Open University of Celestial Hardship (OUCH)

Full Version: That’s Not Bait
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The scout gives the fleet a heads up: Drake on D-Scan in the adjacent system. When the Drake lands on the gate, everyone in the gang starts to salivate.

Mmmmm... Drake. Yummy.

Someone says, It's probably bait.

No one cares.

The members of the fleet start to rub their hands together in anticipation. Someone gives an evil laugh, Muhahahahahaha. A bait Drake is like a piñata: everyone grab a stick and let’s see what’s inside.

The Caldari Drake is a Tech 1, Tier 2 battlecruiser. With middle of the road damage output and low sub warp speeds, but excellent defenses, it's arguably the best "all around" battlecruiser in New Eden. It's used equally by mission runners, complex runners, wormholers, small gangs and mega fleets. For PvP, it's a fleet ship, rarely used as a solo platform, at least in our corner of space, where a solo Drake is usually just the dorsal fin of large shark.

A Drake is a challenge: They are hard to kill. Due to exceptional resists, in their lightest configuration they can exceed 30K ehp, with 60k (or more) possible even on PvP ship. As a missile and drone platform, they are unaffected by tracking disruption. With a sensor strength of 19, they have good ECM resistance, able to shrug off a skilled Griffin or Blackbird pilot’s jams more than 50 percent of the time. With FOF missiles loaded they can still deal damage, indiscriminately, even when jammed.

The Drake jumps into the camp. The scout announces a Local spike next door. Plus ten. In system, the Drake decloaks smack dab in the middle of three tacklers.

Point. Scram. Web. Kill! Kill! Kill! Scout calls out to the fleet, Battlecruisers, HAC’s and Logi on D-Scan.

Decision time: Flight or fight? Can the fleet take the Drake before his friends come to save him? Is this Drake lightly or heavily tanked? Does the fleet have enough DPS to kill the Drake before his friends catch up? How long does it take for the fleet to cross the system and jump in? Can the fleet take out the Drake and engage the rest of the fleet when they land?

Stand or run? Based on fleet composition and DPS output, the FC should have a rough idea on how long the Drake is going to last. The FC should also know how long it will take for opposition to arrive. If the time to kill bait is greater than the time for the fleet to cross the system, it’s a no brainer:

GTFO. Scream like a little girl running in the schoolyard. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

But if the time is close, and the bait juicy enough, you try to snatch the bait out of the trap while the fleet is still inbound. If you do it right, you finish the bait before the first of the reinforcements arrive. If you’re good, you get the pod and the loot as well.

Choosing the right bait is hard. You have to know what you’re trying to catch. Like fishing, you want to dangle just enough bait that the fish bite, but not so much that they can steal the bait off the hook. Bring something small that can’t take a pounding, they’ll steal the bait every time. Bring something obviously bait and the fish might only sniff at it and move on. Bring something shiny with a lot of tank, you might get a hit, but you’re just as likely to scare the fish away.

Just remember, you can’t catch salmon when you’re rigged to catch tuna.

When the fish start to bite, you have to set the hook. Many gangs seem to have a problem with this concept. They send in the bait, and follow behind before the fish is on the hook. Before their bait ship is even engaged, they are zooming in the fleet to rescue them. From our point of view, that’s trying to set the hook while the fish are looking at the bait.

But these gangs are counting on the idea that the fish are going to stick around with back up incoming, try to eat the bait and choke on the hook. They are counting on the fact that, once engaged, the fish are going to swim around and engage the rest of the fleet in the fight, even if outnumbered and outgunned. They are counting on that because frankly, it works, 90 percent of the time.

But this is the Open University of Celestial Hardship. OUCH pilots are adept at stealing the bait and getting away. They know that if the time to kill the bait is less than the time for the fleet to cross the system, kill, loot, and dart off into the depths. If you give them enough time, just even odds at taking the bait and get away with it, they’ll take it.

And if they’re still there when the fleet shows up, rest assured: They plan to take your rig and your rod, your reel and your tackle box. Then they’ll take your boat and leave you clutching onto a life preserver, wondering what the hell just happened.

And if you’re slow, they’ll take the life preserver too.