I polled my various time zone people to pick the time for the Rawrcat fleet. I wanted to have it as open, at reasonable times, as I could to my AU/EU/US time zone span. 2200 Eve time was voted as the best time for all groups and that is what I set. I have index finger fatigue from the clicking and dragging.
The last fleet comp I put together was Diz's comedy roam of battle badgers. I didn't have the turn out that I wanted for that to be as effective as it had the potential to be. I had announced the roam weeks ago but now I was looking at the possibility of failure.
Around 2152 I was rather nervous Several people that had shown interest had not shown up. 7-2 was mostly offline. My belly wallowed a bit that I'd not get the fleet that I wanted and it would be a bust. We'd go out with whatever we had but my vision was Jaguar's to blot out the sun. Once we got the fleet advert up and people started to join the fleet exploded to twenty some people in moments. Altaen chuckled at me and my fear that no one would come and play.
I got people into fleet, got coms sorted out, and started to pass out ships. My scythe pilots hadn't shown up yet which was worrying But, I managed to get two sorted and convince Vov to come be social in a fleet. That gave 3 logistics ships for the fleet which was more than enough. With my numbers over the twenty I had planned already, I sorted ships by who actually needs a ship, who is poor, and then everyone else. Tyro was a special case in his Maulus. However, things started to sort out pretty quickly. I had fleet boss and I was navigating through the menus. I have no experience with it and mostly I found it very frustrating due to the fact that some fields show different options. I hate holding people up while I figure out things and it made me a bit nervous and grumpy.
About six minutes into it I wanted to slap people. With all the traffic in the Heath they were undocking and just attacking the randoms. I had this vision of my fleet burning in a fire on the Bosena undock before I had even passed out all of the ships . Some tweaking to fit long points had to be done and in general I felt like I was losing control of a situation that hadn't even started. Complaints on fits came from random directions and this person wanted that and can't I fly this instead? I started to pull my hair. Others were running around shooting randoms on the station. Can't people just dock and get their ships and wait? Nope. They were off chasing people down before things even started. Free ships! I give Michael a ship and hes undocked trying to kill everything and it seemed as if it would be but seconds before they started killing each other as well because there are twenty + of them and they have spaceships.
The reins were given over to the FC and people were pulled back on course. The coordination is a lot of energy. I'm trading things back and forth, counting numbers, sighing at people running off into space without the fleet, sorting coms, doing invites, and in general trying to make sure everyone is prepared for things. However, once we undocked it smoothed out nicely. Suleiman had decided to join us and he had scouted a group that seemed to be doing an orbital bombardment a few systems away. With a target we headed out to do what needed to be done, Rawrcat style.
Even if some people felt the need to change their ship names, it still managed to be a vicious little fleet. Twenty some Jaguars, 3 logistics, a Maulus, we had two link ships and covert ops scouting us. This isn't an honorable solo battle. I wanted to blob everything and anything and kill it with Jaguars. I wanted us to have the DPS to kill what we found and the numbers and logistics to stay on the field. I have no shame. This was a killing fleet.
Our first targets were sitting in their district doing their orbital bombardments. Some of the fleet members had been skirmishing with them on and off during the day. This time, we landed, gained point, and filled the overview with Jaguars. They did try to get away, but with 18 Jaguar, a Sabre, a Maulus and 3 scythes it didn't go so well. The fleet spread it points out nicely and fanned out across the field. One by one we sliced through their fleet.
Myrmidon, Tornado, Osprey, Backbird, Myrmidon, Drake, Osprey all succumbed to the death of 1000 scratches.
With sounds that there was another fleet two or three systems away we regrouped. I convinced Detta to come down and play but he had a long trip from the forge. That would give us another Jaguar and he was bringing a friend in tow which meant another Scythe pilot. I was one step closer to my goal and wrote contracts handing them ships so that they could catch up with the fleet.
We chased one group, missed them, and swung around to slam into a Noir./Hashashin Cartel fleet. They were in cruisers and battlecruisers but Jaguar's backed with logistics are amazingly sturdy. With lots of people flashy red we selected our targets by what would not give us gate guns and wound up fighting on two sides of a gate. We split our fleet up and pushed them through both sides with some fighting in between that. Brando went down around this time on one of the logistics sides.
It is hard to be patient. To wait on one side of the gate while the fleet is on the other. But it has to be done. There was some pushing, some jumping and eventually the fleet was able to jump into the rest of the fight due to all of the ships that had burned off of the gate. However, assault frigates are, as I have said, very sturdy.
Side one of the fight and Side Two. Really, we were a blob. It was lovely.
Also, for the number of FCs that we had in fleet they did a fantastic job of working together Smooth transitions of primaries and taking command of things. They didn't stomp all over each other when ti came to tactics but watching them come to a consensus was adorable. Then, in fleet, reminders for ammo types while others made sure that broadcasts were together. Listening to them decide on tactics was amusing. It was nice watching them work together.
Our next stop was Klingt where there was a Demos out ratting in a belt. Klingt does have a lovely series of asteroid belts. The Deimos was tackled and met with the death of 1,000 scratches.
We regrouped, swirling in a sparkling pattern like comets across the sky. Our last logi pilot logged in and headed towards us. The jagblob sparkled with glory. Twenty Jaguars, five Scythes and a Maulus (and a random Hawk). Vov commented that not that much would challenge us. I agreed. I was out for the hunting.
Our path was headed towards Amamake. However, as we swept into Skarkon a scout scanned L4X, the null sec entrance into the dronelands and discovered a mining operation in progress. It was a real one as well. A venture, an Iteron Mark II and a Hurricane. We sent in tackle and killed them. It looks like we got all of the pods as well.
The roam was already a success but there wound up being more. We headed for a system that regularly has gatecamps and we found a gang. Yay! When we spiked local they started to bail out. We managed to grab some of them and then we split the fleet in half. They started crashing the gate back and forth. The DPS in the fleet was pretty good but split it took us forever to grind our way through them. They jumped back and forth and back and forth as we shot them and chased them back to the gate over and over. It took us over ten minutes to chew through them, get them webbed, bumped, and enough mistakes made to break them apart, damp them out, and kill the Augoror's one by one. Naughty even did the hero thing and stayed on the other side of the gate in case anyone made it through.
Our fleet was ridiculously effective. We were enjoying the hell out of ourselves blobbing. Twenty Jaguar's landing on grid. Most of us are flashy red. Any local spike and large fleet is an 'eek' moment. When that same spike is Jaguar's? Heh.
We wound up sprinting across high sec to come behind another gatecamp. They managed to get away, except for an Oracle.
Next stop was Amamake. This is where I got a bit grumpy. Not having control of the fleet is frustrating I've reached a personal point where I'm willing to say, "I don't want to do this." However, everyone else does. I don't care for station games. Nor do I care for most of the gate and undocking games of Amamake. However, I was completely out numbered. They wanted to try to gank a logistics ship that was on grid and that was what we were going to do. It didn't work out. They started to bail as soon as we spiked local. Then Archon's started to undock. We just left at that point, to my relief.
However, on the way back we caught an Iteron IV that tried to do the cloak + MWD trick, failed at that and died with his whole load of Einherji (fighters) on board. Fighters are expensive things and bulky to move.
We headed back home. Sulei killed someone trying to do their Orbital Bombardment when we reached Molden Heath. With nothing else to see the fleet was released and I went to have people hand back in their ships. The goal is to reuse the ships on another Jag roam sometime soon. However, in Oddeluf a random carrier started to play station games. That turned into a dread drop that didn't quite work out. I had reshipped to a Talos, which Titus shot with his Nag while Tyro stared in amazement at the power of vertical.
I was amused as Siuil said, "We don't have the fire power for a carrier kill," and Altaen's polite if cool response was, "I never again wan't to hear that we don't have the people to kill a carrier." To which Siuil eeped. However, Brando stayed to talk with the carrier pilot who explained that we were blobbers. He asked Brando if he had heard of 1v1 combat and linked him kill mails of his carrier killing cyno alts.
And then, a the scattered remains of the fleet headed to dock up, Randy randomly tackled a Tengu which causes us to run over and assist. A Falcon landed as we did. I was in a Talos. The Falcon was the problem. I figured, maybe I can just one or two shot this thing? However, as I went to try out that theory he tried to jam me and I'm going to assume that didn't work out since I was still shooting him. He warped off so I decided to take a shot at the Tengu, which killed him. Unexpected. I scooped up the remaining Jags and went to make dinner, exhausted.
We had been out for four hours. I was tired. The fleet went well. Everyone told me they had a fantastic time. I had started with a lot of dread and little things like inviting people to fleet, tossing people contracts for ships, eventually having to give someone else boss because I suck at the fleet interface kept me busy. We need a bit better coms discipline sometimes but people tended to shut up when they needed to.
Setting up that type of fleet is a lot of work. Something always goes wrong right at the end. I had checked and double checked fits, made sure everyone had ammo and nanite paste and we still had to do tweaking in the end as well as loading more ammo. I love the logistics and coordination side of things but it does wear me out. Once things shake out it tends to go so smoothly, but the stress at the start. Gah.
We'll be running this one again. Poor Druur had his first taste (I believe) of fleeting with pirates. We trashed several people's security status in the process. Op success is what I'd say. Of course, the boys, not satiated proceeded to spend the rest of the evening killing whatever they could get their hands on.