Small Boys

Plus one.

I was having a conversation with my friend Tux, who’s a pilot in the Gallente Militia in Faction War.  Both of us call ourselves small gang PvPers, but we each have decidedly different play styles.   Tux lives and fights primarily in low sec.  I live and fight, if you can call it that, in NPC null.

While we both started playing Eve about the same time, he has about 5 million SP more than I do.  I think I’ve spent a little more of my immortality in unimplanted clones and didn’t know what a remap was until I was playing for over a year.  Both of us ended up in SOV null shortly after starting our Eve careers, but where I left SOV for OUCH during my first year, he stuck with it.  He flew for several SOV alliances before giving it all up, retiring for the “la vida buena de la guerra faccion.”

You can’t pay enough for either of us  to move back to SOV null.

Faction frigs and destroyers make up the majority of his gangs damage dealing platforms.   Assault ships, cruisers and stealth bombers make up the majority of OUCH.   Whenever he links me the ‘awesome little destroyer’ he is flying today, I invariably repeat that I’m not particularly fond of destroyers.   Too fragile. The other day, he reminded me with my own words:

Well, we aren’t playing the same game.

They fly light small fast ships, seeking out and fighting over low sec plexes that limit the size of the ships that they can use.  We fly light, small, fast ships, play a waiting game, using hit and fade tactics on small gangs in the few systems closest to our null sec home.  They have to deal with gate guns, station games and security status.  We have to deal with mobile warp disruptors, light interdictors and sniper BCs.

Our common ground is we fly sub capital ships, battleships and below.  For the most part, we rarely fly anything bigger than a cruiser.  Small Boys, in Navy parlance.  Frigates are ships of choice:  they use a wider variety in different configurations, both standard frigates and navy faction.  OUCH runs along a half dozen standard frigates with predictable fits: Tackle.  EWAR.  Nothing fancy, tricky, or particularly shiny.  Just the facts ma’am.

So when Tux told me that he wasn’t a big fan of assault frigates, I told him that this was going to be an interesting conversation, since I’ve been leaning more and more toward assault frigates as a ship of choice.

His reasoning is simple:  He gets more fights flying T1 frigates and destroyers than flying AFs.  He typically flies in gangs less than five guys.  The people that he is flying against are more likely to commit to a fight if he and his gang are in frigs and destroyers instead of assault frigates or cruisers.  He’s fighting frigs, destroyers , faction frigs and AFs over plexes and by staying in frigs and dessies, he encourages his opponents to take a chance.

From his point of view, the benefits of an assault frigate over a faction frigate are not worth the additional cost.  Since he flies in Faction War and gets loyalty points for PvPing, it’s not a stretch for him to use that LP to make ships, and buy, sell or trade them away.  The performance gain of a faction frigate and the ease in acquiring them at a fair price makes faction frigs the right choice for a faction war pilot.

OUCHs style of PvP has us in frigates and cruisers engaging ships above our class.  Yep, well take the low hanging fruit:  the ships in our class or lower, or the solo travelers bee bopping through null with their brains on autopilot.

Uh… Pirate.

Absolutely.  But we also know that the larger our fleet or our ships, the bigger the fleet or ships that our adversaries will bring.  If we field a fleet of 10 frigates, theyll bring EWAR supported cruisers.   If we have a fleet of a dozen frigates and cruisers with EWAR, theyll bring a 20 man logi supported battlecruiser gang.  So we keep our ships small, and hope our adversaries do the same, but if they go too big, well, were not afraid to run.

Grab your purses, ladies, we are out of here.

But I’m a student of history and I can appreciate the concept of small light ships using speed and maneuverability to survive long enough to take down ships above their class.   Where assault frigates, with comparatively high damage and survivability compared to their T1 counterparts, are respected by frigate pilots, they are generally under estimated by the pilots in the heavy cruiser and battlecruiser gangs.

I mean, assault frigates are just frigates after all.

Nice shiny frigates.   Let’s go get ’em.  

Leyte Gulf?  

Never heard of it.

Minus one.