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Task Force Oak
Notsolonewolf, Nebulous Discord Moderator
Task Force Oak was one of my primary introductions into Nebulous Fleet Command and is one of the easiest starter fleets to get accustomed to. It’s very simple to shoot something with it. You have two Axford Heavy Cruisers; they have a lot of guns, you shift-right click and shoot them.
Before I get into Task Force Oak and the fleet’s many strengths, let me get into its weaknesses so people who have trouble fighting this fleet learn how to beat this wall of metal.
First, Task Force Oak is critically weak to Size 2 and 3 Hybrid Missiles with Terminal Manoeuvres as it has no Aurora point defense. It’s also not fast or manoeuvrable as it can push 27 m/s but only on Flank speed. This means it can’t escape ambushes easily (which means you can catch them in a Beam ambush or a Line Ship Gun ambush).
There is also no Secondary Battery or another armament other than the 450mm cannons, which means that the heavy cruiser pair might find it hard to defend itself against an ambushing OSPN Shuttle Group with rockets, or Sprinters with Size 3 Torpedo Launchers.
Task Force Oak also has a decent point defense network but can be overwhelmed. As Task Force Oak comprises Axford cruisers and not Solomon Battleships, OSPN plasma will s*rip their armor in a single hit, and open them up to damage by lighter guns. Thus, there are ways to overwhelm Task Force Oak.
To prevent yourself from being overwhelmed as a Task Force Oak player, management of sight lines, map awareness, and team support is essential. You want to be firing the cannons at a single battlegroup and only be engaged or preferably not-engaged by your enemy battlegroup. As I have stated previously, use cover and manage the range of your weapons in relation to the enemy’s weapons. The Spyglass radar on one of the Task Force Oak cruisers is very useful to see what the enemy has at range so you can make your decisions.
Note however that as a cruiser player, you need to think ahead. Do not, go somewhere just because. You must consider what might happen when you get to the place you are going to and why you are going there. As such, you need to monitor the map to see if you can see flanking enemy forces, and find out where your team is so you can be supported in your movements.
Move Task Force Oak properly she will treat you well and smash your enemies before you. Fail to do that, and you’ll get smashed.
Comments from NotsoLonewolf
TF Oak was designed for minimum micro, and it does that – all you need to do is lock target and fire away. But because of that mandate, it packs no detached scouts, jammers, missiles, or any other tools which make it more survivable in open space. As such, while Oak is minimum micro it is maximum decisions. Where is your fleet, which enemies have line of sight on you, is your rear end safe from enemy fire, are your broadsides pointed towards the enemy and ready to go?
The main aspect of Oak is positioning. You can get buzzsawed if the enemy catches you in a spot where they can bring their full force to bear – don’t let them do that. Manage your sightlines to be visible to the enemies you wish to engage and stay in cover relative to those you do not. Whenever possible, stick with your allies to benefit from their escorts, ewar, and point defence. Position Oak well and it will carry you far. Good luck, commander!
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