Thursday, 29 September 2011

Because of Falcon (AAR)

Task- Conduct anti-pirate operations in Auner and surrounding systems.

Conditions- Given an operating environment consisting of small gang, a mix of BC and support ships, with voice coms in a two to three system operational area.

Standards- Engage and destroy ships with horrible security standing or that are GCC while maintaining maximum advantage and avoiding unfavorable pitched battle.

  I recently moved to the Amo system and part of the motivation for the move was to conduct anti-pirate operations in the Auner system.  I have little experience with small gang warfare as well as little experience with solo fighting.  Last night there was a defense fleet up so I hopped in my Hawk and went join in the fun.  When I found out our fleet composition was mainly BC in size I reshipped into my Falcon and joined the fleet on the gate.  I established an orbit of 30km which provided optimal range for all jammers if/when the enemy came through the gate.

  While I was joining the fleet one of our ships was working on getting a Drake to engage at a belt in the neighboring system.  The call was made to jump and warp, but I was too far out and took awhile to get on field.  By the time I caught up both the bait and the Drake were dead.  We adjusted out positions in the system for possible response from any of the remaining pirates while our bait pilot went to reship.  On the way back to join us the bait pilot found a Tengu and began to attempt drawing agro.

  The fleet positioned itself for a rapid response and this time I set my orbit to 7500m to hopefully get on the field in time to make a difference.  The efforts to get the Tengu to engage eventually paid off and the call was made to jump.  Points and webs were established but the bait ship took too much damage and was destroyed.  I was slower than the rest of the fleet to get on field but I was able to land a jam immediately.  The Tengu took awhile to die but we eventually killed it although only the first jam was successful.

  We continued to loiter in the area and I moved to a gate for overwatch with my cloak active.  One of our frigate pilots was in the next system over at the gate when a Hurricane landed nearby.  A few minutes passed in which some maneuvering took place and finally the Hurricane locked the frigate.  As soon as our pilot announced he was yellow boxed I jumped to the gate at 0 to hopefully get on field in time to make a difference.  Agro was called and I jumped.  The 'Cane had waited for the frigate to get into neut range before engaging and the frigate nearly died before it could gain some distance.  Our pilot was almost to the point of having to warp off when I landed and got a jam on the Hurricane.  The rest of the fleet jumped in, applied point, and the fight ended in another kill for our crew.  The time was late so I dropped fleet at this point and called it a night.

Personal notes- 
  I made several mistakes throughout the course of the engagements which cost our fleet at least one ship, if not two.  My first mistake was failing to notify the FC I was joining the fleet, failed to notify of my position in space, and never said what ship I was bringing to the fight.  I probably could have saved the first bait ship had the FC known to delay the fight until I was in a better position.

  The second ship loss might have been averted if I was at 0 on the gate instead of 7500m.  I wanted to stay cloaked because I thought the enemy might not know there was an ECM bird on the field and I didn't want to spook the prey.  In hindsight I should have stayed on top of the gate for faster reaction.  Getting the Falcon on the field a minute sooner might have been enough to keep the bait ship alive.

  The final engagement saw me better prepared to react faster.  I was moving into position before any damage was taken and I jumped as soon as I knew the agro timer was engaged.  I also utilized my jammers better by looking for failed jams before turning everything on.  When I engaged the Tengu I used my Caldari jam first, then when it failed I hit both of my multi-spec instead of using them one at a time.  Then I let the cycle repeat instead of running them one at a time.  I know you can turn repeat off but I prefer to have it on for now.  Finally I failed to turn on my remaining jammers until half way through the cycles for the first group turned on.  All in all when engaging the Tengu I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing, but when I engaged the Hurricane I was much more thoughtful about using jams the way I've read about on the forums.

Communication with the FC is critical and I should have done better
Utilize ships with more combat toughness and place less reliance on a cloak
Practice using jammers to develop proper habits for ECM combat

Learning from mistakes while still on the field

  I should consider getting a Rook if I want to continue filling an ECM role while performing anti-pirate defense.  The Falcon is too fragile for my current skill level and I am limiting my options by being afraid to commit to a fight.  I also need to practice using ECM on my alts so I can get used to quickly thinking about what module to hit, whether or not I want repeat on or off, and developing good habits.  The fleet did great despite my failures and I am looking forward to spending more time patrolling the space lanes looking for bad guys to kill.

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