28 Sep 2009

Philippine Flood Relief 2009

Hi all

Some of you may be aware that I volunteer for a humanitarian charity and have doen for the past several years. We've been requested to deploy to Manila, Philippines to assist in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana; it has devastated the country and 80% of the capital is affected (i.e. been flooded) and help is urgently needed.

Me and my team are going off to assist and I am leaving tonight for Manila. Will be gone for a week or so assisting in the relief effort.

So no New Eden Yarring for me; it's back to the real world.

Love and hugs,

FF

24 Sep 2009

Top 100 Kills?

Despite our insistence on ransoms and pushing our bespoke ransom board as a partner to the ever present corp kill board, according to BattleClinic we are now ranked 100th on the current corporation KB rankings...we have cracked the top 100!

Not too shabby for a small corp like ourselves. We're in good company: BYDI, Outbreak, Xenobytes and D00M to name four.

Am even more pleased (nay surprised) that I am also ranked top in The Bastards according to BC, however I can explain this anomaly: it includes all my kills including a hat-full I had collected when I was a pilot in Black-Flag. Still, 'tis good for the ego! However, overall I have slipped from my all-time BC high of rank 283 to my current position of rank 348.

Anyway, fun to look at but now I suppose I should try and synch up my kills from The Bastards onto BC...just to tie-up any loose ends.

23 Sep 2009

1B isk in ransoms this month...

Last night, in a mixed fleet sprinkled with recruits we decided on a roam with z0de FC'ing. We chased and hunted but the prey was illusive however - Happy San made us all aware that we were 26.8million isk short of hitting 1B isk in ransoms for this month. This gave us an added incentive and it came from a most unlikely source: another pirate.

Lorem Silat was roaming around in his rifter and he managed to tackle someone ratting in a belt, z0de already poised to strike in a deep safe, saw an opportunity and went after both of the pilots. Not surprisingly, he lost both marks and there was much cursing. However, Raelyf and Zeasier managed to snag Lorem Silat 30 minutes later and decided to ransom the pirate's pod, with a full explanation of course for the specific sum of isk required for release. Lorem, kindly cooperated (well he was also webbed and pointed at this time) but he transferred over the required isk and our September ransom amount hit 1,000,000,000 isk.

There was much rejoicing!

Even more cheering when I checked and announced that our loot sales so far had also topped 1 billion isk as well. Only sold one third so far; so am expecting more isk in the near future. I hope that some of our recruits got to experience what it was like to fly with us. Even with no major kills on the night, it can be fun.

22 Sep 2009

Warp Drive Active....for five minutes.

Flashfresh woke up with a start and groaned in discomfort. The headache was back. Every fecking time he gets podded; the wake-up feels worse and worse. Flash feared that one too many pod-deaths and he will surely go insane. His cloned body ached and while it was grown from his own DNA, he felt strangely disconnected. After all, he hadn't lived in this body at all. It was a snap shot of his body from exactly nine days ago. He knew this from the ache in his right knee, having banged it on an equipment container. The memory of the pain still fresh.

Beaming brightly, an orderly wearing a medical smock had suddenly appeared next to Flash and offered him a towel and a clipboard with discharge papers.

"Captain, welcome to our facilities. I hope the awakening was not too troubling?"

Flashfresh took the offered pen and put his signature to it, grumbling about a headache.

"Thank you sir. May I kindly remind you to update your clone at any of our facilities, due to the need to increase the storage parameters, the cost of your next clone could well be higher. Am sure you understand."

As he spun off to attend to some other re-awakening pod pilot, he turned round. "May I also interest you in our new deal for high value capsuleers?" Flashfresh swung his legs over the table and stood up on unsteady legs.

"I feel terrible."

The medical orderly sympathised.

"The memory download was 99.97% successful. There was a slight loss in telemetry however. Must have been quite an explosion." He smiled brightly. Flash glowered. The medical orderly continued, "We can improve memory download with a new programme that will cost -"

"Bugger off."

The medical orderly's mouth snapped shut but kept his rictus grin before scuttling off somewhere.

Vaguely, Flash recalled picking up the scraps of a mixed fleet who had ran into trouble around Dal. Gorgoleon was lost early on. Some of the ships, Flash included, when warping towards their targets, found themselves in a seemingly never-ending warp tunnel. Flash only managed to break out of this anomaly by disconnecting his pod from the ship's interface and causing an emergency crash out of warp: a very dangerous manoeuvre. This happened to a few of the pilots on both sides and resulted in a very scrappy and uncoordinated fight. It resulted in a loss to the 'pirates'.

Then racing back home, Flash was caught on the exit side of gate by some anti-pirates who promptly scrambled him. Then without a 'by-your-leave' decided to open up on Flash's Lachesis. Feeling suitably aggrieved but without drawing any aggression, Flash limped back towards the gate he had just arrived and managed to activate the gate, his Lachesis in half-shield. With his aggressors all unable to jump due to the aggression timers; Flash thought that he would be safe once on the other side. Alas, hotly pursuing Flash was a G.I.S. fleet who had landed behind and were waiting for him. They got their man and credit to this mercenary alliance, they can scramble ships quickly and in numbers when required.

Yawning, Flash got dressed and made arrangement to get his sorry arse back home for a much needed drink.

21 Sep 2009

Phew - busy or what?

Just a quick shout out to all those fine pilots who have sent in their applications. We're flooded at the moment and it is mainly US TimeZone pilots who have answered the call. We're working through them as fast as possible but please, everyone read the FAQ and requirements. We've been turning down many a would-be pirate due to them not meeting the minimum requirements. Now, I hear you cry that SP does not maketh a pirate! I do agree to a point, as I look back fondly at the time when I was a low-sp pilot still figuring how to fit a rifter and wondering why the station guns were shooting me.

However, from experience - most of the pilots we are looking for tend to have SPs a little higher than our minimum and the points are placed optimally. It is simply not possible for a pilot to have the skills to tank sentry guns and tackle and kill something without a certain amount of experience and SP.

So, I have to give a special mention to our recruitment officers who have the uneviable task of application triage - they're being firm and fair with everyone and already, we're seeing the first set of pilots who have not made the cut. However, it isn't the end of a pirate's journey. We've had a couple of pilots initially failing the cut during the last cycle, decided on improving their skills, and came back and re-applied and got in.

Who said perserverence didn't help? Additionally, if the fit with us Bastards isn't there - we can happily point you towards some other fine pirate corps in the form of the Python Cartel or The Tuskers.

17 Sep 2009

RECRUITMENT TO THE BASTARDS IS NOW...OPEN!

CLICKY HERE --> http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=788358

Full instructions and FAQs are on the website with links. This cycle will be open for a few weeks so you all have plenty of time to get the applications done to perfection.

I also have a cool new email: flashfresh@the-bastards.com!

FF

16 Sep 2009

Alliance 1 v 1and our recruitment officers

Managed to undock last night and it was a good crowd with z0de, Happy, Ellistara, Vig, Rae and others out and about. A Hellcat was with us and we were graced by the presence of RoninData; pirating a lan connection from somewhere.

The night was fast and fun with us tangling with GIS once more, resulting in a single loss of a GIS rifter. I see that GIS has formed a Mercenary Alliance with others. I wish them the best of luck in the murky world of paid-for-firepower.

Putting together the finishing touches on the recruitment admin side of things: we had a number of new pilots put themselves forward as recruitment officers for The Bastards and they need a day or so just to orientate themselves on 'how it all works'. Am grateful for their time.

Persephone has a much anticipated 1 v 1 tournament set up for Alliance members with a 100million isk purse. The interest has been high but now; it is down to organising the individual matches. I am going for some fun fits: a slasher with arties for example. Should be great fun and a boost to morale.

Of course, one can also default back to the tried and tested mwd-rifter with 150mm AC IIs but we shall see.

14 Sep 2009

Anniversary part 2: donations

Many thanks to those who have donated monies and ships to this most fun and highly anticipated event. I have just under a dozen Bastards and Hellcats available and details will be sent to those who have requested a presence with the fleet. Also, thanks to the ship donations - your names will be kept confidential until the report in a week's time.

Have been busy fine-tuning our recruitment requirements as well as fixing some pages on our recruitment page(s) - here on the website, on the forum and our eve-online post. With Ard busy in real life; we may have to start a new thread on eve-online.

For those who have been evemailing me - please send an email to recruitment [at] the-bastards.com with your ingame name as the subject line. Also, keep an eye on the website for suitable links to our recruitment requirements and FAQ.

Life goes on in leaps and bounds and we're drooling over the proposed faction frigate / cruiser changes and this may influence the kick off date. We'll see.

Been busy over the weekend, took advantage of the sun and mountains and went for a long hike. Lovely!

F

9 Sep 2009

Anniversary

Been busy with admin but the first part of the loot admin is out of the way; I really want to keep on top of things and coming soon after the last loot sale, RoninData kindly came in and ran the programme again. The loot we have accumulated so far is an impressive 1.8Billion and rising. Not bad I might say so myself.

The Alliance tournament is underway and I have enjoyed the contests, The Bastards were in line to replace -V- but we didn't get in; even though we were ready and anxiously waiting for CCP to call us after sending an evemail informing us to get ready. Why or why was the all the communication between the reserve teams and CCP only through evemail?

Anyway, no matter - while the AT first stage was kicking off, Happy San proudly showed me a new addition to the Ransomboard - comments and pilot stats. Both are cool; give them both a try and tell us what you think. When viewing pilot stats, one can see how the ransoms come in over time, there are some good months and some bad months.

Oh, yet more news: we are about to open recruitment and I will post more about it here. Thanks to all the emails you have all sent; we read them all and we are waiting eagerly to process the new applications. To those who have asked to join our alliance: the current position is a no. The alliance was there to enable us to submit an application for the Alliance tournament but we might keep the alliance around for a while longer. If you want to join us, with your mates - throw an application our way but be sure to read the FAQ.

Righto, last bit before I dash off is that The Bastards are coming up to our birthday and to celebrate our second year, as The Bastards (we were the Dastardly Bastards before then) - I am putting together a faction frigate and cruiser roam for all Bastard pilots, current and old. I will get the list together, post up a date and a hint of our route just to give everyone else a chance to come along and say 'hello'....with guns and rockets. We fully intend to ransom, loot and pillage our way through New Eden's low-sec system until there is no ship left or that we're so full of loot that our ships have trouble turning.

If you have any faction frigates lying around, you're an ex-Bastard or a close friend of The Bastards and you're free on a friday evening (UK timezone) - convo me or Happy San or z0de or Persephone Astrid or Viginti for more information. Drop by the Independence channel if at all possible. Faction frigate and cruiser roam will be epic.

Of course, well-wishers can donate isk and stuff to us and if you are kind enough to donate a faction frigate (!) - we'll make it a point of naming the ship after you and get it blown up against silly odds. It will go down in glory.

Ok, enough of a ramble.

4 Sep 2009

The view from the floor 1: Loot Sales

"How does he do it?" wondered Jenkins, shaking his head as he pulled his gaze away from the viewing port. He directed the question to his colleague working next to him with the lower half of his body sunk into a ground access panel.

"He isn't human; that's the reason Jenk. He's a capsuleer, not human," replied the shorter man. Fiddling with something he looked back at Jenk. "Hey, pass me a size five spanner will ya?"

"Sure."

Both Jenk and his friend were dressed as station maintenance crew, like tens of thousands of fellow workers all around New Eden. Keeping the stations and ships and everything in between in running order. Always around but invisible to many. Jenkins, or 'Jenk' to his friends, was a middle aged Caldari. Perkins was taller, younger and Gallente. Jenk fiddled with a blown circuit board in his hand and then stopped and looked back up again.

"He's going through the loot isn't he? All that booty he and the Bastards have collected over the last month. He hasn't left that hangar now for, what, five days?" Jenk smacked his lips at the thought of the monetary value of all the collected ship modules. "What do you think Perks? How much this time round?"

Perks, wiped some sweat off his forehead and hauled himself out of the access tube he was in. He worked his jaw and cocked his head sideways; as he always did when he had something new to say.

"I heard that this time round it could be over five billion isk. Came from the man himself, I overheard him at the bar."

"Five billion isk? Wow. I could buy my own station after that."

"Yeah, five big ones. A new record I heard."

"I can't even count that much!"

"You know what's better? We're due a bonus too, after hitting our targets."

Jenks shook his head and imagined what it would be like to be that rich. He returned to the viewing port and put his face to it. Through it he could see into a restricted hangar, the light dim and a Brutor of medium height and strong build moving between a field of large containers.

It was Flashfresh, the current CEO of The Bastards and at the moment, he was preparing the massive amounts of loot for shipment and then eventual profit sharing for all involved parties.

"Perks, can you remind me how this loot split works again?"

"Again? Man, your memory is more leaky than a Minmatar cruiser."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just humour me will ya?"

"OK, Flash opens each of the containers and personally checks the modules inside. Each container has a unique number, each number corresponds to the unique kill mail id that tracks each ship kill." Perks flipped open his data pad and presented the scrolling screen to Jenkins. "See? However, I think he removes anything with a retail value less than 100K isk, plus- or minus 5% Jita prices."

"He does it for every container right? Man, that hangar is packed." Jenkins' fingers tapped on the plasteel port.

"Well for all those containers, the boss takes out each module, no matter how small and repairs and repackages them. Every one. Flash then checks every container with our killboard to ensure that there are no errors. Sometimes, the containers get the wrong identifiers. So he needs to be sure. Nothing worse than a pirate who has his loot 'misappropriated' eh?"

Jenks and Perkins chuckled; while they were not pilots or even ship crew of The Bastards, they were part of the organisation. The discreet winged skull with crossed swords collar studs gave them access to certain parts of the station and employment opportunities, not available to others. It also meant that they too would get a cut from loot sales, albeit a small one. Seeing Flashfresh moving around the cans, shouting at two humanoid-looking helper drones and the thousand or so other containers, Jenkins and Perkins moved away from the viewing port.

"I think the boss is going to be in the hangar for a while longer."

Perks nodded and checked his data pad. "OK, we're almost done here; we just need to re-route a faulty power line and then next job is down at the Independence bar, some backed up coolant."

"At least it isn't the soil pipe, like last time."

Perks chuckled. "I think you and Brigadier HappySan and General z0de got caught in the back draft, didn't you Jenks?" Jenkins shuddered at the memory as he proceeded to open up a side access panel. As they both rushed to complete the last bit of work, the thought of all the isk next door got them talking again.

"What are you going to do with you share this time Perks?"

Perkins paused as he considered his answer. "Going to send some of it back to my folks. Medicine is getting more expensive out there in the sticks. Ma isn't as healthy as she was and my corporation medical insurance doesn't cover her treatment. Then the rest, putting it aside for me and Maria. Marriage is also expensive. You?"

"Going to drop most of it on the Mutai this month, Walker Smith looks hot with ten knock-outs to his name. The rest I am going to use to impress that sexy red-headed waitress at the bar."

"Shouldn't that be the other way round? The money first on the woman then the betting competition?"

Chuckling, Jenkins agreed and started to gather his tools together, the job done.

"You won't get anything if you don't turn the lights back on in the hangar, my dear fellow." The sudden presence of this individual alongside Perks and Jenkins made them both jump back, their tools clattering around them. When Jenks and Perkins took in the bald head of a Brutor, solid mass of his form and the jet black jump suit of the current active director of The Bastards pirate organisation, they both nearly fell over.

"Sir! I er, the lights?" Gulped Jenks. Perkins threw a solid salute and stood ram-rod straight. Up close, Flashfresh, like most capsuleers, was a lot bigger, taller and hard-looking to the two terrified crewmen. His characteristic dark sunglasses didn't hide the fact that his eyes were now boring into each of the maintenance chaps. There was an amused smirk playing over his face however.

"Yes the lights." Replied Flashfresh quietly with a smile. Jenks went pale as he realised that he must have had pulled out the wrong breaker that then cut off the power to the lights in the Flash's loot hangar. Perkins also realised at the same time and shot Jenks a murderous glance.

"Shouldn't have been yacking so much!"

"Sir, yes sir! I will fix it now." Jenks swiftly got back down on his knees and opened up the access panel. Perkins next to him with the tools necessary. Flashfresh stood behind them, observing and, to the two maintenance crew, brooding like a mountain with a gathering thunder cloud. With nervous fingers, Jenks switched the correct breaker and the lights, in the secured hangar, snapped on. Perkins breathed out with relief.

"Sir, the lights are back on." Replied Perkins, a sheen of sweat on his face.

"I am sorry sir, so sorry -" started Jenks, but was cut off mid-sentence by a a swift gesture from Flashfresh.

"Thank you very much, crewman. I can now continue with my work." Flashfresh spun on his heels and strode back towards the hangar. He stopped and turned around and looked back at first Jenks then settled on Perkins.

"Bradley isn't it?" Asked Flashfresh, addressing Perkins by his little-known first name.

"Yes sir."

"Do you chaps want to help me sort some of this loot out?"

"The loot sir?" Only the most trusted members of the corporation hierarchy had access to this hangar.

"Yes, the two helper drones are anything but helpful. Could do with some human interaction. Shouldn't take too long." A request from Flashfresh was essentially an order. They couldn't really refuse.

"Yes sir!" Chorused the crewmen.

For the next two hours, Jenks and Perkins worked through a couple hundred containers of items. Many modules were foreign to their eyes and even being experienced, they couldn't recognise them. Other modules were clearly bits from ships but one or two items were too baffling and no doubt came from some deep null-sec space complex. They took out each item, checked their details, sent it off for repair and repackaging and made sure each item was returned to their correct container. All was done with as much manual labour as possible - Flashfresh stated that the selling and tracking was done automatically but this stage, the first stage, was too important to leave to a programme.

Exhausted, the two men slowed down but they daren't say anything as Flashfresh, a capsuleer continued to work relentlessly. However, mercifully, Flashfresh called for a halt and pulled a crate up. Gesturing to the two sweaty crewmen to sit themselves down, Flashfresh presented a small box and popped out three ice-cold, quafe ultra drinks. The two men, gratefully received the drinks and gulped down the contents. Flashfresh joined them and everyone finished their drinks with gusto.

"Perkins, you said your mother is poorly. What is her illness?"

"Pelau syndrone sir. It's environmental, we think - chronic but not fatal, sir."

Flashfresh pursed his lips and appeared to be lost in thought.

"Yes, poor radiation shielding is one cause isn't it?"

"I think so sir. No one knows." Perkins shrugged helplessly. "I'm just a small fish in a very large pond. So I do what I can."

"That's a very commendable attitude Perkins, " said Flashfresh approvingly. "Gentleman, I thank you for your time. I know you are busy men and I am sorry for taking up so much of your time. Please consider my request fulfilled. It was a pleasure working alongside the both of you. You are now free to go. I believe you have some plumbing work to do?"

Gently reminded, both crewmen groaned, grabbed their tools and proceeded to the their. Flashfresh slid off the crate and started to work again. As the door hissed open, Jenk turned around.

"Thank you sir. Thank you for your time."

Perkins nodded in agreement. "It was an honour, sir." As the hangar door hissed closed, Flashfresh called out.

"Jenkins - put your money on T'Lar instead. Walker Smith is carrying an injury to his left arm."

The hangar door hissed then snapped shut.

For a good minute both men stood outside the closed hangar door. It was Jenks who spoke up first, his face lighting up with excitement.

"Wait until we tell the fellas."

"Jenks, no-one will believe us, buddy."

"Whatcha saying Perks?"

"I mean, c'mon. You and me and Flashfresh? Working together and then sitting around and jawing like a trio of greasemonkeys? Nah."

"Yeah, but it's a hell of a story."

Perks, clapped his friend on the shoulder. "C'mon man, we have an appointment with a blocked soil pipe."

"Yeah, great." As the two men shouldered their packs, Jenks frowned. "Flashfresh said T'Lar right?"

"Yes he did, Jenks. Yes he did."

The duo started towards a nearby maintenance lift.

"Hey Perks, how does the loot programme work again?"

2 Sep 2009

You are crap. You therefore deserved to die.


"You are crap. You therefore deserved to die," said Gorgoleon to me in his very, matter-of-fact tone. Sadly, I had to agree though I did not want to take anything away from the victorious Lau Wensink and his deathmatch offer. Yes, I lost to Lau in an arrange 1 v 1.

However, just a couple of hours before the duel - Jaxx and I found ourselves out in space in our recons (Jaxx in a Lachesis, me in my rapier) and we started to poke around our local area of space. We had new corporations move into our immediate area and we were interested in finding out who they were and whether they are 'fun' and potentially lucrative. A gang was formed and we went hunting. It would be an hour before I was ready and in typical fashion, I had not even fitted a ship.

Lau had challenged me to a duel and I agreed though I wanted it in a Bastard fashion: so I stipulated that it would be cruiser hulls with one (or more) battleship sized weapons. For me, I choose the rupture and bolted on a dual 425mm repeating auto-canon. My engineers had to add extra reinforced bulk heads to the hull so that I could dock without the weapon shearing off its mount. To power this monster gun required an entire rackful of reactor control units to provide the necessary power for the weapon. Extra large ammunition was added and crammed into the hull and I even managed to fit a medium smart bomb with three racks of 125mm auto canons. Truly an abomination. I then threw in some warrior II drones and with a scram, mwd and ECCM; I considered myself ready.

I had a bookmark set up and Lau, wisely came in his pod to bookmark the location and then warp off back to the station. He wanted to hide is ship until the very last moment. I was already undocked and was in a rupture, the overly large dual-425mm canon a very obvious addition.

My tactics were predicated on a number of things:

1. Any BS sized weapon would have problems hitting a cruiser, especially one moving with a MWD. Therefore, I fitted a MWD.
2. Therefore an alternative and supporting method of attack would be required and they would range from target painters, webbers, scramblers, nos, ecm and drones. I would be relying on drones and my smaller, frigate sized auto canons to do most of the damage. Hence warrior IIs and x3 125 mm auto canons.
3. I know Lau has been using ECM before (against VenomOrchid for example) and it was possible, that he would come in a vexor with a load of drones (some ECM) and nos. Therefore I fitted, with some difficulty, a medium smart bomb to take care of the drones.
4. I had no tank however and was probably cap unstable, toyed with the idea for a cap booster but decided to fit a ECCM module just in case he was cheeky and fitted a racial ECM.

It was with some surprise (and worry) that Lau arrived, after being counted down by Jaxx to initiate hostilities, at the bookmark in his rupture. Not what I expected.

As soon as he arrived, I locked him as he did me. I punched my MWD and moved into a wide elliptical orbit. Lau spat out his drones and I kept mine inside. As soon as I started taking shield damage - I hit the smart bomb with a grin. Meanwhile, I fired up all my weapons and my ship shuddered as the dual 425mm canon opened up, spitting out large calibre EMP shells the short distance to Lau's rupture. He started to take damage but I noticed with alarm how quickly my shields melted. His drones were not quite dead, even after three pulses of the smart bomb and with little armour behind the shield, I was concerned. Once his drones were gone (or hastily recalled); I sent out my own lovelies out. My armour continued to wink down and my scram shut off. My MWD had long since turned itself off as well. I had no cap left.

Odd; I thought. However, my auto canons required no capacitor to fire, being almost entirely mechanical and they bucked as they spat out shells. Lau was down to armour but I was now down to almost hull. With no damage control available, I would be dead.

His surviving drones buzzed into me and my ship blew up.Everyone had a good laugh, myself included.

Great fight by Lau, looking forward to the write-up

After the duel, Lau joined our pirate fleet and we moved around sniffing for targets but we ended up with him losing his drake to a gate-camping abaddon around the notorious Akkio to E0A-ZC entry-point. Gorgoleon, always a hoot to have in our fleet, with a dodgy microphone this time round, managed to get in on two kills including a hiliarious drake kill of an ex-corp mate's drake (not an agreed 1 v 1 or anything like that, target was in a belt) who calmly stated to Gorg, that he "had lost a friend."

To which Gorgoleon, shrugged and replied, "I will make more more friends on dating sites." Gorgoleon is a true Bastard.

The drake setup wasn't too bad either.

OK - back to some admin stuff as well as tweaking our requirement page. Yes, The Bastards are getting ready to open up recruitment. I will announce the day here and in the EVE-O forums too.

Final news: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1171104 - looks like we might be back on the reserve list but with such a short time to prepare; I wonder if it's a good idea to submit a request?