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X4: Foundations - How to Employ Task Forces Effectively

Written by s1lkwrm   /   Jul 28, 2020    

Task Force Guide

The Task Force

A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity.

The Concept for this is simple but once you understand the Fleet logic in the game it becomes more versatile and efficient. By using a Task force structure and keeping your subbordinates contained within their specific roles the power they project becomes much more lethal for less resource cost and will open up the use of cheaper faction fitted pre player warf and shipyard use with end game result.

You fit and build around a specific task instead of all arounder builds to tackle anything. Your fleet becomes a living working unit able to counter anything the xenon will ever throw at you.

In Game Fleet Roles Explained

lets break down the in game fleet roles (attack, Defend, intercept, trade for commander, and Supply fleet):

  • Attack = Any entity set to attack for commander will only engage a target that the commander is attacking.
  • Defend = Any entity set to Defend for commander will only engage a target that has attacked the Commander. will not attack otherwise.
  • Intercept = Any entity Set to Intercept will engage all S and M Enemy within the Commanders Radar range and disengage if they exit it. If the commander is on the move they will run interference and disengage or kill the threats (sometimes they get stupid and fight it out rareish) * Im not sure if a modified radar range will extend intercept range if so that makes that mod an amazing add for a Carrier.
  • Trade = Any entity set to trade for commander will restock the commander (used to supply fleet supply ships so they can stay in sector) this will keep your fleet running with no losses if the fleet is setup for the task.
  • Supply Fleet = This will supply and repair all ships under it parrent commander (supply ships only).

Specific roles i use with an example fleet to guard a gate and able to catch 95% of what comes thru (it uses all of the above). When you order the Comander to do something its subs will go to work doing their jobs

Think of the commander as the brain and all the subs as tenticles or arms of that brain.

Example Fleets and How to Use Game Mechanics

TF Riposte - Basic Gate guard Early game

Colossus Sentinel - Only all rounder I make in case it hits the fan. L turrets Plas and M turrets Flack this is your commander

  • Attack Arm: no fighters here because they will take losses if fighting xenon Ks and Stations. we want to hit hard and absolute.

4 x Behemoth van or oddy van all with plasma fastest engine avail. Rattlesnakes later for speed when you can do elite fleets

  • Defence Arm: (these guys are there to only respond to threats to commander.

4 x Behemoth Sent all plasma no need for vanguard speed it stays close to commander so sentinel tank.
10x Torp fighters (option)

  • Intercept Arm: Only job is to clear all S and M in range then re dock or repair.

  • 10 x Perseus Van they get a bolt and a ion these guys are fastest they catch your fast movers and kill its shields fast.
  • 10 x Nodan Sent i give these guys 2 shards they are fast and they have high manuver ties up fighters for ares if they dont shred em.
  • 10 x Ares/eclipse armed for fighter killing but give 2-3 plas slowest but if the first two sets of fighters are still on a target they will kill.

Main mistake with S or M is using them for attack or defend they will take losses. Second mistake is using only slow beefy fighters. If you tier them by speed you get fast fighters that will catch almost anything medium fighters to back up the 1st wave and areas slow knockout punch for resilient M ships or when a furball of S and M jump in. also they spread a little so they cover more of the field when changing targets * id love to keep 5 pegassus vans with disruptor missles to pull ships out of warp but i dont think thats working right.

Supply ship: fleet resupply Monitor in groups work really well but for cheap i use (you could also make dedicated supply fleets).

  • 1 x Nomad Sent holds alot parts later i use 3 x monitors for raptor fleets.
  • 4 x Cormarants as trade ships they are somewhat beefy not too slow has more teeth (feels like military supply).

Example of how this plays out at the gate: OOS (in sector you just need mor destroyers for those nasty ks)

  • Commander is set to protect 40km in front of gate.
  • 2 ks jump in with multiple S M subordinates immediately your cv starts launching fighters they arrive before all the enemy gets through the gate and melt fighters fast.
  • Meanwhile your attack destroyers are headed into the fray with commander slower but behind enemy fighters are toast and yours are returning to cv and repairing if needed.
  • 1st k is getting focus fired by attack arm.
  • 2nd k slips past unchallenged and pings the commander drawing the attention to defense arm.
  • Behemoths are already in range and immediately attack torp fighters launch and nuke the attacker.
  • If 1st k still up comander gets closer if takes a hit all behemoths go in and torps.

This example is a basic gate gaurd setup geting what would seem like a pretty lopsided attack on it but handling it like a machine.

Another senario is stupid fast fighters and miners comming in gate to get to traders or your pickle factory with only a dock up. Your pure interceptors will catch them most the time. also the pesky miners.

If i plan to take a sector from Xenon i block its gates with gate gaurd fleets then i have a dedicated 10 Attack Destroyer with Carrier intercept / supply support kill stations and capitals. I can que up targets and they will do it repair as needed and that sector is cut off from the response Ks that will jump in.

You could in theory build a bomber wing with several supply ships to cover missile restock launch bombers from a sector away by individually selecting them after attack they will leave to sector with sup ships to rearm repair

M ships make great escorts for Universal Traders 2 minnator sentinels and 2 osprey drone ships set to defend it they are ok in intercept role but then you have the M pad to deal with on carrier. I use em as heavy hitting interceptors on the raptor it has a good amount of pads.

I usually name fleets based on capabilities.

TF Buckler, TF Riposte, TF Parry = Cheaper Gate plugs.

DG Hammer, DG mallet, DG mace = These are offensive destroyer groups with like 10 destroyers and a small cv can gaurd gates.

BG Hellfire, BG Storm = Bomber Groups

QRF Dragon, QRF Knight = Quick reaction Force fast corrvetts and similar speed fighters no support just ment to react to un expected and travel several sectors fast then leave after clearing incursion. Like those S M ships attacking a station you are building and sector owner is asleep at the wheel. They clear gates faster if you select all the ships and either fly to, attack, or attack all in range.

Adding TF for example groups them in list and the name after lets you keep in mind oh yeah TF Ragnarok is holding back Family kitt.

Written by s1lkwrm.