23 Jun 2010

LOL Cruiser Roam

"I am flying a Moa class cruiser." Muttered Flashfresh quietly to himself. He sighed then looked up at the ungainly looking Caldari cruiser, its blocky hull floating in the magnetic locks. Dotted around the hangar, Flash could see several more cruiser class ships from all the main races: a Bellicose class, Exequror class, even the building shaped Augoror class. These ship classes were not noted for their combat prowess, though they could be armed. After the stress and strains of the recent Alliance Tournament where The TuskerBastards lost both their opening matches, Flash had informed his crew that they were going for a 'lol' roam with what some regards as New Eden's worst combat cruiser class ships. As soon as the AT was finished, we would leave the alliance and go back to what we liked best. It was a good idea at the time but standing here, overlooking the space dock and the ships parked there. Flash had some doubts.

The other pirate Captains were dotted around Flash: JManza, Persephone, Jmarr, Interdict and Nashh to name five. A total of fourteen pirate Captains, capsuleers all, dressed in the black and silver jumpsuits of The Bastards looked at their various ships. The whole range of human emotions played across all their faces, from sheer delight to horror to down right disgust. On a tier below them were some of each Captain's hand picked bridge crew. They were just as animated.

"You sure boss that you want us to go out in them?" Said Lord Breathnach with some disbelief as he pointed to his nominated ship, a battered looking Celestis class cruiser. Flashfresh nodded. Nashh and Persephone in contrast had grins on their faces - they were looking forward to the operation. Silvetrys, a long-time Captain with The Bastards joined everyone on the viewing platform with a face of thunder.

"I have only two fracking auto canons available on that piece of Bellicose junk!"

Jmanza performed a most elegant shrug and added, "I have one gun and do less damage than a T2 rifter. Should be fun." There were a few more grumbles. It was unclear whether it was in agreement with Silvetrys or JManza.

Taking a deep breath, Flash called for attention and faced the assembled crew members. Since this operation was posted a while ago, everyone was ready and did not need too much.

"It's time. To your ships, we undock in 15 minutes. See you outside."

Being pirates, just the chance of loot and plunder was enough. Long-winded pep talks was not to their liking, besides - it would eat into possible ransom time. With well practised ease, the crews sprinted to their new ships. Most of the crew were used to flying in the more out and out combat ships: from the rupture-class to the thorax-class to the maelstrom-class. Some of the running crew still had operating manuals clutched in their hands; such was their unfamiliarity.

In under ten minutes, the fleet was assembled. Scouts raced off ahead and a destination was set and the odd looking fleet fired up their engines and headed towards Ardar. A gate camp in Hagilur had meant two recruits had trouble joining the fleet but no matter; they would have to catch up.

Interdict was ahead in his stabber - not classed as a lol cruiser but it was all Interdict had at that time; he was ahead and managed to tackle a rupture near a planet but was then tackled by a jaguar and an arbitrator. His stabber didn't survive. Kingzolo arrived to assist but was too late to save Interdict, in revenge we killed the Jaguar but a drake had arrived and with the surviving rupture and arbitrator; King's omen popped. Much to his delight. We replied in kind and set the arbitrator as primary, since it was closer and shredded it. Actually, the term 'shredding it' gives an impression of overwhelming damage. It wasn't. The lol-cruisers pecked the arbitrator to death and it exploded from boredom.

With much fail, The Bastards fleet failed to point any other ships as the drake and rupture (with a great tank) slipped away.

Cooling off our criminal countdowns, Jmanza went on ahead and and called out that the Hadozeko gate in Ardar had a small camp with a couple of battle cruisers. We piled in and since our assailants were also classed as criminals, we were all free from sentry guns. We lost Jmanza's Augoror and failed to kill anything, we had webbed one of the hurricanes (Sir Quentin's) and tried to pour our fire onto it. However, the lol cruisers had more logistical ability than damage and Sir Quentin's mighty hurricane managed to crawl back to the gate and jump. There was much anguish among the surviving fleet members and cursing of the downright shocking abilities of these cruisers. Persephone, however went round being nurse as her exequoror went around repairing the gaping holes in the armour of our ships.

Nashh was then sent off ahead as a scout and popped a thrasher - Nashh was in a caracal (not a lol cruiser) and was much chastised by the rest of the fleet for this. The fleet waited for a while, moving around safe spots and not getting a firm location on a couple of targets: a small battle ship group and a battle cruiser gang. It was Nashh who spotted the same battle cruiser gang that had popped JManza and warped to the Frerstorn gate in Ardar to investigate. Unfortunately, at least one of the hurricanes was too close to Nashh and had the CDM Maestro tackled. We had no choice but to assist and the lol cruiser fleet leapted into warp and raced towards Nashh's current position. In mid-warp, Nashh informed everyone that he had popped and that he was now saving his capsule. When the fleet dropped out of warp, primary and secondary targets were called: Sir Quentin's hurricane and EhDuin Saladah's harbinger. The second hurricane was too far away and it was soon joined by an arbitrator. We were also now joined by TheHermit who was in his falcon.

The space between the ships instantly was filled with screaming missiles, lancing lasers and chattering auto canon fire. Drones zipped between the bulky ships, Silvetry's bellicose went from full shield to flaming hull in a split second and was scrapped by a disdainful broadside from EhDuin Saladah's pulse lasers. The lol cruiser fleet managed to destroy Sir Quentin's hurricane but then lost Interdicts' second ship, a rifter followed by my Moa and then Persephone's exequror. A third hurricane had arrived and it looked bleak for us as the second hurricane entered into flaming structure. Thanks to Lord B, who had sent his drones in, we managed to destroy the second hurricane before our lol fleet was soundly crushed.

Laughing, we sped back in our pods and spotted the ships we had engaged earlier in the evening. They were still hanging around the gates looking for kills and loot. We decided that for part two, we would be back in ten minutes but this time we would be rolling heavy.

10 Jun 2010

AT 8 - Day 3/4 Qualifiers: Dead Terrorists v TuskerBastards

After our stinging defeat, I waited to see whether we would be in the second round and it was with some delight that we are indeed and our next opponents are Dead Terrorists; a worth opponent.

A predictive analysis can be found here = http://eveopportunist.blogspot.com/2010/06/at8-round-2-day-2-predictions-where.html, a nice read and I hope we do triumph!

Keith Neilson has had post about the potential match-ups as soon as the last games from Round 1 had completed. We have some clever chaps here!

So, DT in round 2. I know these chaps, not well, but they are known to me and like us, they'll want prove a point. I expect a lot of pain thrown our way come sunday! However, I have respect for these chaps and look forward to the match.

The alliance tournament has been a distraction however to day-to-day events. Our recruitment has been paused, roams been moved aside and everyone just waiting for the end of the tournament, regardless of results. So it was with some delight that I have decided to run an op on the first tuesday after the AT final and have a laugh while doing it. I like routine and come 22nd June, The Bastards will be back to doing what they normally do: fun mid-sized roams with explosions, banter and fun. A few kills here and there and no losses would be a bonus too! Nashh has made a point of the lull in his excellent, most recent post. He sadly, had to sit out from the training (and hence selection process) this time around for the AT but remains a competent and committed pilot. Real life sometimes can be just too demanding at times!

Thanks to all the well wishers (and critics) of our most recent outing into the AT. We have our next match to plan for!

8 Jun 2010

AT 8 - Day 2 Qualifiers: HUN Reloaded v TuskerBastards

We were super excited about the AT and we all assembled in station at Hevrice and waited impatiently. The team selection was posted up a couple of days ago and I was slotted into one of the two rooks. We had practised a few set-ups and I was quite happy with this one though I don't normally fly an ECM boats (despite being highly specialised due to my love of the lach and 'zu). So I was in hangar, the GM arrived and said hi, we tried to ransom him and all we got was a Haiku from CCP Claw and in a flash, I was whisked off to another part of the galaxy, called 'tournament arena'. Each team had to pick an assembly point and we chose '2C'. We all warped there and aligned to the tournament bunker.

The TuskerBastards fleet was as follows:


The youtube video tells it all - the scimitar was our primary but got out of range too quickly so we switched to the nearest hurricane. Both the scimitar and nearest hurricane were jammed by me while Kopecky had a drake, thrasher and one of the dramiels jammed. The HUN Reloaded thrasher was then webbed by our daredevil and the FC decided to switch from the hurricane and alpha the thrasher which promptly died. However, the HUN Reloaded team had too much DPS left over, jamming notwithstanding and they more or less alpha'ed my rook soon after the thrasher. I called for armour repair as soon as I was yellow-boxed and then was into hull a second later. I popped another second after that.

This freed up the scimitar and the first hurricane and adding to the HUN Reloaded considerable firepower, Kopecky lasted an even shorter period as he popped. Meanwhile, our apocs were now jammed by EC-drones and it was at this point I realised that we would lose and that we were deadmen walking. This was punctuated with MrFrog exploding as his guardian went down. Arrihidaues had our warrior II drones and I think went after the first HUN Reloaded Dramiel and killed it but he had suffered too much damage and with no rep available, he died. We had lost our support fleet. Having concentrated our DPS into our two APOCs, the bhaalgorn was our flagship but we were expecting our apocs to be dishing out the most DPS. With both Apocs jammed, even for a one cycle allowed the HUN Reloaded team to quickly recover. Afterall, the HUN Reloaded scimitar was still on the field and doing its job. The bhaalgorns' main use was its neutralisers but against a cap-less team - its utility was much reduced.

With frustration, I could hear the two APOC pilots stating that they were jammed. When one was unjammed he would target one of the hurricanes but it was nigh-on impossible to alpha anything.

Both Apocs died then the Bhaalgorn.

It was a very disappointing outing for the Alliance.

Very well played by HUN Reloaded: they had the DPS to knock out the support despite four or five of their ships being initially jammed. If our daredevil had survived, we should have got the 'devil to clear the ECM drones around the APOCs, since the APOCS had no smart bombs fitted and even with a ECCM - they were not un-jammable. It was imperative that both apocs had a clear field of fire throughout the match and this was not the case.

Could we have done things different? Hell yes.

We could have burned closer to the HUN Reloaded fleet and attempted to alpha the hurricane and/or scimitar and ignored the webbed HUN Reloaded thrasher or webbed dramiel. For the first minute, we had the HUN Reloaded scimitar, x1 hurricane, x1 drake, x1 thrasher and x1 dramiel all jammed. We should have capitalised on this but we got distracted and switched targets. Once we had lost the first rook (which was inevitable) and the HUN Reloaded team managed to get out their ECM drones; then we were finished. We didn't have enough DPS or ships and they chewed through us.

I was disappointed that we didn't even get a ransom - but we didn't have time did we?

However, my last words would be a hearty well done and good fight to HUN Reloaded. They had the superior tactics and team play and knew how to use their ships. We have no complaints about anything, can't be blaming EWAR when we rocked up with two rooks ourselves! They picked their targets correctly, applied overwhelming DPS and gave us a good spanking.

Good fight HUN Reloaded and our best wishes for your progress through the next rounds!

3 Jun 2010

New Logo - me like

I like our new in-game logo very much and feels the more like the 'proper' one that adorns our kill board, ransom board and forum.

Remote Repping BS fun
z0de has always been a fan of the remote repping battle-ship gang and last night he got his wish. As per typical Bastard procedures, the roaming-operation was posted on the forums asking for pilots and their ships. Many signed up and on the night, many more joined in. Another typical Bastard characteristic is not starting on time - I have tried hard to fix this but it is a struggle. The op was slated to kick off 20:00 but we didn't roll until 20:37, credit to z0de for not losing his rag but the fleet rumbled out of the space dock in Evati and into a deep safe. In this location we went through the finer points of such fleets and how to fly them. It included watch lists, broadcast history and standard operating procedures when approaching gates, decloaking etc. The strength of any 'RR' fleet is that each ship should be able to tank damage long enough until their companions slap one or two remote armour repair systems onto the damaged ship. A ship receiving eight to nine such devices can tank a lot of damage almost indefinitely. Certainly, the fleet could sit quite happily under sentry guns for as long as required. Following us, we had a cloaking hauler to carry extra ammunition and cap boosters as well as picking up extra loot.

The fleet ended up being:

z0de | RR Dominix
JediJane | RR Dominix
Jmarr | RR Armageddon
Flashfresh | RR Typhoon
Persephone | RR Scorpion
Jabajools | RR Scorpion
Mei | RR Scorpion
TheHermit | RR Scorpion
Captain Blackler | RR Armageddon
Zemledocl | RR Armageddon
Viginti | Lachesis
Silvtrys | Huginn
Arrihidaeus | Vengance
Kingzolo | RR Harbinger
Nicho | RR Hurricane
LostCause | Brutix

Yes, we had four scorpions, much to z0de's disapproval. We had them retrofitted to be armour tankers but we all agreed that the new model for this ship type is very sexy.

Once z0de was satisfied the order was given and we rolled out. Our scouts moving ahead and sniffing out targets of any opportunity. The night started off with the RR fleet killing a thrasher but we had received word that there were targets in Gultraten so off we went, ships rumbling onwards. We sat on the Rokofur gate but all useful targets were leaving low-sec through this Rokofur gate and not coming in. We had ships of all sizes (including a freighter) land on the outbound gate and jump. There was much gnashing of teeth.

After a few fruitless minutes we moved on and decided on a trip down to Resbroko and onwards towards Amamake. The results were disappointing - looks like the entire pipe had unfriendly scouts along its entire length that notified people of our presence. Such was the poor pickings we even decided on going after a velator. Oh the desperation.

We ended up on the Auga gate and managed to snag a sleipnir and vagabond. They were part of a slightly larger gang that we wanted to tangle with. These two made the mistake of firing on us. The Sleipnir dropping a nice juicy, Caldari Navy X-Large Shield Booster. That should be worth a few million.

However, we encountered and failed to nab many other opportunities during the latter half of the roam: a fast BC crew racing around, about 7-8 of them who blasted past us around the Auga/Dal/Amamake area; a mixed BC/BS gang in Kourmonen; a frigate/cruiser gang in Amamake itself and most disappointing of the evening, a BC/BS gang around the Ardar area when we were coming back. We only snagged their brutix and their hurricane. We someone lost their tempest who rumbled away with it's micro warp drive blazing brightly in our faces.

So the tally for the night was as follows:

x2 Vagabonds
x2 Velators
x1 Shuttle
x1 Sleipnir
x1 Hurricane
x1 Brutix
x1 Rifter
x1 Buzzard
x1 Atron

We lost Arrihidaeus to gate guns as we couldn't rep him fast enough. The other chaps on the killmail came from an earlier engagement.

AT 8
Well the BS roam was set-up to allow us to relax and stretch our legs after some intensive testing on our Alliance Tournament fleet set-up. Also, real life testing is much more valuable than on Sisi due to the unpredictability of the other pilots. The team hasn't been picked yet as the team leaders are playing things very close to their chests but am hopeful that come Sunday, 15:50 the TuskerBastards will emerge victorious, pulling off a shock defeat of past AT winners, and favourites, HUN Reloaded. The reality is that HUN Reloaded are seasoned AT participants compared to us. Be that as it may!