Hey, I'm only a Lt. Cmd., and I'm far from an ace of the arenas, but after playing through a dozen or so PvP sessions and watching dusrupter fire turn good ships into glowing plasma, there are some simple guidelines for Fed players dipping into the arena:
o The Klingons are faster than you. Not just at turning, but also at getting up and running.
o The Klingons can deliver a bigger punch faster than you. One that can scald your shields off in a salvo of green fire.
o These things do not mean the Klingons are -better- than you. The Fed ships are packing tougher shields and a good balanced mix of capabilities.
Because of these differences, here are some rules of combat for Fed players
1) Don't Chase the Klingon. Honestly, this could be rule #1-10. Yes, heads-up your ship is a match for his, but damn it, Jim, if you chase that Klingon you will end up shooting at empty space. And frustrated. And dead.
2) Stay close together. If there is one tactic that that wins game for Fed ships, it's working as a squad. Stay close. Move slowly. And when you catch sight of a Klingon... don't chase them. Please.
3) Learn from the geese. Formation flying works well for the Fed side. Whether you decide to swim like a school of fish or stick together like geese heading south, find an arrangement, watch your wingmen, and stick together.
4) Have some frakin' patience. Sorry, wrong universe. But geez mon, the thing that gets more people killed in less time is when -- after two whole minutes of flying slowly in formation -- they hit the full impulse button and head out to, you guessed it, chase a Klingon. Then they're dead. And so is anyone that tries to save them.
5) One in, all in. If one of your squad mates opens up, everyone opens up. Don't dash around, don't try to pick up the guy coming in from the other side. Concentrate your fire and you can make Klingon stew faster than that guy with the slap-chop. Everybody start milling around or, God help you, chasing the Klingons, and you'll all end up dead.
6) Pick a rally point. At some point, even if you resist that chasing urge, you'll end up vaporized. When you reappear, DO NOT hit the afterburner and head directly back toward the fray (unless the fight is very close to your spawn point). A bunch of strung out Fed ships joining the battle one at a time is like Klingon popcorn. They will eat you all and spit out the seeds. Instead, agree on some feature of the arena that's visible from all points as a rally point. If you every find yourself alone, head there in one big hurry and wait for the fleet to get reassembled before you move.
Okay, that's enough from me. What are your secrets and tips for defeating those wrinkle-faced bastiches?