3 Feb 2011

Food fleet gank cruiser roam, the disconnect and the arm-chair FC.

Violence - T1 style
The T1 gank cruiser is a ship variant that greatly appeals to me. It is based on a relatively cheap T1 cruiser hull and configured to deliver the biggest wallop possible and as cheaply as can be. Usual choice ships include the thorax and rupture.

So it was back to this ship type for some of us though the MEATSHIELD and applicants were in an assortment of frigates and cruisers. Their job was simply: sweep ahead of the main group and run into potential targets and camps and engage them. Since we were heading into low- and null-sec it was going to be an interesting trip.

When we undocked I received some complaints from a few of my pilots that their graphical interface on inside their capsules was having problems updating itself. It appeared to be much more than just a localised event. It got so bad that we ended up losing three pilots to it, taking a significant chunk out of our DPS.

The Food Fleet
Food fleet - everyone loves food
No matter, we raced into Syndicate space eager for ransoms and loot. As per Bastard culture, roams are usually themed and I decided that each ship had to named after a national or regional dish that the pilot was familiar with and had already tasted and felt compelled to share with the rest of his fellow pilots.  Our roams, while fun should also be educational!

To kick off the process, I decided to call my rupture of doom, 'Harissa' - the national dish of Armenia. It is very nice, filling and tasty. I recommend this dish to anyone. Go on, give it try. Now the roam demonstrated the length and breadth of us pirate's culinary experiences from around the world and I was amazed and delighted at the offerings.

As an example we had the following culinary delights (all vouched by each pilot):
  1. Deep fried mars bar, a dish peculiar to Scotland and nominated by Lord Breathnach.  
  2. Yorkshire Pudding, from Yorkshire, England nominated by Max Ursa.
  3. Fu Fu (baby puncher) originally from Ghana and nominated by Red Vegas. The 'baby puncher' was the original name of the ship. He just added 'Fu Fu' to the front of it. Makes me wonder why it was called baby puncher in the first place....
  4. Frikandel, from The Netherlands by Fenneck. Loved how Fenneck referred to the main ingredient as 'inferior meat' - a nice, evocative term. 
  5. Lutefisk by Dahghda reflecting his Scandinavian origins. Fishey!
  6. Watergruwel by Anaka Totoch
  7. Scouse by Leroxee - initially, I thought Lero was advocating cannibalism of our NorthWestern kith and kin, but no it is the name of the dish for those who didn't know. 
  8. Pupusa by Wamphyrri - this dish looks lovely and I thank Wamp for now making me want to get hold of some pupusa.
  9. Cornish Pasty by TFS Tibbs, the humble pasty but what a fascinating history!....and other dishes nominated by the other pilots that I can't quite remember. 
So the rag tag gank cruiser food fleet left our docking station with violence, haikus, food and fun in mind. We blundered towards Syndicate space but there was an odd issue with the global GUI in which some of our pilots frequently disconnected. We lost TheHermit, Captain Blackler and Dil'e. With some reduced firepower we threw ourselves through null-sec space, our Meatshield pilots (with Arrihadeus joining them) racing ahead - imminent violence in mind. 

Just before we got into the entry system into Syndicate we had a tussle with a drake and a stabber. Both pilots then turning up with friends in battleships to continue the fight.....a fight which didn't happen as it wasn't on our terms. We're pirates and there would be no coin in fighting an opponent who had our number. 

The night had to have some comedy though: we spotted a velator, all lonely in space and Leroxee, in his caracal decided to blow it up! He dropped his cross hairs onto the noob ship, loaded up his missiles into their tubes and yelled in joy as they streaked off towards their target! Sentry guns spun up in response (sentry guns? Oh no...) and smothered Leroxee's ship in explosive ordnance. His pod popped out before he could even yell out in alarm. 

There was much laughter. 

We had already exited Syndicate and we were in Solitude region, a low-sec region of space with sentry guns positioned around the gates and stations. Leroxee couldn't even board the velator since he had blown it up already. 

Still space was sparsely populated and then, everyone's GUI flashed with a universal warning: the super-computers linking the capsule operating system was about to go down in 30 minutes! Amidst groans and curses we turned around to head back. Anaka Totoch, in his blackbird was racing ahead, daring for someone, anyone to fire on him. 

We did catch a flashy maelstrom on the gate - he was with a cynabal friend and there was a harbinger lurking around. The cynabal wasn't flashy but we engaged it anyway. The maelstrom pilot ambled back towards the gate without firing on us, we then had him webbed. He then fired back, probably to get rid of the webbers as he was now slow-boating towards the gate. It was at this point that Arrhidaeus' seat broke. I have no idea why but his announcement drew much hilarity. 

The maelstrom went down - his cynabal friend did not assist but warped away. We even grabbed and podded the pilot's capsule. 

So we docked up and stepped out of our pods for a while. 

Round 2 had us quickly scan down and grab a stabber. We ransomed the pilot for a haiku and he delivered an excellent offering: 
I began haiku, I cannot remember when, It was in this game
 As we released the stabber pilot, a harbinger came roaring in and started to attack the stabber pilot! We felt mild outrage and decided to engage the interloper. I was in the next system and wondered if it would be a prelude to something: sure enough a tempest came roaring in. We had a rapier, a rupture, a cane and a jaguar versus a harby and tempest. Not too bad but we were in a poor position, tactically - being all spread out. The Harby went down just as our hurricane was blown to bits. We now had to tackle the tempest with a jag, arbitrator, rapier and rupture. We could do.....but not that night. I lost 'Harissa' and everyone else had to bail. The Arbitrator was caught too and shredded by the tempest's might guns. So a good fight but very galling - we had lost the loot!

Doubt Chuck Norris can FC from his arm-chair...
Interestingly, the stabber pilot (Charon Chiron) applied to join us such was our impact on this pilot. Also, TheHermit, while not in space with us was following the entire roam on voice communications. I decided that it would be typical of us Bastards to do something fun and crazy and I am going to ask TheHermit to FC a roam, entirely from his armchair. He will have Ombey's excellent 2D maps and our voice comms and he will do his best to FC a fleet of my choosing through low- and null-sec space without being there. Am going to call it the 'Armchair General Roam', will keep you all posted.