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.