Guide to Corvettes...Combat. [X3 Guide]

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RavenIII
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Guide to Corvettes...Combat. [X3 Guide]

Post by RavenIII » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 20:46

After reading people complaining that corvettes are a pain in the hiney to use, I've decided this may be a good idea... But no promises as to how helpful it may be.

My preferred choice is the Argon Centaur.
Reasons:
-It has more than one turret (if I need them) But I often only use 1 (the rear turret).
-Decent Speed- Good for charging.
-It's AHEPTs are perfect for most situations.

Loadout
If you're using the centaur don't bother with the side turrets (if you have them all attacking, they start to drain too much energy from your main weapons.) I suggest the rear turret be used for missile defence, stick a HEPT on it anyways. (side turrets may be used with IREs as Missile defence).

What You Can Handle
Recently, a post on another topic by someone suggested the technique used in taking down M4s was ineffective. They suggested many things, one being that slowing down is a bad tactic... not only that, but if you come across too many M4s, then your shields will go down. Here's a little note, you can't take on large groups, you can't go into a Xenon Sector without any support, the M4s will of course rip you apart, this guide is primarily for taking down pirate groups, of varying sizes, but not more then 5 or 6, they'll shred you to pieces.

Basics of target choice:
When in combat I will suggest you go for the biggest ship first, especially any Novas as they cause the most pain with their rear turret... then Falcons, Then M4s (I may take Buzzards out first: They use the Particle Accelerator Cannon (PAC) which is strong against shields... and if I'm not mistaken they can also mount HEPTS (one M4 has the capability).

Combat - The Approach
I will start with a suggestion, if you have a joystick, and it has a POV hat on the stick, try and get this set to your ships strafe (comes as standard with all ships). Reason I suggest this is I've seen a few people (family+friends) not use the strafe, by the time they reach their enemy, their shields have often gone... so strafe is now a must for fighting in corvettes, and can be the decider between the win or lose. (Otherwise consult your controls and the manual to find these strafe settings and change them as necessary to allow easy access on your keyboard).

Approach
Using the strafe drive allows you to avoid the first fired shots of an enemies HEPTs (if against M3s), this saves a good portion of your shields.
When just outside of firing range (when the cross appears) you can start firing, but you may wish to wait until you're near them, and when they start firing.

By this time you are in the dogfight!:
In this, if you decide to avoid using the throttle much, then use the strafe to help you in the direction you are turning, it may tighten it slightly, and gives your opponants another challange to try and hit you.

M3s
When fighting M3s wait for the crosshair (tracker) to flash blue, this is when your weapons have chance to lock on and are more likely to hit. Just give a few quick bursts, this will weaken the shields, and make the enemy turn (this also works to your advantage, as when the enemy turns, it means you turn... hopefully avoiding any direct hits by any other persuars). Carry on until all enemy M3s are wiped out.

M4s
By now, you should've wiped out all the M3s, but wait... it's not all over yet, M4s can be nasty opponants, due to speed, and occasionally larger weapons. When dealing with them, you try and stick to the tactics of the M3 fighting, but slow down, if they're so fast (above 200) then it is wise to let the enemy come to you, as they shoot off, and turn round for another attack run. When they start to come back, track them, wait for them to get close, and let rip with a long burst of HEPT plasma. And repeat until they are dead.

The reason for slowing down, is so you get a better trace on them when they turn round to come back at you. If you slow down, then there's more distance when they turn round to trace them, and fire upon them. Bare in mind that strafe drive should be used to avoid as many hits as possible, so can barrel-rolling and other techniques that may make you sick :P

M5s
These are the most annoying, but there is little danger of these ever passing your shields. If all the M3s and M4s have been dealt with, then it may be possible to reduce your speed to 0. And wait for them to do their attack runs. Blast them when they get close, hopefully they won't last a second.

(The last technique was developed after watching some M3s attack a Pirate base, and how the lasertowers just whiped the space dust away with them. So I though, lets just sit and wait, using the Corvette as a lasertower.)

This makes an end to my guide, as of now. If anybody wants to add anything, be my guest (PM me or Reply to this... I will include your name.)

Happy Hunting,

RavenIII

PS: I want this to become a good guide to corvette battling, so input is more than welcome (as mentioned above, your username will be included).

-----------------
Added Stuff - By RavenIII
-----------------

Okay, after a few more months of time in corvettes, I'm still in them :p anyway, I've played about with another type of corvette, in this case, the Split Dragon. I like the style and firepower of this ship, but found it abit... lacking, for me anyway, here are my reasons.

Bad:
1) Less Shields (I find myself in danger many a time).
2) Bigger Profile (Means a bigger target for the enemy).
- These were my biggest and only gripes with it.

Good:
1) Extra Firepower 8xAHEPTS does last longer. (I should have used PPCs... my biggest mistake)
2) The Extra Speed, you can out-class most m3s with the speed.

-----------------
Added Stuff:
-----------------
James_2k

Dont forget a couple of escorts, even m5s will help distract the enemies for a time :)

shadowfawx
My piece of advice and what saves me the most headaches is this:

You are not a Spanish Galleon, your cannons do not fire only once you are broadside your enemy. Do not allow yourself to be presented to your enemy this way.

You should always (as impossible as it may seem) keep the smallest target prescense to any enemy, no matter what their size.

This also allows effective use of the strafe drive.

With practice you will notice about 30% of the shots intended for you miss.

DarthVodka

Firstly, I do not consider myself an expert in any sense of the word but since I've also seen several posts by people saying they have difficulty in the Centaur and since I have never had any difficulties, maybe something here might help someone.

Shields:
Should be obvious but in case anyone has overlooked this the Centaur can carry 3x 125mj shields. Use them!

Weapons Inventory:
8x BHEPT
8x BPAC
8x MD
4x ID
3x APSG

You have excellent storage space. Use a little of it to carry the necessary tools for a wide variety of tasks!

Standard Loadout:
4x BHEPT (weapon group 1)
4x MD (weapon group 2)
Rear and side turrets 3x BPAC

Weapon harpoint positions:
1 = Left, top
2 = Left, middle
3 = Left, bottom
4 = Top, left
5 = Top, right
6 = Right, top
7 = Right, middle
8 = Right, bottom

Positioning your weapons in the best hardpoints for your style of fighting can make a difference. If you don't believe me experiment a bit for yourself and watch where your shots go in the target cam!

Turrets:

IMHO the rear and side turrets are invaluable particularly against swarms of M5s. BPACs are an excellent choice here as shot velocity is higher than HEPTs and therefore the probability of hitting your target is also higher. Often some of the M5s in a fight will have been taken out by the turrets by the time I've taken care of the M3s/M4s with the forward weapons.

I do not find the turrets to drain battery power too much, even with 4 BHEPTs mounted in the front hardpoints. However this will come down to your style of fighting. If you choose when to fire carefully and don't waste your shots there is little problem. Of course having some MDs to switch to if the juice does run out never hurts either Wink


A word of warning: if carrying multiple surplus weapons your turrets WILL switch to whatever weapon they consider best for a given situation. However they will not choose area effect weapons like IDs or PSGs.

With all turrets in use, the Centaur has excellent fire coverage but there is a weakness. Directly underneath the Centaur is unprotected by the turrets. When fighting I find myself rolling to ensure the belly of the centaur is towards the area of space with the least hostiles in it, therefore affording all turrets a firing opportunity.

Strategy - Station defense:

If rushing to the defense of a station being attacked by pirates, try to position yourself between the station and the pirates. On your approach roll so the belly of the Centaur is towards the station (or more accurately the station is at the bottom of the screen while the pirates are at the top), and switch your turrets to a less aggressive stance such as missile protection. On a number of occasions I have inadvertently P***ed off the station I was trying to protect with over zealous turret fire. If you can draw the attackers away from the station with a couple of mosquitos before engaging them, better still.

Strategy - Typical encounters:

Set turrets to protect ship/missile defense. When engaging a typical pirate group, say 2 or 3 falcons with a couple of busters or harriers I can usually take out 2 falcons or their equivalents with 4xBHEPT by rushing straight at them before becomming entangled in a dogfight Then once engaged inside the pirate group, moving on to the M4s I am constantly adjusting the roll and strafe of the centaur but most importantly speed to help turn. In this situation I rarely go above half speed.

Strategy - M5 swarms:

If I find myself up against a swarm of fast M5s at close quarters I change turret setting to Attack All Enemies, reduce speed to about 20m/s - just so i'm not the proverbial sitting duck - and turn into them at full swing as if trying to crash into them. All the while strafing and rolling so that the rear and side turrets have line of sight. In this situation the turrets often get the kill before the front weapons come to bear.

Strategy - Kha'ak clusters:

Command console/attack all enemies. Turrets to attack all. Switch to external view, sit back and enjoy the fireworks with your beverage of choice. Once the bottom of the cup has been reached mop up any stragglers and continue on your merry way Smile

Wingmen:

Don't underestimate their usefulness in many situations. My preferred set up is two Nova Raiders each equipped with 4 front AHEPT and 1 rear set to missile defence, and two capped Xenon L's each equipped with 4 BPBEs.

Kockaspiton

Side turrets are very usefull if you equip them with Mass Driver, they don't drain energy, its good for missle defence and attacking too.

biggie1447

When attacking capital ships such as xenon use 8 BHEPT in the front and MDs in any turrets. Fly strait at them once in their range use the strafe drive to fly sideways and up or down to avoid enemy fire. Once in range of your weapons fire untli you depleet energy reservs and then head away from them and let your energy recharge. Watch out for any fire coming at you when flying away because PPCs HURT! Rinse and repeat. :D The shields won't have enough time to recharge to any level worth worry and once the shields are down, sinara sucker. :twisted:

johnstrt

Might be worth adding that IonDs can be very useful. If you're just fighting in a crowd, they can strip the shields off a lot of opponents quickly, and your turrets can often finish off M5s immediately. They're also very good for taking out missiles and for capping: combine them with some MDs and a lot of ships will surrender quickly. Best not to use them, though, if you have wingmen.

More generally, if you're planning to hang out in the Xenon or Khaak sectors, then it's important to learn how to run in an M6: big swarms of fighters will take you down eventually, however good you are. To take them out, you need to separate them, and it's generally possible to do this, by drawing their attention and then turning and running: they'll follow, but become strung out, with the quickest at the front. You can turn back, take these ones out, and then repeat unil you've worked your way through all of them. This works with a Centaur, but is even more effective - and necessary - with a Dragon (especially with some PPCs for long-range sniping). While retreating, of course, you can switch to your rear turret and have a pop at the closest pursuers.

_____
-To all, thanks for your input - keep it coming.

- Edit: 18/02/06 (See Added Stuff - by RavenIII)
- Last Edit: 24/06/06 (See "What You Can Handle" and changes to "M4s")
Last edited by RavenIII on Sat, 24. Jun 06, 11:05, edited 10 times in total.

James_2k
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Post by James_2k » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 21:00

Seems a good guide.

Dont forget a couple of escorts, even m5s will help distract the enemies for a time :)

shadowfawx
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Post by shadowfawx » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 22:24

The first thing to take into account in any fight is your primary weakness.

Being that this is a corvette guide, our weakness is definately the size of the target you are presenting to the enemy.

My piece of advice and what saves me the most headaches is this:

You are not a Spanish Galleon, your cannons do not fire only once you are broadside your enemy. Do not allow yourself to be presented to your enemy this way.

You should always (as impossible as it may seem) keep the smallest target prescense to any enemy, no matter what their size.

This also allows effective use of the strafe drive.

With practice you will notice about 30% of the shots intended for you miss.


Also this presents a good opportunity to ram those pesky m5s.

DarthVodka
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Post by DarthVodka » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 23:00

Excellent guide! Thanks for taking the time :)
I too use the Centaur and would like to add a couple of points from my own experiences for consideration if I may?

Firstly, I do not consider myself an expert in any sense of the word but since I've also seen several posts by people saying they have difficulty in the Centaur and since I have never had any difficulties, maybe something here might help someone.

Shields:
Should be obvious but in case anyone has overlooked this the Centaur can carry 3x 125mj shields. Use them!

Weapons Inventory:
8x BHEPT
8x BPAC
8x MD
4x ID
3x APSG

You have excellent storage space. Use a little of it to carry the necessary tools for a wide variety of tasks!

Standard Loadout:
4x BHEPT (weapon group 1)
4x MD (weapon group 2)
Rear and side turrets 3x BPAC

Weapon harpoint positions:
1 = Left, top
2 = Left, middle
3 = Left, bottom
4 = Top, left
5 = Top, right
6 = Right, top
7 = Right, middle
8 = Right, bottom

Positioning your weapons in the best hardpoints for your style of fighting can make a difference. If you don't believe me experiment a bit for yourself and watch where your shots go in the target cam!

Turrets:

IMHO the rear and side turrets are invaluable particularly against swarms of M5s. BPACs are an excellent choice here as shot velocity is higher than HEPTs and therefore the probability of hitting your target is also higher. Often some of the M5s in a fight will have been taken out by the turrets by the time I've taken care of the M3s/M4s with the forward weapons.

I do not find the turrets to drain battery power too much, even with 4 BHEPTs mounted in the front hardpoints. However this will come down to your style of fighting. If you choose when to fire carefully and don't waste your shots there is little problem. Of course having some MDs to switch to if the juice does run out never hurts either ;)


A word of warning: if carrying multiple surplus weapons your turrets WILL switch to whatever weapon they consider best for a given situation. However they will not choose area effect weapons like IDs or PSGs.

With all turrets in use, the Centaur has excellent fire coverage but there is a weakness. Directly underneath the Centaur is unprotected by the turrets. When fighting I find myself rolling to ensure the belly of the centaur is towards the area of space with the least hostiles in it, therefore affording all turrets a firing opportunity.

Strategy - Station defense:

If rushing to the defense of a station being attacked by pirates, try to position yourself between the station and the pirates. On your approach roll so the belly of the Centaur is towards the station (or more accurately the station is at the bottom of the screen while the pirates are at the top), and switch your turrets to a less aggressive stance such as missile protection. On a number of occasions I have inadvertently P***ed off the station I was trying to protect with over zealous turret fire. If you can draw the attackers away from the station with a couple of mosquitos before engaging them, better still.

Strategy - Typical encounters:

Set turrets to protect ship/missile defense. When engaging a typical pirate group, say 2 or 3 falcons with a couple of busters or harriers I can usually take out 2 falcons or their equivalents with 4xBHEPT by rushing straight at them before becomming entangled in a dogfight Then once engaged inside the pirate group, moving on to the M4s I am constantly adjusting the roll and strafe of the centaur but most importantly speed to help turn. In this situation I rarely go above half speed.

Strategy - M5 swarms:

If I find myself up against a swarm of fast M5s at close quarters I change turret setting to Attack All Enemies, reduce speed to about 20m/s - just so i'm not the proverbial sitting duck - and turn into them at full swing as if trying to crash into them. All the while strafing and rolling so that the rear and side turrets have line of sight. In this situation the turrets often get the kill before the front weapons come to bear.

Strategy - Kha'ak clusters:

Command console/attack all enemies. Turrets to attack all. Switch to external view, sit back and enjoy the fireworks with your beverage of choice. Once the bottom of the cup has been reached mop up any stragglers and continue on your merry way :)

Wingmen:

Don't underestimate their usefulness in many situations. My preferred set up is two Nova Raiders each equipped with 4 front AHEPT and 1 rear set to missile defence, and two capped Xenon L's each equipped with 4 BPBEs.

That's all. Hope it helps someone! Feel free to copy and paste if you think any of this is relevant.
Live long and slaughter. Er... prosper.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
William Blake

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RavenIII
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Post by RavenIII » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 23:19

Wow, thanks also DarthVodka :D It's been added, and so has your name, excellent info, and tips/strategies :)

Kockaspiton
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Post by Kockaspiton » Mon, 5. Dec 05, 23:27

Side turrets are very usefull if u equip them with Mass Driver, they dont dain energy, its good for missle defence and attacking too.

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RavenIII
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Post by RavenIII » Tue, 6. Dec 05, 18:48

Thanks Kockaspiton true point... also if people don't fancy using the Mass Driver, then there is also the excpetion of the IREs as they drain little energy, and can take out missiles... But I realise they won't manage to take out any ships... as the Mass Driver will "ignore" the shield (go right through it)... and cause Hull Damage.

You're also added :)

Kiekie
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Post by Kiekie » Thu, 8. Dec 05, 11:29

A little question to anyone........ in X2 my corvettes could hold an M5 scoutship inside, in the manuel of X3 it is said to be the same but I can't seem to dock my M5 inside my M6. In the specs of my corvette there doesn't seem to be a hanger?

As I found this one to be of the best things about the corvette, it wonder what I'm doing wrong or why egosoft changed this feature on the M6.

johnstrt
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Post by johnstrt » Thu, 8. Dec 05, 12:19

Might be worth adding that IonDs can be very useful. If you're just fighting in a crowd, they can strip the shields off a lot of opponents quickly, and your turrets can often finish off M5s immediately. They're also very good for taking out missiles and for capping: combine them with some MDs and a lot of ships will surrender quickly. Best not to use them, though, if you have wingmen.

More generally, if you're planning to hang out in the Xenon or Khaak sectors, then it's important to learn how to run in an M6: big swarms of fighters will take you down eventually, however good you are. To take them out, you need to separate them, and it's generally possible to do this, by drawing their attention and then turning and running: they'll follow, but become strung out, with the quickest at the front. You can turn back, take these ones out, and then repeat unil you've worked your way through all of them. This works with a Centaur, but is even more effective - and necessary - with a Dragon (especially with some PPCs for long-range sniping). While retreating, of course, you can switch to your rear turret and have a pop at the closest pursuers.

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Post by biggie1447 » Thu, 8. Dec 05, 17:08

i seem to be able to dogfight in a Dragon very easily

I have taken out large, small, and multiple khaak clusters, multiple pirate groups, xenon with fighters and M2 (i usualy seperate caps and fighters anyway) and xenon fighter groups with five or more M3 and i don't remember how many M4s the only thing i have to wory about is the M4s because PACs are fast accurate and good against shields but i always win any way.

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Geggo
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Post by Geggo » Thu, 8. Dec 05, 17:22

Have anyone tried centaur on xenon "taxi" mission....... It's almost sure suicide atleast if targets start around you like mine did.

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RavenIII
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Post by RavenIII » Thu, 8. Dec 05, 18:13

Kiekie wrote:A little question to anyone........ in X2 my corvettes could hold an M5 scoutship inside, in the manuel of X3 it is said to be the same but I can't seem to dock my M5 inside my M6. In the specs of my corvette there doesn't seem to be a hanger?

As I found this one to be of the best things about the corvette, it wonder what I'm doing wrong or why egosoft changed this feature on the M6.
Sorry to say, the M6 (corvette) can no longer take an M5 as a docked ship, you'll have to swap ships in a station... probably a balancing issue, now you can dock at stations, there is no need for M5s (although they proved good escape "pods"). Also bear in mind that an M2 (Destroyer) also cannot dock any ships, although this in my opinion makes no sense.
biggie1447 wrote:i seem to be able to dogfight in a Dragon very easily

I have taken out large, small, and multiple khaak clusters, multiple pirate groups, xenon with fighters and M2 (i usualy seperate caps and fighters anyway) and xenon fighter groups with five or more M3 and i don't remember how many M4s the only thing i have to wory about is the M4s because PACs are fast accurate and good against shields but i always win any way.
It is now very easy to fight in corvettes, and also bear in mind that the Khaak Clusters are, now, no-where near a threat to the corvettes... due to their lowering of power... making them less of a challange.
Geggo wrote:Have anyone tried centaur on xenon "taxi" mission....... It's almost sure suicide atleast if targets start around you like mine did.


Interesting, I'll have to try that at some point (could be helpful when searching for Xenon Invasion Missions)... I'll let you know how I get on.

And Thanks johnstrt for your addition to the guide.

Cheers,

RavenIII.

PS, keep those tips and hints coming.

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Post by Jakesnake5 » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 13:42

If you did any of the simulator missions before playing the game, the last one has you in a Centaur. Not a very FAST one mind you (~75ms), and one armed by default 11 bire's, but a Centaur none the less.

I found that those bire's are NASTY when all 8 are hosing your target into swiss cheese. Don't make the mistake of thinking their 'weak'. They are compared to other weapons, but remember most ships pack more than 2 forward guns. And in bunches, are not funny to be in front of.

I also found I could dance this beast around targets. Charge straight at them offset just a bit, and as their abbout to pass, track and strafe. I did a complete 360 degree revolution round a falcon once before hitting his 5% hull vehicle (had to get out and squeege the windscreen).

Just remember this: if you pack MD's for turrets, pack lots of ammo, cause they WILL eat it like candy. 8)

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Post by Ato Kotarn » Tue, 19. Sep 06, 03:49

One thing that I find useful for corvettes is the value of missiles, particularly hurricane (VERY GOOD against Khaak clusters), wasp (hello, ten missiles tracking one target, good for any M4 or M5 with few exceptions), and silkworm (I find their fairly good at hitting things from 6km and the heavier ships). Centaurs can load vast quantities in their holds. (try 50 wasp missiles, and you'll get the picture, try firing all 50 bundles at ONCE, the enemy does to as the missiles streak towards the poor fool.) :twisted:

Hard Mounts:
Front:
6*BPACs
2*MD
Turrets:
3*APSG
3*APAC

I agree that PSGs are useful, but they aren't the best thing to use in "friendly space" or near any civilians. Also try to keep turret weapons safe in friendly space where possible. APACs can be a bit overzealous in attack all enemies, but I find that they offer a fair choice turrets with a balance of firepower, energy drain, and refire speed. I still haven't found why people are so enamored with HEPTs, they take to long to hit anything, and the ship needs to be facing so far ahead, remember corvettes can't really turn to save their lives, even when upgraded.

On shields:
NEVER, EVER think about taking a corvette out without filling its sheilds out to the max! Centaurs can carry 3*125 MJ of shielding, USE IT! :evil:

Moving:
Strafing is a very good tool, even outside of corvettes. However if you fly close (ie less than 50m from the surface of the hull) to hulls like I do, where Xenon turrets can't hit you and any other ships firing at you will likely hit the one you're circling than you, and if you're very very lucky, the enemy fighters will get stupid enough to crash into the ship you're circling. You need hairpin turns that are not very friendly to anything, strafing is a good way to keep your distance from these turns while still being in the blindspots of capital ships. Practicing on asteroids can be a destressful way to hone this skill, of course, it does carry over to smaller fighters. A hint for this, start slow, very slow. : D

Corvettes VS
M1/2/TL Ships:
This is where flying close is a good thing, try to keep at least one turret oriented to the the ship you're flying by, firing when possible. Each ship has it's own blindspots depending on the race, some are on the underside, some over, some near the hangars (which isn't just as good as it sounds, it means you're open season to launching fighters. it hurts.) Here is where having a high amount missiles, both silkworm and wasp, pays off. Pray that your practice on asteroids paid off. Getting within range is a rather cross your fingers and steel your nerves kind of deal. This will not work for Kha'ak vessels, sadly. They will shred you before you can get close enough to do much damage.

M3/4 Vessels:
These will give you a bit more trouble, usually they're faster, more manuverable, and can carry weapons that will ruin your day (plasma throwers, particle cannons, rarely mass drivers), it is best to not only minimize your target when possible, this is where the APACs/APSGs on turrets come in. APACs have the refire rate to get a steady bead on fighters at range, while the PSGs will give them something to dodge close up. Try to keep your blindspots away from the fighters if possible. Asteroids are your friend here, they can provide you with the cover that you need. Wasp missles come in handy here if you can't seem to hit something with your turrets.

M5 Fighters:
Bow to the PSG, M5 class fighters will rarely have the firepower to hurt you, the most I've seen is a APAC. Just sit back, and let them come, frying themselves as the shotgun-like effect of the PSG shred the fighters stupid enough to linger too close to you. Wasp missles will work if you feel like it. In friendly space it's best to stick with APACs, still efficient, but not as much as the PSGs.

Kha'ak Clusters:
Get within about 4-5km of them, and fire a hurricane missile, watch the fireworks. If that doesn't work, kill the fighters with anything you have, mop up the rest at your leasure, you can likely sit and watch the scouts fall before your well planed turret fire.
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

-Isaac Asimov

Star_Raider15
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Post by Star_Raider15 » Tue, 19. Sep 06, 16:09

M6 r very powerfull ships that is a fact however they r not as easy to pilot as the M3, but despite this fact i still had unbeliavable results in an M6(particulary in the hydra) during XI missions, and that is without the use of missiles
The answer is just another question.

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