Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Fall of Insidious Design - Part 2

If we only knew then what we know now. How many times have you thought about the real meaning of that statement? After failing to get a single shot off at Insidious Design the previous evening, I log in fairly early the next morning to a wave of messages asking what was going on with Insidious Design and what connections I have with Hard Knocks.

Without ever leaving the shields in the home system with Resilan, I log my neutral alt in and a quick d-scan shows a lot of ships at the outer planet. Some of them have the Insidious Design tag but they are not located at the Insidious Design tower.

There is another tower out here and a quick check reveals that it is a Hard Knocks tower. And oops! The Insidious Design ships are floating inside the Hard Knocks tower. That cannot be good for Insidious Design. Unless Hard Knocks built that Archon overnight, they have stolen it from Insidious Design.

The next step is to check out the main Insidious Design tower REDRUM. The tower is there, but the screenshot below tells the tale better than I can. The modules are being destroyed by the Moros and Archon both of which I have since been told were stolen from Insidious Design.
Later discussions with J3rz11, of Hard Knocks, revealed that the presence of Transmission Lost played into their hands. After we left, the Insidious Design pilots were not able to verify that one of our pilots (Kalseth) in a cloaky Legion had left the wormhole. The leadership decided to call it a night because of that which played into the hands of Hard Knocks. They were poised and ready and once the leadership logged, the thievery began.
By my count, they got a Moros, an Archon, 7 Orcas and a host of smaller ships which was in addition to the 3 towers and the defense modules they took. Once they offlined and unanchored the towers, they put them back online with lots of guns and ewar but without any shields. Next they rape caged the towers leaving a nasty set of bug catchers for any pilots who logged off in the tower.

This was a good day for Hard Knocks as they managed to steal everything which was not nailed down. I am sure other stories will be written about it. It was interesting to literally watch is unfold on my screen.

Tower + CEO Kills
Ayeson of Hard Knocks posted the following video on the official Eve forums here.
Maybe one of the Hard Knocks diplomats can respond to this article and answer a question. Was this a response to Night Beagle's running for CSM or had this been planned prior to him announcing his intent to run?
As a final thought, wormholes are a dangerous place to fly, but the lack of robust security measures for towers makes it even more dangerous. You can lose everything while you are logged off and there is nothing you can do about it. You absolutely must trust the directors of your corp to set things up correctly and protect your assets. This is why so many of us who live in wormhole space have been asking for better or more robust security measures.

The Fall of Insidious Design - Part 1

After our encounter a few weeks back with Insidious Design (here), I left a neutral alt in their wormhole. I had not bothered logging the character back in since then. However, I was able to leave work early and decided to check out the system for some potential pew later in the day.

I scanned down the wormhole and bookmarked both the high sec and their connecting static. I waited around for a bit and then jumped to high sec and contracted the bookmarks to my main character before disappearing back into the wormhole.

While loitering in the system, I watch them kill a Magnate, a pilot who had very unflattering things to say in local just before he was podded. Dude! This is wormhole space. That warning message when you attempted to jump through should have been an indication that it might not be safe. Just saying!

Next to show up is a Catalyst, who also gets podded. Then the pilot returns in a shuttle and gets podded again for his persistence. They roll the C4 several times looking for pew and evidently managed to pop a Proteus on one of these incursions into their static.

I scan and shadow them for a while before deciding to put together a fleet to engage them. The activity level has been pretty good so we decide to go with a 6 man fleet which is less than their 10 pilots who are online but should be enough to encourage a good fight.

The plan is fairly simple, I have moved my alt into position on their current C4 where they have a active bubble camp. They have a Phobos, Loki and a Tengu sitting on their static C4 connection with the rest of their fleet in the towers. The fleet lands on the high sec connection and we jump into their wormhole where I immediately throw us into warp to the C4. Like all battle plans, this one goes to hell almost immediately. I suspect they had eyes on the high sec since they are bugging out before we even land on grid with them. The phobos jumps to the C4. The loki disappears and the Tengu warps back to his tower.

We hang out for a while hoping they will engage but nothing happens. Rather than waste any more time, we head back home never realizing that we were playing a key part in a much bigger plan.

to be continued........

Twin Apocs

The home system is quite. Our scouts went down the chain earlier in the day so we have bookmarks already. A jump into the neighboring C4 shows a hint of promise with 2 Apoc Navy issue ships and a couple of other ships. I locate and warp to the local tower but the ships are not there when I land. A quick check of d-scan shows them at first but they are gone seconds later.

Interesting! Are they running sites in the C3? We certainly hope so. There is a covert ops ship in system with us based on the original d-scan results which is now missing as well. Probably watching the wormhole but we are not sure.

Two covert T3 tackle ships move into the C4s and setup on the C3 wormhole just in case they head back before we are ready with the full fleet. We put a scout in the C3 and he finds a spot out of d-scan range to drop probes and then returns to the wormhole.

Sure enough, they are running sites in the C3. A little discussion follows and we decide to put both of the covert ships into the C3 and hope that they are not watching the wormhole. Since the ships are running combat sites, we can get a tackle on them in the site if we are lucky.

Both ships make it into the wormhole and we warp to the site cloaked. We land nearly 70 km from the ships and start the burn toward them. We are still 40 km out when they warp off. We are not sure why they warped. If they saw us when we jumped in and are just now reacting that would qualify as the slowest response time ever.

We wait around expecting them to come back to the site but they neither return to the wormhole nor the site we are camping. Being the impatient souls we are, the next step is to combat probe their safe. Our scout uses his d-scan to get an approximate fix and hits scan. He manages to get a 100% lock on the first pass and warps to zero. However, the pilots have now moved again.

No reason to be subtle about it now. The race is on. We scan, they warp and eventually log off before we can catch them. They have a couple of pilots in the C4 now in a Harbinger and a Rapier. We disappear into the mists and watch. It takes nearly 40 minutes but eventually the Harbinger and the Rapier align to the C3 wormhole. They burn well outside the the POS shields but anything happens but eventually both the Apoc pilots log back in and the Harbinger and Rapier warp to the C3.

At this point, we have 3 cloaky T3's in the C3 on the C4 wormhole and 2 more in the C4 plus a cloaked HIC. Once the Apoc pilots are confirmed as inbound, I have the T3's in the C4 uncloak and call the rest of the fleet in our home system to jump and warp to the C3 as well.

The Apoc's land on the wormhole and the Harbinger and Rapier land on the other side. Our fleet engages on both sides. Both Apoc's jump when they reach the wormhole and I follow leaving behind 2 of the pilots on the off-chance anyone jumps back that direction.

The first Apoc Navy Issue is pointed, the first Apoc is pointed again. The Rapier is pointed. The Harbinger is dead. The Rapier quickly realizes that this is going downhill and burns out of range and warps off. Meanwhile, the DPS is focused on the first Apoc who is going down under the combined firepower of our guns and the second Apoc gets clear of the warp disruption bubble and warps off. Oops!

While the second Apoc Navy Issue is gone, we continue DPS on the first Apoc. He has a hefty tank and we are just getting him to structure when both the Rapier and a non faction Apoc return to the fight. I point the Rapier while the FC asks the Loki to point the pod of the Harbi pilot. The Rapier does a 180 and eventually burns outside the range of my overheated 52km point. He warps off and does not return.

The first Apoc Navy Issue finally explodes and the second Apoc micro jumps and then warps as well. That is the first time I have seen that module used in combat and it would have been a lot cooler if I hadn't seen it. We had him pointed so I thought that would prevent his escape. Hmmm! I guess I need to look into the counter for that module a little more closely.

Patience paid off this evening with a nice kill. The other pilots engaged and came back even against overwhelming odds to try to save their friends. All told, it was a fun encounter. We probably should have gotten more kills, but this way both sides can feel like they got something from the fight.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Basilisk on a Rohk

Sites! Sites! Sites! Where are the people who live in these towers? That is a question which I am not likely to get answered any time soon. Therefore, we jump into our site running ships to kill what is in the C4, sleepers. ISK is never a bad thing. We are trying a new method of running sites which should prove interesting.

We settled in and ran 11 anomolies and 2 radars before we received a message from another corp that they had found some people running sites in a C3. A quick check shows that the entry to the target system is only 8 jumps away. Eight jumps is nothing! The fleet splits into two groups with several people staying to clean up the mess (wrecks) we have left floating in the C4 and the rest grabbing PvP ships.

Since I was told we were joining a rag-tag kitchen sink fleet, I decided to grab a Moa. The thing is so ugly that I am always relieved when one gets exploded; even if I am the one piloting the darn thing. I feel the world is better off without such an ugly thing in existence. Seems like the perfect ship for rag tag fleets.

The hostile group is running sites (slowly I might add) with a Rohk, Basilisk and a Drake. As we form up in the C3a, a Noctis joins the fleet on grid and cloaks. Our scouts move into position and tackle all three ships. Primary is called on the Rohk and by the time I land, the primary has been switched to the Basilisk. The Rohk melts, but I manage to get a point on it just in time to whore the killmail.

The Basilisk doesn't survive much longer than the Rohk. The Drake pilot had to sit patiently and wait for his buddies to die before we finally get around to destroying his ship as well. All three pilots are podded and there was not a single implant between all three pilots. Evidently, they planned on getting podded this evening.

I continue to be amazed by people who run sites in wormholes without taking an ounce of precaution to secure the wormhole. Oblivious pilots provide great kill board material.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Finding Tiger Ears

When I returned to the game last year, I had been reading Penny's blog for some time. Her blog was the inspiration for starting my own blog which has added another level of enjoyment to the game for me. While her blog has a day in the life style, mine is more free form about fights I encounter.

A corpmate reports a hostile C4 once I log into the game. He was mining in a Venture when a Loki decloaked and went after him. The hostile pilot failed to get him and all he could remember after the adrenaline rush was the name Penny. That immediately sparked my interest so I grab a covert ops ship and jump into the C4. Sure enough this is the home system of Tiger Ears. I have never met her, but I have a fairly good idea about how they fly.

We decide the situation calls for a bait drake. I am a little doubtful this will work against Penny and Fin but we decide to try it when no one can come up with a better plan. The drake heads into the C4 and runs a vast ladar, then returns for a noctis to salvage it, then another pilot heads back into the C4 to mine gas. At this point, the Venture pilot sees a Loki for a second on d-scan so he scurries back to the wormhole.

The Drake pilot heads back into the C4 and starts running a Minor ladar site. As the last sleeper is being killed, Fin uncloaks in a Loki and tackles the drake. I jump into the C4 and immediately warp to the Drake. It is a medium length warp (11.89 AU) and the Drake pilot reports almost immediately that the Loki is starting to burn away. It appears that Penny was sitting on the wormhole watching for the potential trap.

I land on field and lock the Loki, getting my point and both webs on Fin but his momentum carries him out of my range before I can get the modules overheated and him slowed down. Fin warps off just as the rest of our fleet lands.

Penny and I chat for a couple of minutes and then we pull back to collapse the wormhole. We had our fun, but were not quick enough to catch a couple of wary pilots who smelled a potential trap.

If you have never checked out her blog, I encourage you to check it out!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reversing a trap

This particular evening starts very differently than most. I log into the game in high sec. The wormhole has moved from the 24 jumps of earlier in the day to only 8 jumps. Which is a good thing because voice comms have simply exploded.

A group from an inbound C3 is in our home system and have already gotten a couple of kills. A Wreathe, a what? A Wreathe. Ok, I will look up what that is later. What else. A Drake and a Thrasher. The hostile group has a couple of guardians, a rapier, falcon, several battlecruisers and an interceptor. The first engagement was an overwhelming success for the other side.

One of the pilots is hanging around the system in a Harbinger trying to bait a reaction. One is coming, I just do not want to reveal what we are going to do too soon. The support group arrives on the high sec wormhole and I lend a Phobos to one of my corpmates before warping to their wormhole and jumping in my Proteus. They have 2 Guardians, a Devoter, Hurricane, Harbinger and a Loki on the wormhole.

I hold cloak while they spin up for the attack and instruct the fleet jump to the connecting wormhole. While they are in warp, I decloak and go after the Loki. At this point, it becomes quite evident that they have eyes in our system. They starburst off the wormhole. The Loki is faster than my Proteus, but between my long point (48km), overheating my MWD and some web support from an attack cruiser, we maintain point and the Loki finally goes down some 110km from the wormhole. As soon as the ship explodes, the pod is warped off the field.

In the meantime, the rest of the fleet has tackled the baiting Harbinger and a Scorpion that warped into our bubble to assist when the fight started. Chronasis and Ronbo Prime are given a free trip to their chosen medical bay. The second engagement did not go as well for this group.

We loot the field, announce gf in local and pull back to our home system, collapsing the wormhole as we jump out. Overall, it was a fun encounter where we were able to reverse the tables on a group who thought they had the upper hand. Their scout was able to save most of their fleet with the early warning which had to make everyone except the Loki pilot happy. If they had all been sitting at zero when our fleet jumped in, they would have lost quite a few more ships.