By admin @ May 1, 2012 at 7:05pm
The advent of the new Caitian Atrox Carrier provides Starfleet captains with the opportunity to command their own flight decks of fighters – and Klingon officers have long been organizing fighter wings with their Vo’Quv and Kar’fi carriers. Controlling fighter wings requires tactical acumen beyond just command of a starship. While a carrier can perform all of the functions of a heavy starship, its offensive power comes from its support and combat craft.
To send your fighters into battle, your carrier has hangars that serve as launch bays and fighter maintenance facilities. Your launch bay shows up on your ship’s overhead display just like a weapon or device slot. You can place any legal fighter craft into your hangar, which will then give you the power to launch those types of fighters. Clicking on the appropriate power from your power tray will launch fighters from that hangar.
Depending on your ship, certain fighters may not be available to you – for instance, only the Klingon Vo’Quv can carry Bird-of-Prey frigates as its support craft. You can purchase different types of support craft from the shipyard, and your shipyard also has a vendor who sells advanced support craft for Refined Dilithium.
All true carriers come with a set of carrier commands. You can activate a carrier command just like any other power – it will appear over your weapon power tray, or you can select the powers from your power list and add them to your power tray. Each carrier command sets your subordinate craft to perform a specific function.
When you click on a carrier command, you toggle that command into effect. Your flight crews scramble to direct fighter operations and keep your support vessels following those orders for as long as you leave the command toggled on. If you launch new fighters, they’ll pick up the commands from your conning tower as well and join the fray accordingly. Clicking to a different command will automatically toggle off the old command and toggle on the new one, which will remain in effect until you issue a different order, unselect the command, or change to a new area.
The available carrier commands include:
- Attack – In this mode, your fighters attack your selected target. Fighters will engage any target you select up to 12 km away; it’s possible for your carrier to remain just outside of combat distance and send fighters to engage an enemy. If you don’t have a selected target, or you’re not in combat, your fighters will form up in front of your ship as you travel. Once your team enters combat, the fighters will continue to engage enemies, but will preferentially attack your selected target. If you change targets, your fighters will change targets as well, although it may take a few seconds for a fighter to disengage from an existing dogfight!
- Escort – In this mode, your fighters follow an ally that you select. When that ally is attacked, the fighters enter combat. If you select a different ally, your fighters will move to that ally instead. Once you’ve set fighters to escort mode and given them a friend to escort, you can enter combat and engage enemies, and the fighters will remain in defense of your ally.
- Intercept – Use intercept mode when you’re engaging other enemy carriers or enemies with heavy torpedoes or mines. Your fighters will attack enemies at will, but will preferentially engage torpedoes, mines, and small craft. You can use your fighters to clear out minefields or to pre-emptively destroy volleys of heavy torpedoes from Romulans or Borg.
- Recall – To bring your fighters back from the fray, issue the recall command. Your support craft will return and follow your vessel in formation. Fighters under a Recall order will not engage in combat, but enemies might still chase them back to you! You can also issue a Recall command to force your fighters to stop attacking, then choose a new target and change to a different command order if you want to send your fighters in a new direction.
Remember, fighters are part of your team, so if your teammates are attacked and your fighters are not under Recall orders, they will still engage in combat with enemies of your team. Use the Recall command when you want to bring your fighters back from a distant engagement.
Finally, don’t neglect the value of duty officers on your carrier. Special officers called Flight Deck Officers can grant active powers that improve your fighter functionality or allow you to launch fighters more quickly. Flight Deck Officers are a very valuable addition to any carrier, and the higher the officer’s quality, the bigger the bonus!