This article contains information on a defunct feature of the game and may not be representative of current features.
A Diamond Convoy is composed of four Havocs which escort a Bullfrog. Diamond Convoys are not a normal combat. In many "normal" combats, pirate planes fly about irrespective of one another. Diamond Convoys, however, take one another into account. The Havocs in the Convoy are modified, and have higher firepower and maneuverability than normal Havocs; they are much more difficult to shoot down.
Convoy Tactics Edit
These are things you may see the Convoy do in attempt to kill you.
The most deadly of the tactics. If you hang around the Convoy too long, it'll usually attempt this. All or most of the Havocs will abandon the Bullfrog to swarm around you like angry redwasps. Your armor will fall out quickly, and it's difficult to get a shot on them with their increased maneuver. The best strategy when swarmed is to Afterburn out, and then consider your armor levels before continuing the fight.
If you hang away from the Convoy, usually a Havoc or two will break off from it to follow you. This can work for or against you. Picking off scouts is a good idea, but if you follow them they will often lead you back to the Convoy for a swarm. Scouts will also distract you as the rest of the Convoy moves off radar, thus forcing a Flee if you shoot the scout down. Take advantage of, but be wary of, this tactic.
The first rule of fighting the Diamond Convoy is: don't fight the Diamond Convoy. It is very rarely worthwhile. The payout is in the 45,000 G to 55,000 G range, and by the time you're capable of taking them out reliably, that just won't seem like a lot of cash. There's no special reward beyond that; it's just a trophy kill. Even top players assume they'll lose at least 500 ammo, 2-3 shields, 5 minutes of time, and a lot of patience fighting the DC. Assuming a long, risky flight, that will often cut a few normal combats out of your run, costing you far more bounty than you'll earn. Do it once, just so you can say you've done it, and then maybe at the end of a run if you have the wherewithal to handle it. Otherwise, just hit the afterburner and let it go.
When are you ready? First thing to understand is that the DC Havocs have a high enough maneuver stat that you will only land criticals, regardless of your Eagle Eye rank. Criticals have a straight 5% (or so it is believed) chance to hit. Their damage is a multiple of your Crack Shot rank. You aren't going to last long enough if you have anything less than maxed CS - your criticals simply won't be doing enough damage. You're also going to have to hang in there for a while in close quarters with each Havoc - they can turn on a dime and you're going to get caught. Your total maneuver needs to be above 16, high enough that you won't get shredded for being in the red arcs for a half second.
Still reading? Here are some tips on handling a Diamond Convoy.
Good Strategies Edit
Things you could consider when faced against a Diamond Convoy.
Bait and Chase Edit
The Havocs in the Convoy play follow-the-leader with the Bullfrog. Pulling away from the convoy may cause them to regroup and flee; if they do so, give chase. Often the Havocs will mindlessly tag along behind the Bullfrog, and allow you to come up from behind and fire away. However, be careful; if the Bullfrog decides to face you the Havocs will often disperse and regroup as a swarm.
Divide and Conquer Edit
On occasion, a Havoc or two will break off form the main formation to chase you when you start leaving the Convoy behind. If this happens, pick them off. Be careful though, the Convoy will sometimes drift off of your radar as you fight the scout Havoc(s). If this happens, the combat might go down as a Flee. The scout(s) will sometimes return to the Convoy if you whoop-up on it more than it likes. Following it back to the Convoy might result in a swarm, so be careful.
Precision Targeting Edit
Focus on just one or maybe two of the Havocs. Destroying one Havoc exponentially weakens the Convoy's destructive power.
Fuselage Foresight Edit
If you're taking more damage than you can handle, be aware of it. Afterburner is a sweet haven against a Convoy's piracy. It's better to live to fight another day.
Bad Strategies Edit
Some of these seem like good ideas - they aren't.
Destroy the Leader Edit
It seems like a great idea to take out the weak little Bullfrog. However, destroying the Convoy's leader seems to change the Havocs' focus from "Protect that Bullfrog" to "Swarm that Skyrate." You will be immediately surrounded by all the remaining Havocs, and almost always forced to Flee.
You might also decide that it's a good idea to practice Attrition. Just pump bullet holes into any plane that goes by, and eventually, logically, they will all explode. This is true. However, this gives the Havocs plenty of time to tear you apart while you fire randomly into different ones. Their increased maneuver also makes it detrimental to attempt this strategy.
You can't always defeat a Convoy. Fleeing is a perfectly acceptable option right off the bat. Fighting a Convoy is an essential guarantee to lose one, often several or all, of your armor. Pick your fights, and consider your cargo.
Defeating a Convoy is impressive. Bounties for Convoys are considerably higher than for other fights, but the level they are recorded as is always the same as the danger area you're flying in. Thus, it can range from rather high to discouragingly low.
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