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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One Response to Logistics Commanders

  1. Pingback: FC Guide – HQ Fleets | How to Run Incursions

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