terça-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2013

ECM not working as intended?

I already told a tale on how ECM can become the “GODLIKE” feature of small gang PVP. In fact, a Falcon is usually present on small frig gangs, looking for a gank. It’s not unusual for a 1-5 man fleet to bring a Falcon, either camping or roaming. There are a couple of easy counters to it though.

Counter n.º 1 – The anti-Falcon Falcon
Sef explanatory... just bring a falcon with  3 (or more) Caldari jammers. Wait for enemy falcon to decloak, jamm him, let rest of fleet do the killing.
Even though this option works on nearly every cenario, it is no fun... We prefer to use the counter n.º 2 when near our home system.

Counter n.º 2 – ECM not working as intended?
There are a few ingredients necessary for this counter to work:
1-     Good intel – you need to know a Falcon is present in the enemy gang;
2-     Bait ECCCCCCCCCCM Armor BC with ton of EHP;
3-     Logi to save your bait ship (unless fighting a very small gang);

Let’s talk about the Bait... My personal preference is the Harbinger, but any armor BC will do. Here is the fit.

The main features are the 2 ECCM on the mids and the Backup Array on the low. Still, fitting and stats mean NOTHING until you get it on the field. Here are a couple of stories.

Story n.º 1 – Payback is a bitch
There I was on my Cormorant, after having it reffited to Retribution patch (hate having lost a mid slot) when I find a Jaguar and a Enyo. Knowing I can’t engage both at same time, I try to burn back to gate, but I’m scrammed quite far away, and I’m gonna go down.
This is where the “Good Intel” part comes into play. Just before I die, a Falcon decloaks, but fails to whore me before I die!

This is interesting... So we got a 2 man frig gang AND a Falcon around.
It’s time to take the ECCCCCCCCM Harbinger out of the hangar. I also had a few corp mates online, so I ask them to round up some ships, and off we go to find them.

I finally find them on Jorund system, Doril gate. Right now, I’m playing scout with my ECCCCCCCCM Harbinger. They don’t know about my backup ofc... 
Jaguar locks me up. I do the same and agress him. Shortly after the Falcon decloak and jamms me.
On a normal situation, this would be a “Game Over” cenário, but not this time. I overload both my ECCMs, activate them, burn on top of the Falcon (Jaguar had me on disruptor point and not scrambler) and I wait for the Falcon to miss the next cycle. As soon as Falcon misses the Jamm, I scram the Falcon and call in fleet.
The fleet lands right after I kill the Falcon, but unfortunatly the Jaguar bails out.

Story n.º 2 - Waiting for someone?
I was on my Enyo on Sendaya Gate Doril system, and I see 2 AAA Sabres playing around with an Outbreak Thorax. As soon as the Thorax engages both Sabres, they decloak a Falcon and is “Game Over” for the Thorax. I honestly burned and engaged the Falcon that was off the main engagement, but he perma-jammed me, and I had to bail just before the Sabres got onto me. 

Still....interesting... 2 Sabres and a Falcon! Everyone knows this is a job for the....... You got it! ECCCCCCCCM Harbinger! Also, my corp mates were all AFK, so went “solo” on this one.
I bring Rtb on the Harbinger to Litom system. The AAA gang had moved a couple jumps, and they actually avoided the engagement until their Falcon was in position. Here is how it went:

I bring both the Enyo and the Harbinger into Litom system. Both Sabres are on the Jamunda Gate, but their Falcon is on Utopia sytem yet, so a bit far away. I engage the Sabres and they jump into Jamunda. They do not want to risk an engagement without their “I win” button!

No "WIN" button, no fight!
I follow into Jamunda once agression is over. Just before that I saw on local that the Falcon pilot entered Litom. He’s getting closer. On Jamunda I agress the Sabres again. They jump back into Litom. Ok... Their Falcon is still not ready. Again, once agression is over, I follow them with the Harbinger into Litom.
When I load grid, I see both Sabres and Falcon at 0km on the Jamunda gate. I have 2 options
1 – Agress a Sabre;
2 – Agress the Falcon.

I actually go for option 1 – Agress a Sabre. Falcon pilots tend to be sensitive about being shot, so by shooting him, I would probably only force them into jumping out again. Once I shot the Sabre, bubble comes up, Falcon Jamms me, and both Sabres get on top of me. The game is on.
1st step is to overload both my ECCM and wait for a Jamm cycle to end. Once I recover my lock back, the Falcon is already outsider my Scram range, burning away from me, so the choice is clear. I agress Sabre n.º 1. Shortly after I manage to kill it.

At this point Sabre n.º 2 begins to make range on me. I bring in the Enyo and quicly Scram/Web him, while getting in range with the Harbinger. Unfortunatly, AAA guys still had a good situational awareness, and both Sabre and Falcon primary the Enyo. It’s imediatly jammed, scrammed and shot by the Sabre. At this point I must confess I was lucky, because I managed to kill the Sabre when my Enyo reached 50% structure. Not funny....

Now all I got left is to burn 50km to the Falcon, but the Enyo is perma-jammed and my Harbinger is slooooooow as hell, so Falcon easilly warps off. Just a curious comment at this stage. During the fight I stopped overloading my ECCMs in order for them to prevent burning out themselves or my scram. Whenever I stopped overloading them, I got jammed, even though I had freaking 80+ sensor strengh!!! I had to overload them back in order to finish the fight...

Overall was not bad! 2 Sabres kill, no losses, and some smack talk on how ECM was not working as intended. A Falcon kill would also be nice, but just can’t have it all! I dock up, repair, drop loot, talk on comms about what just happened and take a little break. 2 minutes after I’m ready to go back home, but AAA boy were mad... 

They had a surprise for me.


As soon as I jump back into Utopia, Sabre pilot nº1 had reshiped into a Vagabond, and was waiting for me to uncloak, alongside his Falcon mate! A quick peek on local and I realize that Sabre pilot n.º 2 is also on local (probably coming on somethin nasty too). Well... I don’t like surprises so I try to burn back to the gate. Panic actually strikes me as he Scrams me! Auch! Still, I take faith on Armor and slowboat back to gate with 10% armor. As soon as I jump out, I see a Sabre pilot n.º 2, also on a Vagabond arriving. I spam the “warp out” button as fast as I can, and today seems to be my lucky day, because I warp off as soon as Vagabond n.º 2 decloaks.
Now.... Messing with 2 Sabres and a Falcon is one thing... messing with 2 Vagabonds AND a Falcon is another completly different deal. I resort to my only option:
Cry like a baby for help on corp comms, and try to form up a gang! (go go solo PVP’er!)


Fortunatly for me, we had some folk that had just came from AFK, so we formed up 1 Exequror (always bring logi to save your bait ship), 1 Falcon with Caldari and Minmatar Jammers and a couple of small tackle as well as T1 damage Cruisers.
The plan:
- Bring the Harbinger into Utopia;
- Scram a ship;
- Call backup;
- Kill them all and have no losses!

Actually did not worked bad at all... Here is what happened.
1st step was to get the backup fleet on the Utopia gate, Hemin system. Once they were in postition, was time to bring the Harbinger out. During all the forming up, and positioning time, the Enyo tried to get the AAA gang interest up, by playing the “I WANT TO GO THAT WAY, PLEASE DON’T CAMP ME!” card. I could care less if they camped me on Litom all night...
Anyway... I bring the Harbinger to Utopia gate, Litom system. Vagabond n.º 1 agresses me. I jump into Utopia. Both Vagabond nº2 and Falcon areat 0km on the Gate. I try to get a Scram on the Vagabond, but he is too fast, and orbits me at 20km. I overload my ECCMs, and wait for Falcon to agress. In the meantime I agress the Vaga with Scorch, taking it at 50% shields, as he takes me into 85% armor. At this point Falcon agresses, but fails to jamm me because I already had my ECCMs working overloaded. I quickly Scram the Falcon, switch to close range crystals and call in fleet. Soon after, Vagabond n.º 1 jumps in, as 1 minute of agression ended, putting some real pain on me.
I should have called my backup fleet sooner, because 2 Vagabonds are taking me into structure  really fast...
At the same time my fleet lands, the Falcon blows up and incoming damage stops! My Falcon mate jammed both Vagabonds and my Exequror mate quickly reps me out at 13% structure!!! Not only that, the small tackle on our fleet catches one of the Vagas and it’s put down of it’s misery!
2 more juicy kills and no losses thanks to awsome backup on my corp mates. Close engagements are always fun, but the ability and oportunity to obliterate the false faith small gang PVP’rs put on ECM “gods” is priceless!

False Gods won't save you all the time...