The context of bombing in this post will be with regard to engaging with multiple opposing fleets already active in system. There are myriad ways in which bombers and bombs can be used and I will hopefully get to them in other posts after attaining more experience.
1-SMEB, recently the stage of one of the biggest fights of 2013, in a week where there have been some pretty damn big fights. Our intel before we headed out was that a TEST iHub had been reinforced, and were pulling their manhood out and slapping it onto the table on order to defend it. 110 slowcats on standby, a fleet of Blaster Rokhs, a fleet of AHACs, over 60 anti-bomber instacanes combined with bomber support is apparently what TEST brings out when they mean business. Local during the fight itself went up to around 1400 as the battle raged around the iHub.
It had come down to me to FC Waffles for this bombing fleet, it was my first time commanding bombers and the biggest fight we were likely to bomb during our current deployment in Delve, so needless to say I was bricking it. In terms of prep work, I made perches all around TESTs staging POS, the iHub and had a perch on each of the four gates in local, the only place I did not get perches was on their jump bridge as our CEO already had some. We did in fact set up on the jump bridge first but were seconds too late to bomb TEST as their instacanes came in. Goons had a good go but sadly failed to do much damage. Preparation is everything when it comes to these fights, you need to be set up and have all your options open to you in order to get that one amazing run in place.
Given the importance of the fight and my inexperience leading bombers, our CEO was to lead the first assault and then hand over the reigns. The fight got so messy that the handover did not end up happening, but frankly I’m glad as it gave me the opportunity to learn what the correct decisions are in such situations, and I learnt a LOT on this fleet, especially how effing irritating bubbles are to a bombing fleet trying to get a good angle. For those unfamiliar with bombing runs on predetermined locations, I’ll quickly run through the way we were doing it, though I know there are several:
Firstly, you split the fleet into squads of seven bombers. This is because bombs themselves will destroy each other, and only have significant resistance to their own damage type, where they can take 6 hits before exploding, hence seven bombers per squad. With all the excitement about this OP, we had four squads of eight bombers, with the eight running void bombs which travel faster than regular bombs and thus will not be destroyed as they will explode out of range. You set your squads up on orthogonal perches, warp your dictor in to (suicide) bubble the opposing forces, wing warp everyone else in at ~40km, launch bombs then warp the hell out and re-cloak. All you have to do that is get back to your perches and wait for the bomb cool-down before attempting your next run.
It sounds simple, and it is pretty simple, but perfect execution is exceptionally difficult, especially as the grid was bubbled the hell up, meaning our bombing squads couldn’t really get good warp-ins. Our one best opportunity came when TESTs blaster Rokhs MJDed out of bubble cover, and we were just about to hit the button when the goons showed up and beat us to the punch. Mad props to them though, that was a lot of dead Rokhs.
Sadly there were no more opportunities for bombing runs after that, finding good wrecks, warping to them and bombing affectively under 10% TiDi is fairly ridiculous, so a bunch of us ended up going full kamikaze to at least whore on killmails (fairly succesfully in my case: http://eve-kill.net/?a=pilot_detail&view=kills&plt_id=703837&m=5&y=2013).
Given that I was supposed to be FCing, I’m afraid I don’t have any footage for this post, so instead I’ll leave you with a completely unrelated but beautifully successful bombing run Waffles did a few days ago: