March 13, 2010

Why blobs don't work (unless you are a smart FC)

Last night I was playing around looking for targets when intel reported a 20 man Dead Terrorist gang in upper Fountain. With plenty of Mavericks in 5-C looking for a good fight we formed up an RR BS gang and moved out. We were accompanied by some of our compadres in Wrecking Shots (excellent small gang fighters). We moved rapidly to the target area, and en route I (finally) got an answer back from the Blade/Talos FC of a gang reportedly in the area. Intel had reported the DT gang to have safed up in 5-D after Blade blobbed the crap out of them and scared them off.

Assuming the Blade/Talos gang would camp them in or something like that I started chatting with their FC. It went something like this.

Me: Whats the status of their fleet, location, composition, and status?
BTFC: Well I don't know, we left.
Me: So you don't know if they are still safed up in 5-D?
BTFC: No, sorry.
Me: Right, ok, well let me know if you hear anything.

So basically a 20 man gang in our renters space was left alone because they safed up. No effort made to trap, outsmart or drive them out. Just leave them there. ADHD?

Fail.

So we finished burning to destination system to find out they had left. Why? Because they could. The BT fleet had left them. I sent out some feelers and checked intel and the only small bit of intel I could find pointed to them heading back up to Syndicate.

Why am I telling you all of this? So you can not make the same mistakes.

When you have superior numbers, do your best to mask these numbers. Jump partial fleet in (tacklers, bubblers, heavy tankers) and engage. Get enemy to commit. Tackle/bubble enemy, then bring in your damage dealers/less tanked ships and ECM boats. If they have scouts be aware of these scouts. NPC toons you have never seen before located near enemy gangs are probably not friendly or benign. They are reporting your size and composition as well as movements. Know this, plan for it and even USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. If you show part of your hand, maybe some ships that, by themselves, the hostiles would decimate, they will come after you (more often than not). You then spring the trap as they charge in to kill the weak gang they see. If you jump your entire force into the next door system with their scout... guess what? By the time you get to where they are/were they will have either safed up, cloaked up, or run. PVP and FCing specifically is not just about brute strength and numbers. You have to be smart and cunning.

Secondly, when you have an enemy force in your backyard and you either fail to execute cunning/skill or  try to execute the above statements and somehow botch it remember these things:

Do not leave them and wander off. You may clear system, but have tacklers in adjacent systems. Especially if its a pipe (which in the above example was the case). If you're smart you will have a cloaky ship keep tabs on them/probe them out (but only leave one in local so as to help enemy relax a bit). A roaming force in hostile territory has no desire to stay safed up in some random system. They want to keep roaming or escape and head home. Be patient, sooner or later they will try and make a break for it.

If you choose to stay in system get probers out. (Unless they are all in covert ops/recons. Then I would go with clearing system out and letting them come to you for a chance to bubble/de-cloak.) While probing keep tacklers on all out gates. This will force them to either engage or log off. Either way you will make them think twice before roaming in your space. The scenario where you kill some/all of them usually teaches this lesson best. I generally dislike this option because it keeps them on edge and makes an engagement less likely and a logoffski more likely.

If you know their intented direction of travel you may set up a trap down the line where their scouts would be at a disadvantage.  For example, if you have a 3 gate system (system B) where the enemy will jump in from system A to system B, and then on to system C, you have the opportunity for a perfect trap. In system B the third gate leads to system D. System D is not in their route of travel, and their scout will not check it out. You hide your forces in that offshoot system (System D). Scout jumps into system B, warps to out gate and jumps into system C (next system in route of travel). Your cloaky eyes are following enemy fleet as they enter the trap. As enemy fleet lands on gate to enter system B, you jump your forces in from system D. Generally speaking enemy scout will have entered system C already and not seen nor reported this local spike. The in gate of system B should have a cloaky dictor waiting 5k under the stargate. Once the enemy fleet has jumped in you have your dictor bubble their forces and jump through gate (to avoid being popped/bubble any enemy that re approach and try to escape back the way they came). If their scout is still in local of System B and sees local spike cloaky eyes should be watching enemy gang to see if they are aligning off. If so, jump dictor through and bubble. This will catch most of their forces/force them to jump through to system B where main fleet is landing. Remember that a dictor does not have aggro until someone tries to warp out of their bubble so the bubble/jump has to be quick. Remember that the deal system for this trap is one in which gates to system A and to system D are close together, so your forces have a short warp and can engage shortly after jumping into system b. Assuming they jumped into the trap the enemy fleet commander and his forces will be bubbled, 12-15km off gate with enemies landing all around them/at snipe range (depending on your fleet composition) and with a dictor waiting on the other side of the gate. He has two options: fight/flight. Fighting means they will kill some of your ships (realistically), but they will be annihilated. Fleeing means burning back to gate or burning out of bubble/point range and running. This means you will take no losses and still end up annihilating most of them. I have used this tactic a few times with great success. It does require good planning and perfect execution.

Once again, if you are a friendly/blue to IT Alliance, please remember these tips carefully. If you are neut/red to IT Alliance please disregard everything you have just read. :)

That is all.

1 comment:

Sovereign said...

Thank you for writing this out, there are a number of FC's I know that could use this advice, myself not included, as I was taught by the best