April 2012

SFB Tactic of the month [continued]


     Surprisingly to many players, most Kzinti ships lack double drone control. Furthermore, while the type-C drone racks can launch two drones in a single turn, they cannot be launched within twelve impulses of each other. The following tactics can help minimize these limitations for maximum drone concentration and utility:
     1. For a scatter-pack you plan on launching at long or medium range, consider loading it with three type-IVHF drones. By making them fast drones (the F designator) with automatic terminal guidance (the H designator), you minimize the demand they place on your drone control channels.
     2. You can cover yourself with a type-IHF electronic counter-measures drone launched from one of your type-C drone racks. Once the twelve required impulses have passed, you can then launch a four-drone wave using all four of your racks. To minimize the strain on your drone control channels, include a second electronic counter-measures drone in the drone wave. It will immediately take control of itself to escort the drone wave to the target. (If the type-IVHF scatter-pack is in flight and you are at Range 9 or greater, you will especially want to do this.) Your scatter-pack shuttle will have fallen behind as you speed towards the target - wait until the fast drones have caught up with you in order to concentrate the two waves together.
     3. Your second wave of four rack-launched drones can be put into play after the turn break when your first two waves get within eight hexes of their target.
     4. Finally, a second scatter-pack can be retained for use immediately following a battle pass. The target will (hopefully) be within eight hexes range and unable to destroy the shuttle before it can release its drones. (Track your opponent's weapons fire carefully!) Note that due to (FD5.21), you will not be able to have any drones under direct control of your ship if you launch a wave of six drones. So time your launch so that the release occurs when all remaining drones are either destroyed or within eight hexes of the target and using automatic terminal guidance.
     Load your drone racks with each of the four drone waves in mind. For instance you might get one "slow" wave of four type-IHM drones (two BPV), one wave of three type-IHF drones, and one type-IECMHF drone to escort them (six BPV), one "heavy" wave consisting of two type-IVHF drones, a type-IECMHF drone, and a type-IHF drone (six BPV), and finally an extra type-IECMHF drone (1.5 BPV) for your ship. Purchase five regular type-IM drones (2.5 BPV) for the remaining slots in your magazines. Put the type-IVs in the type-B drone racks and the ECM drones in the type-C drone racks. Then load your scatter-packs based on the reloads available: one scatter-pack with three type-IVHF drones, the other scatter-pack with five type-IHF drones and one type-IECMHF drone, for example. This costs eighteen BPV in total.
     You're now ready for your attack run! Cover yourself with a fast ECM/ATG drone and launch your first scatter-pack. Go as fast as you can following while following the scatter-pack in and feed your target a wave of fast automatic terminal guidance drones that are covered by their own electronic counter-measures drone. Make your battle pass on the heels of your drone wave, feeding in a third wave of drones, with automatic terminal guidance or without, depending on the circumstances. Then, before the dust can settle, launch your second scatter-pack!