How do I shoot gun? Part 2 – the gunnening

by muskells

Yesterday I presented a situation familiar to many faction warfare pilots where they warped into a plex and landed in an ‘almost’ trap like situation.

The FC was taken down immediately and calling targets/giving fleet orders fell on your shoulders.

The enemy fleet composition is as follows.

2 harbingers are at 0 on the plex warp in. 1 falcon is 60km away. 1 curse is 35km away. 2 brutix are 15km away. 1 hurricane is at 20km and burning away. 1 damnation is 60km away sitting on the plex button. 2 omen navy issues are at 25km orbiting the harbingers.

Your fleet composition is:

1 scimitar. 2 shield hurricanes. 2 drakes. 1 shield astarte 1 sleipnir. 2 talos. You are in a rapier.

Before we go into what I would do in this situation let’s look at both of the fleets and their strengths and weaknesses.

Our enemy is flying in a heavy armor-tanked fleet with damnation armor boosts. This kind of fleet is slow as molasses, has an incredible amount of effective hitpoints (which is increased even more by the damnation) and almost all of it’s midslots for disruptors, scrams, webs and other E-war… this is only multiplied by that damn falcon. The main problem with a fleet like this is that it is difficult for them to dictate any sort of range with their targets as well as because they use most of their low-slots for tank. This ends up not leaving too much for damage and tracking mods and as a result the range of engagement of this fleet is low. It relies more on getting the drop on the enemy fleet, much like what is happening in our scenario.

Our fleet on the other hand is a shield-tanking nano-ish fleet. This kind of fleet is fast, does quite a bit of damage out to a pretty decent effective range and has amazing range dictation. Coupled with the fact there is a scimitar and rapier to support the fleet, if you’re smart and engage properly this fleet can be hard to beat. In our scenario we’re in a pretty bad position as we have a few ships scraping paint at 0 right away.

If we look at the individual ships in this fight you’ll notice a few things right away. Most of the enemy DPS is concentrated in the EM/Thermal damage profile as well as most of the range is around the 25-30km with the brutices falling short around 15km will Null loaded.

Our fleet has more of a mixed damage profile with the 3 autocannon ships, two missile ships and 3 hybrid ships. The main advantage that we have on our side is the sheer amount of damage throughput we have and how far we can effectively hit out to.

The two taloses alone put out 800ish DPS each out to roughly 45km with Null.

The Fight

Upon landing in the plex a million things are probably flooding through your mind. What the hell, why are they at 0? Why did Baha have to put me in charge? Oh shit a Falcon.

The defining characteristic of a great FC is the ability to keep cool under pressure even though inside their head they may be screaming. Projecting yourself as a calm, collected and confident leader is the key to making sure they rest of your fleet trusts your decisions. If you don’t at least sound like you know what you’re doing why the hell are people going to do what you tell them.

The immediate threat on landing that will jump out at you will be the falcon but you can’t let all of your decisions be based around getting that annoying recon off field. The curse on the other hand will ruin a lot of your day simply because, as a nano fleet, you live and die on your cap. Fortunately, the curse is a bit too far to do anything incredibly bad to the fleet.

So, if I was the FC in this case, this is what I would do:

First of all, everyone should activate their MWD and burn away from the fleet back the way you came in. This creates a range-gap that you can capitalize on as your fleet has much better damage projection. The two drakes should immediately lock up the falcon and lob heavy missiles at it in an attempt to push it off field. The rapier needs to put a web down on curse and hurricane while every other DPS focuses on one of the harbingers.

The Astarte, being at 0, is almost a write off but can create a large hole in the fleet while the rest of them get into a good position. He should overload all of his modules and focus down the harbingers while the scimitar overloads reps IMMEDIATELY on him. Once your fleet is around the 28-30km distance mark from the warp-in, spread out points and dictate range using the rapier webs. All drones go onto the curse and while you burn down the other harbinger.

Hopefully, by this point, the falcon has either exploded or left the field due to the drakes pounding it with HMLs. Once the last harbinger has gone down, immediately switch DPS to the curse and burn him down quick with the talos’s overloading their guns. Make sure the rapier has him webbed down in order to make the large gun’s tracking isn’t a factor.

At this point the only casualty should be the Astarte and whatever else was webbed and scrammed on the warp-in. Clear up the field, burn down the N. Omens first and then brutices last, since they have no way really of closing the range gap between the rest of your gang. If anything is left, or the damnation was too stupid to warp out just spread points and finish them all off.

This may vary, depending on what the falcon has jammed or if the curse burned away but that’s the beauty of EVE. Everything can change, always.

So there is my answer to this little scenario. As you can see by the comments a few people had similar ideas to me and a few had some other plans.

Either way it was a well matched fight that shows the diversity of the game and the ships in it.

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