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.