Sunday, 25 January 2015

Elite Dangerous Pilot Academy - Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

Being a combat pilot is a fun way to see the galaxy, and there is so much more than just flying in a circle if you want to cut some hulls.

While having a premium loadout and top turrets really helps to do damage, a separate Rules of Acquisition article on the economy of being a bounty hunter will have to wait.  In this article we'll look at bait and switch tactics, where two or more small lightly armed fighters are trying to take down a large ship.

Ship roles

One ship will start as the designated bait. The bait should get the attention of the quarry and hold a mid-range.  Its fine to exchange fire but don't take too much damage.

The bait ship should call when it needs support, and the Captain of the Air Group (CAG) should assign a wingman to tail the quarry and draw its attention from the wounded bait ship. Eventually the quarry will switch and the next wingman should prepare to tag in.

The more ships you have in swarm, the quicker a new wingman can switch in so the less time a bait ship has to take heat for.  Typically this means each manoeuvre will be more intense and the bait can engage at a more deadly range and take down the quarry faster.

Closing thoughts

In any Bait and Switch it's important to be mindful of the CAG and be ready for your attack run. The strength of the group is your ability to control the quarry and divide its attention between your ships, and if one Bait is left hanging at point blank against the quarry you could start taking serious damage.

Hold your position and get your shots in, but get out of range before it gets too hot.  The bait should hold as long as it can, but don't be a hero. The CAG should call somebody else in as soon as you need it.

Overall the bait and switch is a very powerful way to stay out of danger and still deal damage. By taking turns in the fight you control the damage you take at the expense of lowering your DPS but its a great way to open a fight and wear down the shields of a strong opponent.