Interview with: Ky Hanomaa
by Gergoran Moussou
Jumping into a fleet can be a daunting though highly entertaining endeavor for a new player. It can be an even more daunting prospect for new fleet commanders upon whose shoulders rest the success of the mission, the ships employed, and in some cases the capsuleers themselves. Eve University, a premier teaching corporation within the New Eden universe, provides opportunities to learn the aspects of fleet dynamics. Recently staff writer Gergoran Moussou was able to sit down in virtual space and talk to one of our first-time fleet commanders, Ky Hanomaa, about his experience.
GM: Your first fleet was a kitchen sink frigate Noobs on Patrol fleet, correct? Why did you pick that instead of a doctrine such as BLAP Merlins?
KH: I just enjoy picking my own stuff and not being restricted to doctrine when running with small numbers. On top of that, I don’t need to coordinate with Logi.
GM: Prior to that, you had a fair bit of experience with PVP. Did it feel any different jumping the gate to the first fight as FC than it did when as a scout or another role?
KH: Not really, the only thing that was different was actually ‘preparing’ the fleet and the expectations that might be tied to running an official fleet as opposed to an AdHoc fleet, which kind of did put a slight bit of pressure on me in the beginning. That stuff usually vanishes after the first engagement as kills are the ultimate icebreakers. Or just having something to shoot at, no matter how small it is.
GM: How did you feel about your performance as FC afterwards?
KH: The first fleet was a little starved for content and we did run into the issue of a few people engaging a non-flashy target on a gate without having a proper rundown on bouncing. The feedback I received after the fleet was positive however and I was able to reflect on all mistakes I made during the fleet.
GM: What kind of adjustment to your FC style did you make in response to the feedback?
KH: Actually include gate-gun mechanics and bouncing during the newbro-speech as well as being more open to take fights that might cost me a few ships, and most importantly, make sure I have at least one experienced scout.
GM: I think that might have actually been the fleet when I lost my Kestrel to gate guns even though I knew better. Do you remember what your newbro speech focused on?
KH: I actually struggle to remember, but I certainly said that I wasn’t going to take non-flashy targets on gates since we didn’t have the proper set-up to do so. Probably basic movement commands and broadcasts.
GM: I think I remember what happened with the gate guns now. Wasn’t it that there was a miscommunication and a flashy jumped at the same time as another ship with orange -5 standings?
KH: Yes, the scouts reported a ‘red’ Hecate and an ‘orange’ Republic Fleet Firetail. The Hecate was flashy, so I called to tackle it, but it got away. About three of our guys ended up aggressing the Firetail which turned out to have negative standings with the Uni.
GM: How did you plan your route, did it take long to plan it?
KH: Not really, as my time roaming solo around the area gave me a good idea of which systems regularly offer content during each respective TZ. I was also fortunate to have guys in the vanguard that I could detach to check out systems that weren’t directly on the route while our scouts went to +1.
GM: You’ve staged fleets out of both HSC and LSC. Which campus do you prefer to stage out of, and are there any other campuses out of which you would like to stage fleets?
KH: I liked the flexibility the LSC Market in Archavoinet offered, but with that gone now, I’ll stage from HSC because it turns out that it makes it easier for the newbros as well, of which I appear to get plenty. As for the future, I might consider staging from NSC once I get a good idea of how fleet engagements work in Null as opposed to Low. My NoP Fleets will still stage from HSC, though.
GM: Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about taking out their first fleets?
KH: Try to attend as many fleets as possible and fill each of the roles a bunch of times – especially scout. It will make it far easier to detect and understand any issues especially newbros could have in these positions. Which in turn helps approaching and solving said issues as swiftly as possible to resume the fleet. It will also give you knowledge about different ship types and understanding what is engageable and what is not.
GM: You might be the most experienced scout who I’ve flown with in the Uni. How much did that help you?
KH: I generally know how much time the scouts need, when to basically ‘give up’ a system and move on as well as evaluating which targets call for vanguard and when a minor spike in local (by the vanguard) is acceptable. I’m also able to give my scouts direct feedback and help them improve and become more efficient in their own scouting-game.
GM: What kind of ships do you like flying? What is your favorite ship to fly in general (solo or fleet, PVP or otherwise), and why?
KH: For PvP, especially solo, I like flying kitey ships. The Imperial Navy Slicer is probably my favorite, followed by the Retribution. I’ve also tried the Garmur, although I find missiles kind of weird and the Garmur a little too pricey. I also like to fly bombers, be it in small gangs or Blops fleets, as the cloak paired with the NullSec Blackout make for really interesting engagements. I generally dislike brawling, as sitting beside each other trying to simply out-dps and/or out-rep your opponent just feels less accomplishing in my opinion. This might be interesting in larger fleet engagements, but when I fly solo I like to try and outmaneuver my opponents and get as much as I can without being caught.
GM: What doctrines are you interested in trying to FC? And which ones have you enjoyed flying? You’ve mentioned Blops, but what else?
KH: I honestly haven’t thought about it much, as the sole reason for me to FC was to provide PvP content for the newbros. Since I don’t enjoy larger engagements and prefer the Hit-and-Run-Style I would be semi-interested in trying out a kitey doctrine. I also plan on starting to hunt for Blops Fleets under Bomber’s Bar or Spectre Fleet to get the fundamental experiences needed to eventually FC said fleets in a few years. Both of these kind of doctrines are hard to run with the Uni, as they either require you to have enough SP or good manual piloting skills, so I’m not really sure as to whether there’s much sense running them.
Thank you Ky for being our first New Fleet Commander Interview! Keep doing what you are doing!