The Blob

There is a lot written, on blogs, forums, and in chat windows, about the blob and blob warfare. I’m not quite sure what a blob is. At best its an indeterminate number of ships whose only defining attribute is that its larger than the opposing fleet. So if you have solo ratters in a system that 10-15 ship roam is a blob. If the same roam comes across a 30-40 ship defence fleet, then the defence fleet view them as the blob. If the roam turns out to be the forward party of a 100 man fleet then… well you get the idea.

After taking part in a few larger fleets in the past few weeks I’d like to offer a different definition. If your fleet can kill the primary target before all of the ships in the fleet can lock it, you are in a blob. Last night was a prime example of this…

A Goon fleet jumped into our staging system and provoked a response. The Goon had a decent number of ships, we had slightly more. The FC jockeyed for position, trying to get the other fleet at optimal range. The composition of both fleets was similar, shield BC with logi support. I jumped into a Rook, I know T2 shiny ship and all that, and warped on top of our logis.

The enemy fleet was at close range to our main fleet, 50km+ to me, and the FC started calling targets. As each target was broadcast it was a race to lock it before it became the primary and get a shot off. The DPS coming out of our fleet, combined with the jamming of their logi, meant that the enemy BCs were going down after only a couple of shots at most. Any slight lag and you might miss firing altogether. The carnage continued until the enemy was outnumbered enough so that our fleet could be considered a blob using the normal understanding of the term.

The thing here is that the fighting devolved into basically lock, shoot, lock, shoot. Was this fun? There was a certain amount of satisfaction in driving off the intruding fleet. The tension really was mostly on whether you were going to be targetted and whether you’d be able to lock and engage the primary target before it was destroyed. I guess there was some tension around whether we’d win, but given that the majority of the fleet was aligned out if things started going wrong we could always warp off. So, fun? Yes, a little, but not as much fun as a smaller fleet battle where individual actions can sway the day. Maybe, large fleet battles just aren’t for me.

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2 Responses to “The Blob”

  1. In 0.0 I was one cog in a 300man fleet, half the battles I didn’t even get to shoot anything, due to either lag, or the fact that it was alpha’d before I’d finished locking.
    That sums up why I spent 3 months in 0.0 with RAZOR, then left and went to lowsec.

    There are still blobs in lowsec, from all sides both FW, pirate, and other entities, but there is also still far more good fun to be had, and still fleets where your individual actions actually win or loose the fight.

    • Yeah, I’ve been there too. Its quite something to see the large fleets form, but the reality is that they are an exercise in frustration for a large part of any engagement. Fortunately most of the CTAs we have at the moment are at times when I can’t play. This means that the fleets I’m usually in are in the 15-30 range, which isn’t too bad.

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