[Editor’s Note: The following is half editorial/half battle report from GalMil FC Wolfsdragoon which was edited and submitted by Gin Wuncler. The opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s and do no reflect the opinions of FW.com or its staff.]
I am almost always extremely critical and probably unfair towards the Caldari militia. I’ve publicly criticized all aspects of Calmil’s FCs and leadership over the course of the year I’ve been involved with the Gallente Militia. I’ve repeatedly expressed disappointment in the alliances within Cal Mil for being unable to provide me with the fights I’ve sought after. However, this past weekend I can, for possibly the first time, say they brought me one of said fights. The last time I really had an opportunity to fight against CalMil was in Pavanakka, and I don’t mean that horrible experience of kiting frigates and other boring attrition-based fights. I’m referring to a Gila fleet from Templis and a Sacrilege fleet from The Bloc. In both cases, I was entirely confident in winning and that was indeed the result. In both of these cases, the CalMil fleet could and possibly should have won but lost due to some of the worst logi positioning possible. I bring this up because when I fight CalMil, I often look back at the fight and see that had the ships, numbers and other parties on each side been swapped, I would have certainly taken the fights and been confident in winning. This is a recurring theme I find when fighting Caldari groups: they make vital mistakes and neglect to take advantage of certain aspects of the fight. None of this should make any Caldari FC or line member happier with me. Just realize that this is definitely the case, and until improvements are made, I will crush your fleets continually.
As I have alluded to, some circumstances of this fight against Separatists, the fearsome gate campers of Oulley, did not instill confidence. In this case, for example, our enemies not only had friends but had the time and option to fit and bring a direct counter to our doctrine that day. In an unfailingly typical move, Separatists batphoned, which is the only reason the fight occurred in the first place. On this particular day we had a POCO timer with Separatists and they initially batphoned NC., who promptly vowed never to help them again. At the time, I never really connected the dots and realized that Separatists FC pmcunit would batphone Templis, though they have batphoned at least 7-8 distinct groups to fight us so it wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. So when CalMil and Separatists set up a faux fight nearby, I completely believed it to be standard. The real flaw here was believing that Separatists would take a fight alone versus anyone while in Tech 3s.
The actual setup was fairly simple. CalMil showed up with a pretty decent sized group of faction and pirate battleships including Typhoon Fleet Issues, Bhaalgorns, and a Rattlesnake, along with other armor battleships and a mix of BC/cruisers/HACs and Guardians with two slowcat fit Archons on standby. Separatists themselves had around 15 Tech 3s + 7 Guardians. I had Gallente gentlemen in 14 Tempest Fleet Issues, 6 Bhaalgorns, a few Prots, and a few Lokis along with 5 Guardians. In reality 14 Tempest Fleet Issues is not much dps, even with an AC setup it really only delivers around 640 turret DPS. The real beauty of our setup is obviously the crushing amount of neuts on field. Unintentionally, we made the correct decision rushing into the fight, which took Separatists out of the fight immediately. This is because the defensive neuts from the Tempest Fleet Issues kept the atrociously fit Separatist Tech 3s from shooting just about anything. I’m not joking when I say these fits are atrocious, you’ll see for yourself through the battlereport, but co-processors do not belong on line tech 3s, nor do triple mag stabs. Basically, what I’m saying is that even with the 7 Guardians, which remember is about half of the fairly low DPS TFIs I have fielded, they were still unable to save their Tech 3s. One might think this is due to the neuting power of 6 Bhaalgorns, but it isn’t. The fits were so low in EHP and with such a high explosive hole that before the Bhaalgorns were even able to neut the guardians we were breaking their Tech 3s. Even if I had been forced to switch as a Proteus caught reps, we would have simply moved on and killed the next easily. I became so confident in our ability to break their Tech 3s, that I called a Legion as primary, which typically has a 90-94% explosive resist profile. Unsurprisingly it still went down even though we still had Fusion ammunition loaded. Most of the Separatists fleet warped away once they realized they were not holding and we began switching to CalMil.
While the initial engagement against Separatists was going on, Calmil was shooting and very nearly breaking us, meaning that if the Proteus fleet had simply repositioned and escaped our neuts for a moment we might have started losing ships. Now, this would not have lost us the fight because the Caldari for whatever reason chose to attempt to break Bhaalgorns. We only had 5 Guardians on grid and reps were certainly stressed. Remember also, that CalMil had two Bhaalgorns at their disposal along with the two neuts and utillity neuts on nearly every BS on grid. Add to that the fact that we jumped into them, and you can see how this situation could have definitely taken a turn for the worse had neuts been utilized appropriately or if they had simply held down even 2 Guardians. Luckily for us though, poor first primaries from CalMil allowed us to knock a few ships off their roster and stabilize the reps a bit.
The Proteus fleet eventually came back to the Vlill gate with most of their Prots and all of their Guardians intact, but luckily for us they opted to simply jump away, effectively sealing CalMil to their fate. At this point they had lost DPS ships, their Guardians were fully neuted, and two carriers were coming in, putting them in a seriously bad position. The opportunity was there and subsequently lost. Had those carriers come in immediately and used their fighters we would have definitely started bleeding ships. I mentioned previously the opportunity for the Caldari fleet to directly counter us, which they attempted to do with the Typhoon Fleet Issues and other assorted ships. You’ll notice on their Killmails that they all have tracking disruptors in the mids, and most have at least 3 TDs. I happened to have mentioned this to CalMil sometime before as a pretty decent counter to turret doctrines, and it’s true. I can’t say for sure whether CalMil listened to me or if they already had this idea and planned on using it, but I can say it was botched. Take a second look at those mids, and you’ll notice the scripts are for tracking speed. Even against artillery Tempest Fleet Issues, this is a mistake as the amount of webs and paints we will always have will more than compensate and result in near perfect DPS application even on linked Guardians unless they are directly under our guns (and no ships were). We were using ACs though, and even then TDs are still a great idea, but they needed to be using optimal range scripts. This isn’t difficult to explain: you can’t hit what is out of range, or at least not well. Had they done this they may have bought themselves a critical amount of time to kill some of our Guardians before we managed to kill much of anything.
As I mentioned, the Caldari had two carriers come in, but I want to also point out that we had 0 capitals ready to help us, so had we lost even one or two of our five Guardians we would have been very near to completely losing. If CalMil had done almost everything perfectly, I’m still confident we could have recovered and pulled through, but at least this wouldn’t have simply been a massacre where even the lightest of our ships ended up surviving. In the end, it became a simple matter of failing to tackle one of the two slowcat Archons and assigning two Bhaalgorns to neut the Guardians while the Gallente Tempest Fleet Issues counter-neuted the Caldari Bhaalgorns and the remaining 4 Bhaalgorns for GalMil kept the remaining carrier dry. I’ll admit I’ve been itching to fight Templis properly for awhile as I’ve seen the fleets Templis is capable of putting out during USTZ. Unfortunately, I don’t often play into late USTZ and miss those opportunities, so I am thankful that Templis came and provided us with some great content. A large part of me hopes, however, that the Caldari will learn from these mistakes and become a proper challenge. If there are Caldari FCs or members who are upset or confused by this, feel free to convo me in game and I’ll be happy to explain everything I’ve said here in even greater depth.