April 6, 2010

Another Day, another Tech Moon

Last night I hopped on comms in time to hear of a fleet forming up in x-7 to counter an NC fleet that was forming up to protect their moon coming out of reinforce in R-6XN. I formed up a travel fleet in Torrinos with fleet fit bs, and brought about 20 guys down (mainly in corp) from Torrinos to x-7 and joined up with the fleet. Travel was uneventful, although we did pass a small camp of cloaky reds, but they didn't try to engage.

Approximately 10 minutes after burning down and hooking up with the fleet we got our fight. We had feinted into L-T, which connects to R-6XN. R-6XN also connects to x-7. They had eyes on us, however, and formed up off the L-T gate in R-6XN. After some discussion on comand comms about how to proceed...

We took the fight.

This fight was pretty even. We killed 15 more bs than they did, but our bomber wing died a horrible death. We also lost a ton of dictors trying to keep them locked down. We killed 1 billion more isk than they did, but overall pretty close.


As I wrote in my last post, when you are assaulting you expect losses and your goal is to hold the field and destroy the objective.

The tower died. The NC ran.
Mission success.

We onlined our own tower and guarded it as it onlined. Then on to stage 2. We moved to 2D-O, which is 5jumps from R-6XN. We encountered one Drake on the way... pop. When we arrived in D7T, scout informed us on command that they were waiting.

50km off the D7T gate in 2D-O, mixed battleship and support. Another discussion on comms...

Another engagement!

We jumped in and immediately got bubbles on what we could. They warped off the field, and we pursued. Another engagement near Planet 1, and we took down a few more ships. Final numbers show 90 ships killed, 30 ships lost. 6.25bill killed, 2.84bill lost. Much better stats. 25 battleships killed to 13 lost is also important. In any main 0.0 fleet the battleships are the spine. Support (especially dictors!) are important, but the battleships are the spinal column for a succesful fleet. They are the heavy hitters, the long range snipers. They are also EXPENSIVE to replace, which in the long run can help win a war as funds are depleted slowly. In addition to inflicting 3 to 1 casualties we killed the tower that came out of reinforcement. Atlas dropped in to help on that kill. Gave them a wave in local.

We headed back as the tower was onlining... and were chased by a mixed fleet of NC. Due to Euros falling asleep at the keyboard (no not really, but they were logging off to get zzzzz) our fleet compostion (especially core BS) was less than it had been earlier in the evening. We booked it to X-7. They chased, and got caught in sling bubbles along the way. This caused them to get back to 2D-O too late to kill the onlining tower. Fail.

These engagements have not been gigantic in numbers, maxed around 600 in system. Servers performed well, with very little lag on grid. Loading systems was a bit hectic at times though. One noticeable incident which leads me to my lesson for today was when we jumped into 2D-0 during the second engagement. All IT FCs weren't loading grid. We asked for a target caller... and we got one. A Talos Coalition guy started calling primaries. My only thing is, he called a Dominix as primary. Ouch. Things to remember when calling primaries in any fight.

1. ECM. Kill Falcons, Blackbirds, Rooks, Arazus, anything that can jam and remove your ships from the fight. At snipe ranges this is less of an issue (falloff means very few things, maybe Scorp or Falcon can actually do anything) but at close range this is HUGE. Get your drones on them before they jam you. Kill them or force them off the field. As soon as they appear on field (that Falcon that waits for the fireworks and then decloaks) they should be immediate primary no matter what.

2. Kill logistics. In small gangs, this is a non-negotiable. That logistics will keep you from break tanks all the while trying to tank their ships shooting at you. In fleet fights this is less of an issue, as the raw DPS kills ships before the logistics can lock them up and give them reps. Logistics will often sit at a safe spot and rep up the BS that have had to warp out.

3. What will die quickly. Call primaries on shield tankers (as there are usually very few to no shield logistics in big fleets these days). But bear in mind tank strengths. For instance, in a big fleet fight I will primary Rokhs and Tempests and Ravens. In a small fleet fight I am not going to primary a Drake. Thats stupid. Primary Harbingers, Hurricanes, Ravens, etc. What will die fast is important. Removing numbers from battlefield does two things: first, it removes DPS, everyone knows that. Secondly and psychologically it demoralizes the enemy consciously and subconsiously. When they are down in numbers (as trivial as those numbers may have been) they start to get desperate. Desperation leads to mistakes.

4. Hand in hand with number two (quick death) is what is hurting you. Damage dealers need to die as quickly as possible. Your ECM should be primaried on their ECM first, and when that dies (or if the enemy had no ECM) they should be hitting damage dealers. Often times the most painful ships have the smallest tanks. Not always, but often. Removing their DPS capabilites on the field are very important to your own survival (duh). This one will come with experience, and even then its not a given. Fitting on ships is so subjective its hard to give cut and dry shiptypes to hit as damage dealers. Remember to forget the guys that can't hit you in snipe engagements. Those BCs can't hit you at 150 (generally). But that snipe Apoc will punish you at that range.

5. Stay calm. Keep a steady voice. Repeat primary, secondary, and tertiary without pause. Calling the targets (especially in a large fleet) once is a bad idea. Not everyone will hear you from chatter/lag/excitement/other so you need to keep repeating them over and over until the engagement is done. Speak calmly AND clearly. John Doe in a Raven is primary, Jane Doe in a Tempest is secondary, Tiny Tim in a Rokh is tertiary. Repeat. If FC goes down and you are secondary you continue right where the primary FC left off.

So now you know why I cringed when I heard the Dominix called as primary. Look at his fitting. Strange for a Dominix. His rails could hits us, yes. But he only has 5 rails, with 5% bonus to damage per level of Gallente BS. His 10% bonus to drone hitpoints and damage per level (for those that don't know Dominix is a drone ship) do nothing at the ranges I'm talking about. Drones are useless. Look at his lows... 2 1600 RT plates, two EANMs and a DC2. Hes tanked. Sure he died... but it took awhile. Removing him from the field did nothing to help stem the incoming DPS. He should have been one of the last to die on the field (unless he was FC).

Calling primaries is so important to any engagment that it cannot ever be overlooked. Calling the wrong primary can cause one side to lose a battle that otherwise would have been won. Sometimes the first enemy ship is not the one to keep shooting. For instance, I love to use the bait Drake. My bait ship, with no bonuses from fleet, has over 40k in shield hitpoints with very good resists. If your gang attacks me, my gang is arriving shortly. When they jump in, do you keep shooting me? If I am almost dead, yes. If I am still sitting at anything over 20% shields you're better off hitting one of the DPS boats with small tanks coming in to kill you. Yet time and time again I will continue to take damage until one by one they die or run away.

These simple rules (from this post and my last post), in addition to bringing proper shiptypes to fights to support these rules, is why -A- steamrolled CVA. They had good FCs, good target callers, and ships that could hit the enemy when the enemy couldn't hit back. Dictors were golden, keeping them on the field to be killed.

Target calling takes time to develop. You need to be able to multi task, shooting locking shooting locking while studying overview and surveying the field and calling out names/shiptypes. Familiarity with everything from fittings, ships, the enemy's history of fittings, your own fleet composition, ranges, intel, EVERYTHING are all pumped into your brain and you have to sort it and spit out those primaries.

That is all.

1 comment:

Jaggins said...

This blog is now must read for me! Thanks for the excellent writing and thoughts.

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