New: Formations, Attack Patterns and Manoeuvres

Terran Stellar Navy Forums (OOC) Division Development New: Formations, Attack Patterns and Manoeuvres

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    Hello all,

    I have been working on a new document to revise our current system of attack patterns and combat orders. This is still a work in progress, and not official protocol and procedure. It will not yet be implemented until completed.

    I am looking for some feedback though. Is there anything missing, anything unclear, or any questions that it brings up? There are a couple of revisions to our current system and some clearer definitions of specific language. I have also looked at some suggestions from other posts to see how we could implement new ideas, as well as implement some of our newer tactical approaches in there. Here are a few points about what is similar/ different:

    The names have changed – there are now Formations (currently what we call attack patterns), Attack Patterns (currently what we call Combat Orders) and Manoeuvres (we have no name for these collectively).

    There are new Formations: there are two main types – close formations and combat formations. They are probably form the main changes to what we do now. I wanted to start having ships fly in formation with one another in specific ways, for example when escorting a ship.
    Close formations define where ships should position themselves in relation to one another. I used the US WW2 phonetic alphabet for names to try and avoid confusion with other orders e.g. Baker, Easy, Able etc
    Combat formations are different in that they define how ships should coordinate their attacks. The give freedom for moving and position ships as required. The combat formations are pretty much the old Attack Patterns, however there are some subtle changes to the actions to clear up some issues. The main combat formations are individual attacks – mine runs, close range beam combat, long range heavy combat, but the Foxtrot formation combines a couple of the different attacks into one coordinated action. It should give flexibility to order one attack, or a combined attack for those commanding the battlegroup.
    Close formations can be ordered with a combat formation for even greater control of ship coordination when attacking e.g. ordering ships to attack in a line abreast at long range with heavy ordnance.

    The Attack Patterns (currently called Combat Orders) are pretty much the same. I am considering making an advanced guide to these so officers know what to do specifically for their role. The details in this document give an outline, mainly for command officers, and doesn’t really specify where power should be allocated, which targets to prioritise or how to manoeuvre the ship specifically. This I think could go into a much more detailed advanced training document for crews.

    The Manoeuvre section hasn’t been started just yet, but will include details of things like the high energy turn. Any suggestions here would be useful!

    The Glossary includes a lot of key definitions. Most important are:
    Engagement range – 1500 units or less from a target
    Combat distance – From 1500 to 5000 units from a target
    Close proximity – 8000 units or less from a target

    These in particular are important as they are referenced throughout the document and give us clear distances to refer to. The command officers discussed recently about how to coordinate actions when one ship comes to help out another ship that doesn’t necessarily have orders to. One way was for the supporting ship to request to enter the ships immediate area of operation (i.e. close proximity) before it came in to attack any targets. It helped in that a ship wouldn’t suddenly speed in to combat when you were about to conduct an Echo run or fire ordnance.

    Two more are:
    The lead ship – basically which ship takes the forward most point in a formation, or is the first to attack. Note, they are not in command, just fulfilling the role like “the point man”.
    Battlegroup Commander – the captain in charge of the formation of ships assigned to them. Their ship is usually assumed to be the lead ship, but this can change as required. The Battlegroup commander would still be in command of the battlegroup however, and would give the formation orders.

    Have a look at the whole document here:

    • This topic was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Xavier.

    Documents that I need to add to link in to these:

    Specific details for crews on how to carry out the attack patterns

    Specific training and information for helm officers detailing how to fly in formation


    This is all great. A lot to remember, but I suspect we’ll pick it up quickly since most of it is already in place.

    I wrote up a bunch of maneuvers for you, feel free to add/delete/edit as needed. I’m sure I’m missing others, so people should chime in.

    • Low Speed Turn- Drop to lowest viable speed to execute turns faster, then resume speed when turn is complete.
    • Low Warp Burst- Engage warp 1 in 1-3 second intervals. Combine with Low Speed Turn for better tactical positioning. Keep targets in combat range unless otherwise ordered.
    • High-Energy Turn- Announce “coming about” to engineer, drop to lowest viable speed and execute turn. When turn complete, resume speed.
    • J-Hook- A High-Energy Turn for use when engaging with beams. Approach target from their flank, avoiding their beam arcs unless otherwise ordered. Announce “coming about” to engineer as you fly past the target. Drop to lowest viable speed and turn towards the enemy’s rear shield arc, keeping out of as many beam arcs as possible.
    • Flanking Missiles- For use with missiles. Approach target’s weakest shield arc, staying out of their beams while keeping this arc in line of sight for the weapons officer. After first impact, enemy will likely turn to face you. Announce “coming about” to engineer and use low warp boosts to keep weakest shield arc in line of sight.
    • Adjust Line of Sight- For use with missiles. When firing homing missiles in a Charlie formation with friendly ships, position your ship such that if the current target were destroyed, any stray missiles would not immediately impact friendly ships.
    • Inclined Echo- Use when deploying attack pattern Echo. Change inclination to slightly above or below targets, allowing faster travel through thickest parts of an enemy fleet. Be sure not to change inclination too much to maintain effectiveness of mines.
    • Arcing Echo- Use when deploying attack pattern Echo. Execute attack run on a curved path to minimize enemy beam arcs. Be sure not to sacrifice effective placement of mines for safety.
    • Power Collection Standby- For use outside of simulations. When waiting for orders outside close proximity of enemies, standing order is to engage fuel collectors by coasting at 20-40% impulse speed. Announce this maneuver to other bridge crew.
    • Exiting Drydock- When docked at a drydock facility, navigate using main screen visuals. Exit at 25-50% impulse and increase to full impulse when cleared of the superstructure. Be wary of other docked ships, you may have to exit in reverse or wait for a ship to exit first to avoid collisions.
    • Quick Dock- Approach station on a direct course at warp 1. Cut warp drive at roughly 500 units and maneuver directly into the station superstructure as you engage the docking procedure. Its deflector shields and tractor beam will absorb your remaining speed without damaging any systems or overshooting. Practice makes perfect.
    • Anticipated Exit Vector- When waiting for orders outside close proximity of enemies, you may want to anticipate the Captain’s next desired heading based on orders overheard from the Fleet Captain, battle group commander, or from strategic insight gained from the LRS. Some captains do not appreciate this, so guess their intentions at your own risk. Do not engage warp drive until given the official heading.
    • Dock Turn- When docked, maneuvering thrusters may be used to keep the ship pointed on a desired heading while waiting for fuel and ordnance transfer. This may be used in conjunction with Anticipated Exit Vector. Note that engaging the impulse or warp engines will break the docking tractor.
    • Drone Pivot- Use when executing other maneuvers or attack patterns, as long as it will not interfere. When a drone launches toward you and will not be entering your beam arcs on your current course, announce “drone-coming about” before adjusting your heading to intercept the drone. It may be advisable to drop to lowest viable speed or engage reverse thrusters to maintain original course.
    • Reverse Beams- Use when engaging with beams if the target’s front shield arcs are weakest, or when attacking the weakest shield arc is tactically unsound. Maneuver to the front of the enemy, point directly at them, and engage reverse thrusters. Stay out of enemy beam arcs until maneuver is complete, then reduce speed until enemy is within effective beam range. Increase reverse speed to maintain safe distance from target and any enemy beam arcs.
    • High Angle Beams- Use when engaging with beams. Change inclination to considerably above or below target. Approach from any shield angle and weapons officers can manually target whichever shield arc is weakest. Announce any drone launches.
    • Drone Support- Use when friendly ships are nearby and are unable to cover themselves from enemy drones. Quickly move to cover the friendly ship with your beams while executing other maneuvers or attack patterns, as long as it will not interfere. Announce this maneuver to other bridge crew.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Quinn.

    Great ideas.

    In terms of what to remember, the formations have to be known mainly by command officers for ship to ship comms. Though the crew should be aware of them,they should wait for the captain to give them specific orders on how to act, rather than react to comms from another ship. For example,the battlegroup commander might ordrr Baker formation, but then the captain would instruct the helm officer where to position the ship e.g. form up on the starboard side of TSN ….

    The Attack Patterns are most important for crews to know, as well as manoeuvres. They are the most efficient way for a captain to communicate what to do to the crew and so pretty essential to how we operate.

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