Fleets 322: Destroyer Wolf Pack

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This is a deprecated class syllabus, intended as historical record for the teaching department.

Creating syllabi is no longer our process for new classes, and no classes in the syllabus library are considered current. They are here for historical purposes only, as well as an optional starting point for designing new classes. Please do not assume any of the classes you find here have slides, or have even been taught for many years. If you do use information in a syllabus, ensure that you have brought it up to date with contemporary EVE.

Syllabus

  • Concepts of Wolf Pack Tactics and Alpha Strike Destroyer Fleets
  • Fitting a Destroyer for a Wolf Pack
  • Fleet Structure
  • Practical Exercise

Teaching Guide

Preface

The term wolf pack refers to the mass-attack tactics against convoys used by German U-boats of the Kriegsmarine during the Battle of the Atlantic and submarines of the United States Navy against Japanese shipping in the Pacific Ocean in World War II. The idea was to form a pack of U-boats, and to delay an attack until all boats were in position to conduct a massed organized attack. This would overwhelm the hostile fleet as the sheer number and surprise of the attacking boats would throw the defense into disarray. The first boat to make contact was designated as the “shadower” – whose job was to maintain contact and to report the convoy’s position back. The shadower would remain out of the visible range of the convoy. When enough boats have converged with the convoy, command would give the signal to attack. Whichever tactics employed, the general strategy was to attack by sheer numbers at the same time to create sufficient confusion on enemy fleet In EVE, Wolf Pack tactics of the WWII is still executable on certain hostile targets and fleets by packs constructed under the principle concept of Hydra. Strength of many could work as one to conduct alpha attack on selected target with Wolf Pack tactics.

Class Information

General Information

  • Duration: 1 hour theory and an additional 2 hours of Roam
  • Location: First Part; Docked up safely in a station and second part roaming in Low-sec or Null-sec

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Mumble
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
  • A suitable Destroyer (Tech 1)and fitted for Wolf Packs, for the Roam
  • Previous attend or listen or else study on Tackling 101, E-War 101, Fleet 101, Fitting 101 and Hydra Frigate Fleets
  • Previous involved at least three general fleets and a Hydra Frigate Fleet before in E-UNI

Reminder: this is an advance strategy and requires a base level of experience to properly execute the tactics so those basic knowledge and experience is very important during the class.

This strategy and execution of the tactic requires significant amount of input from each and every fleet member. Indifferently from general fleets, Wolf Pack member should take care of their self in a more detailed level because it’s a fast moving multiple target engaging fleet. Objectives;

1 - Introduction of Wolf Pack Tactics under Hydra Principle

2 - Revive of the Destroyers; Strength & Weaknesses

3 - Proper execution of Wolf Pack Tactics

4 - Showing responsibilities of individual pilots in Wolf Packs

5 - Creating common fleet and pilot situational awareness

6 - Teaching students to be self-sufficient and oriented in high speed fast moving fleets


Teaching Notes

Teacher Requirements

Required materials:

  • Class channel on Mumble
  • Class channel in-game (CLASS.E-UNI for in-corp teachers, LECTURE.E-UNI for out-of-corp teachers)
  • Member of EVE University Corporation. Alternatively, teachers outside corp can use a proxy FC from inside uni as they may not fleet with the uni class.
  • Fitting samples, class wiki is available in Destroyer Wolf Pack in EVE-UNI Wiki

Concept of Wolf Pack Tactics

Objective of the Wolf Pack is to identify a selected target and conduct destructive alpha strikes by surprise or traps. The pack should be mobile, easy to fly, fast locking, cheap, easy to fit focused for high alpha damage (vole damage). The main differences of the Wolf Packs from the Frigate Hydra Fleets are their decent DPS ratios and high alpha strikes. While frigate fleets use their unified e-war strength to avoid the damage, Wolf Packs primarily focus on fast encounter and high alpha strikes to take hostiles down by surprise and finish them as quick as possible. Destroyer Wolf Packs utilize their offensive strength as their defense. Engagement usually resolve under 2 or 3 minutes which prevents hostile target to engage whole pack and eliminate them before they do ! Tip for the Teacher: Try to show by calculating the amount of minimum alpha damage of a group of Destroyers. Although this principle may be legitimate for other long range ship types, it works especially well with Destroyers due to their innate strengths and weaknesses.

Assessment of Destroyers in PvP and Wolf Pack Tactics

Destroyers are the perfect tool of destruction for Wolf Packs. While having great offensive properties, they are lack of defense even worse than frigates.

Strengths of Destroyers
  • They have many high slots and can fit Up to 7-8 turrets
  • They have bonus to optimal of turrets
  • They have bonus to Damage
  • They have high tracking speed and bonus to Tracking
  • They have high Scan Resolution
  • Their skill requirements are low and could be covered by any new player
  • They are cheap to fit and fly
  • They are fast and agile

Tip for the Teacher: Small signature radius property and fast lock capability could be explained with more details and examples. One of the best examples for signature radius and damage correlation is to describe damage from a shotgun shell. Pellets shot from a shotgun barrel will be disbursed before impact. If your target size is smaller less pellets will hit but if you are firing a big board, all pellets will hit the board surface.

Weaknesses of Destroyers
  • They are lack of defense and HP
  • They are almost impossible to fit tanks
  • They have limited mid and low slots

Despite their offensive strengths, they are extremely lacking in defense and could not stand a chance alone in extended fights against bigger ship types.

Utilizing Destroyers for Execution of Wolf Pack Tactics

The concept is to overwhelm with numbers to increase total offensive power with decisive alpha strikes, while making up for the lack of defense with fly by and kiting tactics using speed, agility, low signature radius and e-war support, even from the combat boats. While you can pick target one by one with strong alpha strikes, speed and agility keeps you mobile and makes various maneuvers easier. Fast moving wolf packs are not so easily ambushed while on a gate or another tactical location. Additional fast destroyers can utilize their speed to tank the incoming fire but not effective as frigates. E-war support even from the pack will create an edge to avoid enemy fire. Reduction of optimal range or increase in locking time is the preferred e-war for wolf packs which will make many enemy pilots goes crazy over their helpless situation. The numbers of ships both make it possible to deal with multiple targets and to distribute the chance of being targeted by enemy. Similar to frigate hydra fleets, in Destroyer Wolf Packs, if you are being targeted and taking serious damage, it is expected that you can disengage and bounce to combat field. Be advised that, your low signature radius and heavy e-war support, including your 15-16 km range, after the initial encounter following the maintaining the control of the engagement, will reduce the risk to minimum, even almost zero.

The one of the most important strength, high alpha strike comes with the number of ships and focus fire. Assuming average Destroyer Alpha Strike is around 800 to 1000, times 30 Destroyers, equals’ 24000 to 30000 DPS, which is almost sufficient to take on most of the average sub-cap ships. When the number of Destroyers goes up, the offensive and defensive power will increase exponentially. Although the method may seem like blobbing, the whole group consists of well-organized and fitted Destroyers. The self-awareness of each pilot and proper execution of their role and the tactic in structure will bring tremendous results. Tip for the Teacher: It’s time to start implementing student the important of getting oriented in fleet while following these tactics execution and while doing this being self-sufficient and define the best course of action for themselves during engagement while doing their role in the fleet.

How to fit your Destroyers for Wolf Packs

Fits for Wolf Pack Destroyer fleets depends on some basic rules and fleet structure. There are some absolute things that you shouldn’t fit and others that you should fit. Here is the list: Tip for the Teacher: Students attending this class should have the basic knowledge on Tackling, E-war and fitting ships, so remember not to dig in details of the modules but stick with why we use and don’t use these modules. Avoid fitting:

  • Armor tanks because they will slow you down and will only keep you alive for few more seconds but you lose the most important thing, namely your speed.
  • Shield tanks because their protection will only keep you alive for few more second. If you use e-war module rather than shield tank modules, your collective fleet e-war strength will paralyze almost all of your enemies. Utilizing e-war in mid slots will provide a fleet wide defense and your collective e-war power is much better than your personal shield tanks.
  • Microwarp drive because Destroyers are fast enough with their own speed, and after burners can provide necessary boost while keeping your signature radius sane and cap stable. Microwarp drives will increase your signature rate, which means that the enemy could lock you faster and can do more damage as a result of the sig-radius increase.

While avoid using above mentioned modules, you fit should be in accordance with the rules written below; Things to fit:

  • Long range weapons are required for Wolf Pack Destroyer fleets with up to 15-16 Km range because you will drop on enemy from a far distance, deploy your alpha strike, either warp off or kite the enemy. Also in close encounters the Smart bombs you face are devastating at close range, and so you may keep attacking while avoiding smart bomb risk.
  • Sensor boosters, because your need to reduce your locking duration for fly by attacks and also you may need that extra range to increase your range for kiting enemy.

Defense properties of e-war support will reduce and cripple your targets locking time and targeting range. As a result of this, wolf pack could unleash their deadly alpha strike before hostile return fire.

  • E-war modules user in almost all destroyers because activating multiple Sensor dampeners will cripple your enemy’s sensory systems and make its offensive power useless. As an example, average drakes targeting range is around 75 km. If you activate 6 Sensor Dampeners with scripts on them (tech 1 – meta 0) you can disable the drakes offensive power while you are at your own effective range. The new targeting range of the drake will be 13 km with the cumulative effects.

In differently from Hydra Frigate Fleets, Destroyer Wolf Packs have tendency to use more Sensor Dampeners because most of the attacks will be made from a range or either as fly by or else kiting so you want to either cripple targets locking range or make it impossible to lock a target for the duration of the attack. As a result of these tactics, using sensor dampeners is more crucial than tracking disruptor.

  • After burners should be used as speed boosting modules. Destroyers are already fast enough and if additional boost is required. Afterburners are sufficient and more cap friendly.
  • Weapon Upgrades are your best friend in Wolf Pack Destroyer fleet. That chunk of additional damage will substantially increase your alpha strike HP.

Also micro auxiliary core” and co-Processors make is possible for your to support your high and mid slots. Secondary things to fit: These modules are not crucial in fitting a Wolf Pack destroyer but if you grids cant able to fit all given below, you can fill the gaps with these modules.

  • Damage control units are not that common in Wolf Pack Destroyer because the tactic tries to avoid damage by destroying source before it deploys damage. But always chunk of additional structural HP and resistance ensure that you survive a bomb run or a single smart bomb from close range. Also provides you with an edge to disengage and bounce when targeted. It is advised that FCs and second in command could use DCU to ensure their survival for the good for fleet command structure.
  • Internal Nano structure is a perfect module for your low slots which both increase your speed and agility while taking no power or CPU grids. If you are out of grid, this is your module to go

As in all Hydra Fleet, also Wolf Pack Destroyer Fleet members have additional modules for e-war in case it is required to change for adapting a situation and balancing the fleet structure.

Tip for the Teacher: Remind students to never fit restricted modules. Those modules won’t keep them alive or give any advantage but broke the harmony of the fleet. Also explain the concept of fitting as cheap and as effective possible. Give advises on moving smaller gun barrels sometime make the fitting more proper. Another important thing is to explain the importance of the alpha strike and strongly recommend students to first go for maximum alpha strike damage and then the rest

Structure of the Wolf Pack

Wolf Pack Destroyer requires strong skirmish and Cov-op Scouting support with interdiction as tackle in null-sec roams beside a well-structured fleet for proper execution. While primarily efficient skirmishers and Cov-op Scouts are essential also prioritizing e-war with multiple execution groups is also important. Each group will be assigned to another target during engagement and each member should act quickly to engage it’s given target. Because the offensive power depends upon the unity of the fist, each pilot should be aware of his position, target and total fleet condition. These are the most important points of a Wolf Pack Fleet separating it from a standard Blob. All fleet members should fit an E-war module and kept other in its cargo hold. During the fleet assembly, DPS, e-war strength and tackle is assessed by the FC and members structure into sub groups to act on specific targets. The proper structure will increase the offensive power and optimize the defensive strength to cover more targets during engagements. Different groups may engage different ships with their e-war modules but usually all fleet DPS will focus on one target. While holding other target by e-war, one by one, the fleet takes down the enemy. There could be losses but numbers keep the effectiveness on track during the engagements. Beside the Destroyer losses with little cost, many expensive targets could be eliminated with such as simple force.

Tip for the Teacher: Remind students to strictly follow fitting rules and importance of using right fit to keep their self-alive and useful for fleet. You should try explaining the importance of using sensor dampeners as best e-war modules to get the maximum efficiency because of the tactical difference in engagement.

Conclusion

Execution of Wolf Pack Tactics with Destroyers requires specific preparation and high level self-awareness. The top levels of these fleets are executed with strong skirmish and interdictor support, clear Intel and scouting by cov-ops with only the tech 1 Destroyer as main damage dealers with sufficient numbers to get solid results.

Similar to Hydra Principle, during the execution of e-war orders, Wolf Pack indifferently giving single orders for fleet uni-body defines objectives for group of fleet members and expect them to properly execute its power for that objective while focusing on primary target for Alpha strike timing. That is why it pushes members to think as a collective group but act impartially during engagements. Considering these points, Wolf Pack tactics requires advanced PVP experience and creates personal challenges to each member more frequently than standard fleets.

Class Roam Content

Structuring Fleet

Wolf Pack Destroyer fleet requires special structuring. Tail up the fleet by following these rules;

1 - Call for leadership roles and assign squad commanders. Pick the people with previous experience primarily and ask them to fit DCUs as the squad commanders because they will need a little edge in protection while conducting their duty.

2 - Assign squad commander as backup FCs in a line. Explain them to take command incase FC goes down and keep commanding as long as at least the half of the fleet is up and running.

3 - Call for skirmishers/interdictors/scouts and assign them to separate squad or wing to keep them away from fleet warps. Pick these pilots from the most experienced ones.

4 - Call for destroyers with Remote sensor dampeners and others in cargo holds.

Target calling

Wolf Packs have multiple target calls for each squad or e-war group. Fleet should have only one primary for Alpha Strike and each squad and group will have an additional E-war target.


Self-sufficiency and situational awareness

Each pilot is responsible to take care of themselves. Such cases are;

  • Getting damage; pilot should warp off
  • You are being tackle, try to get out by your-self or try to stay alive till fleet kills the tackler or else you are DEAD!
  • Lost Ship; should travel to safe location, even travel back to a trade hub (if in low-sec), re-ship and join fleet.
  • Lost Pod; should upgrade close, reship and join the fleet if possible.
  • Lost, dis-oriented, disconnected or left behind; pilot is in a fast Destroyer, could ask the fleet location and should have the experience to travel back to fleet with a fast frigate.

Targets to engage and dis-engage

All gang types are valid targets including capitals though watch these points then engaging;

  • Smart Bombs
  • Warp disruption bubbles in null-sec
  • Drone agro
  • Sniper fit ships.

AAR over Mumble

After roam completed it’s a good idea to make a spoken AAR, explain the engagements. Advantages and disadvantages should be shown. Why the gang came out successful and failure from an engagement should be discussed on the way back to HQ.

Final Q&A session

A final Q&A session should be made to cover any lose point after the roam.

See Also

Wolf Pack Tactics Wiki 'The Hydra Principle - Frigate Fleet Tactics' by Azual Skoll/The Altruist (director of Agony Unleashed's PVP-University)

Wolf Pack Roam AAR from the previous event as reference.

Class Name: Destroyers and Wolf Pack Tactics Instructor: Longshot Diddy, Record Date: 2011.04.29

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