22 Feb 2011

Hulkageddon IV and our new website...

Hulkageddon IV

And we're off!

Hulkageddon IV kicked off on the 19th February 2011 and The Bastards have been in the thick of things. We've gone through a bunch of destroyers already and both The Bastards and The Meatshield are doing a great many evil things to mining ships in high security space. What has been nice and heart-warming have been the cheers of encouragement and well-wishers from those on the sidelines: many of them miners themselves!

The Bastards have enough to roam out far and wide and in two to three gangs. I have noticed that other corporations are using smaller teams of 1-3 pilots and ships and using battle cruisers to enact their suicidal damage. We've opted for teams of 4-6 and in destroyer hulls instead. We found that they're the most cost effective out of all the ship hulls available.

With our scouts out and about and well wishers feeding us information about miners we've been quite active but unfortunately for myself, I have been ill since Friday, 18th February and therefore unable to participate fully. However, The Bastards have leaders far more capable than I activity is as high as ever. Additionally, if people are interested in joining in - we set up a new corp called 'MEATSHIELD' to bolster our numbers for HK IV specifically as well as giving those new to piracy an avenue to pirate with The Bastards over the long-term. The recruitment link is here. We've also enabled a nifty online recruitment website too which leads me to....

New Website and KillBoard and all that!

Yes, you may have noticed that we have updated our website and created an alliance wide killboard that pools both The Bastards and The Meatshield Bastards into one board - in addition to keeping two separate ones for each corp. With an upgrade to our ransom-board and a new skin to the forums; everything looks great.

Long awaited features (well for us) have been added and will be updated over the next couple of weeks. All very exciting and I can't wait to see them live. Thanks has to go to TheHermit for his work on this assisted by RoninData who made his appearance and proved everyone that he was NOT in a Spanish prison but was alive and well.

Anyway, just noticed the new Eve Blog banter. Going to work on that as I crawl back to bed.

More later.

16 Feb 2011

F*ck your Subaru I have a horse outside & The Drunk Roam

Round One - Drunk Roam

The store...

"F*ck your subaru, I have a horse outside!"

My tea
Flash re-scrolled through the ships logs and shook his head gingerly. The alcohol hadn't quite left his system from the night before and jump cloning to a different clone would be counter-productive. The statement, this proclamation was repeated, with some variation throughout the log files. He was a bit perturbed as to what it meant and who started it. Macy, Flashfresh's ever efficient personal assistant, strode in with a hot beverage balanced professionally on a silver tray.

"Sir, your tea as requested."

Flashfresh grunted a thanks and reached over for it. Taking a sip, he relaxed back into his worn leather chair.

"Macy, you are a life saver. Pity it feels like someone took a pee in my mouth. Bleurghh." Flashfresh grimaced and took another deep slurp of some fine Dragon Pearl green tea.
Dragon Pearl Tea
"Some people pay money for that." Muttered Macy under her breath. Flashfresh didn't catch what she said and instead concentrated on the monitor before gesturing at the screen with the cup of tea. Some of the tea sloshing out.

"You see, what I don't understand is - what the hell is this?" Flashfresh played a segment of the voice chat from the roam he was reviewing. It sounded like a bunch of wild hyenas high on some sort of laughter inducing drug. Or a bunch of drunk ass pirates. Then, booming from the multiple speakers:

"F*ck your mitsuibishi, I have a horse outside!"

Flashfresh replayed the last segment twice more to Macy who merely shrugged her indifference. She's been working for The Bastards and Flashfresh for the last five years and frankly, nothing surprised her.

"I suggest sir, that you go back and review all the ship, combat, medical and communication logs from the pilots who were present to build up a more accurate picture? Use the new AI software that was uploaded last week."

I gotta go...
Macy then reached over and her fingers danced across the keyboard. A program booted up and before Flashfresh could say anything, the entire roam was re-assembled into a coherent stream complete with time-line and animation.

"I hope that helps sir. Will that be all?" Enquired Macy, quite clearly on her way out and onto more important things. Flashfresh stared at the new programme in wonder and realised that he could almost re-insert himself into the roam, like a fly on the wall. Superb.

Macy excused herself while Flashfresh sat back slurping his tea.

Flashfresh replayed the mission log, following the fleet as it jumped (or lurched) from one system to another. Flashfresh was apparently, the fleet commander, though he had trouble remembering the exact details.

"F*ck your mitsuibishi, I have a horse outside!"

This is the horse? 

There it was again, being broadcasted to everyone in local....

Anyway, after a few hours of combing through log files and fleet manifests and replaying from multiple view points the picture of the beginnings of the drunk roam became clear.

The composite fleet composed of the following brave and so-to-be drunk pilots:

Dil'e Mahn
Eloha Lightbane
Harlon Mathuin
Max Ursa
Marco Drack
Greygor Butenstein
Sophtia (not drinking)
...and others?

Dil'e Mahn's
weapon of
It appears that Dil'e Mahn thought it would be good for everyone to have at least one smart bomb and with some alarm, Flashfresh realised that he had managed to fit a large smartbomb onto his rupture! Everyone else also fitted some form of area effect weapon. He also decided that we would be going into null-sec too to ensure that we could use said AOE weapons without sentry guns shooting the fleet. So the group, already inebriated slammed into Syndicate space and raced around looking for trouble.

The Hapless Shizraak

Shizraak apparently maintained his reputation of dying first to a non-capsuleer. Last time, he died to some adventurous Serpentis pirates in a belt (he got killed by rats!) but this time he got Concorded. The voice logs was full of laughter and insults as Shizraak raced onwards to grab another ship. Meanwhile, the fleet approached the PF-346, pausing one jump away at FD-MLJ. There was a dramiel buzzing around the FD-MLJ gate in PF-346 so some people thought it would be good to jump and scare them! Marco, took drunk to care apparently dived in with his bellicose. Flashfresh rewound the log and checked again, Marco was indeed  in a bellicose hull. Unusual for Marco, who was more at ease in either a dramiel or a hurricane hull.

Flashfresh continued to play the log and amid the yelling and jeering, Marco said that there were one-, no, two-, no, three Machariel class battleships appearing 200+ km away. All snipe fit no doubt. They started to target the drunken pirate who was trying to get back to the gate. Then Marco did something that took Flashfresh utterly by surprise. The pirate lit a cynosural field.

Marco, he go BOOM. 
Flashfresh replayed the log file and scrutinized the telemetry. Indeed, Marco Drack had dropped a cyno and the three Macherials (plus Dramiel) immediately dropped their locks and sped out of range, fearing for their lives. Unfortunately, the cyno was fitted for laughs only. There would be no capital class ships racing to Marco's rescue and soon the three, initially alarmed Macherial pilots came back and realizing that it was a false alarm, volleyed Marco's bellicose to scrap. Flashfresh grimaced at the last second's worth of telemetry from the battered Bellicose. He also grimaced at the cost of the fuel.

Oddly, the event galvanized the drunken fleet into more acts of bravado. Minutes later, the drunk fleet was engaged one jump away by elements of the same Macherial gang. No doubt, they realised that this fleet was piloted by Captains and crew who were completely drunk and incapable of anything remotely threatening, unless it was crashing into stargates or something.

It was at this time that Flashfresh realised he was reviewing his own combat logs. He was also listening to his own voice, albeit a bit more ragged and slurred but it was his voice. He heard himself call the harbinger primary but went after it with his lone large smart bomb. Flashfresh then saw from the churning combat logs that he was jammed and jammed again. In fact, the enemy brought three falcons into the fray just to even things up.

JManza (was he drunk?) managed to tank most of them in his ferox but unable to fire back, he died. It pained Flashfresh greatly to see that on JManza's killmail, there were alliance mates on it. Such is the danger of the smart bomb. Not very smart when the Captains firing these area effect weapons were drunk. At least people sounded like they were having a blast.

Round Two - My Gun is bigger than yours!

Some of the lads?

After a break and refit - the drunk fleet went out again. This time, Flashfresh discovered that his drunken self had opted for the infamous 'Oversized clip and carbine' roaming theme. This is where one tries to fit a massive weapon onto the hull of your ship. Fitting cruiser sized weapons onto frigate hulls or battle ship weapons onto cruiser hulls for example. Only crazy, drunken Bastards would even contemplate such a fit. However, it looked like part two of the drunk roam was well attended.

My gun is bigger than
Flashfresh scruntinised the log files and discovered that he had managed to bolt on a dual 180mm auto canon quite easily, which he found very surprising. In fact, Flashfresh managed to cram all sorts of goodies on the destroyer but failed at the almost obligatory smart bomb. With the oversize, weaponised destroyers the fleet undocked - this time, in a very drunken haze.

With scouts racing ahead (a rifter with a large auto canon?) the fleet went North and through Ostingele, a local hot-spot. There were targets for sure and things looked promising. Medical telemetry data that was available told Flashfresh that all the pilots were probably operating at 50% combat efficiency. However, their courage knew no bounds and tried to goad some of the locals into a fight. Sitting in a flashy destroyer on the gate looked like bait but in fact, was some Captain too drunk to bother jumping. The locals appeared to be spooked as their scanners no doubt picked up a fleet of frigates and destroyers, stationary for most of the time. Surely a trap?

The covert scout (also a bit tipsy) managed to get close to a drake a few times but the the fleet just couldn't get round to warping in. All this chasing was interrupting the drinking it would appear. Eventually, Flashfresh gave the order to jump into the top belt and wait.

Soon enough, an assault frigate warped into the belt at 100km and spied the ships. He then took off. Apparently, at the same time - the pod pilots all tried to moon the pilot. How this was possible inside a capsule remains to be debated. Violence was imminent however as the remote medical telemetry detected an increase in adrenaline and endomorphic drugs. The Bastards were ready as can be.

Sure enough, the enemy came in and in force too: hurricanes, drakes, stabbers - it was a good fleet and a right dust up. With some alarm, Flashfresh realised that his drunken self was not paying attention at all to the battle and activated a salvager on a stabber! I died.

Taking a deep sip of tea he replayed the horribly one-sided fight as the Bastards, cackling manically tried to do, well something. It was unclear what worked but the only thing they definitely achieved was bemusing the attackers. A 'good fight' was exchanged in local and it was then that Prophet started to yell out in local:

"F*ck your subaru, I have a horse outside!" - much to the bemusement to all of the attackers.

A link was posted in the fleet chat to clarify and Flashfresh, through the log files followed the hyperlink (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPFZrRD3J8) and watched the video.

After a few minutes, Flashfresh couldn't help but laugh, other fleet members continued with what looked like the motto of the night's fleet.

"F*ck your drake, I have a horse outside."

It was funnier (apparently) on the night.

Roam three - hiding behind that hi-sec pocket
Amazingly, the fleet still thought that they could continue to roam. Flashfresh checked the logs and indeed, the fleet was largely intact but the level of alcohol in his blood stream was eye-watering high. Flashfresh was sure that this was true for this fleet mates too.

Shhh, we're hunting
er, wabits!
This time, the drunk fleet decided to sneak into a low-sec pocket near Iges. It had a single high-sec system as a buffer and then there was an eight low-sec system ring. Obviously, only fast aligning ships could be used so frigates and cruisers were selected and with barely enough time to refuel the ships, the fleet was back out and jumping into high security space. As was now customary someone shouted out in local:

"F*uck your missions, I have a horse outside!"

Racing through high security space is always interesting as it is a race to see whether the local faction navies can grab you before you align and get out. With only a single jump it was quite easy. Within 30 seconds, the drunk fleet had assembled in the low-sec pocket and started to hunt.

The locals, enjoying the safety of having a high-sec pocket in front as a buffer were slow to react to the presence of the pirates in their midst it would appear....however, the drunk fleet was criminally slow to react too.

It was decided that probing and scanning was hurting the fleet's collective heads so Flashfresh gave the order to sit on a gate and grab 'something'. A cyclone came through and the frigates and destroyers all lit up. Of course, the sentry guns went off too but apparently the fleet assumed that the beer blanket they had would protect them.

How wrong they were. The cyclone pilot had a shock but survived the feeble assault. He even quipped in local.

[23:56:50] X Gallentius: I hope sombody mentions something about going gcc on a gate with a dessie!!

Followed by blagging in local how fail the pirates were in attempting to tackle him on the gate. If only he knew the truth and that it was the alcohol that was directing the fleet and not common sense.

Flashfresh then grimaced as he read his own ship log and he vaguely remembered that he had a cunning plan. He replayed the conversation and heard himself speak to his fleet.

"Chaps, I will get this fool of the gate. I will warp to the gate at 100 km and blow myself up. He will come over and inspect the wreck and boom! We kill him!" Everyone in the fleet failed to acknowledge this plan as either being good or bad. Most apparently were too caught up in whatever they were doing. However, Flashfresh discovered that he went right ahead. Shaking his head at the memory of this, most dumb move ever - Flashfresh replayed the scene from the ship logs. How the rifter landed 100 km from the gate, while still under a global criminal countdown. How the sentry guns reached out and pulverized his ship in about two salvoes and how, well - it was just a stupid idea.

Amazingly, Flashfresh managed to get his pod back into Iges and docked up. He doesn't actually remember leaving his pod but quite clearly he did: he woke up a couple of hours ago in his own bed. He had vague recollections of emerging from his pod, armed and spoiling for a fight. Flashfresh hoped he didn't actually discharge his weapon.

There was a flashing new message notification and Flashfresh clicked on the icon and read the message. It was sent by Flashfresh, last night to everyone. It was rambling:

Who is this asleep on
my table?
"Pointed the door as it refused to open. No idea why my ship died. Who stole my drink. Did you kill it? Asshole. Need another roam. Tomorrow! Asshole!"

Good times indeed.

11 Feb 2011

Drunk Roam - Getting ready

This roam is on: http://i-pirate.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-makeover-therefore-new-drunken-roam.html

Thanks for the updates from people.


1. Half a bottle of 2 litre bottle Disaronno (drank the rest this week)? check
2. 3.5 litres of coke? - check
3. A full meal around 19:00? - Organised so should be ok, check
4. Ensuring that I have a pillow and blanket nearby? - check
5. Ice in the freezer? - Check
6. Tell the missus that I might be away downstairs 'for some time'? - check
7. Send reminder update via email / evemail to peeps? - No yet

Everyone else: join our ingame channel 'Independence'. Shout that you want to get DRUNK and shoot things. A squad commander, who I hope isn't drunk, will try and fleet you up.

Kick off from 20:15 onwards - assuming that I haven't started early then someone will have to lead the rabble out without me!

7 Feb 2011

The so called 'crap T1 cruisers' - let's go for a roam!

I hear a lot of people laughing at the use of the exequoror or bellicose as vehicles for piracy. Certainly, they are not fashionable craft by any stretch of the imagination when compared to the tried and tested rupture and thorax hull, to name two T1 cruiser hulls. Well this is going to change.

I trawled through the so called list of these poorer t1 cousins:

Caldari:  Moa & Osprey
Gallente: Exequoror and Celestis
Amarr: Maller & Augoror
Minmater: Scythe & Bellicose

Am actually quite impressed with these ship hulls, why all the negativity?

I always like to have themes for The Bastards roams (we've had drunk roam, lolfit roam, oversized clip and carbine roam etc etc) and I sense that the crap cruiser roam needs to be looked at. So, there's a roam that I am organising and it will feature nothing but T1-so-call-crap-cruiser-hull roam.

I quite the look of the bellicose and thanks to Lady Shaniqua, I have a decent fit.

Those who have been invited should have an evemail or email from me or TheHermit already. Pirates interested in submitting a request to join this roam need to do so quickly, just convo me or join the in-game chat channel 'INDEPENDENCE' or evemail me.

I would also be interested in some piracy viable fits for any of the above ships. Let's give these ships a little run eh?

More later.


3 Feb 2011

Food fleet gank cruiser roam, the disconnect and the arm-chair FC.

Violence - T1 style
The T1 gank cruiser is a ship variant that greatly appeals to me. It is based on a relatively cheap T1 cruiser hull and configured to deliver the biggest wallop possible and as cheaply as can be. Usual choice ships include the thorax and rupture.

So it was back to this ship type for some of us though the MEATSHIELD and applicants were in an assortment of frigates and cruisers. Their job was simply: sweep ahead of the main group and run into potential targets and camps and engage them. Since we were heading into low- and null-sec it was going to be an interesting trip.

When we undocked I received some complaints from a few of my pilots that their graphical interface on inside their capsules was having problems updating itself. It appeared to be much more than just a localised event. It got so bad that we ended up losing three pilots to it, taking a significant chunk out of our DPS.

The Food Fleet
Food fleet - everyone loves food
No matter, we raced into Syndicate space eager for ransoms and loot. As per Bastard culture, roams are usually themed and I decided that each ship had to named after a national or regional dish that the pilot was familiar with and had already tasted and felt compelled to share with the rest of his fellow pilots.  Our roams, while fun should also be educational!

To kick off the process, I decided to call my rupture of doom, 'Harissa' - the national dish of Armenia. It is very nice, filling and tasty. I recommend this dish to anyone. Go on, give it try. Now the roam demonstrated the length and breadth of us pirate's culinary experiences from around the world and I was amazed and delighted at the offerings.

As an example we had the following culinary delights (all vouched by each pilot):
  1. Deep fried mars bar, a dish peculiar to Scotland and nominated by Lord Breathnach.  
  2. Yorkshire Pudding, from Yorkshire, England nominated by Max Ursa.
  3. Fu Fu (baby puncher) originally from Ghana and nominated by Red Vegas. The 'baby puncher' was the original name of the ship. He just added 'Fu Fu' to the front of it. Makes me wonder why it was called baby puncher in the first place....
  4. Frikandel, from The Netherlands by Fenneck. Loved how Fenneck referred to the main ingredient as 'inferior meat' - a nice, evocative term. 
  5. Lutefisk by Dahghda reflecting his Scandinavian origins. Fishey!
  6. Watergruwel by Anaka Totoch
  7. Scouse by Leroxee - initially, I thought Lero was advocating cannibalism of our NorthWestern kith and kin, but no it is the name of the dish for those who didn't know. 
  8. Pupusa by Wamphyrri - this dish looks lovely and I thank Wamp for now making me want to get hold of some pupusa.
  9. Cornish Pasty by TFS Tibbs, the humble pasty but what a fascinating history!....and other dishes nominated by the other pilots that I can't quite remember. 
So the rag tag gank cruiser food fleet left our docking station with violence, haikus, food and fun in mind. We blundered towards Syndicate space but there was an odd issue with the global GUI in which some of our pilots frequently disconnected. We lost TheHermit, Captain Blackler and Dil'e. With some reduced firepower we threw ourselves through null-sec space, our Meatshield pilots (with Arrihadeus joining them) racing ahead - imminent violence in mind. 

Just before we got into the entry system into Syndicate we had a tussle with a drake and a stabber. Both pilots then turning up with friends in battleships to continue the fight.....a fight which didn't happen as it wasn't on our terms. We're pirates and there would be no coin in fighting an opponent who had our number. 

The night had to have some comedy though: we spotted a velator, all lonely in space and Leroxee, in his caracal decided to blow it up! He dropped his cross hairs onto the noob ship, loaded up his missiles into their tubes and yelled in joy as they streaked off towards their target! Sentry guns spun up in response (sentry guns? Oh no...) and smothered Leroxee's ship in explosive ordnance. His pod popped out before he could even yell out in alarm. 

There was much laughter. 

We had already exited Syndicate and we were in Solitude region, a low-sec region of space with sentry guns positioned around the gates and stations. Leroxee couldn't even board the velator since he had blown it up already. 

Still space was sparsely populated and then, everyone's GUI flashed with a universal warning: the super-computers linking the capsule operating system was about to go down in 30 minutes! Amidst groans and curses we turned around to head back. Anaka Totoch, in his blackbird was racing ahead, daring for someone, anyone to fire on him. 

We did catch a flashy maelstrom on the gate - he was with a cynabal friend and there was a harbinger lurking around. The cynabal wasn't flashy but we engaged it anyway. The maelstrom pilot ambled back towards the gate without firing on us, we then had him webbed. He then fired back, probably to get rid of the webbers as he was now slow-boating towards the gate. It was at this point that Arrhidaeus' seat broke. I have no idea why but his announcement drew much hilarity. 

The maelstrom went down - his cynabal friend did not assist but warped away. We even grabbed and podded the pilot's capsule. 

So we docked up and stepped out of our pods for a while. 

Round 2 had us quickly scan down and grab a stabber. We ransomed the pilot for a haiku and he delivered an excellent offering: 
I began haiku, I cannot remember when, It was in this game
 As we released the stabber pilot, a harbinger came roaring in and started to attack the stabber pilot! We felt mild outrage and decided to engage the interloper. I was in the next system and wondered if it would be a prelude to something: sure enough a tempest came roaring in. We had a rapier, a rupture, a cane and a jaguar versus a harby and tempest. Not too bad but we were in a poor position, tactically - being all spread out. The Harby went down just as our hurricane was blown to bits. We now had to tackle the tempest with a jag, arbitrator, rapier and rupture. We could do.....but not that night. I lost 'Harissa' and everyone else had to bail. The Arbitrator was caught too and shredded by the tempest's might guns. So a good fight but very galling - we had lost the loot!

Doubt Chuck Norris can FC from his arm-chair...
Interestingly, the stabber pilot (Charon Chiron) applied to join us such was our impact on this pilot. Also, TheHermit, while not in space with us was following the entire roam on voice communications. I decided that it would be typical of us Bastards to do something fun and crazy and I am going to ask TheHermit to FC a roam, entirely from his armchair. He will have Ombey's excellent 2D maps and our voice comms and he will do his best to FC a fleet of my choosing through low- and null-sec space without being there. Am going to call it the 'Armchair General Roam', will keep you all posted.