Sunday, July 10, 2011

CTA, CTA, tackle training.

Entry: four hundred thirty-five.

Two nights ago, there were multiple CTAs. I was surprised at how, moments after logging into the galactic network, I ended up on a four trip across to the ass end of the galaxy, then all the way back across into the piss-hole of the galaxy. Naturally, I refer to Detorid and Delve respectively.

After joining fleet, we waited for fifteen minutes at a Titan tower for a bridge to 49-U from 9CG6-. I really have no understand of why this was done, when the bridge to 8QT- was next door, and 49-U is but two systems from 8QT-. After waiting, the FC ordered us to take the bridge. We burned into Catch, then took some more jumpbridges to arrive at a Titan in GE-8. We bridged to another Titan, then bridged to another Titan, and bridged to another Titan, and bridged to another Titan, which finally deposited us in Detorid eleven jumps from our destination, where Imperial Order had apparently called for help in eliminating some SBUs.

We mopped it up rather quickly, managing to snag a few kills while Imperial Order, with a fleet of eighty, cowered. Our fleet was smaller.

We burned backwards to 9CG6-, taking the exact titans back as well.

Fifteen minutes after returning to 9CG6-, we reformed into another fleet, Sniper HAC in this case. We managed to get a bridge from the Titan in 9CG6- this time, and landed in NOL- in Delve, where we and Against All Authorities hammered out two SBUs and a TCU. Morsus Mihi felt it necessary to bomb us, Cascade Imminent, at the first SBU, and then triple A at the remaining two sov structures.

The problems were multiple for Morsus Mihi. First, both fleets were sensor boosted Sniper Hacs with HIC support. Morsus Mihi lost something in the area of thirty bombers, killing only a handful of Muninns as the majority of both fleets were Zealots, which have a ninety-two percent explosive resistance. That is important as the bombs fired were Shrapnel bombs. The fact that both fleets were largely composed of Zealots was the second issue. The third issue was the sheer incompetence of their bombers. In no case did the bombers set up a proper bombing run, and in many cases either launched too many bombs or launched them from too far away.

For those not in the know, a proper bombing run is one where you align your target with a warp out point, such as the sun or another celestial, perhaps even another bookmark on-grid that you an warp to. I have several of both types of bookmarks myself. Once aligned at full speed at a distance of thirty kilometers from the target, you decloak, launch the bomb, and warp out. Total exposure time is about a second.

After that travesty of bombing by Morsus Mihi, Cascade made its way home after blobbing a Scimitar. The following link replays the highlights of the return trip, which was approximately ten to fifteen minutes, in this three and a half minute video.

The next day, shortly after logging in, I joined the CTA fleet that was forming. While there is little to report about it, it should be noted that we essentially rapecaged a Morsus Mihi staging tower in UVHO-, where Morsus Mihi had apparently been attempting to take sov away from us. The tower was reinforced in short order by Cascade Imminent and triple A.

I took today off from Cascade Imminent, deciding to stay in and enjoy some of my favorite pastimes, such as reading books, a luxury only capsuleers can afford these days, and sleeping. Anjali mentioned something about trying to run a fleet today, but having such low attendance that she and the few logged in decided to stick close to home and kill anything that reared its ugly head. A quick review of the killboard shows that Anjali lost a Griffin, her fleet lost a few Rifters and a Dominix, and her fleet managed to kill a Rupture and a Kestrel today. I wish she'd had the opportunity to kill more, but that's just how it is some days. Slow one week, furious the next.

On another issue, her corp has asked me to teach their recruits how to be a hero frigate pilot. They've apparently already had one lesson from Nihassa, but he asked me specifically to teach them some ins and outs of hero tackling. On this subject, I have some good advice and better ship setups. While I would normally offhandedly recommend reading the Rifter guide Wensely has drawn up, I don't feel it entirely applies in this situation.

There are a lot of statistics and measurements and proven fits in that guide, but from what I remember of reading it, it was geared towards the lone wolf, not the sacrificial hero. As a matter of practicality as well, there is no teacher as good as firsthand experience, and sixty pages is far too much for firsthand experience. I'm not saying I'm a frigate god, or even amazing at piloting them, but the guide is just that, a guide, not a substitute, and I think Wensely would agree as a matter of course.

To that end, I had my own training regimen in mind. First, teach how to approach a target.

When you tackle, your goal isn't to kill. Your goal is to hold some poor bastard down, and stay alive long enough for the fleet to rescue you via kicking the target while he's down. To that end, there are two types of tackling. 

microwarp at the target, and when in range, web him and scram him.

The second is the long range tackle. You also microwarp at the target, but you orbit at twenty kilometers and try to outrun the drones and damage while your fleet comes in and kicks him while he's down. Normally this role is filled out by interceptors, as they are a tad fragile to take in close unless the target is fitted for long range turret based combat. Though some Assault Frigates and faction frigates are notable exceptions.

The common trick to both is the approach. Out of sheer bloodlust or panic, whichever the case is, people like to approach the target directly. This is blatantly wrong, but often blissfully overlooked when the target is killed. The pilot in these cases is thinking, "Get point get point get point,". The pilot should instead be thinking, "Stay alive, get point, stay alive, get point." A tackler that doesn't tackle fails pretty hard.

Your average tackler burns directly at the target, as though a straight line was the only path towards the target. Your smarter tackler will approach in a quick but roundabout fashion. If the target is directly opposite you on a circle, and the edge of the circle is the only path, then you your approach vectors are roundabout, yet safe. Tacklers should be utilizing this approach so as not to be melted by pilots with bigger ships. Cruisers, Battlecruisers, and Battleships can be tackled much more safely this way.

The final point to bring this training to an end is simply experience. However, pilot on pilot combat almost always results in a death, and is a poor place to train new combat tactics. To this end, I'll be arranging a simulation for the newer members in a class two wormhole. The situation is controlled enough that the pilots can get real combat practice while not being in a state of panic or bloodlust.

Computer: terminate recording.

1 comment:

  1. Ask your corp to donate a few rifters to the cause of tackle training.

    Best training I had was attempting to tackle a corpmate in a sebo zealot. The edge between death and success is a very low one.

    A few (a bit more actually) rifters later I could do it rather consistently.