Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Frig Hole Fun Time #5

Here's a hypothetical situation.

You get invited to a party. The party involves 3 ratting carriers in the depths of Oasa and someone offers you the amazing deal of, viz. flying 15 jumps through highsec to get in via a frigate wormhole. Please bring bombers and Dictors.

Do you go? It's Hard Knocks, but it's a frig hole. 3 carriers versus a mob of bombers, T3 destroyers, dictors, maybe the odd HICtor if anyone's thinking straight. Debate focused on whether they could survive and whether if we turned up we could make a difference. I settled the debate - all that we needed to do was keep the carriers tackled, even if it took an hour or two.  Hard Knocks was going to drop a dread. It would be a Swaglfar. Shit was going to die. We were going to turn up.

We happened to have a large sized exit to Oasa anyway, via our chain, and could go 14 jumps through nullsec. So we elected to do this. From our experience the previous week with Haywire's batphone, where all that was lacking on field was logi, we boarded every single Scythe we had in our POSs, and set off. Our noob recruit brought a Crucifier and Daldaman brought a Moa for DPS, having run out of rep ships.

It was smooth sailing, except for one gate which was bubble fucked 120km in every direction. A lone Jaguar harassed us as we burned through the bubbles (750m/s on AB) but he backed off when we deployed 25 Hob II's. It's not like he could do shit all.

We joined the HK fleet, but stayed on our own comms, where it was calmer no doubt. We dropped on to grid at the edge of afield of bubbles and spammed fleet chat with "Broadcast for reps!" a few times, set up an orbit, and deployed the whore drones. When we arrived there was a Chimera, Archon, Thanatos and 2 Svipuls. HK had a mix of T3 dessies and faction frigs, WH0RE had a mess of bombers, and there were a couple of DICtors YOLOing past to keep bubbles up.

The fight went more or less as expected. The HK Swaglfar got on grid just before we arrived and entered siege, pounding on the Thanatos.Then the locals dropped 3 dreads, obviously thinking it was going to be easy to punch the date of the Swaglfar. This wasn't the case.

With the 3 enemy dreads on field HK needed to refit, so their Swaglfar pilot kicked a depot out to refit from gank to tank. Depots are vulnerable until they anchor...so some ALL CAPS requests were set to the Prolapse logi squad to keep the depot alive during it's anchoring cycle....which we achieved with 2% hull and some judicious heating. Phew.

We did our job, keeping the brosufs alive. The Cruor of Highlan Chamberlain was probably the least liked ship on field and kept us busy. We failed but once, the only death after our arrival being a WH0RE manticore who got shot by the Svipuls while aligning out away from us. RIP.

Primes were switched to the enemy Nag, then the Revelation, and finally the Phoenix.

Thereafter, the only real notable thing was the enemy Chimera had an heroic tank. 3.8M damage taken. He tanked like an absolute boss. Props to him.

We even managed to gank an Anathema on the way home, in Scythes with no points. Podded as well, and corpse thrown on the Altar of Bob.

Battle Report P-ZWKH

An ominously silent youtube video

The analysis?

Well, firstly, Hard Knocks has dreads logged off in certain regions, "because of reasons". I knew they would have one nearby, which encouraged me to get my guys moving. It is a fortunate byproduct of, as said in the preceding post, having a corporation focused on PVP, and rolling in ISK, that you can afford to seed dreads deep into bumfuck nowhere nullsec right nextdoor to major ratting hubs, with the intention of YOLOing them on to tackled capitals. That's worthy of respect. 

Failing that, the backup option available to them, and again this comes from having an army ant approach to chain probing and rage rolling, is that they can smash their statics every 10 minutes and probe their C5's looking for nullsec connections which enable them to bring out 3 capitals close enough to cyno them in. Like I said above, 1 or 2 hours is all it takes. Turd Destroyer isn't boasting when he says he's got 20 Sabres fit up in his hangar. You might need them if you can only access the target system via frig hole, but you'll burn them while you are rage rolling hard for an exit.

My third point revolves around the ratters. They lost 16.8B ISK in caps not only because they didn't just leave the tackled capital to die, but for a whole mess of reasons. Even accepting that the defending dreads may have refit during the fight, their fits were atrocious. Only one of them had triage, and he was the one who tanked like a boss. Arguably with refitting, and a second triage carrier, he'd have possibly stayed alive for a greater time.

Aside from the capital fitting problems, the carriers didn't have enough drones. The fight kicked off sometime around 05:30 and finished at 06:30. With 3 carriers on field it's inconvievable they should have run out of drones if they had the proper amount, which is shitloads. Even 5 Scythes would struggle to keep the T3 dessies up versus 30 Acolyte II's, and no hope with the bombers. Yet 2 of the carriers got defanged entirely.

The Hyperion was a good idea, but better yet given the presence of a triage Chimera on field, would have been a RLML Cerberus or two. We had trouble keeping up the Cruor at times versus infiltrators and Svipuls. A couple of RLML Cerbs and it would have been lights out for one after the other of the bombers.

The ratters batphone was that Jaguar, and probably only because he trailed the Scythe squad into system. There was no hornet's nest response fleet, not even a gradual building-up of manpower and resources. Nada.

Realistically, as much ISK as you want to make in nullsec and as safe as it generally is, if you are in a carebear ratting corporation you are only as safe as your corporation makes itself. You can't always avoid being tackled by ceptors, and certainly against an organised outfit like HK which seeds dreads just for occasions like this, even projecting their limited force through a chokepoint frig hole, you're probably fucked. But when all your mistakes and omissions and crap fiting, crap logistics and crap allies combine...it goes spectacularly badly.

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