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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Big Bada Boom

Once again the further adventures of the AMC alliance in wormhole space. When we last left our heroes they had had one of their homes away from home invaded by some random PvP corp that's apparently out of null sec (read lots o hacks). After some BS action we managed to get their POS into reinforced on Wednesday night. 1 day 17h later it was scheduled to come out of reinforced. In the interim they had managed to get all the guns repaired but the rest of the modules (stasis webifiers, ECM, scram) were still offline.

Although the ensuing battle was nothing to write home about for denizens of 0.0, rather fewer of us High Sec residents have experience with POS warfare. So our initial forces left a little to be desired as it was still early in the evening for North America (where most of our pilots are based). Some early investigations of the repair job the oposing corporation had some "issues". But I'll assume the pilots involved have learned their lessons. (as Mike Holmes would say "Do it right").

We eventual got enough forces to make a go of it and proceeded to learn why it's a bad idea to ignore the guns when there is a POS gunner in place. A few battleships later (including my own - idiotically not insured - ouch) and a tactical retreat was called. Conveniently the wormhole connection at this time was 6 jumps from Jita.

Having learned from our mistakes - and with more pilots online - and less on the opposing side, we proceeded to regroup and a change in tactics was called for. I resisted the call of impatient more experienced pilots and ordered all the guns to be sanitized. The ensuing 2nd phase of the battle went much better. It was still an opposed POS assault. But even with a Basilisk they had not yet gotten the POS above 50% shields. There was some smack in local saying they would leave the shields at 47% to tease us (brilliant move that). Whether true or not was irrelevant since if all we could accomplish was put their POS into reinforced a 2nd time, we would do that.

As per their successful tactic in the first phase of using the shield to their advantage and only scraming when they managed to find a weaker ship they managed to kill two more battleships. However the Scimitar had outstayed it's welcome on the last battleship kill and it went down just about simultaneously. With no crow this time round and their Myrm evidently unable to tackle anything we were able to concentrate on the guns (with occasional distractions of the basilisk and other ships sticking their noses out and getting primaried before heading back in to heal up). The falcon was a little annoying while he was around but with a POS gunner it was prety pointless to send light tackle after it since they would simply alpha any tackle we send after it (I was probably making inefficient use of the two HIC in our fleet - in fact I know I was - but like I said - I was learning).

Once the last remaining tackle was taken out of the equation it was just a matter of time before we killed all the guns and settled in to take out the tower itself. Sure enough once we silenced the last gun the enemy abandoned the fight and fled the wormhole (note to self: have pilots work on proper tactics to catch fleeing enemies). Finally, just before 04:00 eve time, the end of the POS happened.

All in all an expensive victory. On the isk front it was probably a pyrrhic victory at best. From my point of view it got a whole bunch of alliance pilots without POS warfare know how some valuable experience. Including myself. I learned a lot on how NOT to setup a pos for wormhole POS warfare. I learned a lot about FC'ing a pos bash. I learned a lot about the constraints and limits of an opposed POS assault.

I will also note that as far as POS setups goes, even my in-experienced eyes could tell that it was a fail setup of first order:

Minmatar Control Tower Small
2 x Warp Scrambling Batteries
1 x Stasis Webification Battery
1 x Spacial Destabilization Battery
1 x Medium Artillery Battery
2 x Medium Autocannon Battery
2 x Small Artillery Battery
1 x Small Autocannon Battery
1 x Corp Hangar Array

Now they setup in our system so one would think they would have thought this through and realize that with a large and a medium POS in system we'd be going after them. Even if all they wanted was to cause some PvP in the system this is, even to my own newbie to POS warfare eyes, a fail setup. At least they stronted it.

Now our battleship losses to take out such a fail POS would normally not be acceptable. For a corp/alliance with POS warfare experience this is true. It must be observed that I expected to have the losses we did since this was our first time as an alliance doing this sort of combat. For the losses of the smaller craft, my only observation is that sometimes newbies have to learn the hard way that even battlecruisers are iffy in POS warfare.

Some notes on POS warfare in wormhole systems (at least those without a carrier - dread available):

- There is no excuse for a lack of hardeners.
- POS gunners in combination with a solid fleet are very important for effective defense
- Taking out the guns and EWAR batteries is crucial on offense - do no be swayed by "we can tank it" arguments - there's always someone who can't.
- Small POS'es are still vulnerable to a concerted effort in wormhole space. Medium and Large are where it's at if you don't want to be dislodged.

Now having provided our opponents with a large batch of BS kill mails it remains to be seen if they intend to come back in our wormhole and continue operations against us or whether they intend to go elsewhere. In all honesty I'm ambivalent about it - on one hand more PvP experience is never bad, on the other it does interfere with industrial operations. *shrug* time will tell.


Cozmik R5 said...

Tons of great fun :)))

Hats of to the FC o7

Anonymous said...

Could you elaborate on the POS's flaws?
My knowledge of POSs is purely theoretical so far.

Manasi said...

I can certainly elaborate on POS warfare as I have seen a shit ton of it against goons.

Agreed on first point small POS just not enough grid to put up the right defensive arrangement.

Second point did you guys snipe? if so then it would have to be some gun to hit you at 150KM plus. I normally snipe around 175KM or thereabouts to avoid the smaller calibre gunfire.

Third point POS gunner are deadly.

As for the setup of the POS placement is critical as is the mix of what you put up. There is only so much power to go around. Deathstar POS ( preferrably a large POS) are balanced with large numbers of Big guns both on the top and the bottom and ewar and smaller guns evenly around the middle. That way you can jam/scram/nuet whatever comes near and your guns can pound em.

The downside is the cost to keep a large POS running.

Letrange said...

1) The lack of hardeners means we could do damage to the shields as quickly as possible (kinetic or explosive damage preferably)
2) The guns were a poor mix for taking care of an RRBS gang. In this case the Mediums are to protect the POS and the smalls protect the guns themselves. With only 1 far reaching gun they were a little short on the type of firepower that could be concentrated against a sniping BS fleet (not that we were).

X1376 said...

It is not so hot, I would say.

As POS gunner I prefer mostly medium batteries to large and small. One gets the best performance--good locking time, hard hit, good tracking--and kills without troubles even on a really long distance. What kills RR BS by competent POS gunner team is alpha strike of two successive volleys.

As a POS killer I have to yet see POS that cannot be killed by RR BS fleet. We usually attack from 40km even deathstars. It is only about paying attention to broadcasts, nothing other.

Hardeners do not protect guns, just make shooting taking longer. While it makes life unpleasant, :), it does not stops determined force either.

Letrange said...

@x1376 - very true. This was our first pos-bash as a high sec alliance. And as such I was perfectly willing for the alliance to sustain otherwise high loses in order to learn the art. Strangely enough the corp that dropped a tower in did not re-appear after we cleared out the small.

Shinma said...

Haaaaa, so, my old corp mate linked this to me (Shinma Apollo) and I figure I'll give you guys a bit of a lesson.

We found your WH because it came out of the system we fixed sec status in. Just bad luck of the draw for you. One member (who was german but actually living in India, our corp was entirely multi-national) decided he'd have some fun with you and set up a small pos purely so we'd likely get a fight. The reason we left the shield at 47% (actually, we repped it for all of 10 minutes, one guy stayed and sort of afk repped for about 12 minutes more, and we then collectively went, "fuck this, fun had" and figured the worst case scenario is passive regen would put it up to 50%) was as I said, pure laziness.

Your POSfu is somewhat weak though. You don't resistar if you plan on defending the POS, which we did. those mods eat a lot of CPU (which on a minnie POS isn't so plentiful) and get in the way of tackle mods.

We were planning to stay a day or two at best. The corp was a merc corp, but we lived in 0.0 to keep us sharp. Albeit, it was fun beating up on you guys and finally doing some small gang POS warfare.

Hope you're still around, maybe one day we'll go find you and have another day or two of fun.