Last night we got a learning experience.
Which is a kind way of saying we got slapped around a little. I'll let corpie Vic Vorlon tell the overall tale and then I'll provide my view:
There have been a lot of gate camps in our area recently. I'll have to either move my factory work from Yvangier to a closer system to avoid losses, or get a more expensive ship and better cloaking skills (like the MWD trick). It also gives our corp some targets to aim for.
Speaking of which, we set up a pretty large fight in Heydieles last night against a fleet from alliance "That Escalated Quickly". It was pretty tense as we tussled for location; we started in a large faction warfare plex so they couldn't use a cyno to bring an Archon, but they didn't engage us. We headed to a stargate and after jumping through once or twice we finally engaged. We had about 35 in fleet, 13 Vexors for DPS, Blackbirds for jamming, 6 Exeqs for logi. They had 10 battleships (I think?) and an Archon. Our plan, however, didn't work and we were unable to kill our first target. As our ships began to die (Dominix, 4 Vexors, 3 Exeqs, Blackbird) we bailed out. I survived, lucky for me!
It was very interesting to hear the discussion afterwards, with the FC and several knowledgeable players dissecting the fight, deciding why it didn't work and what we could have done differently. Then they moved on to thinking about changes in fleet composition for the next fight. It was all calm, no recriminations or shouting, and it's scary how much these guys know about Eve!On the flip side, that fight showed how much I still have yet to learn about Eve.
I was the Dominix pilot and my job was simple: get neuts on the Archon and try to cap him out so his reps would fail. I purchased a fully fit ship for the job from a corp mate and we went to get the fight. The fight started as they jumped to us and as soon as the Archon arrived (not sure if from Cyno or was in system already and warped to us) I put the lock on and started neuting like my life depended on it.
After a couple minutes of fighting we failed to break the reps on a Fleet Issue Tempest and then the full power of their fleet fell on me. I broadcast for reps but they were insufficient and I went down. Without the neutralizers of the Domi, we knew were we outmatched and disengaged.
During the debriefing we identified several mistakes including one or two of my own. The first was that I thought I needed to get all three heavy neuts and all three medium neuts on my ship working on the Archon, but really the heavies with their twice as long range were required. Since I thought the shorter ranged mediums were needed as well I flew very close to the Archon, too close, and didn't pay attention to how close I was to the battleships, especially the Megathrons. My second mistake was probably not restarting my Damage Control II module as I got capped out and my capacitor booster fired, leaving my resistances too low and making me easy prey.
I learned some lessons and next time I'll do better, but the point is that Eve is a never ending learning experience. You can get really good at frigate and destroyer combat and find yourself floundering in a battlecruiser or battleship fight, or vice versa. The main trick is to not get discouraged and keep pushing yourself.