I was never sure if the Church’s commitment was to education and learning, as they professed, or more to the control OF the information. That is not an idea I plan on voicing while I still work under their auspices.
The new pilots settled themselves (or their holographic avatars did) as Mike chatted with the Dean odd stage. “I tell you that there are far better pilots out there who know more about this than I ever will.”
“Yes yes.” The Dean answered. “See many of them taking the time to talk to others?”
“Well, they are busy and . . . ” Mike trailed off.
“Exactly. None of them do more than show up at a University looking for downloads and getting out, again. YOU get involved.” The finger poked Mike on the chest. “You listen and ask questions. You communicate. So get out there and do some communicating.”
Mike nodded and walked out to the podium, shrugging to make sure his sidearm was in its usual place. ‘I thought I would start this first chat with the red-headed stepchild of Vanguard incursions. The Nation Mining Colony. Of all of the incursions this is the one left till last to do.”
“Why?” A pilot in the second row asked.
“It is left over because it demands more than shoot and survive.” Mike keyed the first image.
Your primary objective is to destroy the Sansha’s Nation battle station. Clearing the area of hostile forces should decloak the Nation’s ore refinery. Mine the local Lyavite asteroids and transport the ore to the refinery. The chain reaction caused by refining the explosive ore will tear the battle station apart.
– 15,000,000 ISK x ratio
– 2,000 CONCORD LP x ratio
Sansha’s Nation has established semi-mobile mining colonies to aid in the harvesting of ore. Due to the unique nature of these operations, which incorporate new mining technologies and hundreds of willing miner slaves, the daily amount of ore extracted from these operations would be sufficient for the replacement of hundreds of battleships. DED’s conclusion is that these mining operations are a primary method of supplying the new Nation fleets with replacement vessels.
Further complicating matters is the demonstrated capability of this colony to disrupt local system-wide services. The exact nature of this technology is unknown, but appears to be dependent upon first establishing a system-wide presence. If the Sansha can be removed quickly, their potential impact upon the affected systems will be limited.
“Your mission is more than just ‘shooting them till they are all gone’. You need to mine and for some pilots that is just plain wrong.” Laughter swept through the room. “So you toss a few mining drones in and everybody waits for one person to get the ore and carry it 60+ km to the facility. It slows things down.”
“Slows things down?”
“Incursion fleets are all about speed and hitting hard and fast. They almost treat the incursions like a farm where they get paid by the site from concord and want to move on to the next and the next and . . . you get the idea. I asked in a few fleets what they looked for in a Fleet Commander. The first thing that came as an answer was ‘Keep the Fleet Moving’. The FC should know where they are going next, keep the fleet at full strength and have recruiting to replace missing pilots almost seamless in its execution.”
“Good question and I wish I had a great answer for it. Lining up sites means knowing all the variations in the area and being willing to fly whatever is available, that includes Mining missions. I’ll come back to how to speed that up in a moment. A Great FC will get to know the pilots around him, who he can trust and who he wants to fly with. He will know the composition of the fleet he wants as well as individual ship types within the broad categories. I will touch on this in a later chat. Composition is almost worthy of its own talk, with or without doing individual ship fittings.”
Mike looked about the room and wondered why some people looked so damn angry at him. “So, the second thing that came up was “A Good FC Keeps his Head. When things do not go according to plan he has to be able to adapt. Like in that recent movie. If things go wrong does he fold and run or does he change on the fly and know the right next move? Bad things can happen . . . usually not ones you are ready for. I have seen logis vanish in the wink of an eye ((disconnect)) and the other one was running low on cap. I have seen a second fleet warp in to challenge for the right to finish a site. How an FC reacts to the unexpected is a mark of his real worth.”
“The third thing an FC needs is ‘The Ability to Say NO’. Sometimes bringing somebodies buddy along for the ride is a good training tool. Other times it is a recipe for disaster. A bad fit is a bad fit. If it puts the fleet at risk then it is something the FC has the right to refuse. We are not a military organization. We are not even a corporation. We are a bunch of pilots who have signed into a fleet and with that comes the tacit agreement that the FC makes the calls. If he does not like your wardec, your corporation, hell your name, or if he has heard third hand rumours about your behaviour in some other fleet . . . he can say no. That is that.” Mike shook his head. “I have seen some silly things out there and I am sure good FC’s have kept me from seeing a lot more.”
Mike took a sip of water and continued. “Back to the mining colony. Some fleets plan ahead and mine one asteroid for far more than they need, which is 255 units of ore. Then they can do other sites without waiting for miners to work. It is a form of planning ahead. The good part about it is that the mission flies by smoothly and is probably one of the simplest when the ore is not an issue. Target order is Schmaeel Medulla, Romi Thalamus (four of them), then a new wave of the enemy will show. Pop the Niarja Myelen followed by the Tama Cerebellum set and another wave where you again do the Niarjas, then the Rome and Tamas. At that point you see the container to drop the ore, drop 255 and their refinery blows up very nicely.”
“Why that order?”
“Niarjas are jammers. They can ruin a cap chain or repairs so they are ALWAYS first if they are on the field. If you are mining a few other ships will show up to harass the miner so you do not let him wander off alone. The Romi seems to ‘trigger’ the waves and the arrival of the drop container.”
Mike looked out at the pilots and smiled. “I have been in more than a few of these missions and I can tell you that it is fairly easy to do. The incoming fire is never extreme and a good pair of logi ships will not have too much trouble. A trio of logis will almost be able to relax and lean back.”
“Why bring three then?”
“Because there are other sites where three are much much more appreciated.”
Again, this is from what I know, so you are welcome to comment, disagree, whatever.
Each time I write I start with one thing in mind and the writing takes me somewhere else.
Next will be more on FCing and anothe Vanguard site.
I’d like to thank Laburous, Femke, and Neola for their input on this specific post. I will be asking questions of a lot of incursion fleets when i can to build this as more than just a ‘what Mike thinks’
fly it like you won it.