Dogfighting the Imperial TIE Advanced

Tactical Operations Briefing 4

By Lieutenant Eddie "Storm" Schenk, Rogue 3 (Retired)

The last of the pilots shuffled into the classroom and took seats. The room was very quiet except for the pounding that several of the students could hear in their heads. It had a been a very long night in the Liberty Lounge the night before where their instructor for this class had held an impromptu course on the fine art of imbibing alcoholic beverages.

The last one to enter the room was the instructor. He was smiling and seemed not to suffer any of the effects of the previous evening. He was clean shaven and his uniform was parade sharp. "Good morning!" he began. "Welcome to TIE Advanced 101. Listen up and live longer." Several students sat up a bit straighter as they prepared to take notes on the wisdom of one of Rogue's finest fighter pilots.

"The T/A is one tough ship to go up against. Unlike the TIE fighter, TIE Interceptor, and bomber, this ship sports a forward/rear projecting Novaldex shield array. That's right, a shielded Imperial fighter with two laser cannons which can fire in single or linked mode. It's faster than the X-Wing and in the hands of a good pilot can cause you a lot of grief. Due to its speed you'll need to employ different tactics depending on which Alliance craft you are in when you go up against one."

"Before we get into specifics let's go over ELS notation." Storm pressed a button on the lectern and the wall behind him resolved into a chart."

    ELS Notation

    Engines/Lasers/Shields

    Engines: speed is assumed to be at full and will increase or decrease depending on the settings for Lasers and Shields. Often the Engine parameter is not even given in a ELS listing, i.e., only the Laser and Shield settings are displayed.

    Lasers:

      0 - F9 three times, maximum (all) energy shunted to engines
      25 - F9 four times, minimum energy shunted to engines
      50 - Normal recharge rate ( default instrument setting )
      75 - F9 once, increased recharge rate
      100 - F9 twice, maximum recharge rate

    Shields:

      0 - F10 three times, maximum (all) energy shunted to engines
      25 - F10 four times, minimum energy shunted to engines
      50 - Normal recharge rate ( default instrument setting )
      75 - F10 once, increased recharge rate
      100 - F10 twice, maximum recharge rate

"Keep this in mind if you are not used to seeing ELS notations. First up is the venerable X-Wing. Set your ELS to 100/75/25. Note that this kicks up your speed to 100 MGLT. Lock the T/A in your Combat Multiview Display. If you have torpedoes on your rails set weapons system to fire them in single mode. The T/A will always make a head on run at you first and then run away from you to recharge its shields. The SOP that the Imp pilots flying these ships must work under is very restrictive. Protection of the ship at all costs is paramount in their training. The best time to kill one of these craft quickly is during it's head on pass, obtain a solid red lock and fire one torp into him as he approaches you, the closer the better, this will end his day immediately, no need to use lasers to finish him off.

"But most times you won't have enough torps to do this especially with multiple targets. When you're in this situation use the same ELS settings. Personally, I prefer to use quad lasers as you need to knock down his shields as quickly as possibly. You'll find that again Imperial SOP works for you and as you deplete the T/As shields the pilot will start upping his shield recharging rate and this will slow him down making him an easier target."

"After having maxed out my shields and with my lasers on the second charge band I'll go head-to-head with the T/A. Here is the key method that you need to perfect; pump one quad burst into it and break off and loop round behind him as he goes into retreat mode to replenish his shields. This is the basic flying pattern you'll use when fighting the T/A in every Alliance craft. I can normally pump a couple of good quad bursts into him at this stage. Loop and repeat. On the third pass you will normally have wasted him."

"For you Y-Winger Buccaneers out there," Storm paused as several groans were heard from his audience. Grinning he pressed on, "Start out with your ELS set at 100/75/0. This only gives you a speed of 85 MGLT so you'll have to make every shot count as the T/A will have you waxed when it comes to speed and maneuverability. On the other hand, the placement of the Ys lasers and the faster cycle rate of the dual fire cannons gives you a lot of stopping power and you should be able to score more hits as you go head-to-head."

"Use the same technique as in the X-Wing, a quick strike, and loop around on his six as he runs out to recharge. With the superior cannon placement of the Y, you'll hit the T/A more often but you'll find you have more trouble with the loop to get on his six due to the slower response time of the Y-Wing in tight turns."

"A final note on the Y-Wing... you can pretty much forget about disabling a T/A with ion cannons as the blasts are just too slow. Given your slow ship speed you won't find this a worthwhile pursuit."

"The A-Wing on the other hand is an exceptional craft for dogfighting the T/A. With an ELS setting of 100/100/25 you'll get a MGLT of 105 which is very comfortable for engaging the T/A. The armament of the A-Wing is very well suited for going against the T/A as well. Missiles are superior to torpedoes against T/As due to their higher speed, even though they carry less payload. If fired when the T/A is approaching they rarely miss, and again if fired before the T/A gets to the end of his outward run. If he jinxs you'll probably miss with a missile strike, so go for him with missiles when you are right on his twelve and six only."

Use dual lasers, but don't go for any head-to-head passes as the A cannot take this kind of abuse. Go for position and be prepared to swing onto his six after you tag him a time or two and he starts a run away from you to recharge. As he shifts more power to his shields he'll slow down and make a better missile target so you might want to save your missiles for your endgame."

"Clearly the B-Wing was not designed with the T/A in mind." This elicited more than a few chuckles from the assembled pilots. Get your primary and secondary shields maxed out and then set ELS to 100/75/0 for a speed of 103 MGLT."

"Use linked fire lasers for this machine. The cycle rate is rather slow and with the offset of the third laser cannon it makes for a hard time to pin down a T/A. By using a "shotgun" approach you are nearly always going to get a hit with at least two of your cannons, and because they will cycle faster than the X-Wing's quads you can afford to miss the odd shot."

"Now the B-Wing has heavy armor so you can go for a head-to-head pass without worry. Pump as many rounds into him as you pass, before he breaks off. Again, you'll have some problems with looping onto his rear as the B-Wing does not really maneuver so much as it wallows. Then finish the T/A off with the shots from the rear, again use single torpedoes if you have them. But only from the immediate rear or front, and from as close as possible.

"Because of the greater speed of the B-Wing it is possible to disable a T/A with ion cannons but I'm not sure what that gives you. It is a long process as you will need to weaken his shields first with lasers to slow him down and then switch to Ions. If you have the time and a strategic need it is possible but it's simpler to just waste him with lasers."

"Gentlemen and ladies, this concludes the lecture. Download the simulator combat mission which will allow you to practice."

"Thank you for your attention and may the Force be with you!"