Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

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Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by the-anger on Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:42 pm

Like the beams post, this is something else originally written up for DMH use only. since this game is likely not going ahead any further, there's no point hoarding any tactics / tips, so here you go... Very Happy

(minor edits from original copy)

Why?
Because this has not been done yet. We have discussed at length various tactics for defending in CA and bomber approaches and so on, but they are no more than skills; skills without tact will lead to disorganization and against a capable enemy, defeat. Also I found it interesting to see what the dynamics would look like... In hindsight, it is fascinating even now.

Priorities
There will be places here where i will need to define the priorities for a role / situation - in practice, do whatever is closest and suitable for your ship; if there is still a choice, pick the one with the highest priority. It will be assumed that when priorities are given they will be executed in this fashion. This is to ensure that your time is used most efficiently on the premise that doing something a little bit productive is better than doing nothing while waiting for a big opportunity.

The Objective (aka the Victory Condition)
CA involves destroying the ECR (Enemy Carrier) before the FCR (Friendly Carrier) is destroyed by enemy forces. Simple enough, and often it will be simple as far as how the game ends. Any actions that do not further these goals are wasteful and/or unnecessary (at the least, inelegant), so any successful strategy here should only consider actions that will impact on either goal in any reasonable way.

To put is simplest - there is really only one goal here, destroy the ECR. Since this works for the enemy too, the second equally important task is to defend the FCR.

The Objective for Pilots
This is where we start to define some Roles. The Primary Roles can be defined as 'furthering a particular goal through direct action'. Since we have 2 goals, we have 2 Primary Roles - RA (Role: Assault) and RD (Role: Defense). The roles so far are familiar and suffice against the common folk, but they are very vague roles as they are now, giving almost no direction to your actions. A named subgroup will be added to each to further clarify each sub-role's purpose (eg, RA:B -> Bombers assaulting the ECR).

The defense roles i have in mind wont make sense without first explaining the dynamics of assault roles, so i will start there.

Dissecting the Assault Role
The only way to damage a carrier is to land torpedoes on it, the torpedoes need 4-5 seconds to arm (depends on type) and must not be shot down before they hit. Since this is the most (and only) direct means, this is a role unto itself - namely, RA:B, assaulting ECR with torps (effectively, bombers). The priorities of this role are: 1. hit the ECR, 2. pull enemy defenders away from the ECR, 3. take out turrets with primary weapons (optional).

There are obviously forces in play that aim to prevent this from happening (Enemy Ships [ES's] & Turrets), so the next most important task for assault is to defend pilots in RA:B from threats - this role is RA:E, the escort Role. Just about any ships work here, but preferably dogfighting ships with tracking missiles. Priorities: 1. Take out ES's targeting RA:B members or their torpedoes, 2. Take out ES's within range, 3. Take out turrets on ECR. Once the enemy clues in on this line of defense, RA:E will become targets themselves, although at best they will turn it into a dogfight near the ECR, distracting other defenders from chasing RA:B around.

The next role i can only politely call Special Ops - RA:S. Snipers, Lone Wolf's, Mavericks and the clinically insane fall into this category. Their role is a counter-part to RA:E - they form their own unit that complements the holes in the offensive left by RA:E, namely, a non-bomber offensive. Their priorities are: 1. Defend RA:E at the ECR, 2. take out turrets at ECR, 3. engage all combatants at ECR. These cannot be argued with if this role is to have any success - defending escorts is vital, since they will be targeted by defenders soon enough; without any escorts to defend, RA:S is best suited for wiping out turrets in a first-strike initiative; and if RA:E has things under control, RA:S takes over as an assault role vs the enemy team, preventing them from regrouping outside the ECR.

Assault Roles - Conclusion

RA:B - Bomber Role
1. Bomb the ECR; otherwise...
2. Pull any defenders away from the ECR to make room for other RA:B members; or if the defense is lax...
3. (optional) Whittle down the turrets.

RA:E - Escort Role
1. Stay near to, and Defend RA:B members; if no need...
2. Take out ES's that fly too close / are a convenient kill; if none around...
3. Take out Turrets on ECR (but do make sure not to stray far from RA:B)

RA:S - Special Ops Role
1. Engage targets only to Defend RA:E at the ECR; if RA:E is relatively safe or none are at the ECR...
2. Take out Turrets on ECR; if none close enough / in sight / left standing, then...
3. Engage ALL targets at ECR

Defense Roles
At first it may seem too naive to base defense roles to counter your own offensive strategy, but in this case the assault roles are defined by a simple, logical look at what a typical CA game looks like. For those interested, I have seen the RA:S role emerging amongst public players now and then, and RA:E is now a common sight. While these are invented roles and have no basis other than what has been observed in-game, they are also the only way to win a CA game when the match contains fairly even teams (primarily based on skill). With that in mind, I would like to point out that defense is only loosely based on RA's tactics. Semantics aside, moving on...

The first and most obvious role to form for defense (RD) would be to prevent any damage to FCR. This role will be called RD:D, the primary Defenders. Their priorities are: 1. destroy any torps heading to FCR or that pose a risk of impact with it, 2. destroy any bombers approaching / near the FCR, 3. destroy ES's at the FCR, 4. stay near the FCR at all times. Plain and simple - torps before bombers, and bombers before everything else, and stay on the carrier. ships with machine guns, rockets, high speed or above par boost tanks are a must for this role.

Next, we have to consider what tricks the enemy will use to circumvent RD:D. From our Assault Roles, we know that bombers will (eventually) be escorted. We know that the escorts' priorities are to defend the bombers and in turn, weaken our defenses by taking out RD:D and our turrets. Since RD:D is vital to preventing damage, a new role is necessary - the guardian role, RD:G. This role will serve multiple purposes, a mix of anti-support and interception. The priorities: 1. destroy non-bomber ES's approaching / near the FCR, 2. destroy bombers approaching / near the FCR (leave torps to RD:D), 3. destroy incoming ES's. Simply put, destroy the enemy escorts, aid in destroying the bombers, and if there are no enemies at FCR, then fly out a comfortable distance and form a defensive front.

One might consider the need to counter an assault role like RA:S, but honestly there is no need. If RD:D is doing its job, there should be no torps hitting, and shortly after, fewer bombers; if RD:G is doing what it should, then RD:D will be left alone to do it's job. RA:S will primarily focus on turrets and RD:D, giving RD:G the opening to shoot them down. The only problematic scenario is if RA:S goes after RD:G, with RA:E focusing on RD:D (which is ideal from their perspective) - however, this actually works out if you inspect the priorities of RD roles... in this scenario, RD:G will likely be further from FCR than RD:D and will slow down enemy RA:E and RA:S pilots. If RD:G dies, they will respawn at the carrier essentially functioning as a collective force to slow down the enemy movements towards the FCR (assuming none have reached there yet). Anything that gets through this will be dealt with by RD:D - any in that role who aren't chasing a bomber or a torp, will be chasing down enemy forces at the carrier anyway.

It is conceivable that the defense will become blindsided easily, or the enemy's offensive is well organized to circumvent your defenders. In this situation a Defense Commander Role (RD:C) may be necessary. This is a high level role that oversees the entire defense effort, functioning as both a scout and a strategist. The secondary purpose to this role is to ensure that roles are well balanced between pilots per role, and guiding the offensive effort. Re offensive - The commander will want to keep a close eye on the scoreboard, noting particular enemy defenders to look for as well as making calls on when and when not to use spec ops and guardian roles (suppression priority) in particular. Re defensive - The commander ought to point out incoming bombers and give general intel of what is happening around the FCR to defenders as much as possible. There can only be one commander in play at any time except where a team may wish to dedicate a commander to offense and a commander to defense. Role allocation under multiple commanders should be discussed and agreed upon prior to making calls to avoid confusion. Commanders may be chosen ad hoc, but must clearly identify when they are taking up the role (and if offensive or defensive if not the first commander), as well as when they are dropping the role. A commander may pilot any ship they choose, and may take on any other role as a secondary role so long as they can fulfill all the requirements and give attention to both. With one commander, it is expected that they will lean onto organizing defense more than offense, and the priorities have been devised to reflect this.

Defense Roles - Conclusion

RD:D - Defender Role
1. Destroy any torpedoes that can / will damage the FCR; if none in range...
2. Destroy any bombers at / near the FCR; if none in range...
3. Destroy any ES's at / near the FCR; if none in range...
4. Wait near the FCR and stay vigilant

RD:G - Guardian Role
1. Take out any enemy Non-Bombers at / near the FCR; if none there...
2. Take out any Bombers (NOT torps, however) at / near the FCR; if none around...
3. Fly out to interception range and slow down all ES's heading to FCR. excessive distance not recommended.

RD:C - Defense Commander Role
1. Manage & coordinate defenders, prioritizing activity near the FCR; if defenders are on top of things...
2. Prioritize the necessity of every role as the situation changes; if no need to...
3. Assemble (stage) assault teams near the FCR & keep assault teams organized.

Role Choice
At first glance on the roles, it might seem a bit strange why on some roles I have specified some counter-intuitive priorities (eg, guardians to ignore torps). This is highly deliberate in order for Role Choice to come in smoothly.

At its simplest, you will need to choose between Assault Roles and Defense Roles - it is beyond the scope of this guide to determine when to attack and when to defend, but suffice to say that you shouldn't wildly flip from one to the other. Look to your team & keep tabs on the score frequently to know how the game is progressing, then make an assessment if you would be better attacking or defending. If there is a way to quantify a priority between Assault and Defense, then the following applies as a whole, otherwise it is probably best not to jump frequently from Assault -> Defense and vice-versa.

General Guidelines for Role Choice
* For the purposes of choosing a role, assume that Role = Responsibilities.
* When assuming a role, your aim is to follow the priorities of that role and any other requirements (eg, hugging the carrier for defenders).
* The roles with higher objective priority should be filled before a less urgent role is. eg, if defending, you would take on RD:D role until RD:D has too many people in it, then switch to RD:G if you wish to continue defending (or straight into RD:G if there is enough pilots in RD:D).
* Make no commitments to roles, only the priorities - higher priority roles must be filled before lower priority roles are taken on. For defense this means that pilots who swap to RD:G may have to switch to RD:D if too many defenders are being taken out that the guardians cant keep up.
* Unless otherwise stated, avoid switching from one role to another, where such a switch is not mentioned. This is to ensure contingencies in the event that the switch was a bad idea for the situation at hand.

RA:B
A minimum 2 at any time. Bombers not going after the ECR are not counted. A fleet of bombers can easily overwhelm any defenses, would advise to fill this role until sufficient resistance is encountered. No limit to how many, but never at the expense of defender roles. When your own carrier starts taking a beating, it is imperative to keep up a minimum of 2-3 bombers attacking so that the other team can't move to all-out assault. Ideally this role should only ever increase in numbers, but under extremes it may be prudent to abandon the role if more defense is necessary.

RA:E
Not truly necessary at the start of the match, but if possible, one per active bomber. Minimum half as many as there are bombers, and as many as needed to overwhelm defenses. RA:E may switch to RA:S if enemy resistance' focus shifts away from bombers and more on RA:E pilots. RA:E may switch to defense (RD:G preferred) if defense is inadequate.

RA:S
At the start of the match, minimum 2 is necessary with an expected max of 5-6 on a full team at any point in time. Anyone taking this role must be prepared to switch to RA:E if escorts are being killed off beyond the ability of RA:S to fend off anti-support enemy forces. If the assault roles are on top of things, RA:S should switch to RD:G and initiate interception duties. Alternatively, they may switch to RA:B if defense is adequate or the enemy cant keep up.

RD:D
No fewer than 3 at any one time if possible. If there is an excess RD:D defenders, they may switch to RD:G.

RD:G
At first not many are required, perhaps 2... After a wave of bombers, this role will likely balloon in size and take on interception duties. If there is an influx of enemy forces, it is advisable to revert to RD:D. If the enemy is being pushed too far back RD:G may switch to RA:B or RA:E as necessary - this is to avoid bringing a furball war to the ECR, wherein doing so will have your forces will team decimated and/or bombers will slip through.

RD:C
While anyone can take this role as a second role, it must be followed first and foremost above all else. Anyone moving in/out of this role must state it clearly to avoid confusion. With only one RD:C, it is expected that they will prioritize defense on the assumption that assault roles can adapt readily without much need for high level instruction. Under multiple RD:C, the commanders may negotiate amongst themselves who will look after what (beyond this it is outside the scope of regular role management to consider).

Practice Practice Practice
It will give any team an incredible advantage if they can launch into a CA game knowing exactly what needs to be done, and how, without so much as a peep. Clan Play (now likely never to happen) would have been ideal to try this with, but the roles can be used by individuals so long as they keep an eye on their team and switch roles courteously to accommodate the needs and goals at the time.
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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by Terribad on Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:35 pm

Being a brand new player, who reaaaaally loves the strategy of this game and identifies immediately with the RD:D priorities, I greatly appreciate this guide and I've thought of a few points of my own. My apologies if this is the incorrect area of the forum, or if these tips are common knowledge.

I've found that identifying a bombing pattern in individual players is a key part in this role. Figure out their bombing runs and anticipate where their second and even third bombs will be. I still have a Mamba, so the higher tier bombers can outrun me and I have to rely on my boost to get from bomb to bomb, its a pain in the ass. Playing the player, not the game, is the key to providing your RA:B's with enough time to get shite done.

Also, I've found that hiding in a blind spot on a nearby asteroid is the best place to wait for incoming RA's. Use your turret's fire to identify incoming approach angles and get behind/on top of them asap, you can move into position before being able to actually see their ship, with the added bonus that they don't know you're there.

Finally, be patient! Your machine gun fire is a tickle for them, develop firing/approach cycles that best take advantage of your heat gauge while keeping their shields from regenerating and SAVE YOUR ROCKETS. Use your rockets to take out incoming bombs (priority one), only use rockets to damage the bomber if you know that their Torps are on cooldown and you have time for your own rockets to regen.

Hopefully I haven't made a fool of myself, thanks for reading!

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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by Complex lain on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:30 am

You actually make a point that pilots miss all the time - it is the torp not the bomber that does the damage. In taking out the torp a defending pilot them has 19 seconds to have a go at the bomber.

As a bomber pilot, nothing is more frustrating (The-Anger) than to have your torp go poof when you are on a cert run LOL !
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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by science on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:23 pm

Another point that pilots miss all the time, that they have rockets /(>_<)\
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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by the-anger on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:16 pm

Terribad wrote:Being a brand new player, who reaaaaally loves the strategy of this game and identifies immediately with the RD:D priorities, I greatly appreciate this guide and I've thought of a few points of my own. My apologies if this is the incorrect area of the forum, or if these tips are common knowledge.

I've found that identifying a bombing pattern in individual players is a key part in this role. Figure out their bombing runs and anticipate where their second and even third bombs will be. I still have a Mamba, so the higher tier bombers can outrun me and I have to rely on my boost to get from bomb to bomb, its a pain in the ass. Playing the player, not the game, is the key to providing your RA:B's with enough time to get shite done.

Also, I've found that hiding in a blind spot on a nearby asteroid is the best place to wait for incoming RA's. Use your turret's fire to identify incoming approach angles and get behind/on top of them asap, you can move into position before being able to actually see their ship, with the added bonus that they don't know you're there.

Finally, be patient! Your machine gun fire is a tickle for them, develop firing/approach cycles that best take advantage of your heat gauge while keeping their shields from regenerating and SAVE YOUR ROCKETS. Use your rockets to take out incoming bombs (priority one), only use rockets to damage the bomber if you know that their Torps are on cooldown and you have time for your own rockets to regen.

Hopefully I haven't made a fool of myself, thanks for reading!
good tips. if you're hiding and intercepting, you're technically filling RD:G even if temporarily. the roles are flexible, as they denote the various mindsets needed to win in this game mode; how you jump between them is not something i really explained other than it happens and it happens often, and it should happen as often as required.

Complex lain wrote:You actually make a point that pilots miss all the time - it is the torp not the bomber that does the damage. In taking out the torp a defending pilot them has 19 seconds to have a go at the bomber.

As a bomber pilot, nothing is more frustrating (The-Anger) than to have your torp go poof when you are on a cert run LOL !
science wrote:Another point that pilots miss all the time, that they have rockets /(>_<)\

another point pilots miss all the time - torps can be taken out by beams. from quite far too... as lain and others have learned the hard way lol...
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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by Complex lain on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:30 am

the-anger wrote:

Complex lain wrote:You actually make a point that pilots miss all the time - it is the torp not the bomber that does the damage. In taking out the torp a defending pilot them has 19 seconds to have a go at the bomber.

As a bomber pilot, nothing is more frustrating (The-Anger) than to have your torp go poof when you are on a cert run LOL !
science wrote:Another point that pilots miss all the time, that they have rockets /(>_<)\

another point pilots miss all the time - torps can be taken out by beams. from quite far too... as lain and others have learned the hard way lol...

I know to a large extent what you are capable of with those drat, drat and triple dratted beams. Taking out A80 rockets was awesome - I can almost hear the evil laughter affraid

Respect !
CL
(rummaging in archives) Now what was that someone past comment on about an aim-bot and cloaking device ! LOL
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Re: Carrier Assault Roles & Their Dynamics

Post by the-anger on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:34 am

cloaking is just plain awesome. as much as i despise eve as a whole as a space shooter (lol, it wishes), i will admit to taking great joy in the stealth bombers (before the change to torps, in the good ol days when bombers could fire battleship cruise missiles at frigates to 190km)... these bad boys (on max upgrades of course) fly faster cloaked than uncloaked, and have no targeting delays when decloaking... but then im the type to play rogues/assassins in other games for more or less the same reason...

sadly cloaking has almost no place in moonbreakers without more role play involved in the ships... otherwise it would be no less excessive than giving tracking capabilities to nukes...
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