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Monday, October 27, 2008

A tale of 3 engagments

It was a strange weekend. A mix of a lot of different things happening. I'll cover some of the other subjects in other posts but for now this one will concentrate on 3 different engagments I had over the course of the weekend.

As per usual - I think I get less EvE time during my weekends than during my weekdays. I did get on a few times though. I stayed mostly in low sec this weekend mostly engaged in plexing and associated skirmishing. As I have commented since the departure of the pirates, the character of engagements has changed in Faction Warfare. I will not comment on Smogg suiciding 2 matari fleets trying to kill MirrorGod, since I wasn't there except to note that it doesn't help us with system occupancy now does it?

On to more interesting things. Once again I'm finding that the give and take of plex warfare is proving to be quite interesting. It helps that I have a selection of ships available to me. With said selection of ships comes a selection of tactical options:

Rifter - Vigil - Slasher = Scout - Tackler
Probe = Utility (salvager - disposable prober etc...)
Thrasher = Anti frigate platform par excelance - more on it later
Stabber = Heavy tackle - light DPS
Rupture = DPS
Hound = cloaky sniping with missiles
Cheetah = cloaky scouting and scan down (also very usefull in plexing)
Jaguar - Wolf = kinda expensive for the usefulness atm but wait till the speed changes come in

Stuff I can fly but won't till my skills get up there into the ususable regions:

Cyclone - Hurricane = I realy need T2 Medium guns for these
Typhoon - Tempest - Malestrom = I need to get all weapons to T1 level 4 before I take one of these out

So as you can see I'm ship competitive up to Medium plexes and I can support others in larger plexes or roaming gangs. It's also here that you can see the advantage that a character with 23mil sp (even an industrialist) has over the newbies. Options.

Engagement the first

The first engagement of note involved the usual escalation of pilots and ships until we were left with an interceptor and myself in a Hound against an (damn I forgot what but it wasn't that important to this fight anyways) and a Purifier. The interceptor was going to try and get the other distracted while I got into point blank range for a SB (40km) in order to reduce flight time. The plan was to uncloak while alligned to a warp out point - get one of two volleys off and warp out against the other SB.

Well I screwed that one up totaly. Managed to panic on a long lock up and ended up double ctrl-clicking the target Purifier. With predictable consequences. Instead of staying alligned to my warp out point I turned toward the SB (about 120 degrees off course). Bye bye Hound, I knew you so shortly. I can tell that flying SB's is goign to be an expensive learning process untill I'm good with them.

Engagement the second

The next moment of interest was some solo offensive plexing. Now for those that aren't in faction warfare, this may be confusing. It's not realy. All plexes come with NPCs of one faction or the other depending on system occupancy. If you are in a system where your faction has occupancy, then the NPCs are on your side and won't shoot you but will shoot any war targets warping in (alas and alack, not pirates). If you are in a system where the other faction has control (the one you're at war with), then the NPCs will shoot at you. Trying to close the first type of plex is refered to as defensive plexing and the second type as offensive plexing.

I managed to spot an open minor plex so I went in solo. Eventualy I managed to get most of the rats killed when a Punisher war target shows up. I'm kinda busy killing rats and instead of engaging me he goes for the button. Ooookay, not an issue, I finish off the npcs and go to orbit him at my optimal and keep out of his range, he's half way thru armor when he warps off. Just as I'm chassing him off in comes a Coercer. Having learnt from previous encounters with this ship, I know there is a procavity for the Amarr to fit it for short range gank. Big mistake when flying against a MWD'ing arty thrasher who can perma run his MWD and his tracking computer.

I get to my optimal and once again chew thru his shields and armor without taking a single scratch. Off he warps and back to the button I go. Eventualy he comes back again. Aslo in a coercer. I figure he's re-fit but it'll be a question of pitting my tracking and mwd against his new long range fit. After I get a lock on him, I see that he repaired right up at the station. Once again I lay into him like the wrath of Matar and I'm only at about half shields when I'm chewing thru his armor and off he goes leaving me in possetion of the plex.

I realize that with no kills the PvP purists there will be screaming that the lack of kills is embarasing. Not so. If I had been in a roaming gang yes. But the objective here was to close the plex in favor of my faction. Killboard kills are incidental. The fact is I was up against a superior force and I held the field and closed the objective (looted and salvaged the npcs after as well). That's a win. I simply outflew the opponents and made better use of my ship and setup. Really good feeling.

Engagement the third

Once again this one started off by joining a plexing run in Metropolis hoping to shake loose some oposition as we closed down some plexes. The FC had called for a destroyer. I had originaly been in a cov-ops. I switched to it and went off to Metro systems. After having a horrible time finding plexes I offered to switch back to the cov-ops as this has the nice utility of at least confirming if there are plexes to find. He agreed.

So back to where I had left the cov-ops I go. Along the way I run into a WT gate camp. Ak! Destroyers are not known to be the niblest of ships. But armed with a mwd and having learned thru various ambush scenarioes how to avoid getting ganked in situations like these, I burn back for the gate make it with a bit of shield singing - then go back to providing intel on enemy fleet dispositions as I warp to another gate (the fleet is quite a ways away but having found a nice concentration of war targets the FC will be re-concentrating his forces and heading my way shortly). This time in comes a battle cruiser and an interceptor. Ak, another gate jump, they follow, I burn back to the gate, they get me to 50% structure, but I survive, then having weakend the gate camp at the original gate I was tryign to go thru I burn thru and get thru that as well.

The point here is that against superior forces in a ship that is renown for it's tissue paper armor and lack of maneuverability, I managed to out-fly my oponents and did not loose the ship. I proceeded to re-ship into my cov-ops and the ensuing attempts to get the Amarr to engage us. We did manage to kill the BC that had done such a number on my Thrasher. Jodie flies one mean hurricane (I take notes since once I get T2 guns this is a prety good setup). I'm not on that killmail since I was scout for this engagement and a cov-ops has no buisness being in the middle of an engagement.

I will say that I did screw up an attempt to scan down Jodie's warp out point from the station. But did manage to find out there was a large plex in system while screwing up (silver lining). After finding that plex with an anti-ship probe, I tried to scan it down. IT TOOK ME 5 TRIES to nail it close enough to pop it open - 2 of those it didn't show at all. This is why it pays to have a cov-ops on a plex finding run. The multispec can confirm without a shadow of a doubt if there is a plex to find in a system. That's all it tells you but you then know if it's worth going planet to planet looking for one or if it's better to move on. It also tells you if you do a first pass on the planets and don't find something that it's still there and probably nice and big (the harder to find the bigger they are usualy). It did reveal I need more practice with my cov-ops and I need to keep a Recon launcher handy for when plexing changes to fleet ops.


Anonymous said...

Nice read. Also good to read about FW, is it still busy or are the numbers dropping off steadily? I try not to believe everything I read on the forums!!

Bahamut said...

Good read.

Yeah, T2 on a cane will really turn it into a monster.

Letrange said...

@ombey well there were drops in population definitely when the pirates left. With the attendant shift in population densities (more pirates less militia) and ship availabilities (less BS more frigates and cruisers), there has been a corresponding change in engagement style. I think we'll start seeing the populations stabilize and grow again once the rewards are plugged in.

Anonymous said...

Ceadrick here,
nice looking blog you have going. I can't comment on Eve as I have not played it other then the free trial and I thought the game looked great but alas I have no time for another MMO. Talk to you in Warhammer.