Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CFC's Drake Fleet

     Yesterday, Ripard from Jester's Trek posted about the CFC Drake Fleet.  He posted some rather scathing comments about the fact that the ship is designed to run with perma MWD.  His basic point was that it was rather silly to have a perma MWD fit on a Drake, because in a fight you won't need to MWD for that long to get in range of the enemy.  Joba Korako, a Junior FC in the CFC made post with a good explaination about what the Drake Fleet doctrine is about:

*sigh* The idea of this Drake isn't to make it easier to fly, although that is a definite advantage for a coalition filled with new pilots. The reason the perma-mwd is so useful is it allows an unprecedented level of maneuverability for fighting on grids that can stretch out for 300+ Km's on any side. The MWD also makes dodging bombing runs trivial, as once you're up to speed with all the Drakes anchoring on a Vulture or what have you, all the FC needs to do is move away from where the bombs are going to land and the fleet effectively gains a lot more staying power. The primary role for these Drakes is a counter support role to support another fleet. Their goal is while, say, an Alpha fleet is pounding on the hostile fleet, the Drake fleet burns towards the hostile logistics and either pushes them out of rep range of their fleet's DPS ships or catches and kills them. With your "Vanilla" Drake, a fleet of them trying to get to the group of logistics (which tend to be 30-50 km behind the enemy fleet where they are in range for reps but not in range of most weapon systems) would fail hilariously. They'd run out of cap trying to MWD all the way towards them, all the while as a fleet of Abbadon's/Maelstroms/etc. are battering away at the fleet once they lose their transversal from the ~1100 m/s they gained from the MWD. Also keep in mind that this fleet does not work without 100-256 in fleet, with 3-8 combat recons (Lachesis/Huginn) and 10-30 Scimitars. For smaller gangs, the PODLA Drake or a close variation of your "Vanilla" Drake scales far better. Oh and the ~100 m/s the PODLA drake gains over the Perma-MWD Drake is negated when 2 Huggin's web it at ~70 KM and the Lachesi point it when there's Claymores in the wing commander positions (Which is generally always for the CFC). Not too mention a Drake like this can make changes like another meta 4 LSE to make it fit easier, and the fact that this drake costs ~70 mil to fit in Jita, which is a huge advantage for a coalition that has 20 000+ to pay reimbursements for. Hope that clears some things up for those who don't care to look into the role of a ship before subtly mocking it.
      I haven't met Joba, but he makes a good case for what is happening with the CFC fleets.  One thing that Ripard Teg and Liang Nuren (who made some disparaging remarks via Twitter about this) don't understand is that these fleets have a different purpose from the fleets that they both run in.  Both Ripard and Liang participate in small gang warfare for the most part.  My definition of a "small" gang is 50 or less.  Keep in mind that when mobilized the CFC will regularly field 500-1,000 subcaps.  Their main job is to be maneuverable.  Generally speaking the Drake fleets' job is to pin down the enemy for Alpha fleet to finish them off.

     Another constant threat to a fleet like this is bombers.  When laying siege to a structure the Drake fleet will continuously MWD around in order to deny the enemy a good warp in point for bombing runs.  An enemy that is outgunned will sometimes bring in a 30 man bomber fleet that, with a good warp in and good timing, can pop a static blob of Drakes and/or Battleships.

     The lack of tackle was also brought up.  One of these fleets will generally have 20-40 dedicated tackle in the form of Lachesis, Dictor, Hictor pilots.  A point on a drake that is engaging at 40-60km from an enemy is a waste.

     The big difference between Sov holding alliances and your ~elite~ PVP organizations is in how the pilots are trained and react.  An ~elite~ PVP organization such as Rote Kapelle or Rooks and Kings has a select group of well skilled (character and player wise) pilots.  They are very good at what they do and can generally take on fleets well above their fleet weight.  On the other hand you have the large sov holding organizations such as the CFC, Raiden., Evoke, Solar Fleet that generally have less well trained pilots flying for them.  These alliance generally have strict doctrines that are set up to be easy to use and are effective.  Generally they field 50+ man fleets regularly and are focused on strategic objectives.  We generally aren't ~elite~ for the most part, but we make up for that with stubbornness and patience.