2 Dec 2011

Winter Expansion, the fury of a Tornado and the Oracle speaks....

So the winter expansion is here and I love it: ships, fonts, nebulae to name three. However, I will leave the analysis of this most wonderful of expansions to another time; let's talk about piracy!

Seeing Tibbs fly the Tornado within hours of the BPO being made available was a great. I was honoured to see this brute fly and destroy a poor unsuspecting Vexor. It didn't survive a concentrated double volley from this monster.

Of course, being pirates we had to come up with something relating to killing and it was Vegas who offered up a competition: the most kills of the new tier-3 battle cruisers would get their choice of any tier-3 battle cruiser (Naga, Tornado, Oracle or Talos) - what a prize!
The evening kicked off with a few kills by our mixed fleet: a raven, a drake etc but then we had reports of at least one, maybe two tier-3 battle cruisers! They were in Todifrauan and we just had to pay them a visit! z0de went off ahead with his megathron, determined to get a piece of the action; as he approached - he gave us an update:

"Two oracles!" Oh sweetness I said, surely a worthy target for us. The z0de added: "You do know it is bait and we're running straight into a trap?"

"Hell yes!" Chorused The Bastards, completely undaunted by death.

A pause and then z0de added:

"A Tornado, a hurricane, 'rax and some support." I glanced at our fleet: a typhoon, four hurricanes and a drake. That would do. We warped to the ingate though there was no call from z0de for us to jump in. The excitement started to build up.

"Ok, more are coming in. I think they want a fight!" shouted z0de as his weapons went active. We jumped and my overview filled up with targets. We were outnumbered at least 2 to 1. However, we had one target: any one of the three new battle cruisers. Scared? hell no.

z0de called the targets as we got range on the Oracle. Our guns barked and shells, rounds, missiles and drones streaked out. The enemy, mainly from the Shades of Grey Alliance answered back with equal fury. Without logistical support, we could only rely on local buffer tanks and speed, completely inadequate but no, we had our target and nothing, not even our fiery deaths would stop it. Raelyf, was the first to go down, the calm pirate merely muttering 'Raelyf, down,' as his hurricane was torn to shreds, the fate of being set to primary.

To my port side, and slightly below was the battle cruiser of TFS Tibbs, one of the best solo pirates that The Bastards have. He had at least five ships surrounding him and he was trading furious broadsides with them all. However, once his shield generators burnt out, it was only a matter of seconds before terminal hull breach.

"We're burning up!"

A screaming missile buried itself deep inside the drake's superstructure before detonating.

"Tibbs is down." Two pirates down.

"More incoming, shit a Loki and a Talos and Dramiel. Kill the Dram, kill it! I am scrammed." It sounded like z0de or Marco but it was difficult to hear due to the sub-space distortions from the many weapon system types all firing. From my position, I could see Red Vegas in his hurricane started to drift sideways as his engines were blown out from behind him. He and his crew continued to fire, even when they had time to punch out.

"Steady lads! We can kill them!"

A caracal swept past my hurricane, I ordered my gun crews to target it as well as a thorax that was within optimal range. I opened up with my howitzers just as Red Vegas' hurricane disappeared in a flash of light and debris. My hurricane rocked as the shockwave washed over me. I hit the micro warp drive to get some range as I was being yellow boxed.

"Vegas is down." The voice was garbled and I just caught sight of a battered capsule racing off. There was little sign of any crew escape launches however - most must have been caught up in the conflaguration and were atomised.

Three pirates down.

The Oracle battle cruiser wasn't  going down, whatever was installed for it's shield tank was not dying. Fair play to the engineers who had fitted this beast together. z0de switched primary to the Tornado and he started to give chase in his megathron! Marco in his typhoon followed, his engines glowing white hot as it pushed the venerable Minnie battle ship ahead and after both the Tornado and z0de's megathron.

Meanwhile, we had scored a kill on an enemy Hurricane, thorax and a caracal but no Oracle or Tornado! So a poor trade. The battle space was thick and crowded. Bits of flaming space junk spinning away.

Edney, also in a hurricane tried to get out of range of the fire from the Loki, Oracle and Talos but he was hopelessly outgunned and couldn't return adequate fire. Warp scrambled and blind, Edney tried to ram the nearest enemy ship, ploughing through the remains of Tibbs' drake wreckage and determined to go down while taking something with him. Alas, it was futile and he and his crew blasted out in their capsules and escape pods as the hurricane exploded.

"Edney down."

Four pirates down. It was looking grim for The Bastards.

"Shit, there's still more of the them." Muttered Marco as he surveyed the enemy ships around him and a couple warped in. Already, his capacitor was dangerously low and he had little left to fight back but he kept up the pursuit along with z0de.

Red klaxons flashed as I was warp scrambled by a dramiel (are they still viable?) and taking fire from one of the two Oracle, the Tornado, vagabond and few others. I tried to drop below the plane and ordered my drones onto the dramiel. Speed and some nifty flying might get me out of this. Meanwhile, z0de and Marco, still in pursuit of the Tornado had the enemy battle cruiser down to structure but it was too late: z0de's megathron was on fire in at least six places and half of his guns burnt out and useless. Ploughing ahead, z0de didn't give up.

I watched helplessly as battle ship calibre weapons zeroed in me and battered my hurricane to pieces. Without any logistic support or a local active tank, I was doomed. My micro warp drive was offline thanks to the dramiel and I was being battered. I whipped out my pod but could see z0de and Marco (both ships now on fire and shedding molten metal) still in hot pursuit of the Tornado.

"Flash is down. Good luck gentleman, die well!"

With a roar, both z0de and Marco overloaded their engines in a last ditch attempt to close the gap and make our first kill of the new class of battle cruiser. It was a brave but foolish attempt as the last two Bastards attracted the full attention of the enemy fleet and they were atomised.

The report ends with success: a fleet from Black Soul Industries (I think) piled into EM and Shades soon after our demise and managed to kill off the Tornado amongst other ships types. .

The butcher's bill:

The Bastards
Megathron (lost)
Typhoon (lost)
Hurricane (lost)
Hurricane (lost)
Hurricane (lost)
Hurricane (lost)
Drake (lost)

Shades of Grey/Electus Matari

God, being a pirate - love it.