Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roam Scouting - Part 1 (Initial Assessments)

I am still a n00b PvP'er. Let's get that straight up front. But, in the interest of sharing learnings to date, here are some observations about being an effective scout when you are a part of small (or large) roaming gang out looking for a fight in NullSec.

If you are a lead scout, your FC (Fleet Commander) is going to have a plan to move you along an ever-advancing tide that is your gang. Your role can mostly be summarized by the following responsibilities:
  1. Initial Assessment: Report hostile counts and ship types as soon as possible upon entering into the "next" system.
  2. Risk Assessment: Evaluate pilot traffic in a system containing hostiles to ascertain whether there is a hostile fleet enroute to intercept or otherwise compromise your own fleet
  3. Target Acquisition: Locate possible targets of opportunity and create a warp-in point for fleet action, when applicable
In this first post, I am going to focus on the initial assessment.

This basically consists of a combination of evaluating local and using DScan to identify probable ship types.

The Local part is easy. If you are NBSI (Not blue shoot it) then you take a quick count of all pilots that are neutral or worse and quickly report the count to your FC.

In parallel, you are performing a Dscan at 360 degrees with max range to get a first look at ship types in-system and reporting them to the FC. In larger systems (e.g. systems where distance between your location and the farthest celestials is greater than 14AU), this may mean flying to other parts of the system to effectively canvas the system with DScan.

In systems where there are no Player-owned-stations (POS), this is much easier, as the only ships flying about are occupied and active. In cases with one or more POS's, you can run into a situation where more ships appear in Dscan than there are in Local, as there are ships left unpiloted within the warm confines of the POS bubble that still appear in DScan. Obviously, cloaked hostiles are not shown in DScan either, so the quick, initial assessment is either a confident: "4 Hostiles: 2 Vaga, a Muni and Caracal" or soft: "4 Hostiles: shiptypes unknown, possible targets on dscan include..."

If you have more time (edging upon target acquisition here), you can quickly identify POS locations, warp to 100km and identify unoccupied ships and mentally remove them from the DScan tally.

Typically, immediately upon entering a new system and while getting to a safe location (or cloaking), I will do a max DScan and give an initial report on total (Local) hostiles count and probable shiptypes, then quickly perform a directed DScan (30 degree or less) at the gates within the system to quickly see if there are any ships at the gates, which typically sounds something like: "4 Hostiles, probable 2x Vaga, Muni, Caracal" then about 10-15 seconds later: "2 Vaga on xxx gate, 1 on yyy gate".

The initial assessment needs to be fast and as accurate as possible - remember the FC is going to make fast decisions on fleet movement based on your reports - it could be the difference between a good kill or a substantial fleet loss if you get it wrong...

I will post about risk assessment in the next post.

Fly Safe (or not...)

7 comments:

  1. Whem this popped up on my Blogger dashboard, I swear it said "Roman Scouting." Being a Latin student, I fell for the bait. Nonetheless, still a great post.

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  2. Star Defender,

    Long time no-see Boss! So the Navy has stuck me in the Seattle area over the next few weeks or so and the first thing that popped into my mind was "WOW, I have a chance to meet my WH hero?" If your not to busy to let me buy you a beer and swap WHome stories one day, give me shout at this name in-game.

    o/ FLY SAFE!

    p.s. Were is the sun around here.....

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  3. I enjoy reading about your move to Null-Sec! It's making me more curious about heading out there! I'm going to be writing a post on low-sec soon, and would like to link this post.

    Great reading!

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  4. To be honest I wouldn't bother getting to a safe location on jump in as you should be in a fast ship and doing that for most systems will just slow the roam down. Just warp to out gate if local is at a reasonable number.

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  5. Been enjoying reading through the blog here, just wanted to say thanks for sharing!

    Hope this isn't a dead blog =/

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  6. Thanks Matches. I keep thinking I am going to return to posting, so it will eventually happen!

    RL Intercedes too much on EVE Life! ;-)

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  7. Miss reading about the newest things you've learned, Star Defender.

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