Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Live from Thera

Jack Dancer had heard about a special wormhole named Thera that has recently appeared.  It was time to see what all the excitement was about.

I looked at Eve-Scout  and found an entrance relatively close to Auner.  So I headed there in a bare bones Stiletto and an empty clone.  I figured that I would probably die jumping into a gate camp in Thera - so no need to carry any extra valuables.  But I also was embolden by the new "free clone" rules - so even if this empty clone gets podded, it wouldn't cost me millions to replace it.

On the way there was one scary part - I had to pass through one high sec system.  My security rating is -8.9 the last time I looked and that's not what high sec citizens consider acceptable.  When I jumped in there was a warning from the police to leave.  I did - via the gate at the far end of the system.

My Stiletto was equipped for fast alignment (under 2 seconds) - so theoretically I was pretty safe.  It takes a second for someone to lock me and another for them to shoot and with under 2 seconds of align time I should be in warp by the end of that second second.

The trip was uneventful until I got to the system with the wormhole to Thera.  It's low sec and had 11 other pilots.  Plus about a dozen signatures to sort through.  I tossed out probes and around the ninth signature (the fourth wormhole) I found the link to Thera.  I bookmarked it and headed there.  I landed and passed through the wormhole into the new space.

I expected to find ships on the other side.  But fortunately, there were none.  I bookmarked the entrance (never forget to do this!) and picked a station at random  (of the 4 in system) to warp to at 100km.  I had no bookmarks in the system (of course) so I dropped a couple enroute.

It was a long "enroute".  Thera is a big place.  A very big place.  Setting up a deep safe more than 15k from anything will not be hard at all...

Very big.

Eventually I got halfway to the target station.  In an interceptor that travels at 8AU/s...  Halfway...

Then, a while later, I arrived 100k away from the station.  It was a madhouse.  There were bright flashy ships everywhere!  YOW!  I saw enough in an instant to decide to look elsewhere.  I headed back to one of my recently set up safe spots.

Then I chose another station and it turned out to be much quieter.  Just one Algos floating a hundred km above it.  I set up a perch and then landed at the station.  First thing I did was change my medical clone home to this new quieter station.  Looking at the map, the busy station is one of a pair that are close to each other - it wouldn't surprise me if one of them becomes the "Jita" of Theta.

So, now I have a clone in Theta.  I'll need to get some ships, but with the various options for exits (there must have been 20+ signatures available and lots of them were probably wormholes) I should be able to get to a market sometime soon.

Postscript:  When I discovered there was a route via Amo (one jump from Auner!) I headed back to Thera with a covert ops frigate loaded with boosters (thinking there might be a good market for illegal drugs there -the market didn't look that good though, so we'll see).

Then I went back to Auner in my pod and grabbed a firetail to have something with guns for personal protection in Thera.  I jumped through the wormhole in Amo and landed in a warp bubble!  YOW!  With the stiletto I was flying earlier it would have been no problem (interceptors aren't affected by warp bubbles) - but the firetail had no such luxury.  Fortunately, it wasn't a serious gatecamp - just a couple guys in small ships.  So I burned back to the wormhole and headed back to Amo with just a few of crusty edges on my shields.  I called it a night - happy to have two ships in Thera (one covert ops and one interceptor).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Three fights - one win, one draw, and one loss...

I flew over to a nearby system to get some illegal boosters and on the way noticed a couple incursuses (incursi) in a faction warfare plex.  I considered it.  My rifter wouldn't survive, but it might be fun.  But then I remembered that I was on a mission to pick up some cargo and decided to let the incursi live.

I stopped in the station, made the deal for the drugs, and headed back.  On the way back I noticed that Amand Caldurik (a fellow Black Rebel Rifter Club member) mentioned in the corp chat that he had lost his firetail to two incursi.  The same two that I had noticed.  They are a tough pair (one of them has 116 wins and 4 losses in November.  Personally, I'm much more impressed with Amand's record of 67 wins and 61 losses in November.  It shows a willingness to have fun.

But that's another topic.

So, as I was saying, I headed back to Auner with my illegal boosters.  When I got back there was activity in the system, so I dropped off the stash and headed out to see what I could find.

In one of the FW plexes was a kestrel.  Not my favorite target, but worth a fight.  I jumped through the gate on the plex with everything turned up to 11.  The kestrel was waiting and we started tearing each other apart.  My guns were doing good damage, but his missiles were too.  Soon we were both through our shields.  And shortly after we were through our armor.  My overheated armor repairer was struggling to keep up.

Then it was a race through the last of our defenses.  Smoke was everywhere!  And just as I was getting ready to finish off the kestrel - a firetail landed!  YOW!  I hoped that I would have enough to finish the kestrel before the firetail finished me.  And luckily, I did.  The kestrel exploded and I was left with 40% of my hull intact.  A very close fight!

GFs were exchanged in local and the firetail pilot noted that he should have overheated his prop mod to get in on the excitement (and sneak in on a kill or two...).

I immediately repaired my damaged rifter and headed out for round two.  A firetail is a tough frigate and I didn't have much hope of survival - but it would be fun trying.  I landed at the plex, turned up everything to 11 and headed through the gate.  The firetail was waiting for me.  The fight was on!

This one didn't go nearly as good as the fight with the kestrel.  I did some damage - but the firetail was doing more and able to keep up the repairs on his ship better than I was doing.  Eventually I lost my shields and armor and was going through my rifter's final defense - my hull.  And about that same time I noticed that my guns had burned up from overheating.  YOW!

Fortunately, I had somehow slipped far enough away from the firetail that I was no longer held by his warp scrambler - so I hit warp and heard the reassuring voice telling me I was in warp and safe.  This time I had 70% of my hull left - I was again smoking and on fire.  My armor repper also burned up due to overheating as I was flying away.

A very close call.  GFs were exchanged in local.

I again headed back to the station and I noticed that my opponent, Khallii, was also in the station repairing.  I again headed out with the rifter - this time changing my ammunition to barrage and moving my orbit distance to 4km.  I wanted to try staying away from those firetail guns...

I managed to stay away from the firetail's guns.  Because Khallii re-shipped to a breacher.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay away from the breacher's rockets and the rifter finally died a glorious death!

GFs were again exchanged in local and we chatted about the sad state of the rifter today compared to its past glory...

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I was heading back to my home in Auner and looking for trouble along the way.

In on FW plex I landed near an executioner - but he smartly decided to scamper off.  So I didn't manage to catch him.

Then a couple systems later I spotted a tristan in a plex.  Tristans are tough.  Real tough.  I don't remember winning against them, but I do remember lots of losses to them.  But the rifter I was flying was built for exploding - so I headed in with everything turned up to 11.

Things went reasonably well for a few seconds.  Then turned bad.  Very bad.  I quickly exploded.

The other pilot turned out to be former Black Rebel Rifter Club corpmate Thestarling.  A much more lethal pilot than I am.  We exchanged GFs in local and caught up on old times for a few minutes before I headed two jumps back to Auner to equip another frigate.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pesky Kestrel

Having about 20 minutes of free time last evening, and not being tied to the market and my planetary interaction systems, I headed out in a rifter to purchase some modules for a different rifter build that I was considering.  The closest available low sec option for the modules was about 7 jumps from Auner so I headed that way looking for trouble enroute.

In this case trouble was looking for me too.

I found a kestrel in a system.  Kestrels aren’t a favorite prey of mine.  I have a bad feeling from when I was flying a slasher with a range reduction script (which has zero effect on missiles of any sort).  So I usually pass on the opportunity of fighting rocket equipped ships like the Kestrel.  It’s probably not a correct decision when I’m not flying a range-reduction slasher – but old habits are hard to break.

I jumped to a couple more systems and noticed that the kestrel was following me. 

In the market system I spotted a purifier in a Faction Warfare complex.  I remember Miura Bull saying one time that he never passes on the opportunity to fight a stealth bomber when in a frigate. So I don’t either.

But when I arrived in the FW plex the bomber was a safe 75km away.  I headed towards him at maximum speed in hopes of getting close enough to catch him.  I didn’t.  He prudently cloaked up and was gone.

In the meantime the kestrel had arrived – so I turned in his direction.  The usual scram, web, guns, and rocket routine.  Plus the afterburner to keep my speed as high as possible to cut down on the rocket damage I was receiving.  We circled each other and did serious damage both ways.  My armor repairer was keeping me alive and my weapons were putting some serious dents into his ship.  Eventually my ship prevailed and the kestrel blew up!

I picked up the undestroyed modules from his ship – took additional damage from the rats that were infesting the FW plex (even to the point of taking some hull damage) – and headed to the station to pick up the modules I came for and to repair the smoking damage to my ship.

GFs were exchanged in local.  The purifier pilot asked if we could maybe kill some of the rats in the FW plex for him.  Both the kestrel pilot and I declined…

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another New Plan

I was contemplating changing my capsuleer life style the other day. 

Maybe I would cut back from two accounts (currently one account consists of Jack Dancer-Hauler-Trader and the other is WH dweller-Red Frog contractor-RvB member) – maybe go with just one account (Jack Dancer-Hauler-RvB member I was thinking) and sell the trader and WH dweller after clone costs go away in the next update (then the wasted XPs on these accounts will no longer be considered wasted XPs by potential purchasers…).  With just one account I would splurge for a year’s subscription in cash so that my only need for ISK would be to replace combat losses.  No more worries about the rising ISK price of PLEX.  No more daily worries about updating my Jita market offers and my two characters’ PI (which on an average day is my entire Eve involvement).  That would save about 20 minutes before work and another 20 minutes after work every day that I could use for more interesting endeavors. 

Like piracy.

But I do enjoy Dabbling in All Things Eve™ – so losing my Red Frog hauling option and cutting back on market trading might not be the best plan.  I enjoy both of those.

I came up with another plan. 

Market trading and PI will now be once-a-day morning “before work” activities.  It means less attention to them and probably less profits, but I have a pretty comfortable bankroll to fall back on.  The plan will free up the “after work” time for solo piracy, exploration, and RvB fleets.  Stuff that I'd like to do more of.  We’ll see how this plan works out.  

And to kick it off, I was flying around Metropolis last night in a rifter looking for trouble.  It was a busy evening – lots of pilots in systems.  My standard hunting plan is to find systems with a few pilots – maybe 6 or 7 max – so that there’s less chance of help arriving for whatever enemy I manage to catch up to.  There were several systems with more than a dozen very mean people in them.  So I passed through those relatively quickly.

Eventually, I found a target.  An incursus was in one of the small FW sites (the system only had 4 other pilots – so it looked relatively safe).  I headed there with my guns and rockets turned up to 11. 

I landed close (he was waiting for a fight) and immediately turned on the scrambler, web, autocannons and rocket launcher.  I was using barrage ammo (which has a range advantage) so on my way to the fight I set my “orbit at” range to a comfortable 6,000 meters.  Close enough that I’ll be inside my web and scram range, but far enough to stay away from his nasty blasters.

The plan worked to perfection (or at least as close to “perfection” as any of my ill-thought-out and even worsely executed plans can…).  The incursus was taking lots of damage – I was taking none.  I soon had him in low armor and his armor repairer was doing yeoman duty trying to keep him alive.  I turned off the heat on the guns and rockets (they were starting to glow a bright red) and closed the orbit to 2.5k to increase my damage to get through to his structure.  It worked.  He soon blew up! 


We exchanged GFs in local and he noted that he just couldn’t get close enough to me.  My combination of a web and barrage was a winner.  During the fight I noticed that he had me only scrammed – not webbed – so I had total range control with my speed advantage when compared to his.

A nice start to my new plan of evenings with guns blazing…

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rifter Madness!

I was roaming around my base in Auner looking for trouble.  The other 6 pilots in Auner were sitting in the station, so I started jumping through the systems leading away from high sec.  In one I came across a merlin on scan.  A perfect target for my rifter.  Or, more likely, vice versa…

I narrowed him down to a Faction Warfare plex and headed there with everything overheated and all knobs turned up to 11!  But, when I arrived, he was gone.  A runner.  Or a cloaker.  Many of the FW guys are reticent to do battle with anyone.  And, it’s probably a good idea for many of them seeing as they are often either new players or new alts of players and don’t have many skills.

So I continued on.

The next couple systems were filled with FW pilots – 25 in each.  That’s a big number for our neighborhood and I moved through them as quickly as I could. 

Then I found a quiet system.  And I found that same merlin.

I narrowed his location down to a plex and again headed there with guns overheated.  This time he was there and waiting for me.

I set the orbit to a tight 500 meters and started peppering him with my blazing autocannons.  In return he was taking big chunks out of my shields with his neutron blasters (those things are vicious!).  I turned on my armor repper when he reached my armor and continued to take his shields down step by step.

It wasn’t looking good.

But then I finally made it through his shields and things changed.  His armor and hull quickly disappeared and then there was the big explosion!  I won!  \o/

We chatted in local and he asked about my fit – whether it had a plate.  I shared it with him (it did – just the standard 200mm).  He said, “that explains it”.  I didn’t mention that I was also wearing the slave implants (Thanks The CEO!) that no doubt boosted the armor by large amount…  J

I scooped the loot and headed to a station to repair.  Then I headed to a nearby system where I had some exile boosters from a previous purchase.  I grabbed one of those and headed back to Auner – it was getting late.

I managed to slip through the busy FW systems and when I arrived in Auner there was a Procurer mining ship on scan.  Hmmm…

I found him in an asteroid belt and turned up everything to 11 on my way there.  I had no real hope that my rifter could kill him (especially since I was low on ammo after the previous fight) – but I was game for trying.

I arrived to find 5 hobgoblin II drones flying around the procurer and a bunch of wrecks from the belt rats.  I tackled him, targeted the hobgoblins and started killing them.  Well, killing one of them.  Then I targeted a second and started in on it.  My shields were rapidly being destroyed by the drones so I gobbled down the exile booster pill and turned on the armor repairer.  I also noticed that I was not tackled – the procurer didn’t have a scrambler so I was free to leave if necessary.

I was having trouble hitting this second hobgoblin but doggedly continued.  My armor was losing to the combined efforts of the 5 drones and soon it was almost gone.  It was time to leave!  I picked a planet and hit the warp-to button – at about the same time that I heard those scary words in a very comforting voice, “The capacitor is empty”. 

Oh oh.

I kept jabbing the warp button and a couple seconds later I was flying through space.  I had escaped the procurer with my rifter burning and smoking – but intact generally!

I said “gf” in local and got ignored.  I then looked at the effects of the exile booster and noticed that I was suffering from a side effect – “reduced tracking”.  That explained why I was having trouble hitting the drones even with them webbed.

A fun evening.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


First off, my thanks to The CEO who offered me a new set of pirate implants in the comments to my previous post (to replace the set I so foolishly lost being afk and writing a blog post) at a very reasonable price.  Very reasonable.  My sincere thanks.

Secondly, on the topic of implants, my usual go-to set has not much changed since a couple years ago (though I now use a Zor's Custom Hyper-Link in slot 8).  99% of the time I'm flying with these (plus the new CA-1 and CA-2 in slots 1 and 2 that help tremendously with fitting).  This set is reasonably priced and gives worthwhile advantages both offensively and defensively.

I don't generally fly with fancy Slaves or Snake implants.  When I'm looking for a bit more adrenalin I'll stick them in and then start to panic when my ship comes close to structure.  The added thrill is fun.  And my record at escaping with my pod in low sec is pretty good.  I get a lot of practice.  A lot.

As to the CA-1 and CA-2 implants that are currently selling for upwards of 40 million each - I managed to purchase a bunch of them by putting up buy orders in out of the way backwater regions for 3-6 million.  People that received them as a CCP gift and had no use for them would sometimes just sell them rather than sort out a more profitable option (try figuring out out to get to market from the Solitude region for instance...).  Since there were no other buy orders in these out of the way regions, my offer was the best they could get.

Thanks again to The CEO.  Much appreciated.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Victory! And Defeat...

I find that I tend to neglect Jack Dancer and instead use my limited Eve time to update PI, update station trader orders, and on weekends fly cargo afk around space while I’m puttering around the house or driving around town.  Plus sometimes I wander around null sec with my explorer looking for relic sites and trying to escape bubbles on gates.

But I have been getting some thrills with Jack Dancer recently.  Mostly fiery deaths – but thrills nonetheless (you can check my killboard for proof!).

Today I updated Jack Dancer's skill queue and noticed that there were a dozen other pilots in Auner.  That's a large number and I popped out of the station to see what was happening.  There were a couple ships on grid and I zipped out to my automatic undock spot and then came back to a perch near the station to see what was what.

One of the ships on the station (at a station perch of his own) was a rifter.  OK, that would work.  I was flying a 400mm armor rifter.  I checked the local FW complexes and there was a couple on dscan - one medium and one large.  I was looking for a small one just to limit the size of ships that could come through.  I checked the "probe scanner" tab and there were several novice and small FW complexes that hadn't been activated yet - so I immediately warped to a novice complex to activate it and hoped that the other rifter would see me heading there.

He did and arrived shortly after.

I was loaded with barrage and set up a 6km orbit to take advantage of my ammo.  In retrospect, this was probably of little value - with a 400mm plate weighing my rifter down, I didn't have especially good speed and the other rifter would be able to dictate our range.

The battle went reasonably well.  Both ships went though the other's shields relatively quickly, but then my large shield started to slow down the other rifter's damage.  He was repairing the damage to his armor, but I was marching slowing through it (barrage doesn't do the greatest damage).

Eventually the other rifter exploded while I was about 1/2 way thorough my armor.  GFs were exchanged in local and my opponent, Qintes of the Meatshield Bastards (a fun bunch), asked politely if I'd share my build.  I opened a conversation with him and passed it along.  We chatted a bit and will probably meet again.

In retrospect it was good that I didn't have an armor repairer since Qintes' rifter included an energy sapper and in the future I'll need to remember that a 400mm plate definitely lets the other ship dictate range.

And as a final postscript, I just popped back to the game to get information on Qintes' "5W Infectious Power System Malfunction".  After the fight and repairing in station I had left Jack Dancer afk in a deep safe 14.6au from any celestial while I wrote this report.  Totally safe since it's not on dscan from anywhere.

Totally safe.

Unfortunately, when I returned to the Eve screen, I was no longer at the safe spot.  I was in station.  In my pod.  Oh oh.

(Editor's Note:  This is just a lesson to potential bloggers that blogging can be a very dangerous enterprise...)

I checked the kill report and BraceKirk of the Bastards had destroyed my rifter and podded me (along with my low grade slave set that had done yeoman duty in the fight with Qintes...).  It turned out (I chatted with BraceKirk to see how he had managed it) that he also had a deep safe out there and I was the only ship on dscan (of course).  He probed me down and then sent in his condor to finish me off.  Nice job BraceKirk!

Time to go back to my trader alt to have him put in orders for a new slave set...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Man in the Arena

From Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech - Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910:  

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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...