October 20, 2014

POCO Defense Fight AAR: Returning to the FC Seat

Currently Suddenly Spaceships is deployed to the Cloud Ring region for a contract. We're acting as the PvP wing for a group out there, and we've been here for several weeks now. It's been fairly boring at times (we basically chased everyone out of the contract area for a week or so and no one undocked. Thankfully they've been slightly more active since then, but it definitely slowed down a lot after we started working), and it's been pretty exciting at times. Like last night.

We got word a few hours beforehand that there were going to be some POCOs coming out of reinforcement in NM-OEA. One of our interceptor roams saw the timers and marked it down in Fleet-up's handy timer tool.

I login about 40 minutes before the first timer comes out and put a fleet up. Our employer tells me that they were reinforced by roughly 20 people in mostly battleships, so I choose Sacrileges as our fleet comp. I'm comfortable in them and I trust their tanking ability, and hopefully their neuts would turn a fight if they bring something similar again. I'm worried though because I'm getting reports that FA and RAZOR are coming along. While I'm getting the fleet organized I'm trying to find a replacement FC; I didn't want to jump back into FCing on this operation since it had been so long. I literally hadn't FCd in six months or more. Lioso Cadelanne takes the fleet and moves us to NM-OEA with 5 Sacrileges, roughly 5 Guardians, and support ships of random types: Pilgrims, a Brutix Navy Issue, a Vexor, some interceptors etc. The employer couldn't field similar ships to us, but we had a core group that we trusted; the employer was just along for the ride.

We begin our presence in NM-OEA by sitting on the POCO being repped when a scout reports quite a few tech 3 battlecruisers, interceptors, a Huginn, a Blackbird, and a Sabre coming in from the only gate, 33FN-P. Lioso moves us to the gate and soon enough we're bubbled. The Sabre jumps out and Lioso has us burn away. The tech 3 battlecruisers come in and the fight begins.

Lioso gets primaried at the very early stages and warps out alive, handing FC back over to me. I begin calling primaries, starting with their tackle. We down the Taranis and Sabre in quick succession. Unbeknownst to me at the time was that we had lost three non-alliance pilots who weren't broadcasting for reps. Directly after their losses we were able to kill two more Maledictions (as well as a2B ISK pod. I don't even remember what this guy was in.), making it difficult for them to hold anyone down. I think this was one of the primary reasons we were able to come away with a win; their damage wasn't applied very effectively to our primary fleet of Sacrileges.

I noticed that a large portion of their Scimitars were right on top of our Sacrileges. I checked with Isabela Valentine, was our logistics anchor, if our reps were holding and got confirmation (again, we weren't aware that blues were dying without broadcasting). I called tackle on them and began to ignore the battlecruisers who didn't seem to be putting much damage on us. We took out two of their Scimitars. It was at this point I believe they warped off the field.

They warped back in, however, and practically right on top of us. We started to chew through their battlecruisers one after another, dropping four in a row. One of our Sacrilege pilots, Adorable Rage, got hit hard here and was just outside of rep range. This was almost certainly my fault. The field was very scattered, and while I feel like I was making good target calling choices, in retrospect I don't think I handled fleet ranges very well.

All the while the Blackbird was being somewhat annoying. At one point all of the logistics were jammed out. Regardless, we continued to plow through their Scythes and Scimitars before they finally gave us the field. A few of them stayed on grid out of range and I had the fleet begin to align out towards the sun to try and get a warp in on a nearby wreck. Arkentantix CarpeNoctem went in for the tackle but perhaps didn't realize we weren't close enough to warp directly to him. Unfortunately he was out of rep range as well and died. Before we could get a warp in on that cluster of ships, they warped off. They gave us GFs in local and began to disperse.

We returned to the POCO to guard it and another blue died on the gate in a Cormorant.

In the end, all of the POCOs were repaired and our employer was very pleased. They all had a great time it seemed and really enjoyed the fight. We only lost two members of Suddenly Spaceships, which I suppose is a silver lining.

It felt good to FC again. It's truly been a long time. I'll be working on ways to improve my coordination between the logistics and myself in the future. I really think we should have saved Adorable if I had paid a bit more attention.

You can see all of the kills and losses here.

And from just Suddenly Spaceships' point of view here.