1. (System Targeting)
Here is my basic strategy for fighting all vessels (and it WORKS).
First, acquire the target. Scroll through the targets until you find
which one you want to pummel first. Tactically, the consensus is
to eliminate smaller ships first. However, I prefer to go for the
big boys and get them out of the way quickly. Your choice. My way
is harder and riskier, but risk is our business, right? After aquiring
the target, determine whether it is capable of cloaking. If the vessel
is equipped with a cloaking device, lock your phasers onto the cloaking
device immediately (hot key sequence: V and then 8). Keep in mind
that the ship will probably cloak and decloak several times, so memorize
this key sequence, because you will have to re-lock each time it
decloaks. If the ship is not equipped with a cloak (or you have already
destroyed the cloaking device), lock phasers onto the ship's impulse
drive (hot key sequence: V and then 3). Pummel the impulse drive
until the ship is immobilized (this is best accomplished by following
directly behind the enemy- this approach also allows the enemy to
bring the FEWEST weapons to bear on you). You can now either attack
any other hostile ships or finish off the ship you are attacking.
Remember, the disabled vessel can still rotate, so stay out of its
firing arcs. This is my tried-and true tactic. Make sure you keep
a close eye on the enemy if you are chasing him. If you blow out
his impulse drive, he will stop dead in his tracks, and you run the
risk of colliding with him because your Starship cannot stop on a
dime. So turn out of the way if you're about to crash. One more thing:
Don't lock your phasers on an enemy's disruptors or photons. All
ships have more than one phaser/disruptor, and many have multiple
photon launchers. You'll spend a lot more time blowing up weaponry
than you will knocking out an impulse drive or cloak (plus, weapons
are usually so small that only half your shots will actually hit
it, depending on your approach angle).
2. (Use the hot-keys!)
The hot keys are essential for non-combat systems. If you want to
adjust your damage control in mid-battle by using your mouse to scroll
screens, you will die often. Bridge stations should be accessed using
the B key. When you press B, your sensor display will give you a
menu of all of your bridge stations. If you want to target a specific
enemy ship component, press the V key. A similar menu will appear.
You can allocate energy or damage control to your systems by hitting
the E key, choosing a system, and pressing the + or - keys (I find
this takes too long. Just use the Engineering Station (V2).) The
Engineering Station's Graphical interface is much more efficient
and quick to use.
3. (Damage Control)
Don't ignore your crew, but don't pay TOO much attention to them.
Robin will report every time a shield or system is damaged. You don't
need to worry when shields are hit. Worry about damage control AFTER
you are out of harm's way. If you are under a fierce barrage, get
your engines on-line and try to get far away. If you have a single
attacker, try to finish him off (if you have a good chance), and
then lick your wounds. Mid-combat damage control can be very fatal
(unless you're allocating to life support, warp drive, or impulse).
If you're in the middle of a fight, and all of a sudden you can't
fire any weapons, this is a tell-tale sign that you need to tear-
ass out of there and repair. Use your judgement.
4. (The Tractor-and-Plow Maneuver)
Cloaked ships getting you down? Well, if you don't want to take the
time to destroy a ship's cloaking device, you can try this little
gem. Approach a cloaking-capable ship straight-on, firing as usual.
If he tries to cloak, lock a tractor beam on him (this works best
with a Klingon B'Rel Class Bird of Prey). Sometimes the target will
be moving too fast for a tractor lock, so it may help to damage his
impulse drive ahead of time. If you try this enough, you may eventually
lock onto him. Once that is done, you can fire upon him mercilessly
whether he is cloaked or not. There are two things to consider here.
First, if he IS cloaked, you will do a significant amount of damage,
as his shields are not raised while cloaked. Second, and most important,
if you try this maneuver against a larger ship (Garuda or D-7A),
you can expect a LOT of resistance. The first thing he will do is
rotate toward you and lock every weapon he has onto your tractor
beam. And if you're fighting a Garuda (or even a Romulan Warbird),
you will be in perfect range for a Plasma Torpedo attack, which can
prove quite deadly. Use your judgement. This tactic is perfect for
multiple Birds-of-Prey, but not reliable against larger ships.