Monday, December 17, 2007

A Tale of Two F’s

I don’t normally put myself into a position to talk a bunch of shit. I’m not the best rated combat pilot in New Eden. I’m not a dumbass either. The Skulls had the opportunity to hand out two failing grades last night, both to dumbasses.

The first F goes to Tate Lionheart. Tate is a member of Dark Sanctuary’s Assassins. DSA is a member of Blood and Steel. I might have mentioned before that Blood and Steel is an alliance operating near our low sec station in Itrin. Blood and Steel is a mixed group, seems like some veterans and some nubs. I Think Tate must have been one of their nubs.

We were getting ready to form a wolf pack and have some fun in low sec when Melaeric called that he had a drake on the gate. Hoping for an easy kill I quickly engaged by warp drive. I catapulted away from the station just before two or three others. While in warp Mel announced on subspace that the Drake had aggressed him. I warmed up my Warp Disruptor and confirmed that the missile bays were ready to go. My warp bubble collapsed and the battle between Mel and Tate was on. I locked up, got a point and fired a salvo of missiles.

At this point I’d like to say an epic battle was held. That there was some give and take. But this isn’t what happened. But no, Sekundar, Moridin and KingRizen warp in open fire and in less than 10 seconds the drake was popped. He pod popped right after.

Let’s evaluate the situation. Check the fitting on this Drake. Yeah, that’s right this brilliant guy took the best passive tank ship around and worked up an active tank for it. No rigs either. Also, Blood and Steel know us. They know where we live. There were maybe just under 10 of us in local. He aggressed on of our guys in what could possible be the worst Drake setup I’ve seen. The F is well deserved for this guy.

I’d like to say this was the only F I handed out yesterday. Nope, I got an even better one. This guy gets and F-. He is definitely the dumbest guy I’ve ever have the opportunity to pop. I’ll let the Concord report do the initial speaking for me:

That’s right, we destroyed a Caldari Navy Raven. Again I’d like to say that there was a good fight here. But no the story is short and unexciting. We were sitting on a gate waiting for our scouts to report in during a wolf pack operation. We were looking for some Blood and Steel to shoot at. The gate fires, we wait for something to appear. After his gate cloak wore off a shiny Caldari Navy Raven is there for the picking. I had already primed my warp disruptor and missile launchers and adjusted my target over to only display hostile ships. The Raven appeared and I was the first to call point. Ruthlessly a swarm of missiles approached the Raven. Just for good measure I launched my flotilla of ECM drones on him as well.
It didn’t take much to breach his shield. Our scouts were racing back to take part of the kill. This raven just didn’t bring it. It didn’t last long enough for our scouts to get back and get in on the kill. We missed the pod.

Let’s evaluate this fight. First off, this is a pretty weak setup for a faction ship. He only fit faction cruise launchers. Most people when spending close to a billion ISK on a ship will go with premium fittings as well. Not this guy. Secondly, what the fuck was this dumbass doing wandering around in low sec alone in his Navy Raven. No scout, no brains. He deserved this loss. Maybe this will make him a few notches less of a dumbass.

I did a bit of research on this guy. He has been jumping from corporation to corporation his entire career. He seems to drop money around like it’s going out of style. He’s been just about everywhere, seen about everything. You’d expect more from a pod pilot, but I guess it takes all kinds. Hyper Traxx, I give you an F, make that an F-.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bait and Gank

Today’s report details the perfect bait and gank. KingRizen in a Raven, Moridin in a Tempest and myself in my Drake decide to take a trip down to our low sec HQ in Itrin and look for trouble along the way. Our friend Mel was also traveling in the area and was frequently giving us intel reports. There was a good deal of activity in the area and we were thirsty for blood. It was blood we found, Blood and Steel to be more specific.

Blood and Steel is an alliance operating in low sec between our low sec office in Itrin and our null sec office in KFR. In my recent activities in light ships in low sec I have seen small numbers of Blood and Steel operatives wandering around in Bantish and its neighboring systems. The Skull’s have had no formal diplomatic contact with them so they have remained neutral to us. Up to this point I have not had the opportunity to fight any of them, but a few days ago I did have run into them at a planet while scanning around for targets. A mixed group of four. I noted their mix of experience and ship types and their low security status and bounties. These guys aren’t noobs and looked like they’d even show up for a good fight. When I woke up and scanned the reports today I notice that we had set Blood and Steel hostile. I smiled at this good news.

Our way down to the pipe turned up several potential targets. They all panned out to be very small ships, pods or shuttles. We didn’t manage to catch anything until we arrived in Bantish. I, in my Drake with its massive shields, was being used for bait. I role I don’t mind at all. I would jump into systems hoping to attract some attention and then Mori and King would jump in and seal the deal once I had a target locked down. That’s pretty much how this went down.

Arriving in Bantish the computer reports several potential targets. A few Blood and Steel guys and a few no-name neutrals. Nothing is on scan so I proceed to the next gate. Sitting at this gate is a Blood and Steel Raven. I report the good news to my friends and hope the Raven sees me as a juicy target starts a fight. It only took a few seconds for the Raven to decide to engage. The computer indicates he is locking me so I return the favor. I report to the gang he is locking and wait for the first torpedoes to come at me. I was not disappointed. A salvo of torpedoes lands on my shields barely straining them. I report that he’s aggressed. King and Mori quickly report that they are the way. At the same time I am locking him down with my Warp Disruptor II and launching my first salvo of missiles at him. The warp disruptor keeps him from warping away and I head towards him full speed to ram him to keep him from quickly approaching the gate. Lucky for us it looks like he has not intention to run as his torpedoes mercilessly continue to impact my shields. As an added bonus because he aggressed me the sentry guns on the gate are targeting him. A couple of his friends warp in and out in small ships, one even targeted me and took a few pot shots. But they did not have the fortitude to stick out the fight. They cowardly left their friend in the Raven to die.

Mori reports they are in warp, but at battleship speed. King asks if my shields are holding out okay. They are fine, but dropping. I’m not sure yet that I’ll be able to hold out for the entire time it will take King and Mori to make it to me, but I’m not worried. A few seconds later as we exchange missiles it seems my shield is stabilizing at about 25%. It doesn’t look like this Raven will be able to break my shield. I notice that he is NOSing me. It has pulled some juice from my capacitor, but I think I’ll be able to hold out. If he could get my cap down, he might have a chance of breaching my shields. But we won’t let that happen.

I’m doing a significant amount of damage to his shields, but it’s clear I wouldn’t be able to take him down on my own. Mori and King come out of warp. This Raven is going to learn the meaning of hurt. My friends unleash their weapons, King asks again if my shields look good, I report them steady at 25%, the Raven will go down long before I do. The Raven’s shields melt away quickly and his armor and structure doesn’t last long at all. It explodes. I couldn’t catch the pod.

Looking through the wreck we find lots of high end goodies. Mori and King collect them up and we move on to the next system.

We executed a perfect textbook bait and gank. The raven thought he could take me. In fact he couldn’t have, but I wouldn’t have taken him down myself either. The raven also made the mistake of aggressing against me first. This kept the fire of the sentry guns on him rather than me. I understand his decision on this, he though his torpedoes would break me.

Enticing him into battle and locking him down worked perfectly. Thank you for the excitement Blood and Steel, see you next time on the battlefield.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Chaos of Battle

It has been a while since I have reported in. There hasn’t been a ton of action. We’ve had holiday and I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging around the station. A few weeks back I did go out with an alliance gang. Not much of a story to that one. Tonight, we had a nice battle in KFR, our home system.

I’ll start with a brief on the alliance gang. We had a seven man gang. We did some roaming and found a group several jumps from home. Some scanning indicated that they were a bit more than we could handle as they had a few battleships. On the way home we did manage to catch a Crescent and Hammer battlecruiser. It tried to run away, but the attempt was fruitless.

Let’s move on to the more exciting story, what happened earlier tonight. I was lounging around in the bar having a few drinks chatting it up on the subspace with a new Hull Miner. The alliance was watching a group of 5 in Y-W, but had been unable to snag them as of yet.

A couple of targets were reported in D85, no good intel. Then all hell broke loose. Frantic reports were coming over alliance subspace. An engagement had broken out at the D85 gate in KFR and the request for reinforcements had been made. Reports were from two to five attackers, Skulls engaged. It’s Rule of Three. I’ve fought these guys before, and won. Against my better judgment, without decent comms, a plan, or even a fleet commander I undocked my Drake and fired up the warp drives with a target of 50k off the gate. The engines roared and I was flung across the system with the gate rapidly approaching.

My warp tunnel collapsed and I began scanning to see what the tactical situation was. Four or five hostile targets. I started locking up ships, the situation was chaotic. Tactically speaking I was in good shape, no closer than 40k to anyone. Without a fleet commander I assessed damage and fired missiles at the most damaged ship. It was a cruiser and it fell quickly. Looking around I saw 3 or 4 friendly ships with me. More hostiles were warping in, some warping out.

While all this was happening. An enemy Eris kicked in its micro-warpdrive and closed in on me, dropped a bubble. I was just on the edge of it so I aligned my ship at a belt that put me on a course out of the bubble. As the cruiser exploded I scanned my targets. A battlecruiser, Hurricane, was the next most damaged ship. I launched a salvo of missiles at it. The Gurista modified missiles screamed at the enemy battlecruiser menacingly. Checking enemy locations the only think close to me is the harmless Eris. All it can do is try to keep me from warping. Its feeble attack systems have no hope of breaching my shield. I stay focused on the hurricane and launch another salvo of Gurista missiles at it. Its shields are quickly giving up.

I look around again, looking for friendly ships. Do I count two, three. Also, a new enemy contact, a Scorpion. My friends are complaining that he has them jammed. I have no hope of breaking his shield myself, so I stay focused on my target. The heat of the battle has me overloaded with information. A group of drones is on me. I check my shield. I laugh to myself as the drones are unable to present enough danger to even register on the shield levels. A final brutal salvo of missiles lands on the Hurricane and its hull explodes. I think to myself that it’s a shame I’m missing sending these pilots home in their clones, I watch helpessly as their pods warp away. Somewhere in all of this mess it’s reported that the group from Y-W has come into KFR and are joining the fight. Are they friends of these Rule of Three guys, or just looking for some action?

I scan the remaining targets. Scorpion, Huginn, the Eris. There may be something else too. It seems like the Huginn is taking damage, so I unleash some missiles on it. Check the shield, the drones that were on me have now gone idle. They must have belonged to the Hurricane, or another target. The Huginn’s shields are gone, we get into armor it will be down in no time. I’m 50k from it, no way to warp jam it. Then the enemy forces decide to disengage. They warp away one by one. My slow Drake helpless to keep them locked down at this range. Over comms the call to regroup at the station is made. I engage the warp and blast across the system back to the station.

We’ve taken three losses at this point. A Manticore, a Typhoon and a Crow. Moridin is on comms furious that he was captured by a bubble. There is some confusion as to whether it was a friendly bubble or a present left by the fleeing Eris. I wonder if I made the wrong decision, maybe I should have taken out the Eris. Moridin had gotten trapped at the gate in his Typhoon, and while the rest of us were enjoying relatively high shield strengths he was taking one for the team.

At the station we gathered. There were eight or so of us. A manticore from the enemy gang was cockily decloaking and recloaking around the station. Taunting us. Laughter and cheers broke out on comms when one of our dictor pilots was able to microwarp up onto him. The foolish Manticore pilot thought his cruise missiles would drop the speeding Flycatcher. Instead Pavel the Flycatcher pilot crushed the Manticore and podded him just to send the message home: This is our space.

We took a larger loss with the Typhoon down, but we held the field of battle. Moridin may not agree, but I call this battle a win on our part. We defended our space. We drove the enemy off. There were three losses on our side, three on theirs (four if you include the pod). They were formed up in a gang looking for ganks. We were unorganized pirates shooting at anything that moved.

The lesson of this battle is clear. We need to work on our organization. We need to get alliance members in gang. We need them on comms, and we need fleet commanders giving orders. If we had all these, we could have taken out the Scorpion and saved the Typhoon.

On the good side, this is exactly the type of action I have been yearning for. It was a great battle. We held the field, therefore we won.

Here is the battle killboard link:

Let it be known that Icas Otame from An Eye for an Eye, Rule of Three is a coward who pads his killboard stats by not posting his loss mails. Notice that he was able to post his kill on Moridin, but failed to post a loss. EVER.

Apparently the Rule of Three is to lie about your capabilities.

I was unable to find a killboard for the other kill Ann Rand. The Nintendo Generation doesn't appear to have anything online.