A little bit of variation is a good thing. In the long run, having made a storming and successful career of becoming one of the baddest boys and girls of the bunch, combat activities may seem to become a little too much of a routine, taking away that sense of joyful challenge and accomplishment which made this so fun and frightening in the beginning. So why not go back to the roots for a bit, to relive your youth in the fury of the fray?
Bounty hunting in a Sidewinder is an intense lesson in power management, usually learned whilst under the influence of panic. You’ll quickly find just how fast your energy reserves deplete. The output of your tiny power plant is so limited that, although you carry a trio of shields, engines and weapons, whilst you’re conducting business you may only pick any two of those, or rather any one and a half. Sort your pips out, and adjust them constantly according to need.
And before you head out into combat, I highly recommend doing so at a high security resource extraction site. You’ll want the law on your side, or else find that your career as a minimal bounty hunter is over almost before it even begins. So team up with the green blips in blue ships and set out to fight crime!
Inconspicuousness is key. When you engage enemies, make sure you are the smallest, least interesting ship on your side of the fight. If you’re facing an opponent alongside Eagles, then each of those Eagles will be just barely more likely to draw enemy attention and fire than you are, and you are less equipped to fight back. Vipers are slightly better company, at least in groups, Cobras and Vultures better still, but it has been shown time and time again that keeping one or more Anacondas at your side is good for your health. Verily, with an Anaconda in tow, you may even take down an Anaconda!
Pick your fights with care. Go after targets that are already being engaged by the police. Even if, in principle, the police may go after ships that are red on your radar, even if you shot at them first and they haven’t shot back at you yet, there’s also the possibility that they may not. Don’t chance it. And even if a ship has been under fire from the police, make doubly sure that they’re still shooting at it. If they lose interest in it, it will suddenly become far more interested in taking out its frustrations on you.
Going after ships that launch fighters is a bad idea, no matter how many boys in blue are involved. Although smaller even than your Sidewinder, any fighter is likely to be faster, more agile, better shielded and more heavily armed than you, not to mention way more fierce, determined and pissed off. Your situation will go from “oh shit!” to rebuy screen faster than you could even notice that you just shot yourself in the foot.
And last, take breaks to turn in your bounties often. Things can easily get ugly, and when they do, they get ugly fast. With power ONLY for shields OR weapons OR engines, odds are that you won’t get out of the fire in time to save your skin, and any rewards you’ve amassed thus far will be wasted in that feeble puff of smoke which once was a Sidey with you inside it.
That’s it. After reading all this, you should be more than ready to be that epic Sidewinder Wonder who wanders willingly into the fight, well prepared to tickle the baddies to death.
Now go out there and have fun, and good luck!