THE DREADNAUGHT CLASS CORVETTE - COMBAT TACTICAL GUIDE
Andrew 'FoamBrick' Moore
Coded and Illustrated by Marcus Fridholm
- Additional credits
- EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS
- Cannon (PBC)
- Missile (Seeker, Disruptor, REM)
- [Misc. (Mines) not implemented]
- EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF SHIELDS
- [See also manoeuvring & positioning]
- MANOEUVRING & POSITIONING
- Blind spots
- [See also shields]
- ENERGY MANAGEMENT
- [See also shields, weapons, manoeuvring & positioning]
- DAMAGE CONTROL
- SPECIAL TACTICS
- Ass First
- Gutless Yellow Chicken
SECTION 0.0 - INTRODUCTION
Hello and welcome to the Dreadnaught class Corvette tactical combat guide, we plan to keep you alive through even the roughest of days.
Please enjoy all the made-up terms etc, however, I've tried (relatively hard ;) ) to keep everything here as if it was in I-War itself. If you've got a suggestion please e-mail it, I'll credit it to you.
Again for being great and doing a HTML conversion.
- Technocrat 6400
For giving me the idea of picking this up again (probably without knowing it)
For being crap *but* usable ;
SECTION 1.0 - EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS
SECTION 1.1 - CANNON (PBCs)
PBCs are the main weapon on all Commonwealth and Independence Movement craft; main points to remember about the PBCs are this:
1) PBCs have limited range.
2) Are not 100% effective against shielded craft.
3) Are not instantaneous.
4) There is a rapid-fire option.
5) Effectiveness in numbers.
Range is a major factor in the usability of a PBC; the cannon has a maximum effective range of 8km, however it is possible to score damaging hits around 10km. Once within 8km the cannon comes into its own as an offensive weapon, however point-blank range is what you should aim for. If you manage to close to 3km or less a good tactic is to use rapid fire (see below) or to try and circle around into the enemies unshielded zone where PBC shots will score damage.
PBC shots are not 100% effective when they impact with a target unless the target is unshielded. Shielded craft will more often than not block the shot, unless there is more than one aggressor that a particular LDA has to manage. This leads onto using you wingman to help overwhelm a LDA. The best tactic which you can use is to get into a targets unshielded zone, most craft have this and those that don't shouldn't even be engaged in close combat unless you have considerable numbers.
Remember that PBC shots will not instantly arrive at their destination this is vital in executing tactics such as coupled-arrival.
Rapid fire with PBCs is deadly. The only problem is that, depending on the target size, it won't really be effective until ranges are less than 5km. This enables you to totally tie up a LDA and more often than not overwhelm it.
When you have a wing man, a spectacularly successful tactic is to approach the target with you wingman after ordering them to attack it, keeping within the same shield zone as your wingman (relative to the target) and firing at the same time as your wingman. The fact that there are two separate origin points for incoming shots which the LDA has to overcome is often enough to allow a shot or two to break though and cause actual damage.
[See also Manoeuvring & Positioning for tactics that will assist in attacking]
SECTION 1.2 - MISSILES (Seeker, Disruptor, REM, LDSI)
Seekers are an often misused weapon. Most commanders see it fit to launch many missiles at the target, even though the targets LDAs are not engaged and will manage to stop the vast majority of incoming missiles. There are, however, ways of countering this.
1) Coupled arrival
[see: particular tactics (6.0)]
2) Altered launch patterns
The pattern of missile volleys is defined by the acceleration of the launch vessel - this is a surprisingly misunderstood tactic. Normally a ship stays at a dead stop relative to its target or engages while cruising towards it at a set speed. The key to changing a volley pattern is by accelerating and constantly changing the rate at which you are moving towards the target. By doing this you are catching up or keeping pace with the missiles you have previously launched, grouping these missiles together. If you're successful, the first missiles will be one of the few cut down. An ideal addition to this tactic is to select the targets shield system - so that unstructured volleys will be able to inflict damage.
Note that it is preferable that you engage an enemy with cannon and conserve your payload of seekers for emergencies and 'hard' targets.
Disruptors need little explanation in their deployment, except that they should mainly be used against large targets such as Destroyers and Cruisers. Apart from use on the larger targets Disruptors can be useful in situations where your vessel is disabled or in some way unable to fight you can launch these at incoming hostiles in an attempt to disable them long enough to let your ship recover. One final situation where you could find disruptors useful is in badly balanced conflicts where it would be ideal for you to remove, even if only temporarily, an enemy ship or two from the engagement.
The REM missile is a deadly weapon; these nuclear weapons are amongst the most devastating which Navy vessels are permitted to carry. A REM missile piloted properly can destroy (or badly damage) as many as a dozen hostiles. The key to using a REM missile properly, is understanding how they fly. By default a REM missile will constantly accelerate and once at a high speed they can quite easily overshoot their target - which in many cases invalidates their use. The best advice for using a REM missile, 'keep it slow'.
Not strictly a weapon but it was included for the fact that it forces the enemy to combat, remember that using this may not always be ideal, you can easily find your self outnumbered because you deployed this too soon. Depending on your situation (i.e. if your engage with a second group) let your LDSI target get some distance before using the missile. This will mean, if they do decide to engage you as opposed to running, that they will have to cover a moderate distance first. This will give you a chance to engage any which are already in the local area and also some time to prepare.
[See also Manoeuvring & Positioning for tactics that will assist in attacking]
SECTION 2.0 - EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF SHIELDS
Using shields is all about knowing where your enemy is, on the Dreadnaught class corvette there are two LDA, which both cover the forward hemisphere and individually cover the upper and lower hemispheres. An important factor to remember when commanding a Dreadnaught is that the rear of you craft is where almost any shot will cause substantial damage. There are many factors to consider in combat where shielding is concerned.
1) Effectiveness & Deployment
2) Aggressor shields & Collisions
EFFECTIVENESS & DEPLOYMENT
Remembering that no defensive system is 100% effective and that your shields are no exclusion. The main problem which LDAs face today is tracking of multiple hostiles, when more than one ship is firing on a single LDA you have a problem, you should immediately alter your orientation so that the incoming shots are balanced out on more than one LDA. Always (and I can't stress this enough) keep enemies who have weapon systems they can bring to bear outside your rear quarter, this is the kill zone for the Dreadnaught class and you should pay special attention to it.
AGGRESSOR & COLLISIONS
When fitted the Aggressor shields can be a deadly weapon. Currently some probes and mining machines use a modified Aggressor shield to tunnel into solid objects; the same approach can be used here on large craft. Be warned however, many craft have shielding which will counteract the Aggressor shield and which may well just cause the ships to bounce (as if instant shield was engaged) - sometimes placing your target out of 'reach'. When your craft has not been armed with an Aggressor shield the instant shield function will still save you from collisions which would otherwise have crippled or destroyed your craft by will cause minimal (if any) damage to the object which you collided with.
[See also Manoeuvring & Positioning for tactics that will assist in defence]
SECTION 3.0 - MANOEUVRING & POSITIONING
The key to winning almost any engagement isn't directly in weaponry or defences, it's in the deployment of the actual vessel itself, a correctly positioned craft will decimate a poorly positioned one, even if it substantially more advanced - of course there are exceptions but not many.
One important factor in space combat is orientation, you should at all times have only shielded sections of you craft exposed to any enemy who are within striking distance. For attack this is moderately less important, most of the weapons can be deployed regardless of your orientation however keep in mind the defensive applications.
As stated above you should always keep your shielded sections of you craft facing you enemy, undoubtedly intelligent enemies will try to do the same. What the general hope in a combat situation is that you manoeuvre your craft into an ideal position from which to attack the enemy, these are know as kill-zones, essentially blind spots in the enemies defences and/or weaponry. The best tactic is to approach the enemy from the direction of its blind spot to within 1 or 2km manoeuvring best as possible to keep their weapons away from you and to attack with either conventional or rapid PBC fire.
As stated many times by now, nothing can defend you better than a considerable distance. It was true yesterday and its true today, if you can stay outside the range of an enemies offensive capabilities then they cannot harm you. An analysis is below:
< Thousands - LDSI
< 100km - Seekers
< 50km - Seekers, REM
< 10km - Cannon, Seekers.
You may ask why REM missiles are not included in the sub 100km range. That is due to the fact that by the time the REM has reached that far the potential for jamming of navigation signals is far too high and the fact that it's fuel supplies will be critical reducing its effectiveness considerably.
Note: these ranges are by reckoning only, if a enemy is moving away the actual distance travelled by the missile will be higher and it may not manage.
Note: There is a universal weapon that will travel as far as signals can reach, its called harsh language ;)
SECTION 4.0 -
Energy management is an overlooked feature on the Dreadnaught class, it enables the vessel to change its characteristics, be incredibly tough one moment, have amazingly powerful weapons the next to, being able to escape quickly. Below is a small section showing the different settings and when to use them.
SHIELDS - When under heavy fire, passing through armed quarters of larger ships or passing though enemy squadrons
WEAPONS - When you are in the kill zone of your target, when sustained fire is required.
ENGINES - When escaping a combat zone/passing through a hostile zone (such as a guarded LP)
The key to using this ability successfully is knowing what is going on around you. Personally I'd usually have it balanced leaning towards weapons and engines to be able to manoeuvre into an ideal firing position while dealing damage. Again I could balance it to Shields and Engines if for example I was attacking a destroyer from the front quarter - to survive long enough to get into his weapons/shield shadow.
SECTION 5.0 - DAMAGE CONTROL
Although many commands see it fit for the damage control systems to manage the repair queue they should all be aware of the potential benefits that managing repairs manually can bring. As opposed to waiting until particular systems are ready the commander should make sure that (depending on situation of course) combat vital systems are repaired first.
The first thing to being successful at damage control, is to be able to assess the situation and see what systems would take priority. For example - if it is a systems failure in transit from one area to another, with no hostiles, it would not matter to such a degree that the commander should get involved (although failures are rare nowadays). However if this is in a combat-situation a handful of systems should be given priority.
When in combat the main systems which should be put in front of all others are the following: -LDS -Ring (2nd because the accumulator ususally has enough power to sustain LDS for a short time) -Thrusters (main) -Thrusters (yaw,pitch,roll -although only a combination of two are required) -Shields -PBCs & Missile magazines These systems are, almost always, absolutely vital to the survival of a ship in combat, depending on the exact circumstances the list above may lose an item or two (i.e. LDS if there is an inhibitor). One very important thing to remember, when overviewing the repair of systems in combat, is that the ship is in mortal danger and the pilot and gunner may need command assistance at any time.
SECTION 6.0 - PARTICULAR TACTICS
This tactic is one of the most successful in a 'long range' dogfight (10 km), it is essentially the ability to have all of the deployed weapons to arrive at the target at the same time, and thus perforate the targets shielding. The keys to learning this tactic are:
Timing - Getting PBC pulses to arrive at same time as missiles.
Range - Placing the craft just out of hostile fire range yet close enough so that the pulses will impact.
Coupled-arrival is effective against almost all craft in use today, however exclusions apply. Both fighters and unshielded craft are not good targets to use this tactic against due to the fact that you would be wasting missiles, Fighters can easily outmanoeuvre missiles and unshielded craft can be destroyed quite easily using either cannons (preferable) or missiles (why waste?)
When for example a squadron of enemy fighters is incoming. You should not pass through them, since this will leave your aft exposed (even if only for a moment) and might allow them to let off a potentially damaging shot. What you should do is that, while accelerating towards them, use laterals to move out of their flight path. While passing by them at close range, rotate your craft to keep them in your forward field of view.
A very crude term used by captains who prefer to clear out the rear missile magazine first. Actually this is a sound tactic, although always keep a handful of missiles is case of emergency such as your ship being crippled and spinning uncontrollably. The fact is that rotating you ship so that the aft magazine can fire at an enemy is a bad judgement when in close combat. This tactic could be coupled with missile volley structuring from a distance, so that you can utilise this magazine safely.
GUTLESS-YELLOW-CHICKEN [note this name is a total piss take]
Use of the LDS is vital not only for the navigation of large distances, but also to survive engagements which have turned sour. It's a common used tactic to try and remove a damaged ship from a combat engagement by use of LDS for as long as sustainable - it might buy those needed seconds which make all the difference.
SECTION 6.0 - Procedures
Incoming Missile - Launch flare (don't rely on the computer to do it for you).
Incoming PBC fire - Orientate craft (block shots with LDAs).
Incoming REM Missile - Shit yourself! (only joking).
Incoming Mine - Orientate craft & attempt to gun down.
Incoming Fighter - Orientate craft & attempt to gun down.
Systems failure - Disable hostiles with disruptors, escape using LDS/repair weapons.
Crew mutiny - Space the chef.
Lights don't work - Plug in Christmas tree.
Outnumbered - Attempt to segregate enemy.