Friday, 29 November 2013

ITS HOT DROP O'CLOCK: A Zealot battle report

This is a battle report for yesterday evening. I formed a Zealot fleet with Oneirous logistics support to trap a Muninn fleet returning home from an operation in the east of Curse.

As you might guess from the title, the fleet did not go as well as expected. More ~after the break~!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Thoraxes to Catch: A battle report

Yesterday I lead a fleet of four Thoraxes, one Scythe and a Crow on a roam to Against All Authorities' staging system in Catch, F4R2.

What I came away with were some insights into the Rubicon PvP meta-game. Find them after the break!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Two (minor) battle reports


As I mentioned in my first post, I am a junior FC in my alliance. I will form something up to fight pretty much anything. What follows are two battle reports from engagements in the last 48 hours.

Monday, 25 November 2013

My Thorax skirmish doctrine: Thorax best Rax?

Recently, as a result of my nagging(!), my alliance has begun trialing a skirmish thorax doctrine to replace our pre-odyessey tech 1 cruiser doctrine.

What follows is NOT a fit for soloing and it does have a high skill point requirement due to the Reactor Control Unit II ("RCUII"). The doctrine is meant to be flown with logistics ships and is meant to be lead by a fleet commander ("FC").

More ~after the break~!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Refitting on-the-fly with mobile depots: viable flexibility?

Pre-Rubicon I had been thinking a lot about the potential PvP flexibility offered by mobile depots. You might be flying around in railgun Moas (for example) and then come across an assault frigate gang. Couldn't the FC just drop a mobile depot and all your Moas are suddenly fitted with blasters, micro-warpdrives and a tackle module?

Further discussion ~after the break~!

My first post and ZJA battlereport


So, this is my first blog ever. I'm excited that i'm writing this, I've been thinking about doing it for a while but never got around to it.

The blog will cover mostly pvp topics. battle reports, fittings etc. However it will also have some "general musings" posts.

About me: I will stay anonymous on this blog, simply so I can say what I want. Obviously by staying anonymous i'm not really putting a name behind anything I say so it won't appear as trustworthy. I can't help that except by trying to stay as impartial and open-minded as possible. Other than that, I am a junior FC/grunt in an "elite pvp nul sec alliance". The alliance is currently deployed to the curse area and we are on the Russian side, fighting against N3 and Pandemic Legion.


 ZJA-6U Battle Report: November 23rd 2013

A Pandemic Legion/N3 station was coming out of its first reinforcement timer today. Due to it being the weekend, all of the Russian Coalition allies were formed up in good sized fleets. The compositions were:

Darkness of Despair: Typhoons
Against All Authorities/other neo-stain wagon alliances: Rohks and Maelstroms
Solar Fleet: Rail tengus/eagles
Black Legion: Missile Tengus
Razor Alliance: Maelstroms
CFC: Bombers, Harpy fleet


Pandemic Legion ("PL"), Northern Coalition and Nulli Secunda ("N3"): Carriers ("Slowcat" doctrine: each carrier is able to repair any other carrier and a capacitor transfer chain is established. Massive tank, highly immobile. Sentry drones for damage)
Rest of PL/N3 coalition: Bombers
Super carriers were on stand-by.



The Russian Coalition has tried and failed repeatedly to defeat N3's/PL's slowcat blob over the past few weeks. The strategy is simple. Put 150-200 pilots in remote rep Archons and tank anything the other side can throw at you. The carriers are deployed on the structure being attacked (usually a friendly station). Due to the amount of damage this number of carriers can inflict with sentry drones, most other sub-capital fleets are forced to position themselves over 100km away, with a corresponding loss of DPS. Further, any effort to kill that many carriers that doesn't involve other capitals will not do enough damage to break their tank. Finally, where the carriers are deployed on a friendly station, the fleet will not take any significant losses given that all carriers will have enough time to de-agress and dock if the fight goes south.

As such, the use of carriers on a defensive timer has followed a predictable pattern. The Russian coalition will deploy mutiple sub-cap fleets. None of these fleets will be able to break the carrier tank. At this point the Russian coalition has either retreated or deployed dreadnaughts. Up to this point, the Dreadnaughts have been destroyed by N3/PL's superior capital forces. Alternatively, the deployment of so many capitals has caused the server to crash, effectively ending the engagement.

All in all, the defensive use of carriers/slowcats has been a major roadblock to any offensive progress by the Russian coalition.

The Battle

As above, N3/PL had already deployed 150-200 carriers on the station. The Russian coalition arrived in their subcap fleets. It appears from some kill-mails that some fleets tried to engage the carriers. Predictably, this resulted in a number of battleship losses for no carrier kills. The subcap fleets would spend the majority of the battle out of range of the carriers, around 150km from the station. They would not engage until the fight was effectively over.

After the Russian coalition sub-cap fleets had deployed around the station, they cyno-ed in large number of long-range dreadnaughts. These dreadnaughts were deployed with the Russian sub-capitals, around 150km from the carriers. Again, this was out of range of the carriers.

Initially the Russian coalition did not have enough dreadnaughts to break the carrier's tank. However at some point, carriers began to explode. Alliances who deployed large numbers of long-range dreadnaughts included:

-SOLAR fleet
-Black Legion
-Darkness of Despair

Losing carriers, N3/PL found themselves in an awkward position. Having no subcapitals on field and the carriers being locked to the station, the only option was to deploy supercarriers to destroy the dreadnaughts. However this would require placing the supercarriers well out of range of support from their carriers. Further, they would be well within range of the Russian coalition's substantial sub-capital forces, not to mention 250 hostile sieged dreadnaughts!

As N3/PL continued to lose carriers, they opted to dock and surrender the timer rather than deploy supercapitals. As they began to dock, the Russian coalition's sub-capital fleets warped to the station and began shooting carriers. The CFC's dreadnaught fleet was also deployed at this stage.

After the carriers docked, the Russian coalition pushed the station into its armor (2nd) timer and pushed and triggered another timer on the infrastructure hub ("IHUB") in the same system.

Notable losses

Kill report here: 

It seems PL/N3 lost around 5 carriers. The Russian coalition lost a dreadnaught who bounced too close to the carriers after cyno-ing in plus the spy who was destroyed. In subcaps, the N3/PL coalition lost a large number of bombers (150?!) while the Russian Coalition lost a misc number of sub-caps who drifted too close to the carriers.

Analysis and repurcussions

N3/PL's inability to win large sub-capital fights has lead to their heavy reliance on carriers and supercapitals. In the past, this had not been a problem as no sub-capitals could break the carrier's tank. If the Russian coalition resorted to dreadnaughts, supercapitals and titans would be deployed. Furthermore, long range dreadnaughts had only been deployed in smaller numbers (30-50) and, to my knowledge, usually only be Black Legion.

The use of this many dreadnaughts and specifically long range dreadnaughts changed the equation. Long range dreadnaughts allow the Russian coalition to engage the carriers without the carriers being able to return fire. If the dreadnaughts were fitted for close range engagements, they would be forced to deploy within range of the carriers and any additional hostile supercapitals deployed in an escalation.

The use of long-range dreads essentially makes the carriers irrelevant. N3/PL will have to decide how they are going to engage the Russian capital and dreadnaught forces out of range of their carriers.  This is where their inability to successfully utilize sub-capitals really becomes noticeable. If they could support their super capitals with sub-capitals then there may be a way for them to engage if this scenario repeats itself. Otherwise it is unclear what their plan is going forward, especially if their carriers can't dock when this many dreadnaughts are deployed.

Perhaps one option for N3/PL is to re-deploy their carrier force once the Russian coalition deploys dreadnaughts. I.e. they either warp on top of the dreadnaughts or cyno out of system and then cyno back in. I suspect that Cyno-ing in and out is the better option given the align time of the carriers. In either case, the carriers would need to be redeployed on top of the dreadnaughts to allow them to support a super capital escalation.

Alternatively, the PL/N3 coalition could start using subcapitals again!

Misc comments

-Another thing to note about the long-range dreadnaught doctrine is that they are "Doomsday Proof".  I.e. their tank requires multiple Titan doomsdays to destroy them. This further discourages the use of N3/PL supercapitals.

-The CFC dreadnaught fleet (not including Razor) could not engage until the fight was over due to still being short range fit.

-During the fight, a Black Legion spy in the corporation "Hoover Inc" was discovered and destroyed. Apparently suspicions were raised when, after taking a fleet warp to a hostile PoS, he landed inside of it while the rest of the fleet landed outside. I.e. he had the password for supposedly hostile POSes.

-What is N3/PL going to do with all the pilots in its coalition that can't fly capitals?  It fielded maximum of 300 pilots in non-bomber ships and that is probably being quite generous. This is a coalition that stretches from the mid south, right around to Cobalt Edge in the North East. Clearly they can field more pilots than this but perhaps they have given up on sub-capitals?

-EMP has deployed further north to defend against CFC aggression. It looks bloody and something I would like to write about. Also, I haven't seen anything substantial written on it. Next article?

Edit: as promised some pictures although they are only post-battle! 

The Russian coalition forces, dreads et all. Solar/BL/Razor Dreads are to the left, Darkness of Despair Typhoons directly above. To the right are Darkness of Despair dreads. In the foreground are Cerberuses from The Initiative. In the bottom right are Razor Maelstroms.

Tengus looking sexy as always.