Starship Battle Tactics

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As part of Technology, it is important to understand Starfleet Battle call's and the maneuver employed.

Alpha Series Maneuvers

Alpha Star Fleets most basic offensive maneuver, attack pattern Alpha involves a mostly straight on approach to the target with some slight vectoring to the side based on the ship's weapons compliment and the target's movement.

Beta Series Maneuvers

  • Beta: The ship dives down between two enemy ships, firing at least once at each of them (and hoping they will miss it and hit each other.)
  • Beta-2: Approaching the target closely, the ship jinks to the starboard of the target, then dives beneath it to emerge on its port ventral side, firing as it goes.
  • Beta-3: The ship makes a broad arc turn around one or more ships, attacking them as it goes.
  • Beta-4: The ship climbs steeply, veering to port or starboard, then quickly dives back down, firing at targets as it goes.

Delta Series Maneuvers

  • Delta: The ship swoops up from underneath a target to attack its vulnerable ventral side.
  • Delta-2: The ship swoops over the target from starboard to port, then back again from port to starboard (sometimes diving underneath in the process) firing as it goes.
  • Delta-3: The ship dives straight down at, or climbs straight up at, the target, firing forward weapons.
  • Delta-4: An all-out, straightforward frontal attack.
  • Delta-5: A long, relatively shallow dive to one side of the target (usually whichever way allows the ship to bring the most weapons to bear on the target, or which uses the target ship to provide cover from other ships’ attacks).

Kappa Series Maneuvers

  • Kappa 0-1-0: From a superior position, the ship arcs down and around its target to port, firing as it goes.
  • Kappa 0-2-0: The ship flies on a carefully-calculated arc through a battlefield, firing at multiple targets.

Omega Series Maneuvers

  • Omega: As the ship approaches the target head-on, it jinks to one side and dives steeply from one end of it to another.
  • Omega-2: The ship rolls from one side to the other, giving its weapons maximum exposure so the Tactical officer can attack several targets.
  • Omega-3: The ship veers back and forth across the battlefield like a darting swallow, attacking vulnerable targets.
  • Omega-4: Maneuver may only be used by ships which have four or more weapons (of any type) which they can bring to bear on a single target. The ship swoops over or past the target at reasonably close range, firing all available weapons in a multiple weapon attack.

Sierra Series Maneuvers

  • Sierra: The ship swoops in from an aft dorsal angle to attack the target from behind.
  • Sierra-2: While seeming as if it will pass by a particular target, the ship turns to face it head-on and attacks.
  • Sierra-3: The ship flies through the heart of a battle, jinking back and forth to avoid enemy attacks as it fires at choice targets.
  • Sierra-4: The ship comes up from beneath the target(s) and loops up and over it/them.

Theta Series Maneuvers

A longstanding favorite of many of Starfleet’s more daring officers, the Theta attack pattern works best when the ship is outnumbered by at least three to one. The ship flies amidst its enemies, jinking (and even rolling) so that it can use as many of its weapons on as many targets as possible. It works best for Fighters, Escorts, and other small ships.

Other Maneuvers

  • Approach Maximum Aspect: The ship approaches its target from an angle which gives it the most possible surface space to fire at (with Starfleet ships, that usually means from directly above or below, but it varies from ship to ship.
  • Circumvential Attitude: This maneuver requires two or more ships. To use it, the ships surround a single target on as many sides as possible, attacking it from every angle and cutting off any attempts to escape.
  • Cochrane Deceleration: The ship decelerates suddenly, allowing the enemy to pass so it can fire forward weapons.
  • Passive Lure Ship: "plays dead," pretending to be a derelict or too badly damaged to function. The Conn makes an Opposed Test using Shipboard Systems (Sensors) against any enemy vessel who scans it trying to find out how badly hurt it is.

Picard Maneuver

A tactic devised by Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the U.S.S. Stargazer during the Battle of Maxia in 2355.

The Stargazer accelerated to warp speed and for an instant appeared to be in two places at once to a distant observer, the opponent vessel.

This maneuver, taking advantage of the fact that the opponent vessel was using only light speed sensors, allowed the Federation starship to fire and damage their enemy.

The Picard Maneuver is required study at Starfleet Academy. (The Battle TNG) TIME: 00 seconds

The Stargazer is approximately 9 million kilometers from the Ferengi ship. At this distance, it takes light from the Stargazer about 30 seconds to reach the Ferengi ship. Both ships have little motion with respect to each other.


From the viewpoint of the crew of the Ferengi ship, the Stargazer is not moving. However, because the Stargazer is 30 light seconds away, what the Ferengi sees is actually the image of the Stargazer 30 seconds ago.

TIME: 01 seconds

The Stargazer accelerates into warp drive, moving closer to the Ferengi ship.

Because of the 30 second lag, the Ferengi cannot know yet that the Stargazer has moved until those 30 seconds have past.

TIME: 15 seconds

The Stargazer has assumed a new position, closer to the Ferengi ship, in preparation for attack.

Again, the Ferengi still has no way of knowing that the Stargazer has moved, because light from the Stargazer's new position has not yet reached the Ferengi ship.

TIME: 20 seconds

The Stargazer fires weapons.

Because the new position of the Stargazer is closer than the old position, light from the new Stargazer position reaches the Ferengi ship while light from the old position is still en route. In other words, the Stargazer appears to be in two places at once, thus confusing the Ferengi crew.

TIME: 31 seconds

The battle is over; the Stargazer has destroyed the Ferengi ship.

The light from the Stargazer that left when the ship shifted position finally reaches the Ferengi ship. It is now possible for the Ferengi to know what the Stargazer is doing, although it is too late to do anything about it.

The Riker Maneuver

Riker Maneuver Developed by Commander William Riker in battle against the Son’a in 2375, the Riker Maneuver may only be performed in regions of space filled with dangerous, combustible substances such as metreon gas.


The ship passes through the gas, collecting it with its Bussard Ramscoops. It then flushes the ramscoops, projecting the gas back towards pursuers or forward toward an approaching enemy ship. The enemy’s attacks, or a quick phaser blast from the ship, ignite the gas, causing an explosion which damages the enemy ship.

Scraping Maneuver

This maneuver allows a ship to temporarily knock another ship’s thrusters offline. To perform it, a ship must have active shields and brush up against the target ship, which must also have active shields.

Talluvian Maneuver

This maneuver is a flexible one designed to maneuver a ship so that its most powerful phasers are brought to bear on the target for as long as possible. It works best with ships which have large phaser arrays, like the Fearless-class Heavy Cruisers. The ship flies above or below its target (depending on whether the phaser array is ventral or dorsal) in a diagonal pattern which allows it to fire its phaser and keep it locked on the target in continuous fire mode.

Solar Shield Maneuver

1. Set a course In 2370, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D came under attack from a renegade Borg vessel. Dr. Beverly Crusher, who was in acting command of the ship, realized a direct confrontation with the Borg ship would be suicide, so she decided to take the Enterprise into the corona of a nearby star where the Borg could not follow.


2. Activate shields Ordinarily, the Enterprise would not have been able to withstand the intense heat and radiation from the star, but Dr. Crusher employed experimental metaphasic shielding. This technology had been developed by Ferengi scientist Dr. Reyga, and was successful in protecting the ship from the star's extreme temperature.

3. Fire particle beam As impressive as the metaphasic shields were, they could not protect the Enterprise for long, and the Borg vessel was still waiting for them to emerge. The crew of the Enterprise devised a plan to fire an energetic particle beam at the surface of the star to induce a solar flare that they hoped to direct at the Borg ship.


4. Generate solar flare The Enterprise's carefully directed particle beam caused the sun's photosphere to destabilize. A pressure wave formed, finally causing an enormous solar flare to burst out of the corona. The solar eruption totally engulfed the Borg vessel, resulting in its destruction and leaving the Enterprise free to exit the protection of the sun.