Monday, January 28, 2013

Fighting Tech 1 Logisitics - Ideas

Back on January 14th in a post titled Nerf Calls for Nerfing T1 Logistics I took Poetic Stanziel to task for complaining about T1 Logistics:

Over at Poetic Discourse blog Poetic Stanziel has issued a call to reduce the power of the new T1 Logistics:
The composition of fleet fights in faction warfare lowsec have changed radically since Retribution was released. I'm not so sure for the better.
Before December 4th, flying with logistics was a rarity. Something done occasionally to mix things up, to try something new. Fweddit experimented with a Circlejerk doctrine involving Drakes. We had some success with it, but it was a specialty doctrine, useful only in particular situations.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in logistic fleets since I joined faction warfare until the release of Retribution. Nearly every fleet I've flown in since Retribution has had a contingent of logistic ships.
I'm not asking that T1 logi be removed. I'm simply suggesting that they may be a tad overpowered, and that maybe their "healing" skills could be blunted somewhat.
 I don't think its fair, merely one month after Retribution, to look at "fleet doctrines" in faction warfare and throw up your hands and beg for mercy. The situation requires more time to develop and allow corps and FC to adapt to the new realities. As some commenters on the post pointed out, remote sensor dampeners and ECM are great at disrupting these fragile tech 1 ships.
This post is to discuss ways to deal with Tech 1 Logistics as are encountered in low sec, particularly in faction warfare, with resorting to increasing number of logistics.

1) Damage - No, its not elegant nor always easy to pull off, but sometimes the best way to deal with enemy logi is to simply shoot them. After all, the logistic ship you target can't heal itself so its less overall reps on the targeted ship. Of course, the hard part is that logi pilots try to stay out of the fray by a good 50 km and in low sec that often means safe from any serious damage the enemy can put out. 

To mitigate this, a smart FC will try various tactics to get the enemy logi in a place where it can be engaged and destroyed. Having an enemy jump through a gate into your setup fleet, or have a fight in a FW plex where they all have to use an acceleration gate to land on the same spot, for example, is a common tactic. Another is to try and setup warp ins on top of the enemy logi to force the fight where the enemy is weak.

2) ECM - Two blackbirds in the hand is worth 4 logi in the field. Here's the thing: if you know the enemy is in an armour fleet or a shield fleet, you know their logistics is going to be in Augorors or Scythes respectively. That means your Blackbird pilots can load up on the corresponding ECM modules and sport 10-12 bonused modules that have about the same effective range as the enemy logi. They can defend against this with ECCM but that puts more pressure on their Tech 1 cruiser sized capacitors (more on this topic in a later post this week) and when jams do occur then it causes disruption to any logi chains they setup leaving the possibility of error and panic.

That doesn't mean all is perfect in this scenario: Blackbirds and other ECM ships are usually primary targets of the enemy fleet and can have a very short life expectancy due to its abilities. 

3) Remote Sensor Dampeners - While not as powerful as ECM at locking a hostile logi pilot out of the battle for twenty long seconds, Remote Sensor Dampeners (aka RSDs) have the advantage of being a tool available to the common pilot. Using a mid slot for an ECM module is practically pointless (due to mechanics changes back in the day so that only bonused ships can make decent use of them) but RSDs are still effective on non-bonused ships. If an FC has his fleet use their 4th mid slots for one dampener with targeting range script then the fleet can put that dampener on the enemy logi and prevent them from repairing the combat ships without getting closer, thus becoming targets themselves.

It may force the combat pilots to sacrifice some of their own ships to fit the module, but its harder to counter than primarying a Blackbird.

* * * * * 
So there is three common methods for dealing with enemy logistics without resorting to trying to out-logi them yourself.

While writing this post I was struck at how much Faction Warfare has evolved to be more like null sec warfare on a smaller scale due to the addition of tech 1 logistics. Since the new dimension forces FW fleets and their FCs to get smarter and think more dynamically, I predict this can only improve the quality of pilots and FCs in these arenas. Could low sec become the new proving ground for new alliances bent on moving into null sec sov wars someday?

1 comment:

  1. 1. I've generally observed that if you're going to to employ RSDs rather than ECCM (which in FW you probably should, since the standard Amarr Augoror fit is really hard to jam), you're probably better off swapping the blackbirds for celestises. Thanks to optimal+effectiveness bonuses, they can force the logistics to close to point blank range in order to land reps (thus making them shootable) or scan res damp them enough to make fast target switching an effective counter.

    2. I see the 'lowsec as a stepping stone to null' idea thrown out a lot, and I don't think much of it. Low works very differently than 0.0. There are no bubbles, fleet fights are an anomaly, use of capitals is infrequent, and controlling space is borderline impossible. I think lowsec pilots are going to tighten up a bit, but they're still going to be lowsec pilots.