Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Assault ship roam



I have been on a number of corp roams, now, and I have never before posted about them. This is largely because I seem to suck at gang work that involves more than a couple of other pilots, and I die, stupidly, every time.

I know why I die; it's because I find it difficult to strike a balance between my own initiative and the fleet commander's instructions. Once the FC starts giving orders I try, really hard, to just do what I'm told. This means suppressing my own natural inclination to explore and generally follow my whims, hunches and gut feelings. The FC needs to know where I am and that I am available to move on his orders right away.

This is fine when the FC is completely on top of everything, but if he gets a little distracted and he forgets to tell me to do something (or assumes I will do it without being told) things can go horribly wrong.

One early example involves me scouting ahead of a gang in Molden Heath back when I was still flying Punishers. I jumped into the system and immediately reported a flashy Hurricane sitting 150+ off the gate. I then sat there, waiting for instructions while my cloak expired. At which point, the artillery fit Hurricane simply blew me away.

It turns out that the FC had been consulting a map to determine which gate to send me to next. When people asked me why I didn't just warp to a planet or a safe, I had no good answer. The truth was, I didn't warp out because nobody told me to. I was so busy telling myself to do what the FC told me, I didn't think to do something (pretty basic) that the FC neglected to mention.

That's pretty typical of why I die on fleet roams.

The roam:

With the above in mind, I signed up for an assault ship roam through low sec. I won't give you a blow by blow, but I will give you some highlights.

First, both Ka Jolo and I suffered a disconnect while trying to jump through a gate. There was a hostile frigate/cruiser gang tailing us, and we were both pointed and attacked before we could log back on. Jolo's Ishkur was lost in this way, but my Vengeance was made of tougher stuff; because I'm cap stable with the repper, I often leave it running when I'm not at a safe. This meant that the gang was faced with my full tank, despite the fact that  I had been disconnected. I was able to log back on and jump through the gate before any serious damage was done.

As everyone else, apart from Ka Jolo and our fast tackle, was flying Jaguars, I was used as bait during the roam, but to no avail. Targets were actually quite thin on the ground, and we only managed to bag a Hurricane and a Rupture.

Part of the roam involved crossing high security space to get to a low security island, something that only frigate gangs can really do. I understand from my corp mates that gate guns seem to have received a tracking boost; ships that were easily running gate guns a month or so ago are now taking a few hits as they pass through.

I wouldn't know, though. I'm used to taking a beating from the gate guns, no matter what I fly. Of course, the beauty of a Punisher or Vengeance is that you can be repped back to full by the time you land on the next gate.

At the end of the night, which actually happened to be early the next morning, we chased some plex runners out of a plex in Aeschee. As they had done about half of the work, we all finished running the plex and were rewarded with a faction large armor repair system, which was easily the most profitable part of the roam. It's awaiting sale, but the loot split ought to do wonders for my profitability this month.

There were two side effects of running the plex, though. First, it reminded everyone involved why we are pirates and not care bears; the plex was deadly, deadly dull. Second, and more amusingly, everyone's sec status took a "hit". There were no -10's in the fleet by the time the plex was finished.


I had set out on this roam with the goal of not dying. I'm happy to say that I managed to meet this very low standard, and even get in on a killmail or two. Although I don't have any specific examples, I did feel that I managed a better balance between my own personal initiative and obeying the FC, which made me feel a lot more comfortable with the roam; I'm looking forward to the next time the corp does something like this.


  1. It's good to see you're getting better at fleets! I think you're going to find that you have alot of freedom in what you do in a fleet except for the very specifics of orders given. FC's have a tough time mapping routes, coordinating warps and jumps, plus managing the battlefield and any intelligence they may be getting.

    Well, some of that sounds like 0.0 (the intel), but you see where it's going. Occasionally the FC will also make a mistake (telling you to warp to the wrong gate, or burn at that 150km hurricane), and it'll be up to you to verify the instructions, and if they'll kill you, disobey.

  2. When you're a scout, you're expected to go the route the FC wants you to go. Sometimes you'll die doing it. That's you're job, protecting the fleet by being the point man so the roam doesn't end prematurely by fleet wipe. But don't lose your ship by inaction. If its not safe to stay where you're at, move! Don't fly stupid and call it following orders. Good leaders want followers who use their brains, and scouts have to be their own FC sometimes.

    Guys that solo can make great scouts, you already can act independent of the main fleet. Learn to be independent AND take direction AND pass key information, and it's a win for your team.

    -Bren Genzan. Open University of Celestial Hardship