Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Strategikon Arcani: Patrol planning: Solo

Time for my first sortie.

Before I even un-docked from Station, I planned out my route. Using a reputable mapping service, I plotted a loop around the Bleak Lands and Devoid.

My objective: Engage pilots in solo duels.

The trick here is to avoid larger roaming fleets. Systems with high numbers of jumps are to be avoided. Large numbers of jumps are indicative of high traffic, and more organised patrol groups. Whilst the traditional Minmatar warrior is very much the heroic personal challenge seeker, the modern Republic soldier has adopted more conservative (and much more effective) military doctrines. This growth in tactical maturity has led to larger patrols focusing fire on single targets.

This is not to be treated as cowardice. Intelligent combat is always better than brave and foolish.

Systems with very-low to no jumps are to be avoided as well, but marked for later. There will be fewer targets here, and thus longer before any meaningful engagement can be made. However, these should be marked for later capture. Victory comes with the capture of systems, not with the number of enemy dead. Equally, the rewards for capturing plexes are higher than that of destroying enemy ships, and rewards will directly fund our own operations.

The course you plot will reflect your daring. Higher traffic will mean higher risk. You will have to decide what risk you will take.

To re-iterate the Strategikon's teachings here:

  • Plot your course
  • Avoid high traffic
  • Avoid very-low to no traffic.
Again, I am by no means a master. Please give your own insights into this strategy.

Strategikon Arcani: Tent-pegging

A practice drill used by ancient Khanids to perfect lancing techniques.

The drill is simple. A small object is placed on the ground, often a ring or a tent peg. A rider must charge at it, and pick the object off the ground with his lance or spear. It teaches accuracy in the placement of the lance, and also controlling the distance at which you approach the peg.

Why is this relevant to space-ships? Kiting.

Kiting is a tactic of using a long range weapon system, and keeping the enemy at distance. You can hurt him, and he can't hurt you.

This is smart, and is actually my preferred tactic. A traditional weapon of the Khanid is the kontos, a cavalry spear about four meters long. It requires two hands to use it effectively, meaning you control your mount with your knees, and you can't carry a shield. However, it has the excellent advantage of length.

It other words, all the danger happens at the other end of the stick.

With that in mind, I present you with my first series of ships:

Kontos Executioner

This ship is fragile, but has relatively good range in the world of frigates. It does require a high degree of training to use. You will need strong Engineering training, and also should be well versed in Advanced Weapon Upgrades to be able field it. Alternatively, you can use Implants to make up the difference whilst you train in these areas.

The kontos is still a melee weapon. Like the ancient weapon this frigate also uses close ranged weapons. Accuracy will be higher, as given by the tracking of close ranged weapons, but is not a true long ranged set up. Caution must be used in maintaining range.

As I am a terrible pilot, this is a good set up for me. The tactic is simple: Maintain distance.

  • Overheat weapons and web.
  • Orbit the enemy at 15km, using the MWD
  • Fire.
  • Manage heat.
  • If the enemy closes to 13km, use the overheated web.
  • If the enemy closes and lands a scram on you, switch to Multi-frequency crystals, and hope God is smiling on you that day.

In essence, you will practice tent-pegging. Control the distance, and keep your guns accurate. Overheating the web is important, as an overheated Warp Scrambler can hit out beyond 10km. Once that lands on you, your MWD shuts down, and your speed advantage is gone.

The caveat to this, is that you'll be controlling the ship with your knees. Be wary of the enemy frigate's movements, but focus on the range for now. Work on the more subtle placements of the ship later.

My code urges me to learn, so if there are any suggestions anyone has, please let me know.

(I also apologize for the horrible layout. I'm still learning to use this blasted technology.)

Strategikon: Deployment

My King has ordered me to war. For the Arcani, Khanid and the Kingdom!

But before we go flying off into a blaze of glory and destruction, proper planning and strategy must be discussed.

Contrary to popular belief, successful capsuleer combat rarely follows the form of 'Jump into frigate, find fights, win.' That more than often ends with one dead frigate, one dead clone, and a long, tedious turn around between fights.

To give ourselves more time fighting, and less time preparing to fight, we should choose a system to fight from, and to re-ship from.

My trade hub, where I purchase all of my arms, is Amarr Prime. It is a great hub to work from, and a strategic advantage for the Crusade. Prices and availability of weapons and ships are good here. However, it is too far from the front lines.

As with all warfare, first go to your maps. I have a fantastic cartographer who I use for this.

I have chosen a system near The Bleak Lands to stage from.

The system you choose will be based on what your needs are. As a solo player, I won't be able to mount a consistent defense of a Faction Warfare system. I can only access stations in systems the Crusade has conquered, meaning tht should the Republic take it back, I will have a struggle to reclaim my armoury.

I could choose to stage from a system occupied by other militia corporations, but that would leave me vulnerable to their own defensive capabilities.

Instead, I have chosen a High-security system, just on the outskirts of the Faction Warfare zone: Kuomi. This system gives me to entry points into the War Zone. CONCORD prevents the Republic from invading these systems, so my arms will always be accessible. It also has an allied corporation running the stations there, which I appreciate. Caldari food is satisfying, if a little bland to the Khanid palette.

To move there, I have a choice of hauling it myself in industrials flown by my slaves. Concord should hopefully protect them from pirates, but there is still a risk of lost goods. A second choice, more expensive but less risky, is to use PushX Industries. They are a courier service I've worked with in the past, and have always been reliable.

To begin with, I will move ten frigates plus fittings there. When I fall in battle, I will fly back, and grab another frigate from here. Moving stacks of ships and equipment will allow me to fight many times in one day, without needing to retreat back to Amarr

Eventually, I can set up buy orders at this staging area, to attract traders to courier my weapons for me. This will save me time, and allow me to get on with the task of defending the Empire.


  • Decide on your needs
  • Find a map
  • Find a system that suits your needs
  • Move many stacks of equipment you need
This will be my first serious deployment. If any have advice about how to do it better, please let me know.

Monday, 22 July 2013

War Chest

Whilst I have been trained for combat since I underwent cloning, I am terrible at fighting.

My skills are good enough against the common pirate that manages to sneak past CONCORD, and I can even best entire fleets of these vermin. However, capsuleers are just as well trained as me, if not more so, and have a wealth of experience to call upon.

To put it bluntly, I will be killed. A lot.

Death itself does not scare me. As I am an immortal, it has become merely an inconvenient period of pain. Loss of ships does, particularly if I have no plan for income to replace them.

Enter my family's Market Slave: Benh Thanh.

A Vehrokior by birth, commerce runs deep in his blood. He has been working my family's assets for as long as I can remember, a shining example of what a slave can accomplish if given certain liberties. he has lisence to deal with the family's finances as he sees fit, either by tading or investing.

Many Holders are against this kind of freedom for a slave, but Benh has proven himself to be trustworthy for many years now, and excels at his job. Explosive implants are also remarkably cheap and easy to install.

When I was called to the Crusade, I spoke to him about what we could do to fund our war effort. He went away to research our options.

After a week, he came back with tales of Goblins, Kings and young merchants.

"I've seen what these men can do," he told me, "Give me 5 million ISK, and I'm sure I can do the same."

I granted it. He bought some training text books from the Amarr market, and set off in a Minmatar frigate. The next day, he came back with 10 million ISK. Region trading, he explained, was a relatively easy income source, and we could increase our war chest rapidly.

This will be my strategy. ISK will be generated from Trading, supplemented by rewards from the Crusades loyalty store. I will have my slave do a thorough explanation of his dealings at some point in the future.

Royal Decree

Khanid II, King of the Khanids, decreed that his kingdom and the Amarr Empire will reconcile their differences.

Why there are differences is a history lesson for later, but part of the negotiations is military aid in the ongoing 24th Crusade. In return, Khanid Kingdom has a seat on the Emperor's Privy Council, whilst keeping it's independence.

Military aid is where I come in.

We Khanid are excellent fighters, with a long martial tradition. Discipline, and cunning are the ideals we strive for. We adhere to past doctrines, but welcome new innovations. We never discount a path to victory.

In ancient times, our ancestors rode into battle on steeds, covered in armour, wielding a variety of weapons. I honour this tradition.

I am Behnid Arcani, son of the Arcani Holder family. We are relatively small family compared to the larger Holders, but we lay claim to a wealthy chain of islands on Khanid Prime.

I now fight for the Imperial Crusade.