Last night I received an eve mail from a Minmatar FC that I respect more than a little. Earlier that night, after a little action it slowed down and I decided to watch some TV. When I hopped back on comms LNA had an RR AF fleet in Sis on the Egg gate and people wanted to fight them. I put a fleet up, asked for cruisers with webs, and because I have seen what RR AF's can do, some ECM. In a moments notice I had 25+ people in fleet. Since I was in Sis I warped to the gate, engaged the closest target and had the bulk of the fleet jump in. Points and webs were called, ships were jammed, stuff exploded. We looted the field and I stood the fleet down and went on my merry way.
I didn't think
much of it until I got that mail. My Minmatar counterpart was not raging
or chastising me about the fight, it was more of a reminder. If you
always bring the hard counter people will avoid you. After fighting the
Minmatar for such a very long time I know their habits as I'm sure they
know mine. It's almost impossible to do anything in our little war zone
without the other side knowing whats going on. I can clearly remember
when I used to bring my fleets to Kourm area on a regular basis. At
first i would sit around and see what came my way. Most times we died
horribly as our opponents has time to see what we had, how we were fit,
and bring the proper counter. The next stage was get in, get a kill or
two maybe, and get gone before they could react. As I said before, if
one the Minmatar saw me or one of mine they expected a gank and avoided
us as they should till a proper fleet could form to counter, by then I
would be gone.
Finally I just started avoiding the area unless I
had a proper fleet with excellent intel. If I knew I could match numbers
and ships we may have a go. If they couldn't match it was just us
waving our e-penis around and some(mostly) good natured smack talk.
Fighting LNA became more of a chore than enjoyment. The same people and
the same ships in the same systems over and over. My corp and our group
of friends started to do a lot more small gang stuff, random enemy's and
random ships. I may go a few days at a time now without leading a large
fleet from our home to spread havoc across the war zone and beyond. It
seemed to me LNA was happy to do the same. Our war zone was split with
Auga as the middle ground. From time to time they ventured our way or we
went to them.
A few months ago I took a destroyer fleet to
Kourm looking for a fight. Once the Minmatar came out it was in a blob
of SFI's that I wanted none of. A few people in fleet piped up in local
and complained about bringing faction cruisers(with webs and tracking
bonus no less) to kill a random mix of destroyers. One of the more vocal
Minmatar(think blog here)informed us that this is not "pick and choose
pvp" just because we are in destroyers does not mean they should oblige
us and come fight in the same. We were on their turf and should expect
to see such a reaction. I have thought about that from time to time. My
response to their fleet in Sis last night was my own version of that.
don't feel bad for bringing the appropriate fleet to counter the enemy.
It's my understanding that I had a reputation for running away for a
long time. I never saw it as running, more of me trying to be a smart
FC. If I see a fight, and know we have no chance of winning why should I
fight? Ships are not free, they take isk and time to replace. If I
believe we have a chance at victory, or taking down as much as we will
lose I take the fight no questions asked. I just want to be smart about
Learning to FC is one thing, earning peoples trust is
another. I want pilots to think that when they fly with me, even though
they may die, it will be worth it. In the end no one cares if they lost a
ship as long as they had fun doing it. I told Shalee the other day
nothing annoys me more than getting kited to death so when I solo I pick
and chose my targets. I'll fight any AF or even a DD in my trusty
thrasher and I'm ok with it if i lose. If I get caught by a 7k a sec
hookbill that just orbits me at 25k for two min while he chips away at
me i wont be happy on my pod ride home.
At the end of the day we all just want a good fight.