Thursday 5 August 2010

Fleet Tackler Guide

I recently put together a guide on how I fly my Ares for some corp-mates. It went down a treat so I have re-written this version to share with others. Comments, tips and your own experiences are of course most welcome.


This guide is written from the viewpoint of an Ares pilot flying in low-sec as primary tackle for various types of fleet. Much of the info will be relevant for other scenarios and ships especially the other tackle Interceptors.

Which Interceptor?
There are 2 types of Interceptor for each race, 1 is tackle focussed and the other has more of a combat edge. Evelopedia already covers this well.

Disruptor v Scrambler
Dedicated tackle should always have a long range point, which is the Warp Disruptor.

Warp Scramblers have 2 points of scram strength and can shut off microwarp drives, however they lack the range of a Warp Disruptor, which is essential for catching targets. Scramblers are indeed very handy and have their place in a fleets, however for the purposes of catching targets and keeping them in place a Warp Disruptor is the mod you want.

Scan Resolution
Your scan resolution tells you how quickly you can lock something. The higher it is the quicker you will lock your target.

Many people get very excited about having super high scan res however I personally feel that it is important not to get overly hung up on it. Interceptors have naturally high scan resolution, Ares is 3rd highest and you don't need a lot of mods to boost it to around 2500.

At 2500 you should be able to catch pretty much everything. The only things you can expect to miss (and this is often circumstantial) are pods, interceptors, certain frigates and cloaking ships. However, even with a Remote Sensor Booster on you and stupidly high scan resolution of perhaps 8/9k you may well find you still miss these catches. Why? Well because you can only physically click at a certain speed. In my own experience there is a point where super high scan res often becomes, well, pointless.

Your speed, agility and even warp speed are also crucial if you wish to fulfil your role effectively. Scouting, chasing and survivability are just as important as actually catching targets. Don't neglect these areas in favour of overdoing your scan res.

Having good skills in place will make all the difference for a tackle interceptor pilot. You will probably want to ensure you have:

Evasive Maneuvering 5
High Speed Maneuvering 4/5
Navigation 5
Acceleration Control 5
Energy Management 5
Energy Systems Operation 4/5
Interceptors 4 (Get it to 5 if you plan on flying Inties a lot)
Thermodynamics 3/5 (over-heating is essential)
Warp Drive Operation 3/5

Getting that first point
For me, in addition to skills and a decent fit, catching stuff effectively came down to technique. Here is my suggestion based on a gate camp scenario:

- When on the gate orbit at 500m. MWD should be off.

- Have your point active and overheated. Note that this won’t burn the mod out until it is actually being used on a target.

- If you have a sensor booster fitted make sure it is active.

- Keep your L-Ctrl key held down. This freezes your overview causing any new ship that comes onto grid to appear at the bottom of the list of ships on your overview. They will not shift into place in accordance with your overview settings (sort by type/distance etc) until you release the L-Ctrl key (obviously ships that you have set to not appear at all in your settings will still not show up). This little L-Ctrl quirk means that you don't need to be wasting vital seconds waving your mouse around trying to select the right ship - you already know exactly where the target is going to appear on your overview. 1 click later, huzzah you have ruined somebody's day...

You do need to be VERY careful you don't accidentally click a friendly ship, neutral (depending on your ROE ofc) or the gate... yes the gate! In the heat of the moment it is easily done, so don't forget to deactivate your point before you try to jump out.

- It should go without saying really but having a correctly set-up overview is essential.

Pro Tip - If you plan on having your LCtrl key held down all day set your voice key to something else!

Keeping point
Once a target is pointed orbit at around 19k. Your point will reach much further than this even without overheating - however if your target starts to burn away you don't want to suddenly loose point before you've had time to react. I find 19k to be a sensible distance in most cases as it ensures the target is well within point range.

If the target does make a run for it then flicking on overheat will quickly increase your disruptor range.

If you need to burn after the target and they are not flying something which is likely to be of equal or greater speed than your own ship then get into the habit of briefly pulsing your MWD rather than leaving it turned on. Your extreme speed can cause you to quickly bounce out of range again or fall into range of your targets own offensive modules, you really don't want to get webbed or scrambled. Bouncing about can also cause you to lose traversal as you turn around - this can potentially make you vulnerable to incoming fire.

Obviously if your target is another Interceptor or other speedy ship such as a Dramiel you will want to be going full pelt, perhaps even with your MWD going, in order to keep up with your target.

It takes a bit of practice to get used to and can be very circumstantial; no doubt you will learn through your mishaps.

Don't forget to de-activate the overheat on your disruptor (and MWD) as soon as you no longer need them. Keep some nanite repair paste in your cargo hold.

Don’t be afraid of being red-boxed, your speed and agility will keep you safe from most guns especially on bigger ships. If necessary adjust your range to either be under or beyond your targets optimal range. If you are pointed you can easily align to a celestial and burn away until the point drops and then warp out if you need to – however always try to stay out of scramble and web range as these two will get you killed. Small drones, particularly Warrior 2’s, and also ships using smart bombs are also something to be wary of.

If you are pining something down that is damaging you then being able to tag-team with a fellow long-point tackling fleet member will help keep the target in place until the dps arrives.

Large fleet engagements
I’ve heard it said that dedicated tackle in a large fight becomes pretty useless but I would disagree with that to some extent. Fleet tacklers that effectively spread out their points, particularly towards the end of an engagement when your remaining targets may be attempting to bail out, will help land many more kills.

If the fighting is taking place on gate then having one or two tacklers placed on the other side (or potentially other out-gates) can net further kills as they catch and hold any targets attempting to flee. You can also help take out drones and light support ships. Best of all you can really p*ss people off by catching their pods after they’ve blown up teehee!

Big fights can be tricky however and you may need to rely on manual flying to keep yourself out of scramble range of other ships. And watch out for those pesky Warrior 2s chasing your butt.

A word on cloaky ships
If a cloaky ship, such as a Stealth Bomber, comes through a gate - you might want to consider a different tactic. Rather than trying to grab a point straight away try aligning toward the target instead and get your ship to full speed with your MWD going. You want to burn out towards the direction of the target as quickly as possible. 9 times out of 10 you wouldn’t get a point on them before they cloaked up, but if you can get into 2k range of them quickly enough you will knock their cloak off and this will allow you and your fleet another chance to point them.

Practice makes perfect
If you are doing it right then you shouldn’t ever lose a tackle Interceptor - BUT a very simple frack up will quickly cause you to explode, so don’t be surprised to get through a few ships, especially if you like taking risks.

Don’t forget
Dedicated tackle is there to scout, chase, pin down and hold on to targets for the fleet, NOT to do big dps – If this bothers you then perhaps consider a different fleet role.

Fitting suggestions
Highs - guns with a range to match your Warp Disruptor. (For the Ares you will probably find you have 2 guns and 1 blank top slot into which a lot of people chuck a salvager for cleaning up the battlefield afterwards)

Meds - Warp Disruptor and 1MN Micro warp drive are essential. You could consider a Sensor Booster and also with a Scan Resolution script to specifically boost your scan res.

Lows - Overdrive Injectors and Nanofiber Internal Structures, aka go faster stuff.

Rigs - Most of the Astronautics Rigs could be useful but these are my personal preferences.

Small Auxiliary Thrusters - boosts your speed
Small Targeting System Subcontroller - boosts your scan res
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing – reduces your mass which has a side effect of increasing your MWD/AB speed AND your agility.
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer – increases your warp speed by 20% - really handy and often overlooked - great for helping you overtake and catch targets who are trying to escape the ebil clutches of your fleet.

Ares Fit example:
2x 125mm Railgun II (Spike ammo)

Sensor Booster II (+ scan resolution script)
Warp Disruptor II
1MN Microwarp Drive I

2x Overdrive Injector System II
2x Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Targeting System Subcontroller I

Don't forget your Nanite Repair Paste!

Helpful Implants
Hardwiring - Eifyp and co. 'Rogue' MY-1 - 3% Speed
Hardwiring - Zainou 'Gypsy' KNB-50 - 3% Scan Res

Or the 5% versions of course if you are not poor, drunk and suicidal like, erm, some people...

1 comment:

  1. TY to Steve Celeste (boo!) for pointing out that the drone/uncloak trick doesnt work anymore - guide updated.