Thursday, March 20, 2014

That Was a Surprise...

I thought I'd maybe check on some wormholes in Auner and headed to the hangar to grab a cheetah scanning ship.  Hmmm...  Where is that thing?  Lots of rifters and slashers.  But no cheetah.

I checked my assets screen and noticed that it was still in Lantorn.  That's right!  I had been heading over there a few days ago when I was ambushed by 9 (or was it 13?) enemies who destroyed my firetail.  Checking the link, it turns out it was only 4 of them.  It seemed like more at the time...


I decided to head over to Lantorn to pick up the cheetah. I found a merlin that seemed like a good ship to take me the 7 jumps - and if I could find a fight or two along the way and lose the merlin that would be fine too.

It didn't take long to find a fight.

In the next system over, Resbroko, I saw a Republic Fleet Firetail on scan.  I quickly narrowed it down to a faction warfare plex and turned all the knobs up to 11.  I didn't have much hope of surviving against the firetail in my modestly equipped merlin and I wasn't high on any performance enhancing drugs.  But it was worth a try and the worst that could happen would be I'd head back one jump for a new ship.

I landed on the gate and jumped through.  The firetail as close and I chose a close orbit, scrambled his warp engines, webbed him, and started tearing into him with my overheated blasters.  Things went very well.  I was doing plenty of damage and he was hitting me lightly - my speed might have been too much for his 200mm autocannons.

Whatever the reason, in a relatively short time the firetail exploded!

That was a real surprise.  But a nice one for a change.

I continued on - through masses of FW gangs that I avoided.  Waved hello to former Black Rebel Tomba when we were in the same system, and eventually made it to Lantorn without incident.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I've been on a one-a-day schedule here for the past three days.  Losing one ship a day.  First a rifter, then a slasher, and tonight a firetail.

The rifter I've mentioned.

I was out in the slasher last night and came across a merlin at a gate in Orfrold (that name dances off the tongue, doesn't it?  Orfrold).  I sat there for a few seconds and he sat there for a few seconds.  No sense fighting at the gate since the gate guns would tear through my slasher in a volley or two - so I headed to the sun hoping that he would follow.  Nielendorane Galtran followed me a few seconds later in his merlin.

We jumped on each other and started blasting away.  I was taking some damage, but when I turned on the afterburner to get some additional speed (and with it distance from my foe) things got much more comfortable.  With barrage ammo and the range script in the tracking disruptor I was able to destroy the merlin relatively easily.  GFs were exchanged in local.

I moved on and came across an imperial navy slicer at a plex.  That should be fun.  I turned everything up to 11 headed to the fight.  We started battling and things weren't especially going well - slicers can be tough.  And then the slicer's friend arrived in a harpy and things definitely went down hill fast.  I blew up quickly.  GFs were again exchanged in local.

Then tonight I noticed that there were a lot of abandoned drones in Auner - the FW guys seems to abandon drones with every fight.  I like to clean the system up now and then, so I headed to the hangar to get in my Cheetah to scan them down.  No Cheetah.  I looked around and I had apparently left it in Lantorn for some reason.  I hopped into a Republic Fleet Firetail that was handy and headed to Lantorn.

Along the way I scared a FW plexer in a plex to the point that he fled from me in his warp stabbed merlin after I started to pummel him.

Further along I came to the Hadozeko/Ardor gate and prudently landed at a perch a couple hundred km from the gate.  There were 3 thrashers and a catalyst at the gate.  Hmmm...  We looked at each other for a few seconds and they jumped through.

I waited for about 30 seconds so that they could move along to their next stop, and then jumped through.

That was a mistake.  On the other side were the 4 destroyers.  oh oh.

I have been in this spot before and usually the frigate that I'm flying can just fly away from gate camps.  Occasionally I get caught, but usually not - so I wasn't too worried.  "We'll see how this goes," I thought.

I picked my next destination, hit the warp button, hit the damage control button, and suddenly everything was turning red.  I was caught and taking massive damage.  This is bad.  I slammed the warp button repeatedly and just a couple seconds later, after my firetail blew up, I managed to get my pod away safely.

GFs were exchanged in local and a brief chat:

Caldari Joans > gf
Caldari Joans > figured you wouldn't jump through
Jack Dancer > gf
Lelden Praxis > gf
Jack Dancer > I'm not that clever...  :-)
Caldari Joans > ahh lol
Lelden Praxis > lol
Caldari Joans > live and learn
Caldari Joans > got the pod out!

I made the next jump into Lantorn and decided that those drones could wait for another day to be picked up.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Welcome Back Jack!

For the past couple week's I've been away from Eve - Cold Turkey.  Our daughter got married in Chile (where she lives) and we were down there for the excitement.  She has internet of a sort - but a dial-up connection was just too painful to deal with, so I was glad that I put a couple loooooong training choices on my two accounts.  Jack is finishing Neurotoxin Recovery V.

Speaking of which, today I was wandering around Metropolis looking for trouble and popped a Standard Exile Booster to try out drug enhanced flying.

First off I met a Republic Fleet Firetail that was sitting about 70km away from a novice FW complex.  That seemed like it would be a good test for my rifter so I headed towards him with everything turned up to 11 and my mind buzzing from the exile booster like I was back in college...

The Firetail fled.  Or at least he headed in the opposite direction from me - very possibly waiting for some help.  He was facing a Jack Dancer Rifter...

I left him and ended up in Auner.  Here I found an Atron in a novice FW plex.  Excellent!  I again turned everything up to 11 and headed to the complex.  I jumped through the gate and there he was.  No running this time - Mr. Spaxi was looking for a fight too.  I had a few technical difficulties - it's been a while since I was in a combat situation...  Eventually I sorted things out and the Atron was a flaming ball of rubble.

As I was fighting Mr. Spaxi's Atron, Aeonax Aeternal arrived in a Kestrel.  I turned my attention to him and again fumbled with the controls.  Eventually I again got things straightened out and his ship blew up.

As I was finishing with Aeonax Aeternal's Kestrel five other Bastards ( No, I'm not calling them a derogatory name - their corp is named The Bastards...) arrived in short order and attacked me. I again fumbled around and managed not to destroy any of them before my rifter was a heap of smoldering duct tape.

I was proud to see that they felt it would take 7 of them to destroy it though.  Rifters still get respect...

The first two - Mr. Spaxi and Aeonax Aeternal - were members of Meatshield Bastards which is The Bastards training corp.  I've met some of them before and they're always up for a fight and good sports win or lose.

In the end GFs were exchanged in local, the exile booster seemed to work pretty well, and I went off to find some munchies...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Smallpox Inoculation...

So today I joined the 100th RvB Ganked Roam.  It has been a topic of discussion for weeks with R1FTA and with (of course) RvB (where I also have a character).  I was excited at the prospect of a big fight with capital ships dropping into the system.

I moved some ships to the neighborhood of the secret fight location during the week and set aside some time this morning for the event.  When the call for x's to join the fleet went out Jack Dancer x'd up along with my RvB pilot.  I'd have two in the fight.  I wasn't sure how I would manage it, but I had them both in empty clones and cheap ships - so nothing too bad could happen even if it was a fiasco.

The RvB character got parked near the expected scene of the action and I mostly concentrated in advance on getting Jack Dancer over that way (it was about 15 low sec jumps away).  Patrick Kasper organized things for the Rebels and we all headed off in a relatively coordinated unit (well, as coordinated as our bunch ever is...).  The trip  to the staging area was like passing through a rainbow - flashy red and yellow ships on many of the gates.  Fortunately, they were after bigger (and slower) fish than our frigates.

Finally, after about 2 1/2 hours of sorting the fleets out, we were ready to jump into the system where the fight would happen - Hysera.  Jack Dancer's rifter arrived at about the same time as the Caracal of my RvB character.  The fight was on!

Or was it?  Immediately, confusion reigned.  With two (or was it three?) "friendly" fleets of a couple hundred ships each it was difficult to tell who was friend and who was foe.  And, with the R1FTA contingent mostly being less than upstanding citizens (and having a flashing red stigma related to our security status...) - we apparently got targeted early.  When I heard on comms, "It's ok to shoot the flashies" I had a bad feeling about things...

And with tidi setting in from all the ships arriving, it slowed everything down.  A couple of my R1FTA mates were targeted.  Then it was my turn.  I tried to get out, but no luck.  And my pod had the same fate.  I woke in a neighboring system where I had assigned my clone and reshipped into a rifter that I had there.  I headed back to the fight.

My other character's caracal was mostly sitting around in a confused state and I thought that I might zip out and come back at range to get a better view of things.  I picked a random customs station and warped to 70.

I switched back to Jack Dancer's rifter and navigated the slow jump back into the system and pointed him at a safe spot that we had set up earlier.

Then I switched back to the caracal to find it in the midst of a bunch of bad people in frigates who had, by chance, been sitting at that same customs station!  Webbed and scrambled my caracal was going nowhere.  I did my best to shoot at some of them, but with the tidi and my remarkable (not in a good way) skills, I didn't manage to kill any of them.  My caracal exploded, but I got my pod out safely (with a cruiser there's more time for future planning than in a frigate...).  I headed out of the system to pick up another ship.

I went back to Jack's rifter and tried to make sense of the audio comms and the fleet chat - but that didn't go so well.  I couldn't make heads or tails of it (and I'm thinking I wasn't alone).  Most of the R1FTA guys were talking about a new plan for the roam - leaving the system and flying on their own to see what they could find as a small gang.

Somewhere through here I was moving the rifter back out of the system and the RvB character back into the system.  Confusion not only reigned in Hysera but also in my mind.  I'd go from one character to the other - tidi was making for some slow warps - and back to the first character.  And at one point I found that Jack Dancer's rifter had disappeared and I was back in my pod (even though I had the impression that I was flying the RvB character at that time...).  How did that happen?  I didn't know and checked the killmail.  It was the police!  The station that had my extra rifters is one jump away in high sec and apparently the local constables took offense at my security status.  Fortunately, they don't pod people.

At about this point - 3 1/2 or 4 hours after I had first started the adventure, I gave up.  I got both characters to relative safety - Jack to a low sec station and my RvB character to a high sec station - and logged both of them off.

What did I learn?  Well, like a small pox inoculation, I think I'm safe from future Big Fights.  I'll stick with my solo roaming and small gangs of friendly pilots.

Patrick Kasper did an excellent job of coordinating the R1FTA wing, or squad, or whatever it was.  And Mangala Solaris (along with lots of other folks) put a lot of effort into the event.  And the R1FTA contingent was, as always, fun to be with.  Thanks to all of you.  And to you bad people that shot me - no hard feelings...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tough Tormentor

I strolled out of the station in Auner in my Republic Fleet Firetail with little hope of immediate death and destruction.  The only possible target in the system was in the same station - probably wasting his time playing video games or some such nonsense.  Loser.

A few asteroid belts had nothing of interest and no one showed up in the meantime, so I jumped to the next system to see if there was more activity.

In Resbroko I often find pilots.  It's a popular system for the faction warfare folks and there were a dozen in local.  I headed for a safe spot and checked the dscan.  Yes.  A victim!  There was a Tormentor in one of the faction warfare complexes.  Just what I was looking for.

I headed that way and jumped through the gate, turning all the knobs up to 11.  The Tormentor was just a few km away when I landed so I immediately hit all the big red buttons and set to orbiting the poor soul.  My guns and rockets were quickly taking massive chunks out of his shields.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

Things went very well, I was quickly through his shields and then halfway through his armor.  He tried to repair his armor, but I was sure it would be a losing battle.  I turned off the heat on my guns and rocket launcher so that they wouldn’t burn out.  I wouldn’t need the extra heat damage.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

Then I heard the message that I had run out of rockets.  I forgot to reload them after killing the hound stealth bomber the night before.  No problem.  I’ll just use my autocannons.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

I noticed that he seemed to be keeping up with my damage more than at the start of the fight.  While I was having little problem repairing my armor – he also seemed to be doing OK.  He was having massive swings – I’d have his armor almost down to nothing then he’d pull almost all of it back.  But the trend was clear when he started to dip into his structure.  He was fighting a losing battle.    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

I turned up the heat on my guns to give them the extra oomph to smash through the last of his structure.  He vainly tried to repair the damage to his armor and managed to get half of his armor back.  I, in the meantime, was losing a bit more armor than I was repairing and also seemed to be getting close to my structure.  But I would prevail now that I had overheated guns and he was often in structure.    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

The bashing continued – his ship was dipping seriously into structure and then recovering big chunks of armor.  My armor was being whittled away and I was into structure too.  But it was just a matter of hitting him at the right time when his armor was gone and his structure low.  One good shot and he’d be history!    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

My structure was being depleted – almost half of it was gone.  But he also was having some serious struggles.  His structure stood at just a sliver – maybe 10% left.  But he was pulling back big chunks of armor every few seconds.  Suddenly it didn’t look like as much of a sure thing as I had thought.    “I hope this doesn’t take much longer,” I thought to myself…

I continued to batter at the Tormentor and hoped for the best.  I was clawing back armor whenever I had the chance – but it was starting to look like a toss-up on who would survive.  Then it happened.  BOOM!  The Tormentor blew up!  I survived.

GFs were exchanged in local and I picked up the meager loot thinking to myself, “I’m glad that didn’t take any longer…”  I checked the killmail and discovered that it was a dual rep Tormentor (which even with one armor repairer is a tough nut to crack) -  that explained how he was able to repair so much damage.  Definitely a GF.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bomber on Scan!

I managed to pull myself away from my Wormhole PI alt and my Red Frog freighter alt and my station trader alt long enough to have Jack Dancer fly out of the Auner station to see what was happening.  Lots and lots of drones were the first impression.

Lots and lots of drones.  Like 30 or 40 of them.

I went back to the station and grabbed a covert ops ship and tossed out some combat probes to hunt them down and picked up a dozen hobgoblin IIs.  Just cleaning up the neighborhood.

Then I went back and grabbed a fighting ship.  My newest plan is to not assemble any new ships - but to use up all of the ones I have already assembled in the station.  There's more than 20 of them - all sorts from rifters to battle ventures to wolfs (wolves?) to breachers to jaguars to firetails to ruptures.  Some of them I've never even flown - but they're put together and ready to go.

So, I hopped into one of the half dozen firetails sitting there and left the station looking for trouble.

The firetail is set up basically the same as my usual slasher fit - the extra mid slot has a tracking disrupter with an optimal range disruption script.  The plan is to orbit something at around 5k or 6k and shoot them from outside their range.  It's worked with the slasher and I was hoping that it would work with the firetail.

I did a quick dscan and there was a hound.  That's something I don't often see - a stealth bomber.  I narrowed down the scan and found him at an asteroid belt.  Probably ratting.  I turned everything up to 11 and warped to zero on the belt.  Sure enough he was there - but 30k away from where I warped in.  I've flown stealth bombers and know that they can put out a lot of damage.  My first thought was that I didn't relish the idea of flying 30k while being hit by his missiles - so I turned around and left the vicinity pronto.

At my safe I had some time to think about the situation.  Not so much the dynamics of the firetail vs. hound fight - but more my weltanschauung as an Eve player.  I've gotten a bit too care beary with all of the PI, hauling, and trading.  Time to blow up some of those piles of isk that the other activities have accumulated for me.  So I warped to a planet and again headed to the asteroid belt that held the hound - ready to have a fiery finish to the evening.

I landed about 30k away again, but this time I headed towards him with my afterburner overheating.  25k.  20k and still no explosion so I targeted him.  15k.  10k and I was still alive to tackle him and turn on the web.  Guns and rockets activated, I was doing damage.  Also the target disruptor with the range script (which, as everyone knows, is totally useless against missiles...).

I set my orbit for 5k and continued to rain destruction on the bomber.  He went through shields and then armor (stealth bombers aren't known for their defensive prowess).  Then into structure and BOOM!  He blew up!

To be honest, I'm not sure if he ever shot at me.  It could be that he was afk the whole time.  My situational awareness isn't always the best in these fights as any reader of this blog realizes...  (a post mortem review of the combat logs shows that he didn't shoot in my direction at all).

I tried to grab his pod, but made the noob mistake of not hitting the approach button - so whatever direction I was heading when the hound blew up was the direction I just kept on going - inside and then quickly outside of warp scramble range on the pod.  He apparently woke up then because he flew off to safety.

While not an epic fight - it was nice to get a kill worth about 50 million with 10 million isk worth of loot in the wreck (that took me 4 trips to haul back to the station).

Saturday, December 7, 2013