There were a few
giggles and whispering comments as Charbel "Solo" Tengroth
walked up to the lectern, visibly uncomfortable wearing his semi-formal
dress uniform. The assembly quieted down as he looked up from his
notes and looked out over the assembled pilots. They were mostly from
Wolfshead squadron, but Solo could also discern some unfamiliar faces
in the assembly. Taking a deep breath, he started his lecture:
"Since our squadron now also is a part of Alliance Intelligence,
and as such can be ordered to participate in covert operations using
civilian space craft, I have been asked to brief you on some useful
First of all,
this briefing will deal with turreted transports, such as the Correllian
or even Muurian line of vessels. Secondly I will assume you're familiar
with the alliance pilot jargon concerning starfighter handling."
At this point
there were a fair amount of giggles, and it looked like the audience
was going to erupt in general laughter when Wolfshead squadron CO
suddenly stood up, "Oh will you just shut up! This lecture is
being taped to be distributed to other Alliance training facilities,
he's supposed to talk like this so just can it and give the man a
break! Ok, Solo, go on."
It was with some
relief that Solo continued his lecture,
down to business then!
The briefing will
be conducted as follows: First I will give some general advice, and
follow up with tactics on how to handle specific situations. (For
tips on how to get through particular missions in X-Wing: Alliance
please consult the cruiser Liberty).
One thing to always
keep in mind is that the transport is not a starfighter! Even if you're
flying a heavily modified ship like the Otana or the Millennium Falcon,
which has the speed to match a starfighter, it will still not behave
like one. Learn to exploit the advantages of the transport and to
evade its weaknesses, and you'll find yourself at the controls of
a very versatile craft.
Due to the sheer
bulk of a transport compared with the fighters we normally pilot,
situation awareness is an even bigger issue when flying these ships.
Crashing into things will have you lose your shields, or worse, in
no time. Also, when approached from directly above or below, the transport
offers a huge profile. Make it a habit to rotate your craft as to
present the smallest target area possible to hostiles.
To keep track of the bogeys you should check your forward and rear
scopes, and use the 'L' key freely since it gives you an instant indication
of the position of the targeted craft relative to yours. Rotating
your ship gives you two advantages when in a transport equipped with
a ventral turret: You present a small profile, and both your guns
can be trained on the target. When using autofire, 'F' key, you should
listen for the "thump-thump" sound of both turrets firing
when aligning your craft.
A neat feature
of the Correllian line of transports is that the turrets have their
own, dedicated, power system. This means that, unlike the forward
facing cannons, the charge capacitors can never be depleted. This
also means that in a situation when extra speed is needed you can
safely redirect all your laser power to engines while still maintaining
reasonable defensive capabilities (ELS 00/50).
very strong shields, but they recharge slowly. So slow in fact, that
it is rarely worthwhile to try and recharge them other than in no-threat
environments. Use your threat indicators to stay out of harms way
as much as possible to maintain shield strength.
In a combat situation,
always keep your speed as high as possible. Due to its size and lack
of maneuverability, the transport is an easy prey when going at less
than top speed. If you are getting hit a lot, increase speed by redirecting
as much power as possible to engines and use the turrets to keep the
enemy at bay (ELS 00/50 or 00/25). Also, since you have turrets, you
shouldn't throttle down to 1/3 unless you really need to do a tight
turn (it takes forever to accelerate to top speed), instead always
move at full throttle.
Again, for emphasis:
speed is your greatest ally. Rather than having to reduce speed to
recharge the main gun(s), as soon as they are depleted it is almost
always better to redirect laser recharge to engines and to rely entirely
on the turrets.
Let's now look
at a few specific situations!
multiple opponents is probably the most common situation you will
encounter, and the most dangerous too.
(and shielded) fighters you can keep the main gun charged and use
the added firepower at your discretion, keep an eye on your threat
display though and be prepared to direct more power to engines when
needed to avoid being hit.
When dealing with a multitude of slower fighters "rabbiting"
can be a useful tactic to "thin out the field". So, head
out from the battle and start picking off your opponents using the
turrets. It's a good idea to put the ship on autopilot and jump in
the turret yourself ('G' key), since you then get a higher rate of
fire and longer range.
As usual, it is
wise to stay on target until it is destroyed, this is especially true
against shielded opponents who otherwise might get a chance to recharge
their shields. However, in certain situations it is wiser to just
try and hold your opponents off. Use the 'E' key to target the fighter
targeting you, and then press 'F' to have the turrets repel him. It's
more efficient than choosing the defensive fire program ('X' key)
in keeping you out of trouble. Repeat this as soon as you see someone
trying to get a lock and you will find yourself having a much easier
time keeping your shields up. This is a very useful technique against
swarms of fighters, especially TIEs.
Fighting transports and other small starships
You can either
go about this the way you usually do when piloting a starfighter,
just remember to lock the turrets in the forward facing position.
Or, you can take advantage of your greater speed and circle the target
from a distance while tracking them with your turret guns. Against
these smaller targets it is important not to weave completely at random
to avoid throwing your guns off. Try to turn in such a way that your
target is at a constant bearing relative you. (N.B. Think of this
as the "strafing" you do in a FPS game). If you do this
right you will find that your guns are constantly finding their mark
while your opponent still has a hard time tracking you.
Fighting slow or static targets
Either head straight
for the blind spot (for a guide, visit http://www.renegade-wing.com),
or move in at high speed and and keep turning within gun range while
letting your turrets blast away. You'll whittle away the shields fast
enough. The second strategy is preferred if your target still has
fighters protecting it in the area. If you keep your speed high enough,
the turbo-lasers will rarely find their mark and you can avoid flying
out of range to recharge shields (and let your target recharge theirs).
Strafing, as mentioned above, is also very useful here. This concludes
this lesson, and I'd be glad to answer your questions!"
your questions to Solo