Monday, 8 August 2011

Tuskers v Heretic Army

The hunt:

This was a very interesting fight, and my first real run in with Heretic Army (BANE), who are campaigning near us.

I was hanging about in Hev when I (and others) spotted a Rupture on D-scan. A look at local told us the pilot could only be Jones Bones, a member of Heretic Army.

Now, while I wouldn't call BANE blob artists, they tend not to be solo pilots either, preferring small gangs of 3-5 ships. The Tuskers in local, who were all flying frigates, were happy to do battle with a Rupture, but we realised that we had to stay alert for reinforcements.

As sometimes happens, a couple of us missed Jones as he jumped about, presumably trying to jump in on us. Before we caught up with him, though, a Myrmidon piloted by Dust Hunter (Muppet Ninjas) entered system. At this point we backed off; we did not know BANE well enough to know if the two pilots were working together. Even if they were not, we definitely couldn't handle both ships if the second jumped in while we were dealing with the first.

A call went out over vent, and nearby Tuskers started moving towards Hev, joining a hastily thrown up fleet while they did so.

Meanwhile, the Myrmidon and the Rupture decided to tangle. I don't recall who jumped in on who, but their engagement was the spark that triggered everything that followed.

A couple of our Rifter pilots decided to jump in on the fight. We could focus on the battle cruiser and then deal with the Rupture afterwards. While they were mid warp, however, the BANE reinforcements jumped into Hev. The Rifters tried to abort, but the lead elements of the BANE fleet reached the fight about the same time as the Rifters, and they were pointed.

At this stage we were heavily outgunned by the enemy assets in system, but I was damned if I was going to watch my corpmates go down without lending a hand, so I jumped into the dogfight.

I landed in what felt like a sea of red; seven hostiles plus the associated drones. I quickly hunted for a target, and latched on to a Hookbill that I thought I might be able to kill before I went down. Settling into a tight orbit, I overheated my launchers and activated my repair system.

The Rifters went down fast, the poor things. Excellent solo ships, they don't have the tank to last long in a fleet fight. For what felt like an eternity, I was the only Tusker on grid. Fortunately, BANE fire was divided between the Myrmidon and myself, and my tank was up to the challenge, at least for a while.

Rather surprisingly, I was actually giving the Hookbill a good kicking; we both entered half armor about the same time. At that point, Tressin, who had lost his Rifter, reshipped into a Hurricane and jumped into the fight. Suleiman also arrived in at that point, bringing his Harbinger into the fray.

BANE had to respond to the new arrivals, and in the confusion the Myrmidon managed to drop some ECM drones and escape, leaving the fight a Tusker v BANE match up. Tressin threw some alpha at my target, which allowed me to finish burning him down.

2011.07.27 20:52:00

Victim: Heimotz
Corp: Heretic Army
Alliance: B A N E
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Caldari Navy Hookbill
System: Hevrice
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 3054

Involved parties:

Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Security: -9.8
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Vengeance
Weapon: Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
Damage Done: 1867

Name: Tressin Khiyne
Security: -10.0
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: 720mm Howitzer Artillery II
Damage Done: 1187

Destroyed items:

Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Rocket Launcher II, Qty: 3
Small Ancillary Current Router I
Thorn Rage Rocket, Qty: 29
Ballistic Control System II
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
1MN Afterburner II
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

Dropped items:

Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Dark Blood Warp Scrambler
Internal Force Field Array I
Thorn Rage Rocket, Qty: 58
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Thorn Rage Rocket, Qty: 5000 (Cargo)

Now, up until this point I was pretty happy with my performance, but my lack of fleet experience started to show here. Unused to dealing with multiple targets, I had not kept track of where everyone was, or lined up a second target. As a result, I floundered aimlessly for a few seconds after the Hookbill exploded, trying to make sense of my overview. That was all it took for BANE to finish me off.

Somewhere along the line, Jaxley had gone down in his Enyo, which left Tressin and Suleiman on the field against a Vagabond, a Slicer and a Hurricane. Realising that this was a losing fight, BANE retreated from the field, leaving Hevrice to the Tuskers.

"Gfs" were exchanged in local.


Total Tusker losses: 2 Rifters, an Enyo and a Vengeance
Total BANE losses: a Hookbill, a Jaguar and a Rupture

The escalating nature of the fight meant that our fleet was not set up properly for leadership bonuses. Suleiman is certain that the Vagabond would not have escaped if we had been a bit more organised in that regard. Leadership skills are a murky, unknown science for me, so I shall happily defer to Suleiman on this point.

I was disappointed that I lost my ship, of course, but when I returned the field of combat I looted the Hookbill and found the Dark Blood Warp Scrambler! Ecstatic, I offered it up for the obvious loot split, but everyone bowed out. I had lost my ship (and thus the reimbursement would come out of the loot before the split), and the kill had been primarily mine. So I turned a net profit over the course of the fight. Other losses were reimbursed from other loot, and from salvage.

Clearly, I'm a bit of a fleet fight noob. After killing the Hookbill I just floundered, trying to process information that I should have been tracking the whole time. In particular, I was let down by my overview; it is set up to deal with solo hunting, showing me pilot names, but not ship types. When I'm hunting someone, I know what their ship is before I jump in, so I've never needed that particular piece of information before.

Obviously, I'm going to update my overview.


  1. Nice write up, I missed that engagment unfortunately!

    Who invite the Unicorn?

  2. A little bit ago I experienced a bit of an overview problem as well. Basically drones were cluttering up the overview. So I made one overview for killing drones, one for killing ships. Doing that might help somewhat.

    In regards to the other problem, if there's more than one ship out, I'll typically lock up several, and when the first goes down, set to orbit and attack the second. As the targets go down I try to keep my locked targets at 3. Doing that might help you also.

    Nice loot! Great fight!

  3. This is a bit like a spot the difference competition, so apologies - below screen grab has a before and after of your ship, to show the differences of having a 'leadership' toon in the fleet:

    Key differences:

    From links:

    web and scram range (42%)
    signature radius (-28%)
    afterburner speed (28%)
    Armour resists (just a 15% bonus here, but your already high resist stack with this, could use a 15% repair duration reduction, tank goes up to 133dps but cap stability drops to 40%)

    Bonuses from characters skills

    10% shield hp
    10% armour hp
    10% scan res
    10% targeting range
    15% agility

    These bonus apply to everyone under the toon in the fleet, its not an 'I win' button - but can certainly help turn the tide of an engagement in your favour.

  4. Now that makes sense.

    I had assumed that Suleiman had been talking about dps or something, but when he said they wouldn't have "gotten away", he probably meant it literally; he would have been faster, with longer web and scram range.

    Actually, that's MUCH faster and with a MUCH longer web and scram range. Wow.

  5. The Vagabond was in half structure when he managed to burn 29km off from me and warp off, just needed 1 more volley to end him, from either me or Tressin :(

    I got the Rupture on the station later though, ran him down in my Harbinger!

  6. I have the opposite problem, Taurean:

    I'm great in fleet fights, keeping an eye on the things around me, but then I neglect to keep as much attention on my own modules. Having just learned thermodynamics, I foresee burning things out - so I keep reminding myself to pay more attention to my own ship.

    A properly set up overview is necessary, as you mentioned. I wish CCP would make the E-War icons larger, though. Those tiny scram/web/etc icons are just way too small.

  7. Nice blog. I have to second you Zievarenna - those EWAR icons are way too small. The fact that i have to spend more than a second trying to figure our if the EWAR icon is a neut or nos is evidence that they are too small.