25 Mar 2011

Bang, bang, your dead!

TL;DR I posted this blog early and had lots (i.e. eight) of people convo me about the contents. Main issue was my rather inept attempt at masking the identity of someone, only for his name to appear in the post further below. Oddly, this had a rather pleasing effect: a few of the chaps chatting to me ended up apologising for the action of others. Ass Muncher might be a poor choice for name in hindsight.

The blog was incomplete and I have added to it in order to complete it. I do love Shizraak by the way, even if he is a low-sec noob but he is learning about gate guns, the hard way. 

People are never happy
[22:58:58] A***** M** "Tomorrow write about how the basterds wouldn't fight"

No one wants to fight me...
His name has been obscured to protect this chap from embarrassment. For now, let's call him, 'Ass Muncher'.

So, indeed here I am, blogging about it. The bit of text above was spewed in local, I do not read local, especially when I am running a fleet so it was with some surprise that the text was forwarded to me by one of his own people in Ass Muncher's fleet on the night. This chap (completely random chap who I never heard of, but thank you) informed me that he was a wee bit embarrassed at Ass Muncher for talking in local as well as bringing a blob big enough to scare almost everyone else into hiding and then complaining that he couldn't get a fight. Not a good FC it would appear.

Why this little bit of bitterness thrown towards us lovable, roguish Bastards? Well, we had another typical night where our gang of twelve battle cruisers roamed around Heimatar and Molden Heath. We were looking for loot and ransoms. We successfully avoided a superior force made up of battle ships, strategic cruisers and battle cruisers. This was Ass Muncher's fleet, roaring up from Ardar for some potential fun. A fleet this size pushes forward a bow wave: people know you're coming. You're fooling no-one. Having avoided them and keeping my fleet intact, we were called out on it, for doing what any sensible fleet would do in our position: i.e. avoid un-necessary losses.

Tactics and common sense appear to be lacking in the opposition this time round. Why would anyone sensible be willing to engage in a fight that they would surely lose? For glory? For honour? For 'Good Fights'?  It amuses me greatly that there are those who think that all fights in New Eden need to be fought irrespective of conditions, numbers, tactics and strategy. That the real fun is participating in a fight, regardless of outcome. Anyone else who subscribes to a different view, is deemed, well - not worthy.

As pirates, we're after loot and profit only. For that to happen, we need to ensure that we hold the field so that we can pick over the loot and salvage. Losing any fight, including those where people exchange hearty 'good fights!' in local ensures that we speed home in our pods with a lowered isk balance and the need for a new ship. We will engage and often but only if there is a chance that we can hold the field. That the conditions are right, the terms being our own. Tonight, against Ass Muncher and his fleet, they were not. So 'A.M.' I reply to your little nugget of frustration and bitterness with riposte: deal with it or bring a smaller fleet. If you want to have a fight with equal numbers - I suggest you play chess.

Another pirate running away from the blob...

Also, it is spelt as 'Bastards' not 'Basterds'. Am assuming that English isn't your first language so you're forgiven.

Anyway, let's go back in time by about an hour or so to the beginning of the night....

The miners
The evening started off with a mining op being busted by our chaps. We grabbed the Armageddon and drake but failed to grab the two hulks. No matter, we piled in and requested for a ransom. We were rejected and we popped the Armageddon (failed to grab the pod), then popped the drake and we managed to grab the pod as wanted to try a second ransom, mindful that there might be expensive implants in the drake pilot's head.

He rejected us again and we podded his capsule. Shame, he could have parted with a few million isk and not wake up with a headache.

We roamed down the metropolis pipe after the snack and chanced upon a stabber in a complex. It was pointed and we started to kill off the rats that were molesting the stabber in order to keep him alive long enough for us to try a ransom. The pilot, 'Boz Bozly' refused to pay the reasonable amount we requested and we couldn't get him to give us a haiku either. Shocking. So we  killed him with some regret. His last words were: 'I have noted down your names....' Well, if you check your killmail we should all be there too.

The Blob
It was at this time that we realised we were being tracked by another corporation: the Chupacabras, famed for their skilled gate camps between Evati to Jita to Yulai and back. They had over a dozen BC class vessels as well as a couple of probers who scattered scan probes everywhere. They scored a hit and managed to bust a safe spot used by one of our fleet pilots. He was caught and quickly dismembered. We were also informed that an even larger gang was en route and we discussed amongst ourselves what we could do. The most obvious one was to see if these new chaps would plough into the Chupacabras. No such luck as the Chupas scattered before hostile contact was made, losing only a brutix to this new fleet's vanguard.

We stayed put in the system, observing the proceedings as my efforts to link up with the new chaps didn't quite work out. Had a lovely chat with one of the fleet members though! It was at this time that we were being childishly goaded in local, no doubt pickings were slim for Ass Muncher's fleet. There's nothing worse than frustrated fleet mates and not enough targets for the evening. So why not resort to childish attempts at getting a fight?

Not wishing to push into the brick wall in front of us, we turned around and came racing back towards home and proceeded to move towards Molden Heath via the Katugumur system. As we moved towards the Katugumur, we were informed that a flashy cyclone and a neutral Tempest Fleet issue was buzzing around the infamous Gusandall / Eifer gate; home of M34N and the infamous Kane Rizzel. The two ships, with a loki were no doubt looking for easy pickings moving between Eifer and Gusandall. It is a great system.

We decided that since the cyclone was red, we could just tackle him on gate and burn him down. Which we did, his friend in the Tempest Fleet issue was the main prize but he managed to wriggle out of the first tackle only to be caught on the other side when he jumped. He managed to escape this attempt as well, return to the gate and jumped back into our main gang. He then raced away from the gate, which sealed his fate.

We then raced back into Laslienur and popped an Armageddon who was hassling a friend of ours.  We missed out on killing a guardian (who docked) and a T3 cruiser, who we simply failed to locate once he warped off.

In these situations, with a battle ship within docking distance, one has to bring overwhelming DPS to burn it down quickly. This is one of the occasions where you need to plough into someone and there's no such thing as 'too much DPS'.

We ended the evening with some false alarms but all in all a great time.

Last week we went a roaming as well and here's the high-lights:
I jump cloned back to Evati and a hello to the new chaps, battle cruiser roam with logistic support. TheHermit was fleet commander with myself as an ordinary team member flying my Sleipnir with command links. A position that I quite enjoyed, TheHermit is an excellent fleet commander and I felt confident that it would be a great op.

Fleet comms was chatty and boisterous but cutting through the chatter was Raelyf requesting for some extra tackle: he had a tengu probed down close by but needed some extra help to take down the T3 cruiser. However, when you have a fleet of about 22, the ransom pay out is quite low. The craziness continued with our regular fleet favourite, the eve-dependable low-sec noob Shizraak getting volleyed by the sentry guns while he was in his hawk! Don't tackle on gates Shiz, you will die - that's the job of the Meatshield Bastards!

While we idled on a gate, preparing to move, a scorpion class battle ship landed and promptly jumped. We obviously followed him and tackled the feared Caldari ship and reduced it to scrap in a matter of moments. The pilot accused us of being cowards but we chuckled and grabbed the loot. Grabbing ships under gate gun fire isn't fun. As we were picking over the loot, we were then fortunate to catch a Loki. It landed on a gate, saw us and jumped. Unlucky for him, I was in a sleipnir and was on the entry gate for the Loki pilot. As soon as he undocked, I had him web scrambled and demanded a ransom, he refused the convo and the Loki unable to move off, fired at me in despairing fashion awaiting his fate. We then grabbed the pod and demanded a second ransom but once again, he refused.

In Katugumur was a drake from an alliance we had not heard of, so we got in close and tried to see whether he would bite. Which he did and we promptly melted him down to structure before I could even try a ransom. The drake pod raced back to the station with us in hot pursuit. It was then that his mate came out in an Abaddon, a deadly battle ship class vessel that had our fleet salivating at the prospect. He made the decision to target Arrhideaus whom we tried to save but the mighty lasers of the Abaddon cut through Arrhi's harbinger just as he was almost into warp. However, we took revenge and dog piled him and smashed him to scrap. Since we didn't want him to dis-engage his lasers and dock up we did not bother to ransom him.
It's a knock out
Of course, the battle ship pilot complained that we blobbed him but we pointed out that the only way to kill a battle ship within docking distance of a station is to take it down quickly with as many ships as possible. Not elegant solution but an effective solution.

Open Night with The Bastards - another drunk roam? 
Anyway, there's been a number of people who have been asking for another open roam with The Bastards, whether it is a drunk roam or not is partly dependent on the state of my liver and kidneys but I think I will manage it. Low-sec and null-sec roam, with drinks and drunkeness the order of the day (or night) with a twist; we will also be doing the AFK FC concept as well.

It is coming up soon, within two weeks so contact either me or TheHermit or leave a comment here and I will get the details to you. Just make sure you get hold of a T1 cruiser hull with as many weapons as you can cram onto it AND make sure you have your favourite drink handy. I have been told to stay away from Jagermeister shots...
Drunk roam carnage