Archive for November, 2010

Torpedos Ahoy

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by Baa

It was a bitty evening last night. We went on a roam and, because we had 19 or so in gang, everyone avoided us. Well I say everyone, the 50 man gang in Insmother would have very much liked not to have avoided us but 2:1 wasn’t a ratio we were prepared to test. Then we had a couple of reds in BWF and a few of us spent a bit of time trying to catch them as they jumped out, eventually pulling a logoffski. I managed to lose an Ares in that encounter, because I clicked on the default orbit button having forgotten that I’d changed the distance from 22km to 1km,. That brought me in scram distance of the Sabre and I popped. So I logged for a bit and watched some Thanksgiving Football.

I hopped back on a couple of hours later and assembled a replacement Ares and hopped around our local systems for a little while. There was a report of an unidentified red in one of our ratting systems. I flew over there, seeing the pilot in local but nothing on scan. I checked out the next system in the pipe, it was clear, then jumped back. The ratting system was clear. Back up the pipe to RLSI. There was the red, just me and him in local.

I checked the directional scan. Nothing. Its a large system though, the two gates are right out on the edge. I warped to the centre of the system to see if I could scan him there. Just as I warped off a Hound de-cloaked on the gate. Damn!

I landed in the centre of the system, scanning the whole time. The Hound was off scan, but that didn’t really mean anything as he could warp cloaked. He was still in system though. Perhaps he’d uncloaked to try and bomb me. I decided to warp back to the gate I’d seen him on and wait for a while.

The gate was clear for a while. I got distracted by the TV for a couple of minutes. The sitting still had worked there was the bomber, 16km off, firing torpedos at me. Huh? Torpedos? At an Interceptor?

As I was sitting still my shields took a little damage. I locked and pointed the Hound and urged my Ares into a 22km orbit, wanting to make sure I was out of scram and web range, and started shooting back. It looked as though the Hound was keeping his speed up too as, although I was hitting him at times, the traversal was affecting how much damage I was doing.

I moved to a 15km orbit. If he got a point on me here, he had a disruptor and probably not a scram. The message came up about being so I decided to risk moving into a tight orbit, stopped shooting, and switched to Caldari Navy Antimatter. His torpedos were occasionally damaging me slightly, enough to drop me to 60% shields, but not enough to really threaten me. I guess this must have kept him interested as I’d only got him to a similar position shooting Spike from range.

As I closed the orbit and got into optimal range I overloaded my guns. His shields melted away. Then the antimatter started taking chunks out of his armour. At this point, with his tank gone, I was expecting him to try and get away. He just kept shooting back. His armour disappeared, then hull, and he went bang.

I tried to get a point on his pod, but he must have been spamming warp and got away. He didn’t get far though, an ally caught him in a bubble trying to get out of BWF and he got the pod express home.

We’d exchanged ‘gf’ in local but I still don’t understand why he took me on. Okay maybe he noticed I was semi-afk for a minute or two, but once I’d started shooting back he’d have been much better de-aggressing and jumping through the gate we were on. Torpedos are great against big ships, not too bad against a stationary frigate, but once I started moving he had no chance. Oh well, I hope its a lesson learned.

 

Hurry Up!

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by Baa

“Drake and Rifter on the gate. Proceeding the tackle the Drake.”

The two enemy ships were sitting on the gate, waiting for a chance like this, a lone ship coming through to them.

“Roger. Be aware that we are three jumps away. We may be sometime.”. The response from the fleet commander was expected. I was the advance scout afterall.

Engaging the microwarp drive I settled into a wide orbit around the Drake, outside neutralizer range, and kept an eye on the Rifter. How long before they realised I was going to be on my own for a while.

We’d put together a 20 man shield tanked fleet with a few logistics and some tackle to counter a similar sized red fleet in Atioth/K-I. When we got there, they ran. A bit disappointing but one thing I’ve noticed is that whereas we are prepared to engage with around even numbers, even slightly less if we are in the mood, a lot of our foes aren’t. Its a bit disappointing, but does give us a few easy kills as we snag the one that was slow getting away from the gate.

The gang headed down towards N-RAEL so we followed them. Trying to bait with a single Drake. I know, I know, “a bait Drake is a bait Drake”. Sadly we weren’t successful. We lost a stealth bomber in a bubble in N-RAEL but by the time the rest of the fleet arrived they were already running.

No success so far. Time to head towards Solar Wing carebear space in Insmother. This would take us through I6- which was usually good for a fight.

As I was in the warp boosted Ares I took point and burned towards I6- keeping a couple of systems ahead of the main fleet. The route through to K-I was clear and I jumped into I6-.

Five reds in system. As the grid loaded there was a Drake and a Rifter 20km from me on the gate. I thought for a couple of seconds then decided to try for the Drake. I hit orbit, the MWD, and the warp disruptor. I had the Drake tackled.

“Watch out for the Rifter.”, came from the FC. I was keeping an eye on both ships. I knew that as long as I stayed at my current orbit range (26km) I was probably safe from the Drake, but the Rifter was another prospect. The paper-thin tank on the Ares wouldn’t last too long if he managed to close on me.

No response from either of the reds. Strange. I would have expected something. I kept up the orbit and started hitting it with the 125mm railguns. Hardly worth it at this range, his shields barely noticed the rounds hitting him.

Another Drake warped in. Then almost immediately warped off.

A friendly Scimitar jumped in and locked me up.

“I’ve got you if they engage.”

The fleet was still two systems away but almost at the gate.

The Rifter warped off. I kept the point on the Drake. Two more reds entered local.

“We are jumping into K-I”.

“Keep some tackle in K-I. In case he jumps through.”

“Drake is moving off the gate.”

The fleet was close now and, without being able to jump through, we would get this Drake.

Two reds warped in; the Rifter from earlier and a Falcon. They all locked me up and the Falcon  jammed me. Now the Drake I’d tackled started shooting. No damage, but why wait until now. The reason for the Drake moving was clear he waiting for the other ships to align and all three warped off. Just as our fleet began to jump in.

I’d almost managed to hold tackle for the time it took for the fleet to arrive. What I don’t understand was why the Rifter didn’t engage. If he’d come towards me I’d have had to back off. I couldn’t have let him get in scram range. I guess he was thinking that I’d switch the point to him and have a better chance of killing him than the Drake.

The other thing that puzzled me was that once the Drake knew that the Falcon was on the way and it started to align why it didn’t engage straight away. Why wait for the Falcon to arrive and jam me before doing that? Again, if he’d managed to start hitting me, it might have meant that I’d have to leave.

The rest of the roam was fairly uneventful. The reds seem to have got wise to us and flee to POS as soon as we enter system. Still we did bag a Cheetah on the way back, and I pointed the Pod so it wasn’t a complete loss.

Hanger: EOS

Posted in Character with tags , , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by Baa

Now I’ve got my leadership skills up to pretty much where I want them, I’ve bought myself an EOS to run in our armour HAC gangs. The DPS is of secondary consideration, I just want to be able to contribute to kills. The idea is to boost the overall fleet.

[EOS – Gang Links]
[High]
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Antimatter M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Antimatter M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Antimatter M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Antimatter M
Armored Warfare Link – Passive Defense
Skirmish Warfare Link – Evasive Maneovers
Skirmish Warfare Link – Rapid Deployment

[Mid]
Medium Afterburner II
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II
Sensor Booster II

[Low]
Damage Control II
1600mm Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Energised Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energised Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I

[Rigs]
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

[Drones]
5 x Hammerhead II
5 x Warror II
3 x Garde II
5 x Vespa EC600

By the time I fly it I’ll be able to provide bonuses to a 3 squad wing, so that should cope with our smaller roaming gangs. For larger gangs we’ll probably have to run multiple wings and organise the fleet so as to allow me to boost the ships that will benefit the most.

I’ve gone for skirmish links over the other armor links because I think that gives the best benefits. The decreased signature radius and increased AB speed, and therefore traversal, are key boosts for armour HACs that rely on both to defeat BC/BS foes. I was wondering about replacing the speed boost with a boost to tackle range. This may be an option dependent on how much dedicated tackle we have in the gang.

Now, obviously if the is a Damnation in the fleet, with the armor links, I’d probably switch the links on this for something a bit more appropriate, or switch ships entirely.

Take Me To Your Leader

Posted in Character with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by Baa

My recent training focus has been on leadership skills so that I can take advantage of my ability to fly Command Ships. I’ve almost got to the end of those and am wondering about my next focus.

I currently have:

Armored Warfare 5, Armored Warfare Specialist 3
Information Warfare 5, Information Warfare Specialist 3
Siege Warfare 4
Skirmish Warfare 5, Skirmish Warfare Specialist 4

The next planned skills are:

Wing Command 3
Cybernetics 5 (for the mindlink implants)
Wing Command 4

After that I’m not too sure. Is it worth finishing off the leadership skills, getting all the specialists to 5, Wing Command to 5, and a few levels of Fleet Command? I’m sure that, in the fullness of time, they will be useful but I’m tempted to switch to other skill groups that would be of more immediate benefit.

The other options are to fill out a bunch of support skills, such as getting T2 heavy drones, drone interfacing up to 5 etc.  Or to go for T3 Gallente training. I’ve got most of the necessary support skills to fit one pretty well. The only problem would be the cost of the thing. Still, it would be a good thing for the armour HAC gangs. Or finishing Caldari Cruiser to allow me to fly shield logistics and the Falcon. Or, finally, to start training Amarr, again for the armour HAC gangs.

I tend to stick with a plan once I’ve made it, its the making the decision of which plan to follow that I have problems with.

Criminal Countdown

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Baa

I fell prey to the GCC yesterday. Twice.

I was tired. We’d just killed someone in lowsec and I waited out the aggression timer and jumped my Ares back into 0.0. Someone wanted their hauler escorting through lowsec so I jumped back in. Started to warp, then changed my mind, cancelled the warp and set off in a different direction. Big mistake…

The gate guns hit me twice as I aligned and that was that. Oh well, off in my pod to high sec to get a new Ares.

I got the criminal warning when I entered high sec, but warped off to a station and docked. I bought an Ares. Then looked around for fittings. I was going to have to fly a few jumps for those. I checked the timer. The red GCC had finished. All there was was a yellow aggression timer. No problem I thought, I’ll undock…

Again the warning message. I hit my insta-warp. What was going on? I came out of warp, and there were the Caldari Navy. Two Ares down.

This time I sat in my pod until all of the counters disappeared and went shopping for a new ship. Lesson learned. Don’t go into high-sec with any counter displayed at all.

PS. I took the -2.5 security hit for podding someone in low-sec, but it was worth it.

Fail Roam

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by Baa

“Everybody de-aggress. Warp if you can, jump if you can’t”

Luckily I’d kept within jump range of the gate. I requested permission to jump.

“Jump gate activated”

We jumped into the next system.  I issued the order to align to Planet VII and jump as soon as we reached speed.

A red Sabre jumped in. It was 30 km away and started approaching…

Following the previous evening’s fun roams I joined an AHAC gang to take a short roam through into Solar Winds space. They had been bothering us, again, around Atioth and it was time for us to take the fight to them.

We assembled a reasonable fleet. A couple of Oneiros, one piloted by me, a couple of Guardians, and a decent collection of T2 and T1 armour tanked cruisers. The FC wasn’t one that I’d flown with before but all of the logistics pilots were from my corp so I thought that at the least we could keep each other alive.

We made our way down to D-I without incident and the scouts reported a gang of reds in K-I. We moved into Atioth and started the long warp to the K-I gate. The scouts had a Hurricane tackled on the other side of the gate and there was a larger fleet on scan.

As the enemy fleet landed the scouts warped off. We now had their fleet on the other side of the gate. They jumped in and immediately warped off somewhere else in system. We sent ships to the other gates. They saw them jumping in U6D. Decision time, do we follow, wait here, or continue on the roam…

The ships in K-I reported a couple of frigates on the I6- gate. They were engaging. The FC ordered us to jump the gate and warp to I6-. We followed, the logistics pilots just delaying warp slightly so as not to be the first to land.

As we all came out of warp local started climb. A large red fleet was jumping in from I6-. The ships on the gate were bait. We didn’t have much idea of the enemy composition at this point, or what was still on the other side of the gate. The FC ordered us to close on the gate. I started a close orbit, wanting to keep the traversal up, locked my fellow logistics pilots, our command ship pilot, and started watching fleet history for broadcasts.

The enemy revealed itself and the FC started to call targets. The broadcasts came thick and fast and I was trying to keep our Scorpion and Absolution alive. The fight was going against us. The enemy Drake and Hurricane gang was starting to pick us apart. The FC ordered everyone to get off the field. Warp if you could, jump otherwise. As I was near the gate I jumped.

I set to warp to a random planet and the gate flashed again. A Sabre appeared and started to burn towards where I was with two other logistics pilots. Luckily we’d reacted quick enough and were away before he could deploy a bubble. The Absolution pilot wasn’t so lucky. He’d jumped his pod as the Absolution exploded but landed in the bubble. The Sabre gave him a quick way home.

I made a mid warp safe on the first warp and warped back, then spent the next few minutes making a collection of safes in I6-. More reds warped in. I started hoping safes and looking for combat probes on the D-scan. This carried on for 10 minutes or so before we decided to pull a logoffski. We logged, waited for a corp mate in a cov ops to come and scout the way for us, then logged back on and warped out and home.

We didn’t lose too much in terms of ships but the roam was a bit of a fail for a couple of reasons. The first was that we engaged on a gate without any idea of what was on the other side. This is a no-no. You are asking to baited, and we were. In the end we were lucky to escape with as few losses as we did. The second mistake was that in an AHAC fleet you need traversal to survive. The movement is part of the tank. The FC didn’t give us an anchor to orbit so we lost his aspect. All things to file away for the future.

The Payoff

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by Baa

The Eris class Interdictor flashed through space, warp engines pushed to their limit. The fleet we’d engaged earlier was one system away. We had to get to the gate before they did.

After escaping from my Astarte loss with my pod intact I made my way back to our Empire home to refit. The enemy fleet was still in our space and the fleet was in the process of recruiting more, and re-shipping to take them on.

I looked through my hanger and picked up an Eris class Interdictor. The enemy fleet was BS heavy, it would be useful to catch them on the gate in a bubble. It was also the most appropriate ship I had to hand.

The delay between changing ships seemed to take forever but I was soon back out in space and headed back down to D-I. The enemy fleet had disappeared. In the flight from them our scout had lost sight of them. Scouts were out in the nearby systems looking for them.

“Sabre on scan in Atioth”

We moved to the Atioth gate.

“He’s landing on the gate.”, we waited in anticipation for it to jump through, “He’s orbiting the gate”.

“Jump through and tackle him.”

I jumped, burned for the Sabre and dropped a bubble. It was caught in the bubble preventing it from warping off. It tried to burn clear when the rest of the fleet began to get locks.

“Point.”, one of the other pilots called as I settled into a wide orbit throwing shells across the void. It shuddered under the onslaught from our combined firepower and quickly melted. The pod appeared and vanished in a blaze of fire. One down.

We continued to look around the local systems for the rest of the fleet. Then there were reports of part of it in the pipe towards our low-sec entry system. It would be long chase to catch them, but that wasn’t our only option. We headed to our jump bridge system and ahead of them. In the meantime we’d managed to get a scout get eyes on their fleet.

As we arrived in BWF they were reported two jumps away in BND. They’d most likely come through IOO so we headed for that gate.

“Enemy fleet has jumped IOO”

“Jump on contact. See if you can catch them.”

The IOO was still some distance off. Seconds seemed to stretch with the anticipation of the encounter.

“Enemy fleet has left BND gate”

The warp started to slow. The countdown to normal space began as the speed and distance decreased. Luckly our starting point meant that I hadn’t had to warp to a load up off the gate to avoid bubbles.

I clicked jump and waited…

and waited…

Damn! Of all the time to lag. I spammed the jump button and the cycle started.

The grid loaded in IOO. On it was the enemy fleet. I burned for the gate, flipping on the MWD, as I reached it I dropped a bubble. It was a good drop, most them were caught in it. The first target called was a Guardian, but I couldn’t get onto that quick enough to do any damage. Next was a Megathron I started orbiting and shooting. To be honest I wasn’t contributing much to the overall damage done but every bit helps.

Then the targets started being called thick and fast. One after another going down. There was a Vagabond getting away. I dropped an ECM drone and tried to get close enough to bubble him. I wish I’d enough mid slots to carry a point but, with only two, I chose a shield extender everytime. Initially it looked as though the drone was working but then I got hit by a volley that took away my shields. Someone had point now, so I tried to warp off. Not quick enough. For the second time in the evening I was sitting in a pod.

I could see the Vaga locking me, but managed to warp off before he had chance to fire. Seconds later he exploded.

Once the combat was over I got back to the gate to look at the wrecks. It had been a good battle. The initial bubble had stopped them warping off and we’d brought enough to kill most of their fleet. The remainder had fled back down the pipe.

Overall I probably broke even with the two losses and my share of the Golem loot. I was up on the killboard though and gaining a reputation for taking part in ops.