RHow to fly the ISC FFEZ - An analysis

I know it's disappearing in, but until they release the patch, that's the starting ship for the ISC.

Here it is, in its entirety:


I'm no master pilot, but I do know how to fly frigates. The FFEZ is one of my favorite ships (the starting frigate for ISC on CW), and I'll try to show you the tactics I use to win with something that most people consider a flying deathtrap. (NOTE: These tactics work against the AI. But versus a human opponent that's very skilled, your best bet is to run away until you get at least a CM.)

First of all, its weapons load is amazing. 4phaser-1s, 4 phaser-3s, 2 plasma-Ds, and 2 plasma-Is.

Let's analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each.


The best weapon in the game...and you've got lots of them. At point blank, you can deal an average of 41.2 points of damage with phasers alone. This
means that you cut through shields with ease and then deal an extra 21.2 points of internals (assuming the target has the standard 20 points of shielding). That's a LOT of damage. Once you've knocked down a shield or two, use your phasers for a Mizia strike.
Set your phaser-3s to weapons group 2 and your phaser-1s to weapons group 1. Fire the 1s first, and then once they are back to full charge, fire the 3s. Then when the 3s are charged, fire the 1s, and then the 1s are charged, fire the 3s.

This deals quite a bit of internal damage firing into down shields.

Another advantage of the FFEZ is that it can move at speed 31 holding phasers, charged Is, and Ds. You dash in, smack a shield, then as you fly over them, unleash your plasma at ranges less than 5 and greater than 1 (to deal maximum damage and avoid feedback).
If they weasel, t-bomb a mine right in front of them. If they don't, that's another 40 damage into their rear shield. Then, feel free to dance around firing
phasers into any shield that's down or severely weakened. You want to hit them with concentrated fire in one or two arcs. I prefer the 4 shield (aft) or
one of the rear oblique shields (3/5). None of the frigates you will face have any heavy weapons that can fire backwards.

You're basically safe behind them.


The plasma, many people think, is a magic bullet. A normal plasma-I deals the damage of around 2.5 normal photon torpedoes. However, it isn't. There are many ways to overcome plasma: wild weasel, speed, phasers, etc. The only one that the best players use regularly is speed--firing phasers at plasma isn't very effective, and wastes your firepower; wild weasels cost one point of power to hold and drastically reduce your combat capability when used. So...your main weapon is the phaser,  not the I-torp. But 40 points of damage is still a very good thing...something that you can take advantage of quite easily.

In the beginning of any mission, you are usually more than 100 clicks away from your target. You have no need for speed...it'll come to you. So, sit there on red alert and let all your weapons charge. Then, once your plasmas are done, kick the FFEZ into full gear
and begin your run. Tease the weapons out of the enemy. The AI doesn't always fire at optimum range.
Use that to your advantage. Present your forward port or forward starboard shields to the enemy, and let it fire its plasma, its drones, its disruptors, its
photons. Then proceed to step 1 if you are fighting: Gorn, Romulan, Mirak, Klingon/Federation drone frigates, or Lyran.

 Proceed to step 2 if you are fighting: Hydran (the only race without seeking weapons), Federation/Klingon frigates without seeking weapons.

1) Turn away and let the weapons run themselves out. Plasma-Fs and Gs dissipate rather quickly when you're running at speed 31, and the Lyran won't be able to catch you with his power-guzzling ESG on. Let them disappear and then turn in, using one of your HETs if you need to.

Proceed to step 2.

2) Present your forward shield to the enemy, and close to range 0. Fire all phasers into their shield, then pass over them. (The AI won't pursue you, since it immediately goes to a screeching halt once it fires its weapons. I'll tell you how to prevent this a bit later.) Once you break range 1, fire your rear-firing plasma-Is at them. They can't use speed to get away, WWs suck against a phaser boat, and they have no phasers left. Most likely, the AI will take the damage.

Now, shut down your Is! They suck up a bunch of power, and you only have 15. Instead, rely upon your phasers to finish them off. The enemy should have two shields down by the time you're finished, and with your armament of phasers you should kill them rather easily.

The plasma-D is the best plasma to use against carriers and the Mirak. I've taken out a full load of Federation fighters (16 in total) with my FFEZ. Let the fighters fly in, tractor them, smash them with phasers, and watch your auto-firing Ds do the rest of the work. Ouch. You've eliminated one squadron. Now for the others! :D

Power Management 101:

The FFEZ has only 15 power, so you'd better learn how to use the few precious amperes you've got wisely. At the beginning of each mission, I always turn to the "power panel" in the MFD. There, you can set up your power priorities for: tractor beams, movement, weapons charging, ECM, and shield reinforcement.

My settings for a usual fight versus the AI are as follows.

Movement: 1. You don't want your ship slowing down the moment it fires off its plasma (since they suck up quite a bit of power). Instead, extend the distance and then slow down to provide energy to charge plasma. There is an oft-quoted adage: Speed is life. You've got a lot of speed.

Weapons: 3. Just as important as movement but not as much. You want them higher in the priority list, but not that high.

Shields: 5. If you're truly skilled, you won't need much shield reinforcement against the AI. Instead, present multiple shields to the enemy, dissipating their fire. Don't allow them to shoot through a weakened shield. Instead, turn so a stronger shield is facing their weapons.

Tractor beams: 5. Not so important. You can always set up a repel tractor and shut down some weapons (the Is, preferably). The AI (to my knowledge) never anchors you on anything other than first-level beams.

ECM: 2. Agaisnt the races using direct fire only, make this 1. This makes sure you don't lose ECM when you fire off weapons.


You've got 2. Use them!

An added bonus to the FFE is that it carries 2 transporters, allowing you to beam 2 marines aboard the enemy ship at a time to capture it. Lower the amount of marines the enemy has by Mizia with phasers, and then transport yours on when they've got 2 or 3 left. Once you've killed a couple of their marines, check the numbers. If you've got more in there, then leave the ship alone and go fight something else. If the numbers are equal, wait a bit. If your marine dies, giving them a numerical advantage, transport two more. :D If theirs dies, giving you the advantage, ignore the ship and go fight something else. Wait for the capture...you gain a lot more prestige that way.


Try transporting out your mines when their ship slows down and you've chucked your phasers into a down shield. Time it so that you reach range 5 just as the mine activates, and use top-down view (F1) so that you can see where to place it (slightly in front of their down/weakened shield).

Ten points of internals right there.


I don't use weasels in the FFEZ. You've got the speed. Use it to get rid of any pesky seeking weapons
(plasma and missiles).

Suicide shuttles, on the other hand, are very dangerous. Tractor them once they've fired off most of their dangerous weapons with a level 2 and pop the SS out the hatch (bringing your ship to speed 0 as you do so). Then wait for the SS to catch up and *boom!*,
25 points of damage.

Ground assault shuttles are useless. IF you need a GAS, then make one by all means, but usually I just Mizia to bring their marine complement down to 2 or 3 and then follow the procedures in the Transporters section.

You can't make scatterpacks, although I wish you could... :D

So that's about it, folks! I wish you happy hunting--ah.. pacifying would be the correct term--and many kills--ah, victories--in our masterpiece of engineering, the FFEZ.

Thank you, and good night. :D