I have been active in the EVE Online Faction War for about only 1 1/2 weeks and participated in maybe 4 real fleets, all with the objective to hunt the evil Caldari and look for a good brawl. None of that “strategic” stuff. The fleets varied in quality from highly disciplined, awesome and fun to “meh” and the deciding factor were always the fleet commander and the scout FC. Some were just superb and I learned at lot about fleet communication from them.
So, last night after work, just a quick log in to see whats up and I find myself in a Gallente Atron, a relatively nimble and cheap wee boat that I assigned to be my favorite PvP frigate for now. I undock and look for trouble when my my corp CEO asks for all to fleet up with armor cruisers. I don’t have one yet (although I can fly a mean Vexor) and am ready to sit this one out but CEO says I shouldn’t worry about it and so I find myself to be the only frigate in cruiser fleet. They are 13 jumps across lowsec from me and I race to catch up and thanks to excellent communications, I join the fleet intact with actually a decent amount of intel.
Some more gates to jump, intel is decent but not perfect and our little fleet decides to jump the evil Caldari in a medium Plex. So, warp to 10km off the gate, passive align and move in. We know they have a cruisers and a Blackbird ECM boat as well as two Exequror armor logistics cruisers waiting for us. We have – err – nothing of that sort. So, FC does the only thing possible and orders all DPS onto the two Logis and my guys pile into the combat zone. I figure that my relatively fast and agile but not very powerful Frigate is not all that useful inside the brawl and am looking for targets that I can actually do something about. Oh, there is the Blackbird about 50km out who does its best to shut down our guys pummeling the opposing Logis. Without thinking, I overheat my afterburner (note to self, fit MWD) and burn to Blackbird, lock him up, set orbit to 1000m and buzz around him like a fly around a turd. One of my fleetmates seemed have the same idea and he is orbiting in his Slasher.
The Blackbird now has limited choices. he can ignore me and get slowly munched on by my (Tech 2) blasters or spend one of his limited ECM modules on me to shut me down.
He shuts me down, I don’t know if my Slasher friend is down as well, but I decide to hang out for a few seconds and make a nuisance of myself. He needs to keep the ECM on me for as long as my team needs to take down the enemy Logistics ships and starts making a dent into the DPS ships.
A few seconds later, I see a few drones come me from the knot of ships in the middle of the Plex, they are slow and I can watch them all the way in. That means, they are not hammering on anyone of my fleet, so thats good news as well. But they hurt and I overheat the AB again and motor towards the center where by now one of the Logis is down and the second is struggling. Our team took a lot of losses and the field is starting to get littered with wrecks but we are still fighting. I target the remaining Logi and start shooting and things look decent but at some point the enemy FC must have starting calling “E” as his primary and there is really nothing much my little boat can do against that incoming damage. I overheat my Armor repper and actually last a surprisingly long time but I am scrammed, webbed, shot at and generally feel that I am not in pleasant company anymore. My egg swims free and I warp to some celestial and wonder where the heck I am and how I get my next ship. The night is young!
So, that fight didn’t go as well as planned – mainly because we didn’t any ECM or Logi and also, we were – I think – outgunned on DPS. Was my defiance of the FC a bad decision? I don’t think so. My DPS was probably higher when I used up one of the Blackbird’s ECM slots than if I had shot at the Logi and one of my fleet mate cruisers had been dead in the water instead of me. Judgement call, I guess.
As it happens, I find myself reasonably close to my stash of ships in high sec and I race my Ueberpod into the station to grab an Algos. I have never flown one in anger, bought it mostly for the drone bonuses and the bad-ass looks and hope that it will deliver some serious damage before it turns into a triangle. I stop by my insurance agent and confirm, yes, this boat is “morituri” and race towards my reforming fleet. The FC commands people to ship up and offers his own boats but every boat he links seems to have a single mod I can use (OgreII ?) and I have no choice but to fly my little submarine.
An enemy fleet is spotted nearby with apparently more on the way. FC is racing us to intercept before they unite and his strategy works out, we find them in a Plex first. Some taunting in /local channel (still weird to me, why do people talk in Local? almost 2 years in WH space has left its marks on me) and we are out of time. With only one Logi (Oreb Wing – the man of the hour) we enter the warp gate and are greeted by a significant fleet of hostiles. I look around for frigates and ECM boats but see none and FC is calling for DPS again on the Exequrors. My Algos is rail fitted and with Spike rounds, I can pull almost 30km range – my drones are out and are hammering already on the called targets. Ok, so I am not the highest DPS boats here but my range and small signature radius makes me quite survivable. Pop, pop, go the targets and when the FC dies, the second jumps in, keeps calling and when he dies the third. We are in some real bar fight here and neither side will concede until his fleet has the last boat on grid. My guys are taking serious damage and there are only 2 Mallers left hat seem to have supernatural powers and will not go down.
My vision shrinks, I think I am on my own and don’t see the rest of my fleet or what is left of it. I hammer the announced target with Hammerheads and we are breaking through when I run out of Spike Ammunition. The only thing I have left is short range and I reload and tighten my orbit.
And that of course gets me into scram / web range of the Maulers who make short work of my little submarine. I really had hoped to be among the last standing, celebrate the success and put my single salvage drone to good use! But it was not to be. My team cheers, finishes the 2 cruisers and starts wading through the wrecks.
Bottom line, I learned a lot, low sec fights are cheap compared to WH fights of course and Logis are the first target (note to self, don’t train logi so I don’t have to fly one…. ) The brawling was not my taste, just sitting there and duking it out smells like old fashioned artillery duels that I could never understand. I like to fly the smaller, nimble – and fragile – ships and do my job outside the big ball of bullies. And this fight had the elegance of a prison brawl, no mistake about that….