We are now switching to Wolfpack Tactics, much like the U-Boats of old. First things first: you can run all of this solo! A wing is not necessary though it can be very helpful for dicier targets or to facilitate scooping (which is covered below).
ALL SHIPS need to be fit for commerce raiding, which means at minimum:
- Cargo Scanner (scan any potential target first; if they have no prints, don’t waste your time on them and move on)
- FSD Interdictor
- Collector and Hatchbreaker controllers and limpets (stick with a 1A for the Hatchbreaker since you can only have one active on a ship at a time anyway, but pack multiple collectors; you’ll most likely want to have at least 4 collectors out and active at any given time.)
- ~80T cargo (keep in mind some targets carry an absurd amount of blueprints so you may want to pack more holds if you’re planning on going solo)
- Combat equipment, guns, shields, etc (for maximizing module damage, burst lasers are recommended)
WOLFPACKS will range out in pairs in Kraurno, interdicting lone smugglers (How to tell? Check the ship’s equipment in supercruise for heat sinks. If a ship has a Cargo or Warrant Scanner instead then they are pirates or bounty hunters respectively) or hitting the nav beacon in order to maximize efficiency. If a wing member runs into a situation that they cannot effectively solo, such as roving pirates at the nav beacon, the other wing members can immediately drop in to provide backup.
- Type-7s (These are preferred)
- Asp Explorers (That don’t have cargo or kill warrant scanners)
- Even Federal Dropships! (That don’t have cargo or kill warrant scanners)
- But NOT Type-9s! (Type-9s do not carry blueprints, even in convoys. Avoid like the plague!)
WHEN HITTING A TARGET drop their shields immediately and then core their powerplant/thrusters (you can get a direct shot to the powerplants of Types 6 and 7 but make sure you’re hitting them with precision weapons such as multicannons or beam lasers, and only from a distance of around 500m or knife-fighting range, or you will risk popping the ship), then immediately begin breaking their hatch with limpets. DO NOT SHOOT THE CARGO HATCH, as once it hits 0%, the ship will no longer drop cargo. For reference:
WHEN HITTING THE NAV BEACON, your wing will need to reset the instance in order to maximize uptime. To do this, one ship will enter the nav beacon and quickly check the contacts for transports while the others remain in supercruise ranging out for interdiction targets or convoy signals (threats 0-1 only, 2 and 3 are specific events and will not have blueprints). If there are potential targets, cargo scan them; if there are no valid targets, exit the beacon to reset the instance, at which point another wing member will enter and repeat the process. Once a target is found, the rest of the wing enters the beacon and begins the same process for raiding a lone trader; however, you will need to either kite the target at least 10km from the beacon itself to minimize picking up pirate attention before breaking into it, or have your wingmates pick off pirates while you scoop.
RAIDING SOLO? Easiest way to minimize risk and maximize reward is to pull lone haulers out of SC with an interdictor. Again, drop their shields immediately and their powerplant if possible, then start hatchbreaking.
NOTE: make sure if you are running turrets that you keep them on a leash; there is a nasty bug right now that resets turret mode to “Fire At Will” every time you drop from supercruise so my advice is to set up a firing group that has no turrets in it and switch to it immediately if your turrets develop a mind of their own.
NEED PRACTICE SHOOTING OUT THE POWERPLANT? A good time to get some live-fire practice in is if you interdict a trader who turns out to be a dud; engage them and try to core out their plant while your FSD recharges.
OPTIONAL BONUS THING (If you can’t spare the time, don’t bother with this)
If you have engineer mods, I highly recommend having one ship in the wolfpack with a C4 Beam Laser and the Regeneration Sequence effect applied (you may need to burn rep with The Dweller for this), as one huge healbeam can make any one ship effectively invulnerable; pair this with a long-range mod and you can have a dedicated support ship sit on the sidelines healing wolfpack ships as they do their dirty work.