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My First Fleet Op
Antisupport is a fleet combat role whose job is to destroy the enemy's small support ships, such as interdictors, interceptors, frigates, and occasionally weak cruiser-class vessels such as E-War cruisers and recon ships. Destroying these ships prevents them from tackling or crippling your fleet's battleships and other heavy ships, allowing them to cause maximum damage and escape the battle alive.
The standard antisupport ship is a HAC or battlecruiser outfitted with long-range guns and tracking computers/enhancers. Ships with optimal range and/or tracking bonuses such as the Eagle, Zealot and Muninn are ideal for this task. Pilots with excellent gunnery skills can also perform this role using battlecruisers (particularly the Hurricane and Harbinger) or other HACs, but their poorer range and tracking makes them somewhat less ideal.
As an antisupport pilot, your job is to destroy the small ships in the opposing gang as quickly as possible. This requires good gunnery skills, a working knowledge of transversal and how it affects your ability to hit a target, and the ability to work without explicit orders from the fleet commander. This is not a role for newbies! Depending on how the engagement proceeds, you may be focusing on protecting a group of snipers from approaching tacklers, popping tacklers that have already engaged a group of friendlies, or just trying to kill as much enemy support as possible in an all-out slugfest. Either way, you will be expected to pick your own targets quickly and efficiently, without someone telling you what to do.
Anti-Support Overview Setting
If you are flying an anti-support ship, remove all ship types and add the following classes:
- Assault Ship
- Covert Ops
- Stealth Bomber
In general, your targets in order of preference will be:
- Stealth Bombers
- Assault Frigates, Destroyers, and other small craft
If your enemy is fighterbombing with shuttles or rookie ships, add those to your overview. Keep pods on your overview and pop them if the opportunity arises, but don't waste time shooting pods if there are other hostile targets still in ships.
Depending on the enemy gang makeup (or if you run out of targets otherwise), you may also want to add cruisers, HACs, and recon ships to a second overview preset. If you run out of smaller targets, begin firing on cruisers. Target E-War cruisers and recons first; these ships are usually untanked or have a minimal tank. Make sure you enable the ship type overview column so you can quickly identify your targets. You may not be able to kill cruiser-sized ships outright, but even forcing them to warp out will prevent them from using their E-War on your gang's larger ships for a time. Typically untanked antisupport HACs such as the Zealot and Muninn also make good targets, though you run the risk of having them return fire on you, so be prepared to get out if neccesary. The third class of targets of opportunity should be tackling cruisers, such as Stabbers and Vagabonds, if they're in range of friendly battleships. Otherwise, do not spend time firing on DPS cruisers or on non-primary battlecruisers, HACs, command ships, or battleships. If you run out of targets entirely, put your DPS on the fleet's primary target, but switch back to the antisupport overview above after you've targeted the primary and if any new small ships warp in, engage them instead.