Case Study: Omen and Caracal Navy

Case Study is a new feature I'm trying out where I take an engagement or multiple engagements and walk you thru the entire fight from start to finish. Hopefully this helps illustrate how fights go right and how fights sometimes go wrong. As always I'll pick fights from both sides, those we win and those we lose. As you should all know by now I'm not afraid of admitting my own errors when they happen. Just yesterday I lost a fight simply because my armor repper was not set on auto repeat. I typically check those settings when I undock and sadly I had dc'd on undock and forgot to check when I logged back in. Bad things happen to good people, what can you do?

First Fight: Tristan and a Merlin take on an Omen

A handful of Stay Frosty pilots are out doing our usual whizzing around the neighborhood looking for trouble, when we spot the Omen on the Okka gate in Reitsato. We had seen some larger gangs rolling around earlier, but all indications seemed to point to the pilot being alone. (Which is never a sure thing.) Either way, we had at least 4-5 ships nearby if we needed them. Mr. Veda had already warped to the Okka gate when we spotted him, so I warped my Tristan to a small plex and started slow boating back towards the Okka gate. The idea was for Mr. Veda to get his attention and then warp in an obvious manner back to me. Hopefully the Omen would follow him.

He did and the call went out to our other pilots. Sadly, even though I'd pulled range, the Omen still landed about 40k from me. Mr. Veda's Merlin was behind me about 10k on the gate as we both started burning at him. Luckily 40k is drone range so I went ahead and got my drones going for him. I honestly figured he'd just warp away, but there was only two of us and maybe he'd make a play. The key to surviving this engagement is in the approach. Luckily we both had ABs and not MWDs, so our signatures would remain low, although we'd be slower and less likely to catch him. The critical bit is living long enough to worry about catching him.

He let his drones come at us which was a good sign, it meant he was most likely going to play with us. More important to us however was keeping a good transversal line to him and staying oblique to his guns. This is always hard when approaching from a distance, but it is the most important part of the fight. If his guns catch you head on they can hurt or even pop your small frigate. It is a dance, but if you do it right you end up in a very tight orbit with Void loaded and he dies fast. Which is what happened.

Our mates arrived, but they got pulled into the gate so they couldn't help us. But we both lived long enough to get in under his guns and then it was just a matter of chewing his relatively thin armor. Once we got in that close we weren't in any real danger, unless we made a mistake. Which we managed to avoid. Omen down to two t1 frigates.

Second Fight: Comet, Tormentor and Tristan take on a Caracal Navy Issue

Not all fights are about the actual fight, sometimes the more important question is "Should I even take the fight?" And that can often be tricky. There are some things you can do to help yourself make better decisions, if making better decisions is your thing. It isn't always my thing, most times I just go ahead and take the fight anyway. But I am trying to do better. Sorta. Anyway, where was I?

Oh, so I'm in a Comet and I spot a Caracal Navy Issue on scan in system. 9 times out of 10 in Low Sec these days a solo Caracal is going to be Rapid Light Missile fit and bad news for frigates. However, first red flag, it is a Caracal Navy Issue which is often a favorite of PvE pilots. Especially alone. Second red flag, he wasn't on scan at a plex, after some d-scanning genius I finally found him at the iHub. That is not the action of a solo PvPer. I'm already in warp when show info brings up the last red flag, the pilot is in a faction warfare corporation. I radio my mates because I figure I have a 50/50 chance he is sporting HAMs or Heavies.

Now this doesn't necessarily mean the fight will be easy, a lot will depend on how well fit his ship is and where I land. Never mind, I land right on top of him. Turns out he is sporting ECM and a TD, which makes things messy but not dangerous. That's what drones are for. Granted, he could have run away when his cycle hit, but he didn't. I managed to hold him long enough for the calvary to arrive. My damage application was limited by the ECM and the TD, but once we got multiple points on him he went down fast.

There are fights you are doomed to lose from the moment you engage and there is nothing you can do to change that. And there are fights you should win, but for one reason or another (like forgetting to set your armor rep to auto repeat) you don't. But most of the time, all things being equal, the smarter pilot wins the fight. And often the smarter pilot is the one that takes the fight in the first place.

You can't win if you don't play.


  1. I was looking at you guys in fleet chat during those fights :-) Nice write-up, and definitely inspiring for me as an aspiring PvPer. I almost want do one of my own - but as I generally lose in the end, it just seems less interesting to read... So maybe later.

    1. The losses can be fun sometimes, or funny at least.