LIFE ON TITAN
Timing your escape is critical. If you leave too early, you might be giving up a dogfight you could've won. Too late, and you might not escape at all. Given the two options, I believe in running early as opposed to late. I begin considering an escape whenever my shields drop below 50%.
Run early and know your way around. You may not have many HUD or targeting functions to aid you in your escape. Don't pause to target anything until you have plenty of distance between you and your enemy. If you wait to late and suffer engine damage, God help you. Your enemy sure won't.
When To Run
When my shields drop to 50%, I consider my opponent's damage and his level of skill, as well as the Moths and weapons involved. If I've recieved more damage and that trend looks like it will continue, I'll run at just above 50% shields. If I've got a good edge, I'll wait until my shields drop to 20% or I've won the dogfight.
Never let your shields drop below 20%. You can only take one missile hit at that level before serious system damage occurs. And, when system damage starts, it tends to continue at a frightening rate. Run.
The Break and Run
My favorite breaking off technique is to fire a Hologram to distract my enemy and divert his fire. I then aim for the first tunnel I see. I hit Afterburner to get to and through the tunnel quickly. Hopefully, I've got enough of a lead to duck into a hangar for repairs. If I'm out of Holograms, I'll hit the Afterburner and then turn toward a tunnel and hope for the best. I'll stay at full-throttle while my Afterburner recharges.
I'll keep running with all I've got until I reach a hangar for repairs. Don't duck into a hangar just to raise your shields if you are badly damaged. Your enemy will catch up with you and you're still just as damaged as you were before. Only duck in a hangar for shields if your systems are only nominally damaged and you are planning to return to the fight immediately. Otherwise, head for a Breaker Maker or other Moth garage.
If your enemy catches up to you and your Afterburner is recharging use buildings and tunnels to evade him. Hit Afterburner as soon as it's recharged. If your enemy has appeared to lose interest in you, keep running with Afterburner for repairs and weapons. Don't trust your enemy's actions. When you run, run with all you've got. When you fight, fight with all you've got. Expect your enemy to do the same.
Entering and Exiting Hangars
There's nothing worse than being lined up with a hangar's door and have an enemy swoop around and GroundBase you. Your best bet, if you survive, is to stay low and run to another crater. The best you can do when entering a hangar and an enemy is close by is to fire a Hologram. Fire several if that's what it takes. Dump auto-pilot and hone your hangaring skills. Use Holograms and get in quick.
Exiting a hangar can be worse than entering one. Your enemy is quite probably right outside waiting to GroundBase or Devastate you. This is where having your Holograms in the first weapons slot really comes in handy. As soon as the hangar doors open fire a hologram, fly out and go immediately to Afterburner and get away. Now, plan your attack. Don't leave the protection of the hangar until your Hologram is fired. You'll have seven seconds to leave the hangar. Don't be in too much of a hurry.
If you don't have Holograms in slot one, you're in a mess. I head out and straight for the ground and fire flares and chaff constantly in this situation. By lowering myself, I minimize the effect of a GroundBase. If a Devastator is coming your way it's pretty much over for you. Try tons of flares and chaff and try to shoot the missile down. You can't target the missile directly, but you can turn toward your enemy and open fire. The flares, chaff, and dropping quickly are still your best bets. And they're poor bets at that. Ouch once killed me three times in a row exiting God Hangar by using Devastators. In a case like this you can just re-enter the game and try again. (Yes, I know I could've teleported from God Hangar, but Ouch deserved his fun. I'm not a big cheater.)
I've made something of a reputation for myself as a tunnel fighter. I'm good at it and few people that follow me into a tunnel live to see the other end. I've found that the two keys to laying a good tunnel trap are to not bump yourself to death and to set the trap while your structure still has good integrity.
You can either kill your prey in the tunnel or fly through and set a trap for them at the other end. When they fly through the tunnel, the exit is much like catching them coming out of a hangar. You know where they are and the direction they're flying in. When setting a trap at the end of a tunnel I like to get above and close to the tunnel's exit. When my prey exits the tunnel, he's expecting me to be ahead of him. I'm already behind him with a GroundBase fired.
I like positioning myself so that when my enemy flies out of the tunnel, I'm right above him. This puts me in a good position to attack no matter how he turns. It also keeps me out of his line of sight and weapons.
Attacking inside a tunnel takes more skill. I basically like to get close and bump my enemy while firing laser. I always hit from the side and toward the bottom so my enemy's Laser Turret can't land any hits. Now the dogfight boils down to a race to see who can get in the most hits. My bumps and laser will beat his occassional Laser Turret hit every time.
Start a tunnel attack by running into a tunnel with your enemy in pursuit. As soon as your enemy enters the tunnel throw your Moth into full reverse and fly backwards until your either behind your enemy or have bumped him. If you hesitate, he will fire a missile at you.
Now maneuver until your nose touches his and run him into a wall. Qucikly start bumping him broadside (and low if possible). Fire your missiles and laser the whole time you are doing this. He won't last too long.
Your enemy is quite apt to catch up with you at various times during your escape. Your job is to evade his attack until you can fly to the safety of a hangar. One of the better tools for evasion is the use of buildings. Buildings provide both a barrier that can stop missiles and cannons, as well as, camouflage.
Most of the buildings on Titan are platforms or balls on a column. Try to get under the platform part of a building and then fly around and over the building. Always try to keep a section of the building between you and your enemy. Don't just start circling the building. You'll end up in a fool's spiral. Afterburner from one building complex to another and your enemy might just beat himself to death trying to follow you.