Just a quickie.
It's increasingly interesting to me how many basic rules of EVE PvP a large fleet fight can break, and how invalid standard PvP instincts are in such a fight.
I'm slowly easing back into my normal EVE play after very little EVE play time since the start of the year, thanks to my CSM6 run. Last night, I got pulled into such a large fight to defend a pair of Pure Blind tech moons in R6XN-9 from a combined fleet of NCdot, Merciless, and Ev0ke. The call went out for a primary fleet of alpha Maelstroms and a secondary fleet of Hellcat Abaddons. The enemy fleet was primarily triple-plated Abaddons (that isn't what a Hellcat is, NCdot...). I despise flying Ripard in battleships -- give me a nice, safe tackler every time -- but you get in the ship the FC asks for. Normally, against any one of these three alliances, the Pure Blind team can handle themselves. Against all of them together, and thanks to some bad tactics by us, and some good spying by NCdot (x up if your alliance doesn't have a spy on Morsus Mihi's Teamspeak, please... anyone?), we got our butts kicked, myself included.
It's a routine loss on a standard alpha Maelstrom fit. The ammo is mixed because our target calls kept varying between 50km and 95km (part of the bad tactics). That isn't the interesting part. This isn't a thin Maelstrom. With Ripard flying it and with the support ships we had, it has 25,000+ shield HP, good resists, and more than 125k EHP. The interesting part is that it died in about four seconds. I was pre-aligned, and wasn't even tackled that I noticed. I hate large fleets, and granted, it's been a while since my last PvP engagement, but all of my instincts were dead wrong.
As soon as I was yellow-boxed, I hit Ctrl-H (my "Need Shields" broadcast). A second later, I was at 93% shields. I got the mouse moving toward the button to overheat, then reconsidered (one more second). I clicked the GTFO tab on my Overview, searched for my align point, found it, clicked it, hit the Warp To hot-key... and by that time, I was in a pod instead of a Maelstrom. There was no time to overheat defenses, and it wouldn't have mattered if I had; I didn't survive long enough for the mods to cycle. There certainly wasn't enough time to get reps from the dozen or so Scimis and Basis we had in the fleet. I doubt they even had time to lock me. Same with at least a third of the enemy fleet, I imagine. ;-) At least the pod got out. It was more expensive than the ship, and happily LAWN has a good ship reimbursement program. Guess I should start training Ripard for Hellcats.
I asked one of our logi pilots later if he saved anyone. "I think so... a couple, maybe," he said. "It was hard to tell if they were blowing up or warping off." Heh.
We also had a decent mix of Scorpions and Falcons in the fleet. "Should we jam logis?" one of these pilots asked the FC. "No!" he responded. "Forget their logis. Jam their DPS... as many of their Abaddons as you can."
The rules... they are a-changing.