Saturday, December 29, 2012

Killing a Vargur

Sometimes you log into Eve and good things just come your way. That is not usually the case and it certainly wasn't a good night for the guys in this story.

I am minding my own business scanning down our C4 static when I get a tell from a friend asking if we want in on some pew. The answer to that is sure, so we check and find that the entry system is 26 jumps from our high sec connection. We grab some battleships, collapse the wormhole and scan down the next connection to find it is still 22 jumps away. /shrug

We are going up against 3 remote rep tengus in a cataclysmic variable wormhole so we grab a neuting legion, a dps legion, a proteus and a webbing loki. My friend has a drake, a bubble ship and a Oneiros to round out the fleet.

We burn across high sec and arrive in the entry system, sort out the bookmarks and decide on a strategy. While we are sorting things out, one of the tengus leaves and the other 2 head to the next site. We wait on what we believe will be a Noctic returning only to be surprised when a Vargur shows up instead. Followed a couple of minutes later by the expected Noctis.

Our strategy is simple, we have stealth bomber who is going to uncloak and attack the Noctis. While the rest of the fleet is going to warp to their C4 static. The bomber moves into position and we jump into the system. Coinciding with his attack on the Noctis, I fleet warp everyone else to their connection.

As soon as we land, the bubble is put up and the Vargur lands moments later and immediately jumps into their home. We follow and start attacking. The Vargur pilot immediately asks for a ransom but after a short discussion (none of us had ever killed a Vargur) we decide to ignore this request. He jumps back and we follow which polarizes all of us.

When we jump back into the C4, the Tengus (2) are now on the wormhole as well. We nuet one of the Tengus while pounding on the other. It doesn't take long and the first Tengu pilot bails. Shortly after that, the second Tengu pilot bails as well. The Noctis pilot has now logged off in a safe.

We continue burning the Vargur and ignore the second request for a ransom. The pilot bails shortly before the Vargur explodes. We immediately lock and pop Sivalasan and scoop his corpse. I can only surmise that he ripped some implants out before going down. Surely you must be joking that he was in a 4.5B ISK ship with only 18k in implants.

We scoop the loot, which was considerable, collapse their wormhole and head home smiling. This was the biggest non-capital kill any of us had been involved in to date.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wormhole Class

Attention class! Let the lessons begin. If you spend time in wormholes, you are going to die. It is not a question of if, only when. New players, who have saved all their pennies to buy a shiny new ship, should not be flying said ships into wormholes.

Example #1: Tornado -

I am almost at a loss on where to start with this one. First, the pilot does not have enough skill points to even consider flying this ship. Second, it is a poor ship choice for wormhole sleeper sites. It would also be a poor choice for wormhole grav sites. It would also be a poor choice for wormhole scanning. That almost takes care of the issues with the top rack. Except for the glaring issue of the medium guns. This ship should be fit with large guns!

Next, choose a tank. Never, let me repeat, NEVER fit two different types of tank. Pick one and fit it properly. A ship fit for close range should also have a prop module so that you can close quickly on your targets.

Finally, do not fly any ship without the appropriate rigs. Tech 1 rigs are fairly inexpensive and greatly enhance the capabilities of the ship.

The character flying this ship is less than 3 weeks old. My best advice to new players is stick to smaller ships. Bigger does not always equal better. The lessons are not as painful when you are in cheaper ships.

Example #2: Drake -

This character was twice the age of the first one at the time of the kill. However, he also made several critical mistakes. I had a scout sitting cloaked on the high sec connection of this C2. He jumped in, warped to the planets which were out of dscan range and when he didn't see any ships, he jumped into an anomoly and started killing sleepers.

There is no way to know if you are alone in a wormhole. This is one of the biggest appeals for the people who live there and it is also the biggest threat. I fly a variety of ships, most of them having cloaking capabilities. The first notice you will have that I am there will often be when I uncloack 2km off your ship.

This pilot was aligned to the wormhole, when the tackler landed, he warped back to the wormhole to find it bubbled and camped. He died 4 km from safety. The site he chose was out of d-scan range of the towers in system which made him feel safe, but allowed us to put a trap on his only exit without him seeing us. Whether we killed him at the site, or at the wormhole didn't make any difference to us.

This pilot's fit is much better than the first but could still be improved. First, if you need 3 fitting modules to make a fit work, you should rethink the fit and ask for advice. The reactor control, the cpu module and the ancillary current router indicate that you do not have the necessary skills to pilot the ship.

The drake has a large hole in the EM shield resists. Exchanging one of the shield extenders for an EM resistance module or hardener would make a better fit and would help alleviate some of the fitting issues.

The biggest mistake that both pilots made was flying alone. For new pilots who are interested in wormhole space, I highly recommend that you read up on wormholes and make friends with someone who lives there before venturing into them. There are corporations who are new player friendly that will show you the ropes, once you have sufficient skills.

Tips for new players who must explore wormholes anyway:
1. Get in a cheap T1 scanning frigate and explore
2. Make sure the ship is insured, you are going to lose it at some point
3. Do not fly into wormholes with expensive implants at this phase of your career
4. Move into a wormhole and live there for a week (fit a prototype cloak for this)
 a. observe the connections, types and durations
 b. watch player activity in the wormhole
 c. figure out which moons the towers are on (without warping to them)
5. Forget running sites in wormholes until you can properly fit a T2 tank on a battlecruiser

Ninja mining might be fairly workable for new players, especially with the new mining frigate coming with Retribution. Keep in mind though that if you spend enough time in wormholes, you are going to lose a ship.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stealing an Orca

A scout reports significant pilot activity just one jump from my own scout. I jump into the next wormhole and get eyes on their tower. Ships are coming and going and there is a retriever which is nearby but not at the tower. A little dscan magic shows that he is 100M klicks directly below us.

Shortly after getting the range on the retriever, 2 orcas land at the tower along with an iteron mark v. All of them coming from the same direction. Too bad we didn't have a trap on their static connection. One of them reships into a Buzzard and flys off to deploy probes. They scan for a bit and pin the K162 we arrived through. At this point we are hoping they will investigate the wormhole and warp an Orca out to close it before they start mining. After all, they have 2 retrievers, a hulk and 2 orcas now piloted in the tower.

Time passes and they continue moving around. The missing retriever shows up back at the tower, a couple of pilots reship to an Abadon and a Tengu. They warp to the apparent grav site and shortly some wrecks show up. The combat ships come back to the tower and the retriever and a noctis return to the grav site. After a while the noctis returns to the tower and reships to a retriever and returns to the grav site.

Too much time and inactivity for our fleet has passed. People are getting antsy so we decide to deploy probes and see how they respond. I warp my scout back to the wormhole and deploy probes within dscan range of their tower.

I arrange the probes around the grav site and lock it on the first scan. Without pulling my probes, I warp to the site to find one retriever warping off but the other is still mining a kernite rock. I bookmark the kernite while making my way toward the ship and pull my probes. Before I make it to the miner, he also warps off.

Now we wait to see what they do next. It doesn't take long. I am shocked and amazed to see a Hulk and an Orca land 40km from my position in the grav site. Really! I start moving toward the Orca just in time to see him disappear. Oh boy! Oh boy! I hit accelerate and keep burning toward him, keeping track of distance in my head. I tell the fleet to jump into the target system and hold cloak.

I move between the two ships and once I am 10 km from the Hulk and approximately 20km from the Orca, I call in the fleet. As they land, I decloak and start burning toward the Orca's approximate position. He decloaks 16km from me and starts aligning back to their tower. Not going to happen! I overheat the scram on my ship and lock him up. The phobos puts up the bubble to make sure we also get the pods.

At this point, both pilots eject from their ships. Huh? We lock and shoot the Orca pilot. The Hulk and it's pilot are next. Why they ejected from ships while in a warp bubble is a mystery to all of us. Not that it matters at this point. I unlock the Orca and jump in it, scooping my ship to the SMA. We thank those left in local for the Orca and head home, happy with our spoils.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

260M Drake, say what?

Every once in a while, something happens that makes you look twice. You just have a hard time accepting what your eyes are telling you on the first look.

One of our scouts reports some activity in a C4 with a static C2 farther down our chain. Two drakes warp away from a tower and disappear into empty space. Since we know ships need a cloak to disappear and that most drakes would not have a cloak fitted, we theorize that their is a wormhole in that vicinity and that they have went to run sites.

Since we want to catch them as they return, I jump in a heavy interdictor and the fleet gets in a variety of dps ships plus an oneiros. Kitchen sink armor fleet as there is no one around to tell us to fly something specific.

Once we are in position on the C4s > C4a wormhole, the scout deploys probes and quickly locates the wormhole right where the ships disappeared. Once he lands, we move the cloaky ships and the phobos forward and have the scout jump through the wormhole.

Sure enough, the drakes are on dscan along with several wrecks. A check of anomolies shows them in a site and our scout warps in but there is no easy way to get close to them. There is a planet out of dscan range though, so I have the scout warp to the outer planet and drop combat probes. Instead of us going to them, we are going to make them come to us.

The scout drops probes and warps back to the wormhole. He arranges the probes and scans. Since he knew exactly where they were, the 100% result on the first scan was expected. However, the drakes are not reacting as expected. The probes do not seem to scare them. Maybe we will have to go to them.

I have two of the proteus pilots jump, the scout rescans and then warps the proteus pilots to the drakes. Assignments are made about who tackles who so that we get both of them. The proteus pilots land, but there are no drakes. The drakes have finally reacted and run back to the wormhole. They jump on contact appearing in the middle of my bubble.

Both pilots immediately jump back to the C2 polaring themselves. Fantastic! I jump the phobos and immediately put the bubble up on the other side. By the time, the pilots we used for the flush are back at the wormhole. Points and webs are put on both ships. I call Dr Hart as the primary and we dispatch both his ship and capsule. Next up is Narayan Yamaradj. We take down his Drake and capsule, loot the field and head home.

Once we are back, I pull the kills and see that Narayan's capsule was worth 270M and his drake was worth 260M. Say what? How? Why? After looking twice, I realize that he has 3 tech 2 shield rigs, each of them worth more than the hull he is flying. ^-^

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A tough little customer

Shortly after I arrive, a scout in our chain reports activity in a C2. There are several pilots actively moving around and we appeared to interrupt a mining operation. Evidently, the pilots were more aware than some and saw us come through their connection.

A short discussion and we decide to attempt a baiting. It rarely works, but we might as well try it. A fleet forms up and we send a probing drake into the wormhole. A couple of minutes later, an Ishkur lands on grid with the drake but he is nearly 100km away and he warps out again. A few seconds later, he lands again; this time much closer to our drake and initiates combat.

We keep the fight to just the drake to see if anyone else will engage for a minute, but the Ishkur isn't going down and the drake is starting to get hurt due to the Wolf Rayet effect in the wormhole. At this point, we warp a proteus into the fight.

We were still hoping by limiting the engagement to get more people engaged. We knew they had a Falcon somewhere nearby, but after a couple of minutes, no one else has engaged. Additionally, it is now apparent, that the proteus is barely scratching the Ishkur.

The rest of the fleet warps in and once we have 3 webs on the Ishkur, we are finally able to slow him down enough to kill him. The Ishkur proved to be a suprisingly tough little customer. I chatted with the pilot for a couple of minutes after the engagement. He knew what we were flying from his own scout and chose to engage us and test a tank he had been theorizing anyway. Very cool! A drake and a proteus were unable to break his tank, so I would have to conclude that his tank was pretty good!

Fly safe smokeAjoint and thanks for the fight!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slippery Buzzards

It has been a while since I had the opportunity to shoot at something. Our corporation moved from our previous system to a different system which took up a lot of time and energy. We evicted two industrial corps and now have a secure home system.

A couple of corpmates have scanned down the static connection and are a couple of jumps down that chain reporting contact with a Buzzard. They are speculating that he came through our chain so I grab a fast locking Stilletto and park myself on the static connection along with another corp mate in an Ares. Sure enough, in less than a minute, the wormhole flares and we active the sebos to attempt grabbing the slippery covert ops ship.

He decloaks and I gain a positive lock and point just before he scrambles back through the wormhole. My corpmate and I both jump immediately and move as soon as we are loaded into the new system to burn the session cloak. The buzzard pilot decloaks, burns off the wormhole and immediately cloaks back up. However, I had his position and I accelerate my Stilletto towards him and immediately decloak him.

Both myself and my corpmate gain positive lock and points on the Buzzard. At which point, I notice a critical error in my flying. I forgot to turn back toward the covert ops ship after decloaking him and my speed is carrying me out of point range.

I attempt to correct and overheat my point but it is too late, my momentum carries me outside point range and I lose point. No problem, the other pilot still has a point. I head back towards the covert ops ship just in time to see him warp toward a distant planet. Hmmm! A stabbed Buzzard. This is the first time I have seen one of those.

We both immediately follow the covert ops pilot to the distant planet, but unsuprisingly he has vanished into the mysts. My piloting error probably cost us a kill. It has been a while and I am a bit rusty in the heat of battle. At least the exercise proved mildly entertaining. The moment of what just happened when he warped off with a point on him was pretty good.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Killing hole rollers

I log in and receive an immediate request for help. One of our scouts has jumped into our static C4 and landed in a bubble camp. He burned off and cloaked but they have a warp bubble out and several ships and drones out trying to prevent him from returning while they slowly close the wormhole with a couple of battleships.

We are up against a Megathron, Tempest, Thorax, and Myrmidon. As I get ready, two more pilots log in and immediately ship into combat ships giving us 4v4. We warp to zero as the Megathron pilot jumps into our wormhole and all 5 of us jump into the static together.

As we decloak, it is obvious that the other corporation called off the camp and are scrambling. The Thorax and Myrmidon manage to clear the field before we can get points, but the Megathron and Tempest are not so agile. We spread points and take them down.

The response to our gf in local was, 'YOU SUNK MY BATTLE SHIP'. Too funny!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boring Bait

The night begins like any other. We run a site in our home system and lose a ship to sleepers. Nothing all that unusual for us. We absolutely suck at PvE. After finishing the site minus one Tengu, we decide to find something easier to kill.

The crit wormhole goes down first. A jump with the bubble collapsing heavy interdictor and it fades into the night. We begin scouting our new chain. We find a C4 - C4 - C2 -> multiple wormholes which are all end of life.

If the wormhole collapses it will just add to the adventure. We jump 2 of the EOL wormholes without finding anything but the 3rd wormhole as a lone retriever on d-scan and no towers. Looks like we have found a miner.

Our scout warps out to the far planet and deploys probes. He pins the retriever and warps into the belt to find an unpiloted retriever sitting a couple kilometers off an astroid. Maybe we found a trap instead of a miner. But bait is only interesting if you take it.

He moves into position and we jump the fleet and hold cloak. Once he is in position, we warp in at our optimal values and lock the Retriever. It explodes in a ball of fire and no one attacks us in return. Bummer! Turns out this bait wasn't interesting even after we took it. Oh well! Maybe the next target will prove more interesting. We return through the EOL wormhole and disperse for the evening.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quebec Runs

Scanning. The absolute trademark skill of living in w-space. We run a few sites for ISK in our static and then collapse it and head out hunting. The C4 static opens to a C3 which has connections to a C5, another C4, null sec and a lonely EOL C2. While we are scanning down the C3, we notice an Anathema with unusual tags on d-scan and another set of probes are deployed.

While I attempt to locate where this Anathema came from, the fleet begins to organize. I warp to the C4a and find a Devoter and Enyo guarding the wormhole. Interesting! I do not see many assault frigates in w-space. I navigate around the Enyo and jump into the C4 to see what is going on.

There is nothing immediately on d-scan but my notes show a tower at one of the outer planets. I warp out to the tower and find a Falcon, Raven and Badger at the tower. The Badger is of little interest but the Falcon and Raven could make things more interesting.

The Falcon warps out of the tower and cloaks so I head back to the wormhole to watch. The Enyo has moved back to the C4 side and I am told the Devoter is maintaining a vigil on the other side. Time to engage. We warp a Cyclone to the wormhole to start the engagement. Oops! That must have been too scary. The Devoter jumps back through the wormhole and warps off.

The Enyo jumps the other way into our landing fleet. He immediately jumps back and is tackled by our Cyclone while the rest of the fleet jumps in. The Enyo goes up in flames very quickly and the pilot warps his pod off before we can lock it.

The Falcon chooses not to show himself at all. For a group who acted aggressively to engage, they ran just as aggressively when our single battlecruiser landed on the field. We had a fleet to back it up, but they began running long before our fleet showed itself. We were hoping for a good fight. Instead, we ganked an assault ship.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Finishing the takeover

A mere 12 hours after putting the tower into reinforced mode, we reassemble our forces to destroy the tower. We maintain our control over the static connections and the fleet begins working on the tower. With no hardeners, it doesn't take long and we soon have a killmail for a large tower and assorted modules.

A BPC and some capital construction parts for a Rorqual drop along with various ore and a few ships. In total, we probably spent more on ammo than the total value of what dropped. Either way, we set a suspected macro miner back a little. He will now need to start over.

Now that the hostile tower is out of the way, we take a break and get organized for our event. We plan to rage roll the C2 static looking for people to kill. In total, we had nearly 40 people show up and the participate for our afternoon event.

The following kills were recorded in our first skirmish: Buzzard 1, Buzzard 1's PodHurricane 1, Hurricane 1's Pod, Hurricane 2, Hurricane 3, Harbinger, Harbinger's Pod, Sacrilege,

The following kills were recorded in our second encounter: Buzzard 2, Buzzard 2's Pod, Legion, Legion's Pod. LOL at the Legion pod and fit. A pilot who cannot figure out what he wants to do.

The last encounter netted us the following: Raven, Raven's Pod.

Overall, the event was a fun activity and we learned several things we can do next time to make it run a little more smoothly. Unfortunately, the only large fleet we found was also the only blue we maintain.

Two memorable quotes from the day. From the first encounter, "Would you guys mind collapsing that connection while I go clean out my pants?". A loki who escaped in the second encounter stated, "WOW! That is a lot of cloaky T3's!"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hostile Takeover

Our corp is hosting a wormhole roam so we decide to go looking for a C2 wormhole to stage out of for the weekend. The first C2 we find is a static low sec with a static C2. As an additional bonus, there is a Covetor in a belt mining.

A couple of us move into the target system and we wait until he warps to the tower and scan out the grav site. He warps back to the site and our scout moves in for the tackle while the rest of us warp to the belt. Our scout points him, the rest of the fleet lands and as we are targeting him the ship disappears.

Evidently, he disconnected as soon as our ships showed up on overview. We bookmark the rock for later and scout out the tower. It is poorly defended so we decide to add a POS bash to our weekend agenda.

We start moving the staging POS in and get everything setup. As we are in the process of incapacitating the pitiful defenses, the guy logs back in. The entire fleet warps to the bookmarked crokite rock and lands about the same time as the Covetor. The pilot immediately ejects and warps off so we hold DPS and get most of our entire fleet on the killmail.

Rahmanan jumps in a Cheetah and starts probing. We collapse the lowsec connection, and the next one is closed by accident. We manage to crit the 3rd low sec connection leaving a HIC cloaked outside the wormhole. In a few minutes, Rahmanan manages to scan down the third connection and jumps into lowsec. We cross jump him collapsing the wormhole and leaving him trapped outside his wormhole.

We then return to finish off the defenses and take a break before the main event to reinforce the tower occurs. The rest of the evening is fairly boring as we sit around and shoot at the tower. We are pleasantly surprised when the tower hits reinforced and only has 12 hours of stront. Perfect timing for our roam. We can finish this tower off tomorrow and then begin our roam in peace.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bad Intel

Timing is everything. Today it was really bad. I had logged in earlier than normal and did a number of things including my very boring PI shuffling. I then left for a while to deal with other things. When I came back, I sat down just in time to join in with a fleet to kill a Loki.

Four of my corpmates were online and they tackled the Loki as I was reshipping. I warp in to the Loki and land 40 km from the wormhole. The first frission of alarm shot across my neck and I quickly hit d-scan. Before the scan completed, a large fleet started landing on top of us.

I quickly tried to get out of range and warp but to no avail. My Proteus died in a flaming ball of fire. When I asked about a sig check, one of the team members had checked and missed identifying a new incoming connection from a C5 wormhole.

Why oh why! I wish I had been 1 minute later sitting down. All of this pain would have been avoided. In the meantime, I may was well go buy a new Proteus while I am in high sec.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A T3 skirmish

We are scouting our static chain when one of the scouts reports an Orca in the C3a wormhole. While we are getting a fix on the POS another scout reports a Proteus on d-scan. Based on the name of the ship, we believe the pilot is from Kill it With Fire and they are not the inhabitants of the static or the C3a.

I am asked by the FC to jump into the C3b and deploy probes to see where they are coming from as it is believed the pilot is bringing in a new ship from high sec and hasn't bothered to rename it yet. My scout jumps and drops probes on the wormhole since nothing is on d-scan.

I cloak up and locate the tower before sending my probes out for a blanket scan. There are only 3 signatures in the system and based on the signal strength, they are all almost guaranteed to be wormholes. One is the wormhole I just came through, one the static low sec and the other is a K162 from a C5 which has been massed down.

I  pull my probes, report what I have found and then hit d-scan as I start my warp to the C5a wormhole. However, d-scan shows a Legion and Zealot so I stop warp and continue watching the C3b->static connection. A Legion, Zealot, Tengu and Proteus show up and jump through to our static.

Our scouts track their movement to the HS and we put a Drake in the C3a on the static connection. Meanwhile the rest of our fleet is in the static on a perch above the C3a. It only takes a couple of minutes before the Drake is engaged. They most likely recognized the bait but were hoping they had the fleet to deal with whatever came through.

The Drake held for a while and then jumped into the static and held cloak. Three of us were assigned to cross jump and tackle on the other side while our Broadsword put a bubble up in the static and the rest of our fleet engaged.

The hostile fleet followed the Drake but jumped back quickly when they saw our fleet which polarizes them in the c3a. We spread tackles and pin 3 of the 5 pilots on the wormhole. The Legion of Ghost Speed is the first to die followed by Ghost Speed himself. Next up is Santafee who is also in a Legion. Santafee managed to nuet out the Broadsword just long enough to escape with his pod.

Bronski Bomb was in a Proteus with a huge tank and managed to burn outside the bubble before his ship went down. Stark diver in the Tech 3 Falcon (Tengu) warped after the bubble was up and was podded in the encounter.

The Zealot and a cloaky Proteus were able to escape during the encounter. Good fight!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Killing a Chimera

An alliance wide call goes out that there is a fleet sieging a tower with a static high sec. We are going to disrupt that POS bash and kill a capital ship which is on the field. Ship type? Shield fleet since it is a pulsar. Crap! I do not have a shield PvP ship.

I jump into an alt and grab a passive tanked PvE Tengu. At least I can put DPS on the called targets and the logisitics pilots will have no trouble keeping me alive. I do not have a point, but with a fleet this shouldn't be too big a deal.

The rally system is called and I start moving that way along with various other members and friends of the alliance. Asking who wants in on a capital kill is like throwing someone who is cut and bleeding into a shark tank. Everyone wants in on it.

We arrive at the staging system and people start trickling in. Because the tower is a small tower, we decide to go as soon as we have 2 logistics pilots in the staging system. Less than half the scrambling pilots are in system when the second Basilisk pilot shows and we head to the target system.

The wormhole is bubbled but we quickly burn out of the bubbles and one of the local pilots whose tower is under siege is asked to make a hero tackle on the carrier. He tackles the Chimera and the fleet warps in and starts firing on targets.

The DPS splits and the carrier pilot cannot keep everyone up. Ships start to go down as more of our fleet arrives. Calling targets is affected as their are close to 20 floating ships inside the POS. However, we manage to kill a good portion of the sieging fleet and they manage to bubble their own carrier. Once the field is cleared of all piloted hostile ships, we focus on the Chimera and make fairly short work of it.

We loot and shoot the field and head back to the now crit wormhole to find several stragglers from their fleet warp in and try to make it out. A few make it, a few don't and we collapse the wormhole during the process.

A fleet scout scans down the new high sec and the fleet exits with smiles on our faces.

Engagement Report:

Friday, October 19, 2012

A busy evening

I log in and ask what is going on. Not suprising, the answer is nothing which is exactly what was going on when I logged out previously. The static chain is uninspiring but I go ahead and jump into the static and discover much that the scanning was very sloppy. Instead of the expected 4 signatures, there are 23 signatures which resolve to rocks, gas, mags and radars. Less interesting than I had hoped.

Since one of our directors is putting up a new tower and needs a route to high sec, we roll the static away and start over. When the old wormhole dies, we get 2 new signatures instead of the expected single signature. Along with the new static, we also have a K162 from a class 5 wormhole.

There is no visible activity in the connecting C5 so we roll that wormhole away before starting our scouting of the new static chain. A couple of scouts jump into the new static and I take a short break to handle a few real life mundane chores.

As I sit back down, there is an emergency call for battleships, falcons and webs on the static. The only thing I can determine from my limited questions is that they are running from Combat Probes. Huh? I never did figure this one out. There was more to this story than what I know. As requested, I jump into a Falcon and watch them roll the wormhole.

My curiosity dies with the wormhole and just as I start to jump into the C4 to start scouting, we have another K162 open from a C5 into our home system. I look around in the system and see nothing particularly interesting so we decide to close it.

We jump 4 battleships through and then warp them off before landing the carrier on the wormhole. The carrier jumps and the pilot starts screaming about an incoming fleet. As he is calling out ship types on d-scan, we scramble into a kitchen sink pvp fleet and warp to the wormhole. The carrier jumps back, the wormhole dies leaving the fleet on the other side. At this point, local lights up. We have evidently trapped their scout in our system.

In the meantime, we discover that there are 9 active pilots in our new static with 4 Tengus, a Drake, a Hurricane, a couple of scouts and a couple of transport ships moving around. However, there are no wrecks at the moment so we are watching a waiting. As we are waiting, we continue talking to the scout trapped in our system and discover that several of us were in a corp with one of their fleet members at one time.

Eventually, after multiple ship changes, gathering some PI, making a trip to the local market, random warping for no apparent reason and anything else you can conceive to do in a wormhole, two Tengus and a Drake warp off and disappear. Supposedly into their static C4 (c4a).

Since the rest of the pilots are now logged off and with no visible presence in their home system. We scan down the wormhole they jumped through and move our fleet up. The scout who was in our system tags along in a borrowed Guardian for fun until we can find him a way home. One of our scouts jumps into the c4a and reports they are in a site with wrecks. He uses d-scan to figure out where they are and warps in to get a fix for a fleet warp in.

However, as he is moving into position, the Drake explodes from sleeper fire and then one of the Tengus also explodes. Our scout uncloaks and whores the killmail for the second Tengu and the fleet warps in save his Proteus and manages to catch Celius prime and transfer him to a cloning vat.

Meanwhile, I am sitting in the static on the c4a wormhole along with a HIC. The remaining two pilots jump into the static into our waiting hands. One pilot tries to run for it and the other jumps back to the static. Plethura Zom tried running for it and failed much like his ship in the c4 site.

Our scout deploys combat probes and we start chasing the pilot around the system. We put a HIC in one of his safes once we find it with the bubble up and continue chasing him around with ships and probes. We offer a ransom and based on the value of the other kill mails we were willing to take 200M. He refuses to respond to the offer and eventually he revisits the spot where we have the HIC waiting. Rick O'Shea would have been much smarter to negotiate the ransom when he is running around with those implants in wormhole space.

They lost 2 Tengus and a Drake to the sleepers in a C4 site and then 2.5B ISK worth of implants to our fleet trying to get back home. Obviously, this wasn't one of their better days.

We still need to get this neutral scout out of our system so the wormhole is rolled again looking for a route to k-space. This time we get a static with a connecting C3 but there is a Tengu and a Noctis on d-scan with wrecks.

The neutral pilot deploys probes, gets an unbelieveably fast lock on the Noctis and warps in for the tackle with his Cheetah. Our fleet jumps in and very quickly we destroy the Noctis and send Plinarr back to k-space. We loot the wrecks as the local Tengu pilot curses us in local. We deploy probes and find the C3 which contains a EOL connection to high sec. The neutral pilot jumps to high sec with thanks for the interesting evening. We pull back and roll our static again, still looking for a good high sec route for our director who is putting up the POS.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Defenders at last

I have always wondered why so few people are willing to defend their home system. Tonight was different. We jumped into a static to see a couple of ships and a tower on d-scan. With a static C4, that in itself has been rare recently.

Scouting the POS reveals that both ships are piloted and a combat probe is also visible in system. We assume that with a single probe up, it is only a matter of time before they know of our connection so we deploy core scanners and start resolving signatures.

Sure enough, a couple of minutes later additional probes show up and several hauling ships and mining ships show up in system. Evidently, the locals were mining in their static C3. Makes sense, since there are very few signatures in the local system.

We find the connecting wormhole (c3a) and jump a Harbinger through on our static and a Drake on c3a to see what kind of response we will get. Probes start moving in on our home connection and we are pretty sure they have the wormhole pinned. One of the pilots jumps into a Dominix and warps to c3a.

Our Drake engages and we jump our fleet into the static and jump to the c3a wormhole. While we are in route, a Falcon decloaks and jams our Drake and the Dominix warps off as the fleet lands. We have shown our hand and have nothing to show for it.

We warp back to the home wormhole and are discussing our next move when the locals reship into what appears to be a combat fleet. They have a Maelstrom, a Dominix, a Abaddon, a Hurricane and a Drake. In addition, the Falcon pilot is still out there somewhere.

We bubble up the home wormhole hoping they will warp to us and for a nice change of pace, we get our wish granted. They warp in and the fight begins. They target our Broadsword while we go after the Dominix.

A couple of our pilots hold back waiting on the Falcon to engage and once it does, it is called as primary. Unfortunately for the Falcon pilot, the bubble has dragged him in close and the Falcon explodes rather quickly.

As the Falcon dies, our Broadsword is forced off the field at critical shield levels so there is no hope of catching the capsule. We return our focus to the Dominix and take it down as well. Meanwhile, I have been primaried and as the Dominix goes down, I am forced to leave the field as well since I am now deep into armor.

Our remaining fleet goes after the Maelstrom and takes it down while the remaining members of their fleet bug out. We give them a good fight in local and then roll the wormhole instead of hanging our disrupting the rest of their play time.

While this group did not manage to get a kill, they were able to force a couple of our fleet members off the field. Instead of having us disrupt their entire evening, they put up a fight and we withdrew once it was over. I tip my hat to these guys for being willing to engage and defend their territory. If we had not had an escape door at our back, they would have gotten a Broadsword and a Proteus.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Taking bait

The corp has been scanning chains for quite some time when I log in and the first thing I am asked to do is jump in a HIC and collapse the static. Evidently, they have been chain rolling wormholes looking for someone to kill.

The scouts head into our static and report combat probes on d-scan. However, the probes are not moving so they scan out the system and jump into the neighboring C2. This wormhole also has probes out and they find a C3 connection, a C5 connection and a high sec exit in the C2. A little cat and mouse activity occurs with us seeing a Helios and Loki on d-scan but only getting eyes on the Helios.

The other group then sends a Drake into one of the anomolies. This looks and feels like BAIT! However, that is not going to stop us since it means is that we may get a good fight out of them. We assemble a couple of guardians, a falcon and our dps and warp in on the Drake.

As we drop in on the Drake, they have pilots start pouring in as well. I see at least 2 Lokis, a Legion to two, several Tengus, an Oracle and a Scimitar. The fight is on, their Drake goes down pretty quickly but we lose an Anathema and a Falcon in the site before they bug out and head home once they see our Guardians land.

We chase them to the hole and I manage to tackle their Scimitar on the other side, while another group tackles an Oracle. Our Broadsword shows up before the Scimitar goes down and we send XYON back to the cloning vat. Once these ships go down, the FC calls us back to the wormhole.

Before I can make it back to the wormhole a Legion warps in and collides with me about 20km short of the wormhole. Needless to say, I immediately tackle the Legion and notify the FC that we have another target tackled on grid. We finish off the Legion and loot the wreck to find some nice deadspace modules. Not sure what he was doing warping in when everyone else was fleeing for their lives, but I appreciate the new gear.

Good fights are exchanged in local and discussions start about round 2. We have finally found a group willing to fight and our scout reports they have moved a carrier onto the field 90km from the wormhole. We get organized and obtain some additional help from our friends at LOST before moving in for the next round.

Unfortunately, this round went to Fantabulously Terrific Wonderment. We have never heard of you guys, but you brought a good fight. We ended up with our Guardians too close and some of our DPS too far away. Their Bhaalgorn was able to disrupt our cap chain very quickly and once the Guardians went down, it was only a matter of time before we lost other ships.

A full accounting of the engagement can be found here. Even though we lost, it was a fun fight with nearly equal numbers of pilots. I think both sides had close to 20 people engaged.

Since it is late and I was given a free ride trip to high sec, I make the few jumps over to Jita and log for the night. I will have to replace my Proteus and implants sometime when I am not so tired.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Finding some pew

The past weekend has to count as one of the more boring weekends in my wormhole history. It was a holiday weekend in the United States and I had a considerable amount of time available which I spent looking for targets with nothing to show for it.

However, that is about to change. As I log in, my corpmates have caught up with some people ratting and managed to kill a couple of Tengus and the most expensive Drake I have ever seen. Of course, I have logged in 10 minutes to late to participate in this action.

After they return from the engagement, we roll the static and continue looking for targets. Nothing! Not even a mouse is stirring. Finally, since I have a compelling urge to shoot something, a couple of us decide to run some sites in our static before we call it a night. We have a nice static with several lucrative sites and a quiet connecting C2.

Scouts are deployed and we run three sites before switching out for a salvager. We are cleaning up the third and final site when we see a Buzzard and a Tengu on d-scan. There are no new signatures and since we have a scout on the C2, there is no way the pilot came from that direction. Either the pilot came from our home system or someone logged in who lives in the static.

We scurry home leaving 5-6 of the wrecks unlooted and unsalvaged. We deploy probes to find that there is a new wormhole in our static. Our scouts report that they now have probes in both the static and the connecting C2. Activity has found us!

I jump into the new wormhole in our home system to find a rather quiet C5. After a little scouting around we decide to collapse the incoming connection. Four battleships and a carrier later, the incoming connection is dead and we set a trap on the old wormhole for the returning pilot.

The static wormhole still has combat probes active in it. We give it a few minutes but nothing happens so I go check out the C2. As I jump into the C2, a Buzzard decloaks and jumps into our static. I wasn't fast enough to get the pilot name but the ship tag does not match those belonging to the C2. The C2 now has a third Orca which I will assume is piloted since it was not there on our earlier scouting trip.

With known activity and combat probes in the static, there is nothing I can do about the activity in the C2 at the moment. I head back into the static and ask for a Drake to return to our site and retrieve the rest of our loot. Maybe whoever has combat probes will engage the salvaging Drake and give us something to shoot at.

The Drake lands in the site and begins slow boating to the wrecks and sure enough the combat probes start moving in on him. It takes a minute but they get a lock and a few seconds later a Tengu uncloaks and begins shooting the wrecks. The Drake burns toward the Tengu and tackles him while the rest of the fleet jumps into the static.

Once the tackle is established we warp the fleet in on him and get additional tackles and webs on him while waiting on our HIC pilot to show up. The Tengu is then burned down and lestradd is sent back to the cloning vat. It seems we have caught and killed a pilot who lives in the C4. I guess he didn't like us running his sites.

During the fight, I catch sight of another Tengu and a Pilgrim on d-scan plus the unaccounted for C5 pilot and the activity in the C2. I deploy probes again in the C4 to find a new signature. Scanning it down reveals an outbound connection to a C2. What a minute! What? I bookmark the wormhole and warp back to the original C2 to find it gone. I guess the occupants of the C2 didn't like the looks of our fleet and collapsed the wormhole while we were busy killing the Tengu.

This leaves the C5 pilot stranded out of our reach so we head home. A bit of ISK for the wallet and a nice T3 kill for our effort.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ending the day with a satisfying kill

My day starts off with a scouting report of an Orca closing a wormhole 3 systems out. I verify that I am sitting in my cloaky Proteus and head down the chain at best possible speed. A little demon on my shoulder is screaming in my ear that I really should change ships to a HIC but I ignore him.

I get in position just inside 5 km of the wormhole and wait. Our scout reports the Orca is in route. He jumps into the system, I decloak and we both jump back. The Orca and I are 13 km apart when we pop out of the wormhole but the Orca is a slow ship and I have plenty of time to burn into range and put a scram on him.

Target lock is acquired, scram is applied and I am burning toward him to ram him. 2000m, 1000m, 500m and he warps off! I should have listened and brought the HIC. I wave in local to the pilot, and he waves back from the safety of his tower before I head back home. It is doubtful he will be willing to give me another chance.

The next step is rolling the static wormhole looking for something to do since the current static is barren of life. Rolling, rolling, rolling! We roll the wormhole 5-6 times finding nothing interesting in any of the systems. We finally come across a wormhole that has a few sleepers and eager to fire on something, we run the 5 sites before rolling the wormhole yet again. This time we have 4 Tengus and some wrecks on d-scan.

Our CEO goes looking for the tower while I go check out the outer planets and find more wrecks. One of the Tengu pilots has gone offline, another has switched to an Anathema, a Noctis has turned up at the tower and there is an unpiloted Scorpion floating. A check of the corporation shows a small corp that is only 30 hours old.

In a few minutes, the Noctis pilot warps back to the outer planet and finishes salvaging there before moving on to the next site.  I swap places with our CEO and he gets out of d-scan range to deploy probes. We narrow down the location of the Noctis with d-scan and he initiates a scan. The first scan comes up with an 86.9% result. Lousy CEO scanner! He throws the probes off grid and resets for a second attempt.

The second scan is successful in getting a lock and the fleet is instructed to jump and hold cloak. The CEO locks the Noctis and calls for the fleet to warp in hot. The Noctis explodes and we send Lee Ang to a cloning vat. I have no idea why the Noctis didn't drop the loot from previous sites while he was at the tower earlier, but we appreciate his generosity. A 770M ISK Noctus kill is a sweet find.

The Noctis pilot logs off immediately upon hitting the cloning vat. The Anathema pilot wakes up and warps off. We deploy probes and start looking for wormholes. While we are scanning, the Noctis pilot comes back online and the Anathema is observed jumping into a K162 to a C5 system. Our scout jumps in behind him and we move a couple of interceptors and an interdictor up to the inbound C5 connection.

Our scout reports it is a blue system and there are active pilots. We notify them about our activity and wait for the Anathema pilot to jump back. He jumps and I lock him down quickly only to have him jump back. I follow but he manages to get cloaked before I can lock him and even though I know where he was last seen, I am unable to decloak him.

Now he starts trash talking in local. We are not adverse to a little smack talk ourselves and the insults fly freely. While this is going on, we ask our friends to collapse the wormhole for us. They are more than happy to oblige, possibly just to get rid of the annoying chatter in local.

A couple of minutes later, our friends land 2 orcas and jump the wormhole quickly bringing it to the verge of collapse. Less than a minute later, the Anathema pilot jumps back in. This time he is not willing to jump back through the dying wormhole and my fast locking Stilletto proves more than capable of locking him before he can cloak and escape.

He screams noooooo in local and attempts burning out of range, but his resistance is futile. Our CEO yells "nailed yo ass!" as the cocky pilot's Anathema explodes. Even better, my boosted lock time enables me to catch the pod and send Almaa2001ro back to a cloning vat. We scoop more sleeper loot from the wreck and head home smiling.

Without the trash talk, it is doubtful we would have bothered with the Anathema after he eluded us the first time. It wouldn't have been worth the trouble. Combining the totals from him and his alt, we destroyed over 900M ISK and took home over 400M from their efforts. Welcome to wormholes, jackass! Your nullsec experience is no good here.

As a reminder of the experience, I anchor a can in a safe close to their tower with the message, "Almaa2001ro is pro, he died here". Please enjoy the reminder of our encounter for the next 30 days.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A billion ISK capsule

I log in and find most of my corpmates in a C1. They had killed a Retriever earlier and Melonia had been sent to a cloning vat. OMG! Inspection of the kill mail revealed that the capsule was worth over 1 billion ISK. Mining an ore field in a wormhole with a tech 2 mindlink in your head is the type of thing which gets you noticed. Unfortunately, the attention is not going to be positive.

A little scouting of the system located their small POS which they were in the process of putting up. The group decided to siege it and see if they had put any stront in it. The stront was there, but there was only 3 hours worth and they were waiting out the timer when I logged in.

Of course, they had collapsed the route running ships through so I am cut off from the action. It is time to scan a route and get in to help with security in case it is needed. The clock is running and I have just over 2 hours.

With the help of a couple of alts, I roll the existing static and get a static with only 2 signatures. One is the wormhole I just came through and the second is a C5. Since I need to get to k-space, I am not interested in trying to find it through a chain of C5 wormholes. We roll the static again and this time I get a static with a C2 connection. The C2a has a low sec which is in the middle of nowhere, and a link to C2b. C2b also has a low sec even further out than C2a and a link to C2c. C2c finally yields an outbound connection to high sec which conveniently is only 9 jumps from the high sec to the C1 my mates are sieging.

It took an hour and 15 minutes but I am now in route to the impromptu POS bash. There are two hostile pilots in strategic cruisers in the system so we are maintaining tight security on the wormholes. Once the timer expires, we proceed to destroy the tower and everything that was attached and floating inside it. It was a bad night for the Pulsar Consortium.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Noctis Erupts

Once again we need a route to high sec as several people have urgent matters to attend to in known space for a few hours. Therefore, we roll the static since the current chain of C5 space is a little less than desirable for anything other than staring at empty systems.

The new static has a static to C3, things are looking good. Of course, we first have to sift through 31 signatures to find not only the C3 connection but also a C5a as well. The C5a scout reports a tower but no pilots and the C3 scout reports a static to hisec. The C3 has several connections including an EOL wormhole only a few jumps from Amarr. This satisfies the pilots wanting out, but before they head out, we discover a Noctis in our static.

What? How did we miss that? Of course the system is 81 AU across so missing a few wrecks is understandable. Evidently, the C5 corp was running sites before we opened up the static. We setup a trap on their static and then start probing for the Noctis. The scout warps to the site and reports that the Noctis warped after a salvaging a couple of wrecks and before the scout could get in range.

Another scan and a second scout goes to another side only to report the same thing. The Noctis appears to be in a third site for a couple of minutes and then warps back to site 1, salgaves a couple of wrecks and then heads back to site 2. So far our scouts have not been able to get close since the pilot is using a MWD the entire time.

When he disappears to the third site, we once again scan him and send a heavy tackler to that location. The tackler has no interest in covert operations, he decloaks his strategic cruiser on the way in and lands on the scan result hot. Of course he is out of range of the Noctis by the time he lands, but he spooks the pilot into warping back to their wormhole where I am waiting with a heavy interdictor. As soon as the pilot appears on grid, I raise the bubble and watch the pilot land at zero right in the middle of the bubble.

The pilot jumps on contact and I follow and immediately put the bubble up again. Once his cloak fails, he jumps back to the static. Once again, I follow him and raise the bubble trapping him on the wormhole with a polarization timer. The Noctis goes down as soon as his cloak fails and we send Cuprum Ferron back to a cloning vat. We end up with about 300M ISK in sleeper guts and salvage from the Noctis and what was left in the sites. This is my favorite way to benefit from sleeper sites.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chasing a gas harvester

We run a couple of escalations in our home system for ISK before heading out looking for targets. The static is opened and the first scout in reports a couple of ships on d-scan. One of them is a Hurricane which does not appear to be at the tower.

Probes are deployed and the Hurricane warps back to the tower. The FC asks everyone to get into a perch on the static and wait to see what the pilot will do. A couple of minutes go by and the Hurricane warps off again heading to a location which appears to be 3-4 AU above grid of his tower.

The FC asks to verify that the fleet contains a heavy interdictor and then asks the scout to attempt getting a lock on the Hurricane. To which the scout reports, I am already looking at him. The scout then creates a book mark for the cloud which is being targeted and then warps back in at 20km. Unfortunately, he lands too close to the cloud and decloaks.

Since the surprise is already lost, the scout immediately burns toward the gas harvesting Hurricane and calls for an immediate fleet warp to him for assistance. Warp to scout, warp to scout, warp to scout. I am in an Anathema, need help. Warp to scout.

The fleet is still in the perch in our home system so we jump to the wormhole, jump through and then initiate warp to the scout. The jump is nearly 54AU from the wormhole to the scout and by the time I land, the Hurricane is 29km away and traveling over 1500 m/s.  Time to overheat this MicroWarpDrive and see if it will last long enough for me to get in range for webs. I speed up to my top speed with heat and begin closing the gap.

The FC was already in system and had a shorter jump so he manages to get a web on the fleeing Hurricane first. The range begins to close as more of us get in range and apply webs. Once our heavy interdictor is in range, we raise the bubble and pop the Hurricane and then send DarthBait OOHAHA back to the cloning vat. The excitement is over for the moment and I head back home for a new MWD. One of these days I am going to remember to turn off heat after I activate it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Logoff timers, Jita and retrievers

Sometimes a picture is worth a 1000 words. Our chain map for the evening is best left to a picture.

A direct connection to a C2 provided us an outlet 3 jumps from Jita. We have a couple of recruits who need to get into the hole and a couple of newer members who want to run a couple of ships in while it is convenient.

But first, there is a rogue Iteron IV collecting planet goo which needs to be terminated. Our scout finds him at the custom office, locks him up and watches him warp off due the the stabs. However, he shows back up on d-scan less than a minute later less than 1 AU from us but not at the planet or custom office. Evidently he didn't know about logoff timers when under aggression.

We scan down the aggressed Iteron IV and blow the worthless ship up. The capsule immediately warps off, forcing us to scan it down and another worthless kill later, the PI alt is no longer present in the C2a. The total ISK lost was 2.4M ISK plus whatever he jettisoned in the cargo container when our scout attacked the first time.

With the route clear and our presence in system obvious, we give the all clear for the new pilots to start shuttling stuff into the home system.

In the meantime, the old static is old, boring and needs to go away. A couple of Orcas and a few battleships later, the static connection is gone and we jump into a new system. The static has two wormholes, an incoming C4 and an outbound C3. I scout out the C4 which is EOL while the other scout checks out the C3.

The C3 scout reports lots of ships floating at the POS and 2 retrievers missing. He deploys probes to find the missing retrievers while the fleet moves into the static ready to jump on command. Neither myself or the scout who jumped noticed that the wormhole was on the verge of collapse.

While the fleet commander scolds both of us for our poor observation skills, the scout gets a positive lock on the retrievers with probes. With a scout in local and a known exit to low-sec the fleet jumps in and warps to the retrievers. Retriever 1 and Retrieve 2 are both dispatched post haste and then Berial Inglebard and Dark Rise Boyd are sent to a clone vat.

Our pilots head back to the static connection and start jumping through. However, it collapses before everyone returns. The remaining pilot and scout locate the low sec and find that it is on the verge of collapse as well. This time, everyone but the scout gets out and heads for Kisogo, while the scout finds the new low sec and heads back via a different route.

A couple of pilots who were not trapped decide to run a quick sleeper site for some ISK while those who were trapped are making their way back home. Twenty minutes later, everyone is back in home system and we roll the static looking for more activity.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A pair of Scorps +1

Once again the current chain is devoid of prey. The sleepers have returned to their sleeping and there is nothing to do. It is time to grab some large ships and collapse the static connection in search of something to do.

Once the static is collapsed, I start scanning down the new static. The new static is one of the larger systems I have encountered at 125.723 Au radius. I would hate living in this system. We find a single tower with no active pilots and resolve the signatures to find several ladar and grav sites along with 2 additional wormholes. One is a static C2 connection and the other is a K162 from C2 space.

We send a scout into the C2A connection and he reports 2 active towers but no pilots and a high sec static. While he is resolving the high sec route, another scout checks out the C2B connection and reports a single tower and a high sec static. Great! No players to shoot at but we have several people who need a few things from the market.

While the shopping group is running around, another group decides to rape and pillage the sites in the static. Might as well shoot at something. The group running sites is on the 6th one and people are starting to return when the scout in C2B reports activity. We have a couple of targets moving around in C2B.

The site running comes to an abrupt halt and a PvP fleet forms up. I am asked to get in a heavy interdictor as one of the active targets reships to a covert ops frigate and deploys probes. This is my first time flying the heavy interdictor in combat! I jump into the static and warp to the C2A connection before going silent.

The hostile scout finds the wormhole, checks it out and then 2 scorpions are warped to the wormhole. Evidently, they intend to roll this wormhole. The wormhole activates and I cross-jump them in the Phobos. Our PvP fleet lands on the wormhole and both pilots immediately jump back to C2A where I have the bubble waiting for them. They are now polarized as our fleet jumps in after them.

Both pilots hold cloak until their timer expires to buy time. Once they appear, a primary is called and the fleet destroys the first Scorpion and IwGanich is sent to a cloning vat. Scorpions can take a beating and these were no exception. The second Scorpion has had time for his polarization to expire and jumps back into the static.

Our fleet commander goes after him, but somehow a big fat slow battleship manages to escape the smaller faster T3 ship our commander is flying. No one is completely sure how that happened. Since we had eyes on the C2B wormhole and our own static connection, we know the Scorpion is still in system.

We offer a one time offer that if he will eject from the ship, we will let his capsule return home. Our offer is met with deafening silence so we collapse their connection cutting off Scorpion 2 from any assistance.

Remembering that this is a big system, we spread people out and keep an eye on d-scan with combat probes blanketing the system. Maybe he will log thinking he is safe but we are not betting on it considering how the pilots reacted to being caught. It takes about 15 mins before one of our scouts reports seeing the Scorpion on d-scan, following immediately by the information that he is deploying probes.

He is going to make a run for it and there are only 2 ways he can go. I am already on the C2A wormhole and another HIC is assigned to our home wormhole. It takes the pilot a few minutes, but he finds and resolves the C2A wormhole first. The probes disappear followed by the reappearance of the Scorpion on d-scan.

Once he lands on the wormhole, I uncloak and jump into C2A with him. The bubble goes up and we jump half the fleet in to attack him. With half the fleet staying in case he jumps back. The pilot Nuets me enough to get the bubble down, but it does him no good as we have additional points on him. He jumps back into the static and we follow him. The bubble goes back up and Scorpion 2 goes down.

To our surprise, once the Scorpion dies, we have 2 pods trapped in the bubble. What happened here? We kill GeZenk who was the Scorpion pilot and then we kill Emmersom Biggins even though we are confused on where we came from.

GeZenk should have taken our offer as it would have saved his implants. I am thoroughly confused on where Biggins came from, so I open a chat with him and we chat for a few minutes. I learn that he lived in the static and had logged in and decided to make a quick run to high sec to pick up a new ship. His timing was just really bad! Oh well! He now needs a clone upgrade and some new implants to go with that new ship. Sorry mate! Fly safer next time.

The first skirmish with my new Phobos was a success. I head back home happy with the results. I have wanted to fly since the first time I died to one way back on my first trip to null sec.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Repping neutral pocos

I start out doing a little PI in the home system before scanning down the new static. The new static has 1 tower and 0 pilots, but there are 3 customs office which have been reinforced. The timers are due to come out starting in a little over an hour.

Since no one is visible in the system, I launch probes and sort through a variety of ladar, grav, mag and radar sites to find only 1 wormhole which leads to a class 3 system. Jumping into the class 3 shows that it leads to low sec so I head back into the static to wait out the timers and see what happens.

In the meantime, other pilots from our corp show up and about 10 minutes before the first customs office is scheduled to come out of reinforcement, pilots from the static start showing up. A Dominix, Typhoon, 2 Armageddons and a Iteron Mark III are the first to show up. The Iteron pilot warps above the tower and deploys a probe before retreating to the tower. A few minutes go by and the probe is recalled and one of the pilots reships to a Buzzard.

The Armageddons go ahead to the custom office at planet 1 which has dropped out of reinforced mode and start the process of removing it, while the Buzzard pilot scans down the connection to our home system and jumps into our home to scout around.

In a few minutes, all of the pilots warp back to the POS and local lights up calling out one of our pilots by name and telling us they know we have 5-6 more ready to jump them and that we missed our opportunity for the ambush. This is immediately followed by everyone logging out.

The pilot who was spotted decides that since we can't get a fight out of them, he must repair the neutral customs offices. He isn't leaving until all the customs offices are repaired. A couple of corpmates join him while others to decide to run some sleeper sites for ISK.

Both the repair and sleeper hunting is running smoothly when a couple of the pilots log back in. In all 4 pilots log in and reship to stealth bombers. The initial pilot who was spotted takes this opportunity to start trolling in local. At some point during the trolling, one of our pilots links an inappropriate picture in local. The link is reported and CCP promptly applies a 3 day ban. Since there was no warning, the pilot is now stranded in w-space in a ship without probe launchers.

After some discussion, we decide that we aren't leaving the ship and pilot. Instead we will move some pilots into this static for the next 3 days. Since we will be living in this system with little to do, we might as well burn it to the ground. After all, PvP is our preferred activity. We start organizing what we need to make sure we can get our pilot out after the ban is over while the repair operation continues.

Meanwhile, local trolling continues and eventually one of our directors issues a challenge, SEND FORTH YOUR CHAMPION. We offer the locals their choice of a 1v1 or 2v2 in a ship class of their choice. Win or lose, we will pull out after it is over. We are quite surprised when they agree! We have finally found someone who is willing to participate in a fair fight. They decide to field battlecruisers and we select two pilots for the encounter. Both sides agree to no podding.

One of our directors forms a fleet with one of their players as referee. The referees are in covert ops ships and they form a safe and invite the 4 combatants. When the call is made, all four combatants warp to the scouts and the fight begins. The locals have fielded two Myrmidons and we have fielded Hurricanes. The ending comes down to the drone wars. Our pilots fielded ECM drones while the opponent fielded DPS drones and the ECM tipped the balance in our favor. A good portion of the fight ended up being 2v1 as one the Myrm pilots was jammed by the drones.

All in all, it was an interesting evening. A salute goes out to Valente Iceni and Deshrial Sculpin for being willing to meet on the field of battle. While they did not come out the victors, they made a good showing and fought well. After the fight was over, we finished salvaging the sites we had run and pulled out to roll the wormhole as promised.

CCP was kind enough to move our banned pilot to the last visited k-space system. While we have no idea where that will be, at least the pilot has a chance of returning with the ship he was piloting after serving his time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Guarding a Hulk while AFK

The current static is boring and the locals are getting restless. It is time to roll this wormhole and find something to shoot. Pilots line up and jump an Orca and several battleships through the boring wormhole until it collapses under the stress.

One of our newer scouts runs down the new static connection and jumps into the new static. A Hulk, Drake and Occator are reported on d-scan from the wormhole. After some checking, the local tower is located and only the Occator is in the shields.

Since I am not needed as a scout, I reship into a DPS ship and head back to the static to sit and wait. A second scout is asked to jump into the system and warp to the far planet to drop probes. It seems we have found a mining operation in progress and the Drake may be guarding the miner since d-scan reports the Drake is with the Hulk.

Getting a fix on the site with d-scan proves a bit challenging since the site is is between 5-7 AU from the nearest celestial and way off plane. In the end, it takes our scout nearly a full minute with combat probes to locate them. This is about 50 seconds longer than it should take for them to notice the probes. However, the probes are recalled and the scout jumps in to find that the ships are sitting in a grav site and have not left.

The FC calls for the jump and we land a small fleet on top of the two pilots. The Drake is called as primary and we destroy him quickly. A point is assigned to the capsule and we move onto the Hulk. Once it explodes we point his capsule and then both pilots are given a free express trip to known space.

During the entire engagement, neither pilot responded in any way. The ships didn't move, the capsules didn't move, they didn't say anything, didn't notice the combat scanners on d-scan. The only conclusion you can draw is that they were both AFK. Which brings us to the question of the day. What good is guarding a miner when the guard is also AFK?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Getting caught

I start the day exploring the static wormhole someone else has scanned out and bookmarked. There is little of interest in the static, so I head deeper into the chain. The static apparently connects to a C3 at the moment. After verifying that there are no visible pilots in system, I deploy probes and start sorting through the 27 signatures, quickly discarding 7 ladars and 6 grav sites. I am in warp to the first wormhole in this mess when a corpmate reports a new signature has shown up in the home system.

The next piece of information to come in is that the wormhole is from TEMNAVA's class 6 home system. I bookmark the wormhole I had just found, recall probes and head back to the home system. It seems activity has found us for a change.

My first activity once getting back in system is to swap ships for a cloaky DPS. My scouting ship is great, but I may be called on for defense instead. Our scouts have located the wormhole and are poking around gathering intel on potential hostiles in the c6. They report a fair amount of activity but nothing compared to what we know they are capable of fielding.

The FC decides to attempt a quick roll on the wormhole and I am asked to swap to a battleship. A fleet consisting of several battleships and capital ships is assembled and we align to the wormhole. The FC asks for the battleships to warp to zero on the wormhole and hold. Unfortunately, I had not completed cleared the SMA and was the last one in warp. Just after entering warp, the scout reports a large inbound fleet heading to the wormhole. The FC calls for the battleships to warp back to the towers just seconds after it is too late for me to cancel warp. The other side has shown their hand and we are greatly outnumbered.

As I land on the wormhole, the wormhole flares and a Broadsword followed by several other ships jumps into our system. This borrowed Dominix is not going to survive this event. The bubble goes up cutting off my ability to jump and the other pilots start applying additional points and DPS. The ship is lost at this point, but I have one thing going for me. This is a neuting Dominix with 4 heavy neuts up top. If I can drain the Broadsword, I might be able to save my pod.

I lock up the Broadsword and a few seconds later his capacitor is empty which brings the bubble down. Not a moment too soon as I they have now chewed through 85% of my armor. Figuring this is my best opportunity, I ditch the Dominix and warp my capsule off grid.

Briefly, I mourn the loss of a perfectly good Dominix that I had just borrowed 60 seconds ago. Oh well! I now need to buy a replacement which is a good excuse for a trip to Jita the next time we have a reasonable route.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chasing a Harby and catching a Guardian

I log in to find our home system bustling with activity. Another pilot quickly fills me in that we have a rare outbound connection to high-sec, an inbound connection from hi-sec, an inbound connection from null-sec and our usual outbound static connection.

The hi-sec connections have as much activity as Grand Central Station in New York. While people are shuttling stuff into and out of the wormhole, I take the opportunity to run out and get my Falcon that is sitting in a station a few jumps from one of the connections. When I get back, another pilot has brought a new battleship (why?) and wants to test his tank. I am always up for shooting things so I hop in a DPS ship and a small internal brawl occurs on one of the hi-sec connections.

After the tank tests of new ships arriving or departing, I decide to head into the static chain looking for more interesting targets. A check of the static shows nothing of any interest, so I move from there into c3a. A mate has helpfully marked the wormholes in here but this was the end of their exploration. Since no one is active in c3a, I jump into the connecting hi-sec and bookmark the exit, before heading into one of the connecting unknowns.

This connection is labeled as c2a and I have two towers on d-scan but no ships. This wormhole should have a connection to high sec and another c2. While I am locating the tower, a corp mate moves into the c3a to check out the dangerous unknown which we believe connects to a c5.

I locate the towers and decide to check out the other unknown before exploring this path further. I warp back to the wormhole and just as I land, I see a Harbinger and a ? jump through in front of me. This is reported to the other scout who now has them on d-scan which shows a Hurricane as the second ship type. Both pilots warp from the c2a connection to the hi-sec connection and jump to k-space without revealing their identity to us.

On a hope and a prayer that they will come back, we setup an ambush in the c3 on the c2a connection and I decide to deploy probes in c2a and find the other connections. I am still positioning my probes when a Buzzard decloaks on the c2a connection in the c3a. I quickly throw my probes out of range just in time as the wormhole flares. The pilot sits out the session timer and jumps back into c3a. We now have eyes on the hi-sec in c3a and the potential c5 and one of the scouts reports the covert ops ship jumping into the c5.

I decide to go check out the c5 to see if we can determine where the covert ops pilot is going. I jump into c3a and as I warp off, a Guardian jumps into c3a behind me. The other scout jumps into the c5 and the ambush pilots align to the c5 wormhole. Sure enough the Guardian lands on the c5 and jumps. Our scout engages him on the other side while out fleet warps to c5a with heavy interdictor support. We land and put up the bubble just in time to see the wormhole flare bringing the now polarized Guardian back.

Our fleet makes quick work of the Guardian and after some discussion, we lower the bubble and let the pod go. We are sometimes blue with these guys and it seems unsporting to kill the capsule in a gank where the pilot simply had the bad luck to simply be 10 minutes behind two other random pilots we were trying to catch. He has already lost a new Guardian, there is no reason to rub it in.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ambushing a mining op

The day gets off to a pretty boring start. There are a couple of signatures in the system, but no one is really interested in shooting sleepers. So we head out into the static looking for activity. A scan of the chain doesn't show anything interesting so we roll the static and start over.

The second attempt and third chains were also empty of anything interesting so we decide to try one more time. The fourth static of the night looks promising when we jump in. Our scout reports three Tengus and a couple of cargo containers on d-scan. However, they disappear almost immediately.

The static has a C4 connection, a C5 connection and a null sec connection. The C4 connection is EOL which almost makes me pause before jumping in. Almost! However, getting trapped in a hostile wormhole would at least make the evening more interesting, so down the hole I go!

There is no sign of the Tengus in this system. A tower shows a couple of pilots sitting unmoving and after looking around the system, I head back to the static. There is still the C5 and null sec as possibilities.

The other scout decides to check out the null sec system, so I head to the C5 which is completely empty except for a handful of anomalies and signatures. Resolving the signatures shows yet another C5. It is getting late but I decide to at least poke my head into c5b before heading home for the evening.

A d-scan shows a 2 Hulks, a Retriever, a Rorqual, a Kestrel and a tower within range. I move off the wormhole and determine that the Hulks and the retriever are not at the POS. Unfortunately, there is nowhere in system which is out of d-scan range so this is going to depend on luck.

I move to the outer planet and deploy probes, throwing them out of range as quickly as possible. The other scout jumps into system and warps to me. This gives us a covert ops frigate and a stealth bomber to initiate the tackles, with 2 DPS ready to jump as soon as the call is made. One last check of d-scan and holy crap the Rorqual has warped to the ore field. I press scan, wait the interminable few seconds for a lock and then fleet warp us to zero on the Rorqual.

By the time we land, the Rorqual is back to the tower. However, both Hulks and the Retriever are sitting nicely in the belt. The DPS jumps and warps to zero on the scouts as soon as we land. I tackle one of the Hulks while the stealth bomber tackles the other and alphas the Retriever.  One Hulk deploys ECM drones and escapes the stealth bomber before the second tackle is applied. The other Hulk is not so lucky.

We watch the locals for a bit, but they log without attempting to recover the dropped items. We blow the wrecks and drones and head for home. It was a good hunt.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Killing an Orca

A group of enterprising mates have rolled the wormhole yet again. It is time to find something to do. We are hoping for a live target, but those have been scarce the last few days. The static has no active pilots, so a couple of us jump in and start scanning signatures.

This static has a connection to a C2 (c2a) so I focus on finding that while the others scan everything else down. I jump into c2a to find a tower but no pilots. This system should have a connection to lowsec and C2. Lowsec is of little interest at the moment, so while a different scout sorts through the signatures, I go after the C2 and jump into the adjacent C2 (c2b).

We have targets! D-scan shows 2 drakes, a couple of wrecks and an offline tower. The Drakes are running sites. The call goes out that we have potential targets and people start rolling into the static with combat ships to wait.

I move off the wormhole and cloak up and then go check out the farthest planet. Aha! There is an active tower here and a couple of pilots. Now to find the Drakes. It has been a while since I did this and my skills are a bit rusty. It takes longer than it should have, but I locate them just in time to see them salvage the last wreck with the Drake.

The warp to the next site and I follow them at range. I ask for 2 cloaky tacklers to jump in system and move off the wormhole. The last time I tried to tackle a Drake in a covert ops ship, the results were less than satisfactory. Besides, I want both drakes. The rest of the fleet is asked to move into c2a and sit on the c2b wormhole.

The tacklers jump in, burn off the wormhole and cloak up. However, we got unlucky as the drakes noticed them and warp back to the tower. One of the Drake pilots reships to a Buzzard and warps off to a nearby safe and drops probes.The fleet is asked to either cloak in c2a or pull back to the static. We do not want to spook the targets any further. Our patience is going to be tested, but it seems likely we can get a kill if they do not see anyone else.

After 15 minutes of scanning, the Buzzard appears on the wormhole and jumps through. The pilot warps off and in a couple of minutes comes back and jumps back through. He did not deploy any probes and at this point, the only ship visible in the c2a system is a neutral Pilgrim which has logged in during all of this at the local tower.

The Buzzard pilot jumps back into his home system and runs over one of our tacklers who is monitoring the wormhole as he warps off. What an unlucky break! At this point, we assume the gig is up. However, of the 4 active pilots in the POS, 2 of them jump into an Orca. Did he not see us? Is he really going to warp those Orcas to the wormhole to close it?

Anticipation is running high but the minutes drag by. One Orca has aligned but then stopped and the other Orca is just sitting there. Finally, the Buzzard warps off and deploys probes again. Is this a final check before he starts rolling the wormhole? The probes are only out for a couple of minutes and he warps back to the wormhole and jumps.

This time he burns away from the wormhole and decloaks one of our Tengus. DAMN IT! The Tengu recloaks and the Buzzard pilot jumps back home. He had to see us that time. We are certain the gig is up, when both Orcas start moving in different directions with the aligned Orca heading back to the SMA.

Four minutes later, the Buzzard pilot warps back to the wormhole, jumps and then cloaks up on the other side. We have moved all of our pilots back from the wormhole a safe distance this time. The Orca aligns and then warps to the wormhole. We allow him to jump out and when he jumps back, we have 2 heavy tackles waiting on him. They are instructed to tackle and bump but hold attack until the rest of the fleet is in system. Everyone wants in on this kill.

As everyone is jumping into system, a stealth bomber decloaks and starts to attack. We make short work of the Manticore and his pod before killing the Orca. We get the bubble up just moments after the Orca pilot warps his capsule off. Oops! The Buzzard pilot then jumps into system and we lock and kill the Buzzard and give the capsuleer a free trip to k-space as well.

Overall, the killmails showed roughly 1B ISK destroyed. We are dumbfounded that we got a kill at all after he was quick enough to see a Proteus on d-scan and subsequently decloaked two different ships on either side of the wormhole. The Buzzard pilot should check those overview settings, w-space is a dangerous place.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rape-caging your own POS

I have finished moving in and the time has come to search out new targets. A group of corp mates have just finished rolling the static, so I jump into a scan ship and head out. It is obvious that my scanning skills still need work as a couple of my corpmates find and identify signatures at 2-3 times my speed.

The static system is empty, but the connecting C2 has a tower and 9 Tech2 large warp bubbles on dscan. A Falcon and a Pilgrim are on d-scan but the direction indicates they are probably at the tower. Warping to the tower lands me in one of the warp bubbles. The locals have rape-caged their own tower.

After a couple of minutes I think I have identified a small window in the cage so I start making my way to that spot. As I am exploring this window, the Pilgrim pilot disappears and a Heron warps to the tower and lands in the bubble. I expect him to burn toward the tower, but instead he deploys probes and just sits there scanning. A group of corp mates decide that bombing him will be a fun exercise and they organize a bombing party to kill a Heron. I could once again ask why but I am pretty sure the answer would be, why not. Oh well, this could be entertaining. I half-way expect my corpmates to blow one another up or get popped by the tower. Either will be amusing so I move my scanning ship well out of range.

While my corpmates are burning into position, the Heron returns to the tower. They break off and are about to pull out, when he slow boats back outside the shields and deploys probes again. Two of them are in position so in they go, bombs away. Bomb 1 detonates and bomb 2 explodes? They were both using the same type of bomb so that shouldn't have happened. Oh well! The Heron quickly hurries back into the POS. Some good-natured banter about our fail ambush and everyone heads for home.

However, I still find myself curious about why anyone would rape-cage their own tower. Even with a small window and a warp out point, this move makes no sense to me. Some things will never make sense to me.