Escalation Incursion Changes

Hey folks. Friendly heads up in case you don’t read the news:

Vanguard and assaults will not the the same after Escalation

For your convenience, here are the patch notes directly related to incursions (emphasis mine):

Vanguard and Assault Sites have been revamped with the following changes:

    NPCs have been grouped into waves and groups have been randomized; this will prevent blitzing and increase the random element within the sites.
    Spawn triggers moved from individual NPCs to the group as a whole.
    Lowered the rewards from Vanguard sites by 10%.

It is also possible that other unlisted changes will be made.

Please take care while running incursions of any size immediately after Escalation is released. CCP have of course never failed to deliver high-quality bug-free content, but just in case do keep half an eye on the screen which isn’t playing cartoons about ponies.

Thanks to the generosity of many pilots, BTL will as always be covering all logistics losses* in HQ sites, and will be temporarily paying up to 100m to any other ships lost in HQ sites on a trial basis. Please ask your HQ FC for more information.

Thank you for your time,
Hardin

P.S

Full patchnotes can be found here.

*unless you were an idiot

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FC Guide – HQ Fleets

Editors note: this guide was originally written by nomatech and Daiseycutter.

So you want to be an HQ Fleet FC?

Here is an outline of the skills, knowledge and process tracks that the current FC leadership believes you should start to focus on to be an HQ fleet FC.  It does not tell you how to FC.  The intent here is to start laying the groundwork for sources of information and provides a learning and experience and skill track for you to follow.

Skills:

There are three tiers of leadership skills that grant you certain abilities in the context of HQ fleets.  These are;

  1. Leadership 5
  2. Wing Command 4
  3. Fleet Command 2

Leadership 5 allows you to be a squad leader and put tags up on a site.  It is the absolute bare minimum to to start learning to FC.

Wing Command 4 allows you to fleet warp and pass bonuses for an 40-pilot fleet.  This is the minimum skill for HQ FC’s.

Fleet Command 2, allows you to fleet warp and pass bonuses for an 80-pilot Mothership fleet.  This is the recommended FC level for large-fleet FC’s.  Note that once you’re over the Wing Command 5 hump, it’s common to spend the extra week to go straight to Fleet Command 4.

Knowledge:

Editors note: you need a lot. Get comfortable, grab a beer and start reading.
Read and understand every word posted and linked on the incursion guide.  It’s not perfect, but it’s better than any other source of information available. Then send Hardin your thanks for the labor of love that keeps that thing running.
https://incursionguide.wordpress.com/

Here are some specific call-outs from the Incursion Guide that deserve extra mention.

incursions.nexsoft - a database of fittings with articles on fitting theory. You should read and understand all of the fitting strategy information. Review the fittings listed, and consider them from the perspective of if you want that ship in your fleet…why or why not?  What suggestions would you make to improve the viability of the posted fit? This is good practice for HQ fleet recruiting.
Eve-U – Cee Doublyew is updating the Eve-U site with some slightly updated thinking. It’s not terribly different from Incursion Guide…but is still good information.
Sansha Ships 101 – An updated and reformatted Incursion Guide’s Sansha Shiptypes document.  This is the heart and soul of being an FC.  You should have this memorized.  Until that happy day, you should also have it at hand whenever running a site for quick reference. Also available as a quick-reference sheet with a suggested kill-order.

Sites  – Again from the Incursion Guide website, these 3 links are the heart and soul of what you need to know to manage the 3 HQ sites.  Again, it’s recommend you memorize the information there, and print it out for quick reference.  Some of the tag recommendations and strategies may be a little out of date, but you cannot go wrong with them.  This information cost literally a hundred-billion isk in ships to research.  Read, memorize, understand.
True Power Provisional Headquarters
Nation Rebirth Facility
True Creations Research Center

FC Checklist – A comprehensive checklist of things you should be aware of and be on top of before you jump a fleet into a site.  The more experienced a fleet is, the less some of these things need to be reviewed for each site…but it’s all things that can impact the safety of your fleet.  You should be able to answer to each and every item on the list even if you don’t necessarily vocalize them for every site.

Tagging quick-reference sheet – This is the current thinking on HQ tag order recommendations.  Do remember that it’s all well and good to have a canned tag order given to you, but it’s a bit of a crutch.  You need to understand all of the above first before the tag list is meaningful.

The LC Guide – Noma’s LC guide for new LC’s is also a resource that can be helpful to anyone.

How to bug out of a site

Site broken?  Lose 4 Logi?  Mass Disconnects?  Griefers incoming?  Popped all the tag ‘J’ at once?

Sometimes a site is more dangerous to stay in than to try and get everyone out.   When an FC decides to bug out, how he handles himself doing so can make or break a fleet (and his reputation).  Don’t take the decision lightly, but also don’t spend all day trying to figure out all the what-ifs/whys/could-have-beens. Just decide and execute on your decision.

1.  Your first enemy is panic.  Make sure you take control of comms and keep calm.  This will help others to remain calm.
2.  Check the field, are there any Sansha scrammers?  If so they should be eliminated before trying to leave if possible.
3.  Remind the LC to ensure the cap chain is up.
4.  Have the fleet align to something….doesn’t matter what but get the fleet aligned.
5.  Have everyone ensure there are no collidables in their path.
6.  Move yourself into wing command or fleet command if you are not already so you can warp everyone at the same time.  Before doing so, check to make sure everyone is aligned.
7.  GTHO!  Do the Fleet/Wing warp while calling over comms for everyone to self-warp as well in case they miss the warp.
8.  Regroup, figure out what went wrong.  Use it as an opportunity to educate your fleet.
9.  Rebuild and carry on.

TCRCs are somewhat special in this regard as scrammers will constantly re-spawn.  You should consider a TCRC to be an “all in” site and only leave if absolutely necessary.  If you feel you must leave, have the entire fleet align to a celestial that is behind your spawn point which means the entire fleet is moving away from the tower.  Get as much distance as you can from the tower; more than 100K is highly recommended.  That puts the fleet away from the scrammers re-spawn point and should give you an opportunity to bug out before a newly spawned scrammer can successfully lock and scram a fleet member.  Have the drone bunny or T3s kill the Schmaeels while your fleet kills the Deltoles.  When down to last Deltole, split some dps to the Auga.  Try your best to have the last Schmaeel, Deltole and Auga go down simultaneously and fleet or wing warp as they re-spawn.

Experience:

It is imperative that a prospective FC fully understand every role in a fleet that is needed to complete the sites.  That prospective FC should also have filled all of the roles in a fleet.  For example, in order to explain where an Anchor needs to go, the FC should have done it themselves.

It’s clear that it’s a long training cycle to get into a Logi, and it’s certainly not in everyone’s preferred play-style.  However it’s strongly recommend all FC’s have some experience in sites from a Logi’s perspective, as well as performing the Logi Commander role.  This would probably be weighted more to Basi than Scimi both for the cap chain complexity, as well as 99.9% of the time the LC is a Basi pilot.

So, those roles are:

  • Strongly recommend Logi/LC, esp Basi.
  • Anchor for all 4 sites (both mom anchors)
  • DDD for all 3 sites (no DDD on mom)
  • MTAC P & MTAC D  You have to be able to describe it…Which means it helps if you have done it.
  • JJJ would be nice, but optional.  We use Jammers primarily on the TCRC site.  Understanding the risk, benefit and role is good for a FC.

Where does a prospective FC start?

VG’s don’t seem to be a very helpful FC training ground as they are so specialized and require so little in terms of fleet management.

It is recommended a new FC start with Assaults.  Get to know all the sites.  Running an Assault fleet is quite similar to an HQ Fleet except that it’s half the size and easier to manage.  The ease of management comes from the necessary rigidity of fleet comp.  Assault fleets require a precise balance of ship types where HQ sites can be run with a large variety of different fleet compositions.  That said, there are fewer and fewer Assault fleets being run these days and it may be less practical than it once was to run AS fleets for an extended period of time to get training.  However if you do run some, it’s recommended that you run NCN’s.  The NCN’s have random spawns but no triggers which forces you to understand how to prioritize without added worry of accidentally bringing on a premature spawn.  That will give the maximum Fleet comp and on-the-fly strategy learning opportunities.

Starting with HQs is ok too if that is your only option so be prepared to learn a lot very quickly.

The Process:

What many prospective FC’s do is to take the individual FC tasks/roles separately and learn them before starting to build up to the full role.

Be the Tagger…  Tag all 3 HQ sites till you can tag them without thinking and without referring to the tag suggestions.  Get your muscle memory built up to use the tagging system in EVE.  You need to be able to talk the site through while tagging…if you have to concentrate on what to tag next, or what tag to put on it, you won’t respond well to unique situations.  The most important part of tagging is to know your triggers.  After that, understand the Sansha ship capabilities and the relative threat level they present to your fleet.  Also, know your fleet composition.  It is not unusual to make minor changes in prioritization based on your fleet’s capabilities and weaknesses.

Be the Recruiter…  How and when do you ask for -1′s in fleet.  How and when and where do you ask people to x-up with their fits for replacements.  Do you just replace the -1′s?  What site are you doing next, and how does that affect required fleet comp?  Does Sniper vs. DPS matter for the sites you’re doing?  Do you have enough Logistics?  Do you want to run Logi heavy?  Why do we not recruit or invite from local/incursion local?  TVP -vs- BTL recruiting and the merits and limitations of each.  All these things are important.   You also need to learn how to manage and understand the fleet comp window.

Be the Voice…  Once you’ve done those 2 tasks, A new FC should then leave them behind and just voice each of the sites till they are completely comfortable with them.  Have your back-seat FC do fleet comp and tagging for you.  Talk the fleet through the site.  How you manage your fleet can be far more important than many of the other more visible FC duties.

Finally, pull it all together…  Build your fleet, Tag your site, voice and manage your fleet.  When you can do this completely comfortably without having your backseat pointing out things that you miss that might put the fleet at risk for all three HQ sites, then you’re ready to solo.  You might still be considered a ‘training’ FC, but the fleet safety and site management are your total responsibility at this point.

Work with the Noobs…  The life blood of BTL/TVP/CID or any PUG community is constantly having new people join and feel welcome enough to stay.  This is made especially true by the very nature of EVE itself. There is so much to do in EVE that people are constantly pulled in 30 different directions.  Pilots come for 2 weeks, then they go away and do something for 2 months.  We have to continually recruit and retain pilots if we are to successfully field fleets on a regular basis.  One of the most important things you do as an FC is to welcome those who are new to incursions and/or HQ’s to our fold and get them the knowledge and ability to feel safe and to contribute appropriately to our fleets.  For FCs, you can use 3 picture links over and over again to show a new pilot how to configure for tags, how to broadcast and what tags to shoot.  You can’t just link the pics and say ‘go look’ either.  You have to verbalize them through it.  These links are safe for the IGB as well.

Link 1  –  Broadcasting for Shield, Capacitor and “In Position.”  Direct their attention to the ‘arrows in all 4 directions’ at the lower right hand side of the Fleet window.  Most FC’s will have the new pilot hit all 3 buttons and have the Logi’s verify they can see the broadcasts to ensure comprehension and safety.
Link 2 – How to setup the Overview to see a Tag Column and how to set it to the left hand side.
Link 3  – Which tags to shoot and which ones to leave alone.

Other important things you should explain and things to keep in mind:

1.  Do not ridicule their fit.  Politely suggest improvements and explain why.
2.  Ensure they have tags enabled and understand their role in fleet (dps, sniper, logi).
3.  Go through tagging generalities, 0- Full fleet DPS, 1-9 DPS targets, A-H Sniper targets, J-trigger
4.  Explain what a trigger is  so they understand why they don’t shoot at it rather than just having it be a command.
5.  If they are flying a basilisk, explain basi chat, how the cap chain works and ask the LC to work with them.
6.  You and the logistics pilots should watch list them to ensure their safety.
7.  Review broadcast for shields immediately when yellow boxed.  Explain the yellow-red-yellow process and then when to broadcast “in position” and why.
8.  Have them BC for shields and in position before entering site to ensure they understand how to do it and to double check they are broadcasting to the entire fleet.
9.  Keep an eye on them in the fleet members tab while in site to make sure they are orbiting the anchor and keeping with the fleet.
10.  Check in on them once in awhile to ensure they are learning and having fun.
11.  Verify they understand how to orbit and that they orbit at 5-10k.  Review the anchor ‘AAA’ pilot.
12.  How to use the watch list is good knowledge for everyone

Leadership:

Leadership does not just mean you are the boss.  It is fun and rewarding to lead people in real life and in eve but leadership carries real responsibilities in both as well. As an HQ incursion FC, people will expect to be able to learn from you and be safe and have fun.  Treat these responsibilities seriously and act like a mature adult – you don’t even have to be one, just act like one.

As a leader, it is your job to coach and mentor pilots.  Teach them new roles, Delegate tasks when possible and more people will feel invested in your fleets.  Always compliment people in public when they do a good job.  If you asked for battle comms and had good comms discipline, thank the fleet and compliment everyone.  The reverse also happens…When people make mistakes or slack off, don’t embarrass them in front of everyone.  Open a private convo with them, explain what they did wrong and correct.  If there are repeat offenders, then quietly stop inviting them to fleet.  If they ask why, explain it to them and give them a chance to reform.  Everyone has bad days.

There is only one circumstance where you should ever kick a fleet member while in site or ask logistics to not rep them.  If they are a war target and didn’t declare then you should politely ask them to leave while telling logistics to not rep them.  In ALL other circumstances you should politely ask them to leave fleet.  If they refuse, create a new wing, make yourself squad commander and move them under you (you may also want to turn free move off temporarily).  Once that is done, warp them off grid to a planet or station and then kick them from fleet.  Whatever your dispute, unless they knowingly and intentionally endangered the entire fleet there is no reason to force them to lose their ship.

Whatever you do, we strongly recommend you don’t get in public arguments with fleet members whether on comms or in public channels.  It diminishes you and weakens overall morale and the spirit of community that BTL and its specialized sub groups (like TVP) have worked so hard to form.

Being a leader is good fun and congratulations for stepping up to be one.  Remember to always treat others with respect and to lead by example and you can be a great one.

Editors note:  As an FC, you will be looked too as a leader not just in sites but outside of sites and sometimes even outside of incursions. If you aren’t careful, you may end up playing politics more than killing Sansha. I have three tips for you – maintain perspective, sleep on big decisions, and always know where your towel is.

Thank you for reading this guide and stepping up into the role of leading fleets.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact DaiseyCutter and Nomatech ingame.

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Logistics Commanders

Editors note: this guide was originally written and submitted by Nomatech and Chain Evolition.

Introduction

This guide will be mostly shield fleet focused.  I’m sure many of the general LC concepts apply to an armor fleet, but I would encourage the armor logistics to continue to contribute their knowledge to the community. This guide is also aimed at the needs of logistics commanders rather than individual pilots. Logistics pilots might like to review Basilisk Logistics 101 by Tavarus Excavar, or Armor Logistics 101 by Jinn Rhohas.

What does a Logistics Commander do?

In a shield HQ or Assault fleet, the primary responsibility of the LC is to sort the Basilisk cap chain using the Basilisk chat channel.  The LC will also inform the FC on the overall health of the logistics squad and if the logistics pilots are able to keep up with incoming DPS and the rotation of targets.  The LC will also keep track of the number and fits of the logistics pilots in fleet and on grid so the FC can focus on the remainder of the fleet.  In a shield fleet, this is almost always a Basilisk because of the Basilisk chat, but it’s not truly mandatory.  It’s also a good practice for the LC to have voice comms just for the speed of information transfer.  The Logistics Commander also needs to quickly get up to speed someone who hasn’t flown as a logistics in a HQ before.  Regardless, if the LC can keep the fleet moving by keeping the cap chain sorted, that can be enough…the other items are details.

Shield Logistics Ship Types

There are guides out there that do fits.  There’s a database of good fits and articles with good fits linked right here on The Incursion Guide.   Jester has some awesome logistics blogs and fitting advice on his site as well as yet more Incursion advice and anecdotes.   As an LC you should also get into the practice of getting into the squad leader position and reviewing fits of the pilots in your squad.  You don’t want to be surprised later.   The things I look for on the Basilisks are LARGE shield extender(s,) 2 Invuls and a Photon in the mids, and a Damage Control in lows…all T2’s.  Then, I check how many reppers and cap transfers they are fit with.  For Scimitars, as long as they have 4 reppers and some tank, the rest of the Scimitar’s fit is often very individualized.
Basilisk Fundamentals
There are 3 Basilisk general fit patterns that we see, and as an LC, you need to know how those fits affect how you setup for a site.

  • 4/2 – This is, by far the most common fit in HQ fleets.   4 reppers (T2 or M4) and 2 Cap Transfers (almost always M4).  If your entire Basilisk team is 4/2 fit, it makes organizing the cap chain easier and more consistent and can provide more overall utility to the fleet.
  • 5/1 – This is a Logistics Level V fit.  Because a Logistics V Basilisk pilot can remain ‘Cap-Stable’ with only 1 incoming cap transfer, you use this fit to pair with another Logistics V pilot.  Most often you see this fit in VG fleets.  In most cases, the 5/1 pairs will work outside of the normal Basilisk chat.
  • The 6/0 Basilisk –This is a fairly rare fit but can provide excellent repair capacity with 6 reppers fitted.  Again, I just don’t have that pilot in Basilisk chat because he’s not part of the cap chain.

The Basilisk Chat

What is this “Basilisk chat” that I’ve mentioned?  The Basilisk chat is a dedicated chat channel that the 4/2 Basilisks join.  The LC runs this chat and organizes the cap chain.  When there are only 4/2 Basilisks in the channel, it makes it easy to organize this.  I also check cap stability in this channel by asking the pilots to ‘s’ up when they’re linked up with their cap buddies and are still cap stable running reppers and hardeners.   Once that’s sorted, I review the Logistics levels in the chat to determine who is Logi V and who is Logi IV.    From that list, I can determine who can service cap requests in-combat.  I mentioned above that a Logistics V pilot can remain cap stable with only 1 incoming Cap transfer.  Essentially those pilots with a Logi V as their down link can service in-combat cap requests.  In my fleets, only the down link moves around.  You keep your up-link on your cap buddy at all times.
Readjusting quickly is a sign of an experienced basi team.  When I notice something has changed…I’ll put a ‘readjust’ in Basilisk chat and/or call for it over coms.  Individual pilots need to regularly check the chain and to make sure they are themselves stable again/still.  Making the fleet sit on a gate while the Basilisks sort out who’s not linking to who is no fun for anyone.

Scimitar Fundamentals

In many ways, Scimitars are easier than Basilisks.  There’s no cap chain to sort.  While Basilisks bring additional utility to the fleet in the form of their cap transfers, Scimitars bring additional utility in the form of tracking links.  Unfortunately the cost of that utility is tank or resists.  I will generally recommend to a new-to-incursions Scimitar pilot to run with all tank and no links till they get a feel for how incursions work.  Only then do I encourage them to start trading out tank or hardeners for links.

In combat, the Scimitars are essentially independent agents.  They just need to watch broadcast history and listen for verbal orders from the FC/LC.

Watch List Configuration

Basilisk pilots will need to have their cap buddies watch-listed to aid in quick targeting.   All Logistics pilots will be asked to watch-list several others who may not be able to broadcast because of other fleet duties, or that are extraordinarily squishy but allowed into fleet as well.  FC-Fleet Commander.  TTT-Tagger.  JJJ-Jammer (I’ll talk about special considerations for Jammers in HQ fleets later).  AAA- Anchor, or LLL/CCC Logistics and Combat-DPS anchor respectively, and SSS-Squishy are the common people asked to be watch-listed.  These pilots are asked to ‘tag’ up in fleet chat with their role, and I often will repeat them in Basilisk chat to make sure everyone has seen them.  As a Logistics, those people should be watch-listed to ensure they get reps no matter if they broadcast or not.  Keep in mind, the watch-list is delayed.  I use the watch-list to easily target a pilot, but I only watch for their name to flash red…I don’t look at the damage scales at all.  Some LC’s ask that you watch-list other Logistics’ of the same ship type.  For instance a Basilisk pilot might watch-list 1 and 2 up and 1 and 2 down from them in case the on-the-fly readjust is needed…that second pilot is already watch-listed.  I consider this a personal preference.

Bug-out considerations

This is something that no fleet wants to consider, but can happen is a bug-out from an incomplete site.  At what point do you bug-out of a site to stop ships from being destroyed verses trying to struggle on is sometimes a fine line to judge.  It is a rare circumstance in HQ’s and Assault fleets.   There are considerations that need to be made if the LC or the FC wishes to decide on a warp out with minimum loss.  If I were to decide, for example,  that the fleet is taking more damage than available Logistics can repair (i.e. the loss of ¼ or more of the Logistics squad), I would clear all coms, ask for battle coms and suggest to the FC to begin aligning the fleet to a celestial to prepare for a possible warp-out.  That’s really the only circumstance where I would as LC suggest a bug-out.  If the FC pulls the fleet out from the site, the LC just needs to ensure that reps stay organized till the field is clear and that all the Logistics get out cleanly.

Logistics Drones

When I LC, I request that the Basilisks put their shield drones on their down-link cap buddy unless there’s a Jammer in the fleet, who would get all rep drones at all times.  That serves a couple of purposes.  If the Logistics are jammed or EMP’d, it keeps the equivalent of a repper and a bit on each of the Basilisks till everyone can get their locks back up.  It also gets the repair drones out and flying at speed so they can be re-directed to another pilot in dire distress with a simple right-click. I sometimes ask that the Scimitar pilots put their drones on their tracking link partners to again get the drones out and able to be redirected quickly to a pilot in need.
In a Shield fleet, I recommend checking to see if you have any ships in the fleet with Armor drones available.  In the case of a ship dipping into armor, it’s the LC responsibility to call for any Armor drones on XXX to get EHP back onto the pilot’s ship, then call for the drones to be recalled when the repairs are completed.

Jammers in fleet

Jammers are special ships in the fleet that can be great force multipliers.  But they are also incredible aggro-magnets and are generally somewhat squishy as well.  So when I LC and have a Jammer in the fleet I change the rules up some.  The jammer must be watch-listed by all Logistics.   The Jammer must be locked by all Logistics at all times.  All shield drones should be on the Jammer at all times.  If I have it available for when I expect Otuni’s, I put a full time cap-transfer on the Jammer or even 2, even if the Jammer has a cap buddy.   Primarily this is most needed on TCRC’s.  Less so in a NRF and is overkill in a TPPH.  We don’t generally have active Jamming in a MOM or Assault fleet.

Overview Settings

Overview settings are a really personal thing, but I’ll go over how I set mine up to LC a fleet as it enables me to keep on top of all Logistic-centric situations while in combat or waiting on the gate.  I have 4 incursion tabs, then my default which is set to show everything that might ever be interesting in an incursion site.

#1 – Fleet only.   I use this to count what’s on grid as well as a way to quickly lock up someone who didn’t broadcast.  You’ll also want speed and distance columns on so you can see who is moving and who is in your rep range.
#2 – Logistics and Sancha.  I use this tab mainly just to see how many Logistics are on grid with me. So, you just need to check the already present ‘Logistics’ box in your overview settings.  I don’t generally use it in combat much anymore other than a quick flip to count Logistics are on grid, but occasionally if I’m watching new Logistics closely I’ll use this one instead of my combat tab which is why the Sancha are on this one too.  The last thing on this tab is I show pods.  If I see a pod, then I know we’ve had a problem.
#3 – Sancha only.  This is my combat tab regardless if I’m flying DPS, Logistics, Jammer or whatever.  It shows only Sancha and gates.  Pretty much the only overview thing I do in combat is look to see if I’m being targeted.  My main focus is on my watch list and the broadcast history window.
#4 – Celestials only.  Gates, beacons and stations.  I use this to warp around as the other incursion tabs don’t have them on at all and the default tab for me is a bit of a mess.

Starting a site

As I mentioned above, being able to keep the fleet moving is important.  If pilots think there’s going to be a long delay they drop fleet or go AFK causing a domino effect.  One way that you as LC can help prevent this is to be on the ball.  Encourage your Basilisk pilots that whenever they’re standing on a gate to be running their caps and reppers and verifying stability.  Your goal as LC is to be able to snap back a response to the FC query of Logistics status that the Basilisks are cap stable and ready to go and there are X Logistics on grid.  The FC will then usually call for all Logistics to ‘L’ up in fleet chat.  As LC, it’s your job to count these L’s with the FC and also to map out who’s missing and call them out over coms.  Waiting on the Logistics is as painful as it is necessary so as LC you need to keep that wait to a minimum.

In-Position Broadcasting

Once per site I remind the fleet to broadcast ‘In Position’ once they are no longer taking damage as it makes it easier for the less-experienced Logistics to keep up.   I don’t make a big deal of this as I don’t actually pay a lot of attention to In-Position broadcasts anyway.  I just watch who is taking damage, and take the repper(s) off to see if they’re no longer targeted.  My reasoning is that I far more trust a pilot to broadcast they need reps again regardless if they’ve given an in-position if aggression comes back on them, than I do for them to broadcast in position in the first place.  Some LC’s make a bigger deal and I agree that it’s a good practice for pilots to broadcast; I just don’t push it very hard.

TCRCs

The difficulty with a TCRC is that the alpha strike on warp-in is brutal.  What typically happens is that the Anchor will receive the initial alpha damage, then the first target-switch will be to a Logistics ship.  You have to be prepared for this. Since it is likely there haven’t been any Sansha removed from the field yet, that Logistics will take heavy damage.  Calling out over comms when the target should be switching to remind the Logistics to watch their overview and broadcast if necessary helps avoid stupid losses. Once the first few Sansha are off the field, TCRCs are like any other site.

MOMs

The difference in a MOM is the bomber wave.  Periodically in the MOM encounter 10 ‘Lirsautton Parachiya’ bombers will appear.  Hopefully they’ll be targeted and killed immediately by the cruisers.  You have the normal yellow-box targeting warning.  So, as a Logistics pilot, you need to split your vision on a bomber wave.  One eye needs to watch the broadcast history to find out who is going to get it in the face, the other eye needs to watch your overview to make sure it’s not you.
The other thing an LC needs to consider on the MOM site is the periodic remote ECM burst it does.  Logistics pilots need to quickly relock their cap buddies as well as get reps back on pilots who have broadcasted recently.  And there’s an added twist.  If there is a ECM burst immediately after the bomber wave, there’s not really a lot to be done.  This is one of the reasons why on a MOM fleet there are separate Combat and Logistics anchors separated by 30KM with the DPS in front.  The radius of the blast is 20km, so if the ECM is centered on the DPS, only they will get the blast.

The Save!

Big, awesome, splashy ‘Saves’ of a ship deep into armor or structure will, almost invariably, pull aggression onto a Logistics, especially if Logistics have been overheating.  Again, be ready for this.  I watch who we’re doing the saving of, and when I believe we’ve turned the corner I call out over coms again for Logistics to watch broadcast and overview because one of them is going to get it next.  Same thing again when we fail to save someone, it will almost invariably go to a Logistics pilot next.  This is one of the reasons you often see kills in pairs or triplets.  The second one is a Logistics; the third one can be any ship that was a target of opportunity resulting from the chaos of a broken cap chain, fewer Logistics on the field and probably messy coms.

The Combat Cycle

Once we’re on grid and stable, as LC I start a process that is repeated as long as I’m in combat.
Obviously, I’m checking history and watch-list constantly.  As mentioned earlier I ignore the damage rectangles in the watch-list, and just look to see if any of the names are blinking red.  On the history tab, I’m checking that shield and cap requests are being handled.  I explained my process for repping above, so I’m managing my repping –vs- locked targets.   One thing that I never do is lock target #10.  As an LC, I feel that I have to be among the first to lock any target so that I can call for emergency reps if I have to.  So I always lock first, before unlocking someone, which requires I keep a slot available. It’s similar to keeping a repper available, so I always have one to drop on someone without waiting for a cycle to end.
In between each of those ‘cycles’ there are several things I check as well.  On my Logistics overview tab, I recount to make sure I have the quantity of Logistics I expect on grid and that they’re all in cap range of me.  That view also shows pods, so I’ll see if we’ve lost a ship.  Then I’ll flip to my fleet tab and check distances to see if anyone is out of my rep range that need to be called back.
As we get to the end of each wave or room in a site, I will check the tag list for the next wave or next room to verify what challenges Logistics are facing.  I’m looking for an Otuni spawn for the heavy neuts mainly because whoever gets targeted by one, I’ll have to start directing more reps as well as some cap to that pilot.  The other two ship types I pay close attention to are the Arnon’s and the Niarja’s which love to jam Logistics…that breaks the cap chain and unlocks targets being repped &etc.
I hope this information has been helpful to the community at large, and especially so for Logistics and LCs.  I’m happy to hear from other pilots about their experiences and will hopefully be allowed to keep this guide up to date with new information as it’s brought to my attention.
Nomatech, with additional thanks to Chain Evolition

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BTL Pub Winter Celebration

To clarify – T1 cruiser refers to the hull only – T2 mods are fine and frankly a good idea.

Hey folks.

As you might have heard, BTL Pub is running a PvP event to celebrate [christmas][hanukah][winter solstice][new year][1000 members][delete as appropriate].

What’s happening

tl;dr – kill the ops, then kill everything and win a PLEX

A fleet of channel operators will be flying around a lowsec system. Your job is simple – kick the shit out of them. They’ll be fighting back of course, and they’ll be bringing some heavy firepower to make things interesting. There’s also a special secret twist – but we aren’t going to reveal that just yet :P

That’s right – you get to kill the channel ops! And you’ll even get prizes for it!

Once the channel ops are sitting in pods amongst tangled wreckage, it’s every man for himself in a free-for-all fight to the death. The only rule is no warping off grid. The last pilot standing wins the Grand Prize.

Points Mean…….Prizes!

BTL is offering a full set of T3 BC’s for the occasion. Winners of the following get to pick a T3 BC from the set (in order):

1. Most kills
2. Most damage on the operators
3. Most damage on the flagship
4. Final blow on the flagship

The last man standing after the free-for-all wins the Grand Prize – a PLEX!

The Details

When: 30th December 21.00 EVE time (not 22:00, as advertised previously)
Where: Mandoo (9-10 jumps from Amarr).
Bring: Any T1 PvP fitted cruiser. Note that t1 =/= faction. To clarify – T1 cruiser refers to the hull only – T2 mods are fine and frankly a good idea.
Fitting restrictions: No ECM, neuts or sensor dampeners, including drones. We don’t want the ops don’t die TOO quickly xD
Prizes available: 4xT3 BC and a PLEX.

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Armor Logistics 101

Editors note: this article was originally written by Jinn Rho. Also, what on earth is the plural for Oneiros? -_-

So you want to become a logistics pilot and fly a Guardian and/or Oneiros? That’s cool, but there are several things you need to know before stepping into the big logi shoes of the fleet.

Skills

Every logistics pilot should have Targeting V and Multitasking III trained to target 10 pilots at once. You should have all the major logistics skills at level IV or V. This includes skills that influence capacitor, powergrid, cpu, drones, and remote repair. Having Logistics V is not a requirement, Logistics IV is workable, but having Logistics V makes repairing less capacitor-intensive and lets you provide more means to support your fleet and fit more tank modules. Pilots with Logistics IV require more attention in terms of acheiving stability, and often have to sacrifice 1-2 slots to grid/cap soundness in order to compensate for what a Logi V pilot can fit.

Editors note: This is true of all logistics ships, not just armor logistics. Train logi V!

The Basics

Becoming a great logi pilot requires several key things:

  • Listen to the FC. Pay attention to what your FC demands of the fleet and logis in order to keep the Incursion machine running well. Rep your broadcasts and volunteer for ore-drops. Smooth operations makes more money!
  • The right modules. Tank, rep, energy transfers [guardian], ab, cap [onerios], support like tracking links and remote sensor boosters. Faction and Complex modules can be very useful as they offer lower fitting requirements and greater bonuses. Although you may be saying “nah… faction is too expensive,” keep in mind that faction gear such as the INEANM is [currently] 40m… that’s only 4 Vanguard sites.
  • Watchlist. In Vanguards, most fleets take 10-11 pilots. Every single [active] pilot needs to be placed on the watchlist, with your fellow logistics and anchor being located at the top or bottom for easy access.
  • Broadcast window. Watch it! This is what you should be looking at 90% of the time. If needed, remind your fleet to broadcast fast and once only.
  • Orbit. Once on site, locate your anchor (using your watchlist, which you have set up with the anchor at the top or bottom, right?), turn on your AB and orbit. I usually orbit at 4000m because I reach near-max velocity with an AB, making me hard for the Sansha to track. Speed tanking is very important for your relatively fragile logistics ship.
  • Press Keys F1-F4. Once you’re setup with your orbit, your cap chains, your drones, your support mods, all you have to do is pay attention. Watch both the broadcast window and watchlist and remote rep when your fleetmates need it.
  • No wardecs/looting. For the sake of the fleet, don’t rep a wartarget unless agreed before the site by the fleet/FC. If they didn’t announce it earlier, don’t rep them!

Practice makes perfect. Learn from the experiences (and horror stories) of other logistics pilots and what mods they normally fit. Learn as much as you can from Vanguard sites before you try to tackle the tougher Assault, HQ, and mom sites.

When stuff hits the fan

Disconnections
People disconnect from EVE all the time. When a DPS pilot does, the fleet isn’t as immediately handicapped compared to when a logi pilot disconnects. The important thing to remember is to stay calm and know your backup plan (you do have one, right?). The worst type of armor logistics ship that can disconnect is a Guardian pilot. Why? Because their chain affects other pilots, namely fellow Guardians. Thankfully, some DPS pilots carry large cap transfers on them; the majority are Maurader pilots such as the Paladin. Know which pilots in your fleet are carrying large cap transfers, so that you can transfer cap with them if your partner disconnects in order to keep repping.

Unwanted Spawns
Sometimes, DPS pilots get a little too trigger happy (or their drones get too pewpew) and extra spawns appear. This increase of incoming damage should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, full aggro goes to a pilot and as hard as you rep, their armor just keeps going lower and lower and lower. This is the time to overheat your reps in order to spew more hp/s onto their hulls. Cycle those overheated modules only a few times: do not burn out your modules! After the site, remember to repair your heated modules with either a station repair or nanite repair paste, and tell the FC that you are doing so.

Popped pilots
Hopefully this situation won’t happen to you, but occasionally it happens. When a pilot pops for one reason or another, just remain calm and don’t warp off. Leaving your fleet high and dry will get you blacklisted and banned, and it’s just a jackass thing to do. Listen to your FC. Once again: do not warp off unless ordered!

Vanguards (VG)

The average fleet size for a VG site is 10-11 pilots (10 being the max Incursion payout, often 11 in order to blitz through VGs faster, whilst having a minimal penalty to isk/lp.)

Armor Vanguard fleets combine logis in one of three ways:

  • 3 Guardians,
  • 3 Oneiros (ideal)
  • 2 Guardians + 1 Oneiros.

Notably, Oneirios’s are more popular in Vanguards than Guardians because of tracking link bonuses and a larger drone bay.

3 Guardians. If some of you are blessed with Logistics V, you’ve opened up some great opportunities for your fleet. Logi V pilots only require 1 cap xfer in order to be stable. The other cap xfer can be feed cap to DPS ships who require it. If feeling generous, that same pilot could constantly feed cap-hungry Amarr ships such as Navygeddons, Abaddons, and Bhaalgorns.

3 Oneiros. Lazy mode on! Properly fit, the Oni is cap stable by itself, meaning no fussing about getting those cap chains up. A typical Oni pilot will have 1-3 tracking links making your fleet even deadlier by increasing its ability to project damage onto smaller targets. Three oneiros’s with three tracking links each gives tracking bonuses to every DPS pilot.

2 Guardians + 1 Oneiros. This setup allows you to combine the bonuses of each ship when one or both Guardians are logi V.  By having one guardian constantly feed cap to the Oni, he is able to fit an AB and 4 tracking links (or even 5 tracking links) in his midlsots, providing bonuses for many DPS pilots (who will love you long time).

Remember to keep a cool composure and lead by example, i.e. don’t spam “need armor” and yell over comms “OMGZ I need reppppss!” Just chill out, relax, make ISK, talk about wutevs, and have fun!

Before going into sites, each logistics pilot should determine each other’s level and form chains as needed. Remember, a Logi IV Guardian must receive 2 capxfers, and a Logi V Guardian only needs 1 capxfer. Oneiros pilots should be stable. Also, if your logistics ship has support modules such as tracking links and remote sensor boosters, determine which fleet members you’re going to boost. With tracking links, generally, battleship-class ships could use tracking speed scripts, while cruiser-class ships could use optimal scripts. If you are not sure which pilot could use which script, just ask!

A channel devoted to logistics is not necessary because there are only three pilots. Setup your watchlist to first have the other logistics pilots and the anchor, then fill the rest. You should be able to have all active pilots on your watchlist. Likewise, logistics ships are able to target 10 pilots, so you should have Targeting V+ Multitasking III trained enough to be able to target that many.

Once your fleet arrives at the site’s gate, it is polite (and often required) for logistics to X up, signifying that you are ready to enter the site. Follow the anchor into the site and once inside, locate your anchor and begin to orbit him/her; a small orbit between 500m-5000m is good. 99% of the time the anchor should be primaried first and will be taking heavy damage from Sansha. Immediately target him and start throwing reps on him. In the short few seconds to follow, begin locking up all other fleet members.If you have support modules, start activating them now.

When everything is setup and running, all you have to do is pay attention to the FC, the watchlist, and broadcasts. Throw reps on pilots when they start dipping into armor, even if they forgot to broadcast for it. Once the initial heavy damage dissipates as each logi adds their reps, you are able to turn off some of your reps in preparation of the new broadcasts to follow soon.

When your fleet finds its groove in the right balance between logistics support, hard DPS, and webs, and bonuses, sites will melt like freshly buttered pancakes in the hot July summer. Typically in an optimized fleet, Vanguard sites each take between 3-8 minutes. Optimized blitzing fleets can tackle 12 sites or more in an hour.

Assaults, HQs, Moms, and you.


Only take on these fleets when you have had ample experience running VG logistics. Often, these sites need 6-12 logistics pilots (the mom needing 12-20 logis). Add other logistics pilots and anyone else the FC may want placed on that list, such as the DPS-anchor or Scorpions

For these types of fleets, a dedicated logistics channel is required. If you are experienced enough and know your facts, often speaking up and taking initiative gives you the Logistics Commander (LC) role. The LC’s job is to ensure the logistics wing operates smoothly. This is a critical role, as failure can mean the loss of the fleet. To learn more about logistics commanders, click here (coming soon).

Mothership Tactics

It is vital you listen to the directions of both the FC and LC (Logi Commander). Often, there will be both a DPS-anchor and a Logi-anchor. Make sure you are always orbiting the logi-anchor. Keep your cap partner(s) and the logi-anchor on your watchlist as primary. Add other logistics pilots and anyone else the FC may want placed on that list, such as the DPS-anchor or Scorpions.

The most important thing to be aware of is the Lirsautton Parichaya’s (fighter-bombers).

The FC will announce when bombers spawn, at which point you as a logistics pilot need to be pay attention to your overview. These bombers are able to instapop logistics not specifically tanked to survive them . Please be aware of when these spawn and where your closest warp-to is. If you do warp off, be sure to warp back into the site as soon as possible and re-establish your cap chains.

Just like VG sites, each logistics pilot needs watch the broadcast window. Your watchlist should be populated with your immediate cap partners and the anchor. Keep calm and remember that these types of sites are basically VGs, only tougher.

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Message From the Editor

Hey folks, Hardin here.

I’d like to give a quick update on what’s going on with the website and what might happen over the next few weeks.

I’ve been working on shifting the website to fit better with modern incursion running – blitzing rather than just completing. To do this, there’s now three new articles dedicated to blitzing which you can find on their own page as well as on the right hand bar.

While I update all our articles as we work out new and better ways to run sites, articles that I feel need a little touching up include the three vanguard articles (to fit better with blitzing) and the basilisk guide. I’ve also cleaned out all of the articles which related to BTL rather than incursion sites: while this has been a very convenient place to put them, it’s time for a cleanup and I’m trying to get away from politics. The only exception is my own resignation, which I’ll leave up for the moment.

I’ll also be adding a new article which aims to give people as much of the information from Incursions 101 as possible while being quick, concise and to the point. There may also be an article on flying Guardians up in a few days time.

If you like the website, please give us a friendly bump on the shiny new forums to spread the word.

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A Resignation of Sorts

tl;dr I’m stepping down from running BTL (which despite some of the rhetoric is basically what I was doing).

There’s two main reasons.

  • Real life, as usual. This is the big one. Eve in general, and BTL to be specific, take more time than I should be giving, and that’s a mistake that I’ll regret if it keeps going. There’s stuff that I haven’t been managing to get done that I should have. I’m doing it wrong.
  • Quit while I’m ahead. There’s a saying that there is old pilots, and there is bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. I think the same is true in leadership. BTL is wildly successful, and if I’m going to cash my chips then this is as good a time as any.

A brief history of me and BTL

I was there when BTL Pub was formed so very long ago, and I had channel operator from the beginning. The other channel ops were mostly busy with BTL Alliance, and I gradually became responsible to the eventual alliance leader for maintaining the public channel while they focused on other things.

I kicked off BTL into growing as fast as possible, because I saw that the way to win motherships was not with the best ships but with the fastest formup. At the time, TDF was invite only still and we rapidly caught up and overtook them on numbers. We began winning more motherships, and each mothership we won we used as a recruitment opportunity to continue that growth.

Me, Lord Galrton (TDF founder) and Ammzi established the first agreement – we took advantage of a glitch that made the mom unkillable for a few hours and ran with it, telling people they should avoid killing the mom until CCP have fixed it (although we knew they already had).

I almost tore the channel apart when I took us out of the agreement, and it hurt to be hated so much by the people you are trying to help. Luckily, the gamble paid off and it turned out to be one of the most successful things we ever did.

I lost channel op at one point, and the support I received was quite touching. Thankfully it got restored once that public opinion was realized.

Myself, StyphonUK (and the rest of the fearless bears) and Ammzi brought pvp to BTL, with great support from Green Pimp and in particular Princess Haruka. We’ve been to lowsec incursion 4 times with up to 60 people, roamed a good portion of the lowsec in the game, got hotdropped twice and got welped more times than I can count. And enjoyed every second of it xD

Here we are half a year later, with just under a thousand accounts using the BTL group at peak times, winning pretty much every contested mom (TDF hardly even bother any more). We even killed a lowsec mothership, much to the rage of goons (props HTIDRaver, you beat me to it by two days, well played xD) I really love this community and I’m very proud of what we’ve built together.

Who Next

This isn’t a dynasty, I’m not gonna tell you who’s taking over next! I’ve passed the reimbursement fund to Phattecia (I don’t have sticky fingers) but don’t take that as me picking him next, he’s just the least likely to take it and run xD

Now what?

This isn’t goodbye, not really. I’ve plexed my account for about a year and though I haven’t decided if I’m going to play or not, I’ll be on to change skills and catch up. I just won’t be yelling at anyone any more xD As for BTL, I wish I could continue doing what I do, and working with all you guys, but I really can’t. I’ve got no doubt that such a great bunch of people will do just fine without me.

As Phatt would say,

Hardin

P.S

For those who asked, I’m 17.

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