Archive for Gate Camp

Picket Duty

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Baa

“Gate fire”, the message was automatically relayed to the fleet commander elsewhere in the system.

“Wait to see them”, came the reply.

“Loki. Proceeding to engage”

“Affirmative. All ships converge on the gate”.

As my Taranis engaged the Loki I waited to see what it was going to do. Would it burn back to the gate and jump through, in which case my soon to arrive fleet mates could follow, or would it engage on this side.

Drones out. It was engaging.

“Loki has aggressed”.

I settled into an orbit and tried to stay alive long enough for the fleet to arrive. The Loki was autocannon fitted and they were making a mess of me. I had to decide what to do. Tighten the orbit to increase traversal, or get further away to increase the range. The Loki had me pointed and webbed so getting close won out. I pulsed the MWD to try and throw the drones.

Where were my fleet mates? Armour was bleeding away and I was beginning to take hull damage. There were over 10 in fleet and so far no one else on the field. Just as my hull collapsed another interceptor and a couple of battlecruisers arrived. Maybe the loss would be worth it.

I warped my pod safe and saw the fleet engage. Then the gate flashed again and three more tech 3 cruisers jumped in to help the Loki. This wasn’t looking good. One by one our ships were lost. All in all a disaster.

The above is a fairly typical description of a pick-up fleet system camp without a recognised FC. You can’t really rely on getting help so engaging is at your own risk. I wasn’t overly bothered about my loss, its comparatively low-cost and expected. I could afford to lose it and, within minutes, was back in its twin. There are obvious lessons from the encounter though:

  • If a Loki engages on a gate in a system full of reds (to him) he’s probably got friends.
  • The second tackle arriving should jump the gate and see what is on the other side.
  • Make sure you know the fleet composition before aggressing. My excuse was that I was tired. However the big shiny Loki sucked me in.
  • Have an FC. Even if its a informal fleet you still need someone to call the shots.
  • Disengage when help doesn’t arrive. This probably wouldn’t have helped given the Loki web, but its worth bearing in mind.

There were some tears over the battle cruiser losses and we tried to catch the T3 fleet as it withdrew but, by the time we’d assembled a credible threat, they were long gone.

A little later I was doing the same thing. Sitting alone on a gate waiting to see what came through. A Caldari Navy Hookbill jumped in, I tried to lock it but it aligned and warped about half a second before I could lock it. I warped in pursuit and landed in a bubble a little way from it.

He was burning away from the bubble towards the gate but not fast enough to escape my lock this time. My warp disruptor engaged and I deployed drones and settled into an orbit with a web on him for good luck. As I was the only other ship around he engaged. I overloaded the guns as we began the dance of death. My shields were depleting quicker than mine but I stuck at it. It would be a question of relative tank.

By the time his shields were gone I’d almost lost all of my armour. I was still confident as the Taranis’ tank is its hull. Sure enough each volley from my guns and drones took huge chunks out of his armour and then hull. I was only 15% into structure when the Hookbill died. I quickly locked the pod and spared him a long slow ride home.

So one loss and two kills, both of which were worth more than my loss. All in all a decent hour of play.



Fishing in High Sec

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by Baa

We fancied trying something different as a corp. We’ve been heavily involved in 0.0 battles over the past few months and a bit of R&R was in order. What to do? We’ve done high-sec ganking in Jita. Looking for ships with expensive cargos and popping them in expendable ships. It has its benefits, but is a bit predictable, and there are so many other people doing it. What we wanted was something different.

A high sec fishing expedition. This is an extension of the high sec ganking, or can baiting. When you gank a ship in high sec you need a hauler alt to loot the wreck. Sometimes someone else gets in first and steals your loot. In fishing we create a wreck, filled with interesting looking loot, either side of a popular gate and wait for people to loot it. Once they do they go flashy red to our fleet and we tackle them and see what drops. Its relatively low risk and ethically neutral. We only shoot those people that can’t resist the shinies.

I joined in for an hour last night, sadly just too late to get in on an Orca kill, and flew a gank Thorax over to the gang.

Almost immediately we had a bite, a Caracal that couldn’t resist the wreck. He looted on one side of the gate then jumped through, not realising that we were positioned both sides of the gate and part of the trap was making people think they could jump the gate to escape.

Next was a Harbinger, then a Badger II carrying an array of loot, though none of it worth that much, and another Harbinger.  We then had to re-seed the wrecks.

New wrecks in place the biggest issue was keeping the empty T1 haulers away from them. Although we’d get an easy kill, its unlikely that we’d be able to make a profit on it.

In the next 10 minutes we got another couple. A Coercer and an Armageddon. The pilot gave us a ‘good bait’ comment on local.  I had to log at this point but the gang continued for a another couple of hours.

In the end I had a bit of fun for a bit over an hour, managed to push my total kills for the corp over 200, and got within 1 kill of qualifying for the ship replacement programme for next month.

Covert Operations

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by Baa

“Jump bridge opening in 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …”, the commander’s voice calmly counted down, “4 … 3 … 2 … 1. Jump, jump, jump”

I steered towards the bridge entrance and appeared in a new system. The navicomp confirmed our new location as Messoya.

“Primary is the Huginn Vanessa Sly.”

I swung the ship into operation, locked the target and unleashed a volley of torpedos…

Friday had come around again. No work the next day so I decided I’d just hop on and see if there was anything going on around our space. Luck would have it have one of our FCs was calling for a Black Ops gang. This wasn’t something that I’d done before but sounded fun. I had a torp fitted Nemesis in my hanger, time to make use of it.

Our targets were a set of pirates that had been preying on our ships taking the low-sec route down to LXQ2-T. They usually sat on the gate in one of two systems and picked off solo travellers. Attempts to catch them with conventional fleets had proved difficult. The had scouts out and, as soon as they saw a fleet approaching, they melted away only to come back for the next solo ship. The plan was to drop a bait ship in with a cynosaural generator and, once engaged, our fleet of stealth bombers would bridge through and engage.

Our FC jumped into the target system in an Arazu and burned off the gate. The reds locked and engaged him. He lit the cyno and we all jumped through.

“Target the Huginn. Primary is the Huginn. Secondary is lilpday in the Drake.”.

I locked the Huginn and sent a volley of torpedos towards it. Another volley was launched just before first hit. They would keep sailing off into space as the Huginn was no more.

I switched target to the Drake. This took a few more volleys, but again exploded into space. The rest of the pirate fleet was bugging out. We’d been in self preservation mode, stealth bombers don’t survive long when targetted, so no one had a point on anything else. Our Arazu had gone down near the start of the combat. We’d killed two ships to one, but ISK wise it was fairly even.

The stealth bomber fleet cloaked up and made our way back to our rendevous point. We then cast around in alliance for anyone that could fly a bait ship with a better chance of survival. A pilot in Drake volunteered, as did another Arazu pilot. We sent both into the low-sec pipe to try and get someone aggressed.

The Drake pilot, with another Drake, jumped through the Messoya and proceeded to toy with the pirates around the station undock. They kept undocking, locking up, taking a few volleys and then re-docking. A variety of ships were used, mostly the ones from the earlier gang. We waited on tenterhooks, hoping for them to aggress so that we could jump in.

Meanwhile the Arazu was being aggressed in Maila. Sadly he had to dock in order not to go down. He repaired in the station and our Drake fleet moved to the next system. The pirates had docked with him and they both sat there waiting. This could be interesting after Incarna. A little in station interaction would be fun at this point.

The Drake got in place and the Arazu undocked. An Abaddon undocked seconds later and locked him. The Arazu burnt off the station. The Abaddon opened fire.

“Bridge open. Jump”

We jumped through. Quicker this time, benefitting from the previous practice. We locked the Abaddon as one and torpedoes pounded into it. The shields blinked away, but the Abaddon is an armour tanking ship so that was expected. An Archon undocked. A corp mate of the Abaddon. This could become interesting …

The assault on the Abaddon continued. Its armour steadily depleting as the torpedos thumped into it. The carrier stayed within docking distance, its drone bays quiet. It was probably looking at our fleet and wondering what the outcome would be if it joined in. The Abaddon de-aggressed.

“Overload your launchers. Take him down.”

The siege launchers were barely cooling between volleys but the Abaddon hit structure. A volley later and it was over. All that remained was a wreck and the pilot’s pod.  The Archon docked.

The fight had happened so quickly that the Drakes arrived only to see the Archon dock. The damage had been done now though. For the moment the pirates are wary of a single ship of ours. Who knows, it may be carrying a cyno and have a black ops fleet on standby.

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.


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

“Stargate Activated”. The voice of Aurora cut through the tension on the bridge.

Coming into system we could see the target 300km away and motionless. A quick calculation and the warp drive is initiating launching the Ares class interceptor towards its prey.

200km … 150km… 100km… 70… 50… 40…

The warp engines cut. Damn! The calculation was wrong we are out of warp too soon, the Phantasm was out of disruptor range.

Too close to re-engage warp, the microwarpdrive is engaged and we lurched towards the larger ship. Would he warp off…

I logged on yesterday to do a little admin and maybe a little ratting. That was the intention anyway, a nice lazy evening with the TV on. Then the call went out on vent to warp to the Z-R gate to try and catch a Falcon. I jumped into system and headed for the gate. Damn, it had gone the other way. Off to the MMR gate quick. Then back to the Z-R gate. Then back to the MMR gate. Intel was sparse so we were trying to play the odds.

Then we had a local spike and two vagabonds and a scimitar appeared on scan. They weren’t ours, hold on the gate. The three ships landed. Hold. The two vagas engaged. Jump!

We all jumped through the gate and burned off. We waited. Eventually the Vagabonds jumped through. We warped off to a rolling safe, leaving cloaked eyes on both sides of the gate. The minutes passed. We were waiting to see if the Vagabonds would move on so we could jump back through and maybe snag the Scimitar. The Vagabond’s left. Jumping back through and warping off with their logistics friend and leaving system with most of the other reds.

A brief discussion and we decided to turn our little fleet into a gate camp. I jumped back into T-8 and swapped my Iskhur for an Ares. The Iskhur is ok, but I wanted the long point and the speed. We out one system, sent out scouts, and waited to see what would come through. Ships came close, but none ventured through.

In the meantime one of the remaining reds had appeared at a tactical off the other side of the gate we were camping. He warped off. Then back to the same spot.

“Can you give us a warp-in point?”, the FC asked our scout.

“Yes. Just give me 5 minutes. I’m 150km away”

The time passed as we waited for him to slow-boat cloaked to a position 20km behind the Phantasm from the gate. Eventually the message came over vent. “In position”.

Having a fast ship with a T2 disruptor, the FC asked me to jump and try to lock him down. I jumped through, checked my watchlist and set to warp to 20km from my cloaky friend. The warp engaged and I shot towards the target, heart-racing. Then I dropped out of warp, hit the disruptor and saw that I was over 40km away. Too far. I toggled the MWD, hit orbit, and hoped I’d get there before he decided to warp off. The Phantasm pilot can’t have believed his eyes, a little Ares burning for him. I got to 25k and hit the disruptor.


“Jump, jump, jump!”, said the FC.

As I settled into a tight orbit and engaged with my railguns, the rest of the fleet jumped through the gate and warped to me. No response from the Phantasm pilot. A swarm of light ships filled space with projectiles and his shields melted away, still no response.

“He must be AFK”

The assault continued. Armour boiling away into space, then structure began to crumble. Finally the ship exploded and I could breathe again. No damage to me, not even locked.

“Bubble the pod”

The bubble went up, but too late, the pod warped out. What? The pilot had just sat there and taken it. Why? An odd kill, but a good one for our little fleet.