8 Mar 2010

Bushkashi, Shield Gank Hurricanes and dead cows

Busy week with a hilarious roam into Etherium Reach in one of our typical shield tanked battle-cruiser fleets and Rae killing a CYNABAL in his rifter. A kill of the year so far with interesting comments in BattleClinic too.

One of our pilots was celebrating her birthday and it was decided that something special was to be planned.

Since The Bastards Forum post described the event better than I ever can, I shameless plagarise this from Persephone Astrid..
What: A brutal sporting event followed by a frigate roam.
When: Friday 5 March 2010, 2100 EVE time
Where: Evati
Who: All Bastards members and Bastards recruits.
Why: Because you only become officially old once.
How: First we play bushkashi, then we go on a roam.


Part 1, Bushkazi Battle: Bushkazi is an ancient game from Afghanistan or thereabouts. In it, the torso of a sheep is used as a ball. Teams of mounted horsemen compete to grab the dead sheep torso and drag it around a pole driven into the sand, and then back into a winner's circle at the other end of the field. While this is going on, the other horsemen may do whatever it takes to stop this happening and to score the goal for themselves. Typically the riders carry whips in their teeth and wear armor. The game is notoriously brutal and serious injury is common.

Since we lack horses, sheep, and whips, the rules will be slightly modified for New Eden...

Teams will consist of T1 frigates fitted with T1 modules, T1 ammo and drones, and T1 rigs. The goal will be to snag a cargo container full of livestock using tractor beams, drag it around a marker some distance away, and then drag it back to the starting line. Players may do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal, including destroying the ships of the other players. If the container of livestock is destroyed, play stops, the pilots cease fire and return to the starting line, and a new container of livestock will be placed on the field. If the container of livestock is destroyed five times, nobody wins.*

No faction, wormhole, officer, T2, or other pricey stuff will be allowed. ECM modules are not allowed, but other EWAR is allowed. Cloaks are not allowed.

Teams will consist of no more than three pilots, and all the teams will compete at the same time. Sign your team up in this thread. Those who cannot get onto a team will be put together into pickup teams by the event organizer on the day of the event. If a pickup team has only two pilots, then one member of that team may choose to fly a destroyer instead of a frigate. If a player has no teammates at all, they may choose to fly a T1 cruiser instead of a frigate.

Each member of the winning team will receive a victor's trophy. Every participant will receive a celebratory gift for attending.
Well, what can I say? I was in a team with TheHermit and Kai. We huddled together around a table and supped beer and leaned in closer to discuss our plans. Kai had an idea.

"Right this is what we're going to do. Flash - you burn ass close to the livestock can, grab the livestock and swap it with a pint of milk. Keep the cows in your cargohold but tractor the now livestock-less cargo can. Try and finish the circuit. Once you're getting close to the finish line, cut the tractor beam and let the cargo can drift. This should cause some confusion."

TheHermit, grinning from ear to ear pitched in.

"We'll be running interference of course and Kai has parked a number of ships in an off-grid safe so he can ship up quickly. No need to dock up you see."

I nodded to myself considering the plan so far and actually liked it. "That is quite...sneaky."

Kai continued. "Anyway, once you're close to the finish line just jettison the cows in a new cargo can, tractor it and bring it over the finish line. There and we've won the first round. Done and dusted." Kai sat back with a measure of smugness.

I took a deep pull on the beer and felt a belch coming along.

"Okay, what are you two going to do?"

"Run interference and blow the crap out of the others."

"Or jam them solid." Added TheHermit.

I sat back, belched and nodded. It was a good plan and what could go wrong?

"I like it. Let's do it."

When the event kicked off, an hour late (a Bastards tradition, starting late that is) - we were all assembled. There were a total of three teams: two teams of three ships and one team of two. The duo had a destroyer making up for the lower number. Persephone had the role of MC and Referee and got us all the starting line.

We waited, the tension was there.

Then we were off!

I gunned the micro warp drive and sped towards the can. My two team mates proceeded to lock up available targets but it appeared that JManZA in his thrasher (he was in the team of two) had attracted the most attention. I was so far, unmolested and arrived at the can. I quickly yanked out the mooing cows and carefully place a pint of milk in their stead. I closed up the can, switched on the tractor beam and started to move towards the middle stake. Already, ships were exploding and capsules zipping past me as they raced for home and for a new ship. As I approached the second can, I realised that I had lost the can. I had got out of range and someone else was pulling it back towards the middle!

I gunned the ship around the stake and was racing home.

Meanwhile, I could hear a lot of cursing and confusion as someone discovered that the bushkazi can contained not live bovine stock but a pint of milk instead. This was my cue to jettison out the cows in my cargohold into a new cargo hold and tractor beam them the remaining 2KMs back over the line.

I announced that we had succeeded. There was much hooting and cheering. Both TheHermit and Kai were also still in their ships. We had won.

Persephone wasn't too sure. Nor were the opposition. Persephone, on hearing that we had crossed the line ordered a ceasefire. However, one of the team, 'claimed' that they didn't hear the ceasefire command and proceeded to blow me and TheHermit up. Not nice. Anyway, I was still floating around in my capsule when Persephone's Navy comet came up and checked the can and yes, indeed - there were cows in there. A bit bashed about, they had crapped everywhere and were mooing and stomping around but they were indeed the milk producing bovine livestock we recognised.

Persephone smelt a rat (or a cow pat) and reviewed the video logs. Our hysterical laughing and snide remarks didn't help either.

It was finally decided that we had someone cheated and that we deserved to get blown up.

We started again, but unknown to anyone, z0de (a member of the 'other' team of three) had discovered Kai's off-grid safe and his stash of ships. He jumped into the ships and then offlined all the modules. Sneaky bastard. When Kai lost his ship, around the beginning of round 2, he zipped back to his safe and discovered his ship was inoperable. Much hilarity ensued.

The second round was eventually won by Arri who's team had successfully blown up me, TheHermit and Kai in quick succession.

The event was over after a frantic 30 minutes of ships colliding into each other, livestock spilling out into space and laughter drowning out any sane conversation in the ventrilo server.

However, more was to come - we all agreed it was a superb event but Persephone wanted to take a frigate gang on a suicide roam and what did they get? They killed a loki with their rag-tag fleet, ah birthday roams - best roams.