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Scouting and Fleet Reconnaissance


Scouts are incredibly important parts of a fleet. No one wants to jump into an enemy fleet not knowing they are there, so we send scouts out. There are a number of styles of scouting, and generally an efficient scout is one that clearly and succinctly conveys the important information, and only the important information, to the Fleet Commander.

In this article, we will cover how to scout more effectively, and how the fleet commander can facilitate the process. First, the scout.

The Scout

A dedicated scout generally flies either a fast ship such as an interceptor, or a fast cloaky ship. However, any member of a fleet can report good reconnaissance should he or she see it.

Scouting is a role which is not necessarily done in a combat ship. However, it is one of the most important roles in the fleet for finding and acquiring fights. In order to report useful information, the following template can be used.

Scout: Recon. (Wait for response)
FC (when ready): Go ahead recon
Scout: (Provides the intel report, described later).

As soon as “Recon” is stated to comms, all non-essential discussion in the fleet comms should stop, with exception for other intel being presented.

It is important that the intel not be reported until the FC is ready and paying attention. That's the purpose of the “Recon” notification. Otherwise, time will be lost while you repeat it, and potentially have to answer a ton of questions to alleviate the confusion for the FC. Reporting before you have their attention slows down the fleet and potentially loses fights if the enemy fleet leaves before the FC can make a decision.

Useful Intel

Good intelligence specifies WHO, WHERE, WHAT, and when needed, WHEN.

  1. WHO is reporting
  2. What solar system is the report coming from (WHERE)
  3. Where in the solar system is the reporter (WHERE)
  4. What do you see? How many:
    1. On grid
    2. In local
    3. On Directional Scan
  5. What are they flying? Read the composition in descending order of number of ships and approximate numbers.

When providing recon, timeliness and speed is more important than accuracy and perfect counting. For that reason, don't waste time getting a dscan analysis and pasting it to fleet unless the FC asks you to. For the FC, it takes time to visually parse different dscan tools, and it slows down the process.


An example of a good intel report from Ed Winters in F-QQ on the 1-L Gate would be as follows

Scout: Recon. (pause)
FC: Go ahead recon.
Scout: Ed in F-QQ on the 1-L Gate. Enemy fleet of 20 ships landing on 1-L gate at 50 km from the direction of U-HVIX. 21 enemies in local, no other ships on dscan.
FC: What’s the fleet’s composition?
Scout: Fleet composition is 10 svipuls, 2 dictors,2 griffins, 2 interceptors and some atrons.
FC: Thank you Recon

Discussion and Explanation

Let’s break down that report:

WHO is reporting: Ed. This tells the FC who is talking and who to address when following up. WHERE: In the F-QQ system, on the 1-L jump gate. WHAT is the intel: Enemy fleet landing on the gate. WHERE is the enemy fleet? 50km from the gate in the dirction of U-H. IS there any more? By stating 21 in local (subtracting blues), FC knows that most of the enemy fleet is on grid, and that there are not more landing later (Dscan intel).

The FC Asked WHAT the enemy fleet composition The scout sorted by type and estimated numbers. In reality, there may have been 11 or 12 svipuls in that fleet.

When the FC says “Thank you recon”, that is the end of the exchange and the fleet resumes while the FC decides what to do. Ideally, the whole exchange takes 10-15 seconds, and rarely more than 30.

What should I report?

Some things that FCs always want to know:

  • Enemy fleet movements
  • Locations of potential targets
  • Locations and sizes of potential gate camps and threats to the fleet's success.
  • Number of enemies in local.
  • Number and type of ships on directional scan.
  • Lone enemies that are potential targets of opportunity.

What should I not report?

Some things are not very useful.

  • Including blues in enemy counts
  • Lone interceptors that cannot be caught, unless it is clear they are scouts for a larger fleet, in which case you should clearly state as such (“hostile Malediction acting as eyes for the T3 fleet next door”, for example).

Suggestions and avoiding Pitfalls

  • Always specify SYSTEM you are in and THEN where you are in the system.
  • Try to approximate numbers when relevant and pre-emptively.
  • If in doubt of what is important, report the minimum, (WHO WHERE and WHAT), and let the FC ask you for more information. It is better to indicate information and allow the FC to decide if it is important.
  • All reports should start with WHO, WHERE and WHAT.
  • The FC may ask you to shorten your reports or only report as the fleet's plus one whenever there are enemies, since the reporting process is rather tedious for reports including nothing. Find a system that works between you, and use that until something big shows up.

+1 Scouting

“+1” scouting is what you will most likely start off doing when you are a newbro scout. When a fleet is out, they will want to know what is in the next system over; they don't want to jump blind into a gatecamp. So the FC will send out a +1 scout. Your job as the +1 is to stay *one system*, and one system only, ahead of the fleet. You are not to go gallivanting off following that one neutral tengu you saw. As the friendly fleet jumps *into* the system you are in, you should be jumping to the next system on the route. You will then hold your cloak on the ingate while you check local, report how many hostiles/neuts are in local, report where they are, what they are in, and all the usual scout stuff. This is where you use your DScan; if there are neuts in local but not on grid at the gate (you cannot see them on your overview), whip out your D and see whether any suspicious-looking ships pop up at maximum (14.3AU) range. If anything does show up, start to reduce the range and scan angle to try to get an idea for where they might be. Then warp to the outgate to check that. When the friendly fleet is jumping into your system, you jump to the next one and the cycle starts again.

What if the fleet is holding still for a while in a system?

In this case, this is what separates an adequate +1 from a good one. An adequate +1 will sit on the outgate waiting for main fleet to jump in. A good +1 will start burning pings off the in and out gates, might even start setting up a safe spot or two, and will generally set the system up so that if a fight starts in that star system, and FC wants to reposition or escape, you can immediately go “FC I have a ping you can use; warp to <your name>”. You should be doing this whenever you have the time; if you have checked out the in and out gates, immediately start burning pings if the main fleet is still holding in the last system.

Useful Applications

  • Pirate's Little Helper – Copy local from your client and it automatically determines who is from what alliance/coaliation, and gives counts. Can also do killboard analysis to locate cyno characters, Capital Pilots, and Links pilots.
  • Dotlan's Maps – Basic regional maps, Jump planners, and simple map views. A long time favorite, but less information density for scouting.
training/pvp_ship_roles/recon/scouting_and_fleet_recon.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/29 01:05 by NTchrist