Formations Using High Maneuver

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For the purpose of this guide, assume that “High Maneuver” refers to a maneuver of at least twenty-five. Thus, this includes the beginning Fighter and anything that can outmaneuver it. These formations are good for group scouting, hit-and-run, or entrapment of a moving target.

Scouting: Group scouting simply means using more than one unit to scout for something. Often scouts need to be maneuverable if you want them to survive potential initial contact. Formations for scouting can take many forms.

The first and most utilitarian is simply a straight line where each unit is just far enough away from the next to overlap radar range. This creates a large wave which temporarily reveals anything in its path. The second formation that accomplishes the same thing, with a bit more tact, is a pair of parallel staggered lines. This type of formation puts fewer scouts at risk because the first line may report encountered fire in time for you to order the retreat of the second line before it falls victim.

The final common scouting formation is the web or net. Generally, this entails a grid full of units with overlapping radar. The purpose is to reveal an entire area of land at the same time. Often, the group starts at one point and spreads out into the formation. Use this formation if you need the full picture of an area, colony, or planet. In this case, it is most likely that there will be parts of the formation that will be at their designated place in the net while waiting for the rest of the group to set up. If it is your intention to lose as few scouts as possible, consider using the Maneuver and Evade settings in the “Orders” menu.

Should you actually encounter hostile forces, you have two options. Try to scout the rest of whatever you have discovered, or retreat. Obviously, the first option puts your scouts in danger and you may end up losing most or all of them. Regardless of your choice, High Maneuver will help you execute that decision. In order to reduce casualties, constantly change your formation’s heading slightly, just enough to avoid slow tracking weaponry. If you are retreating, you may consider consolidating, or further expanding your formation. You will need to have already considered this and have alternate formations beforehand for it to be of use. If you find all of your scouts have crossed enemy lines, consolidate. You want as few guns firing at you as possible.

However, beware of Area of Effect (AoE) weapons. A lightly armored, tightly packed group will not last long against AoE. Should you find yourself up against one of these weapons, or you find half or more of your scouts are not at danger, expand. The further apart each ship is from the next, the less likely that both will be taking damage from the same source. You may push your scouts into another enemy base, neutral or allied territory, or, more likely, unoccupied land all together. Overall, the odds that anything will shoot back at you out there are less than flying into a base you know will fire on you.

Hit-and Run: Hit-and-run is very common tactic which requires maneuverability. Hit-and-run tactics are typically used for one of two reasons. The first is that you believe your units will deal more damage in a short amount of time than those of your enemy. This may be due to damage per second, slow fire but high damage weapons, or component damage. The second reason is distraction. A sudden force of units, meant to do little but take fire, can give you the time you need for reinforcing your fleet, completing an evacuation, or developing a winning strategy.

In either case, hit-and-run formations can take several different shapes. The first is the wedge. It’s a triangle, with the point towards the target and sacrifices the lead unit for the welfare of the rest of the group. A single wave of units in a line tends to have the shortest engagement time of all formations, while generally distributing damage across the entire group. A solid formation, like a rectangle or circle, will typically concentrate enemy fire at the outsides of the form but will concentrate your own fire more effectively.

When going for a distracting type formation, use a solid formation and increase the “Cell Size” value. This may divide enemy fire between your units, allowing them to hold the distraction longer. Checking the Maneuver box in the “Orders” menu also helps as they may manage to break target locks and further disperse damage across the group.

The following is one example of complex formation creation using the name sort type. This example is designed to help you create your own unique strategy as this one is taught to all young military commanders. For this to work easily, you must have given this system some thought beforehand while designing your units. If you design your scout ships with names like:

Something, your high armor low firepower ships
Something, your high firepower but relatively vulnerable ships
Something and your auxiliary units
Something, you can create a formation which cares nothing about the individual characteristics of the ships.

However, to do this perfectly you must know how many of each ship you will have in each category. Suppose that you are using twenty of each:

Formation designations 1-20, the scouts, would be placed spaced out ahead of and on the sides of the bulk of the force.

21-40, the damage sinks, would be placed closely as the outer layer of the force.

41-60, the direct fire ships, would comprise the center forward half of the force, while

61-80, the support ships, would remain at the back half of the center of the formation.

If you give this enough thought before engaging an enemy force when units are lost (most likely the scouts), the defenders move outward to attempt to draw the main fire of any distant targets while the direct fire units also spread out and avoid being hit by AoE (area of effect) damage. Then the auxiliary units move up to try to provide better support. I hope you have grasped the basics present here; now you are ready to give it some more thought and improve on this.

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