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 Post subject: Lectures
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:22 pm 
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This thread is for lectures.

If you write a lecture, post it here, and let me know, and I'll link to it in the "Course Schedule and Instructors List" thread.

Table of Contents
Post 1: Introduction and Table of Contents
Post 2: Introduction to Combat by Guest Lecturer: Keyo

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[url=http://tinyurl.com/6fbpv4]Captain of the Tessercat (Dauntless)
Administrator of the Flight School Department of Unnatural Science (offices on Getty)
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Last edited by Kyra on Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:37 pm 
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A film projector flickers on and a TA lowers the lights. Keyo appears on the screen, and the black leopard begins to speak.

"One of the many misconceptions I often hear about combat is that it’s about blowing things up. While this is, in some respects, true, simply being able to blow things up will not make you successful in combat, nor will it guarantee you a long and prosperous career. More specifically, combat is about learning how to outfly everything else in the sky. Once your piloting skills are up to snuff, you can attack from just about any angle and any position, and everything else will fall into place.

"In the past, I’ve had difficulty teaching what I know about combat to others, since at this point a lot of it is instinctive (and indeed, a lot of it always was,) but after thinking about the ways I tend to approach fights, I’ve extracted some basic maneuvers and attack patterns that will serve well in most situations. In future lectures, I will refer to these often.

"Spin: So named for the tendency for beginner combat pilots to attempt to sit in place and spin, this is one of the most basic attack patterns, and involves turning a circle inside the opponent, attacking from the side or rear diagonal as you follow them around in a circle. Most effective at low stall speeds and against planes with only forward-angled firing arcs. Less effective against planes with wing or rear arcs.

"Counterspin: The CR-4P versus Halifax is the introduction most pilots get to counterturning. Similar to the Spin, but involves circling in the opposite direction from the opponent. This will cut you into the circle and help you avoid fire from rear arcs, and also becomes a safe way to take down Spectres, Hades, and most other planes with rear diagonals. While less efficient than the Spin, it’s often much safer.

"Feint: Generally not an option for pilots of slower planes, the Feint makes an excellent control tool for faster planes. Pirate training is rudimentary at best, and many pirates will try to Afterburner after you if you get a decent distance in front of them. At this point, their heading is set, and you can tune further tactics around this point.

"Crosscut: Standard attack pattern for any fast plane with a front arc, this opens with a feint. Once your opponent is chasing after you, cut your speed so they fly past you. Turn to shoot at them from behind and follow until attacking no longer becomes feasible or your target is gone.

"Swivel: Most useful for a pilot with rear arcs or the occasional side arc, this involves flying back and forth in front of a target and relying on your maneuvering more than your speed to keep a target a set distance away from you. Most useful against Bismarcks and Leviathans.

"Strafe: Not so much an attack pattern as a term I’ll be using, this involves attacking while constantly turning, and in the situations in which I advocate its use, will keep you mostly out of harm’s way while still allowing you to do some damage.

"Memorize these temrs or keep a list handy; as I said earlier, I’ll refer to these often.

"Now, for those of you new pilots still in a CR-4P, I know enough about the plane to give you a few basic starting tips. Most of your first opponents will probably be solo pirates in Goldfish or CR-4Ps, since they figure that’ll be all they need to leave you begging them not to take your cargo. That’s when you step in and prove that you’re tougher than that. Generally, you’ll either Spin or Counterspin to stay on their tails and rake them full of fire. But here’s where my first tip comes in, and that’s not to stick blindly to one pattern.

"Its real easy to shoot down a single plane like this if you decide to do it, but learn to do it efficiently. If you’re going to end up orbiting the same point as your pirate foe trying to get a bead on him, switch it up a little and play with your speed to change your angle of attack. Or try coming in from the other direction. Likewise, don’t Counterspin if it’s going to put you in the line of fire every time you do it. Learn what works, learn what doesn’t, and be flexible.

"Now, later on, you’re going to start encountering other planes, like Kittyhawks, Halifaxes, Excelsiors, Spectres, Nomads, Mastiffs, and Phantoms. Kittyhawks, at least, are simple; they fly kind of like CR-4Ps, only faster and in wider circles. Use what you know of your plane’s capabilities to intercept them on their circles and shoot them down. Halifaxes, as I mentioned above, are your first examples of planes that can easily shoot back at you if you hang around their tails. So don’t. Come around from the front and maintain that Counterspin pattern, aiming at their wings and strafing across their tails as you go. Spectres work much the same way, although you may have to compensate for their speed and maneuverability by turning ruther into the circle and cutting your attack run short. Be patient and don’t rush things; your safety is your primary concern.

"Other planes get to be a little tricker, and hopefully you’ll have spent enough time flying to master a proper Airbrake or Loop, as both will do wonders for getting you into position behind some of these other planes, which can and will outgun you. Nomads and Mastiffs can be approached from the rear diagonal; if you maintain your position carefully and watch for sudden alterations in their flight pattern, you can kill them from a safe position there. Against both Excelsiors and Phantoms, you need to watch out for both their forward and side arcs, so do what you have to to get behind them and stay there. Both take a lot of punishment, but if you’re patient and careful, you can take them down.

"The more adventurous pilots among you may encounter Chapparals, Requins, or Bullfrogs. Chapparals are pretty harmless for the most part and can be treated like Kittyhawks, but be aware that they might attempt to Airbrake to get a bead on you. Take evasive action of your own if they do and try to get behind them. Requins can be treated much like faster Spectres. Bullfrogs will be challenging, and I haven’t had the experience myself to tell you what to do there. It seems to me, though, that your best bet would be to attempt a basic Counterspin, and then Afterburner forward or Sideslip inside the circle to avoid its rear cannons. Perhaps any pilot unlucky enough to run into a Bullfrog in a CR-4P can put these methods to use--I believe the Sideslip would be more effective in this case.

"I’ll need to do some more research and testing on some of the older models before I can give you more advanced tactics, but hopefully the lessons you learn here will teach you some skills you can then use to stay alive in your harder fights. Until then, this is Commodore Keyo, wishing you all happy hunting and flying that’s just safe enough."


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