Wading into combat!

While I've done combat before, I'm now getting pretty into it. Long story short, I went on a big expedition to colonia in my on my jump build anaconda, and when I got there, I'd figure I'd stick around and see what there is to do. I had my Krait MKII shipped out there to do some bounty hunting. Thing is, it had no engineering, and only had to cobble this together from pinned blueprints and the two engineers I had available. So far I have been having a blast in colonia. Unlike a Cutter or FDL, I had to worry about dying in some of the missions I took on.

When I get back to the bubble, I want to see what fun I can have in in PVE combat that goes beyond face-tanking with MJ's of shields and pouring on raw DPS. I've mostly stuck to multicannons and beams, are there any weapon loadouts and ships you'd recommend trying out? I was thinking of starting with something small that is cheap and easy to engineer, like iCourier or a vulture, and move up from there.
 
iCourier with performance engines and overcharged inferno multis is a fun build (maybe make one a corrosive). Not sure how it's held up to patch changes though.
 
iCourier with performance engines and overcharged inferno multis is a fun build (maybe make one a corrosive). Not sure how it's held up to patch changes though.
The Courier is still a blast to fly. But while flying it is awesome, its combat use by now is a bit restricted.

With only three medium hard points available you are limited in your choice of targets. Taking down small and the "softer" medium ships works well and is great fun, thanks to how agile it is. But between defense stacking and SCBs large ships and also some medium ships become a chore to destroy. You absolutely need a feedback cascade railgun to counter SCBs.

That's how I at some time learned that NPCs do have a limited number of SCB charges. I tooled around on my Courier and didn't bring feedback cascade. I had to keep hitting that Anaconda till all its SCBs were used up, only then I was able to destroy it. While it is possible, it's a very long fight and just doesn't feel good.

After dedicating one hard point to feedback cascade your options for the other weapons are quite limited, if you don't want to go restock all of the time.

So yea, absolute fun to fly, but when you want to go for Bounty Hunting, its weapon layout really restricts what you can do with it.
 
My ship of choice for most combat is the Krait Mk2. Here's my build for it. https://s.orbis.zone/6ddn - I know you asked for iCourier or Vulture but the Krait is not that expensive and I've killed many a Courier and Vuture with mine. It will take some time to kill larger ships though.

It's a rather old build that still works for me - light on engineering but it does well in RES (High) and (Haz). I even killed an NPC 'Vette with it once. It is not a design that would work well against a ship specifically designed for PvP.
 
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Good thread for battle Courier builds


This is mine. I fly it wide open nearly all the time, making gunnery, or maybe beam passes, like a 109 attacking the bomber stream. It's so fast no NPC can hope to catch it. It's the anti-facetanker. Many of the builds in the battle Courier thread opted for more speed than mine. I went with full-weight beams for more DPS/shield stripping plus a HD HRP to achieve reasonable integrity. In these sorts of builds, especially with the ELPs, every half-ton matters. I was willing to trade significant top-end so I could hit a little harder and not die as easily when the inevitable high-speed collisions occur.

Not a good ship for CZs or any one v one scenario in my opinion. But it easily handles small ships and anything really up to a Clipper. Above that and you'll struggle to kill, but all you need is tags, and therefore works best in an instance with allies such as a High RES.


Velocity

For me this is one of the most interesting build projects in Elite. How do you balance performance, firepower and protection within such constraints?

But yeah, if you are looking for combat without being a facetanker, the Courier is a great choice. When I decided I wanted to build a small, very fast combat ship, I ran a face-off between the Courier and the iEagle. Both are wicked-fast, but the Courier won the competition because I could protect it better. The iEagle is now an 850 m/s wake scanner. :)
 
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You can also grab that hilarious little glass cannon called the Eagle. The iEagle is easy-mode, but the standard eagle is enormously fun. Fixed weapons of course - no need to gimbal when you are that nimble.

:D S
 
Yes, the iCourier is great fun. I posted links to a couple of builds in the thread linked above.

As Sylow points out, small ships are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the hulls of large ships down, but if you have other NPC's involved helping out then they are quite capable.

One notable exception to that is the Vulture with its two large hardpoints. They will allow you to take on and take out larger NPC's even on your own.

And as always with small ships, the rebuys are generally very low, meaning that mishaps won't set you back in any significant way. :)
 
I haven't done much small ship combat, but love fighting in the Challenger and Chieftain. I set both up with rainguns on the small hardpoints and multicannons on the rest. The Chieftain is noticeably more manoeuvrable, but I prefer flying the Challenger as it can fit a bigger fuel scoop. I only have a small cargo bay and SRV in each, with every else given over to reinforcements (including shields, of course).

I have an iCourier, but use that for when I want to do scouting or just some fast flying. I tried it for combat, but I don't like the cockpit view very much.
 
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One notable exception to that is the Vulture with its two large hardpoints. They will allow you to take on and take out larger NPC's even on your own.
Good call on the Vulture. My friends and I had all owned these early in our careers, and I had actually sold mine as I moved on to bigger ships. But a few weeks ago we decided to start doing some small-ship combat again (I had not stopped, flying the Courier a lot). Several of us built Vultures and met up, and this is what I came up with.

Arclight

In some ways, the two large hardpoints are both a blessing and a curse :) I just went with two beams, but I've tried many combinations. None of them really seem to be satisfactory haha.

But yes, a great, nimble knife-fighter it is. Lots of fun to fly. Most small ships in Elite are.
 
Nice build... Very strong shields.

I generally did / do one thermal and one kinetic (usually a MC) or a railgun. Lasers can take a while against hulls... :)

I have a few Vultures, but didn't really use them much after a while, then decided to try something a bit different.


The fixed weapons make it a bit challenging, and you can typically only use one at a time due to aiming restraints, but it turned out to be pretty potent, and I was able to take out a pirate lord in a Corvette on my own, something that usually I'd want either a Mamba or an FDL for.
 
I like small rail guns and medium frags on the Viper MkIV as something that gives me some small ship fun with a relatively quick kill effectiveness. Of course it needs lots of restocking or ammo synthesis.

That‘s the biggest decision for me as far as PvE Combat load out is concerned. Fit for extended combat without much, or even any, restocking/synth’ing or go for some different, and maybe more powerful, options and accept the need to top up more often whilst getting quicker kills and taking on any opponents.

The Eagle shouldn’t be overlooked simply as it’s an excellent trainer, keeping you honest with a constant need to manage pips to keep everything working and reminding you that tactical retreats are part and parcel of combat:) Though the Vulture with one laser and one kinetic is a classic set up I’d take an all Frag Vulture every day personally; but then I’ve got six Chieftains, because they’re the Vulture‘s bigger brother (similar small ship feel with some real weapon power,) and three of those are all Frag variants.

Have fun trying some out - small ship combat can be great fun.
 
Nice build... Very strong shields.
Thanks, yes, very pleased with how it turned out. My friends like to mount healing beams, but we flew in a CNB for hours and shields never dropped below 94%, and that's gone in a blink since they recover so quickly, so no healing needed. And that's even with a number of collisions, pinballing off the odd ship here and there, spinning like a top lol. I aimed for decent MJ, good resistances and fast recovery. It works a treat.

It's so agile that you'll likely not be under fire for long if you're paying attention. I always compare the pitch/roll/yaw figures for my builds. The iEagle and Courier both score very well of course, but neither can touch the Vulture.

Here are the pitch/roll/yaw numbers comparing the Courier and the Vulture, both builds posted above

Courier (G5 Dirty Drive Distributors)

64.98/153.81/27.36

Vulture (G5 Dirty Drag Drives)

70.53/184.72/28.55

So the Vulture is significantly more agile, especially in roll. It's all build-specific, but those numbers are revealing in my view.

And by stacking resistances on the HRPs, I get great hull integrity even using stock bulkheads.If the shields don't go down, it's all redundant anyway, but a nice insurance policy in case things go wrong.
 
My ship of choice for most combat is the Krait Mk2. Here's my build for it. https://s.orbis.zone/6ddn - I know you asked for iCourier or Vulture but the Krait is not that expensive and I've killed many a Courier and Vuture with mine. It will take some time to kill larger ships though.

It's a rather old build that still works for me - light on engineering but it does well in RES (High) and (Haz). I even killed an NPC 'Vette with it once. It is not a design that would work well against a ship specifically designed for PvP.
I really like that krait build. It's not all that far off from the Krait I'm using in colonia, although I need to get more engineers.
 
Try out the Vulture. Its cheap enough to not worry about the odd rebuy, but powerful enough to keep you interested in using it later after you 'git gud'. It really shines with engineering.

My go-to for any CZ is a Rapid-fire Frag Vulture loadout. Packs a devastating blow at close range, requires hardly any pip management, and allows you to exploit the Vultures maneuverability to full effect. Easily tackles any size ship, from Eagles to Corvettes in a CZ. It does use a ton of raw mats for ammo synthesis, but thats just a visit to the shard fields every 6 months (which I don't mind).
 
Awesome builds, I'll have so many fun things to try out once I get back to the bubble! I look forward to playing with those vulture and courier builds.
 
While I've done combat before, I'm now getting pretty into it. Long story short, I went on a big expedition to colonia in my on my jump build anaconda, and when I got there, I'd figure I'd stick around and see what there is to do. I had my Krait MKII shipped out there to do some bounty hunting. Thing is, it had no engineering, and only had to cobble this together from pinned blueprints and the two engineers I had available. So far I have been having a blast in colonia. Unlike a Cutter or FDL, I had to worry about dying in some of the missions I took on.

When I get back to the bubble, I want to see what fun I can have in in PVE combat that goes beyond face-tanking with MJ's of shields and pouring on raw DPS. I've mostly stuck to multicannons and beams, are there any weapon loadouts and ships you'd recommend trying out? I was thinking of starting with something small that is cheap and easy to engineer, like iCourier or a vulture, and move up from there.
Why did you use A0 boosters on a Bi-Weave? The point of bi-weave is regen and broken regen speed, if you add A0 boosters you add 'stuff' to your shield again that was left out in order to get that regen rate. For a bi-weave, I would go for E0 and use resistant mods. This way, you build a very resistant shield but keep the fast regen. To my knowledge, you either go for shield tank; Hi-Cap Pris or conventional shields with A0 boosters, or resitance; Fast Charge Bi-Weave with E0 resistant boosters.

And why go back to the bubble? Drop by Robardin Rock in Carcosa if you need more help :)
Oh, but leave the KWS (I just saw) at the door 😅😉
(looking at your avatar, you'd understand ;) )
 
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While I've done combat before, I'm now getting pretty into it. Long story short, I went on a big expedition to colonia in my on my jump build anaconda, and when I got there, I'd figure I'd stick around and see what there is to do. I had my Krait MKII shipped out there to do some bounty hunting. Thing is, it had no engineering, and only had to cobble this together from pinned blueprints and the two engineers I had available. So far I have been having a blast in colonia. Unlike a Cutter or FDL, I had to worry about dying in some of the missions I took on.

When I get back to the bubble, I want to see what fun I can have in in PVE combat that goes beyond face-tanking with MJ's of shields and pouring on raw DPS. I've mostly stuck to multicannons and beams, are there any weapon loadouts and ships you'd recommend trying out? I was thinking of starting with something small that is cheap and easy to engineer, like iCourier or a vulture, and move up from there.
Personally, I don't think anything comes close to a Vulture. Burst lasers are my favourite because you can stay out as long as you want without running out of ammo. the exact build depends on which engineering you have access to, but as a general rule, you need to engineer for low heat and efficiency. Long range lasers with flow control work particularly well.

Here's the non-engineered build I use.

This one is fully engineered. It rules the RES as far as single ships are concerned:
 
Fighting with small ships is fun when I have the time. One small ship I like fighting with which some may not is the DBX (two rails and a beam for instance) but only when it's engineered.

I do, however, more often fight with medium ships these days such as the Krait MkII and Chieftain.

Hardly ever fight with large ships any more.
 
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