April 5, 2010

A day of fighting... and winning.

Yesterday was quite a day. Lots of fights, several almost fights (bailing out before getting smoked). Overall quite fun, and no crashes of the node for us. Atlas came to play and kept crashing the node in 93pi, but we had better luck.

We had done some fighting while I was sleeping (USTZ FTW) and when I woke up it was a bit of a lull. I checked back in a bit later and we smashed a pos that came out of reinforcement. This was on a technetium moon, and for those that are unaware of the technetium prices, they are EXTREMELY valuable. We popped a couple battleships that logged onto the moon after the pos was down as well (NOTE: CHECK INTEL).

After popping the POS we anchored our own... and had reports of an incoming gang of NC! Approximately 200... against our substantially larger force. We prepped for an engagement only to be dissapointed when their forces turned away. Can't blame them, I would do the same thing given the circumstances.

I hopped on EVE later in the evening to pinging on IRC (command uses this to relay important events/messages). We had a POS to kill, coming out of reinforcement in N-H. An enemy fleet with superior numbers was on the way to defend it.

Decisions, decisions.

This was also more juicy due to the fact that my new favorite friend Plague Black was in charge of the fleet (or at least one of the FCs).

We moved assets into position and had a cyno recon in position above the EL8 gate in N-H. Immediately before the NC fleet jumped into system we bridged in our fleet at snipe range

and waited...

We didnt' wait long. Local spiked, gate fired repeatedly. I wasn't primary FC in this engagement (thank heavens) so I was in a tackler. I burned down to the gate as fleet aligned off to our POS in system and loaded long range ammo. Grid started going crazy... and our bubblers weren't in position yet! The first command ship on grid was Plague Black in his Vulture. No way in hell he was getting off. I tackled him immediately and as soon as I called point he was primaried.

Hell yeah. The former MM gone Goonfleet gone MM smacktalker.... no smack today. His Vulture turned into a smoldering heap of metal by snipe ships. Now, aside from my own personal (shared by many in my fleet I'm sure) feelings, this loss was somewhat important for two other reasons.

1. Removing command ships is important due to the bonuses they give to the fleet. Depending on skills of pilot, impants and warfare links on the ship, the bonuses to fleet for armor, shield, scan res, tackling range and other things I can't think of right now are quite significant. It's like giving your fleet a bit of steroids.

2. Removing their FC (or one of their FC's) from the fight. This can be disastrous, especially in a less disciplined less experienced fleet. Do it to -A-, IT, or Atlas and you will have a secondary FC in position immediately. You may suffer a bit on tactics depending on secondary FC's experience but targets will be called without hesitation. Less experience in a fleet and you no longer have the cool, collected nature. Things start to get hectic, mistakes get made.

So smiling giddily at the tackling I had done, watching bubbles go up on their fleet I got targeted by a Cane and pop went my Crow. I didn't care.

I somehow got my pod out and made it back to x-7 (7jumps) without getting killed, avoiding various drag camps by warping to celestials in system. I re-shipped to a stealth bomber while listening to the battle on comms. I bridged back into the fight with my bomber (in an attempt to stay somewhat cloaky and help give warp ins for fleet) We continued to dictate range, warping in on the enemy and warping out. Things to remember when in this situation whether FC or grunt:

1. Being mobile. When you have disadvantage in numbers but are snipe fit the enemy can't hit you. You have to continue moving to deny the enemy cov ops the ability to give their bubblers/fleet a warp in on you. One mistake and you will lose your only advantage. At that point their fleet will bring in their tanked bs/superior numbers and will literally nuke you.

2. Watch for cans/wrecks. If they are on the field with you they must die. Many people don't realize this, but you can warp to such objects. As soon as one of your ships gets popped that wreck is now a beacon for the enemy fleet/dictors to swoop down and ruin your day.

3. Always be aligned. ALWAYS. If you are primaried in an engagement you (hopefully) have enough time to warp out before you go down. If you are full speed aligned as soon as you see the majority of their fleet yellow box you (which usually means you are being called as a primary, secondary, or tertiary) you have time to get out. If you are all gank to tank, GTFO. If you are semi-tanked and have bigger stones than some, hang in there until those boxes start to turn red. I suggest hovering over the warp button for maximum response time. If you are not aligned to your warp out you fail and deserve to die. Aligning also ups your transversal a small amount, which makes you harder to hit. Every little bit counts.

4. Spread out. Usually your fc will be moving to stagger your warp ins, or call you in at varying ranges (range variance is more common on pos shoots). If you are clumped, spank your MWD to get some spacing. Why? The fatteset, juiciest clumps of battleships are what the bombers are going to hit. Assuming you are a proper snipe fit, you have no tank. Bombs will kill you, and quickly. Don't be a juicy target.

5. Dictors, dictors, dictors. If you can fly a dictor, be in one. Once you lose it come back to the fight in a battleship or another dictor. Sure, dictors are flying space coffins. They die because they are primaried. They are primaried because they are deadly. If a dictor gets a bubble on your/enemy fleet, the ability for combatants to warp out of engagement is negated, i.e. you die. Standard rule of thumb: you can NEVER have enough dictors. So small, so weak, yet without them your fleet will fail.

6. Cov ops/Stealth bombers for FCs. Sure, being in a command ship (lol) or a ceptor (me LOLOL) is fun. You get on kills. You are IN the fight. But as I have mentioned time and time again, being an FC is not about the killmails. Its about your fleet, how they perform, their orders, and your ability to move them smartly and call targets on field. Cov ops give two things, the ability to be on field watching and calling targets, and if fit properly to drop probes to find enemy fleet (if they are running around system). Stealth bombers allow you to put DPS on field if needed while maintaing stealth when needed. In smaller gangs SB is valuable, in larger cov ops tends to be more useful.

7. Intel intel intel. This is most pertinent to FC. Keep intel channels open. Be in contact with allied gangs in the area. Keep conversations open with your scouts. Conversations tend to be better in large engagements than comms... as you are constantly relaying orders on comms. Too much chatter can be disastrous so let your scouts communicate effectively and efficiently while not clogging comms with information that may or may not be important.

8. Most important and often most forgotten is to stay calm. That means as an FC you are talking in a calm voice and not screaming (by not screaming I mean keeping a steady tone, you can scream occasionally when the situation arises but don't yell constantly). You are thinking clearly and constructively. Your fleet will take losses, your job is not to save everyone. It is to win the engagement with as few losses as possible. If you are assaulting and its a tough fight the goal will be to hold the field/destroy the objective as you should already be expecting heavy losses. If you are a pilot on field shut up on comms. Shut up in fleet. Just shut up. Even if it is dead silent the fleet commanders are talking on other comms and with eachother and need to be able to hear. Follow the FCs orders. You may die. It is not the end of the world. You may get podded. It happens. Re ship and get back in fleet as quickly as possible.

So. What ended up happening? We thumped them quite soundly. The battle report can be found here. 288 kills to 107 losses. 21.61 billion isk destroyed to 9.1 billion isk lost. Beautiful. We also killed the POS.

As for me, I lost a Crow and a Manticore. I killed/helped kill: Vulture, Maelstrom, Hurricane, Harbinger, Apocalypse, Megathron, Claymore, Broadsword, Drake, Taranis, Damnation, Hurricane, Proteus, Muninn, Oneiros and Drake.

Worth two T2 Frig losses. Well worth. I even managed to whore on Plague Blacks's second loss of the day, a Taranis. :)

Good times, good times.

That is all.


Romeo Blakstorm said...

Enjoyable reading! Thanks.

Zeylis said...

Excellent reading as always. Really looking forward to hearing the war unfold. Hope I can get out there and participate before too long.

Very interested in joining The Maverick Navy.

Perseus Kallistratos said...

Feel free to convo me in game, if you are a very PVP based player. At this point our recruiting is closed, but we may be opening it up sometime soon.

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