Drake Roam

Drake Fleet 2019
Drakes Undocking
I try to run regular fleets on Saturdays when time allows, or we aren't fighting in WHs, or doing something else. Often these are just kitchen sink affairs, but sometimes I like to run "theme" fleets based around one thing or another. This past Saturday I ran a Drake themed fleet and it was a huge success. One of our members built 10 Drake hulls for us and I was able to give those out for free to those who didn't already have a Drake built. By the time we undocked with 13 Drakes to start, I believe we had every type of Drake fit represented in the fleet. Along with a half-dozen or so support ships, Griffin, Merlins, Condors mostly. We tried to keep things Caldari.

My own Drake was glass cannon fit for max HAM dps. Others went LML, or Heavy Missile and we had max tank, long points, scrams, dual webs, and everything else in-between. The fleet lasted for just short of four hours, so we added and subtracted pilots along the way. At one point I believe we had 23 pilots in the fleet. 

The challenge for me as FC was trying to figure out a way to get us fights. Having 13 Drakes suddenly appear in local either causes people to dock up or decide to up-ship and drop nasty things on us. So my strategy was simple, keep the fleet moving and head towards Tama. Hoping that along the way we'd be picked up by scouts and someone would organize a gang to engage us. Meanwhile, as always, my secondary goal was to educate our pilots on fleet tactics and how they work. For some of our pilots this would be the first time they flew BCs in a gang. So I always try to explain what is happening and why we are doing things.

We ran into some Test Alliance pilots in Heyd and managed to take down one of their Caracals, and a Scythe, before the rest of them ran off. We even managed to pop an unlucky Thrasher on the gate, which isn't easy to do with Drakes. The rest of the trip went about as well as it could, we chased, we baited, we waited patiently, we moved around, we ended up hanging out in Tama and getting no fights there (which is not unusual) and we even went as far as Ishomilken without much result. On the return trip I decided to take us into OMS and back thru Aeschee to see if Shadow Cartel might be awake.

But first we discovered a Pen is Out Gnosis and Vedmak hanging out on a Citadel in OMS. I sent two Drakes in to try and engage them while the rest of us waited. Luckily for us they both decided to engage our Drakes and we all made short work of both ships. The Gnosis. And the Vedmak.  This would have made for a solid ending to the roam, but luckily our scouts discovered a SC Drek gang in Ladistier on the OMS gate. So I made the decision to jump into them, and after a short positioning break on both sides, we ended up engaging each other.

I want to add here that I'm not trying to sugar coat the roam, we suffered some losses along the way. These are all represented on our killboards, but I'm not focusing on those here because it starts to get really complicated. One of our pilots who was trying to join us got caught on the trip and lost his Drake. Several of our support craft managed to give their lives in the effort. And Watson lost his Drake getting the Gnosis and Vedmak to engage. All of whom deserve mentioning. But honestly, given the size of our gang, our losses were minimal.

So six Dreks against our gang of 14 Drakes and support ships. The fight did not go well for them, and we managed to pop 4 of their Dreks before disengaging, and only lost one Drake in the fight. You can see the Battle Report here. After this we decided to head home, but then we saw that SC was re-shipping and asking for another round in local.

So we engaged again, but this time SC dropped an Apostle on us and things went much differently. We ended up losing 4 Drakes without being able to break a single Drek under FAX Logi. (Not surprisingly) However, once the Apostle dropped I made the decision to stay and fight. My orders were to lock up a string of Dreks and then keep switching our dps to try and break the logi. Mostly I wanted to teach our pilots how to do that under pressure and they all preformed extremely well. I learned later that one of the Dreks wasn't even locked by the FAX and would have gone down. But it was all good fun and a great learning experience for our pilots.

Almost four hours later and my Drake was safely back in the hangar. I have a lot of ideas for future theme fleets, so hopefully we'll be able to do this again soon.

But it was great to see so many Drakes warping together in space again. Just like the old days.


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