Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Suddenly Fleet

Suddenly Fleets are when people are (or not on but ping/text/teamspeakable) and an engagement is found and people log in. The fleet advertisement goes up and suddenly two squads are needed. The call to undock goes out and here there were three active people there are suddenly twelve. I often find myself hesitant to join in wondering what I should bring and where I should fit. Of late, I decided that I no longer cared. I would insert a Jaguar into every fleet that did not have a preset ship call, did not have tackle, or did not give me the time to reship.  Most of the time, fast tackle is always needed. But note, I say most, and that will be important later.

Sunday just turned into a buzz of activity around the early afternoon. 7-2 started to chase a fleet. I was a jump out from them so I undocked in my Jaguar and went to assist. As I jumped intot he system they were trying to catch people in I hit my fleet invite to join. As I landed on the gate, Van says, “Sugar join fleet!” Oh. My invite had not accepted. They opened a new squad and I was able to purple up. We caught a Thorax but lost the rest of the fleet. It happens. It starts off as us going to engage a group and then that group decides to disengage. Only, we don't want them to so we give chase. Often, people escape us by going to high sec.

7-2 then did a blops drop. I need to break down and get a stealth bomber. Most of the time I just don't want to put a Loki and the skill points that come with that Loki up. There are times when it is needed but if the blops call is for stealth bombers, I should have a stealth bomber.

An hourish or so later, DP found a POS bash going down and called for the troops. We yelled in channels and rallied. He wanted battleships. There was a fight going down and we were going to third party. We were also the smallest force. Battleships and triage. Everyone was switching into Amarr stuff and I wanted to cry. I am still about six weeks out of large T2 lasers. However, my Tempest qualified with its artillery and armor. I had this moment when I wanted large Barrage and finally someone is like arty doesn't use barrage. I’m like… oh. Habits. I am so used to auto cannons that shoving barrage into my ship is second nature and not doing it felt strong. Instead, I wanted quake and tremor.  I had those but I also had 2 rounds of large barrage. It turns out I looted them last time I took the ship out and I assumed I had just used my barrage up. No. I was just spazzing trying to rush and make sure I fit the fleet comp and I am still not overly familiar with Artillery and swept up in the rush of everything.

It wasn't bad. In five minutes we were undocking a battleship fleet with a carrier waiting to drop.  Things were a bit chaotic. Time was of the essence and were still sorting ourselves on the move. This entire event is one of the reasons why I keep multiple ships fit for multiple reasons. I have billions of ISK in ships just sitting around waiting for these types of situations. I have duplicate ships in many instances because I try to keep a reasonably stocked hangar in 7-2s home system. That allows me to burn over to them in a fast ship without worrying about losing my battleship to a gang. Not everyone works that way. However it is done is not wrong. I’m just very slow at fitting ships and having things ready makes a big difference for me. Once I started flying battleships I went through the fit threads on the forums and built battleships and snipers (large guns) to the specifications listed and for the most part they sit because they are not what I fly every day. However, when I do fly them, its drag, drop, undock.

There we were. DP was leading in a Kronos. He does love that ship for this type of situation. We also had some Loki’s I believe and they went in for the tackle. Once DP was on the field we warped in the rest of the fleet, popped the cyno, dropped the triage, and things went a bit sideways.

The three Armageddons on field were all fully neut fit. They began to neut out the Archon. This was not to terribly bad until the Devoter, our secondary Cyno for the dreds died because he did not drop his point. The Devoter went down.  The Archon is being neuting out. DP refits for a Cyno. Half the fleet is now jammed because Falcons decloak and Scorpions. DP fits the cyno, they neut out the Archon. DP becomes primary. A second carrier drops in doesn't triage. DP goes down.

However, as DP goes down a secondary FC is called. There is a burst of complete and total confusion  as the Archon is calling for the Armageddons to die because they are neuting him and the new FC calls other primaries to burn down some DPS and half of us are still jammed because Falcon/Scorpion. This is when it is good that people think for themselves. The dred pilots are doing their thing and blapping battleships. The rest of us are shooting when we are not jammed. The other fleet starts to retrete as we chew through their battleships. We also lose a Loki at some point. Our FC has to trade off due to being jammed but with everyone doing their thing we manage to ralley and hold the field.

I had a bit of a growl at Razor over the ISK efficiency. Yes, we lost the ISK war. Yet, I cannot feel that rolling in with almost no prep, forcing two other fleets off the field , holding the field, and then blowing up the POS because we might as well, with the loss of three ships losing a fight because we put more ISK on the field. Putting more ISK on the field is something we often to because of these situations. If we could have gone in and owned the field with Ruptures we would have but that was not the proper method to join into that brawl. Razor pointed my own words out to me that people measure success in various forms and for some it is ISK efficiency.

Being open minded and understanding that people measure success differently does not mean I have to agree with them. I'm still allowed to have a personal opinion that I may promote. Even later, some feel  the engagement was lost others not. The engagement was not won as smoothly as we would like it to have been. Perhaps I do not strive for the right type of excellence. Mistakes will happen. It is how we handle it and come out of it. I don't believe that you can always beat yourself for mishaps and not also look at everything done well. There are times when the fleet is bad. Embarrassingly, terribly bad. This, in my opinion, was not one of them. While we can do better and often do do better our prep time was around ten minutes from finding the other group to jumping into them and dropping triage as we brawled people without knowing what was going on.

With the field looted we popped the wrecks so that no one could salvage, extracted our dreads and carriers, and then the subcapital fleet. Then, we reshipped, I switched back into a Jaguar. I still have no idea what to do with that Tempest. And artillery. Ugh. I'm so lost with it. Back in something that I have a few more clues about we begin to catch the fleet trying to extract from the general area. Big gates are a pain to fight on. Yet, with some work we nabbed a few more cruisers to our pleasure.

And then there was this Rokh.

The Rokh was very interesting. It was the second time we saw it. The first time, earlier, we were heading into battle. We do have a reasonable amount of fleet discipline most days. With a reported fifty some people in the next system we were not going to get stuck in a fight for a single ship while our tackle fleet burned. So, when he jumped into us, we ignored him. While we were scuttling about, catching the extracting fleet, he randomly appears again. This random Rokh in low sec, unscouted and unescorted. He belonged to one of the groups that we had fought earlier. What was he doing jumping through us in a Rokh?

Well... it seems that he was jumping to us on a big gate. A big gate where he was sixty off of anyone and able to warp out before I landed tackle. So close as well... but not oh well to bad so sad. I watched where he warped to and gave chase.

One of the nicest things about interceptors and assault frigates is their warp speed. These things matter when chasing something like a battleship.  My Jaguar warps at 3.00 AU per second. The Rokh at 3.00. I dropped out of warp on the next gate (a small, regional gate)as he was jumping. I jumped after him. He decloaked 10k off of me. Lovely. Hullo, Battleship. Point.

I love these moments as a tackle frigate. My job is to hold him down for a very short amount of time. I decloaked and called, “point”. The rest of the fleet was decloaking around me, having followed. Second, third, and fourth points were called. I disengaged and bailed before the gateguns killed me. The Rokh died. I wasn’t a DPS ship but I was an invaluable member of the catching and destruction of this unexpectedly shiny battleship.

I was going to go to bed. Really. However, we got caught in some diplomatic relations about that particular battle. I think that some people are surprised at how many ships they can lose in a short time when they move two jumps away from a highly active PvP corporation, or two…

I really should have gone to bed. It was 2200 hours but they found something else. Something that was only two jumps away and such a big fleet and.. and.. and... my self control crumbled and I undocked in a hot frenzy. It was a fleet of war targets for 7-2. THC2 has been at war with them off and on but off more than on.  Another suddenly fleet formed. Shield stuff and logistics. Off we went and jumped into them. I had to take gateguns because I was not at war. I’m happily broadcasting away for reps and not getting any. I warp off since someone else had point. I was going to be snarky but I discovered that they had dropped and reformed the fleet while I was semi-afk meaning I was broadcasting to no one but myself...


A lesson to pay a bit more attention to that type of thing. It was just a wild, crazy night with little things and big things and a whole lot of gang v gang PvP which was very, very nice. Advanced Weapons Upgrades finishes in 10 days. Then large T2 lasers. After that, bombers. Or maybe bombers before large T2 lasers. Decisions, decisions, decisions.


  1. Yea... =]

    Our Suddenly Fleets are always responses to a 'find' in the static or down the pipe, or an incursion from same or from a K162. Ours tend to be T3 heavy... very T3 heavy as it seems most of us live as I do, in a cloaky T3 when not involved in anything specific... (though there was the time I responded to a fleet up in a Mammoth... LOL, still paying the troll for that one)

    But the mechanics are quite different in holes of course, similar to gate games only not so much when you can jump and find your resists, DPS, ranges and speed totally buffed or nerfed depending on the 'weather' in the next hole... and of course, the rules are different... no gate guns, no CONCORD, no sec hit for ANYTHING... (we aren't as good in Empire due to those)...

    I am tending towards Logi & Fleet Support roles more now. T3 Tackle; 'Dictors (light & Hvy); Logi (Armor & Shield) & Jams (Blackbirds & Falcons)... I love the increased risk that comes with the increased effectiveness in fleet.

    However a fight is a fight and I think your description strikes a note of familiarity for us all... does for me. =]

  2. Our corps "Suddenly Fleets" almost always end in disaster. We're not individually experienced enough yet to effectively "wing it" when the junior FC starts calling that we attack and then jump through to give chase (which as you know can't happen once you've engaged).

    Right now, we're focusing on just following orders without complaint or 101 suggestions, even if we fail. The FC will learn from those mistakes and we'll get better.

    1. It is a matter of experience and working together. Because we are small gang we function well independently. Even when there is Chaos for the most part we know what we are supposed to do and that stops things from rippling out of control.

      Most of the time. Its not always smooth and perfect.

      The FC is god. Whoever the fleet has decided is the FC they need to accept their decision and shut the fuck up and do as they are told. If they don't like the way the FC flies don't fly with him again but once they get into that fleet and do their thing they need to be part of the fleet and shut the fuck up.

      You can be independent and still work together and follow the FCs commands. But if everyone spends the entire fleet bickering it won't help.