Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ragtag Roam

Some time ago I'd had a hankering to lead a fleet. It certainly wasn't born out of any great competence that I had in the field, and mainly was due to my own lack of availability / ship specialisation to take part in fleets led by others. I would actually say that I'm a mediocre FC, but also that I want to improve.

Thus it was that I advertised a roam and a bunch of foolhardy Corpmates bravely signed up. No guarantees were offered on those ships that signed on ever returning to Hevrice again.

There were the inevitable few last minute folks  joining and we headed off in a motley array of ships, our fleet comprising:

1 x Brutix
2 x Cyclone
1 x Drake
2 x Harbinger
1 x Imperial Navy Slicer
2 x Prophecy
1 x Thorax

Once I'd seen the ships formed up I wondered if I should have advertised a tier 1 Battlecruiser fleet!

The Slicer in fleet, piloted by Vlad acted as our Scout doing a fine job indeed. We set off down towards Kirith's ancestral home in Heimatar.

Little was sighted of interest until we reached Mannar where a Rupture & Hurricane were sighted in space. After pondering a plan to draw out an engagement one of our Harbingers warped to the station they were loitering at. This action drew fire from the Rupture & Hurricane along with a Pilgrim which undocked. An Archon also undocked too, which felt like total overkill!

The fleet jumped in and warped to our badly beaten up Harbinger who had to deagress and dock to save himself, our fleet landed amongst theirs sending the Rupture fleeing. I called the Pilgrim primary as the easiest and most expensive thing to explode, the Hurricane next and despite being repaired by the Archon we manged to break the reps and take it down. We switched to the Archon after the Hurricane getting him to 50% armour before he was able to safely redock again, our efforts to bump him off station being unsuccessful.


Docking afterwards for repairs and waiting out our criminal timers our scout who was ahead of us reported a Drake gang heading towards us, around 12 strong. I asked my fleet members for suggestions as this was beyond my confidence to engage. Our gang had the potential to hurts theirs if we were able to brawl them up close and avoid being kited however this would probably require us to suicide our gang into theirs.

We ended up playing a game of cat and mouse over a gate eventually jumping into them as they were sat at zero on their in gate. Primary was called and then comms got confused causing half of our gang to reapproach and jump back as our targets burned for range, this cost us two ships for no kills.


The fleet was despondent as we waited out GCC in station back in Mannar, repairs were made while we waited and our two casualties left fleet. All the time tabs were kept on the Drake gang who appeared to be camping us into the system. A short while later the Drake gang moved on towards Verge Vendor and our remaining fleet continued onwards. After a few jumps we received two pieces of intel:

1) The Drake gang was coming back towards us.
2) A Shadow Cartel Battleship gang was pursuing them.

At that time we estimated that we had a two or three jump lead on them. I was keen for us not to be herded onwards and clatter into a waiting gate camp as we neared the Faction Warfare hot zone. However, before I could do anything about it we landed on gate with a neutral Typhoon not affiliated with the Shadow Cartel gang. We jumped as the Typhoon did and I gave the order to engage under gate guns as nothing showed up on directional scan. Boy it had some hitpoints, as it hit mid armour it was joined by a Harbinger, Scorpion & Abaddon. Intel also now indicated the imminent arrival of the Drake fleet.

Our fleet quickly started to disintegrate under heavy fire when the Drakes joined the fray causing me reluctantly to give the order to bail with the Typhoon in low structure. Two Prophecy, our Drake and Slicer were the only ships to escape. One of the Prophecys warped back in at range to a gate but was unlucky enough to land on top of the Drakes and got torn apart.


The Drakes finished off the Battleships, which they did on short order sadly though they were able to clear the field before the Shadow Cartel Fleet landed on them but continuing after them in hot pursuit towards Heimatar.

Given our now vastly reduced fleet I called the operation over and we began heading for home, Hevrice. Feeling guilty for being in one of the few remaining vessels I vowed that I'd shoot anything I saw on the way home.

Thus it was that a neutral Caracal & Harbinger jumped through a gate with me into Angatalie I shot at them, I thought I'd targeted the Caracal but found myself engaging the Harbinger. My active tanked Prophecy was having very hard time tanked gate guns plus the Caracal & Harbinger. I'd made a serious hold in the Harbinger but as I was teetering at 60% hull I warped out to a belt.

I landed in a belt after having had repaired my armour in warp and was surprised to see the two neutrals land with me within seconds. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth I set about the Harbinger again as my two fleet mate arrived. It was now totally one sided and the two neutrals got swiftly destroyed. They actually thought I'd baited them to the belt  rather than what had actually happened!

After waiting out GCC again we returned home. the operation, not quite a success and me disappointed with bringing my ship home intact (minus 40% hull).

The fleet showed me just how much I have to learn as an FC.

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