The emerging strategy has always been part of a competitive multiplayer game. Players want to win and try different team compositions, character builds, and strategies until they find the most consistent paths to victory. This isn’t an inherently bad thing and can help keep games fresh and interesting.
Occasionally, however, a strategy can detract from both the game spirit and the general fun, especially for new players. The mosquito strategy in Star Wars seasons is one of those strategies.
Those annoying mosquitoes
The mosquito strategy works like this. In fleet combat mode, you jump into a TIE bomber with an equipped rotary cannon during the attack phase. You fly under the shields of an Alliance frigate and stop right next to the hull. You open fire with the rotary cannon. They route all of the power to your motors and transfer the power from your motors to your lasers to keep them overcharged and cause extra DPS. The TIE bomber is so robust and the damage per second of the rotary cannon is so high that you can kill a frigate extremely quickly. Even the mighty MC75 can fall victim to this strategy if the TIE bomber moves from section to section while destroying the hull.
If the opposing team prevails, they can intercept incoming bombers, but even a conscious and coordinated team can lose against this strategy because the damage per second of the rotary cannon is so high. My team lost two games in a row to this strategy even though we communicated orally and knew what was going on. Our KD ratios were all positive; We knocked down a lot of TIE bombers to kill our capital ships, but they still did so much damage that we lost. It’s much worse for teams that don’t communicate.
Let me make one thing clear: I am not blaming the players for using the mosquito strategy. It wins, and in any ranked game, winning isn’t just the most important thing. it’s the only thing. There is nothing wrong with playing to win, and I have nothing against people who want to keep their rank high and have a strong win / loss ratio.
However, this strategy has an overall negative impact on the game, both in terms of meta and aesthetics. The online meta suffers from this strategy. New players lining up in random fleet battles are likely not to know that this strategy exists (I only found it by looking around Reddit and then repeatedly using it on me) and may not even realize it is happening, until they lose a frigate there. While the mosquito strategy isn’t quite what I would call an exploit, it discourages people trying to play the game as planned.
Speaking of which, it also interferes with the aim of the game to simulate cinematic battles in the Star Wars style. This includes strafing runs and dogfights, not a single TIE bomber parked on the hull of a large ship and destroys its hull integrity. He’s not fun to play against and not much fun to get involved with.
The fleet combat mode is a space simulation that is placed over a MOBA framework. The big ships are the towers of your team and the MC75 / Star Destroyer is the core. Any MOBA player will tell you that if you solo the core you should be killed, but the Mosquito strategy can do just that. This strategy makes an excellent game less convincing.
How to counteract this
Situation awareness is key. Pay attention to which ships the opposing team is setting up and how far they are from your main ships. If there is anything near your ship, kill it ASAP. Don’t be afraid to swap out your build for something that does more damage. The Y-wing’s rotary cannon and high-rate missiles are excellent choices for dealing with TIE bombers.
Communicate with your team. If you are in voice chat and see the opposing team doing so, let your teammates know. It’s not a guarantee that you will win, but your chances go up significantly when everyone knows what is going on.
Try to intercept the bombers as far from your main ships as possible. Put some A-wings in your front with the rapid-fire cannon to take out the bombers as quickly as possible, and have a Y-wing or two wait in the rear in case something gets through. Hopefully, once the other team realizes you are one of them, they’ll switch to a different strategy.
How to fix it
The mosquito strategy can be approached by patching a few things in the game.
Developers could patch spaceship lasers to reduce the damage they do to large ships. The rotary cannon is a great, devastating weapon against fighters, and it should stay that way, but reducing its power against large ships makes both narrative and mechanical sense. We could maintain the current level of damage to turbolaser batteries and ship systems while reducing their effectiveness against hulls.
They could also increase the turbo laser damage of capital ships for fighters at close range. In The Last Jedi, we saw turbochargers suffer severe damage drop off at extreme distances. Up close they were devastating. To compensate for the increased melee damage, you can reduce the damage done by the turbochargers at long range and encourage the use of the legendary Star Wars favorite proton torpedoes. If you want to maintain the current level of damage, you can increase the number of turbolaser batteries on large ships, which will make it more difficult to implement the mosquito strategy.
The developers could also introduce an energy tax for the diversion of energy. Currently, TIEs can jump back and forth between the shields and lasers without penalty. If five or ten percent is lost in transmission, it can affect the effectiveness of the mosquito strategy.
These are our thoughts! How do you enjoy Squadrons? Did you learn about the mosquito strategy? If so, how do you feel about it?