26 Jul 2010

Gentlemen of low moral fibre with a dash of Hulks and Bushkazi...

With TheHermit already engaged with a new fleet; it looked like that the evening would turn out to be very eventful. TheHermit and some lads tackled a very obvious bait-drake; it was killed then ship after ship poured in along with a couple of logistical ships, a command ship and a splash of ECM. It was a gunboat diplomacy gang who then started to pile in more ships.

Our fleet wisely left the local area and waited the baiters out.

So starting the op late - the fleet assembled and We moved down the Metropolis pipe with scouts ahead. The GunBoat Diplomacy gang was spotted - identical set-up; I made the decision to back track as tackling them under sentry with their logistic and ecm support was asking for trouble. I think we would have bloodied them but the price would be too high for me.

Moving towards Molden Heath (haven't been there for a while) - we quickly ran into Hermit's old friends [SCONE] - 'The Gentlemen of low moral fibre' on the Wiskebar gate in Matebar - I think these chaps were coming up from their home base in MH towards Metropolis just as we were paying them a visit.

They jumped in first, with a SCONE harbinger holding cloak as long as possible before he appeared, 27KM from us. Naturally, Pere Madeline was called primary and we started on him straight away. The star gate flashed and local jumped, here comes the rest of them I remembered thinking to myself with some delight. Having no idea of what this new enemy fleet composed of - we had to knock them quickly starting with the webbed, pointed and trapped harbinger. With a nice tank, it held out long enough for the Gentlemen fleet to de-cloak and return fire. A couple of harbis, brutixes and 'canes with some logistical support. They singled out TheHermit, in his rook and while Hermit got off one or two crucial jams, he died quickly under the focused fire of the Gentlemen. We returned the favour by first melting Maya in her Harbi then working on Jack Dant in his Harbinger. The Brutix battle cruisers, being definitely close range monsters were webbed and we had distance on them; so had little to worry at least in the first stages. Our very own TFS Tibbs in his hurricane went down just before Pere in his Harby went pop. The sentry guns by and large, were silent as 100% of The Bastards fleet were classed as criminals and we think almost all of the Gentlemen were criminals too. So there were no reasons for any additional damage from automated sentry guns.

Once TFS Tibbs went down, Silvetrys or Garett was brought under enemy fire while we switched to the four remaining battle cruisers - two hurricanes and two brutix class ships. The vent server was calm and controlled though someone did query why we didn't go after the two guardians that the Gentlemen had with them. We had thrown ECM drones onto one of the guardians and just relied on the first part of our motto: 'overwhelming DPS' to get ahead of any repping that the two logistics cruisers could do. Sure enough Crefakis and CrafytCroc joined the two SCONE harbingers in fiery destruction. Silvetrys, one of our own hurricanes then succumbed to enemy fire, his pod spitting him out while his ships exploded into a thousand burning pieces. Silvetrys actually disconnected from the fleet communication system as soon as the Gentlemen fleet arrived for some reason, vanishing from the watch lists before the first shot was even fired, much to our horror. We thought he was alpha'ed but it turned out to be comms trouble only.

As Garett went down we refocused on the the two brutix and one myrmidon battle cruisers. The ugly, brutal looking brutix battle cruisers took a massive does of hostile ordnance and were quickly reduced to scrap; the myrmidon and two logistical cruisers managed to lose their aggression timers and pass through the star gate and escape.

The SCONE's fleet:
Brutix | Maya Silverman - Destroyed
Brutix | Tobie T - Destroyed
Harbinger | Pere Madeline - Destroyed
Harbinger | Jack Dant - Destroyed
Hurricane | Crafty Croc - Destroyed
Hurricane | Crefakis - Destroyed
Myrmidon | Alcolol - Escaped
Basilisk | UNKNOWN - Escaped
Basilisk | UNKNOWN - Escaped

The Bastards Fleet:
Rook - TheHermit - Lost
Hurricane - Silvetrys - lost
Hurricane - TFS Tibbs - lost
Hurricane - Garett No'Jubai - lost
Hurricane - Flashfresh
Myrmidon - Viginti
Stabber - Persephone
Zealot- Zem
Harbinger - Capt Blackler
Drake - Lord B
Drake - Leroxee
Drake- JediJane

We came out on top and held the field though we lost the more expensive hulls (hurricanes v their brutix/harbinger hulls) - our scimitar pilot (Enubis) wasn't in the fleet with us so he couldn't properly rep anyone - if he did; we could have saved at least one of the hurricanes if not more. However, the loot was the important thing and we grabbed everything we could. A great fight against some excellent pirates. We had some luck, good fortune and superior numbers to win this fight and no doubt we will meet them again.

Good fight chaps.

19 Jul 2010

Pirate Speed Linking Blog July 2010

Welcome to my July 2010 speed-linking of pirate focused blogs here in New Eden. It's been gone for a while due to me being super busy both in-game and out-of-game but I have been reading nearly all the blogs (especially the pirate themed ones) with gusto. Also, this speed-linking is there for me to track what is going on in the piratey blogosphere - great for intelligence gathering.

Anyway, what has been going on the length and breadth of New Eden's piracy? Planetary Interaction (PI) has been unleashed onto us and the opportunity for piracy is there albeit still limited so I would love to hear from any pirates out there who have been using WH almost exclusively. I know of at least two such black-hearted chaps but I want more!

There's been a fair bit of grumbling and down-right shock at CCP and how they're handling the current CSM and their proposals. More details can be read here and here  both excellent sources but there is so more to come. Some of the reactions have been predictable, others less so. At the core is the acknowledgement by CCP that low-sec space and other bugs will not be fixed for at least 18 months while CCP concentrates on DUST and Incarna. The position of the CSM has been weakened (or corrected?) and the world continues to turn.

Anyway, to the pirate blogs that I have been reading.

Kane's blog is always on my to-read list but his latest post has made me feel sad. In it, Kane is stepping down from New Eden until things get fixed; he is mad just not that mad to continue paying. Personally, I think he should stay but Kane has always been an independent person with a strong (and loveable) personality. I said my good bye to Kane last night, me and Nashh were thinking of a massive rifter roam with Kane as FC as a final good-bye but Kane has already cancelled his subscription and is now out of New Eden life. So let me go back to some of my favourite posts from Kane's blood soaked past just to remind everyone why Kane is (in my view) the number one solo pirate in New Eden. Don't go for too long mate. I understand that there also needs to be some changes in real life, and giving up smoking is a great first step!
Ramblings of a pirateSchool of Hard Knocks and Going Postal.
One of my own from The Bastards, Hermit has been an absolute rock in terms of organising, galvanising, hauling and killing in the latest HK III. He has a blog but this one is different in content and feel from most other blogs; there's new content there and it is of high quality. Well written stories with depth and action. Am surprised he has time to write so well with all the other pressures he has. Recommended reading and I am hoping to read more.

Nashh Kadavr
He missed out on our AT8 involvement due to real life issues. However, it hasn't stopped this man from writing and check out his latest art work too. Nashh Kadavr is a Bastard but he's more well known for his well thought out celebrity death match (CDM) series of blog posts. He has already fought a number of times and is doing well. He has had a fair few CDMs and is busy updating his list and promises to have a post per CDM soon. Additionally, Nashh has contributed new prizes to the Hulkageddon III and have you seen some of the work he has commissioned? Nashh promises more and I wait with bated breath. Oh, for those interested: Nashh and I got acquainted after Mr K. tracked me down and insisted that I duel him in one of his CDM duels, and yes - I accepted and got beaten. I then accepted him into the corp as he already had an application pending. What a final interview!

Lady Shaniqua
Along with Sassy B, 'LS' are violent practitioners of 'boat' violence. I love them both, a two woman tag team that terrorises all. Shaniqua's blog is full of tales of getting stuck in worm holes, asking our very own Persephone Astrid to bake her a cake and nano-based ship violence by the bucket-load. It is written in a fast, easy on the eye and thoroughly enjoyable style. A bit like Lady S herself. Latest blog post has her killing a peeps and forgetting to point others! A must read and therefore recommended by me!

One of the coolest pirates in New Eden. Okay, Sassy B and Lady Shaniqua would probably not call themselves pirates, in fact, both would prefer to eschew labels and go and perform violence on your boats, repeatedly. Very honest, very violent and so very cool. Hence her inclusion in my pirate speed-linking. Sassy B's blog is relatively new but it is different and very fresh. In it, there are well drawn / rendered pictures of ships from all other New Eden. They can be used as forum headers, signatures and pieces of art. Sassy B is in great demand. I strongly urge readers to click on her blog and get a taste of some Sass.

Still one of the craziest and most fun persons that I know of, Spectre3353, AKA EVENewb. He has quit the game at least three times and each time it sounds more and more sincere but within a short period he is back once more! Love him. In between his many announcements of imminent quittage he has posted some outstanding stuff - I especially like his tale of his clashes with a chap called Ken as well as the stories of the ADF. This man is a genius but shhhh, don't tell him I said that. His latest post is about revamping low-sec (re-vamp), like I said - this man has a good head on him with some decent ideas. 
Slowly becoming a prolific blogger with each one of his posts being first class, definite quality over quantity every time. Arrhi was heavily involved in The Bastards and The Tuskers AT8 preparation and his two posts (The AT8 Breakdown - Part One and Part Two) on how these two corporations interacted during the AT8 preparation and then into the tournament time itself has been even-handed, fair and well written. A very interesting article and for those pirate corps out there who are thinking of a working closer with that of another equal sized corporations either in an alliance or a straight forward merger, the discussion and conclusions will be relevant. He's also a winner of some monies...

Another Python Cartel blogger and great pirate to boot. I loved his post on how PC convincingly bloodied BANE in Amamake; a riveting account of when one pirate corporation goes head to head with another pirate corporation. Like a few other bloggers, there appears to be posts galore on the top five ships for piracy. Andrea has her choices here. Love it. I want more Andrea!

YAPCB (Yet Another Python Cartel Blogger) and great pirate and blogger. By reading all the PC bloggers one can get a firm view on the antics these crazy fools get to. Rather than repeating each other, which happens - each PCBlogger posted their own views of their win over BANE but told from their own view-points, it certainly adds flavour. Check out his Kings of Amamake post. Other gripping tales are here.

I love these guys. No really, Paul Clavet writes of his adventures with passion, pace and an eye to humour too. He has been busy with ransoming POS, infiltrating a corporation, a couple of heists and killing some idiots in the last few weeks. He also gets some of the most interesting people to talk to. A busy chap with his friends. Nothing is safe so make sure you nail everything down, there are ninjas about!

Plenty to read on his blog but his latest has him losing his domi....

Hulkageddon III is an event put together by Helicity Boson of the Python Cartel but probably the one with the most polished looking website (sorry Spect and Andrea et al!) The semi-regular event is now on its third iteration and going strong as ever though about to end (sad panda). The details are here. HC deserves the credit for bringing together the groups and doing the lion's share of the organising. The Bastards have been busy in HK III so go over to the KB and keep a track on how we're doing. However, it hasn't been missed by HC on how CCP feels about the current player base when the CSM minutes were released. His loloveur post (or repost) is cutting and to the point and the best summary so far of what is going on.

I haven't read much of Nexa in an age though I know he and her bunch of rascals have been busy.  Eventually, Nexa posts two epic accounts of her empire piracy / war-decing. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't flagged as a criminal! Her tales of smack talking noobs, corp jumpers and general idiots are in two sections. Read them and enjoy: Part One and Part Two.

I love this guy: salvager cum killer. He tackles a rascist homophobe and a lonely osprey, a stabber that got away and almost killing a raven in an industrial. Marl is an active blogger, with a couple of cool and funny updates each week. Nice one as he keeps it ticking over.

Has been blogging steadily now and I enjoy his posts. His blog theme is also first class: dark and brooding and doesn't he look sinister? In real life he has been to Glastonbury but the winner is his post about Battle of the Planets. Mr Noxx, you're a star, haven't seen anything about G-Force in an age. Other posts include his three is a crowd and initially I thought it was a risque menage-a-trois but on reading more it is a bit more straight forward. 

Come over to Kirith's excellent blog and see which is the most bad-ass pirate ship in New Eden.

Eve-pirate is a great site with quality posts and stories from many pirates who don't have blogs or who prefer to delight their readers through E-P. 'War and Peace' is a good example of a post by a former member of TRAPS. It is a long read but very enjoyable. The Eve-pirate stalwart: Nexa also has a post here about killing a tengu that was foolish enough to try and take his buffer-cane. Nexa continues with a another quality post on war declaration on those with a big mouth, foolish pretensions and no balls to back it up.

Jager Da
Laments his poor attendance in HK III.He started with 30 thrashers and still have 30 left, come on JD - get out there!

A new blog but turning out to be an excellent one - been reading all the entries and it is very impressive.

More Ninjas
Cyberin has done something great - created a mini-speedlink for ninja related blogs. Most excellent my good fellow. If you want to read about these chaps who slip into mission running areas and 'clean up' - then look no further.

No recent posts from:

No updates due to client upgrade.


Has sold his character now. 

His latest post was on the 28th February 2010. I don't think he has left New Eden. 

Blog now doesn't exist. 

There are other blogs not yet on this quick review but am reading them!

16 Jul 2010

See you my friend.


I am honoured to call Kane a friend and brother both in-game and out-of-game. For a variety of reasons, Kane has decided it was time to call it a day. His latest post explains it all. Kane is stepping down from New Eden until things get fixed; he is mad just not that mad to continue paying

Personally, I think he should stay but Kane has always been an independent person with a strong (and loveable) personality. I said my good bye to Kane last night; me and Nashh were thinking of a massive rifter roam with Kane as FC as a final good-bye but Kane has already cancelled his subscription and is now out of New Eden life. 

Will miss you my friend.

So let me go back to some of my favourite posts from Kane's blood soaked past just to remind everyone why Kane is (in my view) the number one solo pirate in New Eden. 

Don't go for too long mate. I understand that there also needs to be some changes in real life, and giving up smoking is a great first step!

Was an honour to fly with you: those times you and I flew together in our frigates were great. Hope we can do so again. Enjoy these selected posts from Kane's blog.

14 Jul 2010

Hulkageddon III

Hulkageddon III is upon us and The Bastards have been in the thick of it. The idea is simple: during a set period, mining vessels (Hulks, Makinaws etc) are targeted and destroyed.The competition is to see how many can be destroyed over the period and this event is now in its third year. Hulkageddon is the brain-child of Helicity Boson, the well-known Khanid pirate from Python Cartel.

99% of these vessels will be in high-sec space so for the majority of pirates flagged as criminals (i.e. all of The Bastards) - getting into the CONCORD protected space isn't straight forward. However, with pre-planning and patience it is easy to do. Our ships of choice are destroyers and we go in groups of four or more. It takes four destroyers, firing as one to one-volley most of the exhumers that are our targets. These ships are fast enough to zip through CONCORD space and providing we don't stop, local navies can't stop us.

The procedure for us and (we suspect) everyone else is thus:

1. Send a covert scout into a belt full of exhumers mining away.
2. Get a nice warp-in.
3. Exhumer gank squad of destroyers undocks from station and makes their way towards target system.
4. Can't stop for anyone as empire navies will soon web and kill you!
5. Arrive at target system and en masse, warp to the covert scout.
6. Drop out of warp, lock the exhumer and alpha it. Attempt to get a second shot before CONCORD scrambles, web, jams then kills you.
7. Warp out in pod back to base.
8. Rinse and repeat.

For hard core pirates like The Bastards, we're not too bothered at the loss of sec status but I do wish I had a +5.0 sec status to burn! That would allow me to get close, probably in a solo ship and smart bomb the exhumer. Anyway, I have two Bastards in the Top Three (2 and 3) and five in the top 20. We're ranked 4th in corporation kills, not bad considering we're a small corporation and not even in an alliance. The bigger alliances have been muscling in but the top solo killer is a chap who has been burning battleships galore, Phil MacMannon.

We also had the 1000th kill of Hulkageddon III - but there's no prize for that which is a pity.

However, HK III is a long slog and it is difficult for everyone to keep focus - just wanted to give a shout-out to Hermit, Persephone and Leroxee for working so hard AND maintaining focus when those of a weaker constitution (me) wilt and wither. There are others out there I know and my thanks and gratitude goes out to you lot for making this so much fun. We still have a couple of more days left!

Nashh, that CDM maestro has decided to throw some of cool gifts to anyone participating in HK III. Click this link to his page and see if you are eligible. Just realised that one can get Hulkageddon III merchandise like t-shirts! Seriously such a good idea - one medium size green hoodie for me please.

Helicity - you're a star.

8 Jul 2010

BC roaming and HKIII

Another Bastards fleet went out a roaming and we had an Amarr FW fleet land on us. We were on the gate and first one, the two and four interceptors landed with us. All of the assembled pilots started to cheer as we hoped to pop at least one of them provided we could point and web them. Then local rocketed  by an additional 35 pilots and since we were already had an aggression timer from popping a couple of thorax cruisers we were almost sure that we would lose everyone. We did lose ships but 'only' four with the rest of the fleet jumping through the gate and racing towards the exit gate. If only we had a smart bombing battle ship close by! We swung round and went back towards Evati and then into The Forge and (unsuccessfully) broke a gate camp. I say it was unsuccessful as our intention was the kill all their ship but we only managed to snag the megathron before his mates wisely left us to our own vices. Plenty of banter and we had a fair few recruits with us - so one could call it almost like a running interview! There's some good ones in there I can tell you.

Just want to give a shout out to one of the corporation's director Raelyf and Kai both whom have found themselves solo on most nights and they have been proving that solo piracy is alive and kicking. Well done chaps. Hope to see whether you two get plenty of nominations for July 2010 Solo Kill Of The Month.

Metropolis is getting busy once more - not too sure why right now, but it is obvious that a fair few corporations and alliances have moved into a number of constellations not to mention the less-than-regular-but-still-frequent horde of faction warfare militia, either Amarr Empire or Minmatar Republic.  I can see that Python Cartel is now based in Resbroko but after they bloodied BANE am surprised that PC moved as far from Amamake as they did.

Finally Hulkageddon III is almost upon us; The Bastards stand ready to do our bit but competition this time round will be very stiff. Should be fun but HKIII will be over a week in length! A marathon session by anyone's calculation. A long weekend would have been sufficient but I suppose it does give time for corporations to get involved rather than a mad 24 hour CTA to kill exhumers.

2 Jul 2010


"Sir, here's the Order of Battle for tonight's operation. The Fleet designation is 290610. " Said the  pirate officer, a young Gallente. I took the sheet and start to scan down the list, I nod as I am happy.

"Eighteen ships, mostly battle cruiser class. Excellent. I see we have a number of unaffiliated Captains with us." My finger circle the names of a few pilots on the list.

"Three are potential recruits and one is a friend of an existing ship Captain." The officer took a glance at his clip-board. I think it makes him look extremely officious.

"A friend of Captain Blackler."

I dismiss the officer with a curt nod. He snaps his heels together and salutes and strides out of the my ready-room.

I reached over and grab a bottle. I pour myself a drink and jab at a few buttons on my tactical console. The order of battle (orbat) is projected onto the large tactical screen behind me.  I want to make some adjustments to communication protocols and default orders for the fleet and fiddle about with some coloured icons on the screen before I am satisfied. The list of ships tell me that, for tonight, it would be more than enough to do the trick. I execute the necessary commands that would trigger alarms along the entire length of the space station. Ship crew and Ship Captains would now be alerted to make ready their boats for violence and loot.

Finishing my drink, I put the glass down.

It is time to move. 

The fleet Orbat is left on the screen to slowly fade away as I make my way towards the capsule docking lounge.
Order of Battle (29-06-10) 
Status: live
Area of operation:  classified
Falcon-class force recon; ship designation: TH901-887
Lachesis-class force recon; ship designation: LB003-552
Huginn-class force recon; ship designation: JM776-643
Hurricane-class battle cruiser, mark III-Fury variant; ship designation: FF665-261
Hurricane-class battle cruiser, mark III-Valiant variant; ship designation: ST293-331
Drake-class battle cruiser, HAM-II variant, ship designation: PA887-002
Drake-class battle cruiser... 
The fleet of eighteen or so ships start to rumble out of space dock amid a blare of klaxon and whirling sirens. The un-docking queue is promptly cleared of commercial traffic as the pirate ships of The Bastards, all matt black with the winged skull and crossed swords motif,  muscle their way out. As soon as each ship makes minimum clearance; it jumps to a random spot in the system before forming up around my Hurricane-class battle cruiser, Arbalast VI, also in a safe spot.

Deep inside my ship, entombed in my pod, I sift through the telemetry from the multiple scouts we have, all feeding data to the fleet. I am hooked up intravenously to my ship, drinking in the information flowing through sub-space radio frequencies. I know that deep inside each of their own ships, the capsuleer Captains of The Bastards are now communicating with their own ships, their own crew and the other Captains - simultaneously and at the speed of light. After all this time, I still cannot describe to a non-capsuleer how the the command and control of a ship is accessed. Around me, the pod gives me the illusion that I can see multiple maps and displays hanging in the space in front of me. It is an illusion as this information is piped directly into my cranial cortex. It is just the only way my mind can convey the information to me without driving me insane. Each ship flashes their readiness to the me and on the tactical map, the ships blinks green once.

It was time to 'speak' to the fleet.

"Attention Fleet. This is FC - destination has been broadcast. Scouts indicate a large fleet of comparable vessels around the Ofrold / Klogori system. They're camping the outbound gate in Klogori. We're going to go and say hello to them. Enemy fleet at the gate has been designated as Alpha-one."

A lusty cheer both from the crew and the Captains rises up. I hear them clearly as my own hearing is now augmented ship- and fleet-wide.

"All ships. Roll towards destination minus one. Engage."

With that, all the vessels smoothly align and fire up their engines. The order means that each ship is to 'roll' forward with minimal communications and hold one jump away from the destination. As the fleet moves towards the waiting camp, one of our scouts, who has the task of keeping an eye on the camp, establishes an encrypted channel with me.

"Scout-two to FC. Alpha-one is moving towards the Hado gate in Klogori and jumping through. Scout-two is following."

Is the camp moving away? I wonder.

"FC to Scout-two. Attempt to re-establish contact." I wait as I know that the scout, inside his tiny craft, is shadowing the enemy ships and hope that he doesn't lose his cloak and blow his cover.

"Scout-two to FC. Contact re-established. They are now in Hadozeko and re-approaching the Klogori gate."

Wonder what is going on? Not too odd, though I have to be careful. 

"FC to scout-two. Maintain watch. Fleet is three jumps away from destination minus one."

The fleet jump in unison and arrive at the destination on the Klogori gate in Orfrold. No mishaps. I order a hold position. We look poised like bullets in a gun barrel, ready to fire and our ships wait for the enemy fleet to return.

"FC to scout-two. Fleet now in position. Re-confirm composition of alpha-one."

There is a pause and then the voice of the scout comes crackling through.

"FC, I have the following ship classes:Typhoon, Armageddon, Scorpion,Tempest, Drake, Hurricane, Vexor, Rook, Drake, Stabber, Ferox, Tempest and Blackbird. They are all none-flashy and appear to be camping for flagged criminal ships only. I just saw them ignore a number of worthwhile targets who were all non-criminals, including a strategic cruiser. The scorpion and rook are about 50KM from the gate."

OK, time to rock and roll. I think to myself. The enemy fleet is one less than us in number but is heavier in tonnage and fire power than our fleet. They have four battle ship class ships, one of which is the dreaded Scorpion. They also have an additional two ECM boats too. We have no battle ships, only battle cruisers and one ECM. We have the advantage in speed and manoeuvrability.

"FC, looks like they like to have sentry guns on their side. Not much of a camp but could cause us problems, if we go into them." Say one of my Captains. It sounds like JManZA and he appears very eager to jump in nonetheless.

"We will be sharing sentry guns so we are fine." Replies another, eager to jump in as well. One thing about pirates: once they smell potential loot and money, it is almost impossible to stop them.

I don't want to have sentry guns on this fleet as well as a scorpion, rook and blackbird ECM boat on our collective asses.

As I ponder, there is a blare of proximity alarms as two frigate sized ships appear alongside us. I am unsure if they were cloaked along side us or had just come through the star gate. I quickly get a scan on them. The results come flashing back revealing them to be the same corporation as the alpha-one  targets.

In a flash, they jump through into Klogori.

"Crap." I am not pleased about this. "All ships, we have just been rumbled - they now know who we are and our ships types. We need to move now. All ships align to planet four."

My battle cruiser start to shift around.

"FC, let's just bait them with our drakes around planet one. I am sure they have a scout close by this gate, all cloaked up and dropping probes. I can see at least five of the little buggers." Suggests Silvetrys. Have to admit, it is a sound idea by my able secondary fleet commander. I like it.

I quickly pick an icon from one of the maps and drag the tactical map and in a sweep, grab the three icons representing the drakes and give all three new orders. God I love my tactical battle viewer! The three drakes acknowledge the change in their orders and flash their acknowledgement back. They then disappear from view as they warp off to orbit planet one.  I am confident that anyone scanning for ships around the gate will see the drakes only.

"FC to fleet - warp to planet four then align to planet one on arrival."

Setting a trap like this was fraught with difficulty as the two enemy scouts surely had gotten a right eyeful of this fleet. However, Silvetrys idea is a good one and I am confident that it will work.

"FC, this is scout-two. Plus one scimitar to alpha-one. I have also spotted a secondary fleet of three ships around planet three in Klogori. Designating second fleet as beta-one. Unknown if beta-one and alpha-one are working together."

So a logistical ship had joined the main enemy fleet with a potential backup of another three ships! The odds are against my fleet and now stack up even more.

The drakes signal back that they are in position. The main fleet is now in a safe spot and aligning to planet one. My directional scanner reveal scan probes are everywhere. So someone is actively scanning for us. Hope they find the drakes first.

"FC, this is scout-two. The scorpion and rook both warped away and then came back to the gate. I think they're about to move." There was a pause. "They're jumping to you. They're jumping."

Show time.

"Scout-three to fleet. Incoming gate fire. Incoming gate fire."

Sure enough, another one of our scouts, positioned on our side after we had vacated the gate confirmed the presence of the enemy fleet as they slowly de-cloaked.

My heart was hammering away as I wait so see whether alpha-one would be warping to the drakes or elsewhere.

"The enemy fleet are aligning to planet one!"

"Silv you beauty, your plan appears to be working." I said. "Persephone, keep your eyes peeled -  you have hostile ships inbound."

"Roger that FC. Bring them on."

I hated this bit: the waiting. In my mind's eye, I can see the ships all in warp, the plasma playing over their hulls. I can imagine the excitement in the crews as they approach our drakes. Their weapons ready.

"Contact! Contact! Contact!" Yelled Persephone and a clear signal for us to go.

"FC to fleet, warp to planet one. Red alert, battle stations and all that jazz."

My ship leap into the warp alongside the fleet, a deadly synchronised move. From the camera drones and external cameras dotted alongside the hull of my ship, I can see the awesome beauty of warp space. Purple gossamer threads fold around our ships as we plough through towards planet one. In the corner of my eye, the countdown ticks down until the warp tunnel collapse at our destination. Persephone had started calling out targets so that the three drakes could kick off the party with gusto.

In a flash, I am back into normal space. My telemetry starts to update. The space in front of me fills up with the bulk of enemy ships. Laser beams lance out, drones scream and missiles lurch drunkenly in all directions. I check my tactical overview as quickly as I can and see the scorpion-class battle ship. It is forty kilometres way. I want it. I fire up the micro warp drive and start to close the distance. I scan the other ships to see that we are all here.

"FC to fleet. Primary is Minorchik, in the scorpion. Primary is Minorchik, in the scorpion. Primary is Minorchik, in the scorpion." I like to repeat (three-peat?) a command, especially when the things hit the fan.  "Secondary is Shkip Matroskin in the rook. Secondary is Shkip Matroskin in the rook. Secondary is Shkip Matroskin in the rook."

"I am jammed! Going to ramming speed." Wasn't too sure who's voice it was, sounded like Silvetrys. Probably was Silvetrys as he would be crazy enough in using his entire ship as a ramming weapon.

"Vig is jammed and neuted."

A hail of shells hammer into my shields. My shields hold. Keep calling targets, Flash ol' buddy!

"Tiertiary is Shi Kara in the 'geddon. Tiertiary is Shi Kara in the 'geddon. Tiertiary is Shi Kara in the 'geddon."

"Jmarr is jammed. Moving away."

Crap have to knock out the ECM. 

To my right and slightly below, one of our drakes is on fire and spinning away. It's guidance systems most likely smashed. It still fire out missiles salvoes in defiance. It has to be Persephone's boat. Close by and lower still, a second drake, already dark, badly holed with the occasional bloom of escaping flame. Not good.

0-2 to the campers.

"Lord B going down." Crap, I forget we have a lachesis and I need his points.

0-3 to the campers.

No matter. I finally close the distance to the scorpion and now was the time to show my displeasure.

"Gun crew - red line the guns, take the safeties off. Primary is scorpion. Free fire! Free fire!" Am sure it is my imagination but I swear, I can feel the battle cruiser lurch as the bank of mighty 425mm auto canons spin up and thump out projectiles. With satisfying splashes, the scorpions shields disappear quickly. Another few seconds and the shells are smashing into the armour, gouging out huge terrible wounds in the Caldari battle ship. Some of our ships had gotten close too and they too open up. The scorpion, armour plated, blew up into a nice ball of scrap.

1-3, we get one back!

"Primary is the rook. Primary is the rook. Primar -"

"Enemy rook is down."

That was quick.

2-3, come on Bastards!

"New primary is the geddon, primary is Shi Kara in the 'geddon. Primary is Shi Kara. Secondary is Gadsky II in hurricane, secondary is Gadsky II in hurricane, tiertiary is Klutch Johnson in the ferox, Klutch Johnson in the ferox."

My ship continues to shake as the 425mm auto canons threaten to rip itself off it's housing as I continue to pour fire on the gleaming golden hull of the Armageddon. A flash and the Armageddon detonates in a most spectacular fashion.

3-3, a draw so far!

"Primary is down. Secondary is gone. Moving to tertiary." The ferox takes a bit too long and I switch targets.

"New primary is Fyr in the phoon, primary is fyr in the phoon, primary is fyr in the phoon. Secondary is Threeofseven in tempest, tertiary is Wollk in drake."

The distinctive shape of a typhoon class battle ship squats in space, surrounded by drones. I lock it up and fire a nice salvo of barrage ammunition. I grin as a stream of hyper-velocity rounds race towards the Typhoon. My other surviving ships follow suit. Missiles, lasers and shells shower past me.

"Vig is down."

3-4, the enemy take the lead.

"Silv is down."

3-5, they're stretching ahead.

The enemy Typhoon explodes, debris shower the adjacent ships with scrap, shrapnel and bits of Minmatar starship engineering.

4-5 but The Bastards could draw level!

"Hermit down." Shit, there goes our own ECM.

4-6, the enemy maintain their two ship lead! 

"Primary is ThreeofSeven in the tempest, primary is threeofseven, primary is threeofseven. Secondary is Wollk in the drake, secondary is Wollk in the drake, tiertary is Klutch in the ferox."

I spot a massive salvo of missiles spewing from the drake. I hit the micro warp drive and dive down and away. I am too slow and a good fifty per cent of the missiles slam into my ship. Ouch. 

"Tempest is down! Tempest is down!" I can't tell who said that due to the sub-space distortion from the weapon discharges. At least I had one more compatriot!

5-6, that's more like it.

"Jmarr is down." Not good, we are running out of fire power.

5-7 to the campers! Come on Bastards!

Wollk in the drake, his after burners glows brightly as he tries to get some range but my stasis webifier reaches out and slow him right down. He isn't going to get anywhere and has my full attention.

"Primary is Wollk in the drake. Wollk in the drake is primary. Secondary is Klutch. Tiertiary is the scimitar." I push my hurricane closer to give my 425mm the best chance of hitting the drake at close range.

Wollk's Drake, as mighty as it is, explodes under the onslaught. I see the ferox, scimitar, vexor and a stabber remaining. They look like they're ready to bug out.

6-7, but can we get a numerical draw?

What ships do I have right now? A quick scan on my watch  list and I see that I still have a hurricane, two myrmidons, a drake and cyclone. More than enough.

"Primary is Klutch in the ferox. Klutch in the ferox."  What is left of the fleet smoothly switch across to the new target. There's a boom as the caldari battle cruiser blossoms out in a gorgeous flower of flame and light several seconds later. God I love those explosions!

7-7 a draw!

The remaining ships, decide that a heroic death isn't a sensible option and start to withdraw quickly.

We had held the field and can now loot the wrecks - hopefully it would yield enough to cover our ships losses.

"Great job fleet. Now loot up, pick up survivors and salvage everything. We leave nothing."

I salute the enemy crews who we leave alone - they fought well and valiantly but we hold the field and to the victors goes the spoils.

The butchers bill is high...

The Campers Lost: 
Scorpion Killed.
Rook Killed
Armageddon killed
Typhoon killed
Ferox killed
Tempest killed
Drake killed
Blackbird got away
Vexor got away
Stabber got away
Scimitar got away
Hurricane got away
Drake got away

The Bastards lost: