One of the most difficult things for a budding FC to learn, at least in my mind as it is something I struggle with, is understanding different ways that you can force a fight onto you terms. Oddly enough, this isn't as difficult as one would think. The hardest part, in my opinion, is being able to do it quickly and under pressure. I am going to provide just a few of the myriad of ways you go about doing this. Keep in mind though that tactics are being used against someone who may not play the way you want them too!
There a about as many ways to bait and goad your opponent as you can imagine but we are only going to go over a handful of them here. Some of the more popular tactics include Psyops, pincher, turn and burn, bubbles, and using dictors.
Psyops is the art of using psychological warfare against your opponent. Methods of doing this are: Making the enemy believe you have less numbers then you do, making them believe you are scared (by running away to a predetermined trap point), making them think you have different shiptypes, and just all around making them believe they have the upper hand.
There are several ways to instigate most of this methods.
Lets say you are taking your fleet back home from a prolonged roam. Your scout, who is +2, J's into a gate camp. Your fleet comp is 8 shield BC's, a falcon, 2 Skirmish inties, 1 jag(chaser tackle), a sabre, 2 scimis and 2 vagas. The recon report comes in: Gizz in XX-XXX on XX gate. 13 in local and I have 13 on grid. 6 Canes, a sabre, 2 vagas, 2 scimis, a dram, and a Stiletto. The idea is to bait them into thinking they outmatch you and to therefore get them to come to you and engage.
The Execute: you can tell you skirmish to either get safe in local or burn back to gate. You would then have only half of your force go into the next system, thus allowing their scout(assuming they are smart and have one, most do) to see your numbers. Hopefully you can get them in position on the next gate and they will take the bait, J into your system and engage not knowing that the other half of your force is incoming. When they do it will be too late(hopefully...shit happens :) )
2. Running scared.
Same situation as above..but lets they have the numbers this time. You can still get a good fight this way, it just takes a little patience. The idea is to have them think you don't want to fight because you think or "know" you will lose. How do we do this? Running!
The Execute: Your scout gives his report and you send the fleet into system -1 from scout. Warp everyone to gate at about 20km and as soon as you exit warp realign the ingate you entered in. Give it about 30 secs so they think you are discussing it and then burn back to other gate. If it works a couple of them(or hell the whole force) should come in and give chase. Now there are a few things you can do here. I am only going to cover two, as some of the others will be covered in their own section. What you do here is up to you..as I am not going to reveal the actual methods you can use(so you can use them against me lol)
The purpose of this is having two forces to trap your opponent with, one being the one engaged the other the back up.
This section is going to be pretty short, as I am not going to be putting in actual tactics used, just giving the idea. The idea is to either split your force, know you have back up somewhere, or know backup can respond if needed. Then you just engage on a gate, and when back up arrives it cuts off their escape.
TURN AND BURN
I already went into this in some detail.
The tactic: To make look like your running or to split up faster ships from slower ships
The execute: It is what it is. Just turn and align to a gate or celestial and burn for a bit til they give chase. You then warp off and pick off the ones who come after you.
Bubbles, Interdictors, and Gate camping
I am also not going to go into too many details on these subjects even though they are viable tactics to giving you the higher ground.
Bubbles: Bubbles are anchorable objects that, like dictor spheres, disrupt warp off all ships it is aligned to(meaning celestials it is aligned to but ships taking the aligned path) and drops them in your lap.
Interdictors: Two classes, standard and Heavy. Standard, or light, Interdictors are destroyer class vessels that equip an Interdiction Sphere Launcher to drop Interdiction probes in space. Heavy interdictors are even more unique as they equip a Warp Disruption Field Generator. This allows HICs to quite literally be the center of their bubble and move around with it.
Gate Camping: We all know this one. Sitting at a gate for hours on end in a busy pipe and waiting for unsuspecting travelers and gangs to come through.
In closing I hope you all received a little more insight into ways to turn the hand. Veterans know most of this stuff, however, I hope that maybe they were refreshed or have a new perspective on the subject. Sorry to all my readers for this one being two weeks late. I have had some shit dropped on me in life lately and it has been hard to get a handle on my writing.
Until next fly dangerously! o7