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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-24-2011, 11:56 AM
I'll just throw in this:

Pets > Carrier

Deal with the pets, and you'll have essentially declawed the carrier. Too many people make the mistake of going directly for the carrier, allowing it to build up and maintain its "cloud" of pets long enough for them to unleash their feared torpedo volleys. If you want to attack a carrier, take care of the pets first. Ideally, ignore the carrier and just deal with his pets, then focus on squishier ships. Carrier can be very hard to take down, especially if used with a survival build and escorted by good teamplayers. This is why they are often described as being able to "anchor" a battle, even if the carrier in itself is nothing without its pets.

Ideally, you'll have one player focusing on "neutralizing" the carrier's tactical value by engaging its pets whilst the rest of the team goes for a proper target. Naturally, Escorts with Cannon Spread are very useful for this, but I've heard good things about cruisers with Beam FaW as well. I am currently leveling a Fed Tactical to specialize in anti-fighter duty, as the ongoing complaints have made me want to try it myself.
This, of course, boils down to teamplay. I often read comments from Fed Cruiser captains complaining that Escorts should do their damn job and escort them, so take this as anouther encouragement that it is quite possible to deal with a carrier-reinforced battlegroup if you just work together as a team.

Another mistake I see regularly (though nowadays not as often as months ago) is that the popular Fedball dislikes maneuvering. A carrier is able to launch its pets from a distance of 15km. If you don't move in and attack, the carrier will continue to build up a swarm of fighters and/or BoP's until it becomes hard to deal with. So don't just wait until you get attacked, instead turn the tide and engage before the enemy has finished preparing for the battle.

Other than that, let me finish by providing a link to a (in my opinion) rather helpful post from a carrier pilot concerning advantages and weaknesses of a carrier and what they mean for you: