Category Archives: E-UNI


So ages ago I posted a video about a Cap fight I was involved in while in E-UNI, I just saw this video of that same fight and it is hilarious:

In other news; I’m Campaign Commanding the current Waffle sdeployment having been promoted to “Senior DIrector” or whatever that means. I’ve probably 80% written 10 posts for this blog recently, just don;t have the motivation to finish them. New content….soon…maybe?

Apoth ♥

Waffles vs FCON vs E-UNI

Last night E-UNI had an arranged fight with FCON. I won’t go into how I found out about this, but let’s just say I knew where and when it was going to happen with about 2 hours notice and thought it might be fun to crash the party and apply some Waffle dunkage. What followed the two hours before was 3 hours of stress, frustration and euphoria. The plan was simple, get our lovely Darkside Naga doctrine formed up with enough people, travel two regions over and get a good warpin. Oh, and don’t get bollocksed by the myriad of blocs with fleets along the way.

A borrowed Titan bridge and a lot of jumping later, we’re 5 jumps out freeburning as we’re 10 minutes late (battlecruisers are slow bastards these days) and I hear that the E-UNI gang have engaged FCON. Their armour gang vs FCONs Cerbfleet. The result of the fight was pretty predictable.

Let me take a moment here to say FCON, dick move, seriously. E-UNI can’t do damage projection and have very few Recon pilots. If you’re going to have an arranged fight bring something they can trade with, don’t bring something to just sit at 60 and burn through everything they have without a chance of ever losing ships. Arranged fights should bring fun to both sides, so don’t be cocks.

Rant over, anyways, after 10s of forming on the ingate and sorting a warpin (cheers Gallastian) we landed on grid. Numbers were pretty even between our Naga gang and the Cerbs, though their sig radius, perfect damage application and ability to control the fight through superior speed gave them a slight advantage. Evidently that meat they should warp off immediately as we landed on grid, feeding us a Scimi we managed to tackle.

E-UNI had very few pilots left, so they bravely limped back through the Skarkon gate and made themselves scarce. As you can tell, I wasn’t very happy with FCON and we’d traveled quite a long way with very little to show for it, so I gave chase only to find they had 120 dudes ready to go two systems over. Cue the Cerb fleet going and docking up to be replaced by a 80-90 man rail Ferox gang with ~20 Logis and plenty of tackle.

At this point you’re probably expecting a trademark ambitious but inevitably futile Apothne welp. NOT TODAY FRIENDS!

Fortunately for me Waffles were on top form. The Waffle Naga anchor (Morrow Disca, soon to be retiring to NIGGS) kept us at the lovely range of just under 50km from their Feroxs, right at the edge of our optimals, and (in my head) forcing the Feroxs to choose as long a range ammo as possible while maintaining maximum DPS for us, making life for our logis much easier. Our pilots focused fire beautifully, logis were on the ball keeping us repped up (though it got a little hairy at times) and our support were hero-pointing and webbing/painting targets like pros.

Unfortunately for FCON, they were not. As you can see from the BR the Feroxs with T2 guns had Spike loaded, giving them an optimal of ~97. Sure, we’re in DPS range but you’re doing ~270DPS with horrific tracking, whereas with faction Thorium you’d be doing 100 more, while still being at good range. Their pilots with T1 guns had STANDARD antimatter loaded. For the inexperienced, the difference between faction ammo and standard ammo is that faction does a ton more damage…..and that’s about it. The general rule in EVE is that you use standard ammo for structure shoots (and only then if you’re cheap), and faction/T2 for everything else. With the standard antimatter (and meta1 guns, really? I know meta 4s are expensive but meta 3s do wonderfully) they’re doing 332 DPS at 23+15, i.e doing zero damage to us. If we once again consider faction Thorium, they’d be doing 286 DPS that would actually hit us.

Now, a quick aside to speak to Railgun doctrines, which were both being used here. Antimatter is your short range ammo (Javelin is rarely useful), Uranium/Plutonium is your medium range ammo, Thorium is your long range ammo and Spike is your ridiculously long range ammo. Not carrying sets of each is akin to flying a Pulse laser doctrine without scorch. Not a good idea.

My three favourite kills however are these: Small gun Ferox? He’s using faction ammo at least I guess. Javelin? Really? 13.5+10 is what you wanted? Next-to-no-tank attempting-to-be cap stable Osprey. wow.

We managed to bag a few extra kills on the way home but not much else worth of mention happened. Mocking FCON baddies and berating poor doctrine choices is all well and fun, but what I would like to speak about now however is how terrible I was during the pre- and post-fight part of the fleet. I was fairly happy with the fight itself, I called intelligent targets, told our anchor where I wanted us to go and maintained good situational awareness, but for the travelling my words were continuously garbled,my decisions were slow and garbled and I spaced out often and had to continually ask scouts to repeat intel (especially after the fight).

This is where I find myself with FCing these days, I have enough experience and familiarity with popular doctrines that I can make relatively intelligent decisions and control the fight decently, but that is a fraction of what a FC needs to do. Moving the fleet itself around with ad hoc desto changes, having multiple different sources of intel through different mediums coming through and being so incredibly short on time blew my circuits and I pretty much cocked it all up. After the fight(s) I find myself a mixture of exhausted and elated, draining my concentration substantially and ruining any good maneuvers to eek out more kills. I can’t imagine any of the Waffles on my fleet were particularly happy with me or confident that I was doing good things while we were both setting up and leaving.

Frankly, the fact that we got the fight with the Feroxs was pure luck, as soon as our original target the Cerb fleet warped off in L4X I had that awful moment of realisation that I had brought us all the way out here for nothing but a single Scimi kill. Thus, I have the following things to work on, which are also factors any FC should be thinking about:

– Mental stamina: It is my dream to one day be competent enough and have the opportunity to lead a PL campaign and FC large scale, important campaigns and engagements not only passably, but fantastically. There’s no hope of doing this if I can’t maintain a high level of concentration and mental acuity for extended periods of time.

– Delegation: Partly to help with the above, but in general I will have a finite number of things I am capable of doing at any one point in time. There will be a subset of those things which I can do well, everything else needs to be delegated so that all jobs get done well.

– Presence & Personality: It was noticeable how at the PL London meet, whenever Hedliner opened his mouth the room stopped, turned and paid attention. Even when he was just chatting you could see people twitch to listen, tables over when he started speaking loudly. A 23 year old, green student had the attention of middle aged professionals as well as all kinds of nerds in general and people from all walks of life. He obviously has done a damn sight more to earn their respect than me, but any long-term FC should make people want to listen to him and enjoy spending time in his or her fleets. I am currently awful at this.

Apoth ♥

I welped EVE University again

A big thank you to Zorena for capturing what he could before he died.

Anyway, this is in fact the third time I’ve tried to run an EVE Uni TrebleCat fleet (which I totally stole from PL after we used it in Waffles), the first time we didn’t get the numbers to hit critical mass and the second….uh….I overslept. I believe this to be a great Doctrine to train EVE Uni because it checks every box I go through my head when thinking about them:

Is it cheap? – New players don’t have big wallets, and you’re not spending more than 40mill for a T1 cruiser here.

Is it low-SP friendly? – T1 cruisers with T1 guns being of no detriment (you use faction ammo anyway), unlike for example AB Mallers which just don’t work anywhere enar as well without T2 guns for Scorch

Does it provide options? – People like different roles, and here we have 3 races represented as mainstay parts of the fleet: the Caldari Caracal for Deeps, the Minmatar Scythe & Bellicose for Logistics and target painting/anti-tackle respectively and the Gallente Celestis for EWAR

Does it work when you have a ton of dudes? – You NEED a ton of dudes to make this fleet work properly, hitting critical mass at around 30-40 in fleet.

Does it provide opportunities to learn about core game mechanics for both newer and more experienced players? – When you have a corporation of lots of people of low SP, a large part of your fights are going to be brawling blobs when you land at zero, shoot the primary and press F1. In this fleet you learn about managing range, different ammo types and fleet basics in the Caracal, logistics basics in the Scythe, interesting EWAR in the Celestis where you have a sufficient drone bay that you have to pay attention to what you should be doing with those, and independent target prioritisation in the Bellicose, while painting the main DD primary. By having backup anchors for DD and Logistics, I can also help train new FCs who want a bit of a stepping stone from F1 monkey to doing everything. Both Interceptors and Interdictors are exceptionally useful in this fleet, and have the potential to make interesting piloting  as the core ships do not have tackling modules.

On to the battle report:

We had taken longer than usual to form up as it was a brand new Doctrine and a brand new way of flying for the UNI, but we set off in reasonably good time where we came upon a medium-sized no-holds-barred armour setup travelling though low sec. None of them were engageable under the UNIs RoE so we followed them for a little while to see if they were going anywhere interesting, but sadly they headed straight for Hi Sec.

Not a lot happened as we looped around back onto my original course, but eventuually we made it to one of my favourite places to find a big fight at the moment, the CVA/AAA border. If we had found nothing there then I would have taken us no fear mode into Curse where pretty much everyone in the game is deployed at the moment, but thankfully CVA obliged us to a fight. We found a few Drakes and a Sabre on our outgate in 4B-NQN, and our scout reported the rest of them on the other side. The odds were not in our favour, especially with all that light tackle to web us down but I took us straight in as CVA sometimes lose their bottle and run if you look like you know what they have but are willing to engage them anyway.

Our Ceptor got their forward Drakes to agress, and we managed to take two of them out before reps started landing, at which point I had to change our focus to the legion of light tackle and EWAR (though it seemed like every ship in their fleet had utility EWAR) as we just weren’t going to break those drakes with the reported 9 Scythes on field. That may not have been actually true now I look at how they were fit, especially this one:

I made the choice I believed was best with the information I have at the time, and started to work through their tackle, despite the fact we would not be applying full damage to them. Had our Logi anchor not gotten webbed to smithereens off the bat, or handed over the role earlier, we may have survived a little longer to continue my plan of remove tackle, alpha Scythes, then move onto Drakes as we danced on the edge of their damage projection capabilities (same weapons, but Caracals have a hull bonus to missile velocity whereas Drakes do not). To be honest, we were going to welp hard even if that didn’t happen, and I knew that going in, but that was one hell of a lot of fun and a great introduction of the fleet concept to my UNIbros.


The ISK ration is 1:2 in their favour, but I like to think both sides had an awesome time and would have that fight again without hesitation.

Apoth ♥

Announcement & Storytime

So I realised I haven’t done many battle reports lately. Usually I like to tie them in to some grandiose point I’m trying to make, but since we’ve moved to Kinakka I’ve been having so much fun I just want to share the raw joy of EVE for it’s own sake, in the form of a selection of fleets I’ve FCed. Before that however, I just want to mention that I have been listen on, an awesome site that keep a list of active EVE blogs. It’s how I found out about EVE blogging and through the blogs themselves how I got inspired to start my own, so you should totally check it out. Anyway, pewpew time!

Fleet 1: Breaking in Kinakka

To celebrate our moving to Black Rise I took out our first fleet after the move; dual-prop Thoraxs with Celestis/Augoror support. We had with us 3 ‘Ceptors and a random Arazu to start with so it was a fairly beautiful comp, though I would have been happier with 1-2 more Augs (we had 3).

I set us on a looping path through Black Rise, a region I’m relatively familiar with thanks to my days in the UNI.

First kill of the night, storyline point Typhoon:

Second kill of the night, single-web Hugin:

Note that our friend in the Hugin was from the 2013 Capture The Flag runners up team. He jauntily told us from his pod “don’t go anywhere faggots, we’ll fight you”. Now, I have learnt a few things about what Snuff box mean when they say this, so we moonwalked straight out of system.

Aaaaand straight into a frigate gang, however we were in cruisers and they were in frigs, and they decided they didn’t want to fight so they all warped off, barring this Deadspace-repper Navitas:

We continued on our merry way, with (to my massive and completely real suprise) a Snuff Arazu jumping into a system with us, failing to click cloak long enough for us to lock him. Because I’m not a TOTAL retard I called for us to align while blapping it. Sure enough a T3/Guardian/Absolution/Damnation fleet dropped so we o7ed out taking no losses.

At about this time a regular PLbro (Capt Morgen) spoke up about the massive fight that was occuring in Fountain, so we burnt at best speed to go get in on the action. On the way we blapped a few guys:

Still, we set up on the J5a gate in EI- due to the great traffic moving through. I have never gotten so many kills in such a short time. After a few minutes of frantic bubbling/pointing/blapping a Caracal Fleet, a Megathron Fleet and a ‘Nado gang joined us in local, all of which posed a big threat to our 20-man gang of cruisers.

We set up a rolling safe to wait for them to pass through, but it became clear that the Caracals were hunting us down (especially when they probed us down and warped otno a few guys a bit late in the rolling), so we extracted.

2.14B killed for 200mill lost. Today was a good day.

On the way back we picked off anything we could in our path as we defensively bubbled outa there with the Caracals hot on our heels.

And thus we got back home and started rage-pinging bombers for the big fight going on, but sadly CCP Blueballed us by accidentally the whole server before we could get involved.

Fleet 2: Guest FCing for EVE-University, Caldari Racial Fleet

Let’s start with the combined BR:

So that’s an EVE-UNI Caldari themed fleet (because why not) vs a TEST HML Caracal fleet.

UNI: Unmindlinked Vulture Boosts, 1 Rokh, 1 Rapier, 3 Drakes, 4 BlackBirds (this is the UNI after all), 8 Caracals, 1 Moa, 7 Ospreys and a plethora of frigs and dessies.

TEST: 28 Caracals, 13 Scythes, 6 Stabbers, 6 Thrashers & an assortment of light tackle.

If I had told EVE-UNI we were going into null, some of those pods would have not been quite as pricey (though the pilots were happy to lose them given the fun we had) and the ISK war would reflect more how ridiculously even the fight was. We met on the gate and started dropping all the bubbles. TEST quickly blapped through our lighter ships that could not hold reps, leaving us outnumbered almost 2-1 in raw ship values, though we of course had the stronger logistics and were rolling a bit heavier. Despite receiving insane DPS and mad target switching from the TEST FC, our logibros were on point and kept our ships with sufficient tanks to catch reps alive. Equally, we did not have the DPS to break the TEST Caracals unless I could get out Vulture and Rokh involved, which essentially meant i spent the entire fight trying to herd the UNI (and TEST against their will) into Blaster range, which was not a particularly easy task.

In the end the TEST FC got wise to my tactics and we just weren’t breaking them any more, but at that point TEST was between us and home, so we pulled up our sleeves went for a third engagement to try and break home without having to traverse B-D (Goons home system). At that time, N3 decided to come in with a Proteus and bunch of bombers to start torping our Vulture, however bombers are not known for their great tank and were dispatched in short order. I was told that some of the fight had been FRAPSed so hopefully I’ll be able to edit this with an upload of that too.

Fleet 3: Test Blaster Nagas, Please Ignore

I actually wrote the first half of this post, then took this fleet out and decided to chuck it in. This all started on a standard Waffle shield BC roam, where our good PLbro Captain Morgen (FC of the Artybal fleet I wrote about some time ago, to this day my favourite fleet in my EVE career) brought along his Blaster Naga and was extolling its virtues. After that, we spoke over IRC about the fit and he commented I should take out a fleet of them, which is exactly what I then did. There was a lot of controversy over this choice of hull for it’s job, both in Waffle forums and when my last post here got into reddit, however everyone agreed afterwards that the ships performed better than expected, and are worth further testing.

This fleet actually got off to a bit of a rough start, with a few of our key pilots being ~20 jumps out, and the guy who imported our Nagas who shall be only named under the pseudonym “Jewiapek”, fitted thermal ARMOUR rigs and 1MN MWDs on the ships. Still, the troubles were sorted out in good time and we headed out for some explosive research into the effectiveness of this fleet concept.

Long story short, we got blueballed by Placid locals, BNI, Rote-Kapelle and EVE-UNI for 90 minutes, but then by a stroke of luck ran into an almost identical gang from Black Shark Division on the way home. They had 3 SCimis vs our 4 Scythes and 1 Scimi, 2 Rapiers to our 3 Huginn and one more Nado that we had Nagas, so it was about as even as one could realistically expect. The results however that we dumpstered them, probably partially due to having 3 Huginns and killing one of their Rapiers straight off the bat.

We jumped into them and while they tried to align off they weren’t much faster than us and as soon as our Huginns came into play they started dropping exceptionally fast, despite them putting multiple of out scythes into structure or low armour. As soon as they realised they weren’t breaking our Logi they left the field, which has prompted me to want to have a dual-long-point Lach in this fleet concept rather than the third Huginn (I had only planned for two at the start anyway). A couple more Nagas wouldn’t hurt either, but I was totally happy for a first test of this fleet concept. The only other change I would make would be to swap one of the Adaptives for a second LSE on the Nagas (admittedly requiring an ACR) which will increase the buffer substantially and greatly help with cap.

Fleet 4: We love Brave Newbies

Since Brave Newbies Inc. moved into Rahadalon in March, which was two jumps from Waffles staging system in Assah, we have maintained a good working relationship with them. Having said that, I was rather surprised when I looked over from my station-trading toon to my main to find a convo request from Le Petit More, a BNI FC and my main contact point with them in the past. To be honest we hadn’t really seen much of BNI since we left Assah in April for Todi, but I’m glad he remembered us.

LPM told me that a BNI frig fleet had somehow tackled two Nocturnal Romance Capitals 15j from us and needed some DPS backup to take them down. I rage-pinged in IRC and we undocked with our core shield BC fleet in under two minutes, with more people catching up as they could. We landed on field and started applying DPS to a chimera, who despite triage and an almost complete absence of neuts on our side could not hold the incoming damage, and even though it took a while he went down without much incident. During this time we had heard basically everyone in  the local area was forming, most prominently Suddenly Spaceships, most of whom would be jumping in to save the Caps rather than kill them.

Just as we switch to the Thanny 8 SS Slowcats drop in and we start losing ships to Sentries. We stick it out to kill the Thanny, giving BNI orders to kill the sentries to piss off the SlowCats and force them to micromanage their drones. After sacrificing a bunch of BCs to kill our second Capital we signaled the retreat and went home, happy with out two kills, as it’s not often waffles get to shoot at carriers (PL hide the keys to the Capital Cupboard and don’t let us have them, apart from on very special occasions or move Ops).

Apoth ♥

Starting out as a FC Q&A 26/06/2013

So I ran another “Starting out as a FC Q&A” for EVE UNI. I was a bit unwell so it was fairly informal and relaxed, but I had some good fun  and it was nice to chat with some old friends in there.

You can find the recording here.

Thanks to Chloe C Connor of EVE University for doing the recording, as well as EVE University itself for having me.

Staying Safe in Space 101

Or at least, doing everything reasonably possible to be aware of your surroundings and achieve your goals without losing your ship unnecessarily. Let’s talk about Concordless space, specifically anywhere not high-sec. Much of what I mention here will also apply to high-sec, but CONCORD does add a nice safety blanket in 0.5+ which I’m not going to take into account here.

Last night I ran a fleet based on some intel we had received of a E-UNI mining Operation. This fleet lead to two great examples of different group not taking appropriate precautions and thusly losing ships unnecessarily. First, the E-UNI miners:

They were out in Syndicate which is very near to where Waffles are deployed, so naturally we went to say hi. Now, the plan was that we had a cloaky Hictor logged off in their mining system, we would warp him in, he’d bubble up and cyno us so we could bridge in off a borrowed Titan, then we could get some bear killmails and have a brawl with the defense fleet. At worst, the miners would be playing intelligently and we’d get a fight out of the defense fleet, which is pretty much all we wanted anyway.

Sadly, the E-UNI defense fleet consisted of a single Thorax, so we kind of just killed everything, including members of two other gangs that were planning to kill them before we dropped in:

This was my first time doing an Op where we were a) shooting non-combat ships and b) bridging in off of a Titan. Watching the recording now makes me realise how chill and clinical the whole thing was, like giving the baby Unistas a ganking vaccine. A little pain now so (hopefully) they learn how to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

Battle Report:

Despite the nefariousness and a fair bit of butthurt that occurred afterwards, all of them could have avoided losing their barges through basic safety tips everyone should know, any one of these could have saved them.

1) Mine aligned

If you are insistent upon gnawing on those tasty Null asteroids, make bookmarks or use celestials at opposite ends of each belt such that you can align down the belt, do a pass of mining, then realign back and continue mining. This way the second anything appears in local or on D-Scan you can immediately warp to a safer spot, and even dock up until  the danger has passed.

2) If there are neutrals in local, don’t mine

If you are in null-sec and there are people in local who are not blue to you they WILL be trying to kill you, or relaying information about you to other people who will do it for them.

3) Watch D-Scan

If you’re mining ~dangerzone~, anything that can bubble you to prevent your prealigned escape will be either warping in decloaked or be cynoed in on top of you. Purely by paying attention  to D-Scan the miners could have noticed an Onyx in space (even noticing it warping in their direction if they had multiple people scanning at different ranges).

4) Choose your location carefully

EZA-FM is a well travelled system in a region (Syndicate) historically known for multiple PvP-based entities living there and in general lots of fights happening, EZA-FM itself is in the middle of a web of systems, it has 4 adjacent systems which themselves have many adjacent systems of their own. If you must mine, do it in a lesser-travelled back-pocket with limited ingress and egress so you can take advantage of picket scouts (throwing an alt into a system on a gate where you can watch local and keep track of travel.

I am ashamed to say that I have Exhumers 5 on my character from my life before I joined EVE University and SniggWaffe, so I can appreciate the sadness, but by not taking any of the above precautions, as well mining in such a well-traveled system I’m afraid I have little sympathy for the UNIbros who lost their vessels.

Just because you’re in PvP ships and have a trap planned does not mean you are prepared appropriately. On our way back home our +1 reported a gatecamp on the ingate in K5-, where there was a SFI and a few other bits and bobs sat in an anchored bubble. The most important part of this was that the system we were in, that any potential targets they would be shooting at would come from, was empty. i.e they had no scouts telling them what was going to jump on top of them.

I warped our whole fleet to the gate and told our Drake to jump through. Yes, the most obvious bait in the world, but bear with me. Probably rather pleased with themselves, they decloaked multiple bombers and started torping our drake, so we just jumped everyone else in and started blapping. Sadly the lock times on BCs aren’t that great and they were all on the edge of the bubble, but thanks to our own bubbles we managed to snag a few kills.

Guys, seriously. Gatecamping 101. Hell, EVE 101: Know what’s on the other side of the gate.

In summary, the way to stay reasonably safe in EVE and not lose your ship unnecessarily is to have a good awareness of your surroundings and be able to asses threats. Both of these things become vastly easier with experience, but they are critical ideas for any pilot or organisation nonetheless. By performing a few basic safety measures you can save yourself a lot of time and ISK.

Apoth ♥

Brave Newbies & E-UNI: Exactly the same and totally different + ramble

NB: Halfway through righting this I turned on a completely different direction that I had planned. Ideally I should split this ramble into two posts that actually make sense, but this is my blog and I’m free to be as lazy as I wish. The latter part is something I feel very strongly about, and even though it may sound very condemning towards the groups I mention, I think they are fantastic and only write such things because I believe they have the potential to be so much more awesome than they already are.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ll have heard of the creation of Brave Newbies Incorporated, a corp founded on reddit, exploding with new members without very low experience and SP looking for fun PvP and making their own story in EVE. Their enthusiasm and abandon in getting fights has also meant they have received a large number of alt from certain null-sec blocks with far too many blues who just want to goddamn shoot at things.

I approve very much. I love this approach to the game and is one of the things I enjoyed most about about the UNI and continue to enjoy in Waffles.

Before I left the UNI BNI were still stationed in Hek, where they essentially got blapped to pieces whenever they undocked. Shortly after I joined Waffles they moved to Rahadalon, two jumps from our staging system which essentially means whenever there itsn’t a scheduled fleet out we’re in there relieving them of their ships. A rather amusing side effect f this is that Waffles has the 7th most kills this month in all of EVE, not bad for a corp with no more that ~30 guys online at any one time (total member count including alt and what have you is ~150).

As an added bonus, by engaging in the art of “Market PvP”, a few of us have made quite a lot of monet restocking their home station with cheap crap at a “profitable” margin. Personally I’ve made a few hundred mill thus far, which may not sound like much but they fly fully T1 everything, so market traffic is going to be very limited ISK wise. Regardless, one of our guys was screwing them so badly they thought it was an inside job and kicked their logistics guy, which was bloody hilarious from where we were sitting.

Unfortunately, some of their members were not so happy with affairs as they were, and though to everyone’s enjoyment the CEO decided not to remove the “Brave” part from their names and coward out, the following mail was sent to their corp by one of their members and the sentiment gained a lot of support:

Frоm: Rеd Follower
Ѕent: 2013.03.04 00:10
To: Brave Newbies Inc.‚

may i make a suggestiоn?
sincе we have mоvеd to our new home we have been farmed by sniggwaffe and сamped into our staition. if we were to move one jump over into Mendori we would deprive this corp from a multitude of kills thus making them move on. most of thier members have a -10 standing and cannot venture into any system above .4. if we are to be one jump over we as a corp or a fleet can easily jump into low sec for our roams. this would be safer for newer pilots and would allow us to seed the market without risking our ships trying to get to the station through a gate camp.


Thankfully they stayed, and now that they have all simultaneously skilled into T1 cruisers, the fighting has become (for me at least) a lot more interesting. I’m currently running what is essentially a mini-Talos;

Though sadly my non-perfect cap skills make my life a bit more difficult. Flying either solo or with some friends in other nano cruisers is a great laugh, lots of things to shoot at with my spare ships only 2 jumps away, with the minor annoyance that their are no repair services in Rahadalon. To their credit, BNI have been improving very rapidly, now using probing solutions to great effect and well as knowing when to get off field (most of the time). Overall, I think BNI are a great initiative but their regular members suffer the same problems as the E-UNI ones, Fweddit are the only similar corp who I’ve seen that don’t do this, and is makes me sad. I’m going to try to explain this as carefully as I can because it could very easily morph into something I don’t mean to say.

Having a bond between corp-mates, facing the opposition in good spirits is one of the best parts of EVE, but there can be a unnecessary level of butthurt and over-exaggeration in the difference SP makes. The directors and older members of both E-UNI and BNI get this, as do many of the grunt, but in the core of both there are many who take a friendly in-game rivalry and expound upon it in their heads to ridiculous levels. Sure, losing a fight, especially when you get truly whelped can be a little disappointing, but in more cases than people realise whether it’s Shadow Cartel, Waffles, or anyone else, we’re just guys playing a video game. We’re not “evil”, we aren’t fielding stupid amounts of ECM or ganking your miners and running away whenever a PvP ship undocks, we want fun fights.

Lower SP and experience is something to take into account, not an excuse to be made for losing. Instead of giving those as reasons and nursing a grudge, look at the engagement, look at the ships you brought, look at the way they were fit and take what you can from them. This attitude should be applied whenever you PvP, the first turns you into a bittervet and the second turns you into a better player who enjoys playing the game. The best examples are probably the current day CFC and HBC, and how BoB was taken down. Lots of new guys, but organised well into a great fighting force.

“But Apoth, you’re in the small group of highly skilled players and you don’t understand what it’s like to be in new corp with people who don’t know what they’re doing. You have so much more SP that the odds are insurmountable.”

Well, no. My character has 7 months of PvP skill points (I have ~25mill SP which sounds like a lot until you find out I have Exhumers 5 and stuff of the like). I spent 7 months on the other side of this table and still managed to bring that attitude 99% of the time. I’m one of the guys who FCed those noob fleets to their deaths and totted up the totals after. Now that’s I’ve had the benefit of both experiences, there is so much I have learned. I can promise you that though SP can make a lot of difference when the numbers are otherwise even, just by having a bunch of people more or outshipping or having more logi or EWAR, the balance of power can be drastically changed. These things are called force multipliers for a reason.

I’ll use a recent fight with E-UNI as an example. It wasn’t one of their shining moments and was definitely not the norm when I was still a member.

You’ll probably be surprised (unless your already cynical and old) to learn that is was a friendly fight. We gave the UNI a good bit of notice before rocking up, and then an extra 30 minutes because we’re just that nice, and this is how we were rewarded 😦 We were originally told that they only had 11 people on so couldn’t really face us, so even though we would likely all die we said to outship us by a class to make their odds nicer. Let’s see what they eventually brought:

– twice our numbers (as to be expected)
– As many BC or above as we had ships
– 50% more logi
– general massive overkill

I know a lot of those pilots back from my UNI days and many of them have more SP than half these Waffles. More logi OR greater numbers OR ship class would have been fine, but refusing to fight until it’s 100% win is kinda sad.

Anyways, it was a glorious fight and an awesome opportunity to fight completely against the odds and great FC practice for me besides. I may sound like I’m pretty butthurt above (which would be some beautiful hypocrisy) I went onto UNI comms after and had a laugh with the guys from the fight. GFs were exchanged from both sides etc etc etc. The reason I’m harping on about this is because it’s stuff exactly like this that gives you a reputation in EVE. The UNI used to be known for ECM blobbing, though after the second half of 2012 the guys we fought regularly (Shadow Cartel, fweddit, etc) were on great terms with us and more people were happy to engage E-UNI fleets because they new the fight would more likely be fun, rather than being permajammed. Popular bloggers and other members of the community wee talking about the vast level of improvement they had seen in the types of fleets being taken out and the skill with which the UNI were fielding them.

The old perception of the UNI is of ECM blobbing, risk-averseness and general bureaucracy. Since I started in the UNI last September it has come leaps and bounds towards much better (and far more fun) PvP training, even at a director level the rules and methods have been changing (and there’s some cool stuff that I know about on the horizon for you UNIbros as well). So, specifically to the UNI, BNI and everyone else who has a lot of newer SP members, retain that enthusiasm, keep a good attitude as you make the Universe a better place for it, you enjoy the game far more and the new player life-blood which pulses through EVEs veins is strengthened for the benefit of all.

Apoth ♥

NB2: I think this is maybe my first very opinionated piece, so I may or may not get a lot of people being very angry at me or thinking I’m very stupid. Firstly, I am quite stupid and am wrong a lot, but regardless I’ll do my best not to become a mini-Poetic. You’re all awesome!

The great DragonSlayer of Egghelende

So, last Saturday was the culmination of a month of organising and advertising. I had decided that I wanted to take out my first UNI “DragonSlayer” fleet, which for those who don’t know is a fleet where the goal is to hunt and kill capital ships. It presents the opportunity for all of E-UNI to bring somewhat more expensive ships than on our usual roams, as well as giving out capital pilots a chance to dust of their Archons. In short, a massive show of force by as many UNI members as possible.

The first thing I learned from this roam is:

– Getting a 175 man fleet through a gate sucks ass.

Yes, we roamed for ~3.5 hours without seeing any action whatsoever. entirely understandable with a 175 man fleet consisting of well over 100 armour battleships, 20 dedicated logi and 10 neuting battleships including a Bhaalgorn which were supported by 7 cap Augorors (Think cap guardians but cheaper, marginally less tank but still provide the same cap).

Regardless, as we started to meander back to Aldrat, we were told that Fweddit were fighting someone at the sun in Egghelende in cruisers. Fweddit has extended me an invitation for a triage fight for quite a while and I had messaged one of their FCs that we’d be out and about so I decided to crash the party. Crash the party we did, resulting in 200 killmails for E-UNI.

You can see from the battle how the engagement went, by an large it was a turkey shoot while I did my best to keep everyone in range of the enem,y and in range of our reps. Until PL joined us via a Fweddit cyno, our reps held perfectly on those who actually broadcasted and stayed in range.

You may be wondering why we dropped any caps in the first place, as the inevitable inevitably inevitabilised when dropping caps anywhere ever and PL dropped 13 supers on us. Despite being the FC, I didn’t actually know that the first capital was gong to drop when he did. He had very kindly organised all our cap support for this fleet and was looking after their logistics. Given this was my fourth fleet to ever feature capitals, and my first roaming fleet of this size I was quite happy to let him do so.

A second cap pilot spend a good while whilst I was trying to FC the fight complaining about boredom (who wouldn’t after 4 hours of nothing, followed by a fight you aren’t joining in on?) and not getting any killmails, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and drop him in. The third cap pilot had joined us halfway through the roam, and to be completely honest in that moment I forgot we had him, so while the second cap pilot willing threw himself to the wolves, I do feel sorry for the third, as well as that sexy Navy Megathron being used as our primary cyno ship. I have boundless respect and admiration for Korr’Tanas and that’s not a cheap ship.

In case you couldn’t tell from the video, our backcyno had dced, meaning the 3 second window we had to jump our non-triaged capitals out could sadly not be seized. Yes, from now on I will be double and triple checking that my capital pilots have redundancy in their backcynos.

We got a fair bit of flak in the reddit post for either being incompetent for dropping capitals onto a cruiser fight, which would inevitably cause PL to drop us, or for being “butthurt” for losing caps. Redditor “SpaceMonkeyBalls” sums it up far better than I could:

“You dont seem to grasp the point here, most of the E-Uni losses can be put down as noob mistakes as can be expected by a bunch of noobs. The carrier was just there for comedy purpose as the 10 or so guardians/oneiros were holding rep fine. Besides the Carriers and cyno BS there were only 12 other losses worth mentioning. 2 BS and a few BCs. And success doesnt get measured by isk/loss ratio its more fun/loss and nobody here cares about loosing ships not even the carriers. What do you think we thought was going to happen after parking a carrier at Egg sun for 40 mins.

Also it seems that you have been successfully trolled by the vid”

Yes, we knew the Caps would likely get dropped by supers and were unnecessary, but it was bloody hilarious and everyone had massive fun. We weren’t fighting for sovereignty for a system, we were fighting because fighting is awesome, especially in a such a fleet as we fielded on that day. I have no hard feelings against anyone who was involved in that engagement, including PL, as PL did what PL always do, and expecting anything else would be insane.

On the way home we managed to find a suspect Orca in a belt. I have no idea what he was doing there or why, but I’d be willing to bet the meager sum of ISK I have in my wallet that he was not expecting to be blapped in the way he was.

The fleet took some rather beautiful pictures of the fight, so I’m going to finish this post by linking my favorites.

Apoth ♥

Learning from fleets 102

So, I took out my first kiting fleet, having experienced flying in one for the first time only a few days prior. I was gifted with 60 eager pilots which is wonderful, but pretty hard to find a fight with. Generally my solution top this problem is to shrug and welp us into people with more stuff, something I’m rather good at, and welp us I did.

Pretty straightforward setup, Snuff Box popped into local and told us to “WAIT RIGHT THERE FOR LIKE 10”, so wait we did. They jumped a standard Zealot/Guardian setup which I was quite thankful for, as I was half expecting them to bring their Macharial “F*ck you and everything else on grid” Fleet. Sadly the fits we had were edging on a bit more EHP than covering the EM hole, though that probably played only a minor part.

After they blew us all to smithereens, they rather unnecessarily camped our way out and tried to cut off as many people escaping as possible. I’m not saying they should have let us out, but we politely waited for them to come asplode all of our things so I had rather hoped after the field was littered with IVY wrecks they might allow us to quietly limp home. No such luck. As anyone who has been to Black Rise knows, getting out is a bit problematic, there were two flashy fleets covering the easy ways out which meant the only thing to do was try to out-maneuver people who have been boss pirates since before I knew what EVE was. We got more people out than I expected, but still took heavy losses.

Learning Outcomes:

– A massive amount in general about how to control kiting fleets in contrast to the usual brawling setup, seriously, I sat for about an hour after the fleet in quiet on my sofa just thinking, watching and re-watching the video on my laptop.

– Effective communications in kiting fleets, how to manage aligning out and how to keep the fleet at appropriate distances while still on the move.

– Hopefully all the pilots learnt a whole bunch on this fleet. We had a short dress-rehearsal in Aldrat where everyone tried to kite my mighty thorax, and the improvement for the actual fight was definitely noticeable. Obviously we all have a long way to go but I was very pleased with the progress and am confident that if kiting fleets are taken out regularly we’ll have a core of experienced kiting pilots who can increase the efficiency of the learning process for newer players.

– Scorch is BADASS.

– Whenever I try new stuff and fleet styles like this old mechanics such as clear target calling and remaining composed in general falters. This needs work.

Apoth ♥

EDIT: Since posting this a member of Team Liquid convoed me and gave me a masterclass on kiting fleets and general small gang/solo PvP. You sir are a badass. Thank you!

Fleet Command 103

“You must not ask yourself what your fleet can do for you, but what you can do for your fleet.” – Apoth, trying to sound fancy and provide a good opening to this post.

Something of a cliche I know, but I want to discuss the limits of what an FC can do for his or her fleet, and what is reasonable to (in my eyes) for newer players to expect from the FC (what each side cam do for each other, see?). As I FC for the UNI, I have (and continue to have) trouble finding the right things to say at the beginning of each fleet I run to introduce each player to the knowledge I need to communicate for whichever fleet I happen to be running. This problem is only exacerbated by the constant cycle of new students as will as non-consecutive participation (darn real life!), meaning that something mentioned last week may be vitally important or completely pointless to bring up in detail again. Not only this, but many members of the fleet will not have English as their native language, or come from a part of the world where my Bristolian accent is less than understandable. Equally, new players don’t necessarily know what they don’t know, or how much research to do between fleets. I remain of the opinion that to take part in the vast majority of fleets in the UNI all you need is a ship and a chair (though a microphone is preferred and the chair is optional, I happen to know a capsuleer who pilots from the comfort of a bean bag).

This idea came to the forefront my mind when I recently took a kiting cruiser fleet into Black Rise.  This was the second ever kiting fleet I’d been on, and the first I’d FCed (having stolen the doctrine from the first), and it was certainly the first or second time flying in one for almost every pilot on the fleet. I’m sure you can all imagine what happened, and you’re exactly right. I didn’t originally want to go to Black Rise, but there are very few places you can go with a 60-man fleet and still have people shoot at you.

Given the inexperience of everyone involved, we had a dress rehearsal before we left Aldrat and to be frank I was actually rather pleased with how well everyone flew. Despite my best efforts and what I though was a good long explanation as we traveled to our destination, you could have probably written a short novel of other things I did not say that would have been useful.

Let us for a moment consider a “perfect FC” for new players. He covers every detail of fleet movements, exactly what he wants every ship to do at every point before and during the fleet in a perfectly clear and calm voice. He knows exactly how to communicate the finer points of what each pilot needs to be doing in a elegant way that covers the finer points and has helpful hints, without it becoming too much of an information overload. I think it’s fairly apparent that this is actually both impossible, and even if it were possible not a good thing. The start-up to each fleet would take over an hour, and the FC would have to be able to say multiple things simultaneously during combat, similar to the Djinni Bartimaeus having multiple consciousness in the fantastic trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Not only this, but the repetition of the same information on every single fleet would bore every single pilot to tears.

On the other hand, any singular piece of information could be exactly what the fleet needs to hear for the concepts require to click in their minds. These fleets are designed to some extent to provide practical experience in each role over varying styles of fleets. To what extent can I expect EWar pilots to have attended/listened to “EWar 101”? To what extent can I rely on Squad Commanders to answer questions? Will the Squad Commanders give good answers? Will the new pilots ask the right questions, or even be confident enough to ask?

The only answer to this problem I have found is to cover the super basics on every fleet (insurance, clean clone) and then cover the vital points for the situations we are likely to face. If we’re brawling, focus on broadcasts, spreading points and keeping DD in optimals. As on the fleet mentioned previously, I focused on kiting distances & where each ship should be in the kiting blob, as well as the different target priority for both DD and EWar, given that they are significantly different from a close range slugfest. During bouts of Hi-Sec, when I’m hanging around in mumble, and directly after the fleet I constantly attempt to encourage discussion and questions, if there is anything anyone wants to bring up as well as in the AAR which I (usually) spent a good deal of time on.

This will be an ever-evolving problem, but hopefully over time I will learn how to communicate more eloquently and usefully to newbros, without boring or alienating oldbros. It’s more than likely that there is no solution, and each of us have to do the best we can and deal the hand we’re given when trying to pass on what information (however little it may be in my case) to players still discovering the basics of the game.

Apoth ♥