Whenever I run Eve University classes on FCing, or witness new FCs in action, one of the main questions that come up is that of target priority. Who is it important to shoot and when?
I’ve given guides to this previously in this blog and in the recordings, but to sum it up you want to be choosing targets that are of high value to the enemy (EWAR, Logi, High DPS), which you can realistically kill (you can break their tank with ease, they’re withing the damage projection range of your fleet). Last night I FCed my first fleet for a little while after RL stopped being so Hectic and our main engagement is pretty much a perfect example of this principle. Let’s start with the battle report:
So, realistically we were never going to win this fight, and more risk-averse organisations who are only in for engagements the will win would definitely have shyed away. We were running without links and had lost a few Logibros to RL since the start of the fleet, and the opposing gang out gunned, out Logied, out Reconned (4-0) and generally had bigger and scarier stuff (and had both Tengu and Loki links). However, we are Waffles and I’ll be damned if I ever turn down a fight where we can kill at least one thing.
We had chased them 30 minutes prior but they had docked up in fear of our TrebleCat gang, but we met them harassing Brave Newbies when we got down to Barleguet. Once again they ran away from us, but set themselves up on the other side of a gate and refused to jump into us. So I added positioning to my mental list of “things they have that we don’t have” and went for it anyway. One thing worth noting here for FCs is that when you jump into an enemy gang, it can be very tempting to go in guns-blazing and immediately call targets, break cloak and all that kind of thing. If your opponents aren’t running it is far better to have everyone hold cloak, remind your fleet of their anchors, broadcast your first few targets and generally take 10 seconds to calm everyone down and prepare them for the fight.
Now, let’s individually consider the subsets of ships they had on the field, and it’s worth noting that their Recons and Logi were off-gate, though the Logi were still just in our missile range.
- The Recons – Usually low buffer but high resist, meaning if they caught reps they would probably tank. They had high-impact on us (especially the Curse and Falcon) so my plan was to burn us towards them (I was the Caracal anchor as well as target-caller & broadcaster) and shoot at them should the opportunity present itself.
- The Tengus – It was apparent fairly quickly that the Tengus were 100MN AB fit, which mean in addition to their at least decent tank, their high Velocity and relatively low sig would mean our damage would apply terribly. HML Tengus also have relatively awful DPS, so while they would make nice killmails they are not good important targets as their impact to the fight is limited and we couldn’t really kill them even if we wanted to.
- The Scimitars – There were three of these, and with the Tengu links we weren’t going to break them.
- The Cynabals, Talos and Tornados – Your usual Cynabal will have ~40k EHP but a very poor resist profile. They do however have good DPS and with their phenomenal speed can get into range to apply it very effectively. Standard small-gang Talos have a tank of 1 LSE, 1 Adaptive Invuln, 2 CDFEs and a EM rig, with a DCU being optional for a nano/extra TE. Combining that with their super-high DPS (assuming they had T2 Guns) makes them the archetypal glass-cannon. Similarly with the Nados, they have a few more mids and can thus fit a slightly improved tank over a Talos but they fall into the same category. Low tank + high DPS = good choices of target.
- The Sleipnir – Either ASB fit or buffer, this ship provides a good amount of DPS but would be a tough nut to crack. It’s a better choice than the Tengus but compared with the Tier 3s & Cynabals it’s an no-contest.
So, all things considered not a difficult choice for what primaries to call, but being able to recognise and process this kind of information in a short period of time is one of the key abilities an FC in any type of fleet in any kind of space must learn.
The fight itself was quite exciting to be a part of, we burned quickly through their high-DPS ships, but their Falcon and Curse made life exceptionally difficult for our Logibros and we were losing ships just as quickly. By the time they ran out of poorly tanked targets we had lost enough Caracals that would couldn’t dent what we had left, even those who had flown outside of their logistics range had time to burn back into range before we managed to scratch their paintwork. The Russians held the field, but I like to count this as a Waffle victory given how ridiculously outgunned we were and the fact that we killed 1.5B in assets while only losing a third of that ourselves.
TrebleCats are AWESOME!