[AAR] The Battle of the Cloud

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Vladimir Antonovich

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Post 2018.06.28 23:15

[AAR] The Battle of the Cloud

You can read the whole thing or just the part about the battle, depending on what interests you. I went into detail about the whole encounter to share our thought process throughout with other Unistas but I also want to catalogue my early PVP experiences. Enjoy!

The story before the action...
Yesterday, we were looking for some C5 content: combat sites or at least some gas. So we decided to roll our static connection.

We rolled into a C5 system with a lone Venture that we presumed was huffing gas. During the process of probing the system, the Venture left the system and we confirmed that he was huffing an Instrumental gas site (the best kind, of course). However, we also realized that this site was cleared of NPCs meaning that the entire cloud was available for the taking. With that knowledge, I guessed that our Venture friend might not give up so easily, especially if he was the one to put in the effort to clear the site.

The system had a C5 static and another C5 connection (inbound). I visited both and confirmed that our Venture friend came from the inbound. Seeing that there is only 1 person in their citadel, I set up camp in the C5 with the gas site on the wormhole leading to the Venture's home system.

The guerilla warfare attempts before the battle...
My suspicions were confirmed when a Sabre entered and immediately warped to the Instrumental gas site. I notified my huffing compatriot, Genairik, and he managed to warp before the bubble hit. The Sabre returned to his home and Genairik returned to huffing. I had a hunch that he wouldn't give up so easily but I had to go AFK for 10 minutes and docked up in our home system.

Upon my return, I read messages saying we have an Astero flying around, likely scouting out the area to make another run at our gas huffers. By this point, Derby Dank joined Genairik at the gas site. Also, Sagittarius Griffins logged on. I reshipped into a Stratios and waited for the Astero to show up. We confirmed that the Astero left and I decided to camp out in my original location: the entrance to the enemy's home system.

I figured he might take another Sabre run at our gas huffers so I came up with a simple plan: upon confirming that the Sabre is warping to the gas site, both Sagittarius and I will warp to it in pursuit to try to counter-gank him. Our gas huffers were now bait. Only ten minutes later, the Sabre emerged for attempt number two. We executed the plan but failed to catch the Sabre and he returned to his home.

The battle begins...
At this point, we were hungry for a fight. I entered the enemy's system, cloaked up, and reported that they were forming up but it was only two pilots at this point in a Brutix and a Gnosis. Sagittarius, in an Osprey Navy Issue, and myself in a Stratios, decided we could take this fight if we managed to separate them. We saw this opportunity when the Gnosis warped back to his citadel and we began our assault.

Another comrade logged on, John Jones, and we told him to come to us in a VNI as soon as possible. Sagittarius and I were putting the pain down on the Brutix and during this point I lost my drones without noticing (mistake by me in my excitement) but I kept the bait going by deliberately dropping into low armour to ensure the enemy's commitment. The Gnosis pilot came back in a Corax which Sagittarius promptly murdered.

+11M - Corax

This pilot reshipped again into a Confessor and returned and they made a concerted effort to put the pain on me. I warped out temporarily because of a panic alpha that scared me a little (pls don't make fun ._.) but John Jones entered the fight roughly around this time. The Brutix jumped into the gas site system and warped out once he saw John's VNI but the Confessor was quickly wiped off the battlefield.

+82M - Confessor

I returned to the battle cloaked; a new Confessor pilot warped onto grid with a kitey fit that made killing it difficult. It's DPS started to take its toll on John's buffer tanked VNI so he jumped back out to the gas system and warped home. We had eyes in the gas system and knew that the Brutix was still there, likely trying to find its way back home. We knew that it couldn't warp off before we scrammed it which is why the new Confessor pilot stayed to try to force us off the hole.

I told Sagittarius that I will try to slowboat to it cloaked and surprise it once once in range of scram. However, Sagittarius had a trick up his sleeve called overheating your MWD and managed to point it at range. We made short work of it at this point.

+73M - Confessor

The aftermath...
By this time, I had run out of nanite repair paste, John had to leave, and we didn't want to get greedy. These pilots were Russian and it was the beginning of Russian prime time. In all likelihood, they were already alerting their corp mates to log on and fight the intruders so we made the decision to end the fight at this point. The Brutix got away because of this but we made out with more than 160M in killmails.

Our adversaries later message Genairik and asked to fight again but we were not in a position to accept by this point anyway. They were very respectful and told us they were rolling their connection to the gas site which we confirmed. I have to say, I am continually impressed by this game's community.

But in other words, we emerged victorious in The Battle of the Cloud!

Learning outcomes...
I came out with some important lessons learned:

  • My drones died and I didn't realize it for far too long. We may have been able to kill the Brutix if I realized earlier.
  • I was not as tactically aware because my Overview settings were suited for large fleets; I could only see fleet mates or enemies at any one time but it would be very useful to see both on the same Overview tab
  • Both of these issues could be solved by creating a dedicated small gang PVP tab
  • I warped off when I didn't need to; this didn't really impact things too much but perhaps the Brutix would have died if I chased him instead

This was my first time in a real small gang PVP encounter and my position in space put me into the fleet command role. I won't lie, the battle shakes were real. We could have done things a lot better but we still managed to come out on top, admittedly because we outclassed their ships and outnumbered them.

Thank you to Sagittarius Griffins and John Jones for being capable fleetmates during the battle and Genairik and Derby Dank for providing valuable intel as well as acting as bait.
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Sagittarius Griffins

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Post 2018.06.28 23:50

Re: [AAR] The Battle of the Cloud

Another wall of text from Vladdy :o . Fight from my perspective (which is hopefully more detailed and complete):

I will call the system in which Genairik and Derby were huffing in A, and the system in which the fight took place B.
(Everyone is in A at the start of skirmish)

The second time that the Sabre returned to bubble our huffers, he managed to succeedhttps://zkillboard.com/kill/70936062/. This was somewhat surprising as Derby and Genairik were both on the wormhole that led back to our home system; in hindsight, they should have just jumped through the wormhole rather than burning off of it.

Regardless, when Vlad and I warped back to the wormhole, the Sabre already warped off after killing Derby, so we decided to chase after it. At this point, Vlad was in a cloaky Stratios, I was in an Osprey Navy, Derby was dead, and Genairik had cloaked up in his Prospect. All of us (except Derby) are still in A. Vlad decided to warp his Stratios to the B connection (in A) to attempt to catch the Sabre. While that didn't work out, we saw a Brutix jump through the wormhole to us (in A). I warped to Vlad and aggro'd him, causing him to jump back through the wormhole. I jump through the wormhole as well to try to catch him, but he warped off already. I then bounce to the Sun while making pings off of the wormhole, and Vlad joins me in B. When I warp back to the wormhole (leading to A) in B at a distance, I see a Gnosis and Brutix.

I harass the Gnosis with missiles at 50km to prompt a response. They launch a flight of hobgoblins and EC-300s which i promptly murder with my warriors and RLMLs. This causes the Gnosis to warp off. I close the distance to point the Brutix (who is still sitting on the wormhole) and start shelling him with RLMLs. Meanwhile, Vlad decloaks in his Stratios and engages the Brutix as well. The Brutix launches a flight of Hammerheads, which is also promptly murdered, and he is bleeding armor. A Corax warps in on his buddy, and he is promptly killed.

At this point, John has logged on and shipped into a VNI. John jumps through the wormhole to B and starts engaging the Brutix with his VNI. The Brutix jumps through the wormhole (and is now in A). Vlad jumps through the wormhole to hunt for the Brutix while John and I wait in B. 1 confessor warp at a distance to us, and I go for point immediately as he starts aggressing me. I underestimate his damage and I am lowered to 30% shields as I wait for John to slowboat to the Confessor and tackle him. As soon as he does so, I warp to a ping, and John finishes the confessor off.

The second confessor seems to have learned nothing from the death of buddy, and does the same thing. He dies. However, these two confessors have brought us a significant distance away from the hole, and their Brutix friend manages to jump back to B and warps off.
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John Jones

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Post 2018.06.29 00:29

Re: [AAR] The Battle of the Cloud

I was able to get in close and neut the first confessor, but the second confessor kept range at 50km and primaried my medium drones (to death) at which point I sat on the hole tanking damage, but didn't contribute much to the fight while Sagi and Vlad dashed to him. In hindsight, with Vlad and and the Brutix in A, I should have jumped through and waited for the Brutix / forced the confessor to jump the hole and (maybe) appear within range. My VNI is snail fit and the confessor would still have pulled range, but maybe Sagi would have caught the Brutix when it jumped to B in this scenario.

Also, I did not take into account that B was a C5 Wolf-Rayet which gave my VNI a nearly battleship class buffer. I got lucky on my way back as I had zero armor on landing in A and the Brutix could well have been waiting on the hole.

I have to wonder what the fit on the Brutix was that they were willing to lose two confessors to save it.
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Sagittarius Griffins

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Post 2018.06.29 02:05

Re: [AAR] The Battle of the Cloud

John Jones wrote:I have to wonder what the fit on the Brutix was that they were willing to lose two confessors to save it.


From their past Brutix losses in both J-space and low sec, it doesn't seem to be too valuable (zKill estimates it at 80mil). I think the confessors may have overestimated their ability to tank or disengage, or it could just be a "no one left behind" kinda thing.

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