Once a player has become familiar with the basics of engineering, gunning, and piloting the next step is to learn how to function as a member of a crew. The basic rule of thumb is to obey the captain. However sometimes the captain is too busy with other things, inexperienced, or worst case mute. I intend this to be a basic guide to the various ships and ways of working as a team to squeeze the most performance out of them as possible. I will not take credit for all the ideas presented here. In my early days I flew with some very good captains. Most of what I know I learned from them.
Some basic terminology:
Pilot/Captain -Guy who flies the ship and gives orders. Usually stays on helm. Occasionally assists in repairing the balloon or hull if things get desperate.
Gunner - Some one who chose the gunner class and will be responsible for putting the hurt on the other guys. Usually either looking for an enemy or shooting at an enemy. May take fire extinguisher or rebuild equipment depending on what is most likely to disable their gun.
Primary Engineer - Always carries a mallet, spanner, extinguisher/chem. spray. Usually is entrusted with maintaining the hull. Very rarely shoots, and always had his eye on the hull status.
Off/Secondary Engineer - Same equipment as Primary Engineer but is responsible for components too far away from the hull for the primary engineer to reach effectively. On ships that can point more than one gun at a target this position shoots the gun the gunner is not shooting.
Buffgineer/Buffing Engineer - Carries the buff kit, extinguisher and either the spanner, pipe wrench, or mallet depending on preference. Often takes the roll of a Off/Secondary Engineer when it comes to gun usage.
Low Stress Engagement – When you ship is not under fire or under minor fire and the engineers have time to do other things like shoot the guns or buff equipment.
High Stress Engagement- When you are under heavy fire and inches away from death. It is still a good idea for the gunner to keep shooting in this situation, but your engineers will not have time to indulge in such violence.
The Squid is the smallest ship in the game and has the most fluid crew structure. Often it is better to just let whoever is closest to a component repair it than dictate rigid battle stations. A squid can run with a Gunner and two Primary Engineers or three Primary Engineers. Squid usually fight at close range where their speed and maneuverability can keep them in the opposing ship's blind spot. If a Squid flies with three engineers each engineer should bring the ammunition type best suited for a different gun.
Battle Stations 1: target front
Primary Engineer: on the hull and balloon (since it is close).
Secondary Engineer: On the front gun shooting
Gunner or Third Engineer: On the Side gun shooting
Battle Stations 2: target rear
Primary Engineer: on rear gun shooting
Secondary Engineer: On the hull and balloon (since it is close).
Gunner or Third Engineer: On the Side gun shooting
Battle Stations 3: run away
Primary Engineer: on Hull
Secondary Engineer: running between the balloon and engines repairing/putting out fires.
Gunner or third engineer: repairing middle two engines and shooting rear gun if there is time.
The Goldfish is the smallest and fastest ship to mount a Medium gun. It often benefit from multiple ammo types and thus requires a gunner. The two remaining crew should be engineers either Primary and Secondary or Primary and Buff. Since most of the time the front gun will be pointed at danger the two engineers are pretty interchangeable. However due to the Goldfish's week armor permanently stationing someone on the hull is regarded as a good idea. There will be times where a side gun can engage a target while the front gun has a shot on a further target, but other than those rare instances the engineers should stay off the guns unless told to otherwise.
Battle Stations 1: Low Stress Engagement
Gunner: Shooting the front gun
Primary Engineer: On the hull, may fire right side gun if target of opportunity presents itself.
Secondary Engineer: Keeping a lookout for other targets, repairing any non hull damage, May fire left side gun if target of opportunity presents itself.
Buff Engineer: Buff Gun and Hull, unless target is very far away in which case buff Engines.
Battle Stations 2: High Stress engagement
Gunner: Shooting what ever gun is pointed at the enemy
Primary Engineer: On the hull. May put out a fire or rebuild on the front gun if secondary engineer is too far away and gunner is unable to fix it.
Secondary Engineer: running between balloon engines and main gun fixing and putting out fires. May also double team hull if it goes red.
Buff Engineer: running between the balloon, engines and whatever guns are damaged. Occasionally shoots side guns.
Battle Stations 3: Run away
Primary Engineer: on the hull
Secondary Engineer and Gunner: repairing engines and balloon, let the guns burn we can fix them when we get back to friendly skies.
The Pyramidion is a brawling ship. It has the speed and armor to get in close to a target and enough weapons pointing in the same direction to put out some serious hurt when it gets there. It is one of two ships that has a pair of forward facing guns, and is the faster, smaller, and more durable of the two. It has a forward facing gun deck accessible by a ladder near the helm. The time it takes to get from the main deck to the gun deck necessitates rigid battle stations for the primary and secondary engineer. The Gunner can be a little free roaming manning the gun with the best shot on target.
Battle Station 1: target forward
Primary Engineer: By the hull, occasionally making runs to fix the engines when the hull is in repair cool down. Sometimes mans the left forward gun if there it is still a Low Stress engagement.
Secondary Engineer: Shooting the port (left) forward facing gun. Repairs the balloon during reload time. This crewman is also responsible for fixing the starboard (right) forward facing gun if the gunner is unable to do so.
Gunner: Fires the right forward facing gun. May swap with engineer if his gun is disabled.
Battle Stations 2: target Left
Primary Engineer: shooting the left facing gun closest to the hull and repairing the hull between reloads.
Secondary Engineer: by the balloon and checking to see if the primary engineer need help with the hull.
Gunner: Fires the rear left facing gun.
Battle Stations 3: Run away
Primary and Secondary Engineer: Running between what ever is the most damaged balloon, hull, or engines.
Gunner: desperately fixing things with the engineers, shooting a left facing gun, or cursing at the enemy.
The Junker has the most light weapons of any ship in the game. This gives it a great deal of versatility in how it engages the enemy. Some captains set up their Junker symmetrically where the left side matches the right side. Other captains set up their Junkers asymmetrically where the left side guns are setup with a different purpose than the right side guns. Likewise there are many different ways of crewing a Junker.
One engineer mans the rear most guns and is responsible for repairing the balloon and engines on the scaffold. Note the balloon can be reached by standing next to the helm and looking up.
One engineer mans the front gun and runs back to repair the hull if things get hot. Note the hull can be reached from the ramp that leads to the lower deck, but is kinda hard to find the correct location and orientation to hit it from this position.
The final Engineer or Gunner lurks in the below deck shooting the bottom two guns and fixing the engine if they have time. They can also run to the underside hull repair slot when things get hot. However most captains prefer the crew member in this position to keep shooting whenever possible.
One engineer carries bullets best suited for the left facing gun closest to the helm, and the other engineer carries bullets best suited to the right facing gun closest to the helm. These two engineers take turns being primary and secondary engineer depending on which side the engagement takes place on. The gunner carries bullets suited for each of the three guns the engineers are not responsible for.
Note the Junker is very slow, and thus it is very hard to run away from a fight in one. A good captain can dodge up and down until help arrives, but fleeing from a battle will most likely get you killed regardless of what the crew is doing repair wise.
The Spire like the Pyramidion has two forward facing guns, however it is not as fast or as tough as its pointy nosed brother. It makes up for this deficiency by having both a medium and light gun for its forward facing armament. The Spire often hangs back in an engagement and lets its teammates "Tank" for them because even with two engineers working on the hull the Spire will not last long against a determined assault.
Battle Stations 1: Low stress engagement
Primary Engineer: By the hull, also fixes the turning engines and puts out fires on the main gun. If there is nothing better to do this crew-member should keep an eye out for enemy ships sneaking up from behind.
Secondary Engineer: Shooting the light guns near the helm. Repairing the balloon and top most engine between reloads.
Gunner: Shooting the main gun, and if necessary the left facing gun.
Battle Stations 2: high stress engagement
Primary Engineer: Repairing the hull at all times and either preying for salvation or cursing the captain for putting them in this situation.
Secondary Engineer: Helping rebuild the hull, putting out fires on the main gun and keeping the turning engines up.
Gunner: shooting the main gun for all its worth.
Pilot: The pilot in this situation may be called upon to repair the
balloon if both engineers are glued to the hull.
Battle Stations 3: Running away
There is no running away in a Spire. You are too big to hide behind things and too slow to get out of gunning range before you die.
The Galleon is the most heavily armed ship in the skies. Boasting four medium guns (two on each side) and two light guns (one facing left and one facing back). However the Galleon lacks any sort of forward facing fire power. To make the best of this immense fire power some crews fly with two gunners and one engineer. Other crews do will with a Primary and Secondary Engineer, or Primary Engineer and Buff Engineer.
Battle Stations 1: Two gunners one engineer Low Stress Engagement
Primary Engineer bounces between hull and balloon, if he has time he can shoot the left or rear facing gun.
Gunners: manning downstairs guns, repairing them as necessary.
Battle Stations 2: Two gunners one engineer High Stress Engagement
Primary Engineer bounces between hull and balloon, sticking to hull if there is the need to prioritize.
Gunner 1: On the gun deck taking shots whenever possible
Gunner 2: On the top deck shooting side and rear gun to discourage what ever ship is on top of you.
In this situation unless the pilot has a nifty trick they should probably be repairing the balloon or hull.
Battle Stations 1: Two Engineers one Gunner Low Stress Engagement.
Primary Engineer: Repairing balloon and hull. Shooting light weapons if there is time
Secondary Engineer Repairing guns and turning engines on the gun deck. Shooting the medium weapon if there is time.
Gunner: Shooting one of the medium weapons on the gun deck furthest from the engines
Battle Stations 2: Two Engineers one Gunner High Stress Engagement.
Primary Engineer: Repairing balloon and hull.
Secondary Engineer: Running all over the ship as the captain directs. Should prioritize turning engines guns.
Gunner: Bouncing between what ever weapons that has a target. Remember you don’t have to be at the gun while it reloads, and you can put more dps from two guns on standard ammo than one gun with specialty.
Note: The galleon has decent max speed, but crappy acceleration. Do not expect to run from a fight successfully. It is better to tank up and hope your ally has time to save you.