Last night I logged on and joined a fleet roaming around Black Rise and Placid regions. Due to the activities of Eve's 10th Birthday it was hopping around low sec and we were able to score some kills. Along the way we stumbled into a three way or four way fight and got rightly stomped by a pirate corp well-known in the area called Rainbow Dash And Friends.
We started to regroup in Nennamailia and my CEO Marcel Devereux was there and when the EU FC currently heading the fleet wanted to turn the reins over to someone less tired and more alert he offered it to Marcel, a popular and well known FC in the core Gallente Militia. Marcel said we're going to turn it over to Kirith.
This is how I imagine Marcel Devereux teaches his kids to swim:
After last week's moderate success of leading a group of mostly corpmates in Tech 1 frigates on a roam on a quiet night, I was feeling bold, like maybe I would try to get a gang of corpies in Destroyers and Assault Frigs. And here I was being asked to take out a fleet three times that number in cruisers with logistics against a competent pirate force known for fighting, well not dirty but effectively.
I balked but Marcel insisted and the other pilots encouraged and I reluctantly agreed.
We set out with about 20 in fleet, a mix of armour cruisers and some frigates, with two Augorors for repair support. It sounds like a lot but we were low on armour cruisers compared to frigs and destroyers and the enemy fleet was reported to be consisting of battlecruisers and warfare link support. I decided to take the fleet around by Kedama and let a few stragglers catch up before we attempted to take on the enemy in Rakapas. We jumped into Pynekastah and aligned ... when a Rainbow Dash Prophecy landed.
We had a few minutes of mexican standoff with him yellow boxing us and us yellow boxing him while I tried to gather into as to what the rest of his fleet was doing. Looking like the odds were in our favour, we opened up fire. And Ranbow Dash reinforcements began to arrive including two Exequrors, a Harbinger, and a Vexor.
Thus began a fight that lasted about 5 minutes and saw Rainbow Dash and Friends send in increasing amounts of ships in order to fight us. We killed the Harbinger and Vexor, and soon later meted out militia justice to a Megathron, Talos, and Hurricane while I had a Wolf pilot harass their logi and try to keep them from repping the primaries. It worked for a while as we racked up the kills but I started to hear "I'm jammed!" on comms and was very confused as I didn't see any Blackbirds, Falcons, or Rooks. Our logi then were destroyed as the pirates escalated with a Tempest battleship and Proteus cruiser and with our logi gone our DPS ships were next. My Vexor and a Zealot HAC were destroyed and I turned the fleet over to Marcel as I warped off at which point, without logi and losing damage he wisely choose to disengage leaving the foe to hold the field.
We reshipped in Nenna and upgraded with more pilots to over 30 and went out again. But with superior numbers and firepower this time they ran losing only a single Exequror. With it getting late we stood the fleet down and called it a night.
Overall I'm pleased with how the outing went for me as Fleet Commander. I had some success target calling and felt I picked the right ones to prioritize in the fight, but on the other hand totally forgot about the existence of ECM drone and lost my logi in the process. I wish I had more awareness of my fleet composition so I could have directed a Talwar or Stabber to harass the enemy logi along with the Wolf I dispatched, and I was never sure of when the best time to call for disengagement would have been. I was fortunate too that Rainbow Dash and Friends trickled into the fight in ones and twos or I might have been overwhelmed if they all showed up at once.
But most of all I understand why FCs continue to step up and lead fleets every time they log in. Its addictive. The power to direct your will on the enemy when everything is working smoothly together is an awesome high. I'm becoming mad with power.