Sunday, 25 January 2015

Elite Dangerous Pilot Academy - Swarm Tactics

Swarm Tactics

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 some classic swarm tactics, where two or more small lightly armed fighters are trying to take down a large ship.

The advantage of the swarm is strength in numbers. You can hold at a swarm range ~3KM and be safe enough so that you can recharge shields between engagements. The improved shields and firepower of your swarm will allow you to overcome even the largest of ships.

The chain of command

The Captain of the Air Group (CAG) should have authority over the timing of your attacks. If you scramble you may end up fighting one-on-ones with a superior foe, so listen to the CAG and follow the plan.

The Swarm

Your default position should be circling the quarry at around three or four Km. The designated bait ship should be a little closer and giving reports on the status and movements of the quarry.

Report in to the CAG when you are ready to make your attack run.  Once everybody is ready the CAG can call weapons free and everybody should engage.

The advantage of the swarm is that you can pull in or out of the fight so can stop taking hits before your shields deplete. The swarm allows you to control the rhythm and cadence of the fight and drive the quarry to attacking a designated bait ship while everybody else recharges.

While in a swarm there are plenty of attack options. You can Bait and Switch, or coordinate for a shock and awe attack.  If you have ships with a variety or loadouts - some specialised for shield takedown and others for tearing through hulls then the swarm allows you to focus on a role. A missile gunboat can hold at four Km and make its attack run once the quarry is unshielded.