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Published December 18, 2012

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As I wrote in my Retribution review, I think we as players tend to undervalue just how radically CCP Fozzie's balancing team is changing the face of EVE. It's easy to sniff at their work as shuffling numbers and slots around, but we are seeing real evolution in New Eden. Case in point: the video embedded above, courtesy of Goonswarm's European Goonion combat squad. We've briefly mentioned them before. They spent a little less than two days in Curse recently, flying with purely T1 cruiser-based doctrines. 

So: a T1 shield fleet consisting of Caracals, Bellicose, and Scythes, and a T1 armour fleet, consisting of Mallers, Celestis, and Exequrors. Impossible a few weeks ago, the video (and Eve-Kill) shows them tearing through mixed battlecruiser fleets. They even managed to drive off two separate Tengu gangs, one composed of THE UNTHINKABLES and the other an -A- force.

To be fair, as far as 'dirty blobbing goonies' go, EG is the tip of the sword, and Mister Vee is unquestionably one of the best FCs in the game. (Also worth noting: the -A- FC, Yaay, lost his Tengu FCing privileges after what was surely a memorable pep talk.) Still, it's clear that the potential now exists for talented upstarts in cheap cruisers to fight even the most expensive fleet doctrines to a standstill, given the right circumstances. This can only be a good thing.

Worth stressing in particular is the role of the T1 logistics ship. Those of you who invested in Scythes and Exequrors before the patch are presumably making a killing, as seemingly every small gang is equipped with one or two of them now. They prolong fights and provide a useful role for newbies that hadn't existed before. Pilots crossing over from other games thinking "I want to be a healer" can be useful in a few days, instead of two months. The real equalizer in the battles posted above: a strong and effective logistics wing.

This was a 30-hour spree that served as a wake-up call for some nullsec entities, both winners and losers. It proved the viability of the T1 cruisers as a genuine basis for nullsec fleet doctrine. Call them baby AHACs or gimmick fleets as you like, but the cruiser fleet has arrived on the scene - and it deserves to be taken seriously.

[Editor's note: The takeaway from this should be no roam should ever leave home without some logistics. I may or may not have a personal stake in increasing their sales.]
Alikchi
Traitor, hater, ganker, idiot. Managing Editor. Follow me at @alikchialeika.

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