LIFE ON TITAN
Facing a Swallow in a dogfight can be a daunting task. The Swallow is superior to every other Moth other than it can't be fitted with a Laser Turret. It's faster than any Moth, as manuverable as a Moon Moth, and as tough as a Death's Head. It's a monster, but you can learn to kill the Swallow in a Silver-Y with a little knowledge and practice.
The key to killing Swallows lies in trapping it where it can't use it's speed and manuverability. A quick kill is best unless you want to take a beating. Also, keep in mind that a Swallow can't hit you unless it's nose is pointed at you. No turret. Stay out from in front of a Swallow and you'll limit it's hits to none.
Targeting A Swallow
Swallows don't show up on your HUD radar (lower right of HUD), but they show up everywhere else. Using your Nav menu's Radar Range function is the quickest way to target one if you know the pilot's name.
If you don't know the pilot's name, start hitting Next Target ("y" key by default) until you see the swallow in your target view box (lower left of HUD). You can also sight the Swallow, put it in your reticule (gun sights) and hit the Target function ("t" key by default). Either way you target a Swallow, it puts the pilot in your Pilot Menu. Remember that name.
You can also target the Swallow's pilot from Enemies lists and the Police Wanted List if they're on one.
Weapons & Tactics
The major tactic in fighting Swallows is to get close and try to force them against something solid -- crater wall, hangar, ground, tunnel wall, etc. The best single weapon I've found (other than the Devastator) is the FireBurst. The FireBurst strips shields quickly and kills the Swallow's engines -- and speed advantage.
It's a wise idea to get just to the side of and slightly below a Swallow. It's a little trickier to hit if you are directly behind or in front of it. I like a low-left-rear approach. Play the corners a little above or below the Swallow. If you have a turret, staying a little below will allow for more turret hits.
If you are doing the attacking, fly in very close. Let loose a FireBurst and immediately bump the Swallow. This will freeze even a human pilot for the seconds required to fire a second FireBurst. The second FireBurst will stip the shields and do some engine damage. A third FireBurst will cripple the Swallow enough to be finsished off any way you'd like.
An AI pilot won't respond until hit a second time. You can make quick work of them by firing two FireBurst, bumping, and finishing off with Plasma Kannon and Laser or turret.
If it looks like the Swallow is going to get away from you, fire a FireBurst immediately before it gets out of range. They move fast. Another FireBurst will take care of that.
If the Swallow gets away from you, switch to turret so you'll get some hits in while lining up another missile run. In a head-to-head with a Swallow, go under it so your turret can get in some hits. Wait until your ready to collide and quickly switch to FireBurst and give it a blast. Keep blasting while bumping.
You can't chase down a Swallow if you've not damaged it's engine. Even an AI pilot with some damage will run for repairs. It's critical that you get in at least two FireBurst to slow that Swallow down a little.
Don't get into a spiral with a Swallow. A spiral occurs when two Moths attacking each other circle around each trying to get behind the other. The Swallow will win this game with it's sharp turning. This goes double if you're in a wide-turning Neo-Tiger. You are better off flying straight and making a quick turn while dropping a little below the Swallow. Now face him head-on if you can afford the damage.
Bumping & Tunnels
The easiest way to stop a Swallow is to bump it. This will freeze even a human pilot for a second or so. Enough time to use a missile or get in a few Plasma Kannon blasts. Just make sure you don't bump them nose-to-nose where the Swallow can fire back.
Sometimes it just gets plain hard to find and sight the Swallow. You can't track it on radar, either. In this case, enter a tunnel. If you've gotten the Swallow's attention, he'll follow. Wait midway in the tunnel for him.
Tunnel fighting is fabulous if you're good at it. It robs all Moths of speed and manuverability advantages. AI pilots won't shoot missiles in tunnels (with the exception of the gang transports in the Port tunnel). Now you can bump the Swallow up against the tunnel wall and pound away. Once you're caught up against a tunnel wall, there is no quick escape. This is the quickest way to kill a Swallow if you're in a Silver-Y.
Defending against a Swallow centers around a simple rule: Stay away from it's nose! With the Swallow's speed and manuverability, this is difficult. Make sure you fly in lines and don't get into a spiral with the Swallow. Keep flying toward cover (buildings and stuff) and ambushing the Swallow with bumping and missiles.
Use directional thrust if a Swallow gets behind you. Try to get low and keep using that turret.
The biggest key in any escape is knowing when to run. You don't want to give up a fight you can win. But, you don't want to die, either. When fighting a Swallow, it's best to run a little early. I'll bug out at 20% shields or so.
Head for the nearest tunnel as per a regular escape. Keep in mind you won't be able to outrun the Swallow like you might other Moths. Even the AI pilots will run you down unless you're right next to a tunnel.
One handy tactic is a quick reverse. If you're taking hits and you can't outrun the attacker. Slow a little and let them catch up with you. Use directional thrust and countermeasures to evade what hits you can. When the foe is near, hit full reverse thrust and fly under and behind them. You can go over them as well. They'll fly past you and you'll be behind them.
This is no time to save missiles. Hit and hit hard before the Swallow can get away from you. When the Swallow breaks off to evade, head back toward the tunnel with a well-deserved head start. If you've done the quick reverse properly, your tunnel entrance should be pretty much still in front of you. Get fixed quick and try again.