Saturday, November 30, 2013

Low sec shenanigans

Let's have some fun! Ok. What should we do? We should roll the wormhole. That is not FUN! Maybe not, but anything is better than the current chain. Ok. But, what should we do after we roll the wormhole? Do you ever have those days? Looking for something exciting and feeling like it is just around the corner. You just cannot figure out which corner to turn.

The day had been pretty typical  weekend day for us. People came and went throughout the day and we scouted a number of lengthy chains. We had a couple of kills to show for the day including a Navy Apoc, but nothing overly exciting.

This was the point where I decided to do a frigate roam. Everyone jump in a T1 frigate and we will go to Faction Warfare space and roam around and see something blow up. Probably ourselves! But that has it's own fun factor. After this announcement, the discussion on comms went something like this.

Player 1: I don't have any T1 frigates, will an assault frigate work?
Player 2: What about a blackbird? I don't have any frigates.
Player 3: Does anyone have a fit for a T1 frigate? Any race?
Player 4: Do you want logi or e-war?
Player 5: I think I might have a frigate in high sec somewhere.
Player 6: I will bring an interceptor, it is the only frigate I have.
Me: Oh dear god! I need something stronger to drink.

After I returned from getting some water, the only available beverage in my house at the moment, people had shipped into a mix of T1 and T2 frigates along with a single Blackbird. We were set and everyone headed for the Tama system a few jumps away from one of our high sec exits.

Let the fun begin! We head into Tama and proceed to look for targets of opportunity. Since we are in small ships, our plan is to find people running faction sites and avoid fights on the gates. On our first loop, we find several people running sites but did not manage to catch anyone.

As we circle back around, we have a couple of people dropping out and a couple of additional people joining us so we take a short break and head back for another round. This time, we find a little more action. Right off the bat, we catch a Caracal running a site in Tama.

From there, we catch a Kestrel in a site in Kedama. However, he has friends which included a Corax hitting me from nearly 100km. I would not have thought that was possible. But the sniping destroyers seemed to be effective. At this point, we lost one a Retribution in the ensuing brawl as he was tackled just moments before the command to warp out was given. Bad timing on that.

The rest of the group continued with one of our members yelling RP statements about Gallente terrorists in every local channel to the amusement of our entire group and even a few of the people we were passing. I finally located a station and docked to repair my ship just as the group tackled a Merlin which turned into a escalating brawl. We lost a Harpy here but everyone else got off and we regrouped to continue the roam.

We decide to head for Dodixie which isn't too far and let the guys in newb ships get another ship. We jump into Old Man Star and there is a flashing red Gnosis on the gate. After about 3 seconds of discussion we decide to engage and he is about 50% through armor when an entire fleet jumps on us. It was bait and we took it! LOL!

Now everyone except me needs a new ship. My Merlin was not a big enough threat for them to waste a point on me so I warp off once I am the last one alive. There is some advantage to flying the cheapest ship in the group.

Several players head home and we have 3 left at this point. We undock in Dodixie and discover a flashing yellow Vexor about 20 km off the station. No reason to allow that kind of foolishness so we pop him before continuing back into low sec.

We make it back to Tama before finding the last and best fight of the evening. In Tama, we warp into a site and find a Thrasher who is quickly joined by another Thrasher and a Malediction. Our group consists of 2 Harpy's and my Merlin, so we have a straight 3v3 fight. We focus on the initial Trasher and basically trade ships. They kill one of our Harpy's while we kill the Thrasher. Not exactly winning an ISK war here. Next, we shift our focus to the other Thrasher, but our second Harpy goes down before he dies leaving the Merlin alone.

At this point, I am not scrammed and I have a decision to make. Do I stay and fight 1v2 or bug out? Is it really a decision if you didn't think of it? I was focused on making sure the Thrasher didn't get outside my point range. I finish him off but had to consume the charges in my ancillary shield booster to stay alive. The Malediction is out around 40km and it does cross my mind to bug out now. However, I decide it is all for one. I am not going to be the only pilot going back to high sec in a ship. I turn and charge toward the Malediction with my microwarp drive running. Evidently, he decided at the same time that he liked his odds 1v1 and charged toward me. My move caught him by surprise and he overshot and ended up within my scram range.

I scram him which shuts off his microwarp drive and apply webs for good measure. He points me and this battle is now fully engaged. We are wearing each other down (slowly I might add) and we are both about 30% into structure when my shield booster finishes the reload cycle. I can only imagine his frustration when he saw over a 1/3 of my shields regen instantly. A short time later, he explodes while I am at full shields although my armor and structure have taken a beating. Manu, one of the Thrasher pilots announces that the Merlin has cleaned house and we exchange good fights in local before I, once again, fly back to high sec alone. At least this time, I feel good about being the only survivor! That was a fun fight.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An interesting evening

The month of the Orca is upon us. No REALLY, why do you seem to get activity of a certain type in cycles. We have confiscated 2 Orcas trying to collapse wormholes this month and killed 2 other Orcas. After zero Orca kills for several months, we suddenly get a whole fleet of them. Maybe wormhole inhabitants are getting more careless or maybe Bob has decided the Orca herd needs thinning a little. In either case, we have caught more than our share this month, including one that got away later in this story.

The first kill of the evening was a battleship that I found running a site in low sec. I actually feel bad about ganking this newbie. Tech 1 guns, tech 1 drones, and we drop seven pilots on him in an outright gank. I thought he was playing bait since there were 10 other people in local, however there was no response after I tackled him so we dropped the entire fleet on him.

The next kill was more entertaining and demonstrated the power of the new warp mechanics. One of our scouts jumped an EOL wormhole and found a retriever mining in an ore site. The guy spoke up in local as soon as we jumped in and ran back to his POS. He was nice enough and we chatted with him while We bookmarked the rock we think he was mining. We then said goodbye in local and left since the wormhole was EOL. At this point, we had every intention of going back and seeing if we could catch him in the site.

The key to our plan involves the new warp mechanics. If you haven't tested them out, you should get in a fleet with an Interceptor, a cruiser and a battleship. Then warp all of them independently (not fleet warp) at the same time to another object. We did this test with a 10 AU warp. I was in the interceptor and I had time to go get another beer while we waited for the battleship to arrive. That is only a slight exageration. The interceptor was 15-20 seconds ahead of the battleship and this was with us warping from full speed and aligned so that the only difference was the warp speed. An interceptor warps at 8 au/s while the battleship warps at 2 au/s. The difference is very noticable.

We finished scouting down the chain and then decided it was time to go back and see if we could catch the miner. I grabbed a Sabre which warps at 7.9 AU/s and everyone else grabbed some fast ships. We decided to make sure one of the scouts came along with probes since the wormhole was EOL. We meet up on the C2A wormhole and I explain the plan. We are going to jump and immediately warp to our bookmark. Any questions? Nope! GO! GO! GO!

I jump the wormhole and warp the Sabre to the bookmark. It is only a 1 AU jump and I nearly land before I left. It was quick! The Retriever is in the belt but he is mining a different rock and is 20 km from me and moving. He saw us jump in and is trying to warp out. I burn toward him and activate my scram making sure he cannot escape. I put a bubble out just seconds before he ejects and I lock and pop his pod as he yells NOOOOO in local. The new warp mechanics allow a small fast ship to get on someone before they have a chance to react. This guy was paying attention, it just didn't matter when I can warp and land on grid so fast.

After this little trap, we roll the static and hunt down another chain. The new static C2 had another C5 connected to it so I jump in with my scout and start poking around. This is the home system of Semper Ubi Sub Ubi. I have been here before and these guys have always been willing to give a fight so I scout their towers and find that they have 8-9 pilots online at the moment. Which is probably only 4-5 people. Our numbers are at 4 since it is now quite late in the evening. But we decide to engage them anyway. Complicating the matter slightly is the wolf-rayet effect on their wormhole.

While we are trying to decide how we want to bait them into a fight, an Orca appears on d-scan. We move cloaky T3s to their connection in the static in hopes that they will try to roll the wormhole with the Orca. Maybe Bob will smile on us and we can kill the Orca before they have a chance to overwhelm us with their superior numbers. We have just gotten into position, when the Orca lands on their static connection where my alt is sitting. We decloak and wait on the Orca and he doesn't disappoint us. He jumps and holds cloak. Our devoter pilot and my main jump the wormhole and prepare for incoming hostiles. The bubble goes up to slow down their response fleet at least a little.

As you would expect, the Orca pilot wastes no time in calling for help. He waits out his timer while they scramble a response fleet. Which basically consisted of whatever the pilot was sitting in at the time. The Absolution lands first and I engage him while the rest of their fleet is incoming. A cloaky proteus against an absolution in a wolf rayet! Hmmmm! That could have been a real interesting fight. But he is soon joined by others.

Meanwhile, the rest of our group (2 pilots) are pecking away at the Orca which we discover is hull tanked. Boo!! I was hoping to get a kill before they could save it. With the announcement that it is hull tanked, I immediately know that isn't going to happen. By this time, they have landed a sizeable fleet on the wormhole and he jumps back. Their fleet consists of an Absolution, a harbinger, a brutix, a vigilant, a really annoying falcon and a couple of other ships which didn't imprint on my memory in the heat of the moment. I think they had 8 combat ships and the Orca. We were fighting outgunned in their home system. We skirmish for a while on their wormhole but they neut my proteus dry (in spite of the cap booster), and they were almost perma jamming the other proteus and our tengu. At this point, we are applying almost zero DPS so I call off the fight and we escape back through their connection and disappear.

Several of them, including Longinius Spear followed us through the wormhole and we exchanged GF in the C2S. In a couple of minutes, they bring a Phobos to the wormhole and crit the wormhole on the way out. They ask if I want to get my eyes out of their wormhole and I take the opportunity to pull my scout out before they jump the Phobos back and close the wormhole.

Funny Quote from the Orca pilot, "my balls slammed into the roof of my mouth when you guys decloaked on me!". Overall, this was fun even though we didn't get a kill. The response fleet they brought was effective in saving their Orca. Bob was appeased in the fight they provided. Great fun!

You can check out Longinius Spear's blog at Given the name of our corp, I had to laugh at the animated banner gif for his site.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Target Breakers, Stolen Orca and Trash Talking

What makes a kill satisfying? It can be a variety of things; a well laid trap, an expensive fit, or basic trash talk in local. Nothing in my opinion is more satisfying than killing someone who spouts off in local. This is a story about trash talk. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against trash talk and have engaged in it quite often. But it can be a double-edged sword.

The day has been fairly uneventful. We found a Scorpion rolling a wormhole earlier in the afternoon and discovered the absolute annoyance factor of a target breaker. (Kill Link) I cannot even remember how many times I had to retarget the Scorpion during this engagement. I would get 2 shots off and then have to re-target. Between the bubbles of the flycatcher and the number of people with scrams, we managed to keep him from using the micro jump drive or warping off.

We head back to our wormhole and notice that the C2 pilots have woken up. They suddenly have 10 pilots online. Two Armageddons, a Dominix, a Hurricane Fleet Issue, an Orca and 2 Guardians along with a variety of scanning ships. Is this a combat fleet or a rolling fleet. In a few minutes, the entire group warps to our wormhole.

We scramble ships to the wormhole to engage them as they jump the Orca through the wormhole, then swap pilots and make the first half of the second trip. Umm guys! You should probably investigate the mass on wormholes before jumping Orca's through them. The Orca finds itself trapped in the middle of our landing fleet. I tell the pilot in local that we will help get his pod back to high sec safely if he jumps out of the Orca. I have never seen someone abandon a ship so quickly! It makes me wonder what the guy has plugged into his head.

We grab the Orca and take it back to our tower and then go to find the new wormhole. Hmmm.... The wormhole has multiplied. There are now two of them. One is an incoming C5 with a group wanting to kill Kalseth. Unfortunately, he isn't around and we are down to 3 pilots online. So we continue scouting to get our Orca friend back out. The C5 groups curses us for being no fun and rolls the wormhole away.

We find a low sec which is only 2 jumps from high sec and after some negotiation we convince the Orca pilot that he has no options but to trust us and join our fleet. With much reluctance and moaning about it, he joins our fleet, warps to me on the C2, jumps and immediately warps off while dropping fleet. My curiosity about his implants is very high but we roll our wormhole and head out looking for more targets. We did leave him a can of bookmarks to all the wormholes and the name of the low sec system.

Things were quite for a while after the Scorpion kill. We rolled several wormholes and scouted a few chains without finding anyone to shoot at. Pilots in POS shields and cloaky scouts dominated our afternoon. Unt

We have rolled into a new C2 and not seeing any ships on d-scan, we drop probes and start scanning. There is a high sec, a low sec and 2 C2 connections. I have jumped the high sec wormhole to see where it goes as one of the other scouts lands on one of the C2 wormholes. As he lands a Dominix appears on the wormhole.

GO! GO! GO! With absolutely no idea what may be on the other side, I make a snap decision to engage. The Dominix is probably trying to roll the wormhole. Our scout makes the tackle and the rest of the fleet scrambles to join him on what we designate as C2B. As I am landing, Walton Simons jumps through the wormhole in a Proteus. As our fleet is landing, he makes the following announcement in local.

[01:59:57] Walton Simons > pussys need logi

We have an mixed fleet based on the quick decision to engage and most of us are in cloaky ships so our DPS is not what I would call stellar. But the numbers are in our favor. The Dominix and Proteus jump back through the wormhole and we follow and tackle. At this point, they bring a Thorax, Brutix Navy, Exequror, Talos, and an Oracle. Ships came and went at times so I am not completely sure which pilot was in what ship. Especially since a couple of them reshipped during the fight.

The Proteus had a very large buffer tank so we were focusing on the other ships and keeping him pointed. The kill order was the Thorax (who may have been an alt or a 3rd party). The Brutix Navy went next. Then the Exequror. What? They make fun of us for bringing logi and then bring their own. Of course, we have quite a few armor ships and our logi pilot brought a Scimitar. When I say GO! GO! GO!, the pilots brought whatever they happened to be sitting in at that moment. Good job!

Next we kill the Dominix and then lose an Enyo. The Enyo pilot is giving the Scimitar pilot grief for not keeping him alive but he heads back to get another ship. Next we kill a second Exequror, once again flown by Layla Eryn. Maybe she has another and can keep bringing them. The Oracle goes down next, while the Talos has burned out of range. Layla brings a Hurricane next so maybe she ran out of Exequrors. Of course, the Hurricane fairs no better than the logi ships. It dies in a ball of fire. However, the last warp in by the Hurricane allowed the Proteus of Walton Simmons to jump the wormhole yet again and this time he manages to evade us and warp off.

Next up is yet more trask talk in local along with a couple of gf's.

[02:14:59] Layla Eryn > and 2 logi?
[02:15:01] tellmewhen Yvormes > gf
[02:15:07] Holznar'ar Eoner > gf
[02:15:28] Kalseth > learn to count .. that would be one logi
[02:15:34] Kalseth > to your 2
[02:15:35] tellmewhen Yvormes > you know we would have kicked your ass in a fair fight
[02:15:38] Resilan Bearcat > gf
[02:15:39] Layla Eryn > to my one
[02:15:40] Layla Eryn > dumb f**k
[02:15:44] Layla Eryn > t1 logi aswell
[02:15:52] Davion Thule > <url=showinfo:1373//90432996>Holznar'ar Eoner</url> i hate you lol

We are now chasing the Proteus pilot around the C2 with combat probes. He manages to elude us and eventually logs out. However, we had combat probes on him and have his last location. We warp a phobos and a couple of tackle ships to that location and begin the wait. The Proteus only has 10% armor left and after his opening comment, I want that ship badly.

It takes a while, but he eventually he logs his alt back in who lands 70km from our trap. He scouts a bit and then disappears. A neutral pilot in a buzzard drops probes, scans out the low sec but immediately comes back into the wormhole, cloaks up and is never seen again even though we have scouts sitting on all the wormholes.

It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes before Walton Simmons logs back in. What remains of our fleet immediately scrambles for the C2. He lands within 3km of our Phobos who immediately uncloaks and bubbles him. The tackle ships decloak and apply webs and points. The rest of the fleet lands and we destroy his Proteus and pod him back to k-space.

He moans about our persistence in waiting the 2+ hours and congratulates us on killing his cheap fit Proteus. His opening remarks and then the moaning about the lack of a fair fight from his group, made this kill extremely gratifying. The 2 battle reports are shown below.

Battle Report - Part A
Battle Report - Part B

Some kills are more rewarding than others. I must admit, killing Walton Simmons was worth every minute. Why do people complain about not getting a fair fight. You got a fight and made a good showing against a superior force. Instead of calling people names and thumping your chest, exchange good fights and you will find that people are much less likely to wait around 2+ hours to kill you.