Dissection of a BroadcastForlorn Wongraven
In our first weekly column from Pandemic Legion pilot and Alliance Tournament XI winner Forlorn Wongraven, he picks apart a very controversial recent broadcast by The Mittani on the CFC’s new Dreadnought doctrine, Omegafleet.
In early 2012, Pandemic Legion developed a fleet concept called Slowcats, based on carriers, capital remote reps and the sentry assign mechanic present in Eve Online. Members were encouraged to train and swap to the Archon as soon as possible due to its ability to survive the biggest danger for capital sized ships: a Doomsday fired by a titan. Since then, Slowcats have improved and continue to be used en masse by Pandemic Legion and other alliances. While easy to deploy on the battlefield, Slowcats lack manoeuvrability and must focus on strategic or tactical objects. This makes the doctrine a very good tool for offensive and defensive sov warfare, comfortably able to hold the field against large sub-capital fleets.
CFC’s counter to Slowcats is based on bomber squads that bomb the deployed sentries and large Dominix fleets. However, the supply of sentries is large enough to have damage on the field for a couple hours and the remote repped tanks of Archons can “tank til downtime”. As this does not favour the CFC in the long term, there was a recent broadcast from The Mittani to all CFC (and spies):
This broadcast is about Dreads. For more than a year our enemies have been making extensive use of sentry archon blobs, as they did throughout Fountain until Z9PP. In the past, our method of dealing with them has been ‘drop dreads or 1000 megas’, however as the number of carriers in these fleets has grown from 100 to 200 to 250, that has stopped being viable. Each Archon has approximately 2.5m EHP and spider-tanking is tough to break…
Unless you shoot that 2.5m EHP Archon with 30 goddamned arty Naglfars (each spitting a 97k alpha) and blap that cocksucker before his buddies can lock him and rep him (because his buddies have all been damped to shit by FYF).
Dreads are now easy to crosstrain. Effective immediately we are prioritizing arty Nags > else. This is the hard counter to the enemy’s favorite tactic, and 50-70 Nags will doom any carrier on the field regardless of how many friends it brings, like a capital-class Alphafleet did to our foes previous attempts at spidertanking subcaps.
*** This was a broadcast from the_mittani to all-all at 2013-12-03 19:53:07 EVE, replies are not monitored ***
Apparently this broadcast had too many errors even for Mittens himself so he posted another propaganda article on TMC, in an attempt to fix things. Also N3 is the new BoB. 😉
Pandemic Legion and N3 have deployed Slowcats for at least a year now and their veterans have maxed all the necessary relevant skills. CFC pilots have just been told to train for Naglfars. While you can sit in a basic Naglfar (according to CFC’s capswarm requirements) within two weeks if you already have capital skills trained, large projectiles at 5 and siege T1, it takes about another 80 days to perform as needed. If you are a rather new player that has just finished his sub-capital skills, you are looking at a 160 day long skill queue if you are not mapped against perception and willpower. In that case, it’s questionable whether or not it is even worth bothering training for Omegafleet Naglfars because you will be too late for this war and probably for this doctrine anyhow. I personally have no idea how common the “army of alts” is within CFC compared to Pandemic Legion’s standards, but usually newer players prefer to train their mains – when they already committed in a battle they will not be able to reship to a Naglfar.
As far as getting pilots into a Naglfar, CFC can probably help out their pilots with subsidies and exchanges. At some point, the question will come up as to which fitting is the most cost-effective. It is possible with a lot of ISK to pimp a dreadnought to the maximum. Some pilots will do that, but they are very vulnerable sitting ducks for at least 5 to 50 minutes in TiDi. The supply of hulls and T2 rigs is easy enough if built in-house. There is also the option to enhance the fit with meta capital guns, but the supply is rather low. Pandemic Legion doesn’t use meta guns for dreadnoughts for that reason. 😉
Archons are prone to resolution dampening as far as remote repping is concerned. However stacking penalties can also play a key role in any potential encounter on the battlefield. You can try to damp an Archon fleet but without a full EWAR support fleet, you won’t get them all. Remote sensor boosting within the Slowcat fleet can mitigate some of those effects as well. As the FC, I would rather find a better suitcase ship for these pilots, given that in all recent Slowcat encounters there were at least two other supporting sub-capital fleets on grid.
Mittens is rather optimistic about the actual numbers that need to be on field to blap through Slowcats. A detailed spreadsheet can be found here showing different possible fits, fleet bonuses and skills applied. The first tab shows the minimum number of Naglfars needed to volley through a Slowcat in different fittings with different pilot skills as well. The Omegafleet doctrine calls for at least 150km range to the Slowcats.
If we work on the assumption of an average pilot skilled with mostly level 4 skills and T2 siege plus a cost-effective dreadnought fit, the minimum number of Naglfars needed to one-volley a Slowcat is 65. Experience in Eve shows that you usually have to add at least 25% more pilots more due to pilots being bad, bumped off during Siege, not activating modules due to TiDi and so on. That would suggest you need at least 80 Naglfars on standby. This will not go unnoticed to spies. At this point the meta game comes into play: is a spy able to be in the Omegafleet and warn the Slowcat to be primaried? In Siege you can only target 3 enemies. The lock time is around 16 seconds while hardeners have a 20 second cycle. It may be enough to overheat the low slots of a Slowcat before the first volley is fired, requiring maybe one or two more volleys to destroy it.
However another Slowcat fleet can appear next to the sieged Naglfars very easily so I also added the number of volleys needed by sentries to blap a Naglfar. Keep in mind that sentries fire every four seconds, so within 105 km of said reinforcement fleet any Naglfars dies easily. At 10% tidi 50 minutes Siege is a VERY long time… The Omegafleet Naglfar can’t profit from fleet bonuses while the Archons can so a normal Slowcat fleet with a mixed skillset of level 4 and level 5 can kill a Naglfar every 12 seconds. And those Slowcats aren’t prone to the meta game due to only one or two trusted guys needing to manually target dread after dread. Naglfars, due to Siege and gun cycle mechanic, need 32 seconds to kill a Slowcat even when their alpha is a lot higher at close range. Over time the DPS race is in favour of the Slowcats and very quickly, the number of Naglfars drops to the point that all primaried Slowcats can be saved with remote reps.
Both sides can still win under this condition. The Slowcats could get reinforced by close range dreadnoughts on top of the Omegafleet or titans could be dropped to DD the sieged Naglfars. Close range suicide dreadnoughts or heavy alpha from titans? Or another CFC Omegafleet could appear 150km away keeping forces balanced. Everything and anything is possible.
Manfred Sideous of Pandemic Legion developed a tactic to minimize the risk of bringing titans to the battlefield. Titans are known to bump when you jump them in with large numbers. A bumped titan will traverse outside the rep range of the Slowcats very quickly and are then very vulnerable to the remaining Naglfars. Orbiting an cyno anchor at 20km range, the Slowcats generate a SPHERE of obstacles that slow down titans from their initial bump so they stay well within remote rep range, denying hostile fleets an easy kill. Yesterday this theory was tested in combat during a seven hour long fight over the sov in DY-P7Q and it worked as intended.
We will see how fast CFC pilots can train for the Omegafleet concept and if they have the courage to bring it to the field when a solid counter has already been found. This war has just begun and the chance of getting multiple fights against CFC capitals is something many people in Eve online are looking for quite some time…