Escort mechanics define the eligibility and combat availability of escorts (for fleets) and guards (for bases).
A regular fleet can only be escorted by the player's own fleets that are within its PvP Gating. These escorts cannot be further escorted. Currently, a regular fleet can only be escorted by one fleet.
A fleet containing a Javelin Flagship or Prophet Flagship can be escorted by fleets in the same alliance which level satisfy the minimum limit of the relevant wormhole drive, regardless of gating. Escorts cannot be further escorted. The number of escorts a Javelin Flagship fleet can support is determined by its wormhole drive as well.
While a fleet containing a Behemoth Dreadnought cannot escort other fleets, it can be escorted by other fleets.
A rebel base, like a regular fleet, can only be guarded by the player's own fleets that are within its PvP Gating. Unlike escorts, the guards themselves can be further escorted. There is no limit to how many guards a base can support. However, keep in mind that a player can only launch a limited number of fleets determined by the level of The Bridge.
Here we define:
- Main fleet (n.) = The fleet to be escorted
- Base (n.) = The base to be guarded
- Escort (n.) = The fleet escorting the main fleet
- Guard (n.) = The fleet guarding the base
- Select (v.) = The action of clicking on an object or equivalent, to bring up the relevant menu bar
- Target (v.) = The action of clicking on the "Attack" button or equivalent, to enter combat. Subject to PvP Gating.
Until the escort arrives near the main fleet, both fleets can be targeted and are vulnerable to attack. This is shown by an orange outline around the escort.
When the outline turns yellow, the escort has reached the main fleet and is actively protecting it. At this stage, the escort can no longer be targeted, with one exception: if someone has already selected the escort prior to its arrival, he/she can still target it directly. Therefore, do not rely on escort switching, otherwise both of your fleets may enter combat.
The escort automatically engages the attacker when an attempt is made to attack the main fleet. This can occur even when the main fleet is in combat, if someone has already targeted the main fleet prior to the battle. To ensure that you only handle one combat at a time, never engage with your main fleet. If you do, make sure no one is travelling towards your main fleet.
For Javelin Flagship escorts, the highest-level escort in the attacker's PvP gating engages first. If their levels are the same, the latest escort engages first. Multiple escorts can be engaged at the same time. If there is no escort in the Javelin's PvP gating, the Javelin Flagship can be attacked directly. Many players have lost their Javelins due to omission of this rule.
Guards, unlike escorts, can be directly targeted. Therefore, it is not recommended to guard a base with a fleet of higher level. Instead, you should guard the base with a fleet of the same level, and escort that fleet with the highest level possible. This ensures that you will not suffer from any disadvantage in levels.
Moreover, multiple guards can be engaged at the same time, similar to Javelin Flagship escorts. Hence, you should not guard a base with multiple fleets, or you risk not being able to control all of them at once.
Unlike Javelin Flagship escorts, the order of combat is completely determined by time: the latest guard engages first.