April 12, 2010

Roaming and more Roaming

Yesterday was filled with EVE. Why, you ask yourself? RL has given me more time lately. I have broken off things with a girl I was dating (it wasn't going anywhere) and her replacement lives 40 minutes away. Call me a loser, but until school starts in fall I'm going to love it.


I wake up around noon and log onto EVE. Immediately I get 5 guys in corp asking me "can we roam can we roam?". Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes I groggily respond an affirmative. I take a trip to the loo, throw on some clothes and sit back down on my bed.

Yes bed. I use a 42 inch LCD for my computer monitor. I also use a 17 inch laptop to run comms and DOTLAN and my alt when needed. Its quite a comfortable set up that can sustain my EVE needs for long periods of time.

So I form up fleet, and get fast moving/cloaky composition. We only had like seven in gang (I didn't open up the fleet to alliance, because I have been wanting to hone the skills with newer corp members. Alliance fleets are messy to start with even if all the pilots are pro). Our composition was me on point in a Crow, two stealth bombers, Nano-Drake, Nano-Cane, Eris (dictor) and... Zealot. The Zealot was iffy but I was ok with it due to its awesomeness in tracking and DPS. So we set out to Deklein. Narrowly avoided a neut gang, which passed us by without sniffing. Continued on to Venal, where we passed by an Atlas roaming gang. Trying to be friendly I waved to them in local... guess they still harbor anger towards -MVN- and they left without a gesture or wave. I suppose the fact there was no negative gestures is progress.... right? :)

From there we jumped right into Branch, and went to the nearest station systems. In BKG we had traffic in local, and set up shop on the undock of their station. We missed an Itty V that warped to 0, but with our fast lockers managed to pop this Purifier before he could dock back up. Apparently he gave up at that point, or lagged out, cuz we popped his pod too. The UFA guys are... well... ok. They eventually formed a response gang of random compositions, but before that we headed up to a dead end constellation. In D4R I managed to bait a Cyclone on station who aggressed me. His drones, however, couldn't keep up and his tracking was horrible. In came our gang, and pop went the Cyclone. His friend in a Maelstrom was smart enough not to aggress, and after he hit low shield he docked his battleship up. On we moved, back through some of the UFA systems, avoided a gate camp they had set up (DOTLAN FTW!) and moved into Looney Toons land. We camped one of their station systems, despite 35 in local. Popped a Merlin on the undock, and had our dictor keep the station bubbled and bombers cloaked. I told our larger ships to align the out gate. 3x. For aspiring FCs, pay attention...

When in a hostile situation where the only warning of possible recourse is directional filling with hostiles you need to judge your response time and capability. Compare it to following distance when driving a vehicle. Do you have enough time to respond and be safe should something happen? Dictors, interceptor, bombers especially are safe. They can align and GTFO in no time. Nano-cane is pretty fast too. Zealot is usually pretty quick. Drake, even nano fit, is slower. So, keeping your pilots full speed aligned at a celestial negates their slowness, at least for the moment. This is good in situations where you are being ballsy. As an FC you should also never linger in a gang like ours was. The moment you enter a populated system the timers starts. How long it is depends on the competency of the residents, the time of day, etc. Always beat the timer or be ready when the timer dings.

In our case, the timer was about 10 minutes. In retrospect I waited a bit long, but in my defense everyone was cloaked and ready to go... or so I thought. Our timer ran out when my directional scanner picked up about 15 incoming ships of random composition. "WARP WARP WARP WARP" I yelled. Within a second my overview started filling up with... LOL a gang warp of hodgepodge Looney Toons. My lol moment ended when everyone got off field but my Zealot. This same Zealot was promptly bubbled and in Zealot fashion, instapopped.

I was furious. Livid. Beyond angry. But I calmy got the gang out of system and asked the Zealot pilot one question. "Were you aligned?". "No."

That was all I needed to know. I already figured as much. If a Drake and Hurricane can make it off field with time to spare the Zealot had to have been AFK, lagged out, not listening, or aligned. Given his comms still working as he announced he was down, that elimates the first two. That he said "I'm trying to get out" elimated the not hearing the warp out command. Therefore I had to assume it was the last, which is that despite me commanding, and clarifying two more times, he still did not follow orders. This is why you can never assume your people are using common sense. Clarify, double clarify, repeat orders, micromange. Do what you need to do. Some of the more experienced pilots in gang may feel a bit put out--who cares. Better to step on toes than lose ships.

We ended up burning home, almost killing a Drake on station who docked in 10% structure (De4iant), but other than that it was boring.

As you can tell, I was quite angry about the Zealot loss. I was hesitant to bring him along to begin with given the cost of his ship and the relative lack of tank on Zealots. I trusted the pilot and made sure that orders took into account his ship and its benefits as well as its liabilities. His failure to follow directions led to him losing his ship and making a roam with no losses into a roam with one loss. This one loss overshadowed ISK wise every ship we had killed. It was therefore a failure.

After getting the remaining fleet members home I emo logged for a few hours. I got pinged on IRC later in the evening by Easley, who told me to help Altair (a member of our corp). With what, I had no idea. So I tabbed out of Bad Company 2 (XBOX360) and onto my EVE account. Answered convos, replied mails, and chatted with Altair. Apparently he was taking out a roam and needed me on to help him out. I'm always open at the idea of someone else commanding (its hard work!) but they do need to be trained. So I agreed and hopped onto comms.

First order of business was to retrieve 20 battleships stuck after an op. On our way there I had a Basilisk land on gate. I locked him up and ordered everyone to hold on the other side. He sat there for a moment and then jumped through. Altair took care of it on the other side, and the guy got triple webbed with full DPS. Realizing he would not be able to make it back I jumped through and added some bumps and another web. Slowly but surely the Basilisk died. As you can see by the composition on the mail Altair wanted to keep the gang cheap in case he got them all killed :)

After the Basilisk kill we picked up the battleships and moved them back to X-7. We then moved on to Tribute, with a couple less members of the gang and me still point/tackle. In X47 I noticed one neut in local. My sense perked up and I held my cloak on the gate. Geddon showed up on scan in an otherwise empty system. "HOLD HOLD HOLD, Geddon incoming. The Geddon landed and jumped before I even broke cloak. I immediately hit the gate and held (in case he reapproached). Altair was giving orders, and I clarified some things over comms. We had a private chat going so I could help without undermining authority but at that point I wanted the Geddon.

Aspiring FCs: in this situation, always have someone able to tackle on the other side. In this case its me who is already there. If there is no one there make sure a fast tackler does not aggress. And maybe someone who can jam or tank a bit depending on what you're dealing with. For instance, a missile boat like a Drake will slowly wear me down despite speed and orbit. The Geddon, on the other hand, did nothing to me (didn't have Warrior IIs) Also, make sure your dictor drops bubble WHEN the target decloaks. Why? One, your bubble lasts longer, two your target may think he can get away and try to warp or burn off instead of reapproaching. Three, believe it or not many people will try to warp and when you drop the bubble when they break cloak, all of a suddent they can't warp. Not only does this keep them from warping (duh) but it drops their speed and alignment to 0 unless they manually set speed. Disastrous for bombers who would have otherwised MWD + Cloak trick and instead try to warp... only to be bubbled with no momentum and an easy de-cloak.


Geddon de cloaks and sits there. I jump in and add a set of webs to his still not moving ship. At this point I think he could/should have tried to get away. He didn't. Then he made the dumbest move, he aggressed. His sentries were out, and they aggressed on me of all people. They didn't touch me. Our Blackbird jammed him up and slowly but surely the Armageddon died.

We roamed for another 30 minutes in Tribute without success (a pod kill). Heading home I talked with Altair a bit about some minor things to work on but overall he did an excellent job for his first gang. The biggest thing for him to remember is that in a gang of our size and composition speed is your friend. Move quickly and keep it simple. Telling people when to jump, when to align, etc. etc. is too much. Just have them burn and hold when scout sees something interesting. The simpler it is, the better it is for your gang. Also, avoid pro nouns. The gate. The out gate. The system. BAD! Use the actual system names, keep DOTLAN open. In case someones autopilot is screwed, or for whatever reason, its good to say the system names.

That is all.

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