26 Apr 2012

Balkans and Unistas, all in a night of Bastage

The Bastards and friends undock....
Time for another Bastards' fleet - so this time round, I had a fleet of x5 drakes, x2 hurricanes, x2 arazus, x1 sliepnir and x2 taranis. Not a bad mustering for a small alliance like ourselves. Pity we can't run like this every days and across all time zones. However, we're working on some activities that will promote more solo-work; though we're doing ok already on that front thanks to some stalwart individuals.

So as ever, The Bastards & friends left Evati local and headed out, since I was in Molden Heath and assisting some Gunpoint Diplomancy and friends on their bhaalgorn tackle. I took the opportunity to reacquaint The Bastards with Molden Heath, a fine region of Minmatar space I might add.

We rolled relatively quickly through the system, with Dil'e and z0de racing ahead in their taranis (pl. tarani?) of doom we found ourselves in Molden Heath with no incident. This was actually disappointing for some of the pilots, but you can't please everyone all of the time!

The Pirate Channel!
At this time, we had a friend update from some Gunpoint chaps via the pirate only Molden Heath intel channel that there was a hostile entity close by, who had recently moved in and might be rolling a fleet out. I think he was referring to some Balkan Express chaps. At this time, one of my scouts spotted a fast moving, belt hopping hurricane, piloted by someone from the above mentioned corporation. I ordered the tackle to be made and then sent in some heavier reinforcements. Then it escalated (surprise, surprise) and I then sent in the rest of the fleet and away we went. Balkan Express had seven battle cruisers and three guardians while we had 12 ships, 8 of them battle cruisers and forming the main damage platform. Their bait eventually died as is the fate of all live bait but I was set as primary and was content to sit and tank, being close to a gate I could jump if the incoming damage was too much. We managed to force a neutral falcon off the field, it didn't carry the BALEX corp ticker but we weren't going to take the chance.

Fair well my dear ship...
We were already under sentry gun fire already due to existing criminal countdowns (we were naughty and killed an iteron..) but figured that the damage would be spread evenly among us. We certainly could do with a more permanent logistics support wing! I didn't fire back and pulsed my shield boost while calling targets. Even so, the management of my capacitor, shield booster and keeping myself on top of the target calling was taxing. Then to my horror, one of my drakes (no names but I am looking at YOU) rammed into my and sent me flying away from the gate. By the time I managed to fire up the thrusters to arrest my unannounced departure I was 6 Km from the gate. I tried to race back and twitched my micro warp drive; knowing full well that my signature would balloon to that of a small moon and significantly increase the incoming damage. It was a foolish decision, I died under the hail of missile fire, laser beams, autocannon shells and drone damage. At least most of my mods survived.

The secondary FC took over and smoothly re-positioned the fleet before holding the field. We could have grabbed more but I was content with the result. The secondary FC then moved the fleet off the gate, after looting it and got into a safe just as more BALEX came into the field, this time upshipping to battle ship class vessels (abaddon, armageddon with guardian support) - since they now appear to have a base in Atlar, it was no surprise. The FC decided that we had our pound of flesh and disengaged. We also warned the local Molden Heath pirates of the fight and two joined the fleet: Cpt Nessaja and CraftyCroc. Both arrived as the fight was ending but they agreed to stay with the fleet and look for more targets.

Some Unistas
Meanwhile I raced home to get a new ship as well as picking up two more pilots. The fleet was growing organically. The short hop back to Metropolis for the fleet and I was asked to resume fleet command, this time I was in a cyclone. Some pilots left the group, others joined up and we were aware that an Eve-University pilot was observing us. Sure enough, our intel channel squawked that there was a large Eve-Uni fleet, mainly destroyers and frigates inbound from their low-sec training ground of Dudreda. We were BC heavy.

Sure enough, the unistas came in and were spoiling for a fight. We met them on the gate but they crossed jumped us and tried to catch some of our stragglers. Ships that I deliberately asked to get tackled in order to initiate a fight. This went on for a bit as the Unistas wisely did not bite until we got to the Ingunn system. This time, the bulk of the fleet was through a gate, Marco was left on the other side (in is hurricane) and we fired on the Unistas on the out gate, they then jumped back and all pounced on Marco.

Game on.

We jumped back and then proceeded to work through the Unistas fleet. Marco, bravely tried to tank them but with approximately 18 (?) frigates and destroyers (and the sentry guns) all pounding away at the passive tank, Marco's much loved hurricane exploded. He made sure that he had a piece of most of the Unistas. Meanwhile, we proceeded to slowly work through their ship list and eventually managed to take down 12 of the 17/18 ships for the loss of Marco's hurricane. The recovery of a Gistii A-Type micro warp drive from Capricamper Shore's Navy Hookbill more than paid for Marco's lost hull.

By this time, I called a halt to the proceedings and took the fleet home via a secondary route allowing Cpt Nessaja and CraftyCroc to nip home as well. An excellent and fun night. Shout outs to Los Chupas, Gunpoint and other pirates and helpers.

23 Apr 2012

Pirates ahoy!

Pirates taking a group photo - check out the 'tanker' pirate. 
One of the many things I love about Eve and piracy specifically are the people one meets over time and how these relationships can be fruitfully utilised. Last night, Marco and I were online and chatting and I was exhausted, mentally and physically from a 60+ jump in my pod. I had located a jump-clone of mine and decided to bring it closer to my main area of operations. For those who know, this is the Metropolis / Heimater / Molden Heath area. So, I decided to dock up, settle my affairs for the night and activate the jump clone.  The last thought through my head as I drifted off to sleep was: where is that station? I don't recognise the name..

Well, I woke up in a dingy station out somewhere in null-sec. There was no attendant to hand me a towel or offer me the use of the shower facilities. After bumbling around I realised that somehow, I was in null-sec space and that I had to pod race all the way back to low-sec space. The journey was rather 'interesting' though I did avoid dying. I finally got back to low-sec only long enough to switch again to a my clone in Evati and race towards Molden Heath to assist some fellow pirates from Gunpoint Diplomacy and friends on tackling a bhaalgorn class ship and friends from the 'House of Cards' alliance. For such shiny ships, I had to assist. To my delight, I realised that the commander of the fleet was 'Dirty Protagonist' - a chap I know from the past; adding to the fun was the presence of Venom Orchid, that minx of piracy and profanity and whom Marco I knew would flirt with as he too was racing towards Molden Heath in his curse.

Anyway, I arrived too late to catch the bhaalgorn but managed to tackle an abaddon whom had blundered into the fight. I looked like Gunpoint had a few frigates out around one of their own custom offices and that the small zippy craft was tempting enough for The House of Cards alliance to drop in on them with something big and heavy. In this case, led by their Bhaalgorn class battle ship. They also had a few  cruisers and frigates for the engagement from what I can be seen on the killboards.

Even more fun, even in my wee' old claw, I managed to grab and point two rupture class cruisers on a gate (and survive the snetry guns) before heading back home. I said my good byes to the Gunpoint chaps and promised that if they needed some extra bodies (sweaty, smelly, unwashed pirate bodies that it) then all they had to do was ask and The Bastards would come calling. We used to roam around Molden Heath but since Metropolis and Heimater had gotten busier, we had neglected this route. I think it is time to park some resources close by so that we can better assist our fellow pirates.

This is the beauty of it: on slow days, we would no doubt joust with each other - no quarter asked or given but when opportunity knocks, us pirates set aside our (admittedly small) differences and gang up on some interloper. None of the rather more involved diplomatic standings etc.

Anyway, a shout out to Dirty Protagonist, Venom Orchid, Crefakis, Pere et al. Pleasure flying with you all and I look forward to more.

20 Apr 2012

Inferno? Nice stuff....

I couldn't attend Fanfest this year but it looked fantastic. Been watching the Spring/Summer 2012 Release Overview with Jon Lander and I have to admit it looks quite exciting. However, am waiting for it to hit tranquility before I deal with it. So after a three-week break, I came back suitably refreshed and eager for action. I formed a fleet of about a dozen blood thirsty pirates and away we went - my in our corp-issued lachesis and the rest of the fleet made up of hurricanes and drakes. Marco Drack had to be different and came in a broadsword but to be honest, that would make super bait.

Plenty of traffic around but without a dedicated prober or scout (shame on you Flash for not organizing it!!) we relied on either z0de or Marco to entice targets to them. The start was encouraging: a tornado loitering with friends in low-sec. We then caught a hurricane after his friends fled, another hurricane and....another hurricane. Each time, we failed to catch the rest of this friends - I obviously fail in the lachesis but I think I miss BracerKirk and his insta-locking arazu.

Last night had me fly about 46 jumps in total just to witness the destruction of a friendly fleet - I escorted the unlucky pilots home! More happening this weekend but back to work for me however, I am eagerly waiting for the next installments so roll on the 24th April!

17 Apr 2012

Rolling around low-sec, an engagement with Eve-Uni and the new skill plan?

I took a three week break for some vacation and work related travels and now back in New Eden. I had a list of other matters to attend to but then, my main PC (a lovely shiny new 64-bit machine) refused to boot. I blamed the spanking new SSD I had installed. Anyway, plenty of fiddling and I finally decided to reinstall the whole OS. Should be back online tonight.

However, before I left, me and the Bastards had been busy.

I had been reading one of the DevBlogs on the revamp to ships and I am sitting back a bit stunned and breathless. All I can say to anyone is: train Battlecruiser V and Destroyer V! I have already invested a lot of time into these two skills so I wonder what I can get back in return? A few million SPs would be nice, I can then chuck them towards some capital based skills that I haven't bothered to look at or maybe even some leadership based ones. Still, this has generated a massive threadnaught and I sat on the fence looking on in interest.

Still, I do like the ship tree diagram and will print it out as a poster and stick it on the wall!

Something else caught my eye: featured on latest E-ON magazine were The Bastards! I remember having a chat with Zapatero a while back, little did I know he was busy scrawling notes about us ready for an article. Now, I have a copy but am unsure if it will break any copyright if I scanned it and posted it here. Suffice it to say, the article was snappy and to the point. I like it.

Rolling around low-sec
One of the main reasons why I have been too busy to blog is that our section of New Eden has seen a massive upsurge in activity in the European timezone. We have mainly fleets ranging from 5 - 50 in number moving around spoiling for a fight. Am seeing a fair few tier-3 only fleets, the more traditional shield drake & logistics fleet to an effective myrmidon and guardian fleet the other night. Not to forget, the usual kitchen sink Eve-Uni fleets. So, whenever I have time from my busy work; I join up with fleets and fly around; hunting, shooting and ransoming people. So please forgive me if I am too busy to post. I should really tweet shouldn't I?