Any combat tips?

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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by CmdrGumbo »

byronarn wrote: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:35 am Just made the first kill of my current game! It was a lucky find. Found a lone Fer-de-lance in the space lane on my way to Tsionla. He had an offender status, so I targeted him. Tried to take a few shots with my military laser, but the dang thing overheated too fast, so I used my fuel injectors to get close then finished him off with my mil laser.

Thanks for the advice guys! I'm going to come back to this post to reread these tips every so often, so feel free to post more tips if you think of any. :-)

(For those who are following my Tales of a Pacifist Pilot in the fiction subforum, don't worry, It wasn't Noryb who did the killing. His kill count is still zero! :-)
Right on, Commander!
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cholmondely »

I've rather extensively rejigged the Laser tactics page on our wiki over the past few months: http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Laser_tactics

I'd appreciate some feedback on something I know rather little about!

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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by hiran »

Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:45 am I've rather extensively rejigged the Laser tactics page on our wiki over the past few months: http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Laser_tactics

I'd appreciate some feedback on something I know rather little about!

Cholmondeley
I like that page - and added my little experience :oops:
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cody »

Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:45 amI'd appreciate some feedback on something I know rather little about!
... precision mode: use it - especially for distant targets. You should normally be in precision mode when firing.
If using a joystick, properly set-up splines should negate the need to use precision mode.

Further advice: only take the shot when you know you're going to hit. Try using the laser as a single-shot weapon.
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cholmondely »

hiran wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:33 am
Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:45 am I've rather extensively rejigged the Laser tactics page on our wiki over the past few months: http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Laser_tactics

I'd appreciate some feedback on something I know rather little about!

Cholmondeley
I like that page - and added my little experience :oops:
I'm an utter idiot! I can't believe that I forgot Barrel Roll!

... would you mind if I "dramatised" your entry to fit in with the style of the rest of this little section...

Maybe something along the lines of ...

Dybal's Defensive Barrel Roll: Commodore Dybal perfected a over-ride mechanism for his Astrogatory Console allowing an attacked pilot to relax once the lasers start overheating and the shields are being depleted. To evade enemy lasers, roll & pitch simultaneously, which makes the ship spiral. Commodore Dybal's [[Barrel Roll]] equipment allows automatic performance of this manoeuvre. Commander Hiran recommends installing [[Auto-ECM]] to enable automatic obliteration of inimical incoming missiles which might inhibit enjoyment of a decent cup of... /glass of ..."

- beverage of your choice

Actually, just thinking about it... I wonder if yaw and pitch might not be more effective (if the assailants are limited in number, so one does not need to flee the scene so to speak) ... one is not going to escape, so it's a matter of letting things cool down and recharge before either escaping or rejoining the fray...
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by hiran »

Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:47 am
hiran wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:33 am I like that page - and added my little experience :oops:
I'm an utter idiot! I can't believe that I forgot Barrel Roll!
I'm happy to have found something worth mentioning after all! :lol:
Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:47 am... would you mind if I "dramatised" your entry to fit in with the style of the rest of this little section...
Absolutely NOT! Since grammar schools I was told that my stories could be extended with some bells and whistles and I was always short and to the point. Something that became an advantage when explaining technical stuff to other people. :roll:
Help with the whistles is definitely appreciated.
Cholmondely wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:47 am Actually, just thinking about it... I wonder if yaw and pitch might not be more effective (if the assailants are limited in number, so one does not need to flee the scene so to speak) ... one is not going to escape, so it's a matter of letting things cool down and recharge before either escaping or rejoining the fray...
Actually there is a possibility to escape. Just imagine you do not aimlessly barrel-roll, but set a rough direction in which to spiral. This could be
- the sun for a fuel scoop, allowing you to jump away
- the planet with a station and at least some GalCop presence. No need to reach the station - once you enter the GalCop controlled space pirates won't follow

Actually I found that the Barrel Roll expansion is a wee bit too simple. It just behaves as if I were pressing roll and pitch, which is good but there is very little help setting the direction of spiral. I do not care whether internally that expansion uses roll&pitch or yaw&pitch. But I'd be happy if I could use the controls to then manipulate the spiral center axis and thus better approach a desired position. Having to pulse-code on my keyboard feels clumsy.

BTW, the beverage to enjoy while barrel rolling is already defined: http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Barrel_Roll_OXP
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cody »

Beware of too much automation! I use TAP, which is very useful at times, but can become a problem in a melee!
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by hiran »

Cody wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:22 pm Beware of too much automation! I use TAP, which is very useful at times, but can become a problem in a melee!
It would even help if the Barrel Roll OXP could launch the maneuver smooth enough so the axis of the ship before the barrel roll would actually become the axis of the spiraling, and fade out in a way that the spiral axis becomes the direction of the ship again.
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cholmondely »

hiran wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:50 am
Cody wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:22 pm Beware of too much automation! I use TAP, which is very useful at times, but can become a problem in a melee!
It would even help if the Barrel Roll OXP could launch the maneuver smooth enough so the axis of the ship before the barrel roll would actually become the axis of the spiraling, and fade out in a way that the spiral axis becomes the direction of the ship again.
Alas, Dybal is no longer with us. Why not just add your critique to the Barrel Roll thread so if anybody ever wants to tweak it, they have a chance of finding it?
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by hiran »

Cholmondely wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:02 am Alas, Dybal is no longer with us. Why not just add your critique to the Barrel Roll thread so if anybody ever wants to tweak it, they have a chance of finding it?
Done: http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?p=276732#p276732
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cholmondely »

I came across this is KZ9999's box (Oolite Manual Public Draft 0a):
4.4Basic Fighting Techniques

Combat in games like Oolite is different from any other gaming environments (especially games like First-Person-Shooters.) Simply put, you start out gunned by ships that are faster, more agile and better armed. To survive combat in this situation, you have to out think your opponent. The only real way is to develop the mindset is to practice (and be willing to spend a lot of time running and/or dying.) To get you going, here are few basic fighting techniques that should get you in the heady combat ranks of Average.

Don’t Play Chicken
Most Harmless commander when they get in to their first fight, will charge head first at the target; then wonder why they get obliterated on the first fly past. Sometimes the other ship will not be able to pull away in time or pulls away in the same direction so both ship will be destroyed in the collision. Even if both ships miss each other the narrowest of margins they scrape shields or hulls and still end up wrecks. Until you truly mastered the ship, by doing a few hundred manual docking, you will not be able to judge distances and speed accurately, so it better to give ships a wide berth.

When A Ship Is On Your Tail
After a few fights, you may have noticed that some of the ships will use some unusual flight styles. These manoeuvres are both useful in bringing your ship into attack position and taking it out of another ship’s fire line. It is worthwhile practising these manoeuvres in the safety of the station aegis till you become accustom to them. The manoeuvre names listed here are the GCW Flight Academes standardised terms for them. Individual races may used alternative name inspired by beings or creatures of their native environments.

Roll 360° Continuous
Maintain your speed and roll your ship in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Unless the attacker is extremely close or absolutely on centre of your tail, the majority of their shots will miss your hull.

Pitch Sine Cycle
At maximum speed pull a series of tight dives and climbs. From side on viewpoint, the ship will appear to trace a sine wave. This manoeuvre should keep you out of the attackers firing zone as much as possible while maintaining some forward movement.

Pitch/Yaw 360°
At maximum speed pull a maximum pitch or yaw turn. This will put your ship in a tight loop bringing you behind your attacker. This manoeuvre is best performed with the opponent close behind you, as it relies on them being unable to alter their flightpath in time.

Break - Pitch/Yaw 90/180°
This is considered to be a more dangerous manoeuvre as it involves allowing the attacker to catching up with you. Drop your speed 85-90% so that the attacker closes within 500 metres. Now alter your pitch or yaw by at least 90° and maximise your speed. With luck, your opponent will over-shoot you allowing you valuable moment to either bring your laser on target or to put distance between you. By pulling a 180° turn, you will now be flying in the opposite direction allowing for an easier escape, or to target the opponent with your missiles or rear mounted laser.

{images – montage of combat methods.}

Attack From Behind
The majority of ships out there only ever carry a forward mounted laser. This leaves every other direction unguarded. In the beginning most criminals will fly a series of strafing runs in the hope of an easy kill. If you damage them enough, they will cut their losses and run. Now chase after them and attack their undefended rear. It may not be cool or honourable, but you will live, they won’t and that’s what matters.

Someone Launched A Missile
When an opponent has launched a missile at you and you don’t have a ECM System, you have only two options. One, launch a missile at them in the hope that they have to ECM yours and take out theirs in the process. Two, run as fast as you can and give your ship enough time to recharge enough of the energy banks/shields to take the hit, or that it has to trail you for so long that it runs out of fuel and self-destructs. When you want to make your missile count, try to close in as close as possible to the target before launching, reducing their chance of being able ECM it in time.

Run, Run, Run Away
Only heroes/idiots stay and fight to the death. If you are out classed, just turn tail and run. Most pirates have limited window of opportunities between police patrols and can’t afford to waste time. If you keep running long enough, they give up and their IFF flags will go yellow. Another advantage of this that if you are in the stable systems it shouldn’t be long before you run in to a Local Government or GalCoP patrol. They will come to your aid if you are attacked (and legally clean enough.) If you run long enough, you will end up at the GCW station aegis, and any violence there will prompt a very aggressive response from the stations’ Viper fleet.

Dump And Run
Use distractions to cover your retreat. Hitting D on your keyboard will trigger the dumping one cargo canister from the rear of the Cobra. This is often enough to distract a pirate for long enough for you get out of scanner range and to be able to activate hyperspeed. By default the computer will dump the first item in the cargo manifest, using Shift-R will rotate through the manifest to for the cargo type to be dumped. It’s often worth carrying one ton of low value goods like food or minerals and rotating through the manifest to select it as soon as you exit witchspace.

{image - a ship dumping a cargo can.}
I'm hoping to include it in our wiki.

Any suggested amendments or ideas for illustrations (his descriptions, not mine, and I'm not sure how to do them)
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by another_commander »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:09 am Any suggested amendments or ideas for illustrations (his descriptions, not mine, and I'm not sure how to do them)
In the Someone Launched a Missile section, there is a third option: shoot down the missile. You have very little time to do it and you will have to be a very sharp shooter, but it's a possibility and the game helps the player here by offering the target-nearest-incoming-missile control, which bypasses the entire process of having to center the target before it is registered. It was implemented for offering the incoming missile as target for turrets, for the ships that have turrets, but it can be useful also for immediately letting the pilot know where the incoming missile is and maybe giving a couple more extra critical seconds to react.
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cody »

another_commander wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:27 amIn the Someone Launched a Missile section, there is a third option: shoot down the missile.
If the missile is doing its spiral thing, don't try to follow it with your gunsight - let it come to you.
Hitting D on your keyboard will trigger the dumping one cargo canister from the rear of the Cobra.
This is wrong - cargo pods are ejected forwards, and if you're moving at speed, so will the cargo pod.
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cholmondely »

another_commander wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:27 am
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:09 am Any suggested amendments or ideas for illustrations (his descriptions, not mine, and I'm not sure how to do them)
In the Someone Launched a Missile section, there is a third option: shoot down the missile. You have very little time to do it and you will have to be a very sharp shooter, but it's a possibility and the game helps the player here by offering the target-nearest-incoming-missile control, which bypasses the entire process of having to center the target before it is registered. It was implemented for offering the incoming missile as target for turrets, for the ships that have turrets, but it can be useful also for immediately letting the pilot know where the incoming missile is and maybe giving a couple more extra critical seconds to react.
Cody wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:18 pm
another_commander wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:27 amIn the Someone Launched a Missile section, there is a third option: shoot down the missile.
If the missile is doing its spiral thing, don't try to follow it with your gunsight - let it come to you.
Hitting D on your keyboard will trigger the dumping one cargo canister from the rear of the Cobra.
This is wrong - cargo pods are ejected forwards, and if you're moving at speed, so will the cargo pod.
Can you please just look at how I integrated your comments here - just in case I misunderstood you!
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Re: Any combat tips?

Post by Cody »

If you do do this, when the missile is doing its spiralling vortex, don't try to follow it with your gunsight - let it come to you.
Yep, that's fine. I'd change the "when" to "if" though, as missiles don't always spiral in. When they don't, they're easier to hit.

It might be worth mentioning that a cargo pod ejected at speed could be a projectile weapon of last resort. <grins>
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