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.

Engagement 1: Zealots v Hurricanes

Respective fleet compositions 

Nulli Secunda/Why So Serious had brought a ~20 man Hurricane  fleet to Doril (in the Curse region) looking for fights. The fleet consisted of around 13 Hurricanes, 5 Scythes, a Cynabal, a Rapier, a Sabre and maybe some other tackle.

I had my cov-ops alt out in Doril watching them move around. They appeared to be landing at their optimal from various gates in Doril waiting for something to jump into them. I decided to form Zealots with Oneirous support. From memory we had around 12 Zealots, 4 Oneirous, a Devoter (heavy interdictor), a sabre and some other tackle. We also had another cov-ops with probes along with my alt.


Their Hurricanes were the standard N3 roaming Hurricane fit. It features a microwarp drive, 720mm artillery cannons and a single large shield extender. The doctrine has decent mobility, inflicts a high amount of alpha-damage but is relatively fragile and has bad tracking. The fit:

Our Zealot fit is also relatively standard. 10mn afterburner, heavy pulse lasers (usually with Scorch ammo) and an excellent tank. Their engagement range is around 30-40km. Also important is their very small signature. With an armor tank and afterburners these ships are very difficult to hit, making them excellent against battleships and medium artillery(!) The fit:

 The engagement 

While we were forming they were on the Sendaya gate in Doril at their optimal range with a sabre on the gate waiting to bubble. I did not want to jump in at that point as I was fairly sure they would try to run and with the sabre on the gate they probably could have bubbled us and escaped back through Utopia or Jorund.

While we were considering this on coms, their fleet warped off to the Jorund gate in Doril. I ordered our fleet to undock and warp to the Doril gate in Sendaya. We jumped into Sendaya and then followed them to the Jorund gate. After they landed on the Jorund gate they placed a catch bubble which we promptly landed in. However they had again set up at their optimal (30-40km) and looked keen to fight.

We landed in the bubble and everyone anchored on me. I ordered afterburners on and started burning at them at a slightly indirect angle (to hurt their tracking). We started killing Hurricanes. I asked our logistics how we were doing and we were tanking their damage (as expected). After losing two Hurricanes they decided to run to a station in Doril.

Knowing that they weren't going to fight anymore I ordered our various tackle ships to each gate in Doril and told them to wait. We then started probing them. They were at a planet alligned to either the Jorund or Utopia gates. Initially I wanted to probe-warp a dictor at them and get them bubbled however they decided to warp to the Jorund gate. Fortunately for us this was the gate my Zealot fleet was on and our heavy interdictor bubble was up. As such they all landed about 15km from the gate.

I ordered all our tackle back to the Jorund gate and we continued to kill Hurricanes and Scythes. We also snagged their Rapier.

The remnants of their fleet burnt out of our bubbles and we caught a few more stragglers before heading home.

Kills and losses

My fleet killed 5 Hurricanes, one Scythe and a Rapier. We suffered no losses.

Lessons learned

While ordering tackle to all the gates in Doril was a good idea, I should have also got them to put up their bubbles permanently, preventing the Hurricane fleet from landing and jumping instantly. I had only asked the interdictor pilots to sit on the gates. The bubble that they landed in at the Jorund gate was put up to catch something else jumping into us and only accidentally caught the Hurricanes. Easy thing to remember for next time.  

When warping to a gate, look at your other monitor to double check no bubbles have gone up since you last looked!

All in all a very successful fleet. Dat 100% efficiency, priceless.  

Second engagment: Moas v Taloses

Background and fleet compositions
Yesterday I was monitoring a friendly in-game intel channel when a hostile gang was reported shooting a POS in the ZXIC system in Catch.

The hostile gang was The Unthinkables who stage out of the Utopia system in Curse. They had around 10 pilots. I quickly started a private conversation with the person providing the intel. He told me they were very close to the POS. The POS was part of a capital ship production-chain providing capitals to Against All Authorities.

The Unthinkables had between 6-8 Taloses/Nagas as well as a Scimitar, a Scythe, a Sabre and some other tackle. The Taloses were the standard fit. Blasters, microwarpdrive, shield tanked. The fit is quite short-ranged but deals an incredible amount of damage and is fast. It is also fragile. The fit:

 I decided to form Moas. These are a tech 1 cruiser with a massive shield tank. Our fitting uses railguns and afterburners in a standard kiting fit. The fit:

These are supported by Ospreys, a tech 1 logistics ship. These use capacitor transfer chains to repair much larger amounts of damage than the other shield logistics ship, the scythe. They also fit solid shield tanks.

Our gang consisted of around 8 Moas, 4 Ospreys, 2-3 Crow interceptors and other support.

The engagement

This was quite a frantic fleet. With the number of Moas I had in my fleet our numbers were somewhat lacking. Especially considering our Moas deal around a third of the damage one of their Taloses.

Fortunately however, another friendly fleet in Moas was also roaming around Catch at the time and were around 9 jumps out from the POS system when I began forming. I asked them for assistance and they began burning to one system out of the POS system.

Meanwhile, I burnt my co-ovps alt with a cyno to one jump out of the POS system. I also invited the person who originally provided intel on the hostile gang to our fleet. I asked him to set up a warp-in for my cyno ship very close to the hostile fleet. I also organized a Titan to bridge us from Doril onto the Cyno when it was lit.

Everything came together relatively well. The friendly Moa fleet waited one jump out, along with my cyno-alt. My fleet formed on our Titan. My intel source got with 10km of the Taloses.

I organized the fleets this way so that the hostile gang had no idea what was happening. I intentionally kept my cyno-alt out of system and secured the warp-in so the hostile FC wouldn't see anyone threatening in local until it was too late. For similar reasons I kept the other friendly Moa gang one jump out from the POS system.

When everything was in position I jumped my cyno in and warped to the intel source's ship. I lit the cyno, my Moa fleet jumped in. Then my cyno-alt joined the other Moa fleet and provided a warp-in for them.

Unfortunately as soon as the cyno went up the hostile gang warped off. Fortunately my intel source pointed one of their Nagas which we killed. I then sent tackle to all the gates to try and find where the Taloses intended to run to.

Predictably they decided to burn straight back to their staging system in Utopia and we followed after them. Due to our Crow pilots we caught a number of their Taloses on the way back. This included a mini engagement where they briefly decided to fight my Moa fleet, until the other friendly Moa fleet also jumped in!

Kills and losses

We killed 3 Nagas, 1 Scimitar and 1 Naga. I believe we lost one interdictor and one Crow. Not 100% efficiency but pretty close!

Lessons learned

After the Taloses fled from the POS I was a little slow in realizing that the hostile FC (and his fleet) had already jumped out. I was still asking people to d-scan the Taloses after they had left system. This is a pretty terrible mistake considering their FC is on my watchlist and it was obvious that he had left just from looking at local!

I'm not sure how we could have forced them to stay on grid once we jumped in. They were all spread out around one side of the POS and ran as soon as the cyno went up. The only solution might have been to have burned an interdictor to the system while we were forming, have him bubble the Taloses and then light the Cyno in the bubbles. However that would have required more time that I wasn't sure we had. In any case, the speed of the new interceptors cleaned up my mistakes by catching Taloses all the way back to Utopia.

Incidentally, this was my first time FCing a hot-drop. Good fun! 

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