Monday, 14 April 2014

Strategikon: Tactics of Faction Warfare (Solo)

Please note, this does not refer to overall strategy on a corporate or alliance level, but will focus on the strategies a single pilot can use to succeed in Faction Warfare.

I also write this from the perspective of a solo pilot. I rarely fly with others, and although it's on my to-do list, don't know the first thing about leading a fleet.

Tasks for the solo pilot in FW fall under three broad categories. Two of these are socially acceptable. One is frowned upon. We will discuss all three. A good soldier should learn about all tactics, even if they never employ them. I also cast no particular judgement on the use of that strategy, as it does directly benefit the goals of the militia.

It's only annoying to combatants. It's not like you're blowing up freighters full of slaves.

The below are very abbreviated summaries of the three broad strategies.

Search and destroy

This involves hunting down war targets, destroying them, re-arming and repeating. Often called a roam.

This is the more offensive strategy, and gives you total choice over whether or not an engagement takes place. In general, you will enter a system, and warp to a safe spot. You locate targets using your D-scan, and, depending on what you find, will engage at your discretion.

Whilst you will find many engagements, you will not be earning a great many loyalty points. I recommend a brawling vessel for this, as these (usually) tougher ships give you the greatest chance of surviving the defenders counter-attack. You will also find many novice kiter pilots sitting on the warp-in point, leading to easy kills.

This is the strategy employed by pirates to find targets. If you're looking to learn this, Stay Frosty is a corp that will teach you well.

Fighting patrol

This was the first strategy I used for the Crusade, and involves capturing complexes.

Warp in system. Find an empty complex using the probe scanner. Orbit around, and wait to capture. If a pilot comes into the plex, engage.

This is the most defensive strategy (ironic since some pilots doing this are participating in offensive plexing... you are attacking the enemy militia's outpost). You will engage any opponent that seeks to stop you capturing the plex. I recommend using a kiter for this. Your greater range will allow you to choose whether or not to engage the enemy entering the plex. If 3 destroyers and a Griffin warp in, you'll have a 20km head-start for running away.

The militias are the best place to learn this strategy, as you will earn LP for every fight you don't get. Win-win. If you are outside of the militia, you an modify this for any important objective you know enemies will come to.

Occupation patrol

Similar to the above, this is where you capture complexes, but avoid combat.

This is the best strategy for making money. Keep an eye on D-scan, and run when you see an enemy appear. Your ship will be quick (with an MWD and maybe a back up Afterburner), and you will have warp core stabilizers in your lows. You will need some weapons to defeat the non-capsuleer militia ships.

Pilots performing these patrols are near universally reviled by most combatants. However, they have their place. As the majority of pilots, particularly the skilled ones, are only interested in padding out their kill boards, the actual act of capturing space gets left to these pilots.

Personally, I don't judge the pilots themselves, but rather the peculiar system CONCORD created to restrain the Empires from annihilating each other.

This strategy is only applicable in the militias, which reward LP for capturing points.

My personal favourite is Search and destroy. Hunting is generally more fun than being hunted, and you take a lot more control of the battlefield. I've never done an occupation patrol. It has it's value in terms of overall alliance strategy, but for the solo pilot, it's only purpose is money.

And I get that through other ways.

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