Monday, 15 December 2014

The circle is now complete!

The circle is now complete, the pupil has become the master.

My first article was just published on TheMittani.Com.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Bah, I feel like Liddell Hart

Most people have heard of the Blitzkrieg, the terrifying, tremendous revolution in military thinking that Germany introduced at the start of the Second World War. The idea is to punch through the enemy line by concentrating force on a narrow section of the enemy front (called the "Spearpoint") then drive tanks and motorised support through the gap to get behind the rest of the enemy front line soldiers and overrun their rear support areas like canteens ammo dumps and command bases.

Far fewer people know the story of the origins of the sensational new military doctrine.

A British officer, Captain Basil Liddell Hart, invented it and attempted to convince the rather traditional officials at the Ministry of Defence that it would work. Having recently been through the First World War where aggressive audacity was brutally punished by defensive positions based on machine guns and barbed wire there weren't many takers. It was in Germany where there was more of an appetite for a fresh approach.

Tank warfare guru Liddell Hart

In null sec it's very difficult to get fleet doctrines adopted by one's alliance. Theorycrafting doctrines is a job a lot of people want, so often it gets allocated by seniority even if the people coming up with the ideas are not active FCs. There are a lot of moving parts to implementing a doctrine from importing the ships, persuading pilots to own one, reimbursing them and of course taking them out and using them correctly.

So like a lot of FCs I come up with good ideas from time to time that my side leaves in the In Tray to moulder and gather dust.

While I was in Test I tried quite hard to get the alliance to adopt sniper cormorants. It was a real struggle, I got kinda half way and even ran a few cormorant fleets but people weren't turning up in the right ships and none of the other FCs were using the doctrine so it withered and died. I even took it against Mr Vee where I was able to out-manoeuvre his Jaguar fleet and keep the Cormorants in range to shoot while being out of range to get shot but we didn't have enough people in the right ships to apply effective dps. A few weeks later CFC introduced its very successful Harpy fleet - small rail sniper ships just like Cormorants which have been a spectacular success ever since and remain one of the CFC's most used doctrines.

Tonight we formed against NC. in Fountain to fight over a timer that they didn't want to contest. They formed in drop and blap Claws, a new doctrine not seen in null sec before. Eve Uni used to fly a similar Thrasher doctrine. The idea is you land, align, shoot then warp off, the whole process taking under 3 seconds. The Claws get one shot off, with the very high alpha of artillery and then are gone before anyone can shoot back (unless specially designed for fast lock). Even our instacane was not able to lock them in time and get a shot in.

The devastating Claw class interceptor.
The Claws did really well, killing about 16 CFC ships including this tengu. While we balled up in our blob we watched them perch above us, pick a target then warp down to it and kill it. For example, this scimitar. Note how negligible is the damage caused by the other interceptors in the gang. It was all about the Claws.

No Claws were lost in this battle.

Why am I feeling frustrated?

I'll just quote myself from a post I put in the Bastion forums after my friend Idoru and me had been theorycrafting on voice comms:

Here's a high skill, high damage variation. In this you don't point at all, you simply kill them. It's a concept for a fleet of only Clawtys. 576 volley damage at 27 km, 288 volley damage at 38 km (most inties can't even lock that far!). With close range ammo they do 1008 each volley damage allowing a fleet of 20 to warp to the bad guys, one shot a cruiser, then warp out immediately before most things can even lock them.
(Bastion forums, June 11th 2014)

Now I know how Liddell Hart must have felt when the German tanks chased the British Expeditionary Force out of France in 1940 using his ideas on Manoeuvre Warfare.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Jumping is hard now.

FC: is anyone not clear to jump?

[20:51:18] BuffFresh > x
[20:51:19] Althurus Vendrius > x
[20:51:20] Odin Valknir > x 3hrs
[20:51:24] Jelle K > x
[20:51:24] Krestianin > x
[20:51:27] THE PROPHIT > X
[20:51:32] Minchurra > the red one you mouthbreathers
[20:51:32] Hirotakimora > the timeeerrrrr
[20:51:33] Julia Starling > the orange one
[20:51:33] Odin Valknir > yes thats reactivation timer
[20:51:38] Odin Valknir > YES THATS THE ORANGE ONE
[20:51:44] Raven Seer > rip
[20:51:48] Zen'ya Zoku > o7
[20:51:51] Odin Valknir > my blue is 23hrs
[20:51:55] Havoc Faux Amatin > why is ccp making us math hard
[20:52:14] h4kun4 > they wanna make eve a geek game again
[20:52:18] JohnyRingo > Odin Valknir you need a break lol
[20:52:30] h4kun4 > ohwait
[20:52:35] JohnyRingo > cuz its gonna go up now..ways up
[20:52:53] Odin Valknir > i cant jump till the orange timer goes away anyway
[20:52:58] Odin Valknir > so i may as well drop from fleet
[20:53:03] Adrie Atticus > hide in the tower
[20:53:16] Odin Valknir > my orange timer is 3hrs so lol

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I've started a corp: Officer Training School

I'm delighted to say I'm giving running a corp a try. I've had experience in previous games of running guilds - in Star Wars Galaxies where we acquired a certain notoriety and in Rifts where we couldn't quite progress in the raids fast enough to retain our useful players. I also co-founded a WoW guild that was server first for several years.

The Officer Training School is a corp built around a playstyle - intense interest in Eve tactics with a bunch of enthusiasts testing out different doctrines tactics and fits. Nullsec is a great environment for this kind of play as we see all sorts of pvp from big fleet fights to small skirmishes and solo combat.

Anyone interested in joining or simply in talking to us join in game channel OffTS

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Blackbird, blackbird

But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

- Wallace Stevens

The blackbird ecm cruiser is one of the delights of Eve gameplay. In the CFC coalition we use it to play a minor role in our ecm fleets. These mostly rely on Celestises and do jamming. Personally I love the knowledge that by jamming someone I've ruined their night.

In full tidi, which applied for the op where I took there pictures, a jam cycle lasts 200 seconds after which it takes about 50 seconds for a tengu to lock up a target. 4 minutes of another player's life, cruelly annihilated every time my modules work.

Our blob will block out the sun!

The brightness of the right 2 jams shows they are active, jamming out two hostile FCs

With our info links up my range was 246km. Hard to jam Slippery Petes though

Woot, all those tengu wrecks!

In the end I collected 81 million isk worth of salvage and loot.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A correction and an apology.

I said in my last article The Bastion has always aimed to be a rapid deployment alliance. This is not quite right. We aimed to be a force projection alliance.

Packing up our carriers with ships, go somewhere, and get an early foothold is a little different from responding rapidly.

Of course in Phoebe that again might get revisited.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

So Someone Tied Lead Weights To The Bottom Of All The Carriers...

(Internal post I thought might interest the rest of you: )

Carrier jump range reduced to 5 LY  with perfect skills and a cooldown timer on chain jumps.

I actually rather like this but of course it has big implications for our alliance.

First rapid pangalactic deployment needs to be reassessed. We may need to deploy to Delve by flying to Delve in interceptors then using local resources rather than bringing a carrier full of ships each. Effectively JF's may take over the strategic role of Carriers with an expectation that people defending a broad space (like Vale to Delve) will need to have ship stashes at multiple locations.

Next we are now a real flank. We are right bang next to PL/NC. space and the rest of the CFC can't get caps here fast. So our flank, consisting of Razor, us and Co2 gains tremendous strategic significance. We must be a rock, a real bastion.

And here's why I like it - the challenge, the danger. We really could lose all our space if we are asleep at the wheel the way the old Northern Coalition did. We can;t count on a massive blob to save us.

At the same time it's a real chance to shine. If we can be the rapid deployment alliance that we've always aspired to be and which we've achieved so successfully in the past then we can show the rest of the CFC and the rest of Eve how amazing we are.

It's game on. This is CCP's attempt to make holding an empire that's an entire side of the map big impossible. CCP's attempt to break our coalition.

Challenge accepted.