"Tuesday the 21st of April sees the most ridiculous fleet yet - Operation Oversized Clip and Carbine.I re-read the corp message three times before the message sunk in and then grinned like an idiot. Oh this is going to be fun. Chucking a cruiser sized gun onto a rifter is a strict no-no in anyone's books but the corp had decided that, for tuesday's pirate roam - this fitting was exactly what we wanted.
I want to see the biggest motherfucking guns you can cram onto your ships - frigates, think cruiser guns - cruisers, think battleship guns and so on. Shit, if you can fit a battleship gun on a frigate, go for it! You know this is going to be comedy gold, even if we just get one kill mail. Only rules are, no damage other than the oversized guns, no drones. Try and fit for gank if possible. ECM drones allowed. T2 allowed, if you can fit it.
Prizes will awarded for most outrageous and stylish fits."
The order was given to all assembled pilots to select a weapon system that was normally fitted to a ship class one or two classes above. In other words, a cruiser gun onto a frigate, a battle ship gun onto a cruiser etc etc. I picked up the voice comms and and it was RoninData, my CEO.
"Ronin. Oversized clip and carbine?"
"Hell yeah. Going to be a hoot, probably can't hit anything but what the hell. You in?"
"Of course, just trying to figure out how the hell I can cram an oversized gun onto a frigate." I paused and flip open a schematic of a rifter hull. "I will have to remove practically all the forward infrastructure to accomodate a set of dual-180s. Remove the armour plating and reinforce the mid-sections. Otherwise the guns will fall right off."
"Yeah, I am having problems jamming a set of dual-425mm onto my rupture." Replied Ronin as we shared notes.
"No way can we do all this work in the station; even if we can reduce the gravity. Has to be done in zero-G."
"Already ahead of you Flash, here's the coordinates of the construction yards. Ship your gear and crew and get ready. We roll out in four days." The line winked off and I sat back. Four days? Easy.
Actually, it wasn't that easy. While the frame was strong enough to sport a set of dual-180 auto canons; I was lacking power and the only way to overcome this was to rip out the existing system and replace it was three new auxilliary power cores. No room for even an afterburner if I needed tackle but I could pop in two top-line target painters.
A day before the operation, we gathered our fleet of engineering monstrosities. It meant for very unbalanced ships, both in terms of aerodynamics and looks. With the large 180mm dual ACs strapped to the front, my rifter had trouble keeping it's nose up in the hangar bay, once there was a hint of gravity.
So here's the ship:
The other pilots had similar issues: 'Unable to sustain my repper!', 'Can't generate lift, guns too big!', 'I can't see!! - that electron canon is blocking my view!'. We decided that the only thing we could hit would be battle ships and above and moons.
Hilarious, with much laughter to be had by all. Our tracking was horrible.
So with a flourish we left Evati on the operation and headed out for prey and we soon found one, a hurricane class battle cruiser, z0de was in his thorax that was sporting a massive electron canon - normally fitted onto battle ship class ships and not the venerable thorax cruiser. He already attracted attention from some station camping carebears who questioned his sanity.
'z0de warping in.....'
We waited on the other side of the gate for the successful tackle. Worried and excited at the same time and fully expecting to die. Our setups were so gimped to near-uselessness; all to fit in the large guns with no guarantee of hitting anything smaller than a battle ship.
"Point." Said z0de and we all screamed in.
What happened over the next fifteen minutes was some of the most amusing time that I had spent with my chaps. The hurricane had drones: deadly to frigates but since our tracking was so poor we had problems shooting down the deadly little robots. Even quad-target painted and dual-webbed, a single drone could only be dropped by a lucky shot. We had Warrior drones shield tanking us. Yes, you read that right.
Thanks to Gorg (love that dual web) and Fish for dealing with most of the drones as well as z0de for keeping a point on that hurricane. Am sure the pilot was rather bemused by our attempts at trying to kill him. He may even thought that he could take our fleet. At many points, some of our ships had to warp out to repair. Finally, the last drone was dropped and we concentrated on the hurricane.
We eventually dropped the pilot.
There was a second opportunity with another hurricane but without enough webs or afterburners, the hurricane escaped. Much to our frustration.
We called an end to the operation and we gathered together our learning points.
- Vulnerable to nos/neut and drones.
- Many could not fit afterburners or microwarpdrives.
- Poor tracking.
- Vulnerable to smart bombs.
- Poor DPS - since we could fit one gun at most.