Sunday, January 27, 2013

Insidious Designs

Patience! Some claim it is a virtue. Many admit to not having it. However, it is a key ingredient to a succesful ambush.

It has been a few days since we carebeared and some of us are feeling the need to make some ISK. The current static is a dead and empty swiss cheese wormhole so we roll for a new static. The new static only has 8 sigs but 4 of them resolve to wormholes. Another swiss cheese. But wait! The C2 appears to connect to the new home system of Insidious Design.

There is a bit of a history with Insidious Design. I will not go into it here, but suffice it to say that there is little love lost between the groups. Back in early December, Talocan United and Transmission Lost burned their home C5 to the ground and watched them SD 30B+ in ships.

We watch them run back and forth to high sec for a while and finally a couple of them jump to the C4. One is in a Loki and the other in an Abaddon. We spring the ambush (rather clumsily) and manage to spook the Loki pilot, who abandons the Abaddon pilot to his fate. We kill both the ship and the pilot.

We hang around for a while and offer a 6v6. However, our offer is met with silence. Nothing! We pull back since we now have activity in the C4a which also connects to our static. The C4a corp has sent a scout into the static and he has now made his way into our home system.

Now the patience part of the evening really kicks in and it is starting to get late. The pilots in Insidious Design are still moving around and running back and forth to high sec. The scout from C4a is poking around as well. After 45 minutes, SojournerRover, the CEO of Insidious Design jumps into the static in a Cheetah. He cloaks up and hangs out for about 5 minutes then returns home. A couple of minutes later, he jumps an Orca through the wormhole trying to collapse it.

I send a couple of pilots to attack and they jump with the Orca which is not polarized. However, the Insidious Design group has a Rapier sitting on the other side of the wormhole and the Orca is instant webbed off the wormhole by Fazor Whitesnow in a Rapier . The Orca manages to get out, but Fazor is not so lucky. We tackle him and start slowing burning him down.

I have the rest of the fleet move up to the other side of the wormhole in preparation. The wormhole is now crit, but you can put a lot of cruisers through a crit wormhole. Rover reships to a Proteus and joins the fight. The rest of the fleet is now sitting on the other side of the wormhole at this point and I have then jump into the C2 hoping it will collapse the wormhole. It didn't and Rover jumps thru to the C4 once his timer wears off. I instruct 1/2 the fleet to follow and make sure he does not escape.

The blood lust of battle has kicked in and the wormhole flares with most of the fleet and the wormhole disappearing. The main body of the fleet reports that they have Rover and his Proteus is destroyed shortly. I am not sure what Rover is going to do about getting his pod out, but I now have more pressing issues to deal with.

I have 1 Loki, 1 Devoter and 2 Guardians trapped in what is now a very hostile environment. The first ship to land on us is a Harbinger. I tackle and start killing him and it doesn't take very long for additional pilots to start landing on us. There are 2 drakes, 1 harbinger, 1 proteus, 1 loki, 1 phobos, 1 oynx and an armageddon. We got the 6 vs 6, well kinda. We have 12 pilots on field but 8 of them are hostile and our group only has 1 DPS.

We decide to make sure we stay together. I am thinking to myself that this is probably a lost cause but there is going to be no running. We will stand together in victory or death! What goes next is an epic fight.

We take the Harbinger down first simply becuase he was there first. I quickly decide to kill all pods to keep them from reshipping and coming back. For the second time in the evening, Pederass Tocles is sent to the medical bay. The Proteus of Night Beagle is next on my list. It seems to take forever to kill him, but he finally goes down and I shift focus to the Loki.

Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet has went to high sec and are burning 31 jumps toward the high sec where this fight is occuring. Up until this point, the Insidious group has been trying to use the Armeggedon to nuet out our guardians with no success. The Armegeddon pilot burns off and swaps to a Scorpion. This works in their favor as the Scorpion is just successful enough to keep us from killing anyone else but not enough to allow them to kill anyone.

We are slowly burning down the Loki but eventually, we realize that we are one unlucky jam cycle from losing a Guardian. At this point, I decide to attempt to get everyone off the field. With some creative positioning we manage to get everyone aligned at a point no one is scrambled.

We clear the field and start the process of jumping between safes. Hoping to keep them interested until help can arrive. The fleet never visits the same safe twice but a wrinkle develops in our plan. They decide to collapse the wormhole and put 2 Orca's on the HS and collapse it with our fleet still 3 jumps away.

One of our scouts in system beats them to the new HS but decloaks and gets caught on the wormhole. In the end, he has to jump to high sec to save his Tengu leaving us with a single scout in system. With no backup scout and the time getting late, we log everyone off and make plans to get people out tomorrow.

Update: Everyone got out alive: 9 kills, 0 losses for the total engagement - outnumbered fight in their system - kill of SojournerRover by main fleet - earlier kill of Abaddon on the wormhole

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Interrupting an Invasion

We are in the process of organizing for a T1 cruiser roam in null sec when we get a call about 2 different fleets gearing up for a battle in a C3 not too far from us. One group is in a defended large tower and a different larger group is in an undefended small tower. This smells like an invasion.

We head toward the HS entrance for the C3. Meanwhile, the invaders begin attacking the tower. They repel the initial defense by the natives and start attacking the tower. Our scout gets in position while they incapacitate the warp scram.

Once the scram goes down, we warp in the T1 bait fleet consisting of 2 Moas, 2 Ospreys, a Caracal and a Kitsune. As we land on grid, their entire fleet warps back to the small tower. We warp back to the high sec and attack the drake positioned as a scout on the high sec.

The drake jumps to high sec and the rest of their fleet warps in at 100km. We jump back to high sec since we are not ready to engage. We have a second group in Talos' coming and they are still 9 jumps out.

The secondary fleet is 4 jumps out when the invaders warp to the wormhole and jump several battleships and battlecruisers into high sec and back which collapses the wormhole. BUT, there is still a low sec system in the C3 and it is only 13 jumps away. Off we go, with our numbers now boosted by the Talos fleet.

The Talos fleet holds 1 jump away while the smaller cruiser fleet (affectionately named BAIT fleet) jumps into the C3 from low sec. There are two drakes on the wormhole and we engage them inside the bubbles.

Catcando Isu's drake falls first in the fight followed shortly by a second drake piloted by Varos Kang. As the second drake falls, the rest of their team warps in to join the fight. We have a mix of battleships and t3 battlecruisers hitting the field and we call in the secondary fleet. The Talos fleet jumps in, spreads point and we start melting ships.

The full battle report can be found here. Two drakes, a typhoon, an armageddon, a guardian, an oracle and a talos killed and the only loss was a solo bomber. A pretty good showing even if a number of ships escaped the battle.

This was my first time fielding a logi ship in a fleet battle. I was very impressed by the effectiveness of the Osprey against their fleet. They were not able to break the tanks of our smaller T1 cruisers even with a 10 - 6 advantage on the field.

A fight was all we were after so we left them to continue their invasion once the wrecks were cleared from the field.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fleet Fight against Hard Knocks

We were running sites in the static when a scout from Hard Knocks jumps into the system. We are on the next to last ship in the site, so we finish the site and return to our home system to reship. The covert ops pilot is joined by a second pilot in an Arazu, so we assume they are looking for a fight. We know that we have been sighted so instead of going covert and trying to get the drop on them. We instead ask if they want an arranged fight.

A few minutes of discussion go by and we agree to a 6v6 in the connecting C5 with the following stipulations: T1 cruiers only, no ecm modules and no leaving the field. We agree to a 20 minute prep time and both sides start fleet preparation.

After some internal discussion, we elect to go shield. We discuss changing around our ewar modules but a lack of available fittings in the wormhole make it unviable. This is something we will need to address before future encounters, but it doesn't really help us at the moment.

We assume the enemy fleet will be armor based, so we intend to try to dictate range and wait for an opportunity to pick off the weaker targets.

Fleet composition for Transmission Lost: 3 Moas, 1 Caracal, 2 Ospreys
Fleet composition for Hard Knocks: 1 Maller, 2 Rupture, 1 Celestis and 2 Exequror

Both groups warp to a can placed at the sun and we land about 65km apart. We start moving in and I put the leader on 25km keep at range. This was the first mistake. It doesn't take very long for us to end up 72km apart. Oops! We reverse directions and I head back toward him and get in range to apply reps just as the Celestis gets in range to dampen me. This piloting error may have cost us the match. It certainly cost us our first loss.

We manage to kill the first ship on the other side just as our leader dies. Down 1 DPS, we now have issues out pacing the incoming reps with our DPS. We get one of the ruptures into structure before they manage to rep him up, but we cannot break the tank.

At this point, neither side is really able to make any headway against the reps until we make another piloting error. Because of the webs, we end up letting the 2 Ospreys get too far apart. Hard Knocks realizes the opportunity and switches all damps to 1 Osprey and splits their webs to keep us apart. They take out my Osprey first, then go after the second Osprey. Without the cap chain, the second Osprey goes down quickly and the fight is over.

This was a lot of fun! It was the first time I have flown a logi ship in an arena type match and there were a lot of things I would do differently next time. Thanks to Hard Knocks for agreeing to the engagement and congratulations on your win!

The engagement report can be found here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stealing is bad

Sometimes what goes around comes back around. It has been a rather slow week in wormholes. We have run some sites but haven't seen anyone willing to engage us.

The C4s has a radar and we are running low on sleeper components for our T3 production lines so we decide to kill sleepers. We run the site without incident and then bring in a Noctis while the rest of the group kills off the sleepers in a couple of ladar sites.

The Noctis is finishing up when he announces, I have a concussion bomb incoming. It isn't a problem, I am aligned. Oops! Now there is a term which is never going to be followed by good news. I have heard it many many times, and it is almost always followed by death and destruction.

This was no exception, while we was calmly reporting the bomb and his ability to warp away instantly, he forgot to warp away. The bomb exploded and we were down 1 Noctis. We were able to loot the wreck so it wasn't a complete loss. But this serves as a reminder. Death can occur very suddenly in wormhole space.

I tip my hat to Splut Woobs. He had the bookmarks for the sites in his system and when he logged in (or noticed us) running the radar site, he got in position and executed a perfect ambush without revealing his presence until the bomb was in route.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stealing Modules from online POS

A day to remember started out much like any other; scanning down an empty C4. The C4s connected to a C4a which had a couple of towers but no visible pilots. We scan down the system and find the static C5 and an inbound C3. I jump into the C3 to see scan probes and a tower but no visible ships.

While I am locating the tower which seems to have moved since I was last in the C3, the other scout jumps into the C5 and reports 1 online tower and 1 offline tower with a couple of ships on dscan. Checking out the online tower, finds one of the ships but the other is somewhere else in the system.

By now, I have found the relocated tower and the probes have disappeared. Since there is at least 1 ship not at a tower in the C5, that looks like our best bet for a fight and we go ahead and move a couple of cloaky combat ships in the C4a.

The first pilot in the C4a reports a ship on d-scan and a check of the tower shows the pilot now floating the shields. Our best guess is that this is the pilot who was scanning in the C3. Now we have active pilots in both the C4a and the C5a.

The scout in the C5a reports that he has found the ship which is not at the tower. The pilot has swapped ships and is now in a bestower at the offline tower. I clear him to engage the bestower in his covert ops ship to see what happens. The response is fairly immediate, they warp a drake in on top of him and he bugs out to prevent losing his scanner.

It appears that we have caught the corp in the middle of erecting a tower. But wait a minute, why are all these modules floating around the tower unanchored? Hmmmm. Maybe the tower went offline? That wouldn't unanchor the POS modules. Maybe they were dumping out the modules they were going to use while they were waiting on the tower to anchor? Oh well, the mystery doesn't really matter, we have an opportunity for some fun.

I jump into system in a cloaky Loki and warp to the new tower and attempt to catch the Drake but was not able to gain a lock before he warped. I cloak up and in a minute a Slasher. I get a lock on him and kill him just as 2 Drakes land on grid. I lock the first Drake and call in the fleet. The second drake pilot bugs out while the rest of the fleet is still incoming.

Now the real fun begins. The tower is onlining and has 12 minutes left before it goes online and all of these modules are just floating in space. A couple of our pilots grab a hauler and begin scooping modules. Meanwhile, the tower finally goes online and the bestower pilot warps back to the tower and anchors the warp scram. Our pilots continue scooping modules. Next, he anchors and onlines a gun. Our pilots continue scooping modules. One of our pilots starts attacking the gun with a stealth bomber. They warp a covert ops ship to the gun and put ammo in it.

Instead of risking losing a ship, we head back home with over 100M in POS modules and 2 kills. Next time, I suggest onlining your tower and then deploying your modules, anchoring them and onlining them from the safety of the shields. That is my pro tip of the day for noobies in wormhole space. The second tip, do not start your wormhole career in a C5 static C5.