However, from the title you can probably guess that this isn't going to be a "EVERYTHING IS FAAAAABULOUS!" blog post. Have a cookie. From trying to sell hurricanes for 5m, to losing a rifter to sentries (after warping to a station at range to check what was on it.... rapier, maelstrom and 2 sentry guns as it turns out), to trading a corp mate a daredevil by mistake: its been a fail couple of days.
I've never been a confident FC: I hesitate, forget who my scouts are and never get the speed that I move the gang at right. This is very different from my behaviour when I fly solo: I rarely hesitate to engage just about anything and, I'd say, move at the right pace to cover ground and scan systems. My roams end in one of two ways: nothing at all happens and we all get home safely; everyone dies in a blaze of fail.
So what went wrong today?
After missing a gang fight I was fairly eager for some action, so fellow Tusker (and all round great guy) Kishin Hattori agreed to take a frigate out with me and see what we could find. While we were getting together, more Tuskers joined our fleet and slowly we rolled off towards Tama.
A few jumps later, after discussion, I hesitantly took the reins as FC and pointed us further along. Reaching Nagamanen, I chose to send a scout into eaAch of the attached systems. The idea was that as we were in light frigates. Things looked up as a couple of the gang grabbed a daredevil in a plex. Almost simultaneously one of the other scouts reported a hurricane on scan and we scrambled to get back onto the in gate to his system.
Unfortunately, this is where it started to go downhill. Due to me choosing to send scouts into the surrounding systems we couldn't muster our full firepower quickly enough (granted, 2 members of the 8 man gang were indisposed). Also, it was an armour cane. And we all know what they do to frigs, right?
First to go down was Beh3motH in his firetail, who held point just long enough for the majority of the gang to land. As we began to chew through the cane's buffer, Mr Snype's incursus was torn to pieces. Beh3motH reported additional ships on his d-scan, however the delay in their arrival threw me and I ordered the gang to keep fire on the cane. First of their back up to land was a harbinger which finished off Kishin's worm, followed by a zealot and an additional cane. Frantically calling for the remnants of my gang to flee, my slicer was pretty much alpha'd before it could enter warp.
I think my main issue with leading gangs, and why I tend to hesitate more then when I'm solo, stems from the fact that other people are in the fleet.
"Well DUH" I hear you cry "Of course there's other people, its a gang you muppet!"
Which would be a fair and valid point. However, when I'm solo I'm only wasting my own time waiting for a target to bite, not several other (more) talented pirates, who could be off hunting solo with great success. Its my own isk invested in the hulls that is on the line; as opposed to isk hard earned through ransoms or whatever else it is that my fellow Tuskers do.
In hindsight, it would have been best to have cut our losses and ordered the retreat before the cane's backup had even landed, or even better to have not engaged it at all. But, it had been the only (seemingly) viable target in the time we'd been roaming, so I did not wanted to at least have something to show for our time.
Ah well, we live and learn. Maybe, if my fellow Tuskers still trust my judgement, I'll lead some more gangs soon and try to work up a bit more confidence.
And more solo work. I don't even own any ishkurs at the moment!
Until next time