The way you make me feel...
A Bastards roam isn't a proper roam until a theme is chosen; Michael Jackson made his appearance this time round and all participants of the roam had to name their ships after a MJ song. This meant anyway scanning for us would be presented with a list of signature 70s, 80s and 90s tunes from the moon-walking one himself. Whether this would amuse, horrify and mystify the viewer is unknown. It was hotly debated whether MJ had any good songs in the noughties or later. I personally preferred his earlier stuff that included the Jackson 5 but I have been often been accused of being nostalgic.
So a gank cruiser roam with a simple idea: pack as much firepower as you can onto a T1 cruiser hull of your choice, with only a damage control unit as your tank. If you wanted to go bling, fit appropriate damage related rigs.
With the fleet in place, the tactics would be to apply overwhelming DPS to a target and hope the sentry guns didn't pop you if we went after someone at a gate or station. Since the cruisers had no tank whatsoever; anyone firing back had a good chance of destroying the cruiser. The fleet had to do arrive as a group, in numbers and quickly.
We also actively discouraged anyone from repairing their ship - a fiery hull should be the only way to fly!
With a large BC/BS/Logistics fleet streaking through Evati and camping some of our target outlying gates in Metropolis, we decided to turn around and head a different route and sneak into M34N coalition territory to see if we could execute a cheeky gank on them. We spotted two of their number in a loki and tengu and tried to find them either at the Eifer gate or on the station. Since they were nice and flashy (like us) there would be no issues with gate guns. A blessing for both sides. M34N being seasoned pirates themselves, they didn't tug on the fishing line but instead danced around us. Surely, a a T1 cruiser named 'Blood on the dance floor' (released as a single from the Blood on the Dance floor: HIStory mix album, 1997) should have had people salivating to kill it. Especially when he was told to start ratting.
M34N, being wily and smart teased us long enough to keep us in one place. We were then spotted by some of their scouts and decided that we wouldn't get an engagement on our terms. A little bit of chat in local
Darthimus> "We're going to break you Flash."
Such chat was obviously meant to illicit a response. It did - we quickly checked the neighbouring system and in the system next door: Katugumur, sitting on the out-gate was a large M34N Coalition BC fleet. Out-numbering us and with a depressingly high number of hurricanes; the damage potential of this fleet was obvious to all. Sprinkled amongst this fleet included other close range gank battle cruisers such as the brutix and harbinger. It is doubtful that this fleet was set up to counter us, more likely it was on the way back from a roam or operation. We just happened to be in its way.
We were on the other side of the gate and not even aligned but luckily didn't jump into this fleet. Nor did they jump into us. Our gank cruisers probably would have inflicted significant damage and no doubt it would have been 'Good Fightz' all round but we would not have held the field and picked up any loot or ransoms; so for pirates, it would be a pointless and profitless engagement.
We turned and left the system quickly and efficiently led by Dil'E Mahn in his thorax named 'ABC' from the same titled Album released by the Jackson 5 in 1970 and reached number 1 in the US charts. We sped through Ingunn and out.
M34N coalition realising this then gave chase but they were too slow and gave up after two jumps. However, not having a kill made us hungry and a bit reckless. The Michael Jackson gank cruisers spied four hurricanes and a rapier sitting on the Evati gate. We jumped in and gave chase but the hurricanes were fast boats and managed to burn away from us at the gate. They scattered and I made a fatal mistake: I split the fleet up to give chase. The Michael Jackson ships relied on DPS as their tank and swarming numbers and if caught in a 1 v 1 situation with hurricane class battle cruiser, the results would end in a fiery death of one of Michael's catchy pop tunes.
So it came to pass, we all landed in a scattered group around a celestial with Persephone's stabber 'Fly Away' (from the Special 2001 edition of 'Bad'), landing closest. She burned her micro warp drive to get point but was then hammered into hull by the hurricane's 425mm auto canons. We desperately tried to get close to Persephone, some burning towards her - others trying to get over 150km away so that we can warp to her. She started to bail and was in warp when a final salvo clipped her and shattered her hull. The hurricane, still burning away then disengaged and warped away to safety. Meanwhile, TheHermit had raced to the gate and uncharacteristically was caught by the rapier (who had wisely cloaked) who called in the other hurricanes and shredded the blackbird, therefore we bid a fond farewell to 'Children', a hit song from 2001 'Invincible' album.
Our final loss was Marco who, on hearing of TheHermit's tackle had instantly warped to his corp mate and was ambushed by three of the hurricanes, resulting in a not-too-surprising loss. His ship, christened 'Bad' (from the smash 1987 album of the same name) was destroyed in a fire. I finally got everyone regrouped and we licked our wounds.
Michael Jackson had just suffered a breakdown and needed a pick-me-up.
We added to our tracklist with Rae in his curse (his excuse was that he had no T1 gank cruisers in stock) and blaring across sub-space radio was Michael Jackson warbling, 'Human Nature' (from the excellent 1982 Thriller album) to all who could hear.
The drake was soon followed by a hurricane and a brutix both melting furiously under the onslaught of the T1. In both cases, we were unable to secure a ransom.
Of worth note, the brutix was tackled on a gate when we were all still under a Global Criminal Countdown after killing the hurricane. Our tactics of overwhelming DPS and a quick warp out saving us. The Dragoons then retired from the field and the Michael Jackson crew flew back home with the loot. Some members had to then drop out but the music just couldn't stop.
Michael Jackson in NULL SEC
So we decided after a 60 minute break where we chatted and chilled out; that MJ had to come out to dance again. Marco brought his Cynabal named 'BAD II' out to pop a cyno generating frigate just for laughs but it did generate some warm fuzzy chat in local from the aggrieved pilot. Just before we had decided that Null-sec was where we would go, Raelyf spotted a badger sitting near the undock and with a whoop, spin and shiny-gloved hand, he undocked in his tempest, 'Dirty Diana' (once again from the monstrously popular Bad album) and blew the industrial to pieces. The drop was pretty good and are harvester drones really that expensive? I think I have half a dozen somewhere.
With no further ado, Michael Jackson took to the skies and the Bastards raced into null-sec, deciding that camping the EOA-ZC gate would be fun. I was in a hound-class stealth bomber, 'Liberian Girl' - yet another smash hit song from the 1987 Bad album. Tibbs and Interdict were both in identical stealth bombers ('Black or White' and 'Man in the mirror') - Mito Rilo had joined us in his dramiel and had no idea why we were calling our ships after Michael Jackson songs but soon got into the spirit of things and dredged up 'Heal The World' from the 1991 hit album, 'Dangerous'. This only made number two in the UK charts and a poor number 27 in the US Billboard. It made number 1 in Spain however, so go the Spanish! Marco in his dramiel ('BAD III'), Persephone in her Falcon, Ann in her Rupture ('Smooth Criminal')and Raelyf still flying 'Dirty Diana' meant we were ready.
The first catch was a deimos that landed and the MJ crew, with flashing lights, moon-walks and the 'vocal hiccup' we got to work. Rather alarmingly, the deimos withstood a fearsome pounding from the entire fleet. Long enough that two friends in drakes appeared also. We outnumbered these chaps but couldn't bring down the deimos fast enough. The three stealth bombers threw torpedoes at it with gusto while the tempest's own auto canons chattered away at the target. The deimos, finally died. It was well fit. The two drakes, despite being bravely pointed by Milo managed to kill the interpid Dramiel pilot, no more healing the world from this one. Smooth Criminal also died but we managed to deliver enough damage to the drakes that they both died and we held the field.
We congratulated ourselves on this and the power of Michael Jackson but then an enemy stealth bomber decloaked and dropped a bomb. There was panic and Interdict was caught up in the explosion losing his beloved Hound.
We looted and left the system.
Michael Jackson goes back to low-sec but dallies too long...
We then camped a low-sec system for a while, netting a few good kills including a Deimos with a monster tank: http://the-bastards.com/kb/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=19525 and some of his friends. Love them stealth bombers!
We ended up the night (a six hour roam!) with a maelstrom kill before the music just had to stop....