assume that he is energizing a level 3, 4 or even 5 tractor. Most ships cannot maintain a level 5 repel, you would have to take evasive action if you know that the mirak's power curve allows that kind of maunvering.

To quote 762 directly: Anchor = death

Each type VI (24 points of damage) missle does as much damage as a plasma torp, and drones dont degrade with distance. Treat the MDC (and all other mirak ships with D in their name) like a KVL that can maintain 31 and charge its torpedoes (gives me chills just tp think about it).

One last thing: multiple ships work very well. Even an outnumbered mirak can do heavy damage to any ship that gets close. Alot of these battles are very close, dont be discourage. I have seen a certain mirak ace take on 5 foes, and kill them all. In a ffa, the mirak should be your first target. Strength in numbers.

Senior Captain Hobbesmaster XC
Commander, hydran squadren, xenocorp.