Flying a mixed fleet against Sleepers

12th August 2010 – 5.38 pm

Our neighbouring system has been scanned, but no further. Keeping the class 4 w-space system's static wormhole closed gives us the opportunity to make some profit from wrecked Sleeper ships with less likelihood of being interrupted. A remote-repair battleship fleet is assembled, with two Ravens, a Scorpion, and a Maelstrom complemented with myself and an ally each in a Tengu strategic cruiser, and a Cormorant salvaging destroyer flying behind us all sweeping up the wrecks. We warp to the connecting wormhole and jump.

The system locus looks familiar. And indeed it is, having last been here around four months ago. The occupants have since left, abandoning their tower in the system. We have the system to ourselves and warp to our first anomaly of the evening, a frontier barracks. There are two Sleeper battleships waiting for us in the anomaly, almost eighty kilometres from where we drop out of warp. By the time I have got Pengu in range to shoot with my heavy assault missiles the first Sleeper ship is destroyed.

The short range of the HAMs makes for a fair bit of travel between waves of ships, and thus some wasted time, but they have their benefits. The HAMs fire much faster than their heavy missile equivalents and although they don't hit quite as hard the rate of fire means they generate more DPS overall. The high rate of fire lets me switch targets more quickly and getting close to the target reduces the number of wasted volleys caused by the long flight times of heavy missiles. Needing to get close to the ships also means that I can put my speed to better use, orbiting the target adding a large transversal velocity that means I take almost no damage from incoming fire. Flying towards the targets initially can cause problems, though.

As the second wave of Sleepers appears I manoeuvre Pengu to get in range, flying directly to the hostile ships. This turns out to be less than ideal. My velocity with respect to the Sleepers is almost purely radial, with no transversal component, which means I am effectively flying head-on in to missiles and acting as a sitting duck for the guns. My shields complain as a result and I have to adjust my course before my ship explodes. Moving to a vector that has a significant transversal component negates some of the heavier missile damage but mostly forces the Sleepers' targeting systems to have to track me, reducing the incoming damage to more manageable levels. 'Tacking' against the Sleeper fire means I don't get in range quite so soon but I am in one piece when I am finally able to start launching missiles again.

Meanwhile, our battleships are having their own issues. It seems they are having a little trouble compensating for the incoming damage, although I am unsure whether it is a lack of repair capability or the logistics of having to keep the fleet flying in a tight formation. The fleet's battleships lack the range bonuses on the remote repair modules that logistic ships boast. Whatever the trouble, the fleet has to warp out of the anomaly to regroup. That is, the battleships warp out, our two Tengu cruisers stay behind to tackle the Sleepers by ourselves. Whilst out of the pocket some reconfiguration of the fleet is made, a couple of pilots swapping ships and some tweaking of fittings occurring, as Pengu and pal clear the remaining two waves of the anomaly without fuss.

The battleships return to us for the next anomaly and everyone gets in to a smooth rhythm. The battleships stay in tight formation and repair through the damage, the Tengu cruisers acting as skirmishers. Five anomalies are completed efficiently and our salvager is being kept busy clearing up behind us. The sixth anomaly is a frontier command post and has a different wing of Sleepers protecting it, including a bunch of frigates that like to web their targets. My Tengu gets caught by four webbing Sleepers and my speed is reduced to a crawl, negating some of the damage mitigation I rely on. Luckily I can still repair through the damage and our squad leader's knowledge of Sleeper tactics lets us clear the wave without triggering the next until we're ready, so we are not overwhelmed.

Six sites are completed in total and the salvager returns with a full hold of loot without being ambushed. The loot is counted and each capsuleer gets eighty-five million ISK for their share. I check my cargo hold and see that I have shot around eight thousand missiles during tonight's combat. I make sure I replenish Pengu's hold with more heavy assault missiles, so that I don't absent-mindedly forget to check before I next fly and end up running out of ammunition, before docking my strategic cruiser for the night.

  1. 2 Responses to “Flying a mixed fleet against Sleepers”

  2. Thats what I do before I log off.
    Check ammo and make sure ship and modules are repaired.

    Not only my tengu, but all my ships.
    You never know what situation I will be dropping in when I return. Atleast I have peace of mind that the ships in the hangar are ready to go.

    By Stonie Bandit on Aug 13, 2010

  3. Holding up a fleet for a PvE operation can be inconvenient and frustrating for others, and having to delay a PvP fleet can mean the difference between crushing your targets or getting everyone in your fleet killed.

    I find I have more spare time when returning from an operation than when heading out on one, so I always make sure my ships are kept as ready as possible, as well as knowing which hangar I can find them in.

    By pjharvey on Aug 14, 2010

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.