Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Incursions: AF Assault experimenting

     While flying around in Incursions, wasting rats, I couldn't help but see the high traffic of a few AF Incursion FCs pretty much continually looking for players for their assault fleets.  This sort of got me to thinking.  Tons of people looking for SF fleets, and tons of both armor and shield fleets running Vanguards.  Fewer people running shield assault sites and apparently fewer still running armor assault fleets.  The FCs are obviously there, maybe it's time to go shopping for an AF boat.

N Apoc LFAF - I know, awesome name, right? ;)
      I knew the minimums fairly well for the shield boats, but sort of glossed over the armor parts.  Back to Jester's Incursion Guide I went.  Did some more reading, got the fits squared away in me noggin', so off to Amarr it 'tis.  I had more than enough money, and figured I'd go for a sniper boat, and with the training so far, a Navy Apocalypse seemed like a good fit.  I already had a couple Apoc snipers, so had a good idea how they flew.  Sort of glassy, compared to other Amarr BS's but excellent bonus to optimal range.  A suitable N Apoc was located, good leg room, plenty of trunk space, and I grabbed a bunch of faction beams, heat sinks and EANMs.  Fitted her up, and went looking for fleets.  I started advertising as soon as I hit the first incursion system, and I got picked up in a fleet before I even had the guns grouped and loaded.  :)  Sweeeet!

     I hooked up with an armor FC that sounded a lot like Arnold Schwartzenegger, and he ran sites about as effectively as Arnie clears out dens of bad guys in movies.  I'd read up on assault sites, but being my first armor fleet, again, I thought I'd ask.  I told them I'd run a decent amount of shield VGs and AS, but didn't know if there was anything that an armor fleet did radically different from a shield.  They said no, just follow the tags.  Cool, I just followed the tags.  These dudes were even more laid back than the shield assault fleets, but definitely more organized.  We'd get an extra assault site in during an hour, compared to how fast the shield assault fleet was run.  Since that first day, I've run with the same FC and a core of about 12 of the same players, almost every day.  Every once in a while there's someone new that has a completely jacked mic, or is using some form of stupid voice font, but other than that, everyone is pretty cool and knows what to do

     On one particular evening, the FC was calling it a night "early".  He's obviously European, and an early night at 8 pm my time means well into the wee hours of the morning his time.  He's an animal and must function on about 3 hours sleep each day, or he's retired.  Anyway, one of the fleet members is an experienced FC in his own right on assaults, HQs and even MOM sites, so he said he'd pick up the fleet and form an AF VG fleet out of what was left.  Obviously, a sniper Apoc is of little use to a VG fleet, so I asked if it was cool if I could stay in fleet and run an alt in with some faction pulse lazorz.  He said ok.  As it turned out, I was still hitting shit ok anyway, even with the beams and two tracking speed scripts.  Once a tractor beam or two lands on the fast boats, they're not so fast anymore.  I was thinking I'd go get some berserker drones again to help web the rats, but no real need with a Bhaalgorn or Vindi in fleet.  So, in about 30 minutes, I'd hopped an alt to Amarr, grabbed 8 Imperial Navy Pulse lasers, and brought them out to refit the N Apoc during a 2 min bio break.  The pulse were tracking better than the beams, obviously, but the most noticeable thing was the cap change.  in the armor fit, jester suggests to try to get at least 8 minutes out of the ship.  I'm just about 7 minutes with the beams, so a little weak on cap skills, and need to watch what I run and when, so as to not be a cap whore.  With the pulse though, I didn't need to worry about cap at all.  Very nice.

     The one nice thing about running regularly with mostly the same people is not that you get to know them so much, but that they get to know you, especially the FCs for the larger sites and the MOM fleets.  A number of the guys I fleet with are well known to the HQ and MOM FCs (if they aren't THE FCs) so any time a MOM fleet is forming up, you're usually lucky enough to get early warning and get into them.  That's more pew pew, and different pew pew, especially in a contested MOM site.  Small shades of larger low and null sec battles.

The Point?  Don't be afraid of tougher Incursion assault sites.  It's the same as the Vanguards, just follow the tags and pay attention to voice chat and broadcasts.

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