An analysis: Hydran General tactics


1 Introduction
Hydrans can be a tricky race to master, especially with 3 general loadouts on their ships; hellbore, fusion, and command ships with both. Moving from one type of ship to another, can be like changing races sometimes, especially hellbore(or command) to fusion and vice versa. If you can fly any hydran ship and win, you must be a very good pilot.

Each type of ship has tactics work and ones that dont work. The same tactics for a hellbore ship can be suicide for a fusion ship, and vice versa. The opponent matters alot too, defeating a romulan with a fusion ship is one of the hardest things to do in the game (Thank god the klingon empire is between us.).

2 Fusion ships
Fusion primary vessels such as the Ranger, Ranger+, and Lord Commander can be tricky too fly, but if you master them, enemies will fall with little effort.

2.1 Fighters
Fighters are a fusion ship's best friend. Take care of them, they will take care of you. Let them die, you will soon follow them. Most fusion ships double as carriers, if you are flying fusion buy good fighters!
Read my analysis here for fighters.

2.2 Overrun
An overrun is defined as an attack where you alpha at zero and continue over the target, no brains required. For a fusion vessel, that requires you to be at point blank range, an overrun can do alot of damage.

The disadvantage is that you cover all arcs on the enemy vessel in an overrun. This means that if he has anything charged, you take internals. Because of this, i reconmend against an overrun unless you have intel about him, or are using this in conjunction with other tactics.

2.3 Flanking
A key part of flying a fusion ship is to hit that rear shield, typically weaker than the rest. When flanking an enemy vessel you have several options:

A) Start a turn one direction, if he turns away, hes an idiot and you have successfully gotten on his rear shield. If he turns into you, continue forward and pull an HET, hydran cruisers can usually pull 2 HET's without a breakdown. Remember murphy's law, if it can go wrong, it will at the worst possible moment.

B) Large arcing turns work very as a hydran. Hydran ships turn on a dime, BUT klingon ships do as well. Lyran ships turn well too. Federation ships, well, you have seen those novelty dimes, right? If you get in a turn battle with a fed or other race like them, you've won.

2.4 Hit and Fade
A favorite of mine, after flanking, alpha at around range 1 followed by a fast turn AWAY from target and hit full impulse. Honestly, this can be a very very effective tactic with a fusion ship. Hydran ships have very nice power curves, and you cannot charge the first turn after firing a fusion cannon. Use this power to run away, get out of range. The additional power in a hydran ship allows you to dictate the speed of the battle, use it to your advantage.

2.5 Ploy
A ploy can be very rewarding if pulled off correctly. Against an enemy that is starcastling, go at speed 25-31 and arch into weapons range as if you are going to overrun or hit and fade, turn away at around 15 against plasma, 10 against direct fire races. If you are lucky, he will fire his phasers and heavy weapons. You are now free to do a real overrun without and resistance.

Now that i cant think of anything else for fusion ships, on to hellbore ships.

3 Hellbore ships
Hellbore ships are generally favored by hydran pilots, especially those that look at the fusion charts and say "WHAT?! I have to do an overrun to do ANY damage?". Hellbores do nice moderate to moderate-long range damage. Examples of hellbore ships include the Dragoon, Dragoon+ and the Crussier frigate.

3.2 Overrun
Ditto as for fusion ships, just try to fire phasers first, to create a downed shield.

3.2 Hit and fade
Similar to the same for fusion ships, just fire at a longer range, 4 or so. This allows you to take make mistakes with turning and speed.

3.3 Sniping
This is the way to get people pretty pissed off at you: fire at range 22 or 15, and veer off, while maintaining speeds from 25-31. High speed battles end up like this as well. Remember the brackets for firing hellbore hit chances and damage: 22(42%, 8 damage) and 15 (58% 10 damage). Which range you pick depends on the arcs of your hellbores, on a DG you have those niche 2/3 side arcs, fire one side and turn to that side, then firing the other side's cannons.

Remember to maintain an attack shift of 0.

I cant really think of any other real dedicated hellbore tactics. Feel free to post your favorites.

4 Command ships
These ships, with both fusions and hellbores can be alot of fun. Alot of these are overpowered as well. Examples of these ships include dreds, OV, CHC, CHA, LM, LB, APA, CRU. Most of them are fairly overpowered. Especially the APA and CRU, they could use some balancing.

4.1 Overrun
With fusions and hellbores, you can pretty much beat down the enemy ship. Roll your fingers across firing groups 1(phasers), 2(fusions), and then 3(hellbores). If you survive, your opponent has been crippled.

4.2 Hit and fade
Bes of both worlds. Try point blank, but dont be affraid to not fire your fusion beams, they do almost no damage outside of range 2.

4.3 Sniping
With overpowered ships like the APA, who needs to slow down! 31 and charging overloads is on THE APA is why everyone hates the hydrans. Sniping at range 15, while maintaning 6 ecm can be real annoying.

5 Conclusion
Over simplifying tactics can be an interesting excersize in recognising how everything is variation on a theme. Nearly ever battle i have played is a combination of using those tactics. Feel free to post your favorite tactics for hydrans, everything is a variation on the simple ones, but the variations can make it that much harder to defend against.

Senior Captain Hobbesmaster
Commander hydran Squadren, XENOCORP