Friday, March 1, 2013

Uneven numbers makes for short fights

I recently had the opportunity to be on the other side of a gate-camp for the first time.

We were on the tail end of an alliance fleet, with our night coming to an end. With the caps preparing to jump home, the sub-caps held up on a gate in system until everyone who needed to cyno out was gone. We didn't have a scout on the other side, but there had been no hint of resistance all night. We didn't expect anyone to start fighting back after we'd already completed our objectives for the evening.

That's probably why we were surprised when the gate started flashing with incoming ships. Full credit to our FC though, the reaction time was fantastic. We had primaries called and dead before more than half of their fleet started shooting. The opposing fleet had started decloaking piecemeal, and got picked off one after the other. Even if the fleet numbers had been near even, the lack of co-ordination in the other fleet would have led to a similar result, I imagine.

However, the numbers weren't exactly even. By the time the shooting stopped, we'd killed about sixteen combat vessels (mostly Harbingers and Hurricanes with some T1 cruisers and frigates), and four logistics (Scythes and one Scimitar). Compared to our fleet of thirty T3 battlecruisers with tacklers and logistics, it was a lopsided fight.

I was flying a logistics ship like I usually do in fleets, and it turned out to be a fairly easy job. We lost one Talos, but that was a case of someone being asleep at their keyboard. The pilot failed to broadcast, and by the time we figured out who was being shot, he was floating in a pod. The second person to get primaried was on the ball, and between us, the three logis in our fleet had no trouble keeping him alive. It certainly didn't hurt that second person primaried was a corp-mate I had stuck on at the bottom of my watchlist.

I had the bright idea to stick my light drones on some of last targets called, and managed to wind up on a few kill-mails. With the extra kill-mails going on my record, reports that I managed to finish February with five kills and four losses, for a staggering efficiency of 76%. For someone who had only managed to get one kill in the previous six months of trying, you can imagine what kind of turnaround month this was.

That said, I have to feel sorry for the people in the opposing gang who went through the same process I've often found myself following. Jump through stargate, lose ship and pod, wake up in new clone. I don't know if it's unusual for twenty-man fleets to roam with no scouts, but they clearly weren't ready to jump into forty ships. I can see now why people don't like getting blobbed. It can't be much fun to die before you can even get off a second volley.

Apparently the axiom "you keep what you kill" goes for null-sec too. I've never seen a battlefield picked clean that fast in any game I've ever played before. I managed to scoop 70k worth of drones, and considered myself lucky until another corpmate admitted he'd been right next to two of the enemy wrecks and had snagged 6.8 mil of ammo and mods.

At least I'd managed to avoid repping any of the opposition in my haste to lock up possible killmails. That could have been hard to explain.

- Sam.

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