Saturday, December 21, 2013

Boredom Strikes

It is a rainy Saturday afternoon and there are quite a few corp members online looking for trouble. We have been chasing chains for a while without seeing anyone moving when we finally roll into a new static with a pilot sitting in a force field. AFK pilots are not much better than logged off pilots.

Since the pilot in the tower is not doing anything, I drop probes and resolve the system. I find the outgoing B274 and the outgoing Z647 and a couple of gas sites. I need to refit one of my Sabres anyway and this looks like Amarr territory so I jump through in my Sabre and head to market.

I make it to Amarr (all of 5 jumps) refit my ship and head back to the wormhole. Before I jump back into the wormhole, I check d-scan with my alt and notice that the pilot in system has changed ships to a Loki and there is now a Noctis also in system. 

A quick check with d-scan shows the Noctis at the tower where he is expected. However, the Loki is not at a tower. I click the controls to show anomalies and sure enough, the Loki is running a site. I warp into the site and land about 40km off the Loki. 

There is only 1 other pilot online at the moment. Everyone else seems to have walked away from the computer. The other pilot grabs a Proteus and heads to the static wormhole, I land on the high sec and we prepare to coordinate our jumps. I maneuver my alt into position and we jump the wormholes and warp to the site.

Due to the differentials in warp distance, the Proteus lands before the Sabre and the Loki warps off a fraction of a second before I manage to deploy the bubble from the Sabre. Drat! We were close but there are no awards for being close.

Another corp mate has logged in by now and he warps to the tower in time to the Loki pilot log off. We offer the other pilot who is actually from a different corp a 2v2 at the sun but he claims to have insufficient assets for such an endeavor. Unacceptable!

Right about now is when the boredom factor kicks in. You know what, the Loki pilot's tower is completely undefended. Why don't we seige it? Ok! What type of tower is it? Large Minmatar. Sounds good, lets get some Gila's and have a POS bash. Maybe that will encourage them to locate some assets for a fight.

We start bashing the tower with all 4 of us who are online. This could take ALL night! Unfortunately, we have nothing better to do at the moment. It doesn't take long and our numbers have grown to 8 and then on up to 12. A couple of the additional people have brought battleships and the tower shields are starting to melt away. Although at a fairly slow rate. 

The shields are at about 60% when the Loki pilot logs back in and starts taking ships out of this tower and moving them over to his friends tower. We offered a reward to the pilot in the other tower if he will offline the tower, but he declines to backstab his friend in such an underhanded manner. Of course, he doesn't appear to care that we are taking the tower down either.

We start putting drag bubbles up to catch the guy moving ships but it is pretty obvious that he has cloaky eyes on the tower as he keeps coming in from directions which aren't bubbled. He eventually takes a couple of ships to high sec and we park a Devoter on the high sec connection to prevent him from coming back.

Meanwhile, he keeps moving ships to the other tower and floating them in space. We finally get to the magical 25% shield point and the tower enters reinforced mode. Not sure why he moved all those ships, but it gave us something to watch while our drones were shooting the tower. 

Not enough assets to engage! He must have moved over 20 ships to the other tower including battleships, battlecruisers, recons,  a Loki and a command ship. Since the other pilot decided to give him a safe haven, we investigate his tower and discover that it is also a large tower with light defenses consisting of 8 Medium lasers and 2 Large lasers defending it. 

The evening is still young. We grab a Scimitar and I fleet warp the group on top of the first group of guns with instructions for people to warp when they get low shield. I am targeted first and the reps start coming in. However, the guns are hitting me pretty hard and I end up warping off with 23% armor remaining. I let me shields regen about 1/2 way and then rejoin the fight. A couple of more people end up warping off before our second Scimitar gets on field and things stabilize. 

In the meantime, I hear a warning buzzer. Then another and then yet another. About that time, it occurs to me that I have completely forgotten my hauling alt sitting in a badger. I ended up warping it in with the fleet when I did the fleet warp. Oops! So long Badger! LOL!

While we are taking out the guns, the local pilot decides to reload the ammo in one of the guns we are orbiting. He grabs an interceptor and burns straight into our group to place more ammo in one of the guns. He dies in the attempt but I think he manages to get crystals in the gun. It didn't accomplish a whole lot but I admire anyone who will fly a ship straight into a hostile group of 20 ships. 

We finished incapacitating the guns and start burning the tower. Since we know it is stronted, we are not really in the mood to finish reinforcing it. The local pilot has been pretty cool throughout the afternoon so we offer him a deal. If he will get in one of the floating ships and pilot it into our group and eject, we will leave. One of my pilots insists that we ask for the Sarum Magnate which is floating. Never mind the Loki or the command ship, he wants the Sarum Magnate. Never one to pass up a good laugh, I offer the deal to the pilot in local. He increduously asks if we are serious, thinks about it for about .002 seconds and accepts the offer.

We stop shooting and the local pilot jumps in the Sarum Magnate and flies it straight into the middle of our group. He ejects and warps off. We recall our drones while Mindful Visteen, who wanted the ship, returns and picks up the abandoned trophy. He takes it to our corporate tower where it is floating on tower of the tower. 

We rolled the wormhole away and spent the next half hour laughing about the whole deal. Oh well! The afternoon ended up being entertaining in an unexpected way. As a final gesture of goodwill, I offered some advice to the two guys on how to setup their tower defenses to discourage bored groups such as mine from attacking their towers. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interrupting a tower bash

Hey guys, let's get rid of this dead stick in our new wormhole system! Ok. Should we put some scouts on the wormholes. Nah! We need all the DPS we can get on this tower. No one is awake in wormholes at this time of night. Ok! Heading to the dead stick with my shiny new Stratios! I want to see how it performs. Does this line of logic strike you as dumb? It should!

One of our scouts is down chain scouting and reports back that he was 2 Talos, 2 Naga, a Myrmidon and an Oracle. He gets little reaction since we often find ships floating. However, his next comment makes me sit up. These ships are a a planet with a tower but there is no force field. Scout, please confirm ship list and no force field. Confirmed, no force field. I have 2 Talos, 2 Naga, a Myrmidon and an Oracle plus a new Helios who is in a different location.

The rest of the group reships while he locates the tower and reports back that several of the ships are sitting in a group shooting a dead stick. I instruct him to move within 5 km of the group and we head down chain with a Devoter, 2 Proteus and an Oneiros. We move quickly to the entrance of the target system and figure out how to spread points as we are in route.

We land on the wormhole and since the ships were warped independently we wait the few seconds for everyone to arrive. As soon as we are all on grid, we jump the wormhole and initiate warp to our scout. The warp is 39.6 AU so they are not going to have much notice if they didn't have eyes on this incoming wormhole.

We land on grid with them and it is readily apparent that they did not have eyes on the incoming wormhole. They have not moved and as we land, a new pilot arrives in a Stratios. I quickly change my point from one of the Talos to the new Stratios. The first Talos and a Naga are dead before they even react to our presence. The Stratios is trying to burn away but I am faster and he cannot escape my 36 km point. I chase him down while the other Proteus is taking care of the pilots caught by the bubble.

The scout who found the tower bash in progress decloaks and tags the Stratios in his Buzzard before I kill it and then manages to catch the pod before it can warp off. Great job!

In total, we destroy 5 ships and 4 pods shown in the battle report. I thank the remaining members for contributing to my corpse collection since good fight does not make any sense. Poor security, poor reactions, poor target calling and poor DPS leads to a 1.1B loss. Of the seven ships on field, only 2 escaped. One was the Oracle who was sitting 40km from the rest of the group and the other was the Talos that I dropped point from in order to get the Stratios.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

End of Line

We have just opened a new chain and are spreading out looking for activity. It is approaching the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and the activity levels are low due to people traveling. I am scanning with my alt and find the static high sec and the static c4 for the new wormhole. A teammate jumps the C4 and reports back that an Iteron V lands and jumps going the other direction. He links the pilot name and doesn't think he was spotted as he held cloak while the other pilot landed and jumped.

So we have an Iteron V moving stuff from a C4 into a C2. I move over to the high sec and confirm that he exits to k-space at that location. On the theory that what goes out will usually return, we set a trap with a cloaked Flycatcher on the C4 and prepare to wait. Less than 30 seconds go by when the Flycatcher pilot reports back that he has an activation. I am sitting in a Sabre and a corp mate is sitting in an interceptor in our home system.

The Flycatcher pilot reports a Bustard has appeared and immediately decides to engage. We jump and warp to the C4 and land just as the Bustard jumps back and a Proteus decloaks. I jump on contact but there is no sight of the Bustard. He either cloaked or warped off. A Falcon has decloaked and is sitting about 30 km off the wormhole yellow boxing me. I fly around assuming the Bustard has probably cloaked since that ship is not the most agile ship in Eve. However, I am unable to decloak him and the Falcon has be permajammed at any rate so it wouldn't really matter.

The Falcon of Rall Mekin does not miss a single cycle so I finally decide to burn out and put a bubble on him. The Flycatcher pilot has headed home to reship while I decide to test the tanked Sabre and see how long I can survive. Surprisingly I manage to avoid making any mistakes that get me tackled by the Proteus for several minutes but my luck finally runs out and they shut down my MWD. Once they shut down my MWD, it is all over and since I had bubbled up the Falcon, I not only pay for the mistake with my ship, but was given the pod express to high sec as well. Oh well! That pod was getting a bit ripe anyway.

The Flycatcher pilot returns to the fight with an Absolution and an Oneiros, but the Falcon and Proteus are joined by another Proteus, Hurricane, Loki, Wolf, and Rupture. With more pilots appearing on the high sec wormhole, I call it off and tell everyone to get out. The Absolution is going down but while it burns, the other pilots manage to escape back home.

I tell everyone to return to our home system and prepare for an invasion force. Against this group, I expect for them to come looking for our home system. We flew with a couple of them in the past and have encountered them more than once. My alt is sitting on our home connection watching activity as we prepare for home defense. There are only 4 of us online at the moment so our options are somewhat limited. We know we will be fighting outnumbered but I am going to field a fight if they come looking for us. We put a couple of pilots in battleships on the wormhole to encourage the opposing force to engage when they find us and cloak a Falcon nearby.

It takes several minutes but finally probes appear in the C2S. A few passes with the probes and they are all within 1 AU of the wormhole. Now we wait for their scout. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes, Hapachu decloaks in a Proteus and jumps the wormhole. He immediately jumps back out and nothing else is seen for several minutes. In the meantime, we are joined by another corpmate bringing our total number of pilots to 5. We are beginning to think they left when I see a fleet coming on d-scan. Holy Crap! We may be getting more than we can handle.

I have logged in another character who is sitting out of d-scan range of the wormhole in a Bhaalghorn. One of our pilots has a Navy Armageddon at the wormhole and an Archon off d-scan. We have a pilot single boxing a Navy Megathron and another in a Tempest Fleet and the last pilot is triple boxing a sensor boosting Blackbird, a Scorpion and a Falcon.

The hostile fleet lands with a Navy Brutix, 2 Proteus, 2 Legions, 2 or 3 Lokis, a Hurricane, and a Vigilant. At this point, I stop watching and get the impressed Bhaalghorn pilot headed for the wormhole. They begin jumping and before everyone gets in, the wormhole crits. We engage and they immediately pop the Blackbird and the Falcon. I think the Falcon got too close to the wormhole while trying to manage multiple accounts at once.

The Archon and Bhaalghorn are in route, but their firepower overwhelms the Navy Armageddon before the Archon can land. While they are killing our Navy Geddon, we kill their Navy Brutix and once the Archon lands they start jumping out. I have locked 5 strategic cruisers and start applying neuts across the board as they begin jumping ships back out of the wormhole.

The wormhole collapes leaving six or seven of them in the wormhole. We spread our points and lock the Proteus of Hapachu, the Legion of Rall Mekin and the Legion of Clickless. The Bhaalghorn has all of them nueted out and while they have massive buffer tanks, they have no ability to do any meaningful damage. At this point, anyone who isn't pointed abandons the field. Hapachu initiates self destruct so we focus our limited firepower on him. Mindful who lost the Navy Mega is now back with a Devoter and puts the bubble up a few seconds before Hapachu's Proteus explodes. We return the favor he gave me and send him on the pod express to high sec.

Next up is Clickless in a brick Legion. When Rall sees the Devoter, he abandons ship and escapes in his pod while we are killing Clickless. We clean up the field and bring a pilot in to fly his legion back to our corp tower.

Part 1 shows the fight in our wormhole and the Legion abandoned by Mr. Mekin was fit identically to the one of Clickless. Part 2 shows the Absolution we lost in the C4. Part 3 shows the Sabre and pod that I lost in the C4.

In total, just over 2.5B ISK was destroyed in what I believe amounts to a draw. Regardless, the encounter was fun! We managed to leverage the mechanics of our static connection and field a fight while vastly outnumbered. Since they brought a good fight and were pretty good natured about the whole encounter, we scouted a route and helped the stranded pilots who escaped the field back to k-space.

Thanks for the fun guys! In the chatter after the fight, they revealed that the Bustard had cargo worth many billions of ISK. Therefore, the escort and the quick response once we engaged it. Their pilot told me that I came very close to decloaking him in the C4. Engaging them on that wormhole started a chain of events which made the evening interesting for both groups. Fly Dangerous!