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#4519250 - 05/03/20 01:52 PM Scout Hunting  
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I've done this for the first time and thought I'd make a thread about it. A few of the commanders here at SimHQ have yet to do this, so perhaps this could help if they do.

Only two things are needed really, a good ship suited for the purpose and to be where the Thargoids are. So what sort of ship? I think there are many that would work well. The keys I think are a combination of speed, agility and the ability to stack integrity. The scouts shoot at you, and they will hit you, and it will cause damage. It cannot be avoided, and their attacks partially ignore shields. They also shoot caustic missiles which apply a caustic effect that will continue to eat at your hull until it's removed, and when a scout dies, it explodes in to a cloud which will apply the caustic effect if you fly through it.

In the end I chose to take one of my Kraits. It's a really good ship for this (and everything else too!). It is fast, agile and has plenty of internals to stack HRPs and get the integrity up. I had removed the military grade armor I had on the ship prior to doing this, but armor is a great help on scout missions and for a dedicated anti-xeno ship I'd recommend it. But if you can stack enough HRPs it can be done that way too. My Krait has 3,100 integrity in scout mode with HD stock alloys. I could have done more with complete engineering (and armor!), but I found this was plenty.

The ship should also be fast and agile, which is where some options fall out. The scouts are fast and zip around and you need to be able to track them and keep the weapons trained. That's why I was thinking about the DBS. It is very fast and highly agile. After doing some scout hunting I think I will follow through and build that ship out. The scouts are not hard to kill with the right weapons, and I think a ship that's a little less capable than the Krait would add an edge to the whole affair and make it more fun. It does have limited internal space and smaller hardpoints and would be a build challenge that seems fun. I think ships like Vulture, FAS, Krait, Chieftain, Viper, Cobra, DBS, FDL, or even a Dolphin would be well suited to the role. Fast, nimble and slots, those are the keys.

As for outfitting, heavy duty engineering on armor and HRPs is what you want. Resistances do not matter, and shields are partially ignored. So for that reason I think fast-charge bi-weaves make the best choice. Get mj up through boosters, and don't worry about resists. Get your integrity however you can. Heavy-duty HRPs are great for this of course, so load the slots up. If you can add armor and engineer that too, it should be fine.

Additionally, you need some specialized equipment to do this efficiently. For scouts, any weapons will work, AX weapons are not required, but even highly engineered standard weapons do far less damage and will make the scouts harder to kill. I recommend AX weapons and found the AX multi-cannons did a fine job and can kill the scouts quickly. These are not sold everywhere, and you do not need to unlock them, just find a station selling them. Each class is sold in a different station. For example you can get class 3 turreted AX multi-cannons in Shinrarta, but they do not sell class 2. So use EDDB to find the size you need for the ship you choose. There is no gimballed version, so either fixed or turrets. Turrets can help track the nimble scouts so I went that route. Gauss cannons are also a good choice. Further, you are limited to mounting four AX weapons at most.

In my Krait I mounted three AX turrets and filled the other two hardpoints with thermal vent beams. I knew I would need a way to remove the caustic goo. One way to do this is to overheat your ship. At 150% heat the goo starts burning off. This heat can be built by silent running, or by weapons. I mounted the beams to have a way to build heat, just by firing in to space. The thermal vent could be useful for removing that heat. In practice though I found that all that's needed is a decontamination limpet controller and some limpets. As long as you have these, the heat method isn't needed, and if I do more scout hunting I will swap the beams for more multi-cannons or something.

I also mounted a xeno-scanner, which takes a utility slot. This scans the thargoids and reveals their type. It also shows their remaining health, so you can see when they are about to pop and avoid the cloud. So it's very useful and I recommend it, but it isn't necessary to kill scouts. And of course you should also mount the decontamination limpets. For builds without this the heat method can be used, but the limpets are easy and automatic. Because you find these scouts in signal sources, once all are dead, you have time to chill, send out a limpet to remove the goo while you scoop the unique thargoid mats they drop. Once you're done then you low-wake to find a different signal source. So there's always time to use the limpets. In a pinch the heat method could be used during combat, so probably a useful fall-back option.

So where to find them? Without incursions in the bubble at the moment I think the two best places are the Pleiades or Witch Head. I chose Maia because it's closer. But I did notice that the new engineer Chloe Sedesi is near Witch Head, so I plan to do some more scout hunting there and get her unlocked at the same time. The scouts are found in NHSS, which go from threat 3 to 9 I think. I only dropped in to threats 3 and 4. Threat 3 has two scouts, and threat 4 has three to seven, plus a couple of friendly NPCs who look to jump out at the first opportunity. Don't count on them for much help. Above threat 4 bigger thargoids begin to appear, with Cyclops at threat 5 and Interceptors at threat 6. So if you just want to hunt scouts, stick to threats 3 and 4.

Apparently there are also AX Combat Zones, but I saw none labeled as such and did all of my scout hunting in the NHSS. I jumped back and forth between Maia and neighboring Asterope, and there are dozens of NHSS and you can easily rack up a score. Scout kills count as combat bonds, and pay 10k. All are Elite so it can be good for combat rank. I'm at Deadly and it's about 17 scouts per point. There are four types of scouts but in the NHSS I only saw the low level Marauder type. In the AX combat zones there are three additional types of scouts that make it more challenging since they can heal, coordinate attacks and boost damage.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519279 - 05/03/20 04:25 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Nice write up, D! Your observations track with what I’ve found in my limited experiences with Bugs. Kudos, mate

#4519289 - 05/03/20 06:19 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Thanks Bo.

I did some build crafting in Coriolis and this is what I've come up with for a Diamondback Scout Hunter. It seems just enough integrity and can only carry four limpets. The low limpet count and relatively low integrity compared to other ships would limit the DBS's combat endurance. I have plenty of mats to keep refilling the limpets through synthesis, but at 10 nickel per four limpets it won't last forever. So a ship like this would have to return to a station a little more often. Because it has lower firepower than the Krait I used it would take even longer to kill the scouts, meaning more damage taken and the integrity seems even lower as a result.

Diamondback Scout Hunter

It's faster than the Krait and more agile too. A smaller target even, but I don't know if that makes much of a difference. The main appeal is a dedicated Scout Hunter and a little more challenge using it for the role, as well as adding a ship to the fleet with a clear and defined purpose.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519334 - 05/04/20 12:00 AM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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I love my Krait Mk II, but I've got an FDL sitting around doing nothing, maybe I'll see if it makes a good bug hunter.

When I return, of course!! At the rate I'm going, we'll have a peace treaty with the Thargoids by then!!


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#4519373 - 05/04/20 10:15 AM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: JohnnyChemo]  
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The few times I hunted bugs I ran without decon limpets. Just kept my eye on hull and scampered back to port when needed. Obviously not the most efficient way, but doable in a pinch.

#4519385 - 05/04/20 11:28 AM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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That works too. The decon limpets work great. They latch on and after a few seconds you get a message that the goo is gone. When they finish their business they've repaired the hull a little. On my Krait with 3,100 integrity that equalled 1 percentage point of hull, which is a nice bonus.The only drawback is they have to be used when no bugs are about, and maybe that means they would be difficult to use outside of the NHSS. Well that, and it requires two slots.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519435 - 05/04/20 03:49 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Thinking of taking my Anaconda with 4 x 3C AX Multis. 4x Turrets, or 3X Turrents and 1 3C FIXED. Hoping the TURRETS will make up for the poorer maneuverability vs. the Scouts. Was going to put a 3C FIXED AX Multi in the HUGE slot, as they do almost double the damage of the Turrets, but I fear I would not be able to get and stay on target to make that useful. Maybe better to put a HUGE conventional MULTI there, or leave the HUGE BEAM and put another AX MEDIUM Turret on.


Build with 3X Turret, 1x FIXED AX

RSS TENGU-ScoutHunter


Last edited by Recluse; 05/04/20 03:53 PM.

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#4519460 - 05/04/20 04:59 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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I think that could work, in the sense that the firepower you'd be putting out with four C3 AX multi-cannons would make the bugs pop fast. Maybe you'd get 'em in the first pass. Once they've gotten in tight, and several at once, it could prove more challenging.

Your build looks good, it has the right stuff. My Krait actually had a little more integrity in scout-killer trim. But 3,000 is plenty. I just comes down to how often you'll be heading back to dock for repairs. A repair controller could extend this and lord knows you've the space for it in that beast.

Looking forward to your reports if you do it. If it proves successful I will add the Conda to the OP as a recommended ship biggrin


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519467 - 05/04/20 05:12 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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By the way, by my math and rate, I calculate you'd need 204 scouts to hit Elite Rec. Good hunting!


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519488 - 05/04/20 07:00 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
By the way, by my math and rate, I calculate you'd need 204 scouts to hit Elite Rec. Good hunting!


attack sigh

Might be just as easy at the CNB's that spawn a lot of ELITE ships and spare the 400 light year trip to the Pleiades


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#4519546 - 05/04/20 10:20 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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That's true Rec. Since hitting Deadly on March 1, I've averaged 30 kills per point. I prioritize Deadly and Elite ships, but I shoot what's in front of me.

With the scouts, it's about 17 to 1. So like you said when you factor in the travel it may be more or less a dead heat. Mats are better and money too when killing ships.

For me though I wanted to just do it. Like going to Colonia I wanted to experience it before it's all said and done. And I thought that once I hit combat Elite (if I do) that there would be even less compelling reason for me to go scout hunting. Having it be a solid rank booster is a bonus. And even though each kill is Elite, I'm still going from NHSS to NHSS for about 3 to 6 kills per instance, where in a RES or CNB it's just a parade. So yeah, if getting to Elite is the main goal I don't think you'll get there all that much faster scout hunting. But it's something to scratch off the bucket list and gives some Thargoid kills on Inara smile

Now, if this had been something I had mixed in to my rotation all along, it would have easily sent me to Elite by now.

I only ended up killing 60 or so scouts before heading back. That was 3.xx points of combat rank. I plan to build out my Diamondback Scout Hunter and do some more before I hit Elite.

And between you and me, I think the Thargoids will be back. Angrier than ever. And I want to be ready biggrin


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519554 - 05/04/20 11:34 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: Recluse]  
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Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by DBond
By the way, by my math and rate, I calculate you'd need 204 scouts to hit Elite Rec. Good hunting!


attack sigh

Might be just as easy at the CNB's that spawn a lot of ELITE ships and spare the 400 light year trip to the Pleiades


Before my current trip I would have seen that and though "nahhhh" now I see it and go "that's TOTALLY do-able..." biggrin


Steam Username: Capt.Midnight
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#4519641 - 05/05/20 01:18 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Yeah, that's not much. For my Krait it was 10 jumps from Bolg. I just swapped out the GFSDB once I got to Maia. At that point it's not needed until you head for home. Same with the scoop.

I think it's worthwhile just as a new activity. But it's not hard and nothing all that special about the scouts. A few different things to be mindful of like caustic goo and specialized weapons. And you know, when the Thargoids show up on our doorsteps in the not too distant future you're going to want to have a tried and tested, battle-hardened anti-xeno ship ready to roll to repel the invading hordes of space bugs. Yeah.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519651 - 05/05/20 02:08 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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As one wants speed and is limited to 4 AX weapons mounted anyway, I thought why not swat bugs with style and went with the Imperial Clipper. But that's a build from like ~2 years ago - that's probably also the reason for the empty optional slots...

#4519652 - 05/05/20 02:14 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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I went Scout hunting once when there were Thargoids closer to the bubble in my Federal Gunship. For some reason, the AX Turrets were not working well (or maybe their placement was just bad). At the time I didn't bring any Decontam Limpets so I was constantly cooking the goo off and returning to the station frequently. Perhaps the experience will be better in a more fit for purpose ship...


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#4519658 - 05/05/20 02:50 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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I think it will Rec. The decon limpets not only remove the goo, but repair the hull. I used a class 3 and it repaired one point. Your class 5 might do better, but not sure if this repair effect is class-based, or it just pops a point regardless. That alone extends endurance and makes it all a little easier. Fire 10 limpets over the course of the session, gain an extra 10% hull really.

I wish there were some incursions right now (are there?). I'd like to combine scout hunting and rescue missions for a bit.

Nice Clipper WC. Finally, a role I can see for that ship. Hmm.....


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519660 - 05/05/20 03:04 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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I have that DBS, but all I've done with it so far is repurpose some modules out of storage in to it, no engineering yet.

You guys know I'm Empire, and thanks for not holding that against me, and I have always wanted a Clipper, but I never saw a role for it. It's a neat ship but always seemed to be caught in two minds, never quite sharp enough to do the things I wanted to do. Without a clear role, I never bought one.

Looking at Who Cares' Clipper build though lit a light. His build is already great for the role. I took his build and reimagined it as mine. Here's what I came up with. It would need a scoop and a GFSDB to get there, but after dropping them on station, this is sort of what I might do with it.

Clipper AX Mock-Up

That ticks all of the boxes. My question is how agile is it? Who Cares, would you mind posting your pitch/roll/yaw numbers for your Clipper?

Does point defense shoot down the caustic missiles? If so that makes sense and I would add one. Does hardpoint arrangement present any challenges?


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4519709 - 05/05/20 07:48 PM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Ok you got me interested, here's what I'm looking at for a Fer-de-Lance build.
Fer-de-AX


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#4519764 - 05/06/20 07:25 AM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
...

That ticks all of the boxes. My question is how agile is it? Who Cares, would you mind posting your pitch/roll/yaw numbers for your Clipper?

Does point defense shoot down the caustic missiles? If so that makes sense and I would add one. Does hardpoint arrangement present any challenges?

Glad I could serve as inspiration salute
About the maneuverability, as I haven't been in the game I don't know the real values, but Elite Shipyard provides some numbers for my build. Luckily, EDSM provides links to both, Coriolis and EDSY, for all ships I ever had since I synced with EDSM.
And I am not sure about the Point Defense - it would be the idea, but I can't remember if at all and how effective it was. Might be a question that has already been answered on the Elite forums...

Edit: Ran a google search over the Elite forums, and it seems no, PD and ECM do not work on their missiles...

Last edited by WhoCares; 05/06/20 07:48 AM.
#4519784 - 05/06/20 11:37 AM Re: Scout Hunting [Re: DBond]  
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Made it out to the Pleiades in the XenoConda.


Updated Scout Conda


Hit a Threat 4 USS and the Scouts popped quickly and I took no hull damage or corrosion damage. This is going to be a WALK IN THE PARK.....I Jumped to the next system which had a station, (Pleiades Sector HR-W d1-41) and was IMMEDIATELY HYPERDICTED... Scary thing, but I escaped with no damage other than the frightening shutdown with everything off line.

Then I hit a Threat 5 USS, expecting more of the same... There was a REGENERATOR variant there..and probably a Berserker as well because I almost immediately got SLIMED. Killed the Regenerator and started to work on the others, but my hull was melting away... when I was down to about 40% I BOOSTED BOOSTED BOOSTED till I was clear of the Goids... Down to about 24% I fired off my Decontam Limpet to stop the damage, then a few repair limpets. My Shield Generator was toast as well, so I cranked up the AFMU.. Finally up to about 35% the Scouts got back into range so I Supercruised out and got back to Malthus Terminal, repaired, refitted and headed back out.

This time I stuck with Threat 4 NHSS and it was easy pickins. The 3 Large and 1 Medium AX turrets tore through the Scouts and I think my Huge Beam Laser did a decent amount of extra damage as well. Oddly, when I had my Turrets set to FIRE AT WILL, thinking I could inflict some damage on multiple targets, they didn't seem to fire AT ALL. But TARGET ONLY shredded each one pretty quickly.

I hit another Threat 5 Just to get back on the Horse, but instead of Scouts, there was an Cyclops (I think.. didn't get close enough to scan)... I "bugged" out in a hurry and went back to the Threat 4 signals. Got about 20 down and gained a percent + of Combat rank. My Lower display is at 92 while the main status is at 91, so I must be close to 92.

I forgot to turn on EDMC so Inara is not updated yet...

Question: My Repair and Decontamination LImpet controllers are suppose to handle 3 Limpets, but it seems only ONE can be on the HULL at a single time? Kept getting the message "Limpet already attached, Limpet Self-Destructing' . I thought the Anaconda's hull was big enough to have multiple limpets working smile

Last edited by Recluse; 05/06/20 11:42 AM.

Long system spec sig follows:






PowerSpec G436
Lian Li ATX 205
MSI Z490 Plus Motherboard
Intel Core i7 10700K 3.8 GHz
32 GB RAM DDR4 1600
Nvidia RTX3070

Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit

Flight Gear:

Cougar Hotas S/N 26453
Thrustmaster RCS Rudder Pedals

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