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Your Very First Boarding - Guide (X3TC)
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Rive





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 15:31    Post subject: Your Very First Boarding - Guide (X3TC) Reply with quote Print

It's intend to be a guide for your

Very First Boarding Operation


It's a very stupid, very basic, very step-by-step guide, so if you prefer to figure things out by yourself then stop reading here Smile However it's about the what-to, and not about the how-to, so I will not tell you any press-this-click-that, right?





First of all, there are two different things. There are capping, capturing, bailing: when you shoot something small till the pilot gives up and jumps out of the ship. Then you can claim the empty ship for yourself.

Then there is the boarding: when you hire a bunch of marines who then rush in the selected bigship to kill the crew and get control over it.

This guide is about boarding. Especially it's about the 'spacewalk' kinda' boarding which is the cheapest and most quickly reachable way of boarding - however it is NOT the most easy way.



Prerequisites

You will need:
- equipment
- marines
- a ship to board Smile
- a silent, friendly place for some shooting


Here is the shopping list for the equipment:

- You will need a Passenger Transport (TP) ship. I recommend an Express because it's common, fast and can mount 75MJ shielding. There are other TPs out there which are better for this but those are harder to get. The Express will do.

- Get a gun for your ship's tail and set it to 'Missile only'
- Max out its speed and rudder
- Triplex scanner (not absolutely necessary but useful)
- Freight scanner
- 3X25MJ shielding
- Special command software
- Fight software I & II
- Bioscanner
- Transporter device
- Jumpdrive
- 150 ecells
- 15 Fighter drone MKII
- 50 Dragonfly missile
- Some mosquito missiles for missile defense
- A dozen Salvage Insurance

Well, this is almost a two million credit investment till now. The boarding is not a cheap thing. Most equipment can be bought at Argon Prime and Home of Light if you start as Argon.



Next, the marines

They are available at
- Military Outposts, except the Boron ones
- Pirate Bases
- Marine Training Barracks
- Rehabilitation Centers


So get in your TP and let's buy some meat.

If you dock in a station where marines are available then - if you have a Bioscanner - you will see some stars and statistics on the upper-right corner of the screen about 'Fighting', 'Mechanics', 'Engineering' and 'Hacking'. For now, you are searching for marines with at least two stars for fighting. Beyond that, the more is the better (and more expensive, of course). Such a marine will cost around 100-150 000 credits. You will need six of them. It's important that 'Fighting' experience will be improved only by successful boarding operations.

Some words about the stars. When you deploy the marines - throw them out on the airlock, honestly - they will seek for the target. Then if the target's shields are down, they will try to cut through themselves of the hull. (If the shields are stronger than 10% they are all toast ) Their chance to success with the hull-cutting depends on their mechanical skills. It's preferred to have two marines with at least three star mechanical skills.
When they breached the hull they will start shooting. It will look and sound like a fighting, but trust me - such beginner marines will just shoot everything what moves, blinks, gives sounds or makes them nervous.
Ship components included.
So the hull integrity of the target will drop rapidly. The 'Engineering' skill is about to recognize the real targets and to avoid the unnecessary damages. If the hull integrity falls below a threshold then the marines will cease contact and seek for safety - the operation fails. So I recommend two star engineering for every marine. More is better.
During the fighting the accumulated fighting skills determines the surviving and success ratio. Your marines will be tested on every deck, so strong fighting skills recommended.
When your marines finished with wrecking the crew and the decks they will reach the central computer. And this is the point when the 'Hacking' skill kicks in. I recommend at least two marines with at least three stars hacking.

The skills (except the fighting) can be improved by teaching: courses are available on EQ docks.

So when you have your team, head for the nearest EQ dock and send them to the school. Dock in, open the trade menu and click on the names. You will need two of them with three star hacking: two of them with three star Mechanical: and every one of them with at least two star Engineering.
This will take some time and credits. At this point the bill will be somewhere around the 5000000 mark. When they finished they will be available on the dock for pickup. You will get a message about their progress.

According to NUKLEAR-SLUG and Dycor one 'Quick' course will improve ~0.3 star: a 'Normal' ~ one star, an 'Advanced' 1.5-2 star. There is some random factor involved. The overall price of the training will be lower if you rely on 'Advanced' courses. 'All' courses can be even cheaper at long term, but for the first boarding it will be cheaper to rely on specialists instead of generalists. The training time depends on the skills of the marine and the type of the course.

It's recommended to start gathering the equipment and the marines as early as possible, since the training will take some time while you can work on your fight rank. With higher fight rank it's more frequent to get M6 ships for missions.


A ship to board - where the difficulties begins


With game version pre-2.7 you can start doing Defend Station missions and check if the spawned ship matches the criteria: if not, then reload. But after patch 2.7 the M6 spawn for Defend Station missions is a bit different and less frequent.

So now there is just one other way left available: you have to hunt down a military ship. And that's not easy, especially in a TP.

You can check race sectors for targets, but beware: any attack against race ships in race sectors will affect your reputation and turn the sector hostile, and if your rep is already low then they will remain hostile. And that can be quite inconvenient with a TP and a battered M6.

Fortunately, there are regular military patrols on the Pirate Highway: the pirate sectors between Farnham's Legend and Hatikvah's Faith. You have to deploy some satellites there, and regularly check if a lone military M6 wanders in... Any attack against race ships here will also mean some rep hit, but not so much than if it happens in race sectors.

Another possibility is to exploit some race relations. The Boron and the Split are natural enemies, as like the Paranid and the Argon: so for example to attack a Boron ship in Split sectors will not turn the sector red - in fact your reputation with the Split will be improved. Of course, the Boron will be upset. So you can check the border sectors for such misguided race ships.

Anyway, be sure that you can bear the consequences.


If you found a lone M6 then you have to jump in and check its equipment. Area effect weapons (Ion Disruptor, Plasma Burst Generator, Phased Shockwave Generator), insta-hit weapons (Pulsed Beam Emitter, Phased Repeater Gun), heavy marines, anti-boarding equipment (Sentry Lasers, Hull Polarizing Device, Enhanced Firewall) are not welcomed. If any of them is detected onboard then choose a different target.

If you can, try to find an Osprey for your first boarding. Beware of the 'Heavy' versions.

This part will be a bit time-consuming.



Choosing the battleground

Is your team ready? Have you found the perfect target? Then let's see where the perfect place for the ambush is. Generally you have to be sure that nobody will intervene and you can flee if must. No pirates, no race military/police nearby.

If your fight rank is high enough to get M6 from defend station missions then what you need is a station which offers such a mission and is within a 25km range to the nearest gate. Check if there are any military or police ships in the nearby. If they have a chance then they will steal the kill and blow up your target (mostly when your marines are on board.)
If the police is somewhere in a distant corner of the sector, then it's OK.

If everything is fine then take your place on the top of the gate, with 4km distance from its center. Then save and comm the station for the mission. If the arriving ship is in match with the requirements then go on Smile


If the environment is not optimal then wait and seek for other target, or follow the target till it rtakes a more appropriate position.
For some police/military ships it's OK to shoot them a bit (a salvo of Dragonfly will do) and turn them hostile - and then lead them away from the traffic. But first you have to check if you can flee or not...


ACTION!

The next step is to deploy the drones. Target the ship and eject the drones. Usually I eject 13 of them - nothing special, just that's my favorite number.
Command them one by one to 'Attack Shields' of your target. It's easier if you practice some with the keyboard.

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Always save if anything is done!

Your drones will start to chew the shields. It's important that there should be no hull damage! If its hull is dropping then something is wrong - you have to sort out the problem and reload. You can speed up the process with a salvo of Dragonflies.

Your time is coming! When the shield has dropped below 10% accelerate to full speed and head for the target. When you are close then match the speed - you have to be the faster, however: 15-25 m/s difference will be OK. Then switch to classic fight mode and call up your ship's command menu with the keyboard. Additional ship command slots are your friends, and choose 'Board Ship' but wait before you hit the final enter. Save.

Till you are in classic mode you are still able to control your ship with the mouse and the strafe keys. The menu in front of you is transparent - get used to see through it! Your goal is to reach a position right in front of the target, where it WILL BE AFTER A FEW SECONDS.
When you are close to the right place, hit the final enter.

If the target's shields are below 10% then the marines will be deployed immediately. Some incoming fire is expected in this phase. You have 75MJ of shielding and the strafe keys for that.


Here is a short (and awful) vid about this part of the process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YouN_Qkoaos

A not so awful footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8QaSQdEZZA

This is the most boring part of the process. Don't be upset, for me this stage was around twenty or more reloads for the first time. The target is turning, moving aside, trying to avoid the drones and maybe trying to shoot you. It's really hard. The vid is here only to prove that it's far from impossible: you need a lot of practice to do it so easily for the first charge.

If you did it all right then the marines are away. Accelerate and run for safety. Call up the property menu and check the 'Personnel' tab. You will see the state of your marines. If they reached the target then 'Cutting hull' will appear for all of them. It's very important that all of them have to reach the target within the same timeframe! So if they are all on target then save here. If the target managed to flee, or just two or three marines can reach the target then reload and try again.

Most of the job is done. Your marines will cut through the hull - if they failed then reload till they succeed. Then save. If they clear a deck then save again. If there are too much casualties then reload. It's not a DiD stuff here, you know...

If they reach the central computer then SAVE immediately! The remaining onboard equipment is random. You can reload this last stage to get more loot.

Then your marines will hack the Core and grant access for it. The ship is yours.


Clean up the mess

The job is still NOT done! There can be problems.
So head for your new ship and get transporter distance to it. Transfer some ecells and the jumpdrive and order it to jump to a nearby friendly sector IMMEDIATELY. Some military ships can launch missiles from huge distances, and if such a missile hits in then all is lost. So send it to safety. Your marines are still on board: you have to collect them later.
M6 ships can hold only five marines, so the sixth one - if survived - will float somewhere around. Save him.

When your new ship is sent to safety command the drones to stand down and collect them too.

If it was a Defend Station mission then the other pirates can be still there. You have to clean them away to avoid rep loss from the failed mission. Send the drones after them. A dozen of drones can neutralize anything. So eject them again - their lifetime will be renewed - and command them to hunt. Then you can start to collect the loot. When the drones are finished you can collect them too. The station will call you and you get the reward.

If it was in race sectors and if they are turned to hostile then you have to check the local military/police, and apologize for the mess if necessary. If you can turn all of them to neutral then it's OK.

I think you will have your own ideas about your new ship - I'm done here. Congratulations Smile



If you are interested in more advanced tactics, then check here: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=2921468



Some usual questions and answers:

Q: Why an Osprey? They are near to useless!
A: Maybe, but they are slow, so easier to catch: and they have more hull so they can tolerate more of your greenhorns - remember the Engineering skills! A Centaur or the rare Dragon is much harder to board.

Q: Why MKII drones? MKI drones are cheaper!
That's true, but you need much more of them, and it's a bit boring to command twenty-some drones one by one.

Q: I have some inbound missiles, which kills me. What should I do?
A: If you don't have active Mosquito Missile Defense then turn your back to them and let your tailgun to take care of the missiles. It's not a good idea to headbutt any missile Wink

Q: Three marines went stargazing instead of joining the other 2 as a team so the boarding fails. Any tip for this?
A: After the 2.5 patch it's common with this type of boarding tactics. The target's way should lead between the groups so they can catch it in the same time. This is why this part costs so much reloads. There is no real solution for this. You have to guess where the target will be - but that's close to random.

Q: Can I remotely tell an M6 to board?
A: While you are IS then yes, you can. But the autopilot is sooooo stupid that your marines will never reach the target Sad



Last edited by Rive on Mon, 25. Feb 13, 16:54; edited 24 times in total
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juanitierno





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 15:49    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Are you avoiding somehow the 2+3 bug where 3 marines go stargazing instead of joining the other 2 as a team?

have any tips for avoiding it?

I would love to try boarding from a TP, but said bug makes it impossible for me.

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Rive





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 16:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

juanitierno wrote:
Are you avoiding somehow the 2+3 bug where 3 marines go stargazing instead of joining the other 2 as a team?

have any tips for avoiding it?

I would love to try boarding from a TP, but said bug makes it impossible for me.

Included, very thanks Smile

All I can say for that is that you have to try harder and you have to learn to predict the target's way. It's possible - all my M6s are boarded by spacewalk. Ospreys, Centaurs, Centaur Protos, then some Hyperions...

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LordForrester





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 16:35    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Can I remotely tell an M6 to board? I would like to stay on my Shrike or do I just need to get an M7M for that. I was thinking of getting an M7M anyway to cut done on losses as I build up my troops fighting skill.

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Rive





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 16:46    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LordForrester wrote:
Can I remotely tell an M6 to board? I would like to stay on my Shrike or do I just need to get an M7M for that. I was thinking of getting an M7M anyway to cut done on losses as I build up my troops fighting skill.

Included too, thanks a lot Smile

The answer is 'yes'. But the autopilot can't outguess the AI, so your marines will be deployed just... somewhere. So I think they will not be able to reach the target.

Maybe for some really (!) slow targets. For example, to board a slow M7M from TP with ten marines.

Ps.: If you are fast then maybe from two TP... That it's just an idea Idea

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LordForrester





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 17:19    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

What if I issue the order then jump out of sector? Does it work like a missiles and those marines become instal hit?

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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 17:22    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Can this be done launching marines from a TM or is the smallest I can use a TL then it is M6 and upwards?

I am at the stage of being ready to try out some boarding but currently my marines are sat in my Zephyr TM, which with four Solano fighters are my only ships at the moment.
I don't really want to have another ship tag along so will wait till I get an M7 with hangers, not really interested in missile boats at this stage in the game.
Ideally I would like to just run a small piracy operation using a small carrier and a handfull of fighters as support. I would have liked to use the Astraeus Hauler but will have to settle for a Cerberus or a Shrike, the Shrike is damned fugly though.

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Rive





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 17:31    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LordForrester wrote:
What if I issue the order then jump out of sector? Does it work like a missiles and those marines become instal hit?


Well.. I dunno Surprised It's worth to try Laughing

Liquidpinky wrote:
Can this be done launching marines from a TM or is the smallest I can use a TL then it is M6 and upwards?

This method is to board M6 ships with a single TP. TMs cannot launch marines - they can only carry them as I know...

Sorry, I don't understand the TL part of your question Embarassed

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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 17:44    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Liquidpinky wrote:
Ideally I would like to just run a small piracy operation using a small carrier and a handfull of fighters as support.

If your piracy plans include boarding you're going to have to change your fleet. The only ships which can launch marines are TP, M6 & M7M. And the latter is the only one which can use boarding pods.

Tim


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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 17:47    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thanks for the info. I meant TP and not TL, to many abbreviations leads to confusion of simple minds. XD

I guess I will stick to other criminal activities like smuggling contraband for just now.

As a matter of interest, anyone tried using a TL or M1 to do the drop?
My thinking is to pull in front of your intended victim (M6 sized), he bumps into the back of you till his shields are almost down, make foe, drop marines then jump out to next sector. Maybe dropping some drones or fighters to keep the shields down.
Just using sheer size to bully smaller ships into submission.

EDIT: allready answered above. Sad

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Rive





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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 18:04    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Liquidpinky wrote:
My thinking is to pull in front of your intended victim (M6 sized), he bumps into the back of you till his shields are almost down...

The bumping method works, but that's not for TP-boarding. My Centaur Proto was boarded with drones and bumping with a Centaur: and then my first Hype was boarded with drones and bumping with that Centaur Proto.

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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 20:34    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Easiest boarding I ever did in terms of ship placement (save for the #deca) was 2 TPs+1 Centaur vs an M7M.

If you can catch an M7M while it's attempting to enter a gate, it's fairly easy to bring it to a standstill, making it a sitting duck for spacewalking marines, while it's lack of turrets means it's not trying to stop you from getting it...and the best part is, it's the only thing you really need to spacewalk into, as you can then use it to launch pods at everything else!


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PostPosted: Thu, 28. Jan 10, 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Quote:
The next step is to get some marines. They are available at
- Military Outposts, except the Boron ones
- Pirate Bases
- Marine Training Barracks.


And Rehabilitation Centers.


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Rive





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PostPosted: Fri, 29. Jan 10, 11:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Nanook wrote:
Quote:
The next step is to get some marines. They are available at
- Military Outposts, except the Boron ones
- Pirate Bases
- Marine Training Barracks.


And Rehabilitation Centers.


Many thanks, it's added too.

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Lord Dakier



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PostPosted: Fri, 29. Jan 10, 11:17    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Speaking of boarding I'm attempting mine soon.

I need a special force however, one marine of each race. I'm going to attempt to do this with a simple interceptor wing and a Zephyrus. This will be the first operation of my special marines boarding operations.


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