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Published March 24, 2013

While fishing for details on their upcoming video, Rooks and Kings were kind enough to provide me with an unreleased link of them pipebombing a hundred man fleet of Armour Oracles, Guardians and even Lokis. With HBC having supplied Fraps from their side, it makes quite a spectacle.

We took the opportunity to chat with RnK's Lord Maldoror about recent action:

 

Will we see 'pipebombing' (the art of bubble trapping fleets and cyno-dropping smartbombers on them) featured in VideoBR 6? 

Maybe a little. Mostly however, you'll see lots of Navy Apocs. It's really more about the story of the Navpoc during 2012. 

I expect there will be a video battle report dedicated to pipebombing at some point. To that end, I suppose I'll extend the offer that if anyone wants to share a private stream of a fleet where they got pipebombed and I use their POV/Fraps in the video, I'll replace their ship. 

You helped me with an article on Navpocs in the past and since you were fighting HBC during much of the winter I have to ask - did your Navpoc fleets clash?  

We dropped our Navpocs a few times, for example on a TEST/HBC Rokhtrine fleet to help save a CVA tower in INQ. However, I can't recall any direct instances between rival Navpoc fleets recently - though this is likely linked to Tengu fleets becoming an increasingly rare sight. And a Navpoc fleet fitted for engaging the ubiquitous LR Nagas at 130km+ would probably want to refit before engaging normal pulse Navpocs. 

 

Speaking of that, during last summer we covered you killing CVA but just now, for example, you mention helping them a tower. The period around Christmas has an enormous amount of HBC kills and very few CVA/Provi ones - at what point did you begin directly helping ProviBlock?

I think it was more about informally helping the underdog. CVA are one of the oldest entities in the game and Provi block numbers some 8K members (on paper). However, despite that, their seasonal neighbours were clearly bona fide Big Fish in the 0.0 game. 

With so many large fleets marauding around Providence during the holiday period, it made sense to don our robes and wizard hats and mostly target the fleets making trouble in the region.

This is not to say that CVA & co. can't look after themselves. They've done it for a long time and will continue to do so while other space empires flourish and failcascade. 

 We're not based near Provi now, anyway - in recent times we went to investigate the hotspot near E02-IK in Great Wildlands.  The glut of spring games like Crysis 3  (nothing says cosy like sharing a riot shield with Princess, in a sewer) delayed our move a little but we did arrive in time to obliterate a few Naga fleets. Nagas being Nagas, though, they just sprout again like mushrooms. 

A screenshot from the forthcoming VideoBR 6, featuring the Drake army, which along with Maelstrom and Tengu fleets form the antagonists to the Navy Apocalypse.

 

Is the Naga the new Drake?

I preferred Drakes. A Drake fleet will might stick around to see how well their rep holds , even if they aren't cutting through their enemy. The Naga understandably doesn't have the EHP for that, so if they're being hit, they'll likely have to pull range until either they stop being hit, or they use their agility to get out completely.

Sniper battleship fleets of old lacked the agility of the Naga and a good bubble/warp-in was more decisive. Countering the Naga isn't necessarily difficult but luring them into a decisive engagement can be. 

Let's say we're fighting a 150 man Naga gang with a fleet of 50 in battleships. If the Nagas can't easily break us, they usually pull range and get out with light losses - the ship is too fast and too agile, combined with extreme engagement range, to pin down large numbers easily, even with good numbers of Proteus and Lokis tackling. 

Of course, oblique doctrines have oblique solutions, and so hopefully they leave straight into a pipebombing. The last four Naga fleets I've seen perished that way, virtually to a man - relentless but effective.  [Wurm notes that we covered one such RnK drop on Nagas here at Mittani]. 

None of which, by the way, is to say there's any lack of skill in running a good Naga gang.  I guess I just preferred Drakes.

Where does the name 'pipebomb' come from?

I noticed Shani killing more and more tacklers with his officer smartbombs (usually on a Paladin) as fleets landed in Eld's bubble traps. It was a natural evolution of that really, since I couldn't help but ponder on how many more targets might have died if there was simply a bigger bang on landing. 

Dictors, scouts, bait, titans and smartbombs.. the ingredients were there but we still needed a name. Rham said 'pipebombing' and it stuck.

Is the Naga your favourite ship to pipebomb? Is it a typical target?

At the moment, probably. But I suppose over the winter we pipebombed around a thousand HBC ships, including high EHP targets like trimarked battleships. Next week we shuffle our doctrines around a little and Pipebombing 2.0 is included, so that might get wheeled out sometime soon, too.

 

Wurmhel
I am too lazy to make a Bio. Punch me in the dick.