April 13, 2010

Random Things

First off... last night sucked. For the record.


I logged on, and there was an alliance roam that had recently left. I hopped in a Crow and burned to catch up. 30 man size, random shiptypes bc and smaller. I caught up with the fleet, and listened to the comms as I burned to their location. I was not impressed with what I was hearing, and what I observed while traveling with this gang for the next 2 hours. Aspring FCs... here are things to remember.

1. Cohesion of gang. Scattering your fleet across systems is bad. I have talked about this before but it has been awhile. When your gang is scattered , the small elements can get picked off and the "group" is undermanned and vulnerable to being outgunned should you get a fight. Keep them together. At the end of our roam we ended up chasing a Broadsword 5j trying to kill him. This spread out our entire gang over 5j. If he had led us into a trap we would have been annihilated, especially the lead elements of the gang (more on this later).

2. Hand in hand with cohesion is knowing where your elements are. I have a particular knack for situational awareness, in all thing EVE and RL. This is huge; without knowledge of your fleet you will fail. This means knowing what ships you have, where these ships are, where your scouts are. We lost a tackler last night. Why? Because we had so many different "scouts" and the scout tackler did what any scout is supposed to do. Engage the target and hold him for gang. The problem was that our gang was in no position to be there for him. Tackler eventually died, target got away. Consistently I heard "where are you, ok where are you, and you, where is your location". If you can't handle multiple scouts, don't use them. Keep it simple. You lose credibility to your fleet when you can't even keep track of them. Think they can't tell you're scatterbrained? Wrong, they can. There were times when I was appointed scout, and another scout (once we even had 3x scouts) were all in the same system scouting. WTF? Any person alive at their keyboard while  ratting/plexing/missioning usually safes up with 1 red/neut in system. With 2 or 3 scouts you can bet they're cloaked or POS'd or maybe even logging off.

3. Move with speed. Dinking around deep in enemy space during their primetime is bad news. There is a reason you are BC and smaller. Speed. Certainly not tanking capabilities. Speed is hard to do when you are having a hard time keeping track of your gang and they are spread out. Only time you should stop is a potential incoming target or camping a station for a jiffy. Waiting 5 minutes for a prober to try and find someone who is cloaked or POS'd is stupid. Our only succesful probing of a target last night was in a station system (WTF?) and it was a Nighthawk. This particular time the order was for the prober to go in first. When the prober (he was made of win) finally found and warped to the Nighthawk at 100, guess where he was? On the damn station. Yeah, he docked as soon the our recon decloaked. Fail. Meanwhile fleet is waiting next door for the past 5 min in this dead end constellation. Competent enemies will have the bottleneck exit to this constellation camped to hell by the time you actually try and leave more often than not. I don't care how incompetent or badly shipped NC pets are. If they have battleships, the time to get into position and semi-even numbers your BC gang will take heavy losses trying to break that camp.
4. Be ballsy, but be smart. This is a broad topic. Based on last night this is what I mean. We spent precious time probing systems with 1 neut in local. 9 times out of 10 that neut is POS'd or cloaked within 15 seconds of our scout entering local. Waste of time. Keep moving. When we hit station systems, it was the opposite. With 10-20 people in local we made one attempt to find targets and left after 1-2 minutes. The point is to camp the station and bubble the undock for a around 5 minutes. Keep ceptors on the gates in the next door systems as tacklers/scouts. In a hub system you will get idiot traffic that jumps in/undocks all the time. My favorite was when one of our scouts reported a HAC gang of similar numbers 2 jumps out from our fleet. BC vs HAC gang is a perfect match up. Perfect. We watched them go by. :(

5. Safety of the gang aka being smart. On our way home we came into Venal from MA-VDX (Branch). In N-5 in Venal you have a 3 way pipe, from Branch is one way, Deklein is another and Venal/Tenal/Tribute is the other. Our way home led us from Branch to Deklein. Our scout(s) in this 3 way system (yes we had like 4 at this point) reported local spike. Turns out a 70 man BS heavy gang rolled through and went down to Deklein. Now, they sent no scouts into our system (which was next door to N-5). They sent eyes to the gate but not through it. Yet the order to logoffski was given. About half the gang obeyed. After 10 minutes with the bs gang mainly gone we logged back in. Instead of rejoining fleet, we were supposed to drop fleet and join new fleet. No clarification was given for this, and half were in old and half were in new fleet for the rest of the roam. Cohesion? Logoffski was a bit much, but it was a safe thing to do and I can respect being safe. What followed was the exact opposite. That Broadsword I mentioned earlier? He was burning to catch up with the BS gang. He was in the N-5 with one other wartarget (who was cloaky eyes, more than likely a rear scout left behind since we had 4 effing scouts in local instead of 1 and that tends to raise suspicions). Despite the facts of eyes on us and a recent BS gang that was traveling on the same route we wanted to get home on, we were ordered into N-5 (the Y-pipe system). Shortly after that we were ordered to pursue the Broadsword. I had reservations for two reasons: Broadsword is commonly used as a bait ship... following on the heels of a massive gang. Secondly, they had eyes on us as soon as we jumped into N-5. So a potential bait ship with eyes. Yet we gave chase, and chase we did. The Broadsword ran for 9 jumps before some of our fleet caught up. There was no scout (it was just whoever was in front at the time) and the slower elements were stuck huffing and puffing to catch up. This time, we got lucky. No gang, no trap and the Broadsword died. His fit was so-so. But there was no way to know this would happen and given all the various shortcomings I had observed, if we had walked into a trap as disjointed spread out and lacking in directions and orders as we were it would have been an embarassing disaster.

6. Communications. I beat this horse every day and will continue to. Comms were chaotic. One individual (who shall rename nameless) talked non stop about random things that had nothing to do with the gang/intelligence and was hella loud. Yet the FC allowed this to continue. The lack of coordination in the gang made it even worse, as numbers of scouts were shouting out intel and no one knew where they were and people kept asking for clarification on orders because it was so noisy and they didn't/couldn't hear the first time. All things that lead me to believe if we had gotten a even/semi-even fight it would have been a disaster.

7. Last straw that evening (I was already frustrated) was when we hit central Deklein. For those familiar with the area there are 3 systems next to each other in Deklein that have stations. YAO, 2-R and 2-K. we jumped into 2-R and it was empty. Based on my experience living here, I quietly explained that 2-R is always dead and most base out of YAO. Surprisingly, the FC listened. I scouted it out and jumped YAO, warping to station. I picked up a Rattlesnake on scan and got excited. "Rattlesnake on scan" I reported. FC moved the fleet (what happened to be around... cohesion?) to the YAO gate. Sure enough, on station was the Rattlesnake. I promtly burned at him and tackled. He yellow boxed me, and we stared at eachother. For those unfamiliar with Rattlesnakes, think of a Raven/Dominix. Huge drone bay, 10% bonus to drone hitpoints/damage per level and 50% bonus to cruise and torp velocity. It is expensive and usually faction fit at least. I started drooling, hoping he would pop drones and aggress. This whole process all happened within about 30 seconds when all of a sudden, the FC jumped into local. I wasn't sure why. About 20 seconds later the Rattlesnake docked. 5 Seconds after he docked our FC in his HICTOR landed on station. It all made sense in a most unfuriating manner. Rattlesnake sees lone Crow, think easy kill maybe. Suspicious but doable. Local bumps one, his eyebrows go up. Same alliance... hmmm. Then directional shows Onyx. Thats all he needs to know and he docks up. Crow may be out and about solo (ok not usually but ya never know) or small gang. Onyx implies small gang at least, or medium to large gang. I was extremely angry at this point, and made mention of the HICTOR ruining any opportunity to catch the Rattlesnake. My top blew when he angrily responded that there wasn't any chance of the Rattlesnake aggressing anyways.


8. Never assume anything. You are playing with people from all demographics from all countries and of all different ages. NEVER assume they are thinking like you. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. In other words, plan for them being smarter than you and hope they are, in reality, dumber. You don't know what will end up happening but that gives NO EXCUSE FOR NOT TRYING. And if our FC really thought it was pointless, why did he jump into the system and warp to station. It was obviously of some importance to him if he was jumping into system and warping to the station... although the rest of the fleet was holding. Whatever it was... it was stupid. Obvious bait is worse than horrible bait (ie. Crow that would probably die). I would have gladly sacrificed my little ceptor for a Rattlesnake kill. Certainly a battlecruiser would have been the best, but nothing was discussed with the fleet and time was limited. So instead he just acted and acted stupidly. Then he tried to justify it. Fine. The whole fleet burned the last 12 jumps home spread all to hell and back.

We got a short speech apologizing for the lack of kills when the FC got to X-7 (I was still 3j out). By lack of kills he meant 2 kills over a 2 hr roam. One being the Broadsword and the other being a Drake that jumped into our gang (no scout was in position to tell us he was incoming, we just got lucky lol). His excuse was that we went to places that don't have lots of kills. Funny part was that seven man gang I took out a couple days ago went to the exact same places and got 6-7 kills in 45 minutes. There were plenty of fish on the route we traveled. You cann't blame the fish, blame the fisherman. Tactics get kills. Plans, psychology, tactfulness get kills. Random blobbing does not get kills with any frequency.

I know this was a bit of a rant, but I do believe in this rant there is quite a bit of helpul information in the form of do's and don'ts. I'm not trying to say I am the perfect FC. I am just one with lots of experience and common sense. :)

That is all.


Calderus Rex said...

Nice post, a bit rant / ramble, but some good thoughts in there.

One question - why on earth was your FC dropping probes in systems with dudes that are in a POS or cloaked? Imho, you shouldn't be dropping probes until you have the location of the target via d-scan, and can confirm he's (1) in space, (2) not at a POS, and (3) not at an obvious celestial, like a belt or station. Otherwise, you're wasting not only your time, but 29 other people's as well. Yes, I realise that often they notice the probes or get skittish and pos/dock up, but that is easily noticeable when they disappear from your d-scan. Not only does this waste FAR less time, but knowing range and approximate direction makes your chance of a successful probe hit before your target spooks 10x higher.

Perseus Kallistratos said...

Agreed on all counts. My suggestions were limited and ignored so I stopped trying. Basically, I was along as a fleet member for this one...

Darina said...

Sounds like you had a bad time, and you have my sympathies. Every now and then, nights like that happen. :(

To make it worse, it sounds like your FC is a bit like me, but in my defence I would like to point out that I avoid being primary, secondary or even tertiary FC at all costs! Us poor FCs should recognise our failings and either correct them or only FC in dire situations.

On rant point 6, I have a small suggestion. Is it necessary for you to have to listen to the whole fleet? If someone is annoying you on a personal level then mute him! Unless it is the FC, of course, then you are just stuck! :)

Nice post.

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