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Raptor in an Alpha Fleet: Lessons Learned

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

A call for a stratop went out: Alpha fleet with the usual smattering of dics/hics and intys. I had just used my clone jump timer to jump from deklein to Cloud ring for a corporate op when the ping came over jabber. I’ve been wanting to try my new raptor out for a while now and so I burned from CR to our staging point in Deklein to get there just in time to form up on the titan. I’m feeling fairly small at this point, I’ve pretty much never been in a large fleet in anything smaller than a cruiser before.

alpha fleet on a titan
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The FC did something different though: he called for instacanes. we ended up with about 5 or 6 of them in fleet, which I thought was weird.

The fleet seemed to be in no rush. but when it happened it happened fast. The FC told us to set our destinations for GIH-ZG, then told the idiots who started warping there to stop it and get back on the titan. The titan opened the bridge and we found ourselves two systems from our destination. The FC told us to individually burn as fast as we could into GIH and then warp to a fleet member at a friendly POS. It turned out that this was all done due to systems surrounding our destination were cyno-jammed and because there was an enemy bomber/recon fleet inbetween us and our target system. going on the safety in numbers principal, we only lost one battleship out of the 180+ fleet getting into the system.

Once we were in there and in the safe POS, we warped to a hostile POS that was comming out of reinforced mode in 3 minutes. Now, the counter to a blob of battleships has always been coordinated stealth bomber runs. This plays havoc with the logistics and if done right can destroy the fleet before the logis can rep everyone. However, a bombing run must have a target, and a battleship fleet is only vulnerable if they form up like this:

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And so the FC wisely chose to spread us out. He anchored himself, told everyone else to spread out to 30km and had his HIC bubble up on his ship. This would make getting warpins for bombing runs quite tricky as any direct line of warp would cause the bomber fleet to be dragged into the bubble and it would be very difficult to point in the right direction and target before being killed:

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So we waited for it to come out of reinforced and the alpha fleet shot it down. I sent a round or two into the tower for killmail goodness and then settled in, orbiting the fleet, ready for anything.

Anything came, and it became quite clear why the FC wanted the insta-canes. 17 bombers and an interdictor later the bad guys stopped comming. I managed to get on my first kills in a raptor including a final blow on a pod, which never happens for me.

killing bombers (full fight here)
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I was quite a bit uncoordinated unfortunately – I need to practice and memorize the keyboard shortcuts for align to and that sort of thing. I’m sure I could have been more effective if I didn’t stuff around so much with clicking things.

Another lesson learned

We slow-boated home. There was another fleet of bombers that came after us, but the fleet stayed cloaked for as long as possible after each gate. Being in a frigate, I tried to get out of the way of the bombs and was soundly smacked down. took me a few seconds to realise what happened. I broadcasted for shield, then wondered to myself why I was only traveling 175m/s, “oh… I’m in my pod”… I got a shield rep anyway 🙂

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As it turns out, holding your cloak after a gate also gives you immunity to AOE weapons. I did not know this. I’ve never had to worry about bombs before as my usual ship the Onyx tanks more than battleships, and pretty much the last time I flew a battleship, they had to be tanked for doomsday AOE.

so there you go: even though I’m not planning on flying interceptors regularly, I have learned something useful. The lessons learned today will still be useful when I fly light dictors in about 2 weeks time.

in other news, as I write this (on a saturday morning my time) there are large fights going on with CFC vs NCdot and also Honeybadgers Vs AAA. I can’t be a part of it because of family commitments. oh to be a single forever alone person sitting at my computer by myself all weekend….. heh, nope, having kids is awesome 🙂

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New Shiny

July 28, 2012 2 comments

Well, so the past 3 weeks have been pretty much solid real life work. I have literally only had time to log in and change my skills.

I did pay attention to the alliance tournament and I have to say, like a good many people that the Rote Kapelle Vs Pandemic Legion was my favorite.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it on youtube here

just goes to show what good piloting and disciplined FCing can do against an overwhelming amount of isk. Pandemic legion’s setup breached the 100 billion isk mark and included ships given out as prizes for last years tournament. PL’s setup for this match, far exceeded Rote Kapelle’s entire Alliance tournament Budget.

one of the Rote Kapelle pilots writes a blog at jestertrek – his version of things is enlightening:

clicky

He has also written some follow up blogs about alliance tournament training and matches that are well wort the read:
tournament matches
tournament training

On another note, I’ve started training towards light interdictors. There are just some situations where they are more suited than HICs. I don’t have much experience with them yet, but when I do, I’ll surely post my thoughts on the different tactics required.

In the meantime however I have gained the skill of interceptors (required on the path towards interdictors) and so even though I won’t be using them much, I just had to buy, fit and undock in my first interceptor, a caldari raptor. New shinys give me a bit of an endorphin kick after a hard day’s work in RL. 6.1km/s overheated, it’s not the fastest interceptor out there, but I still think it looks cool. I have a thing for asymmetric ships. (damn those CCP bastards for ruining the scorpion)

Just for kicks, I bought four with fittings and shipped them out to nullsec. I’d like to try to give them a go in a small home defense fleet, as some of the physical skills required for interceptors will translate to light dictors. I fully intend to die gloriously in a hail of blaster fire.

nnnnneeeeeewwwwwwrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!
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Comming up soon: a small guide on why everyone, without exception, should do some time as a fleet scout, why it will improve your gameplay in nullsec and how to not make a fool of yourself while doing it.