For those that live in player owned null sec, the flow of politics and tactics is an expectation. One system could be owned by a different group every other week and fleet compositions are always evolving to counter the FOTM ship type.
Wormhole space is usually a different matter. Tactics can vary due to system effects, system size and what group you run into in your chain. This means you tend to have quite the closet of ships to be ready for anything. But it seems that views are changing in wspace and standardized fleets are coming into being.
This hasn't just popped out of nowhere, of course. A couple of larger wspace alliances have does this for a while now, but after recently running into an Exhale. fleet I am observing an inclination for a specific fleet comp. Proteus heavy fleets with drone swarms assisted by triage carriers and webbing/neuting utility ships. It can be scary unless you understand what these fleets can and cannot do. And when you're in the unknown, intel is king.
Take the Exhale. fleet for example. They found a way into our home system, a hole we quickly recognized and scanned down. They found it suitable to stick a HIC and a couple T3s on our side to see if they got a reaction. Our scout decided to poke around and took a look around their home. With nothing on directional scan in the entire system, there are a couple things left to check. If you know all their pilots you can see if they are all online. That can be a very hard thing to do, however, since they could be using a log on trap or just simply be offline. So that leaves another trick any decent wormholer uses. Deep safes.
A deep safe is any bookmark in space that keeps a ship off of Dscan from any point in the system. Making them can be an ordeal, but their usefulness pays off quickly. Drop a few probes and throw them out at extreme range and see if you get a ping. In this instance, we found quite a few pilots sitting out in the black. After a bit of bravado about blowing up one of our POSes they decided to instead begin crashing the link since the jig was up. They didn't even want to wait a bit longer to see if we would engage. That's a different tangent, however.
These fleets are meant for wormholes because most fights happen at knife fight range. While one must be wary of polarity timers on the wormholes, a smart fighter can keep a fight going to their advantage with the exit as a last ditch. If an enemy does not engage at the range they want, such as with snipers, they can leave at will. The Proteus is one of the strongest T3s, with a full dps fit getting 1k dps and even as a cloaky can get over 600 dps. Fielding 10 or more of these means you are facing 10k dps from their guns alone, but still keep in mind the amount of drones they also bring with them. That drone cloud can be assigned to one person, amounting to an alpha strike that is hard to counter without smartbombs. Add to that a couple of Bhaalgorns that are able to nuke capacitor out of any ship it sees and the webs of the Bhaal and any Loki's or Rapiers...well, you won't move very far and that 10k Prot dps catches up quick. It's meant to sit on a wh and chomp anything around. But who says you have to go to that wh.
But I am also a pilot that loves ECM. My love doesn't seem to be shared by most other wspace alliances. As such, countering these massive fleets is not a terrible ordeal since you can just bring the jams. One can also bring the same comp with more numbers and simply fly better. Or one could engage at enough range to make a tasty target and pull them off. Or any number of things. You decide.
What I don't like is mindset. It is another reason I love being the pilot I am, where I am. Adhocracy does not make standardized fleets, they are closer to kitchen sink fleets. It can be a boon as well as a downfall, but that all depends on how Leeroy Jenkins we are feeling on a particular day. Maybe what other groups are doing can be considered smarter or better. I don't think anything of the sort. It takes much of the thinking out of the equation, easier to get complacent. I guess that may come off as arrogant, but I hope it is understood that I care little for epeen. It's more about being creative and not just copying a simple tactic.
What do you think of this type of philosophy?