Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

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Osmand Erata

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Post 2017.11.11 15:47

Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

This is somewhat of a pseudo AAR though there was no actually loss of assets but loss of sites to a few contests from TDF's SSS fleet.

Around 0400 Saturday morning EVE time we formed up the minimums to get a fleet going and headed out to purge the area of the evil space zombies. All was going very well and we were running in our neighboring 1 picket system uncontested for about an hour or so. To my fault, I didn't notice the local spike to indicate the presence of two other fleets until meeting one on an OTA gate. They we not aligned and most ships barely evening moving so I called for L ups and got the fleet inside. We ended up losing that contest once they did some inside but oh well, such is EVE.

At this point, at least in my mind, the goal was to not try to contest this fleet. There were built for fast warp speed and very efficient while on grid. To make it worse for us, we were at only 6 DD for the majority of the night making a contest against them fairly futile. I started utilizing the scout as a scout rather than a hacker/sponge and went about our business still trying to get decent sites but uncontested ones. Sadly they were trying to contest and this made a fair number of our fleet rather upset, including myself. We would bounce off gates to try other sites, mainly being limited to NCOs which is not a terrible thing but still a thing.

The final site of the night, right around the 0600 fold, we tried an OTA. On arriving at gate, they were there as well but another had popped up. Let them take the close one, we warped off once I saw a few of their battleships enter the site. Low and behold, about a minute later, their fleet shows up in our OTA to contest. They end up getting the credit for the site and we end the night without a payout. Needless to say a few of us were peeved. Choice words were said in local but nothing too crass and we chatted for a very few minutes on comms about what was going on and what could have been better. All in all a good conversation to have and a good learning experience when flying against an aggressively contesting fleet. Ran 11 sites for a night we didn't think we would actually get a formup and learned something to boot. Good deal, see everyone next time was what I was thinking.

Some of the things that could have been improved...
- FC Appreciation of how aggressively some communities want to contest. In this case I should have prioritized NCOs, taken the odd NMC, and left OTAs alone. Site times would go up, but we would still get paid. In light of a later conversation with TDF leadership, I'm not sure this would have actually made things better.
- Better scouting. Not bashing our scout at all, but there are things to know when fast fleets are out there for all scouts to be aware of. When that Endurance, which was the other fleet's scout, was on a gate, we should have just looked for another immediately. They were going to contest, and beat us, in pretty much every site we entered with their scout already hanging around.
- Don't be afraid to move the fleet. We had the option of going back to the staging system to finish out fleet. There were only NCOs up in that system when we left and zero fleets running when the suggestion was brought up. Take the scout to a second picket role, move both pickets to the right spots and keep on truckin.

THE REALLY FUN STUFF - Convo with TDF FC after we folded

One of the TDF FCs initiated a private convo with me and tried for a few others as well but I think most were declined. We chatted in game for a few minutes and I was invited on to their comms to talk about all the things that happened, assured that this was not some sadistic trolling attempt. I'm not sure I actually believed that until talking with Kiirissia.

He started off, and repeated a number of times during the conversation, that they were not trying to be jerks about contesting but actually trying to practice new warp speed set ups with the main goal of contesting other fleets like VGV. That is after all why they designed this fleet and the main thing they use it for. He was worried that the last site of the fleet actually scared us off and I explained that it was essentially when were going to fold anyway so no big deal. The conversation went far better than I expected and really made the best out of a frustrating situation on our end.

He's opened the door to any UNI characters that want to run with TDF at any point. Even told me they are willing to work around our standard rigging schemes since they are an Armor community. This is obviously up to individuals but they seem to want to welcome folks in with open arms and they are generally good people. It was also brought up to look into Assault sites if the numbers are there but not quite there for Headquarters and again we are welcome to either of those.

I would recommend to any pilots interested to look at some of their fits to figure out what you would need to make a transition from Shield to Armor, minus your rigs. They are trying to be very newbro friendly and a small conversation with their FC about "Hey I have this rig but I've got the right tank. I know it looks silly but I don't want to kill my shield rig" is sufficient to be approved for a fleet. I also passed along to him that when we end up at a focus near HSC Armor fleets can be a thing from there and he was excited about the opportunity to help in any way when running those fleets.

TL;DR of this whole post. TDF wants to express no hard feelings for contesting us a bit on that fleet. After hearing the explanation of why, I have to agree with them. They are happy as a community to welcome in new people and are very happy that good communication has been had with our community as well. If there are questions, feel free to hit me up in game or on the incursions Slack (Hemotherapy there)
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Logan Zauber

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Post 2017.11.11 16:13

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

We experienced something like this situation a while back and had some discussions about "what to do when someone simply wants to take your payout rather than maximize their isk" or "Other fleet is willing to be a dick just to be dicks about it."

Deny content. One good strategy is to simply sit in the pocket and let them do all the work. Maybe bump their Machs - "We're not being dicks back at you, we are practicing our own contesting strategies since we are going to lose anyhow."

Deny content and sit for 20 minutes. See how they like running NCOs.

Deny content and go home. Just call it and come back another day.

No hard feelings? Sure. No mercy when lost armor bots are found: They are ours. Just remember- pull them in to cargo and jettison before blapping them.

Sorry you guys had a bad run
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Korrimal Ohmiras

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Post 2017.11.11 20:11

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

I think maybe as a bit of an aside.

They did have a scout running for them that had a cloak, which only became obvious when the scout inadvertently revealed themselves. Likely they misjudged which wave we were on as it seemed they were waiting for the last wave to pop in and then see which direction we were headed. This was part of why we were being contested so often.

It might be an idea that as part of the scouting function to require a covert ops cloak and for the FC/Scout to have a few 'fake' jump locations set-up or identified around the system so that when contested aggressively like that, the fleet doesn't inadvertently make their destination intentions known based on the direction they are jumping or by the presence of a scout sitting on gate uncloaked.

It would certainly slow down progress from site to site but if it makes the difference between running a contested site and getting a payout vs the alternative, it might be a better practice when facing this type of a situation.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.11.11 20:20

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

Not quite realistic, as we can't rely on our scouts having Covert Ops Cloaks and the enemy fleet would just change their tactics to wait until you actually take a site before coming in to contest (which they'll still win).

Like Logan said:

If you can't win, the only thing you can do is to make it less effective for them. Don't shoot (as that'll just speed things up), bump them (as that will ruin their tracking and slow them down). That way by contesting you they'll slow down their own site times instead of improving them.

This being EVE will most likely turn it into a pissing contest, where the formerly aggressive competition fleet will turn into a vindictive fleet (because people have very big egoes in EVE), constantly harassing you for being bold enough to stand up to them. So be prepared to deal with that fallout, if you end up doing that.
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Siyoel

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Post 2017.11.11 20:38

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

I don't buy TDF excuses at all. Reason, they left one site OTA unfinished to mess with us in another OTA site. They wanted to harass us, no matter how they justify it. We also moved on a previous site after running into them and bouncing and they showed up there as well.

This is the first time I have seen this type of aggresion, though I have been in several competing sites in the past.

Thank you FC for the lengthy AAR. Very informative.
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Analiese Aubernet

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Post 2017.11.11 22:27

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

This type of contesting aggression is very common amongst communities that aren't E-UNI. Ultimately, if you take the gate of an OTA while there is an aggressive fleet in system looking to contest, you're probably going to get contested.

I'm not sure taking the gate and not shooting is an effective means of protest.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.11.11 22:34

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

Analiese Aubernet wrote:I'm not sure taking the gate and not shooting is an effective means of protest.
No, you'd have to do something to slow them down in order for it to be effective, ie bumping them etc to ruin their tracking.
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Rikki Bigg

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Post 2017.11.12 18:58

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

What I did the last time there was a competing fleet, was make them waste time without a payout; we sure weren't getting paid while they were around.

Don't commit to a site, warp to a gate you plan on taking, and when you see them warp in, sit and wait for them to take a gate first. If they sit and wait on a gate, they aren't getting paid. If they take the gate, you warp to another site, if they follow, you repeat. Eventually they will get tired of waiting, and commit to a site; that is when you take the fleet to another side and run it. I have 'stolen' OTA's from agressive fleets in this manner, where they cannot run both at the same time.

Another thing to remember about contesting fleets: know your capabilities vs the other fleet. If you are clearly undermanned and will lose an OTA even when the other fleet comes in midway through the second room, there is little point taking the fleet to a fresh OTA when every other site is a NCO. With that in mind, there are competition fleets that will stop running an OTA to bounce and prevent a fleet from running a NMC. These latter fleets are not just interested in running the choicest sites, they are interested in running their competition out of system. I have turned some of the latter type fleets into the former by using the tactic mentioned above (and some other methods).

Bottom line is we aren't entitled to run any sites at all, and aren't owed any special consideration just because we are Uni. We are blessed with good ties to some of the public communities that give us leeway at times, since they understand we have the added threat of wartargets. Unfortunately there are those that, from time to time, use our disadvantage against us, and the only way to 'win' is to not play. We can't lose a contested site if we don't start one.
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Zeerse Solaris

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Post 2017.11.14 13:16

Re: Friday night USTZ fleet with "drama" and things explained

Last time I saw this although not as bad was when I was scouting and I outsmarted theirs, which wasn't difficult as I had a prototype cloak on the heron and they used a venture (and seemed liked a multi-boxer).

So it was a case of bouncing to a celestial, warping to a site, cloaking up, they couldn't tell where I was so had to start running a site. The other trick to use would be the longest possible warp for them if you know where they are.

Explaining the actions beforehand would have been better than providing excuses afterwards, if they want uni pilots to run with them they didn't try to endear themselves very well.
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