Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Plunge to Fleet Command

Entry: four hundred thirty, guest Anjali Subranni.

I had my first chance to be an FC. Even True hasn't done this yet, something I find myself incredibly proud of being much newer to capsuleer life than him. Upon joining my new home, RUDE pirate corporation, I had expected to be a lot like True actually: a grunt, a lone wolf, a soldier.

Fate has cast me in a different role though, and I found myself enjoying it.

The problem was that the corporation, by and large, had become inactive combat wise. I mean, we're pirates, we're supposed to throw caution to the wind and have fun! But, instead, we hadn't been. Many had been running missions in high security space, or mining, or being industrious citizens. I had been listless since nothing had been going on, and at some point I realized the recruiter, Watson, had been approaching a breaking point, but doing everything he could to get the corporation motivated.

The issue was what we expected upon joining. It didn't take long to realize that almost everyone in the corporation had expected the same future as me: to be a grunt, a soldier, a lonewolf. With no one else stepping up, I was faced with the option of leading, or leaving.

I gave a shot at leading. It went surprisingly well, considering all the bad that occurred.

I organized a roam under the premise of a nano cruiser / nano battlecruiser gang. I was going for fast, shield tanked, high damage ships. Things already went wrong with this, as we've had an influx of newer members that could not fit these sorts of ships, in some cases not even fly them. I went along with it though, because we're not a null-sec corp. We're pirates, we're supposed to be hodgepodge at first, until we acquire enough loot to be among the best.

We set destination to Hevrice. The plan was to find the Tuskers, kill them, and come back. This is mostly because I felt certain that were we to encounter the Tuskers, we would find a fight. I also happen to know that Lucifer's Hammer likes to hang out around there somewhat, and that they are very strong group of pirates, worth fighting just as much as the Tuskers.

Two jumps in, we were holed up on the pipe from Dantumi. There was a cruiser fleet on one side gatecamping us in, a Battleship gang on the other side camping us in. We nearly lost a few ships right then and there. Thanks to some quick command decisions from Watson, and some later decisions by me to create a rolling safe, we managed to avoid the death at our doorstep.

Some time later, we resumed the roam. A few jumps down the line, I found and tackled a ratting Armageddon. I called the fleet in to kill it, and they arrived swiftly, meeting out swift punishment. Nihassa has itchy trigger finger, however, and destroyed the pod before we got a chance to ransom it.

Nothing else happened until we reached Old Man Star, where we encountered a Hydra Deimos. After trying to resolve the situation peacefully since many of the corp original members came from Hydra, we engaged. The Deimos pilot won out, destroying me and getting away with twenty percent structure intact. With my Slicer destroyed, I picked up an old Crucifier lying around at Old Man Star. Since we only had a few more jumps, I knew that the next four systems themselves were largely inactive, we set destination for Dantumi and headed home.

Close to the end of the pipe on our way back, we encountered a small gang, consisting of a Rupture, Blackbird, and something else. A quick discussion, and the gang held on the in-gate for the enemy down the pipe. Watson managed to chase down the Rupture to a belt, and while it got away, the Blackbird that came to help did not escape. It turned out that the Blackbird pilot was also the FC for that gang, so they weren't coming out to engage us again.

We resumed our trip and entered Dantumi.

I warped the squad immediately to a cyno that was up. I barely managed to whore on the kill, as, again, Nihassa has that itchy trigger finger. The fleet then warped to Aurohenen where there was a small frigate fleet active that Watson reported. I lost my Crucifier to gate guns, and then a Griffin to the same gate guns, while my fleet under the command of Watson and then Nihassa, once Watson lost his Vagabond, eliminated the frigate fleet.

I know I wasn't a fantastic FC, but I think I did fairly well for my first time. Nihassa and Watson seem to agree, having made me an official FC for my timezone, as well as Nihassa giving me a Slicer and buying me two new Arbitrators, as I was unable to buy them given my recent ban from zero point nine space and higher. I may have to rely on True and Reschef to get me ships in the future, if the corp cannot do this for me.

Overall, I'd rate myself about a three point five out of five. I did ok, with some good bits in the middle. I didn't lose my Slicer stupidly, but I did lose the following two frigates stupidly, and was not able to FC the final battle.

I think I could improve in command decision making, as well as learning what can and can't tank gate guns. Also, better scouting, as I was it, will be helpful in avoiding gangs that suddenly warp in as I tell the fleet to warp to the outgate

Computer: Terminate recording.

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