27 Sep 2010

Interview and kill that thanny! Oh no. Eve-uni crash the party?

I was asked by Jayne and Jade of 'Lost in EVE' podcast fame to participate in their latest podcast. These chaps wanted to expand their podcast programme to include other aspects of New Eden including living in low-sec. It was a very enjoyable chat and I will chat about the particular episode a bit later. However, feeling a bit tired, I decided to get a drink at the bar and it was with some delight that RoninData made a re-appearance. 

Sitting down and sharing a beer with RoninData was relaxing and we laughed and chuckled our way through a year's worth of story and drama. The evening was going well but it was to take a new turn. Around 22:00, six beers into the evening, I was interrupted by an urgent message from Lady Shaniqua. I excused myself while RoninData wandered off to the bar to get more beer. Discretely, I took the call. 

"Lady Shaniqua. How are you?" I said to the infamous 'police enforcer' of the Metropolis pipe. 

"KRIMINAL ELEMENTS spotted! Polic units requesting assistance for imminent battal! I have firm information that there's a camp of two battle cruisers, two recons and a battle ship on the Taff gate in Egmar. You interested?"

Lady Shaniqua's information has always been first class - she's well-known for her fast paced solo work (or deadly duo work with Sassy B) but there's an understanding that she is free to ask for additional help amongst the pirate fraternity, The Bastards among them. Such is the respect pirates have for her, people usually rally to her assistance. She also has a tendency to SHOUT but one can't deny her ability. 

"Of course. How old is the intel?"

"Minutes, no more than ten minutes."

"Roger that Shaniqua, sounds good and close by too."

"Excellent and Flash, it will be your show and your lead - me comm thingymajig is acting up and I am communicating with my fellow polic scout through radio."

"Understood. We're en-route." RoninData came back, his tray laden down with drinks and bottles.  He looked happy but threw me a quizzical look as I stood up.  

"Ronin, grab your beers - we have some imminent boat violence."

So it was no surprise that I agreed and grabbing RoninData, Viginti (he was excused from his logistical duties) and one of our new recruits, Mortol Strike - I set up a fleet and invited Lady Shaniqua and her two companions to it. Ronin and I were in our hurricanes, Vig in his Falcon and Mortol in his drake. Our fleet met up on the Taff gate in Egmar alongside the three remaining ships of the fleet: Snippse and Kingwood had hurricanes and Lady Shaniqua herself had the feared vagabond. One thing about ad-hoc pirate fleets like this, everyone knows how to work together when there's a common target. 

"The camp is gone, some chaps from Gunboat Diplomacy came in and whooped their ass. They've gone too but I have eyes on a criminal Typhoon in Taff."

"Let's bait it shall we? Snippse, jump into Taff and re-approach the Egmar gate." Snippse is known to The Bastards as we've tangled with him a number of times. He's an excellent pilot, pity he isn't a pirate but his positive security rating has its advantages. 

Snippse acknowledged and jumped into Taff. 

"Flash, he is here.The typhoon is here." There was a crackle of static and then Snippse chuckled. "The fool has locked me. Going for point." We all waited what seemed like an eternity. "Point."

It was time to move and I gave the order.

"Fleet: jump, jump, jump." When we were all on grid, we decloaked immediately. The typhoon was there; flashing red and angry. "Primary is Sami Zarik, primary is Sami Zarik." Our battle cruisers surged towards the battle ship, currently pointed and exchanging furious fire with Snippse's hurricane. With the added firepower of our ships, the typhoon was doomed. 

"Webs on the typhoon please." I wanted to make sure that we would get the kill. Bits of the typhoon were being smashed off the hull by our fire and internal fires were clearly seen, bursting out in deadly plumes all over the structure. 

"Shall we ransom?" Asked RoninData, I considered the option and decided that some isk was welcome. 

"RoninData, that is an affirmative, can you open up a conv -"

"Cyno. Cyno." It was Viginiti, still cloaked up in the falcon and not participating in the one-sided fight. It looked like the typhoon was fitted with a cynosural field generator and it had opened up an incoming portal: we should be expecting incoming capital ships it would seem.


In a burst of purple and silver light, the rip in warp space vomited forth a Thanatos-class carrier. This was not expected. Communications remained calm, there was an expectant hush in the fleet communications net. I had already made my decision as soon as the cyno was dropped. 

"Kill the 'phoon. Kill the 'phoon. Watch for fighters from the carrier. Point the thanny."

As expected the thanatos carrier was remotely repairing the almost-dead typhoon. Sami Zarik held on but we overloaded our guns and the typhoon went down in flames. We had no hope in killing the thanatos but we decided to kill the fighters. Also, a cyno field is detected (and usually investigated) for ten jumps in every direction. So we would be expecting company. 

So we set a wide orbit around the thanatos, it was taking sentry fire as the pilot made the mistake of shooting Snippse first, drawing the attention of the automated sentry guns. We worked on the fighters first: small one-person manned fighter craft. Sami obviously called in for additional help and an arbitrator dropped into our lap. Not sure if the pilot thought that he would get help from the thanatos but we locked and killed it dead before the thanatos pilot could have locked it to help. However, RoninData got too close to the carrier - he was fully intending to solo the mighty craft but found that it was too tough and he ended his one-man onslaught with an explosive burst of fire. We're now down one battle cruiser. 

While all this was going on, my directional scanner was picking up new ships and with Viginiti's help, we quickly negotiated a temporary cease-fire with Nemeron of Gunboat Diplomacy who had brought his fleet into the fray. On our own fleet of five, we had little chance to down the carrier before it could escape but now, with a few battle ships in the picture - the likelihood of the carrier going down was greatly increased though it was not a certainty. So long as we had time. 

Time was not on our side. Ronin, on his way back to Evati spotted a 40-odd fleet of EVE-University students on the Taff gate in Egmar. It as unknown whether they knew about the carrier beforehand but their presence greatly complicated matters. 

The students jumped into Taff while we continued to pound the carrier. We fired off a number of requests to some of the students in an effort to get them to side with us and destroy the carrier. No doubt, Nemeron of Gunboat Diplomacy was doing the same thing. Lady Shaniqua, due to her frequent (and successful) run-ins with the university was cautious about the sudden change in circumstances.  

"Guys, this is Flash - am getting nothing from the University."

"Think they'll come for us?" Asked Kingwood. 

"No idea but we need to down this carrier." There was a squawk on my directional scanner as it detected an influx of ships.

"Here they come. All ships, align and prepare to gtfo. Vig: can you fire off an update to Nemeron?"

"Er, no need boss. Nemeron is broadcasting on all frequencies in local."

I switched across and indeed, Nemeron, no doubt frustrated by the lack of response was blaring out in local.


This was repeated over and over as my overview threatened to shut down as it exploded with ships of EVE-University. Cruisers, battle cruisers, battle ships and others. A right mix as per usual. 

"This is Lady Shaniqua - bugging out, am being shot at by those student kriminal space cadets!" In a blaze of burning warp drive, Lady Shaniqua whipped out of the fight, cursing the short sightedness of EVE-University. I was being yellow boxed as well and so was Vig and Kingwood. We requested that they dropped their locks on us but received nothing. Nemeron continued to broadcast his request, all the while attacking the carrier with his fleet.  

I was red boxed and took fire from an EVE-University ship and decided that being the attention of 40-odd ships was not what I wanted. I was aligned and warped out. The carrier was down to hull already but it wasn't worth a loss of my ship. 

Nemeron changed his tune in his broadcast and cursed the EVE University for their short sightedness. I wasn't too sure if some of his chaps were also the attention of the newcomers.  Meanwhile, the carrier was in trouble already and quickly collapsed under the fire of the new EVE university ships. I had no doubt about the result, it would have died regardless but I was more worried about what would happen immediately after as the newcomers had already shot at Lady Shaniqua. 

We re-grouped in a safe just as the carrier blew up; there were some grumbles about EVE-University gate crashing but such is life. 

The night was not over. EVE-University loitered around Taff for a bit but with those numbers, no-one was going to engage them. They got bored and left the area - just in time as Sami Zarik came roaring back in a hurricane with four friends: a deimos, dominix, tempest and a vagabond. We still had our battle cruisers though Ronin had finally shipped up into a Raven. 

I called point on the hurricane with the deimos as secondary and the dominix as tiertiary. I told the rest of the fleet to engage the vagabond if the opportunity presented itself.

We noticed that the pilot of the tempest, lying over 100km from the fight in his sniper-fit ship was the thanatos pilot; back for some revenge it would seem. Kingwood went down in his hurricane as the dominix showered drones over him but we quickly popped the enemy hurricane in return. The pilot of the 'cane was none other than the 'phoon pilot who kicked off our night's entertainment. RoninData's raven, locked in a deadly embrace by the Dominix was showered by drones and a lucky long range strike from the Tempest burst his raven. We took our revenge and killed off the dominix

The vagabond pilot, either unlucky or sloppy got too close to us and we snagged it and pulverised it. With his speed and range, it should never have got close to us. Finally, we dispatched the deimos with disdain. It was too slow and lumbering and we gleefully cut it to pieces. The real prize was the sniping tempest but he had already aligned and warped out before we could complete the set. 

The field was ours and we picked it clean. Snippse even made 80 million isk from salvage alone. The fleet members all congratulated each other on a fun and profitable night. I realised the time and called for the fleet to be broken up. We made sure that the loot went to those pilots who had the greatest need and then docked up. 

An excellent night and thanks to Mortol, Lady Shaniqua, Kingwood and Snippse. Hope we can do it again.