Hey everybody, Jim finally figured out how to use a killboard, and then posted all his FW wins and losses (although he says he’s lost at least one more destroyer than the killboard shows). So far he’s been in on an impressive 27 kills, although most of these are vessels that got excessively primaried. (For instance, Jim pumped carbonized lead into a Heavy Interdictor along with 48 other people, doing three percent of the dealt damage).

My favorite item on his killboard list so far is a noobie ship loss he never even mentioned to me. Apparently he was returning home in his reaper when he stopped to salvage some wrecks in the best tradition of Ironfleet. A Cormorant destroyer caught him well off the gate with his pants around his ankles, so to speak, and he was blown up and podded. With (and this is the good part) sixteen million ISK worth (killboard pricing) of freshly salvaged nanite paste and Caldari Navy ammo in the cargo hold of his free reaper.

Today he went with an expeditionary fleet in support of Amarr operations against the Minmitar. However, he says Amarr fleet command were a bunch of elitist pricks in the best royal fashion, refusing to talk to the Caldari volunteers on Eve Voice and insisting that fleet members download and install supplementary voice chat software under combat conditions. And they were excessively rude about it, to boot.

The operation went bad around Auga. Jim got pounded to scrap by a Caracal (destroyers and heavy missiles do not mix) and the fleet seemed (to Jim) well on its way to annihilation when Jim lagged out and crashed to desktop. He escaped in his noobship and made no effort to rejoin the fleet, which was apparently retreating to Amarr space in very poor order. Gee, I wonder if that could have anything to do with fleet leadership refusing to use the one comms system every Eve pilot is guaranteed to have?

Returning to the Caldari lines near Tama, Jim hopped in another destroyer and went out with a fifty-ship fleet on a long combat patrol that met and crushed (meaning, killed a bunch and made the rest scatter) two different Gallente fleets of comparable size. Jim ended up jumping home four times with salvage, including what looks to me like about fifty million isk worth of Tech II guns and mods.

As for me, I took a Bustard-load of Condors (ten of ’em) down to the front lines, fitted them all out with T1 tackle fits, named them Ironfleet Tackler #1 through Ironfleet Tackler #10, and started advertising them for free in local to anybody who wanted to get back into the Tama fight. Got a lot of scepticism in local but gave away five of them, and also got some thanks and donations of fittings for making more. Ironfleet will be doing more of that in future, it’s the least we can do to pay back for some of the rich salvage that comes home from Jim’s fleet fights.

I am actually pretty proud of those free Condors. T1 to be sure, but they come equipped with overdrive, afterburner, warp disruptor, two missile launchers, Bloodclaw missiles, and a salvager. (You were expecting something else from Ironfleet?) To accommodate different preferences and skill levels, the folks who asked for one of these also got (in cargo) a pair of rocket launchers, some rockets, a warp scrambler, a webber, a small shield booster, and a 2nd-best-named 75mm gun with antimatter ammo to swap into the high slot where I fitted the salvager. It’s no uber pwnmobile, no, but it beats the pants off an Ibis with a Civilian Gatling Gun, and if there’s ever been a fleet commander who said “No more, I’ve got too many tacklers” I haven’t heard of it.

One other logistics contribution I’m making to the Caldari war effort is to try and stock some common modules and ammo on the Nourvokaken market, which is very shallow and badly supplied. I’ve heard some complaints about my pricing, because I’m deliberately putting everything up at (as near as I can tell) about twice the regional market price. The idea is simple — if you’ve got the time, please go get what you need in Jita. But if you’re in a raging hurry to fit out a ship so you can get back to the fight RIGHT NOW, my overpriced modules will be available as a convenience. This is not about the ISK — I could sell 10,000-ISK T1 mods for 20K until Hell froze over and the gross profits wouldn’t buy me another Bustard or anything else I care about — but about making sure that the items are there for the people who need them in a hurry. I simply don’t have the mineral or haulage resources to flood the market with enough modules to make a difference at market pricing; Ironfleet is not really an industrial corp despite my dabblings in the market.

Still, if any in the militia buys modules from Marlenus and is upset about the “war profiteering” prices, please send me an Evemail and tell me how much ISK you want back. If it’s a reasonable estimate of the amount you’ve “overpaid” for instant convenience, I’ll be happy to refund it as part of my patriotic contribution to the Caldari war effort.

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