Combat Flight Management

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Combat Flight Management

Post by oceanway » Sat, 19. Sep 15, 13:38

Before you begin flying with two or more ships into combat, you must first fly your ship combatively. The main ship you should be flying into combat is a fighter. These ships are designed for offense as well as defense. Transporters and cruisers are designed to carry supplies and passengers and only used as defense ships. Some ships are exceptions such as transporter lifters and certain supply transporters that have a front turret as well as one in the back. More on these later. 

Most pilots fly using only the stick. Other pilots fly using only the keyboard. Now we have pilots who fly using a mouse instead of the stick thanks to the interface technology. Other pilots further use a combination of both the mouse and keyboard for manual and automatic flying. I recommend using both. 

On the keyboard you can fly manually and automatically. To fly manually when in auto, press the “U” key to turn off auto. To fly automatically when it manual, select target by scrolling, pointing nose of ship to object or select target on sector map and press “T” for target. Then press the “U” key to activate auto pilot. This allows you to switch from auto to manual and vice versa in order to do things the other can’t do. 

A. Your Ship (Single Ship Management): 

1. Fighters: 

There are three classes of fighters. They are M3, M4 and M5 classes. The M3 class is a heavy fighter. You should be familiar with one in the combat test simulation, the Argon Nova. It is the only heavy fighter that has a back turret for defense. The M4 class is a medium fighter and the M5 class is a light fighter. You must be able to attack or defend your ship using only the front turrets because all other fighters have no back turret. This includes shooting down incoming missiles if you have no missiles. 

In this one ship, you’re a commander bearing the rank of captain. The purpose of the fighter is to attack your enemies and defend your welfare, usually enemy fighters. Also, to take out as many enemy fighters. You command your ship to engage enemy fighters automatically by using either “attack“, “attack my target“, “attack all enemies“, “attack ship target” or “attack nearest enemy“ commands in combat mode. For defense, you command your ship by using either “follow . . .”, “move to position“, “standby“, “dock at” or “return home“ commands in navigation mode to disengage enemy. You can also move away from the enemy by selecting the above assault commands onto another enemy for alternate engagement or defense commands for temporary retreat. 

When an object has been targeted, in this case a fighter, use an attack command to invade, engage or attack directly at the target by pressing key on keyboard or select with mouse #2 or have your ship attack your target by pressing key on keyboard or select with mouse #4, an evade command to move away from target by either selecting another target in a manner described above or use “move to position” or “follow” command to stay with target in navigation mode. This is done by simply pressing the “U” key on the keyboard to automatically follow the target. 

Flying manually in combat, you would have to use your strafe drive (a must for defense maneuvers) to strafe and slide out of a situation by holding down the “Ctrl“ key and steer vertically, horizontally or diagonally using either mouse or arrow keys. You can also roll by pressing “Q” and “W” keys. When you’re clear out of the situation, you can then switch back to automatic by using auto commands as described above. 

The key point is to avoid staying on the same target. Fixed targeting is staying on the target too long. Most fighters are destroyed this way. Therefore you want to switch from one target to another to be safe. Another key point is to drift when you are switching between targets. This allows you to be in the “eye of the storm” as you are automatically hitting the target where all other enemy ships around can’t hit you. This can be done by strafing in any direction while moving forward and then auto lock-on to target by using attack commands #2 or #4 to get the natural drifting effect. Never stay still in space or you will risk getting hit, stay in the eye of the storm. Strafe in the “8” figure if you’re staying on one target or to bring your shields back up. 

2. Defenders: 

There are three classes of defenders. They are TS, TP and TL classes. The supply transporters (TS) are best used to defend stations because they have only one back turret. However some supply transporters have a front turret also, mainly from Split and Paranid entities. The passenger transporters (TP) also have a back turret, but they have higher speed to out run some ships. Finally, the transporter carrier (TL) have a variety of turrets because each one is unique. They are too big to defend a station, but they can support and defend a fighter, squad, wing or fleet of fighters. Their cargohold can hold a large number of missiles plus more making it a missile boat, in front of M8 bombers. Also their hangars can hold up to 30 fighters as one squad or one wing of five squads. The TLs, depending on their use, are also battlecruisers. More about them in carriers section below. 

3. Carriers: 

There are five classes of carriers. They are M6, M7, TL, M2 and M1 classes. 

The M6 class are corvettes. They carry only one M5 class fighter which is mainly used for scouting and dropping satellites, carrying extra or separate missiles or drones and scanning asteroids for mining. But they are capable of firing Gamma HEPTs than that of heavy fighters (except for Split M3 class Mamba), having up to three 125 MW shielding and fire multiple turrets. These are used as support ships for M7 class frigates, M2 class destroyers, M8 class bombers and TL class battlecruisers.

The M7 class are frigates. Larger than the M6 class corvettes to accommodate a squad of fighters rather just one M5 class fighter.

The TL class, if used in combat, are battlecruisers. As stated above in defenders section, they can carry up to 30 ships depending on their use and are diversified. As a battlecruiser, they can carry up to 5-7 fighter squads in a wing (more on this in “Your Squad” section), and hundreds of long range missiles. They are used to dispatch a smaller group of fighters against a target, group of targets or a few groups of targets. Five of these TL's would be an equivalent to a battleship carrying up to 150 fighters together in one sector and one TL would be one-fifth of a battleship which is useful for splitting up a battleship into separate areas in a sector or in separate sectors through battlecruisers. As a freighter, they can carry up to 90,000 cm3/units of subcargohold in the hangars aside from its cargohold. They are used for carrying large hauls of resources to deliver to multiple stations in one fill at a time and their supply transporters act as defenders defending it when no corvettes are supporting it.

The M2 class are destroyers. They can carry a squad of up to 13 fighters, mainly heavy fighters. Their fighter squad are special force fighters and are used to execute certain task(s) that ordinary squads may not do. Corvettes also support destroyers, but in larger numbers than that of frigates due to lack of additional squads. Destroyers often accompany battleships in the front and back during engagement.

Finally, the M1 class are battleships. They are also known as capital ships. They can carry up to 150 fighters as one squad, five squads of 30 fighters in a wing, or 5-7 wings of five squads each in a fleet. Often supported by destroyers. They can also carry, if used as a freighter, up to 450,000 cm3/units of subcargohold aside from its cargohold. More than enough to deliver a few sectors of stations with resources. 

B. Your Squad (Five Ship Management): 

1. Squad Commands: 

We’ve covered the basic concept of using ship commands to manage your ship in flight during combat. Now we will add two or more ships to your ship. But first, you need to know the number of ships in your squad. 

A squad can have 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 or 13 fighters. These numbers were chosen because they are not even numbers. Therefore there will always be one odd ship to lead the squad. This odd ship is the lead ship or squad leader. 

In this squad, you’re a squad commander bearing the rank of major, after being captain of one ship as fighter. The purpose of the squad is taking out five enemy fighters at a time by assigning one fighter to an enemy fighter and using combined firepower against an enemy station, a corvette or a frigate. You command your squad by using either “follow me”, “protect”, "protect me", “attack”, “attack all enemies”, "attack nearest enemy", “return home”, “dock at” commands in your broadcast channel. The command console is split into navigation (top) and combat (bottom) modes. Commanding your squad is just like commanding your ship, except that you're commanding other ships in your squad including your ship. 

Certain situations call for special or individual ship commands to your squad. For instance, although every member of your squad were given a squad command via broadcast channel, you noticed in the sector map that two or three of your squad members were hit after seeing their shields going down. You then select one with lowest shield to either follow you or return home (retreat). You do the same with the other(s) separately. Then you broadcast them including all the others of the same class of ship to attack as before after their shields return. 

When targeting multiple targets for your fighters in the squad, select first enemy fighter and either press the “T” for target key or right click and select target command with your mouse. Then select “fighter #1” in your squad and command it to “attack your target”. Do the same with the next enemy fighter and your fighter until all the fighters in your squad are assigned to their enemy fighter. Your fighters will standby displaying “none” for new orders after their assigned fighter target has been executed. 

Note that M8 bombers are support ships for fighters. They are excellent ships for supporting fighter squads. 

2. Squad Formation: 

In keeping your squad together, squad formation prevents fighters from colliding into each other or into another object. The “follow me” or “follow . . .” commands automatically put the squad members into selected formation. In the command mode, you will see the word “formation” and it’s set to Delta by default. You can have your squad members fly with either you or another ship in Delta, Line, X, XDelta or Pyramid formation. For advanced pilots, they can also use a natural free formation command which they can customize a formation by having each squad member go to their assigned coordinate separately and await for further commands there. This can be done by either using 14 satellites previously set up in deep space for navigating fighters or having them move to their ship’s position. Expanding and contracting the squad is the purpose of free formation. 

C. Your Wing (Five Squad Management): 

1. Wing Commands: 

We’ve covered the basic concepts of squad commands to manage your squad or squadron in flight during combat. We’ve also covered the formation command and the use of free formation. Now we will get into wing command. 

A wing is a set of squads. The purpose of the wing is quick deployment of one or more squads from an assigned location after “move to position” command for the wing was given. In this wing, you’re a wing commander bearing the rank of colonel, after being major of your squad as squad commander. You command your wing by commanding your frigate carrying 5-7 squads to go to a point or coordinate in space and launch one or more squads from there. In a battlefield, one of the tactics is to surround the enemy with a group of companies. While each company has certain firepower, the group or division of companies sieges a position and remain there until all its companies are gone. The same is true for squadrons deployed by a wing and in this case, a battlecruiser is a fighter wing carrier.

When targeting multiple targets for your squads in the wing and engaging a few enemy M6, M7 and TL carriers and M8 bombers, select the first enemy carrier in the sector map. Select wing leader in the first squad in your wing to lead the squad and have it engage the first enemy carrier. Then command it to “attack all enemies” or “attack nearest enemy“ using the wing command console. If you don’t have a squad command in your wing command console, you may have to command squads in the wing to attack their wing leader’s assigned target separately. The squads will standby for new orders after their assigned target has been executed. 

Note that there is no wing command for this type of wing in X2: The Threat. You can only command a wing by commanding frigates to a position of your choice, unless there’s fighter wing commands that automatically form selected squads into a wing. 

2. Wing Formation: 

In keeping your wing together, wing formation prevents them from colliding into each other or into another object. The “follow me” or “follow . . .” commands automatically put the wing members into selected formation. In the command mode, you will see the word “formation” and it’s set to Delta by default. You can have your squad members fly with either you or another ship in Delta, Line, X, Delta X or Pyramid formation. An example of this is flying five frigates in a squad of carriers. You select a formation best suited for carriers. Free formation for carriers is recommended. 

D. Your Fleet (Five Wing Management): 

We’ve covered the basic concepts of wing commands to manage your wing in flight during combat. We’ve also covered the formation command and the recommended use of free formation. Now we will get into the fleet command. 

A fleet is a set of wings. The purpose of the fleet is to assess the situation and deploy wings for siege or neutralization in one or more enemy sectors. Also, it’s purpose is to use wing firepower enough to handle destroyers and battleships. In this fleet, you’re a fleet commander bearing the rank of a general, after being colonel of your wing as wing commander. You command your fighter fleet by commanding your battleship holding 5-7 wings of fighter squads to assist your destroyers in taking down enemy destroyers, battleships or at least 125 enemy fighters. You’re in the battleship overseeing the operation of your fighter fleet plus carrier wings and squads either spread out in sectors or all in one sector and you’re well protected with destroyers at your flank. Wing leaders try to position their squads their assigned sector according to your command. Squad leaders then try to position their fighters near enemy station or carrier the same.
In a command ship or headquarter station, you send your fighter wing carriers to five enemy sectors after sending destroyers to hold enemy destroyers and battleships near the gate. Then you have each of them move to the center of the sector while their support carriers (M6’s) defend and protect them from enemy fighters. When positioned in the center of the sector, you then command the squads from the frigates to attack the destroyers and battleships being held by your frontline destroyers. Then you send in a battleship (fighter fleet carrier) to each sector and have them move to the center of the sector. Once there, you then command your fighter wings in each battleship to attack all enemy fighters.

When engaging multiple sectors for your fighter wings in the fleet, select the first enemy sector in the universe map. Select first fighter wing carrier (TL) aka battlecruiser and have it jump to the first enemy sector. Then command your fighter wing carriers to do as mentioned in the above paragraph using the wing command console. Otherwise have all your fighter wing carriers jump to one enemy sector and engage therefrom while you‘re in your battleship with them. All of your surviving ships will standby for new orders after their mission is completed.

Note that there is no fleet command for this type of fleet. You can only command a fleet with a fleet command console commanding the wings, unless there’s carrier fleet commands that automatically form selected wings in the fleet.

E. Dealing with Enemies:

In any battle, you should take out enemy ships of the same class as your ship(s) first such as an M3 against an M3, an M2 against an M2, etc. Then you work on the lower class ships to finish the battle. It’s not against the rule to fight a ship that is one class higher than your ship. One M3 class heavy fighter may not deal with an M6 class corvette alone. But five M3 class heavy fighters together in a squad can.

1. Pirates

When taking out pirates and their station in a sector, first determine how many stations they have and squads are flying. Many pirates ships fly alone. Others fly in formation with others. It is the ones flying in formation and the others standing by in a station you‘d have to worry about, especially when they’re in large numbers. In the rule of defense, try to match their arsenal. For example, one squad with one squad; two squads with two squads etcetera, with mixed class of ships. After you’ve taken out their stations and squads, clean out the sector from remaining lone wolf pirates, bounty hunters included

2. Xenons

When taking out Xenons in their sector, consider what you have in your arsenal. Remember that Xenons don’t think the way non-machine beings do and how they are determined to destroy you, no matter what. You can either engage in their sector with a wing of carriers carrying a fleet of fighters in total. Or you can just engage with one heavy fighter equipped with the right tools to destroy them and their stations alone.

3. Khaaks

When taking out Khaaks in their sector, you know right away from experience that fighting them up close and personal sometimes does not work. Their lasers give them the advantage of hitting their targets with precision than that of ordinary lasers and area effect weapons. That means you have to depend on your shields to withstand their firepower long enough to neutralize them. Try to match the number of their ships in the cluster. One squad of 25 heavy fighters is one way to handle them. The Khaaks will engage you with more than one clusters in their sectors.

4. Commonwealth:

When taking out an enemy race in a sector, consider the stations and ships they have. Unlike Xenons and Pirates, they have multiple stations. The squads in each station, as well as their carriers, may engage you after you enter their sector. You will have to defend your arsenal as soon as possible. Otherwise take out their stations five at a time with your heavy fighter wing while your four other heavy fighter wings are standing by. If a squad or squads don’t engage you from their station, make them engage you by attacking their station. You should have control of their sector and begin building your stations there once they’re defeated. Be sure to turn off the respawning station mode in the ‘Advanced Game Setting’ to stop the stations from coming back after you’ve destroyed them.

5. Specialty Weapons:

Never underestimate special weapons such as Ion Disruptors, Phased Shock Wave Generators, Squash Mines and Mass Drivers. They can be of advantage if used correctly. Note that these are area effect weapons. At longer range, they can hit more than one enemies. But at close range, their fire will concentrate on one target. When taking out a destroyer in an M3 class heavy fighter, an Ion Disruptor or Shield Damper is used. This will decrease the destroyer’s shield faster than lasers can where the hull will be exposed. While keeping the shield down to zero percent, other fighters will bring down it’s hull with their lasers. The destroyer will be destroyed after the hull is completely down.

F. Summary: 

Combat flight management begins with how you manage your ship via keyboard, mouse and stick plus basic understanding of ship and other ship commands. This can be achieved through combat training simulation by taking the combat test for a pilot license. Once the basics of ship commands are gained, squad management follows. Commanding the squad is accomplished by using the squad commands in the navigation and combat modes in the command console. The next step is managing a wing. Commanding a wing is similar to commanding a squad, except that you’re dealing with five or more sets of ships. They can all be together in a formation by default or customized. Finally, managing a fleet of fighters can be done if there are either five battlecruisers carrying a wing, each flanked by four corvettes or frigates in a squad, assigned to five separate sectors or a battleship carrying five wings assigned to one sector. 

G. Note from Author:  

I wish there was a squad combat test simulation as well as wing combat test simulation and fleet combat test simulation in addition to a fighter combat test simulation in the pilot license examination. In the X2-The Threat game, there’s only a fighter combat test simulation using an Argon Nova and a destroyer combat test simulation using a Titan. I would like to see additional combat tests managing a squad, wing and fleet for general combat flight management.

Also, I wish there was a Sector Management Console where I can select up to five sectors from the universe map and use it in such a way I can monitor and manage only those sectors. It operates the same way the monitors in the ship works, except there‘s no monitors and you can select each sector with a mouse, then press the “period“ key to get the full page; likewise in reverse. In fleet management, I would be able to view what my wings are doing in each sector in the sector management console. I could have five squads of carriers (a battlecruiser flanked by four corvettes or frigates in XDelta formation) and each battlecruiser carry a wing of five heavy fighter squads (five fighters in each squad). Each carrier squad is assigned to an enemy sector. Therefore I have to see what is going using selected enemy sectors in the sector management console and command the fleet therefrom.b][/b]

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