The purpose of this doctrine is to introduce new or veteran commanders to a specific fighting style and ship build that works against all four Thargoid Interceptor variants. The entry cost of this doctrine is designed to be as minimal as possible to allow any commander the ability to engage in Thargoid Interceptor combat against any of the variants. The tactics and maneuvers involved also carry over through all four Interceptor variants with only one additional maneuver needed for Basilisks due to their speed.
For this doctrine to be effective a commander must have a basic understanding of flying with flight assist off. This doctrine is not designed for flight assist on combat, since it would interfere with many maneuvers within this doctrine.
This doctrine is centered around a combat loop - essentially you are repeating the same tactics for all hearts (Save for the initial engagement) allowing any commander to refine their abilities in the specific motions of this doctrine.
This doctrine also allows for minimal focus on pip management due to the fact that it concerns flying without a shield, allowing you to set your power priorities and focus elsewhere.
This doctrine centers itself around the Chieftain as its primary ship. The Challenger may also be used as a substitute with minor changes to its hardpoints. (Challenger build guide under construction) Ships such as the Krait MKII, Krait Phantom or FAS may also be used but due to the cheap entry cost of the Chieftain, its hard point layout and maneuverability, it is the primary focus for this doctrine.
- Military Grade Composite (Heavy Duty/Deep Plate)
- 6A Power Plant (Armored/Thermal Spread)
- 6A Thrusters (Dirty/Drag Drives)
- 5A Frame Shift Drive (Any class/modification optional depending on commander)
- 5A Life Support (Lightweight optional)
- 6A Power Distributor (Charge Enhanced/Super Conduits)
- 4D Sensors (Long range optional)
- 4C Fuel Tank
- 5D Repair Limpet Controller
- 5D Guardian Module Reinforcement Package
- 4D Hull Reinforcement Package x3 (Heavy Duty/Deep Plate) Military Slots Only
- 4E Cargo Rack
- 2A Automatic Field-Maintenance Unit
- 2D Guardian Module Reinforcement Package
- 1D Guardian Moudle Reinforcement Package
- 2B Guardian Gauss Cannons x2 (Fitted in the 2 Large Slots)
- 2B Remote Release Flak Launcher (Medium Slot)
- 1D Guardian Gauss Cannons x2 (Fitted in the two small slots to the left and right of the hull)
- 1G Beam Laser (Long Range/Thermal Vent fitted in the small middle weapon slot)
- 3x OI Heat Sink Launchers(Ammo Capacity)
- Xeno Scanner/Heat Sink Launcher (Dependent on commander if they wish to see the Thargoid’s hull and swarm numbers.)
If you have no preference for the Xeno Scanner especially for the lower variants having the 4th heat sink slot will ensure you should never need to synthesize heat sinks on the lower Interceptor variants.
The purpose of the engineers listed is to minimize the needed engineers for entry level commanders into this doctrine while also allowing the more experienced commanders to utilize further engineers to maximize their ship. The engineers needed for the modifications are as follows:
- The Dweller (Wyrd) - G5 Power Distributor (Charge Enhanced/Super Conduits)
- Selene Jean (Kuk) - G5 Hull Reinforcement Package (Heavy Duty/Deep Plate)
- G5 Armor (Heavy Duty/Deep Plate)
- Hera Tani (Kuwemaki) - G5 Power Plant (Armored/Thermal Spread)
- Professor Palin (Arque) - G5 Thrusters(Dirty/Drag Drives)
- Broo Tarquin (Muang) - G5 Beam Laser (Long Range/Thermal Vent)
- Ram Tah (Meene) - Heat Sink Launcher (Ammo Capacity)
- Felicity Farseer (Deciat) - G5 Frame Shift Drive engineering
- Lei Cheung (Laksak)/Bill Turner (Alioth) - G5 Sensors engineering
VIDEO: Unlocking Engineers by CMDR Exigeous
¶ Purpose of Ship and Engineering
With the fitting and engineers listed this is the baseline of the doctrine needed to fully utilize the fitting of the ship with the engineers available for each module. If utilizing all engineers you are fully maximizing the capabilities of the Chieftain to allow you to engage all Interceptor variants efficiently and effectively.
The speed of the Chieftain when engineered to its recommended settings will allow you to achieve a minimum boost speed of 500 m/s which is more than needed to engage any Interceptor variant. Basilisks requires an additional maneuver to combat due to its speed. See Basilisk Considerations
The purpose of using a repair limpet controller instead of a shield generator is to allow commanders to repair their ship in case of a mistake. The Thargon swarm also does more phasing damage to ships that are shielded compared to those that are unshielded providing a bit of an advantage against the swarm and for power purposes of the ship. Synthesis of limpets may be needed dependent on damage received especially with the higher variants
The purpose of the 3x heat sinks (Ammo capacity) will allow a generous amount of heat sinks to achieve a cold orbit around any variant with experienced commanders using (per heart) 1-2 heat sinks against a cyclops, 2-3 against a Basilisk, 3-5 against a medusa, and allowing all 9 heat sinks for a Hydra.
Inexperienced commanders will be granted a big buffer in heat sinks to allow them to have plenty of heat sinks on hand if mistakes are made allowing this doctrine to be forgiving.
The need for heat sink synthesis will be on a case by case basis dependent on Interceptor or experience of the commander.
The Guardian Gauss Cannons when set into their fire groups should be split into two fire groups (1 medium to 1 Small) to maximize the heat efficiency of the ship when firing in alternating fire keeping the chieftain below 20% heat with a heat sink engaged.
The long range thermal vent beam laser is utilized primarily after a heart is destroyed to put the Interceptor into a “Sleep Mode” without the use of heat sinks.
Heat sinks may be needed if your heat is above 15% after a heart is destroyed. Sleep mode further explained in section VIII.
¶ Initial/First Heart Engagement and Subsequent Heart Combat Cycle
- Upon engaging a Thargoid Interceptor of any variant in a non-human signal source (NHSS) the initial engagement should occur after the Interceptor has finished his scan of you. The purpose of allowing the Interceptor to finish his scan is to allow you to get a scan of the Interceptor if you have a xeno scanner fitted.
- Disengage your flight assist and engage with your beam laser. [Pips at: 0-4-2]
- Once the Interceptor is aggressed he will begin launching his swarm. Begin your boost past the Interceptor and gain the recommended distance of 4-6km. [Pips at: 0-4-2]
- Once at distance 180 turn while continuing your moment to engage the Thargon swarm. (If swarm management is needed see section V Swarm Management) [Pips at: 0-4-2]
- Once the swarm is destroyed you may begin your engagement of the Interceptor (preferably at 5km distance) with your thermal vent beam. This will drop your ship temperature to below 20% to allow you to begin your cold orbit around the Interceptor. [Pips at: 0-2-4]
- Begin your cold orbit attack run by applying down vertical thrust and forward until you achieve an orbit speed of about 180 m/s and maintain an orbit distance of between 900m-1.5km. NOTE: Applying your thermal vent beam will allow you to set your orbit while avoiding damage from the Interceptor.
- Once your orbit envelope is established switch to your gauss cannon fire group, engage a heat sink and begin your alternating fire of your gauss cannons. (Alternating fire should be achieved by activating the charge up of your second group once your first group of cannons fires its rounds.)
- Continue engaging heat sinks as needed once you hear “Heat Sink Deployed” from your COVAS until the heart has been exerted and destroyed.
- Each Interceptor variant also has an approximate attack run window and will allow you to stabilize your orbit. Once outside of its attack run window the Interceptor will change direction and reset for its own attack run forcing you to have to adjust your orbit accordingly. Use of your thermal vent beam during this time may be recommended if you drift outside of your orbit envelope.
- Cyclops ≈30 Seconds -Basilisk & Medusa ≈26 Seconds -Hydra ≈20 Seconds
- Once the first heart is destroyed immediately switch back to your beam laser and begin cooling your ship while also attempting to gain a minimum distance of 3km (engaging reverse thrust) from the Interceptor. This is the time to set a pip into Systems to recharge systems capacitor from your use of heat sinks. [Pips at: 1-4-1]
- The first heart is when the Interceptor is the most aggressive with its lightning ability with which it will aggressively chase you down. To avoid the ability, continue applying your beam laser to the Interceptor and once it reaches a distance of 1.5km apply downward thrust and forward thrust while engaging your boost while attempting to keep your beam laser on target and keep more than 800m away from the Interceptor. (For subsequent hearts the Interceptor is not as aggressive and you can maintain your distance from it by adjusting your reverse and forward thrust.)
- This maneuver will allow you to do a half orbit around the Interceptor forcing it to change its momentum (and all Interceptors are slow at changing direction) and keeping you under the 15% heat threshold keeping the Interceptor in sleep mode (Section VII Thargoid Interceptor Sleep Mode)
- Begin reverse thrust away from the Interceptor while still applying your beam laser on target. [Pips at: 0-4-2]
- Once the Interceptor begins launching its swarm you will want to maintain a distance of about 3.5km-6km until it launches its swarm fully and begin a 180 maneuver away from the Interceptor and begin boosting away. Use this time now to begin any repairs or synthesis if needed.
- Begin the initial swarm engagement stated above.
- This time the Interceptor will have a shield up (Shields goes up after the first heart is destroyed) and it will continue to decay over time.
- To maximize the time you have for heart destruction you can decrease the shield uptime by applying your beam laser to the Interceptor degrading its shields faster.
- Once the shields are down begin the cold orbit cycle listed above as part of the combat loop for all the subsequent hearts. (Using Gauss cannons against the shields is a waste of ammo especially when using precious premium synthesis)
- Begin your next combat loop with pips set at 0-2-4
- Another similar tactic to the cold boost would be to engage silent running and perform your boost maneuver 180 degrees past the Basilisk. (The options taken will be dependent upon the commander.) The purpose of this maneuver is to allow the commander to save a heat sink and achieve the same outcome while taking advantage of the shieldless build.
The Basilisk variant has a top speed of 530m/s. The doctrine chieftain can not outrun the Basilisk if followed to the fitting. A required maneuver of a cold boost (engaging a heat sink before boosting 180 degrees past the Basilisk) will allow you to gain valuable distance from the Basilisk to allow you to synthesize more heat sinks or ammo or perform any repairs to your ship before committing to your next combat loop. The Basilisk does not do well when it has to adjust its momentum from one direction to the opposite. Do take in mind this will put you in the path of the swarm also triggering its agitated state if you fly through it.
The purpose of engaging the swarm first on the initial engagement is to remove the “banked” swarm of the Interceptor from the equation. Whenever an Interceptor is engaged and the heart is destroyed first, the banked swarm will then launch forcing the commander to have to deal with a second swarm. Removing the banked swarm from the equation will allow the commander to efficiently use his time to focus on all subsequent hearts.
- The Cold Orbit has the advantage of preventing all of the damage from the Interceptor if proper speed and orbit distance is maintained with the proper 15 degrees arc past the center bore of the Interceptor’s cannons with your ship heat below 20%. This tactic is used by many veteran AX commanders to prevent any sort of damage done to their ship allowing them to continue their engagement and preventing from having to repair modules which may take up precious time, especially in the more advanced Interceptors.
- Cold orbiting is also the basis for more advanced Interceptor combat when wanting to use smaller ships and also for more advanced Thargon swarm management for small ships when flak launchers cannot be fitted. (beyond the scope of this guide)
- The amount of heat sinks within this doctrine will allow the destruction of any heart on any variants as long as the commander maintains a 900m-1.5km orbit maximising the damage output of the Gauss cannon.
Being outside of the orbit envelope may cost extra rounds from the Gauss cannons due to damage drop off and a waste of heat sinks will occur. Firing outside the engagement envelope is ill advised.
-The interceptor will enter a sleep mode after a destruction of a heart and the commander maintains his ships heat below 15%.
-The sleep mode will prevent the interceptor from launching its caustic missiles allowing the commander to completely avoid that stage of interceptor combat.
-The sleep mode will also prevent the activation of the interceptors shut down field removing the need for a shut down field neutralizer and also removing the need from having to have flight assist off and boost away from the interceptor while shut down. Also having to prevent from having to boost outside the 10K max effective range of the shut down field which many ships will not achieve.
-The window the interceptor will be in sleep mode lasts approximately 30 seconds.
-This is why the importance of the thermal vent beam laser comes into play allowing a ship to maintain 0% ship heat without the need of using heat sinks preventing unnecessary synthesis of further heat sinks.
CREDITS Thank you to the Anti-Xeno Initiative discord for assistance in refining this doctrine and to the following AXI Commanders for their contribution: CMDR Mgram, CMDR BADRACINGDRIVER, CMDR Mackenheimer, CMDR vini500300