One of the many nice things about Eve Vegas was that I got to speak with people about the differences between large and small gang PvP. Small Gang PvP follows the regular principles of fleet comp, follow FC, shoot the primary, etc, but also carries more individuality and personal decision making for the individual pilots. Because the gang is small ever member must take on more tasks to create a productive situation.
Individuality of the members can be a strength and it can be a weakness. Razor, for instance, commented to me that whenever a Falcon or Blackbird lands on grid I go for it, breaking off from whatever else I happen to be doing. I had not thought about it but he was correct. I normally fly a ship that is well suited to pushing the ECM ship off the field. I have learned that it is a task that needs to be done and I have automatically accepted it as one of my personal tasks. Sometimes, it leads to people who hold an important position (webs, cloak, interception) to do something on their own game plan that counter acts the fleets decision or things not being pointed or perhaps attacked too soon.
So... fleet discipline is important. But sometimes, it fail cascades all over the place.
The HAC gangs have been popular. Something different, something fun. My last night in Vegas I was in a fleet instead of wandering the strip. I was asked why I was not wandering the strip and I could but shrug. I can't have all the life all the time now can I?
Our little fleet blossomed into an eighteen man gang. We pulled out the fun stuff, added in some guardians and set out to pillage the solar systems. After a little bit, our pillaging didn't go as smoothly as planned. We chased a few gangs that managed to dock and log off before we got to them. After an hour or so the FC was apologizing and everyone was telling him that it's not his fault that space was empty. Then, things got oddly interesting.
We had a small 'fake' gang that we were sending into systems with activity. Somehow we found a system where everyone was afk in space. Our scouts got warp ins and we managed to get two different warp ins. I think what happened is the scout got a warp in on a cane that was just sitting still 400k off a gate. When the tackle warped in the scout warped out. Then a Naga landed on the scout who called for help. Then the tackle tackled the hurricane. Then the FC disconnected. Then it was chaos. Some people jumped. Some warped to one call for help. Some warped to the other. Ships exploded and somehow none of us died and other things did. It made zero sense, the FC reconnected, people were all over the place spread between 4 spots in 2 systems, and when asked "What just happened?" we all kinda dug our toe into the dirt and said uhh... "we killed stuff?" While back on that gate, during the whole event they managed to kill a drake as well.
In local someone loled because everyone was AFK they said. Why they would AFK in space in such obvious places? I don't know. The duel calls for help along with the FC disconnecting and a secondary FC taking over caused confusion. People started to act out of instinctual habit. We deserved to lose stuff, but we didn't.
Reorganized we head back to the gate. The gate is bubbled and we're bouncing all over the place off of strategic points and in and out of bubbles. Then, a random Tempest lands someone grabs point and we swarm and kill it. After that exploded, a rook lands around 200 off of the gate. He just sits there, someone grabs a warp in on him, points him, and the fleet pounces. In local we are told, "Stay around if you want a big surprise!" We were fully expecting to be hot dropped. In the next system a small fleet was forming in a safe spot.
The obvious answer was to drop probes and try to kill them. We did so and they were aligned and moving but at regular base speed. We pounced on them and grabbed one. He was quickly killed and then we managed to nab someone else from their fleet on a gate. At that point, confused by the wild mess of swirling warping, tackling violence we decided to bail before the rest of the people in the area woke up.
I was rather tired during all of that and just shaking my head. It is fun to pull productivity out of that but we did a terrible job of fleet discipline. Because we are individualists stuff worked. In reality, we should have slowed down and not let excitement spur us to making silly decisions. I hate the sound of a 'WTF are you all doing?" from the Fleet Commander.
Whoops. All in fun thou... all in fun.