Thursday, 1 September 2011

Journal: 113.09.01, entry 2

Heard from Coldkill again tonight, it's always good to catch up. I described the KASDE situation and we got to chatting about strategy, military efficiency and the general philosophy of capsuleer warfare.

It's something I frequently muse on that for many, many pod pilots, even the most elementary rules of warfare seem to be ignored. Very few of us seem to have read the literature on strategy, and even fewer apparently treat their militaries as... well... militaries.

Take your average capsuleer battle, for instance. The whole approach seems to be "throw an enormous number of ships into the fight and then have one fleet commander calling targets sequentially."

This is unbelievably inefficient, when you think about it. A ship being shot at by, say, fifty ships will evaporate damn near instantly. Throwing in another nine hundred and fifty doesn't make the tiniest difference to how long  it survives, let alone a tactically significant one. A 250 strong fleet could engage five targets simultaneously if target calling was devolved to the wing commanders. Ten times that many if the responsibility was devolved to the squad commanders

And yet the "traditional" approach seems to be that the FC spends his time constantly barking enemy callsigns down the voice comms channel and hoping that his or her hopelessly overwhelmed sensors are at least up-to-date enough that they're not calling a target which is already destroyed. There's no chain of command - the general strides onto the battlefield in person and proceeds to individually order the death of every enemy combatant.

And that's when everything's going smoothly. Capsuleer militaries totally lack for professionalism. I've been there - people lose their ships and start calling for help, or reporting their loss to the FC who does NOT need to know. What the FC needs is to have a clear comms line so that necessary information can flow.

Or could, if there was a chain of command for it to flow from and into. Point stands, though. That's the sort of thing that can  - should - be covered in basic training. Explain WHAT the FC needs to know, WHY, and WHEN. especially explain why the FC generally does NOT need to know and you should shut up.

Is there basic training for alliances? I doubt it, for most of them. They rely on weight of numbers, not on competence. I suspect, and Coldkill agreed when I mentioned this, that one fleet of 250 could take on four times as many ships and win if its members were trained, flew in a planned fleet rather than bringing whatever they felt like, and were part of a distributed command network rather than being effectively a 250-hardpoint weapons battery on a monstrously large ship with no weapon grouping software.

I'm quite comfortable where I am. But I suspect that if I ever go back out to nullsec, the first thing I'll do is contact the senior FCs and whip the combat pilots into shape. Qualifications, education, role assignment, chain of command. If we just picked up even the most basic elements of a proper, professional military, the upswing in effectiveness would, I'm quite sure, be very pronounced indeed.

Of course, the first and probably most difficult obstacle would be convincing the idiots who've been doing it the "blob and primary" way this whole time.

Save. End.

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