Cole and the Hornettes: The Making Of (My First Fleet): 15.09.2013
Every Trial is required to FC a fleet with at least four Core Agony members present as a part of the right of passage from Trial to Core (which I'll talk about in the next post.) For several days I had been trying to cull my buddies into fleeting up with me, but there was either always a gang or nobody was online. Finally I decided the best course of action was to schedule a fleet, all official and what-not. Like always I began to over think everything, delving into the annals of the Agony wiki to absorb all the information I could regarding FC'ing, reading through literally every wiki article there was before listening to the audio seminars regarding FC'ing successfully. Since I had never FC'd, only been a member of the fleet or been the XO, I--for some reason--decided that this was a good idea.
I stressed myself out with details that didn't matter and disregarded things that did because I forgot to stop and 'breathe'. The day before my fleet I talked with Greygal for a bit regarding the PVP-U and how I could be more involved with it (something I'll delve into deeper in a later post) when afterwards she asked how I felt. "Are you excited, Jeremiah?" she asked. "Terrified" was my answer. But I was both excited and nervous and the prospect of sitting the FC's chair. As the time came for my fleet to begin I set up the fleet, created an advert, and waited to see who would be coming online to join in. The theme: Cole and the Hornettes. We were to fly out in Assault Frigs, Inties, and Ewar support frigates.
To my dismay, only Greygal and Wulfrunner were present for the roam.I began to panic, already deeming the roam a failure as more time passed and no more people logged on to join us; that's what I get for planning a roam on an early Sunday afternoon. Wulf suggested that I send out a ping, so I did, and we managed to wrangle Gillion into joining us for my first major failure of my Agony career. We formed up at the POS--all four of us--and departed 40 min. late, a fabulous start. GG in the suicide Griffin, Gillion in the Ares, Wulf in an Enyo, and me in the faithful Hawk.
Ronat hopped on and brought his hound and cloaky eyes to help scout our route towards eastern Syndicate where I had hoped to provoke a fight from the Moonies or E-Uni. It was slow goign at first as I tried to acclimate myself to the Fc's chair and using the J-word (blek), not to mention piecing together bits of recon coming in from both Gillion and Ronat. We moved slowly through area but got not response from either of my preferred targets, so I moved us down further south. An hour in and we had found no targets whatsoever. Then Gillion informed me that he had some intel for me. E-Uni and the Moonies were planning to form up in a joint op to go after TCF down near VV-V.
Curious, I had Gillion add me to the conversation with the informant. They wanted us to come in and mop up TCF stragglers as they went after the POS. However, after a few minutes of talking and some recon of our own revealing nothing to be happening near that area we moved on. I hadn't even noticed while I was talking with Gillion and the informant that Levnov (who is Agony's newest Core member!) had joined us in a Stiletto. So I did a little bit of micromanaging, telling my two skirmishers where I wanted them to scout and then realized with the help of a request in fleet chat that it was a good time for a bio-break. We took a ten minute bio and were joined by Reverend in an Enyo. By the time we came back I was feeling pretty good about our fleet composition. I gave the order to undock from the station and had Gillion head south for me while Levnov scouted north near JH where Reverend was waiting for the fleet. As our ships exited the station I noticed a Myrmidon on the undock, the only other pilot in system apart from my gang. I gave the order to align to JH and locked up the Myrmidon as we did to see what he'd do, gave it a few seconds, and then warp the squad to the gate and had them jump on contact. Just for a few seconds I waited as they went through and, sure enough, the Myrmidon landed on the gate. I hopped through and cold warped our fleet to the gate Rev was at as Gillion gave us recon in VV: 20 man Initiative BC fleet on the gate @ 0 km. A few seconds later Gillion informed me that his ship has been blapped, and that he'd make his way to EZA where he had a Jag to reship in.
I moved the fleet up towards MHC after that, only followed by the Myrmidon who--I realized--was Initiative as well for a system or two before detouring towards 6-C through 6E. Now I looked at the map and decided, whatever was in 6-C I wanted to come at, cutting off their escape by having Gillion ready on the EZA gate and my gang ready on the 6E gate when a Stabber hopped through. "Aggress the Stabber?" Wulf asked, and as I was about to say "Grab it" it warped off down towards ZVN--the direction we had come from. "Chase" I ordered, warping myself as Wulf warped as well. We got to the gate and hopped right after he did, and aligned out to the JH gate prepared to warp when we missed our tackle a second time. "Want us to go after him?" I was asked. "No, he's heading right for the Initiative BC gang." GG seemed a little impressed I remembered that.
Back to 6E we went where I put Levnov through into 6-C and the rest of us on a tac above the gate. Lo and behold: an Ishtar! Wulf warped down before I could say anything, but I had already been aligned to warp. "Permission to grab the Ishtar?" he asked. "Tackle him," I said, "Lev, be ready on that side. GG, hold here." With a brief confirmation from all parties the Ishtar was tackled and I went through, waiting to see what would happen. Gate flash.
"Ishtar into you."
"Point Ishtar," called Lev and I approached into my optimal orbit and scram and webbed the Ishtar, applying my DPS to it. Gillion warped to us and hopped through to Wulf. Unfortunately it crashed the gate again, and then my brain shut down on me. I saw the rats shooting at us, I told Lev to deaggress and go through, I started shooting the rats since they were a problem for us while we waited. Where was the tackle? The rats were shooting Lev and I needed my skirmisher alive. Good, he's through, now I can get rid of them and not worry about being killed while taking out the Ishtar. Why was the tackle taking so long? "Drones are out." Come on, aggress you bastard.
"Has he aggressed?" I asked. I got a stream of information at that point that revealed that, while I had blanked, the Ishtar had warped to planet 2 where Gillion chased and landed tackle. Some urgency was creeping into Gillions voice as he reported he was dying. I hopped through the gate and warped to Gillion immediately, knowing that everyone else had already warped to him. While in warp I then heard "Cyclone on grid" to which I gave the order, "Primary is the Ishtar. All DPS on the Ishtar." When I landed I powered to the Ishtar and applied my own DPS. Thirty seconds later the Ishtar was going down and there on my overview his reinforcements were creeping in: two Cynabals, a Typhoon, and another Ishtar plus the Cyclone that was already on grid with us. Wulf asked politely, "Should we disengage?" I replied with urgency, "disengage! Disengage!" I aligned out and warped off, and asked if anybody had been tackled; no response came.
I then discovered, only after a comment by Wulf that I seemed kind of quiet, I had forgotten to push my damn push-to-talk key. Damnit!
If I done so, I doubt we would have lost anything, but instead Greygal, Levnov, and Wulf had all gotten caught.
Here's a battle report: http://www.agony-unl...related/114174/
I had us regroup at a tac off the MHC gate before going to F67 so our pods could hop into noob ships, where I reassessed our strength. One hound, a hawk, an enyo, and a jaguar still flying; it was time to head home. As we got everyone through to F67 and docked up, I stayed behind with Reverend on the gate where he and I got a Nemesis coming through. With that we made it safely all the way back to 8V where I had Rev go through and give recon: Sabre, SFI, and a Naga on the 8V gate in 3KNK. Gillion and I both hopped through and Gillion burned towards the Naga, causing it to warp off while I drew the Sabre and SFI off the gate a bit before warping to a TAC. I had hoped to bait the Sabre into bubbling the gate using our fleet mates in newbie ships, but he and the SFI both warped off. I got some positive feedback about my fleet and calmed the nerves and was assured that, in their eyes, it had been a success. We had gone out, gotten a fight (and died), and won the ISK war!
It was a lot of fun and I've promised a Cole and the Hornettes: The Encore at a more reasonable time. xP
That was the first time I FC'd, the first of many.