A couple of weeks ago, Oreb Wing commented on this blog on the merits of joining Faction Warfare – FW – for plex and glory. Oreb and I flew before in Z3R0 Return Mining (C4) and he has been subject of one of my slightly more introspective posts. So when he recommended to come out and fly with the militia, I did not hesitate. I always wanted to know about FW which struck me as the smartest non-sovereignty PvP mechanism in the game. It promised good fights in cheap ships with the added advantage that I can stay fairly independent. No CTAs, no corporate doctrines etc. Just join the militia, get some frigates and off I go. But you fight for a reason. And thats the difference.
So, decision was made, I took stock of what I had and what I needed (a lot) and Oreb kindly provided me with a lot of useful information on ship fits and locations. I joined Gallente for a couple of reasons. Firstly, from the RP point of view, they simply fit my style. Loose cannons, all them, likely inebriated and independent, my kinda people. Secondly, their jump off points are close to Dodixi where I have at least some ships – but I still underestimated the amount of haulage I needed to do. Thirdly, they were winning the war at that time which meant I would be relatively safe in setting up my warp spots etc, there would be mostly Blues in the systems.
Well, that was the plan. Real Life intervened and days went passed where I did not log in or just sporadically. From my industrial friends at BWMT, I ordered 20 ships, 5 of each, Tristan, Algos, Navitas and Atron. The Tristan I wanted as all around brawler. Its drone bay complements my high drone skills, it is slow but relatively hardy and it just looks cool. The Algos again works with drones, I am still a little apprehensive about the effectiveness of a large drone bay versus just more weapons but we shall see. The Navitas – its a mini logi and I want to get into that game style again – I never really played a healer class (although my tanking WoW Paladin as main tank saved instance and raid fights by a quick heal burst). My alt has some Kitsunes and Merlins salted away somewhere from my time in RvB so, I can throw those into the fire as well.
Ok, now I needed to get my ships 5 jumps deep into low sec- not really a problem but it takes time. Often, I encountered gate camps from pirates and war targets and while my Buzzard / Helios combination zooms through it, my Iteron IV needs to play it a little more conservative. First day, my FW main is in the cloaky and spots my alt – who stays in my own corp so that I retain freedom of moving around high security space – is piloting the Itty full of frigates and gear. I warp ahead to safe spots on grid with the gates, let the Itty follow and cloak. Then jump the scout thru the gate so effectively I have a set of eyes on each side. Pretty classical WH logistics stuff, slow but but safe.
So, with this method, I get a few frigates in with some basic gear and start poking around the systems. The FW objectives in this systems need to be defended and I clear them by circling around for a few minutes until I get a message and LP. A single frigate rat spawns that is easily taken care off and I destroy the wreck as well – no reason to advertise so openly where I am and what I am doing. Yes, yes, its a WH thing but we have WT in the system and they are hopefully on some gate. WH skills help me more, I am a D-scan fanatic and spot an incoming Caracal with plenty of time to align to something and warp off when he lands on the grid. He is alone and I wished I could take him but I have nothing in the hangar but this Tristan and some Cov Ops and I don’t know how to contact Militia friends. The Milita channel is at best useless, at worst riddled with spais and innate chatter. Also, I came across Blues who just go for PvP – they take the standing hit but shooting “friends” gives them good fights, I guess. So, no, a little bit of caution has to be exerted.
Oh look there is a corp mate of Oreb Wing. I convo the guy and tell him that I am Oreb’s friend and what the situation is. He tells me to wait, gets into a ship and we warp together to the Medium where the Caracal still holds position – but this time far out, more 50km. My new friend burns into range and I make my fat Tristan run as well but its pretty clear we are not catching up in time. My drones go out and chase him but my new friend already seems to be in dire straits having closed well but now getting blown to chunks. Before I know it I am also in range and the missiles hit my flimsy shield and go into armor. Yes Oreb’s Tristan fit has an active armor tank and it works for surprisingly long time but with the cruiser dictating range, I’ll lose this ship. So, I align to the gate, wait for the little flash and warp out.
I have more Tristans in high sec and I am keen to get one back into the fight. Oreb’s corp friend convos me and asks me to stay and fight and even contracts me one of his frigates. Man, thats nice for a complete stranger and I turn the pod around and jump into the Incursus which I never flew for reasons that I can really remember. Its cute, its fast, its cheap, I want some. So, I join the public fleet and realize that we are 16 plus on the hunt and after some wrangling, I get into TS as well. Aha! Now we are talking (literally, sorry, pun intended)
What a difference! The FC is very much so in command, the fleet has a single scout who reports the situation with excellent clarity and foresight. Later I learn that our scout is in a Nemesis – my favorite ship in the game – and I think I just found my role model 😉 We roam several systems deep, I enjoy my little Incursus but it is slower than I thought – need to look at the fit again. On the way, several fights, encounters and near misses, some kills (Algos!) and I get revenge on the Caracal pilot who killed my Tristan earlier. Now that pleases me no end.
The evening winds down with some great fights and on some gate, I actually lose the borrowed frigate (I wire ISK) and really need to track out to highsec and pack me a new Tristan. All scouting and safety precautions are gone, I hike back the 7 jumps or so through lowsec as fast as I can to rejoin my fleet but the fights are mostly done and the fleet is spinning down.
Aside from accidentally shooting at a Blue one some of the mini gate camps we did (he was flashing red, he had it coming!) I think I handled myself well enough to warrant an invitation to more fleet fights. And the Blue survived, he was in a Hurricane and after some apologies, laughs were had.
What I really liked about this style was the concentrated and fast nature of the fights, the combination of solid scouting (WH!) requirements with the clear understanding of the tactical situation. From listening in, our FC understood not just our immediate field but had a very good picture of the situation several jumps deep. This meant the difference between finding good fights and getting blown to bits since we could pick off stragglers or reasonably equal size fleets. I had a real blast and I can’t wait to do this again.
Thanks Oreb for getting me into this!