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.

"Incoming."

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.

"EVE UNI - ATTACK THE CARRIER PLEASE. HE IS A CRIMINAL. NO ONE ELSE WILL FIRE ON YOU."

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. 

22 Sep 2010

Old and New Friends

"Contact. Contact. Contact." Yelled one of my pilots, alarmingly it wasn't one of the forward scouts but Viginti who had just jumped. I had already activated the gate and it was too late to abort. Shit, I thought they couldn't have ran into the gate camp already


With a burst of light, the rest of the battle cruiser fleet jumped into Egmar. As per standard operating procedures, all The Bastards held their cloak. I eyed the ships. 


"Approximately a half-dozen cruisers all orbiting the Anher gate."


All were flagged as non-criminals, which meant that if (when) The Bastards initiated hostile fire, the sentry guns dotted around the gate would open fire on any transgressors adding to the incoming damage. However, The Bastards, being long-term low-sec residents had fitted our ships to be a bit more durable under sentry fire. 


Once the fleet was in the system but still under gate cloak, I gave the order to de-cloak and the first enemy ship to burst apart under The Bastards furious fire was a rupture followed quickly by a thorax. The sentry guns, detecting criminal activity, spun up and spat deadly and accurate fire all over The Bastard's fleet. 


However, such is the fast and deadly environment of low-sec that the numbers around the gate started to swell up. A second fleet, undetected by us had come from the nearby Taff system (and not Anher) and promptly piled into the fight against The Bastards. The resulting combined fleet now facing The Bastards came from eight different corporations including some old friends from Cloud 7 Nebulosa. The numbers looked bad but it was nothing new for The Bastards, however the enemy brought some ECM boats and the combined force had two falcons, one blackbird and a rook added to the 'party'. Pacifist Priest raced after them in a brave attempt to disrupt their work but the heavy ECM started to push down the damage output of The Bastards quickly. We had to kill off the ECM but were poorly equipped to do so with little in the way of fast, high damage cruisers or ECM boats of their own to counter. Tibbs's hurricane was the first to go down, caught by the cross fire of nine ships; followed quickly by JManza in his hurricane. Both jammed so hard that they couldn't even see what was in front of them. Space was now full of wreckage and escape pods as crews from all stricken vessels bolted out of immediate danger. The surviving ships ploughed through the debris field, eager to get close enough to trade broadsides.  


The decision was made to stand and fight and we took down a Cloud 7 Nebulosa hurricane and (inexplicably) a Manticore stealth bomber from Pinch Harmonics United that was caught by Silvetrys' claymore. A glancing shot perhaps?  However brave (or fool hardy) it may have been to stand and fight, the butcher's bill had to be paid and The Bastards suffered four more lost ships (including Silvetrys' Claymore) before the pirates withdrew. FloppyM (ex-GIS and ex-Cloud 7) and his fleet held the field and they had the pick of the loot and wreckage. This was a great fight and well-deserved.  


Returning to Evati to lick our wounds, The Bastards shipped up and grabbed new crews and ships. It was only two jumps back to our home system after all. As soon as The Bastards were docked up, reports came back that another corporation 'Los Chupacabras' (am going to call them 'Chupas' for short) had been camping the Todi' gate and blowing up incoming traffic and were now racing towards the Anher gate. These chaps are relatively new to the area and we had seen them about and thus, were eager to make their acquittance. New friends and neighbours and all that. There was about nine or ten of them and about equal numbers of The Bastards too. A decision was made to engage these (quite elusive) chaps and then return to Egmar to re-engage with the Cloud 7 Nebulosa 'alliance'. 


The Bastards fleet, still mainly battle cruisers, un-docked, whipped into warp and raced towards the Anher stargate. As we approached and about to drop out of warp, the lead ships and their directional scanners could clearly pick out the energy signatures of the target ships against the background noise. Firing weapons does light you up in certain parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum! Landing in a tight formation, we quickly took stock of the situation: Brutix, sacrilege, drake, drake, drake, harbinger, thorax and a couple of others were on the Anher gate. Some had drawn aggression already for some random act of violence. The Bastards, without any further ado, opened up with extreme prejudice. The first target was the brutix, due to it's proximity to The Bastards fleet. The hurricane-heavy battle cruiser gang opened up with a mix 425mm auto canon, drones, lasers and 725 mm howitzers and pulverised the brutix in short order. Chunks of its structure smashed beyond recognition. It was only after the fight, that we realised the brutix was most likely not part of the Los Chupacabras. Caught between the two fleets, it's options were extremely limited. 


Mezrah's sacrilege was next. 

"Primary is Mezrah. Primary is Mezrah." All guns, drones, missiles and lasers re-directed onto the dark blood red heavy assault cruiser. Even with advanced armour alloys, there isn't much one can do with this sort of attention. The wedge shaped HAC was webbed, target painted and pummelled into scrap, bits of the dark blood red armour spinning off into space,  still on fire. 


Los Chupacabras fought back, their lachesis causing Tibbs' hurricane some trouble and before the spikey headed pirate could warp to safety, his ship was dismantled around him though he managed to get his capsule out and most of his crew escaped and docked up in Evati. The space between the ships was now filled with laser fire and ponderous low-velocity howitzer shells. Drones screaming and darting between the battling ships. Dropping below the plane of battle, me and Nashh came up below the enemy ships, attacking the weaker hull and armour of the ships' bellies. My delightful 425mm auto canons rattling away with purpose while Nashh's drones punched forward with their own ordnance. 


Despite our recent loss, the Chupas were faring worse, losing their prophecy, drake and harbinger class ships for only the loss of JManza's (second) hurricane. Due to their recent weapon discharges, the Chupas ships couldn't bleed off enough energy fast enough from their weapons to enable them to immediately jump into high-sec and safety. They had to stop firing to allow their weapons to 'cool down'. 


The troublesome Chupas' lachesis was eventually driven off by the combined attention of lasers and drones, thus giving some breathing space to us. We then continued to flay into Los Chupacabras' remaining ships. Persephone delivered the killing blow on their thorax, the Caldari Navy terror assault missile smashing into the bridge of the Gallente cruiser. Followed closely by the fiery destruction of the Chupas' hurricane, a second drake and third drake before the remaining Chupas ships successfully disengaged and jumped into high sec (into Anher) to withdraw and re-group. A fair few of the Los Chupacabras have a security status of above -5.0 and thus are not classed as criminals so they could travel into high-sec space. The Bastards on the other hand are all criminals and such an avenue of retreat is barred to us. We all cursed as we could not follow to finish off the job, however it was acknowledged that the fight was a good one and the Chupas gave as good as they received with no smack or whines. The best type of fight in other words. 


Holding the field meant that salvage and loot was now with The Bastards and within minutes, the field was clear of any useful debris: drones and wrecks were recovered efficiently and damaged ships moved back into space dock for repair. Everything was usable either as a spare or for sale. The loot collected was a nice haul. 


The night ended with a few more kills - including the ever comical 'Stokar' but that is another report and hopefully, by someone else. 

16 Sep 2010

Bad Bobby? Dead Bobby...

Well, my first night back in a fortnight and I got a bunch of us in T1 cruisers and went for a roam, just to stretch out my legs. Metropolis was busy as usual and we detected that there was a roaming 'Back To Yarr' group close by and we eventually clashed in Egmar. The Back To Yarr chaps are excellent pilots and we knew that we would be in for a good dust up. Their fleet were as follows:

Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Cyclone
Falcon
Huggin
Tengu
Broadsword
Claymore

We had:

Rupture
Rupture
Rupture
Celestis
Arbitrator
Blackbird
Blackbird
Caracal
Rifter
Coercer

Our cruisers roaring into them, guns blazing, drones screaming and the pilots all yelling out as battle was joined. Thrilling stuff; we started to drop fast as the enemy systematically swept their fire on us. The Back To Yarr falcon was locked but managed to get away while both our Blackbirds blew up; which proved to be a rather bad start for us!

We took out both their cyclones but we got spanked losing almost everything else. A good fight nonetheless and well done. Everyone raced home, re-shipped and moved back out. The fleet was split up to cover more ground - one group went back towards Egmar, hoping to catch some of the Back To Yarr chaps (no doubt still picking over our wrecks) while our second fleet got word that a Loki was inbound.

The first fleet failed to get the Back to Yarr ships as they had moved out, our wrecks picked clean but the second fleet was much more fortunate. The Loki eventually jumped into one system out and Nashh raced through and bravely pointed the Loki to force him through to the next system, where the bulk of the second fleet was waiting. The Loki pilot did jump and with a shout of glee, The Bastards were waiting. Catching a T3 strategic cruiser was a prize worth risking sentry gun fire for.

With a shout, The Bastards opened up with webbers, scramblers and guns; plenty of guns. The Loki started going down and there was a suspicion the pilot was either asleep or had a serious case of mental lock-up. The Loki went pop and there were shouts to grab the pod and pop it. Ransoming a pod is a Bastards' tradition but when it is so close to a gate this turns out to be not such a good idea - the capsuleer can always jump through. So the decision is to pop it.

With a wolfish glee, Silvetrys speared the capsule, killing the pilot instantly.

As ever, the pilots checked the CONCORD kill mail for details and it was then that someone noticed the name of the pilot: 'Bad Bobby' and a quick search of recent news archive revealed that this pilot had been involved in what might be one of New Eden's biggest heists. The details are here:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-09/14/eve-online-heist

So Bad Bobby was caught and pulped and we now have his corpse.

http://the-bastards.com/kb/index.php?a=kill_detail&kll_id=17417

Is it worth anything to anyone?

Well, we've scooped it up and put it on ice. In terms of the rather macabre trade in corpses, we're now in the business. Drop me a line if anyone wants this chap's biomass. No idea what one can do with it but I really don't want to speculate.



Bad Bobby
http://the-bastards.com/kb/index.php?a=kill_detail&kll_id=17417

9 Sep 2010

Calexico - Pepita