September 14, 2010

Don't Question the FC

The title of this post is subjective,  I will admit.

There are times when I am in gang in my pricey Zealot or Curse or whatever... and I am thinking "This dude is gonna get me and my compadres vaporized". The FC may be new, or insecure, or unexperienced, or all of the above. In those situations I follow the FC's orders... loosely. This is just smart piloting. If I feel (based on comms, my own eyes, scouts reports, intel, whatever) that we are about to enter a bad situation that has no postive ending, I may warp @ 10 instead of 0. Or not jump quite yet. Etc. Some may argue this is dumb... but I don't mean the even fights you are just scared of losing a ship in. I mean the 50 vs 100 their composition is better you are going to lose all pilots and get no kills. It happens.

But in almost every other situation, listen to the FC. Especially if he is experienced and exudes confidence. There are reasons he is doing what he is doing. It doesn't have to make sense to you. If he has (in the past) gotten you kills, has kept (most of) you alive, hes doing something right.

I say this because people in my gangs often scratch their heads and say "FC, confirm we're holding here?" or "FC, are we for sure holding in here".

Yes. I am sure.

I stutter step my gangs quite often. By this I mean we burn many jumps at super high speed, and then stop. Or crawl. Sometimes I will even move gang off the autopilot route and hide them in a dead end system, or take an alternative route. There are solid reasons I do this. More often than not its to keep the enemy from getting eyes on my gang. For instance, the Scimitar kill last night would most certainly not have happened if he had known A. their was a large gang nearby and B. that gang was in CNC- on the FAT- gate. Or the Drake pilot... he would not have jumped into V-3 from GE- had he known that 20 guys were already waiting to kill him.

Often these decisions are made based on intelligence that the general fleet does not know about. Channel command between me and my scout as well as secondary FC's is full of chatter. As a general fleet member you can not hear these things. During alliance ops I often have conversations open with scouts, to minimize already cluttered comms and with the (accurate) assumption that spies are listening. Nothing worse than a scout reporting a new contact or valuable intel and having the enemy spy immediately relay "we've been spotted". Or ordering scouts to systems to investigate eggress routes, etc. Thats basically broadcasting your intentions to leave and telling the enemy which way you intend to go, setting up potential drops or counters.

It is, in fact, common for thinker FC's to do seemingly strange or random things. If you, as a gangmember, are mystified... imagine what the enemy FC is thinking? It is as much a venture into psychology as it is a technical battle of range and weapons and warp ins. You can always tell the difference between a huge alliance pvp FC and one that deals in small to medium sized gangs. A large alliance op is simple. If you have more guys, you engage. If you have the same amount of guys... you engage. If you are inferior in numbers, you sit in a POS or run. Warp ins, warp outs. Call primary, shoot. Secondary, lock up, tertiary lock up. It takes brainpower, don't get me wrong. You need to manage warp ins and decide when to fight and when to run. But there is no hiding and sneaking with that kind of game... at least not usually. Its hard to A. hide B. control 200 players stampeding through systems to a target. More like a cowboy driving a herd than a spec ops team. Hammer more than a knife.

I've got respect and appreciation for both types... but I do get annoyed when I am in fleet and potential targets flee before the stampeding elephant long before we arrive. Doubly so when small amounts of tact and cunning could have netted at least one or two of them... sometimes even the whole gang.

So... before you question your FC over comms, stop and think. There is more than likely a reason he's having you hold where you're holding, burn to a system, switch gates randomly, etc. Its either to keep you alive or help you cut someone else's life short.

That is all.


voiD said...

Love reading your blog. Keep up the posting. Also sounds like great gangs to fly in :) Want something like that, but timezones make it hard :P

Bryan Ward said...

Amen brother.