28 May 2008

The Typhoon that almost got away, Smack in local and killing some maelstroms!

Hunting is always a challenge and without a network of spies and information brokers, I would be very hard pressed in finding targets. Targets means ransom and salvage and that means ISK. When I am not in my ship and in space, then I am hunched over my numerous screens, my eyes scanning over hundreds of channels, verbal reports whispering out from numerous speakers - giving my operations hub the background noise of a call centre. I pay my spies to keep an eye out for targets.

The reports scrolled over and illuminated my face, the reflections of them flickering over my face and after a couple of hours, there was very little hard information on profitable targets. Just as I was going to leave and get a drink at the Independence bar, there was a beep - it's volume increasing with every passing second.

I took one look at the report and the pilot making it and hit the scramble button. My crew jumped up from their bunks and raced towards the waiting hurricane. I also hastily set up a call-up of pirates and set up a fleet.

"Move, move, move!" I shouted at the fleet, the ships moving in from four different directions. towards Arnstur. Like a wolf pack, we were being vectored into the last known location of a typhoon-class battle ship. We had a myrmidon, two vagabonds and my hurricane. More than enough, even tackling on a gate.

"Ships - scatter, we're looking for Ruantin Form. In a 'phoon, last known location was Todi, he's in Arnstur, I think."

"Roger that." Replied the other three pilots, Nessaja, Muhaar and Kerjin. The fleet broke up and went to all the possible exits. It was Kerjin who found him.

"He's in Arnstur."

The rest of the fleet vectored in on Kerjin. Kerjin locked but did not active any hostile action. He tried to bump the battleship off vector but was unable to. I tried as well but the gravitational anomalies around a star gate made things very difficult. I missed the battleship by the proverbial mile. The typhoon, though locked by me and Kerjin - did not fire. Nor did we, as the weapons' discharges would have prevented us from jumping immediately.

"Bump him off the gate!"

"Trying damnit!"

"He's in Gultratren and fuck, missed him!" I said, de-cloaking too far for even my over-heated warp disruptor. The typhoon, leisurely re-aligned and warped to the next gate: Rokofur a high-security system.

"He's going to the high-sec gate. Need to point him!" Said Muhaar as he whipped his vagabond into warp. We had no webbers however so this was going to be tricky. Tackling under the watchful eyes of sentry guns is not a good tactic but we had to try.

It was Muhaar who arrived first.

"Shit, he fell short of the gate. He's 12km from it."

I arrived at the gate and had to turn around. The typhoon, for whatever reason, was too far to instantly activate the gate and jump. We had a window, albeit a slim one.

"Flash going in for the tackle."

I locked and switched on the warp disruptor. I was right next to a gate guns and the automated devices spun-up and locked me.

++Flashfresh, for your illegal weapons discharge, you will be punished++

My hurricane was rocked to the port and then starboard as high-velocity shells spat out at me.

Well, in for the penny, then in for the pound I thought to myself and powered straight towards the Typhoon. My 425mm auto canons are devastating at close range and even a battle ship had to take notice. The typhoon pilot locked me. He was now 9km from the gate, Muhaar, Kerjin and Nessa had him locked and they too opened fire.

The the typhoon pilot, possibly panicking, returned fire.

The fool had sealed his fate.

"Typhoon is firing weapons. Gate will not let him through now!"

A quirk of the star gate mechanics was that it was extremely sensitive to energy discharges characteristic of most weapons' system. Just like you need to cool down food before you put it into a cryo-storage, so too did you need to give weapons' time to 'cool' off. For a ship, it would take about 30 seconds after the last weapon was fired before the gate would allow him to jump. The typhoon was still firing. It should have stopped, tanked the damage and jumped.

Maybe the pilot did stop firing and tried to jump immediately, on seeing the denial, am sure he panicked and started firing again. Whatever.

He died all the same.

A Ransom - thank you Mr. 30 MILLION isk man and others!!
Now, the last few days I must have hit a rich seam of isk heavy pilots and in most cases, the mark instantly fired a message to me asking for the ransom amount in order to save their ship(s).

I needed isk and some ships I caught in the belt were big juicy targets - the pilots were desperate to pay me in order to escape:

The Act:

Here's a drake that I caught in a belt, the pilot did the right thing and pinged me a message: 'How Much?'.

I said "30 million please."


I then let him go.

Faction frigate madness and smackalicious

Kane is a pirate and pilot who I count as a friend and I have tremendous respect for him. He wanted to celebrate his birthday and what better than to get a bunch of faction frigates and go for a roam? When a Dramiel- or Firetail-class frigate is seen in a belt, ratting - it does bring out the pirates in most people. We wanted to use this to our advantage.

I strapped myself into a Firetail-class frigate, fitted like my rifter but with one less auto canon and an extra rocket launcher. This ship has paper for armour but it relied on speed to get out of trouble. Kane was in his succubus and WayCharles also joined in. A zealot and vagabond also came in and it turned into a fast roaming gang. Unfortunately, not everyone had the means to get hold of a faction frigate but meh, a gang is a gang.

We started the night with a prophecy and brutix kill, very nice but was a bit horrified at the terrible armour of the firetail. The fight details are here.

Then we went to Katugumur and found a typhoon ratting, we jumped into the belt, seconds after a thorax and brutix had screamed in, also intent on the same kill. The 'rax and brutix jumped out and we tackled the 'phoon. Poor DPS from us and we also lost the tackle - then the smack began. Very funny to be honest, we should have at least locked down the 'phoon but meh. Kane has a more full account here.

Maelstrom Kills and welcome BoB

A few days later, I got two maelstrom kills and a deimos kill. Superb and excellent job to our probers for finding the missioning pilots. Lovely!

22 May 2008

Dubious 1 v 1, frigate fight and other madness....

Frigate Show down

"We have an ass-load of frigate-class ships in Eifer!" Yelled Aiko Shinjiro, a well-respected M34N corporation pilot. He was in a manticore-class ship in Eifer, cloaked and keeping an eye on a small frigate fleet that was roaming between the belts in Eifer. There were other targets in the system but this was interesting.

"Aiko, how many?" I asked, my interest piqued.

"Er, I say between 4-6 rifters, one crucuifer-class and a tristan."

"Are they all together? Anthing else in the system?"

"Unsure Flash, there was a dominix battleship here recently and a rupture and a crow as well but they're not together, I don't think. Most of the frigates are from 'British Federation'."

"Roger that - keep us updated; let me get a fleet up and running. Wait five."


The communication link went silent as I searched for available pirates, a frigate swarm in Eifer, roaming and moving around like they were was basically either bait or they were looking for a fight. Either way, this was not to go unchallenged. A quick message pulse and in addition to Aiko, I had Yoshi and Kerjin answering the call. Our little anti-frigate fleet now consisted Yoshi's brutix, Kerjin in his vagabond, Aiko in the manticore and I decided to get into my trusty Jaguar-class assault frigate. Yoshi was going to be the bait as I formed my plan.

"Ok fleet, listen up. Yoshi - get to 1-1 and sit there as bait. A frigate swarm will love you my friend -"


"- Kerjin and Aiko, sit cloaked in 1-1 and see what will happen."

Undocking into Gusandall space, I moved towards the Eifer gate. The crew at the gate waved me through, it's good to keep these guys sweet to ensure a quick transit. In Eifer, I could see plenty of pilots. I moved to a safe spot and asked for an update.

"Yoshi here. Am in 1-1 and nothing yet, doesn't look like the frigates will bite..."

"Patience Yoshi - prepare to move to the next belt. Aiko and Kerjin, I trust you chaps are close by?"

Both Kerjin and Aiko pinged an affirmative to me.

"OK Flash, am moving towards -" Yoshi's comms-link suddenly went dead.

"Contact! Contact! A crow just engaged me." Testing to see if it's bait?

"Aiko and Kerjin: hold. I doubt the crow can kill the brutix. Do not tip off the frigates, if they are together. You ok Yoshi?"

"Yeah, yeah. Am OKAY."

So we waited, Yoshi giving a running commentary on the damage, limited as it was, on his brutix.
"Guys, they're all here!" Not too sure what was going on, but everyone else then warped to Yoshi's Brutix.

My Jaguar whipped into space and I was as eager as the others for the kill. Landing inside the belt at 1-1, my overview lagged to load up all the ships in it. I saw four rifters and one or two others, some were already leaving.

"Primary? Primary?"

I looked, too many and I was very confident that we could take them.

"Opportunity fire. Take down anyone!" I locked three rifters and pointed one. A pod suddenly appeared in my overview. There was another flash. Missiles I think. The pod whipped away. My auto canons spun up and spat death. The EMP rounds knifed through the rusty frame of the rifter and split it into two flaming bits. I switched to my next target, a tristan. Before the lock resolved, it exploded into a million pieces.

A rupture loomed in my overview, I locked him and he locked me. It was 'Lt Calman', the name rang a bell to me. We both opened up as the other rifters warped out. The fight was quick and dirty but the rupture couldn't fight the combined fire power of our group. I have no idea if Lt Calman was with the rifters, he probably wasn't but we didn't care. He too, died but also managed to warp his pod out.

The belt was strewn with rifter and other frigate wrecks. It was over in a little under two minutes but what a fight!

Well done to the frigate gang, very well done.

Good kills - mission runners beware.

We've tangled a few times with a number of corporations that we want coming back (which is cool) to the same area. One of them is a corporation called, Soldiers of Eve (SOM) --> so far, our work has been pretty successful in terms of numbers though isk efficiency is only at 33% due to our BS loss to them.

Details are here: http://www.black-flag.org/kills/?a=corp_detail&crp_id=8378

Last night, we had good intelligence that there were some SOM pilots making their way through a cosmic anomaly in Sotrenzur. We know the entire area well, so we were almost guaranteed to drop onto them with no problems. As a rule, we pirates keep up to date star charts of cosmic anomalies and other celestial bodies; just so that we can vector in our ships onto the target with the minimum of fuss. Our intelligence reported back that the ship types to be a caracal, myrmidon, zealot and hurricane. I managed to rustle up a cerberus, hurricane, hurricane and vagabond - drawn from three different corporations.

"Fleet this is Flashfresh: status please."

"Kerjin, in vagabond and en route."

"Kane in hurricane, ready and en route."

"Daplat, cerberus, on gate and ready."

Daplat was closest and we need a tackle.

"Daplat - go and point the zealot, secondary will be the myrmidon - that's your baby Kerjin."

"Roger that!"

Like wolves, we descended on the SOM ships. Daplat, Kane and Kerjin arrived before I did and due to some communication problems - the caracal was pointed by everyone. The myrmidon was already in warp when the ships were coming in; the Angel's in the cosmic anomaly had been utterly destroyed and the SOM fleet was already making ready to leave. The zealot managed to get out.

No matter, a kill is a kill and the caracal was torn apart in a very unfair 4 v 1 - but who the hell cares? It's not a duel; it's a kill. However, the zealot suddenly warped back into the anomaly - maybe in a belated attempt to rescue his corporation mate. We momentary held our fire (though we insta-pointed him) as a sign of respect for his fool-hardy bravery, then killed his ass.

2008.05.26 22:18

Victim: Renato Pace
Alliance: None
Corp: Soldiers Of Mercy
Destroyed: Zealot
System: Sotrenzur
Security: 0.3
Damage Taken: 7872

Involved parties:

Name: Kane Rizzel
Security: -10.0
Alliance: Derek Knows Us
Corp: NovaKane Incorporated
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: Hurricane
Damage Done: 3518

Name: Piranha Light Missile / Minmatar Republic
Damage Done: 1750

Name: Daplat Mode (laid the final blow)
Security: -9.9
Alliance: None
Corp: New Orion Underground
Ship: Cerberus
Weapon: Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 932

Name: flashfresh
Security: -10.0
Alliance: None
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: 425mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 848

Name: kerjin
Security: -9.5
Alliance: None
Corp: Mean Corp
Ship: Vagabond
Weapon: Hobgoblin II
Damage Done: 824

Destroyed items:

Multifrequency M
Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Cap Recharger II
Armor Thermic Hardener I
Armor EM Hardener I
Heat Sink II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Conflagration M, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Radio M, Qty: 5 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Multifrequency M
Multifrequency M
Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
Cap Recharger II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Armor Kinetic Hardener I
Conflagration M, Qty: 2 (Cargo)

We missed the pods in both attempts, I really wish we had a few smart bombs fitted!

Other bits.

Checking through the corp's killboard, I realised that I had hit and gone through the 300 kills mark with Black-Flag.

Time does indeed fly by on this and I cast my mind back to the kills and to be honest, only a small handful come to mind and usually the ones where I am (almost) hopefully outnumbered.

Finally, 1 v 1 - avoid them!!

Someone we knew accepted a highly dubious 1 v 1 and was then jumped by two others, making it a 3 v 1. Oh well.

15 May 2008

More kills

Logged in quickly and was in a fleet within a few minutes in Evati. I had joined mid-way through an existing engagement. The fleet eventually took out two Myrmidons, a hurricane and a harbinger. Well done to The Bastards for being a bunch of crazy, pirates. They don't take prisoners and love the pew-pew.

Engagement details are here.

12 May 2008

Action Packed Weekend? Hell yeah

Did we have fun? yes we did - here's a recount of the weekend.....

Evati and the chase.
VB Sarge lost his rupture to a well-executed trap by Ugly Angel, Texman and Serroco and despite our best efforts, a small gang of us (made up of BLACK-FLAG and The Bastards) failed to get these guys to engage. No problem, we had time and vowed to come back and finish the job.

Renato Pace and his Proph.
Later on in the day, Renato Pace from Jovian Enterprises was seen in and around Eifer and Gusandall, in his prophecy, he decided to engage my plated ruppie. With him aggressed, he was pummelled into sputttering scrap by Nozarro and Viper Sam. Unfortunately, when Renato came back in an Armageddon, we had it pointed and jammed and it was going down (albeit slowly due to a very impressive buffer) when we lost our tackler and the 'geddon escaped.

We went for a roam down to Bosena.
An eight-ship gang of BLACK-FLAG went for a roam but we eventually killed only a Phobos, due to the opposing gangs well spread out formation.

A funny moment was Prediction Pain who, for some reason or another, suffered a mental breakdown and was unable to locate the rest of the fleet for well over 30minutes. I remained docked up and got some sleep.

Sit tight - let's spring da trap!

The highligh was to follow in the next day.....

"Patience is the key. Patience." I said to the assembled fleet. I was back in Evati again and found myself in charge of another mixed pirate gang. We had intelligence that Ugly Angel, Texman and Serrocco were, once again, out and about in Evati and we still wanted revenge for VB Sarge's loss from the other day. These guys were smart hunters however and they could sniff out bait quite easily, since they were used to doing the same thing! We were going to spring their trap - they knew it and we knew it.

The key this time was to have something in reserve. Always.

The fleet was as follows:

Kerjin, Vagabond
Prediction Pain, Falcon
Cpt Nessaja, Drake
Ard UnjiiGo, Hurricane
Jarek Switchblade, Hurricane
Flashfresh, Hurricane (FC)
Commando Jaxx, Blackbird
z0de, Vexor (2nd FC)

Now, for those who know Evati and Todifrauan, the place is chocka full of ships most of the time, mission runners, plex runners and gankers. It was difficult to tease out who was with whom.

We knew that our marks were the trio from yesterday:

Texman, Falcon
Ugly Angel, Hurricane
Serroco, Zealot / Harbringer

There were also three more ships that interested us:


The latter three were unknowns. We had no idea if they were with the target three ships. A plan had formed however and I gathered the ships' Captains together in my bar in the station. There were strong shots of liquor served up. It was going to be one of those meetings.

"Listen up." The noise in the Black-Flag planning room went quiet, quickly as the pirates stop their smacking and squabbling and listened in on the instructions.

"Okay, am going to split the fleet into smaller groups, doesn't tip any one off. No point in appearing as a big gang; it will scare people away." There were some grumbles in agreement to this and I continued.

"The Independent Nation pilots and friends are our targets, we want some payback for their kill on VB Sarge last night."

I glanced over at Aard, jarek and z0de at this last point, VB Sarge was their corp mate and they grinned back fiercely.

"Latest intelligence, thanks to Aard, tells us that they have a falcon, hurricane and zealot operating in the belts. The falcon is, of course, cloaked and they will probably have more and different ships. However, since yesterday's kill - we're confident that the ship types have not changed."

I flipped open a holographic star-map, the three-dimensional image bathing the inside of the room in a baleful green. The star-map twisted and reformed under my command as I explained the tactical layout. I zoomed into one portion of the map.

"The plan is to have three groups: a bait and point gang to make the initial tackle and spring their trap and then two damage gangs, coming in separately as required to close the kill. Bait gang will be designated as green squad. First damage gang is blue squad and the second damage gang is red squad." The map swivelled and zoomed back out, it faded as names and ship designations appeared in it's place.

"Squad placement is as follows: Kerjin, Prediction and Nessaja; you're in green squad. Ard and Jaxx, blue squad. Z0de, Jarek and me, red squad." A hand went up. It was Kerjin.

"I don't like green. Can't we be something cool, like, purple?"



"No and no more requests. This isn't a democracy."

Kerjin shrugged and slurpped noisely from his drink.

"Green squad will go in and tackle their bait or any other ship. Kerjin and Prediction will be cloaked but will be close to Nessaja who is the primary tackler."

"Will get points on the drake, Flash." Added Nessaja.

"Once the target has been tackled, proceed to kill it. If this doesn't get the other guys in, fair enough and good kill. If they do, Kerjin and Prediction will decloak and get those coming in to trap. No doubt, it will include Texman in his falcon. Once we bring in extra, they'll probably do the same - blue squad is then our response. If they bring more in, then red squad is our response."

I glanced around the faces of these pirate captains. All capable and from all the races of New Eden. Despite the looming factional genocide between the four Empires, here was an example to all of how our races were cooperating together. Pity it took pirates to show others that we could, indeed, get along.

Shaking myself out of this self-indulgent thinking, we got ready.

"Captains, good hunting and to your ships!" With a roar, the Captains downed their drinks and went to their ships.

It took fifteen minutes to get the ships set up. Green squad out in space, actively hunting. Blue squad docked up and ready and red squad in a neighbouring system and in a safe spot.

"Pilots, status please."

"Green squad, ready and en route to the top belt."

"Blue squad docked. Ugly Angel is here in the station too. No sign of Texman in his falcon."

"Red squad ready."

Capt Nessaja went in as bait in a passively shield tanked drake. The top belt was empty Nessaja proceeded to move through the belts, as if he was hunting for Angels. On the scanner appeared a dominix and a second hurricane. Wasn't too sure if they were there or not.

"Nessja, shout if you get company."

"Roger that Flash."

"Kerjin and Prediction. Move away from the belt and scan out the neighbouring clusters."

"This is Kerjin - on my way to cluster X."

"Prediction here. On my way to cluster VII."

My ship, hung silent in space along with Z0de and Jarek. Waiting and waiting. The other's kept good communication discipline, reducing any confusion.

"Kerjin here. I have a hurricane on scan. It's at a belt."

"Flash here. Identify pilot."

"I think, it is, hold on-" Kerjin broke off and I waited for his reply." Vediovis. Vediovis from 'Echo of War' corporation, in hurricane. Am 55km and closing."

"Bastard. He podded Jubes the other day. Am sure he would want him dead." Hissed Prediction Pain. Someone who could take our Jubes, our most prolific pirate at Black-Flag, deserved respect.

"Blue squad stand-by. Jaxx - get some racial jammers on."

"Roger that sir!"

"Nessaja here. Flash, am still moving down the belts. Want me to move in for the tackle?"

"Not yet. Hold your position. Not too sure if Vediovis is with Ugly Angel and friends." There was a curse from Kerjin. I feared the worst.

"Kerjin here, Vediovis warped out. Am working on his trajectory."

"Come on Ker. Hurry." It sounded like Jaxx, docked up and feeling caged in.

"Planet X. Planet X. Warping there now."

"Flash here. Prediction, warp to Planet X. Keep your cloak on."

"Am on my way already." Chuckled Prediction Pain.

I glanced at the tactical and made sure that Jarek and z0de were keeping an eye on the traffic coming in and heading to Evati.

"There he is. Vediovis is at a geo-stationary orbit at position 332 by 212 by 64." Said Kerjin, his intent clear in his voice. Prediction Pain joined in.

"Confirmed. Vediovis needs to be killed. Podded." Prediction Pain's intent was also very clear. However, I had to slow things down - no need to drop everyone on him. No need.

"Nessaja. Break off from the belts and warp to planet X. Prepare to tackle Vediovis in his hurricane."

"Understood. Am now in warp."

"Kerjin and Prediction Pain, do not de-cloak until ordered to." This was a test of discipline here as I imagined the slab-shaped drake bursting out of warp and snapping on the warp disruptor and engaging the hurricane. How it would light up the surrounding space with the explosions from the missiles and munitions exchanged. I love combat - pity it could get you killed.

"Hurricane pointed. Hurricane pointed." Reported Nessaja. Over the communications, I could hear the tell-tale 'kabooms' of his missiles impacting on the vessel. "Taking damage, shields at 80% but holding."

"Prediction, can you see on the scanner any incoming?"

"Checking now boss."

"Come on Flash, let us de-cloak!"

"I want in on the fight, am still docked!"

"Silence damnit!!" I roared. Pirates, like herding Goddamn cats.

"This is Prediction, we have a zealot here. Zealot."

My heart was starting to beat faster. The trap was being sprung.

"Kerjin and Prediction - decloak and tackle that Zealot. Blue squad, stand-by."

"Ugly Angel just undocked!" Said Jaxx. Okay, show-time.

"Blue squad. Hold. Do not undock. Hold."

"Green squad:report!" There was a shriek of static as the sub-space communication link was disrupted. "Green squad: report!"

"Falcon decloaked.Texman is here. He's trying to jam me." Shouted Prediction Pain. Time for the me to spring the trap on the trap.

"Kerjin and Prediction - go for the falcon. NOW. Leave the Zealot."

"Zealot's warpped off now."


"Blue squad undock and warp to Nessaja."

"This is Nessaja. Two cane's on me - shields down to 35%."

"Hold on Nessaja. Hold position." Did he say two canes? "Say again, say again - two canes?" Nessaja didn't reply but it was Ard, having arrived with Jaxx who updated me.

"We have Vediovis and Ugly Angel here. Who's primary?" There was a shout and another curse. "Zealot is back! Zealot is back! Primary. I need Primary."

"This is Flash. Primary for blue squad is Vediovis. Secondary is Ugly Angel. Primary for green squad is Texman."

"What about the zealot?" Asked Jaxx, though I had my answer.

"Red squad. Jump to Evati and warp to Ard. Primary is Vediovis. Secondary is Angel but I want Jarek to point the zealot."

Gate activation was quick, as we had been prepped to go for over 15 minutes.

The result was inevitable due to our superior numbers though the zealot got away, it was at 50KM+ range by the time we arrived and we couldn't get a point on it before it warped away.

Still, a good result and well done to Ugly, Tex and Serocco for being good sports and excellent pilots. This was not a dual, it was a case of bringing in more than the opposition and pwning them. Simply and effective.

Kane's 1 v 1

Here's a cross post - Kane's epic 1 v 1....read it here.

6 May 2008

There's a pos being sieged - let's go and kill them!

"Flash! Set up and FC a fleet!" Came the call from some pirates who were trying to chase after some anti-pies. All were residents of the Independence channel so I counted them as colleagues and friends. So I found myself in charge of yet another 11 ship fleet and mixed one at that with Hellequin, The Bastards, M34N, TSL and one Kane Rizzel, the baddest solo pirate in New Eden.

The evening for me started with a ping-pong of intel-reports about an enemy gang in Eifer. Just as the pilots were checking themselves into the fleet interface, ship dispositions and intelligence reports updated themselves on my GUI. From what I could glean from the cacophony of reports and shouts, we were facing a small roaming fleet made up of a hurricane, myrmidon, jaguar and possible one or two stealth bombers.

Our mixed pirate gang, unlike the Black-Flag gangs took some time to get into the groove but to be honest, this bunch I have flown with before and within a few extra minutes we had all logged onto the Black-Flag secured communications server and performing voice-checks. Only WayCharles was outside of this communication server, instead he used a simple terminal to communicate to the group.

It was WayCharles who gave the fleet some cheer.

[-WayCharles here. I have a probe hit on the hurricane. Warping in to tackle - I think I have cracked it's safe spot-]

"Roger that WC." I glanced at the fleet map that plotted the fleet's ship locations. I zoomed in and started to move the ships into position. Some of fleet were docked; some were one or two systems away. I had to get them all together.

"Z0de and RoninD, move into Gusandall and hold cloak on the inbound gate."

"Roger that," replied the two bastards.

"Kane here. Am at Eifer gate already." Good old Kane. Wily and smart as per usual, he needed no prompting and had already anticipated my next request.

"All pilots - sound off, maintain voice discipline. Now I want everyone's status."

"Zonk here. Docked and ready."

"Uma here. Docked and ready in Domi."

"Gwendonline here. In Ishtar in orbit outside station."

"Kerjin here -"

"Huginn in Gusandall! Engaging!" Interrupted Kane as he moved in. I ordered more ships to assist Kane but the huginn escaped. Things were moving fast.

"All ships - rendezvous at the Eifer gate in Gusandall. Best speed." I also sent out an automated fleet command to all ships. We tried to get ready but as the fleet assembled, we realised that the enemy fleet had a cloaked pilot directly above the Eifer gate in Gusandall who watched our ever move. We were rumbled as the fleet took up positions on the gate. We had WayCharles on the other side as a scout but it wasn't enough. Like ghosts, the anti-pie fleet disappeared with a whisper.

Grumbling, the pirates wanted more kills and I agreed.

"Z0de, move to Ingunn; RoninD, move to Hrondredir; Kerjin - Sotr. Keep your eyes open for new targets."

My attention was then caught by a blinking, incoming message notification. I opened it up and realising it's implications, I had to drop out of the fleet. Toggling the fleet chat I spoke up.

"Fleet - Flash is dropping out of command. Kane is now in command until I come back or he get's sick of it."

"Roger that Flash. See you soon."

Grab that cane!
45 minutes shot by and I was back in the hurricane and undocking. I re-integrated into the fleet and quickly digested the most recent intelligence reports. There appeared to be a POS under attack in Hrondredir, the owner of the POS was red to Black-Flag and to others in the fleet but the attackers were our focus. WayCharles and Kerjin were there, in system and feeding back reports. However WayCharles still wasn't fully integrated in the fleet voice communications and was firing off terse text based reports back.

"Kane. Flash has command of fleet. Update please."

"Flash - we have a POS under attack in Hrond'. The owner of the POS is asking for help and we're organising ourselves. We have eyes in WC as he is in system. The POS owner is a pilot called 'Xxar' and he is asking for permission to join the voice server. I believe there is a carrier or dread there. Would be a nice kill. The target corporation is Jion Keanturi."

"Roger that Kane. Thanks."

"Flash, one other thing."


"We need Xxar to adjust standings at the POS - otherwise, we'll be shot at by the POS weapons alongside the attackers."

"Okay - good point Kane, bring him into the voice server and get this done."

"Roger that. Will be tricky with a mixed gang that we have...." I left Kane to organise the invite of this new pilot, Xxar. A quick check revealed that he was red to Black-Flag and quite possibly to everyone else in the fleet! Pirates, we may be bastards but we're pragmatic too. There was a garbled message from WC, sent over the terminal. I read and re-read it. WayCharles could hear my voice but not speak back in return.

"Resend again WayCharles. Resend ship types please."

[....am cloaked but there's a raven, mega, mega, phoenix.....]

The terminal scrolled across my vision; the ships attacking the POS numbered two battle cruiser class ships, seven battle ship class and one dread and / or carrier. The report was short and to the point but I needed pilot names to go with the ships. Additionally, I was still busy trying to get the fleet to update their status. It felt like herding cats. Wild, nasty, hissing cats armed with weapons at that.

"What's the plan Flash?" asked RealZonk.

"Yeah, what are doing? Going after them POS bashers?" queried Z0de.

"All pilots report in, ships and status."

I had to see what we could bring to the party. As the fleet pilots reported back, the gang eventually comprised of three battle ship class vessels, four battle cruisers, one heavy assault ship and whatever WC was in. A bit light on damage but it was all we had but it would have to do. Against us, would be at least ten enemy ships, seven which were battle ships and one capital class ship - we would be hard pressed to succeed but a plan was forming.

"OK fleet listen up. Situation: there's a fleet attacking a POS in Hrondredir. The attacking fleet at the POS is designated as target ALPHA.
We will need to knock out their main damage dealers so the megathron's go first. According to WC's intel, we have two: Keiler's megathron is primary then Kaito Rei's megathron is secondary. We do a hit and run, under cover of the POS fire."

I glanced at Xxar's avatar and asked, "Xxar - have you set friendly standings to us? We're going to be hard pressed taking this guys without your POS firing on us..."

Xxar didn't reply - maybe he was busy. I didn't wait for a reply.

"Roger that Flash."

"Aye, aye sir."

"Let's do it." I grinned at the bravado and balls of these pirates as I continued.

"Then we micro warp drive and get the fuck out, pick two new targets and warp back in. WC will provide the warp in points. Quick and easy."

"Yeah, sounds good boss. Let's do it!". I could feel the blood thirst building. WayCharles sent another update to me, the text scrolling across slowly - the equivalent of someone flashing a light and using morse-code. Well done that man WayCharles for having the patience!

[POS is now in reinforced. POS is now in reinforced.]

Shit. With the POS now in reinforced mode, the ships would be dis-engaging. We had to hurry.

"The POS is in siege-mode. I think the POS attacking fleet is breaking up." I said, things were moving fast again.

"All ships: undock and meet at the Hrondredir gate in Gusandall. Undock NOW."

Release clamps popped as my hurricane rumbled out of space dock and I angled the ship towards the gate. Systems checks came back all green and I set the ship to red alert. It was time to rumble, only four ships were at the gate, ready. Where were the others?

"All ships: rendevous at the Hrondredir gate in Gusandall, goddamnit."

"Undock! Undock! Undock!" yelled RoninData in exasperation.

It took another two minutes for all the ships to meet up outside the gate. The fleet had two more in station, frantically refitting ships.

"Remaining ships: you have two minutes to refit and join us." We couldn't afford to wait any longer and I quickly made a head count. The fleet numbered eight, nine including WayCharles in Hrondredir.

The fleet was:

Name: flashfresh (FC)
Ship: Hurricane

Name: Kane Rizzel (2nd FC)
Corp: NovaKane Incorporated
Ship: Hurricane

Name: RealZonk
Corp: Hellequin Inc.
Ship: Typhoon

Name: RoninData
Security: -10.0
Ship: Hurricane

Name: kerjin
Ship: Vagabond

Name: Redbad
Corp: Tempered Steel Legion
Ship: Maelstrom

Name: Uma Thurman
Corp: Mean Corp
Ship: Dominix

Name: z0de
Corp: The Bastards
Ship: Myrmidon

Name: WayCharles
Corp: Mean Corp
Ship: ++Classified++

However, as I was busy communicating with WayCharles and Xxar - a shadow loomed above my hurricane.....

A plan never survives contact with reality...

"Shit. Rokh here," said Kane. I glanced up at the GUI just in time to see the tell-tale sign of a gate fire. "It's gone. Flash - we need to move. He's going to rumble us to that fleet." My mind was flying at 100 miles per hour. Options raced through my mind, Kane was right. I had to act decisively as the fleet was waiting to go. The die had already been rolled for us. Time to act. We were all like attack dogs, straining at the leash.

Once I made the decision, I felt calm.

"Fleet, this is command. Jump into Hrondredir. Primary is the Rokh. We can not afford for it to warn the fleet at the POS!" I added, " I hope he isn't in the same corp as ALPHA - so we might be lucky."

"Jumping." Chorused the fleet, no trace of fear in anyone's voice. The multiple flashes of several gate activations seared into my eyes as I was pulled through into Hrondredir. As soon as my ship materialised in Hrondredir, I de-cloaked and hunted for the Rokh. It was already de-cloaked but was only 19km from me, below and the left. With a hiss, the warp disruptor snapped on as my target lock resolved.

"Rokh pointed. We need to kill it now before it can warn the others."

Flashfresh: for your illegal and hostile actions, the Minmatar republic will exact swift and terrible retribution.

The automatic warning flashed across my GUI as I engaged in hostile actions. Who cares? All around me, the fleet were recieving identical messages as the sentry guns spun up and opened fire on us for the illegal weapons discharges. We had to be quick. Fighting under sentry fire in a hurricane was not fun.

The Rokh pilot did not broadcast anything in local as he got pointed and the scrambled and then blasted.

"Shit. 43km from the Rokh...." grumbled someone, it sounded like Redbad, obviously too far away to make an immediate impact.

"Rokh pointed."

"Rokh webbed."

"It's going down."

The Rokh was ripped apart as our eight ships blasted it to scrap. Not many of his crew managed to escape. The victim was Jayton Dowerty from TAWD Research and Building Corporation. We missed his pod. Even before the Rokh was dead, I flipped open the scanner and found that there were ships incoming. My proximity alert squawked soon after.

"Fleet: prepare for incoming!"

My overview exploded with two red flashing blinking ships. The first ship was a cyclone, then an abaddon alongside it. More were on their way. We wanted a fight and by heck we had one. Not ideal, with the sentry guns against us but what the hell. I gave the order.

"Primary is Gammarus in the Abaddon.Primary is Gammarus in the Abaddon." A megathron then appeared, joined by a raven and another megathron. I had to focus. Already, our fleet were locking and firing on Gammarus' Abaddon, the golden-hued ship shuddering as artillery, missiles and hybrid shell slammed into it. Then in response, they turned on us. The space between our ships were filled with lethal ordnance. We were hopeless mixed up with the enemy ships. There was very little in clean formations here. It was a dog-fight.

"Secondary is Keiler. Get ECM drones on it. Kane: point it!"

"Drones away!"

"Keiler pointed."

"Redbad going down. Redbad going down."

I glanced over to my port side and saw that Red's mighty Maelstrom was jetting out fuel and atmosphere, it's hull breaking up as juggernaut torpedoes slammed deep into his ship's innards. One of our fleet's main damage dealers was already out of the fight. Gammarus and his abaddon buckled under our combined fire and it disappeared in a lovely flash of light and sound. We switched to the new primary.

"Primary is Keiler. Secondary is Kaito Rei. ECM drones on Keiler. Zode - point Kaito Rei."

"Too late boss, Z0de is down. Z0de is down."

The enemy fleet finally had all their ships on us and the tide was turning on us.

"The megathron is going down!" It sounded like Kane or RoninD, Keiler's mighty megathron was on fire from front to back. Unable to tank our damage. It's explosion rocked my ship, however I was next - I wasn't too sure who hit me but one second my ship was in existence, next I was down to hull and my crew racing to their escape pods. Then the final hammer blow: the phoenix turned up.

Game over.

The megathron was very nicely fitted and since it was set up to take down a POS it concentrated on damage and tanking. Forget speed and support. Pure gank.

They kicked our arses...
I popped and was spat out in my pod and into the maelstrom of space under fire. Kane was still present and he was made FC as I moved to a safe distance. However, the fight shifted against us inexorably. I suffered a crash in my pod software and was blind for the outcome, but at least I managed to warp out. However, I did get a chance to read the kill mails. Once I got back online and into the fleet again, I docked and prepared to get into a second hurricane but everyone had docked up.

It was clear that we had suffered a defeat. Our fleet was set up to take down one or two of the enemy ships when they were sieging at a POS. We wanted to have the POS guns on our side and use speed. However, the situation was reversed and we ended up fighting under sentry fire against a battle ship heavy gang, set up for damage dealing and tanking; the phoenix arriving didn't help matters either. We had no support or EWAR to balance things out. If only we had a falcon or two on our side!

Still a great fight against three corporations and not one as I first thought. They were Jion Keanturi, KBS Syndicate and TAWD Research and Building Corporation.

The Rokh we tackled at the gate was with TAWD Research and Building Corporation.

The Butchers Bill

Enemy fleet
Enemy Ship 1: Raven
Enemy Ship 2: Raven
Enemy Ship 3: Typhoon
Enemy Ship 4: Zealot
Enemy Ship 5: Armageddon
Enemy Ship 6: Abaddon*
Enemy Ship 7: Hurricane
Enemy Ship 8: Raven
Enemy Ship 9: Cyclone
Enemy Ship 10: Megathron*
Enemy Ship 11: Megathron
Enemy Ship 12: Drake*
Enemy Ship 13: Phoenix

Fleet ship
Fleet Ship 1: Hurricane*
Fleet Ship 2: Hurricane*
Fleet Ship 3: Typhoon
Fleet Ship 4: Hurricane*
Fleet Ship 5: Vagabond
Fleet Ship 6: Maelstrom*
Fleet Ship 7: Dominix*
Fleet Ship 8: Myrmidon*

* Destroyed

My thoughts....
Should I have given the order to engage? The sudden presence of the Rokh and the POS entering siege mode were crucial turning points in my view. The Rokh forced us to attack but we should have moved faster, I should have moved faster and got the fleet together. Attacking the same ships above, while they were sieging the POS and thereby under POS fire would have evened the odds somewhat. Certainly, warping on top of the megathrons, taking it out and then getting back out would have been more effective than fighting them at the gate. The sentry fire we were all under did not help matters either.

Have to congratulate all the pilots involved but especially Kane for his cool-headedness, RoninD for being a crazy bastard of a pirate who I enjoy flying very much and WayCharles for great intel.

Next time - we know the enemy fleet will be back to finish off the POS in another 19 hours.....

2 May 2008

There's always a bigger pack of hounds on your ass.

A broken 1 v 1?
Sitting quietly in my jaguar assault frigate, I chuckled to myself as I let the local pod pilot 'chat' flow through and over me.

It went along the lines of:

"Come and get your ship beotch, am gonna kick your ass!"

"You're going to go down faster than a cheap hooker."

"Stab whore!"

The usual good natured smack in Eifer local then.

This was appeared to be directed at a known pirate, PvPGod. A blood thirsty pirate and ex-M34N corp. He left the corp soon after the dispute between Black-Flag and M34N a few months back but he still lives around Gusdandall. PvPGod was asking for a 1 v 1 versus Coomsey (sp?) a hurricane pilot from Asti Max. I was already tracking a colleague of his, Lion Lord, also in a hurricane as he came in and out of Eifer.

I went to the top belt in Eifer just to bait. I was confident of tackling the hurricane and even killing it in my jaguar. Done it before, will do it again. My scanner revealed two canes and PvPGod's deimos. Only the other day, PvPGod took a pop at my rupture but meh, I was more interested in the second hurricane.

PvPGod arrived in the same belt as me - the deimos landing very close to my frail looking ship. I stopped my ship as did he and we regarded each other warily. I did not lock him nor did he. The drones stayed in PvPGod's drone-bay. We made our intentions known, he was here for a 1 v 1 and the chat was all in local and I had to respect this. I moved off from the deimos as PvPGod stayed and waited patiently for the arranged 1 v 1.

I moved off to a holding position of 100km from the field and powered down my ship to watch the fight. The deimos stayed there and a minute later, there was a pinging sound as my proximity alert warned me that there was an incoming ship and indeed, a hurricane-class battle cruiser materialised some 15km from PvPGod's deimos. A heavy assault ship versus a battle cruiser. If the 'cane kept range and used neutralisers, he could kill the deimos. The deimos had to get real close to it's opponent and then use it's heavy blasters to tear it's opponent to pieces. We shall see.

So it was game on: love to see the 1 v 1 play out.

My proximity alert bleeped again, another incoming ship! Knowing what was probably going to happen, I fired up the afterburner and powered towards the battling pair.

The second hurricane came, piloted by Lion Lord (Coomsey's corp mate), roared into the belt. Looks like the 1 v 1 agreement, if there ever was one, was now torn up. A free for all. Excellent.

I locked the new hurricane and pointed it. I was pretty sure that PvPGod had the first 'cane pointed. Just for the hell of it, I called in a friend who was in a falcon; just to piss off the hurricane pilots. Not only were they tackled, they'll be jammed as well.

Lion Lord's shield flared as my 150mm auto canons spun up and tore into him. Been using the small 150mm canons for a while and knew how to use them for maximum effect. There was a roar of heavy missiles flaring past me and I realised that Lion Lord did not have the right weapons to take out small ships like mine. He didn't have any neutralisers installed so would have a hard time dealing with me. Once he was jammed he was dead.

Coomsey's hurricane then turned and warped out.

I rechecked my visual feed - did he leave his corp mate to his fate? I think he did. PvPGod then switched his attention over to Lion Lord as well. The end was quick.

2008.05.01 15:19

Victim: Lion Lord
Alliance: None
Corp: Asti Max
Destroyed: Hurricane
System: Eifer
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 19330

Involved parties:
Name: pvp god (laid the final blow)
Security: -9.9
Alliance: Valhalla Alliance
Corp: Guns'R'Us
Ship: Deimos
Weapon: Heavy Ion Blaster II
Damage Done: 14516

Name: flashfresh
Security: -10.0
Alliance: None
Ship: Jaguar
Weapon: Jaguar
Damage Done: 4814

Name: Prediction Pain
Security: -9.0
Alliance: None
Corp: Perkone
Ship: Falcon
Weapon: ECM - Multispectral Jammer II
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Fusion M, Qty: 124
'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher
'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher
'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon I
650mm Artillery Cannon I
Cap Booster 800
Cap Recharger II
Warp Disruptor I
Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I
Damage Control II
800mm Reinforced Steel Plates I
800mm Reinforced Steel Plates I
Quantum Co-Processor I
Drones Rigging (Cargo)
Fusion M, Qty: 5201 (Cargo)
Hobgoblin I (Drone Bay)

Of course, no fight is complete without a good pod kill. Hope he didn't have any expensive implants....

2008.05.01 15:04

Victim: Lion Lord
Alliance: None
Corp: Asti Max
Destroyed: Capsule
System: Eifer
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 437

Involved parties:

Name: flashfresh (laid the final blow) Security: -10.0
Alliance: None
Ship: Jaguar
Weapon: Gremlin Rocket
Damage Done: 437

Name: pvp god
Security: -10.0
Alliance: Valhalla Alliance
Corp: Guns'R'Us
Ship: Deimos
Weapon: X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Damage Done: 0

From the conversation soon after, I think both pilot's thought that the pod kill was a bit rough.

One can only chuckle at this. However, what goes around, comes around....so please read on.

Drake at the gate.

"Am going down! Am going down!" yelled Bobby Nobins, a regular associate of the Independence bar and now on our channel.

"Bobby. Location and status?" I said, as I undocked in my hurricane and raced to Bobby's last known location.

"Gus gate in Ingunn! Gus gate in Ingunn!" and then the transmission was interrupted.

Fearing the worst, I requested immediate gate activation and leapt in. Normally, one should never enter a system without first checking but a fellow pirate was in need. Bobby's voice comms came back in but the frequency was different and I knew that he had lost his stabber-class cruiser.

"Kill him Flash. Kill him!"

When the GUI updated, I saw that there was a drake-class battle cruiser, blinking an angry red and sniffing around the still spluttering wreck of Bobby Nobins stabber. I was over 32km from it and hit the micro warp drive.

"All crew. Action stations. Prepare for imminent hostilities."

Following close behind me was Kerjin in his vagabond and little did I know, Jubes in his 'cane and WayCharles in his pilgrim. They were monitoring the Independence communications channel and had decided to help. Sharks around blood eh?

There is no such thing as too much firepower.


I got within range of my warp disruptor, a new version with a greater range and I hope that the drake did not have extra warp core stabilising equipment installed. The micro warp drive got my hurricane within my optimal range within seconds.

"All gun crews. Fire!"

There was a slight shudder, as my 425mm auto canons opened up and smashed into the drake's shields.

He went down fast but got his pod out.

Decent loot too. Kill is here.

What goes around, comes around

However, a few hours later - there was a small gang spotted in and around Eifer and Jubes, WayCharles and I were sparring with them. The had left some T2 drones near a belt and had a falcon cloaked nearby. Their idea was to kill anyone who came close to the drones. I think that was the idea - am probably wrong.

This gang included a rifter, blackbird, falcon and ishtar. We had a vagabond, falcon and hurricane. The engagement was inconclusive however, we managed to spar with each other but the presence of the recon ships negated our (and their) tackling ability.

However, unknown to us - there was a second (un-related) gang approaching us, with a megathron, rapier and ishtar. To be honest, we didn't know the exact fleet setup but WayCharles was tackled by an ishtar in the top belt and I responded as quickly as I could. On arrival, WayCharles' ship was destroyed and I aggressively went after the ishtar. Confident in my ability, I settled in to get into my optimal and released my ECM drones.

Then a rapier decloaked about 45km from me. Oh no. Time for immediate exit, left.

I knew that I was warp scrambled by the ishtar but I hit the micro warp drive to get some velocity and some separation. However, the rapier pilot was quick and had me webbed. I was scrambled. I was then jammed and lost my locks. This was getting bad.

Then the megathron arrived.

Game over.

I was also podded as I didn't have any implants and it was quicker than docking. Great kill by the Bushido guys. My loss mail is here.

Later on in the evening.....

Having recovered from my loss; I managed to set up a gang of 11 pilots - a mix of M34N, The Bastards and Hellequin. However, the night proved to be inconclusive as there was a 25+ gang of anti-pies in Eifer, a second anti-pie gang from UK Mayhem were behind us and there was a roaming four-crow/sabre gang in Hrondredir.

We managed to kill a drake and a crow but lost a cerberus and a scorpion. Very poor K/D if one is interested in it.