Archive for the 'Ship Losses' Category

Jim Bridger here.

Was out today in the Bantam of Doom, looking for excitement.

It found me.

I saw that FTACI Retriever pilot, Kreatus Lucina (the one who was in on the drubbing FTACI gave Marlenus the other day). I thought, hey, an aggressive Retriever is just the sort of thing the Bantam of Doom was built for.

He wasn’t mining into a can, though, so I figured I’d have to be a little bit creative. So I started cleaning up his numerous belt rat wrecks, while ignoring two convo requests from him and also his complaints in local:

Kreatus Lucina > is there a reason your digging through my cans?
RizzLat > yes hes not very respectable
Rikus Cofee > who ?
RizzLat > jimmy bridger
RizzLat > lol
Kreatus Lucina > jim bridger you are about to be on my shit list
Kreatus Lucina > your on my shit list
RizzLat > he wont care man hes a tipper

Right about then I actually found a fairly decent high-meta loot item in one of his wrecks, which I linked into local:

Jim Bridger > ‘Hypnos’ Signal Distortion Amplifier I
Rikus Cofee > wooh
Jim Bridger > Worth more than my ship…
RizzLat > lol

Sadly, this did not inspire Kreatus to start shooting at me. Instead, Lach Danan, the bait Osprey pilot who got Marlenus, showed up in a Merlin. By reflex, I warped away; these are not the combats I was looking for.

In warp, however, I questioned the reflex. Bantam versus well-fitted Merlin is an instant face-melt for the Bantam, true. But, like, dude, it’s just a Bantam, who cares? And the other guy could always screw up, let’s give him the opportunity.

So I warped back.

Merlin already gone.

So I looted another FTACI can.

Merlin returns.

Predictable and very rapid face melt ensued, no FTACI screwups on display:

2009.02.01 18:04:00

Victim: Jim Bridger
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Bantam
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 669

Involved parties:

Name: Lach Danan (laid the final blow)
Security: 3.3
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Merlin
Weapon: Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I
Damage Done: 669

Destroyed items:

Iron Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Hobgoblin I (Drone Bay)
Asymmetric Energy Succor I (Cargo)
Small Nosferatu I (Cargo)
Lead Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Republic Fleet EMP S, Qty: 36
‘Hypnos’ Signal Distortion Amplifier I (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Republic Fleet EMP S, Qty: 270 (Cargo)
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Carbonized Lead S, Qty: 4835 (Cargo)
250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Gyrostabilizer II

He took me out with four or five very fast volleys with blasters and rockets, during which I had time for just two arty volleys of my own. They were solid barrages, but the Merlin is a much tougher little nut to crack than the Bantam.

Of course there was the usual post-combat game of rock-scissors-paper. I came back in a Thrasher destroyer, he came back in a Manticore stealth bomber. That’s an interesting game of pass-the-grenade when the bomber is in range of the Thrasher’s guns, but he wasn’t. I couldn’t lock him, so I was gone before the second volley of cruise missiles arrived. His repping buddy in the Scorpion was on scene anyway, so it was clear there wasn’t point in coming back. Match to FTACI.

As mentioned in the last post, I’m increasingly learning — painfully, the way all good lessons are learned — that the changes to blockade runners have changed my ore salvage game in a fundamental way that requires new tactics and fittings on my part.

There’s no way to sugar-coat this, last night I lost a Crane to a bait-fit Osprey “mining” cruiser:

2009.01.30 07:24:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Crane
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 23831

Involved parties:

Name: Lach Danan (laid the final blow)
Security: 3.3
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Osprey
Weapon: Bloodclaw Light Missile
Damage Done: 21814

Name: Kreatus Lucina
Security: 0.2
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Retriever
Weapon: Valkyrie I
Damage Done: 2017

Destroyed items:

Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 230 (Cargo)
Shield Boost Amplifier I
Thunderbolt Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 186 (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender I
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 633 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 499 (Cargo)
Warp Disruptor I
Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Medium C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Guristas Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 299 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Havoc Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 258 (Cargo)
Havoc Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 926 (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System II
Thunderbolt Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 1000 (Cargo)

All due props to pilot Lach Danan of Firestorm Tactical Industries [FTACI]. I’m even more impressed by the FTACI Retriever pilot, Kreatus Lucina, who engaged with his three Tech 1 drones and stuck in there until he was deep in armor. His contribution, though slight in DPS, made the difference in the end.

It happened like this. I’d cleaned up some drifting ore belonging to another pilot, and while that was going down, Lach Danan made a plaintive request for someone to kill a belt rat, alleging that he’d forgotten his drones. Shall we just say that I found the claim suspicious; in my mind, it marked him as a pilot looking for a fight.

Some twenty minutes later, I returned to the belt with Lach Danan’s jet can on my mind.

Crucial mistake #1: I neglected to count how many mining lasers he was running. EVE Lesson: Overconfidence kills. I still don’t know if he was running one (for show) or a full set; but given how events transpired, I’m guessing he fit two at most.

Crucial mistake #2: I didn’t pay any mind to his corpmate Kreatus in the Retriever, who had been hauling home when full, making him irrelevant to my predatory-salvage calculations. EVE Lesson: Every hull in the game is dangerous.

After grabbing Lach Danan’s ore contribution, which was suspiciously modest…

Crucial mistake #3: I took bait. EVE Lesson (again): Overconfidence kills. A mining cruiser who’s been there for half an hour with no observed hauler (even if I didn’t have continuous eyes all that time) should have more than 1500 cubic meters of ore in his jetcan. I knew that, didn’t care. Should have.

… he was quick to lock me, warp scramble me, and web me. It’s kill or be killed, now.

And then he launched Tech 2 combat drones, which commenced to gnaw at my liver.

By the time I had started a lock on Lach Danan’s cruiser, it was already obvious he had more DPS than I could permanently tank, so I loaded the precision missiles and started locking one of his drones. Killing Tech II combat drones with heavy missiles is kinda like hunting rabbits with bottle rockets — you can get it done, but it’s not fast and it’s not efficient and it’s not pretty.

And I’m not going to have the time, especially because that Retriever pilot has joined the fight with his three drones. I can drive him away with just a few missiles, but do I have the time, or do I have to kill at least one of the deadly drones first?

I chose — and I’m still not clear on whether this was right, though I think it was after looking at the damage logs — to kill the drone I was shooting at first. That took a long time, and I was having to cycle my shield booster by then due to limited cap; the armor was dented.

Crucial Mistake #4: Failure to adapt. If you look at that killmail, you’ll see that my four mids were fitted with shield booster, shield boost amplifier, shield extender, and a warp disruptor. I’ve never fitted a cap boosting solution, as most combat hauler pilots do. If I got in trouble, I always just warped away, and I didn’t get into trouble often, so I preferred to save the cargo space for ore. However, now that the blockade runners don’t get two points of innate warp stabilization, the world has changed. Even a small cap injector would have let me win this fight.

So, after killing the first drone, I drove the Retriever pilot away with just a few shots that took him into deep armor. Retrievers are tissue paper.

That took away a bit of damage, and I went back to shooting at the next drone. By this point my armor has gaping holes in it, and I made my last mistake of the fight: I fat-fingered the missile reloading process, which ended up costing me almost twenty seconds, during which I got into structure.

Finally I killed drone #2. Now, at last, the damage is close to sustainable; if I’d still been in armor, I’d have had time to lock and kill one more drone, and I could have won (maybe; I never tested the Osprey’s tank, and he was certainly fitted with combat in mind.) But the twenty seconds I lost was the nail in my coffin, and I went pop.

Interestingly, the Retriever pilot had time to come back during this process, but I’m uncertain whether he had time to dock and repair and restock drones. However, he came back some 40-50 klicks away and never launched any more drones, so he was out of the fight.

But he was there. And I was in my pod, feeling chagrined.

A nice warm cup of REVENGE would sure taste nice about now. Let’s go see what’s in the hangar.

That Retriever on my mind, I jumped in one of my trusty Manticore stealth bombers. I haven’t really flown these since the missile balancing — some say nerf — but the word is, they aren’t so much fun anymore. Let’s test that theory; if I can’t one-volley a wounded Retriever, I’m going to send this thing back to the factory with a stiff note. But, I’ll bet I can.


2009.01.30 07:29:00

Victim: Kreatus Lucina
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2983

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 2983

Destroyed items:

Massive Scordite, Qty: 12605 (Cargo)
Small Shield Extender I
Valkyrie I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Hornet I (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2

Ah, now I feel much better.

How about friend Lach Danan in the crunchy bait Osprey, would he like a taste of my Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missiles?

He would! He’s targeting and trying to close to drone range. Cruise missiles away!

I believe it was the second volley that took him into armor, possibly the third; in any case, he changed his mind and left.

At this point, I still had a Tech II wreck on the field requiring salvage, an Ironfleet jet can containing some ore, and a Retriever wreck that needed looting and salvaging. So I went home for the ship I like to call the Iron Crowbar, a Ferox battlecruiser fitted for cleanup work on a hot battlefield.

By the time I salvaged my Crane wreck and emptied my own jet can, Lach was back, in a Manticore of his own. But, he was inside my heavy missile range, and as we traded volleys, he was getting by far the worst of the exchange. So, he left again.

I looted the pair of Cargo Expander IIs from the Retriever wreck, and was starting to salvage it, when Kreatus Lucina returned in his own Ferox, at range. We began trading heavy missiles, but I had superior missile range, and it took him awhile (not long, was he using an MWD on that beast?) to close into his shorter missile range.

Accordingly, I was through his shields and well into his armor when his first, fairly puny, volley of missiles hit my shields. If he had kept that up, he was going to die; but he was still closing and I assume he also had some guns on there. Still, in a one-on-one fight — or even if Lach came back in the Manticore again — it would have been fun to find out.

And THAT’s when a neutral friend of theirs showed up in a Scorpion battleship and went flashy red to me, presumably because he was repping the enemy Ferox. I decided I’d had enough revenge, and docked up.

All in all, a fun run through the asteroid belts, though I’d like it better if I hadn’t lost my beloved Quantum Quagmirer. The boys from FTACI (and their alt or friend in the FTRAD Scorpion) fought well, eschewed all smacktalk, and clearly carried the day, even if I did get my licks in.

Do you ever notice, on all those forum threads about mission salvagers, how the mission runners in their big fat carefully-tanked battleships like to talk about how unfair it is that there is “zero risk” to the people who probe down and salvage their missions?

Well, that hasn’t been my experience.

It seems like every time I go mission probing in a covert ops ship (for the probing speed bonuses) I lose the damn thing and swear I’ll use cheaper ships next time.

Yesterday, I lost a Buzzard to lag in Dodixie.

I’d jump-cloned down that way because my alliance peeps were having a big operation there, but I was too late for most of the party. So I fitted out a covops with cheap gear and started on an ordinance survey of the system; if I’m going to play there, I need a set of probing bookmarks.

My early work with long range probes got me several good hits on mission runners well away from the ecliptic, so the project was a smashing success; with the bookmarks I got, I can now reach almost anywhere in the system that a mission runner is likely to be.

Unfortunately, in the process I found a Dominix battleship sharing a deadspace with a bunch of wrecked Amarr Navy battleships, and three that weren’t wrecked yet. In fact, it looked like the last three were “way over there” and not woke up yet.

I couldn’t ignore all those lovely armor plates, so I started salvaging. And heck, if those battleships wake up, I’ll have plenty of time to warp out when they start targeting me, right?

I forgot I was Dodixie, a mission hub every bit as notorious for lag as Saila was back in the day.

I’m salvaging, three un-agroed battleships on my overview. There’s a noise, as of lasers firing. My screen refreshes. I’m in a pod.

My client, apparently, didn’t bother alerting me to the whole “you’re being locked” part of the process.

It wasn’t really a problem, long run; I got in my free Ibis, put salvagers in the top slots, came back for my loot, salvaged my wreck, finished salvaging the mission, and came out with an Ibis-load of the mission runner’s loot on top of that. In fact, I got so many Armor Plates, I think I may have paid for the ship I lost. But it was annoying.

I had a little bit more fun with the diplomatic contact that resulted from this combat the day before yesterday. You’ll remember that I wasn’t quite sure what the Retriever pilot had done to start flashing red. Well, I got this convo:

Careos Ordo > Hail sir.
Marlenus > Hello, what’s up?
Careos Ordo > I understand we had an incident between our corps in the last few days.
Careos Ordo > It appears to be a misunderstanding, I didn’t want any ill feelings.
Marlenus > Did we? If so, it’s news to me
Careos Ordo > Its on the front page of your site.
Marlenus > Oh. That’s not an incident, it’s just normal business.
Careos Ordo > Not the way we operate.
Careos Ordo > Your ship was accidentally attacked by a drone.
Marlenus > Hmm, I do not believe so. “The logs, they show nothing.”
Marlenus > And the drones were not in space.
Careos Ordo > Well, my pilots assured me whatever happened they meant no aggression.
Marlenus > Hmmm, I must agree that scooping of the drones would seem to support that story.
Careos Ordo > If you loot, that is your way, I will not judge you for that…I just wanted to let you know that there was nothing from our side. I don’t want to start a war.
Careos Ordo > They had kill rights on your man because he had looted a wreck earlier.
Marlenus > No worries, I’m not in the diplomatic loop for my alliance … there’s zero risk of war to you guys from the incident, I’d say
Careos Ordo > They might have been worried the drones would attack, or they did on accident…something.
Marlenus > And I never take offense at getting shot at
Careos Ordo > Interesting business you guys run there.
Careos Ordo > I still don’t know how your indy was able to take out a mining barge.
Marlenus > Heh, that’s actually no secret
Careos Ordo > it is to me, obviously
Marlenus > The blockade runner is not an indy, it’s a transport…
Marlenus > …and it has fitting for a heavy missile launcher
Careos Ordo > oh, my guys reported an indy
Marlenus > It’s basically a cruiser with one gun
Careos Ordo > gotcha.

There was more, but that’s the gist. A perfectly civil, careful diplomatic contact that’s a credit to their corporation. Why am I mentioning it here? Because it underscores what I love about flying the blockade runners. There isn’t an industrial in the game that can launch heavy missiles, but when people see me coming, all they can see is “harmless indy” and it’s an impression so strong, it colors their perceptions even after they’ve flown home in a pod.

Of course, that Retriever would have died just as fast to a well-fit BattleBadger or your basic Iteron-of-Doom; I’m not trying to slight those time-honored (and funny as hell) combat platforms. I’m just saying. People see what they expect to see.

Yes, folks, Santa Clause has shit down my chimney:

Worse yet, I probably deserved it. Pride goeth before a fall. I was tempting the gods with my hubris, and picking on the weak at the same time. All the laws of justice cried out for my blood. Which was duly delivered, in a bucket. [Afterthought edit: A bucket with little paper umbrella decorations and naked lady swizzle sticks.]

I came upon a Catalyst destroyer, mining in a belt. A newbie, we might assume. But all veldspar spends the same.

The newbie, DanceofDeath, is a member of Astrodynamic Innovations [ADIN], which doesn’t mean anything to me. He’s been a member less than a day, so I figure, probably one of the little corps that — like Ironfleet, so I don’t mean anything bad by this — infest high sec. No worries, guys like that never seem to get the backup they need.

Irate note to self: There’s no damn hurry. There’s always time to check local to see how much potential backup the miners have. ALWAYS. You dumb arrogant fuck.

Ore. Not very much. My cargo hold. Align for departure. He’s flying a mining drone, does this guy even have a gun?

Er, yes. I can tell because he’s shooting an asteroid now.

That’s always comedy gold, in large part because I can remember doing that myself once in a fit of newbie panic.

This I’ve never seen before: now he’s shooting a DIFFERENT asteroid. I’m laughing now.

Finally he targets me, and starts shooting me. Not so funny now; I lock him up and lock him down and begin introducing him to the concept of the heavy missile.

Which goes quickly and smoothly. He goes boom, I open his wreck and loot the components, it’s time to go…

Ouch. There’s a Harbinger battle cruiser standing on my head and shooting at me with very ugly lasers. I never saw him arrive. Was he cloaked? Or, more likely, was I too intent on my easy kill?

Boy, he sure got here fast. It only goes to prove, even newbies can have big brothers.

And this guy’s big brother has got my head in the toilet and his foot on the back of my head. I’m webbed, I’m warp scrambled, and I’m melting so fast I don’t think my speed (such as it is, under the web) is going to save me. Does this swirly even come with a flush?

It doesn’t:

2008.12.25 03:52:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Prowler
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 5914

Involved parties:

Name: Deadzero (laid the final blow)
Security: 5.0
Corp: Astrodynamic Innovations
Alliance: Strength in Numbers.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Harbinger
Weapon: Heavy Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 4946

Name: DanceofDeath
Security: 0.1
Corp: Astrodynamic Innovations
Alliance: Strength in Numbers.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Capsule
Weapon: Light Ion Blaster I
Damage Done: 968

Destroyed items:

Ballistic Control System II
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I (Cargo)
Capacitor Control Circuit I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 703 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile (Cargo)
Medium Shield Booster II
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 1200 (Cargo)
Havoc Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
‘Smokescreen’ Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Veldspar, Qty: 2838 (Cargo)
Havoc Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Small Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Thunderbolt Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 31
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 153 (Cargo)
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 69 (Cargo)
EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 176 (Cargo)
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 962 (Cargo)
Faint Warp Disruptor I
Thunderbolt Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Veldspar, Qty: 5012 (Cargo)
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)

Yes, boys and girls, that IS my shiny new ‘Smokescreen’ Covert Ops Cloaking Device II you see there on the destroyed items list. Thanks for asking.

I don’t think my most expensive ship hull, with rigs, cost as much as that one module. Maybe my Cerberus, at the price I paid for it back in the day, if I’d bought the rigs on the open market; certainly, nothing else I own even comes close.

I had that cloak for five hours and forty-six minutes. Hmm, let’s see, that’s what work out to? 434,000 ISK per minute, give or take? A little over seven thousand ISK a second?

Hookers and blow would have been a bloody BARGAIN by comparison.

Moving on. I can, if I want to, afford half a dozen more ships just like that one; it met the definition of “can afford to fly it.” But still, ouchies. The last time I lost a blockade runner, it was a Crane, to a guy named Girin, in a Cyclone, and it was before I started this blog, way back on January 12, 2007. Of course, I’d have lived this time (maybe) if the blockade runners still had two points of warp strength; much though I love the cloaking, I paid for it tonight. This is only the third Blockade Runner I’ve lost in my EVE career — so wouldn’t you know I’d lose it five hours after fitting a module that could buy four more with enough left over for TII fittings all around?

That’s what makes EVE so strange and wonderful and terrible.

Just for giggles, here’s the entire combat log after the Harbinger arrived, so you can enjoy the extreme brevity of the face-melting I endured:

(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 520.8 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 869.8 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 670.5 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 493.3 damage.
(notify) Warping to Stargate ([redacted])
(notify) External factors are preventing your warp drive from responding to this command.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) aims well at you, inflicting 859.3 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 1533.1 damage.
(notify) Ship is out of control

It’s still an hour short of Christmas, in my time zone; I think I’ll go to Jita and buy myself another present.

The Concord mailbag today brought word that CLDRI has indeed stopped paying for Revenge War Number Nine. So, by this time tomorrow, Ironfleet will be at peace … except, of course, with respect to the enemy militias.

In other news, Ujagar Sommdax caught up to me on Friday night while I was forming up with a fleet. He performed a well-executed gank, killing my Scorpion battleship in a Megathron that must have been jammed to the gills with ECCM, considering how many jamming attempts I made without landing a single one.

Fortunately I made money on the deal, since the Scorp cost me, ship and insurance and fittings all together, several million less than the fat check I got from the Secure Commerce Commission. Since I had a second one all fitted and ready to go in system, it was really as painless a gank as I’ve ever suffered. I think I was ten seconds behind the fleet when it jumped into Tama for the night’s operations.

I was bummin’ around when Love Denied came into the State Protectorate militia channel, cursing bitterly and most foul about having lost 250 million ISK due to having fallen asleep at the helm of his rigged Crow interceptor in Komo, only to be popped and podded (with many valuable implants) by a roving gang of (he said) battlecruisers piloted by Gallente scum (although scum was not the word he used. Given his propensity to use female body parts as vile curses, is it any wonder he calls himself Love Denied?)

Onward. I don’t really have any ships handy for slugging it out with enemy battlecruisers, but the theory is, all I really need to do is hold them in place and let the Caldari Navy do the heavy work. I do have a Blackbird with a warp disrupter, put together for just this sort of eventuality. So in it I hopped and headed for Komo.

Komo was showing two war targets in local, one of whom was docked. I waited outside the dock.

He undocked. I locked, warp scrambled, hit the ECM buttons, and opened fire. He shot off about half my shields, broke my lock somehow, and warped to the Motsu gate. I followed.

Arriving there, I found some friendly Caldari militia as well as two more war targets, one of which was a badly battered Megathron. I locked the mega, scrammed-and-jammed him from here to Wednesday, and opened fire. The other two war targets began pummeling me, but they had problems of their own — somewhere in here, one of them wound up in a pod.

Just about then, the Mega (by now well below half structure) came unjammed and began blasting me to hell. Being an utter ECM newb, I completely forgot to mash those buttons again. POP! And I was in a pod, so I left, feeling pretty good about my small contribution to bringing down one very tough battleship.

The nearest ship for looting my wreck was one of my combat Cranes. By the time I got back, the other FW guys were mopping up pods, but there was a flashing red shuttle. Why not? I locked him (which turns out to take about twenty seconds in a blockade runner), warp scrambled him, and blew up his shuttle. He was carrying ten units of Quafe Ultra, but it didn’t survive the carnage.

2008.06.27 21:31

Victim: Planning
Corp: Federal Navy Academy
Alliance: None
Faction: None
Destroyed: Caldari Shuttle
System: Komo
Security: 0.8
Damage Taken: 508

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.4
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Caldari State
Faction: Caldari State
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 508

Destroyed items:

Quafe Ultra, Qty: 10 (Cargo)

As you can see, he was not a war target, and his security status is 4.9, so I’m not sure what he did in a shuttle to get a general criminal flag. I also have no idea why he didn’t warp away, although I guess maybe he was just watching the carnage and didn’t care about losing his shuttle and his Quafe. This is definately the most bizarre kill I’ve ever gotten in my Crane.

I was able to loot the drops from my Blackbird wreck as well as a few TII pieces from the Megathron, though the guys who had killed it had righteously took most of the goodies and were gone by then. It turns out to have been one heck of a Monsterthron, fully rigged and a mix of T2 and faction fit. I confess to being a little impressed that they brought that monster into Caldari space.

Wrathful Hawk of Warsmiths, one of the other three Caldari militia on the killmail, says my one successful jam cycle saved his Raven, a credit I’ll happily take. All in all, a fun combat and (I think) a very nice use of a fully-insured Blackbird that I fitted with hangar scraps.

Not too many developments in VampireZim Vengeance War #9. For a corp aligned with the State Protectorate, CLDRI seems to spend a lot of time sitting on the Tama gate in Nour in hictors and hacs. I don’t flatter myself that it’s all for the camping of dear sweet Ironfleet, but if it’s not, then either CLDRI has no real interest in blowing up Gallente scum, or they have a long list of war targets in the State Protectorate and they are just preying on the factional warfare traffic moving in and out of Tama.

I did uncloak in a stealth bomber and bounce some cruise missiles off the shields of one of their HACs at a time when I suspected the lot of ’em of being AFK. That was about as pointless as you’d expect, but it made a nice noise. Sort of like dropping an endless stream of frozen canteloupes onto pavement from about eight stories up, it’s fun even though it doesn’t accomplish anything.

I’ve also been having a TON of fun flying rocket kestrels around in Gallente high sec. Everything would have to be perfect (pod or retriever or T1 hauler, alone, within about 10k of the gate, when I arrive at the gate) to actually get a kill, and that hasn’t happened yet, but many a Gallente pod pilot have made smelly accidents in their pod goo after being unexpectedly attacked in “safe” space. I’ve lost one Kestrel so far (to a brutix and thorax who arrived at a very inopportune moment) but it’s a real rush and I’ll get lucky eventually.

Funny camping story — after one long rocket run down to Villore and back up toward Jita, I docked in the first Caldari Border Zone system I came to, because my girlfriend called me about dinner. One thing led to another, and four hours later when I returned to my keyboard, Zim and two henchmen were trying to camp me into the station.

Somehow I suspect I had more fun that night than they did.

My only other contribution to the Vengeance War has been in the realm of propaganda. Since the Zimster is spending so much time on the Tama gate with his drones out, visibly contributing NOTHING to the State Protectorate war effort, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to launch a giant propaganda can there, alerting the militia folk who pass through to his carrot-juice drinking ways. Nourv is .8 space, so I expect the can to go away fairly fast, but given that Ironfleet has scooped about a thousand of these over the last two years, we can keep the message out there for as long as it takes, or for as long as it still seems funny.

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.

Jim Bridger here again. Went out tonight in a second disposable destroyer, and this time I hooked up with the militia fleet that had spent half the day trying to get into Tama. The camp inside Tama tried an assault into Caldari hi sec just before I got there, leaving a ton of wrecks behind. Our fleet headed into Gallente space to capture some stuff, while Marlenus came on behind in one of his Cranes to pick up some salvage.

This was my first time ever moving with a fleet or using EVE voice, and I was clearly not the only one. Our commander was calm and clear, but suffering from lack of intel and from our poor coordination. Nonetheless, we cleared some FW objectives (we were light on small ships so I got to clear and capture a Gallente “minor facility” pretty much alone), shot a couple of random pirates who came sniffing too close to the fleet, picked off some out-of-position Gallente scum, and then (eventually) let ourselves get “found” by the OPFOR fleet.

That was my first big fleet battle, and it was chaos, but I did most of the damage on a rifter and helped pop the same “bait newbie” that lured me in earlier in the day (apparently he was working as bait and scout for the main Gallente fleet — no wonder I got pwned!) After that I got blown up again, but escaped in my pod. I’m not sure how the fleet battle ended, because I had to quit shortly thereafter and never got the intel.

All in all, it was a fun experience despite not having much obvious point. I did however salvage all the wrecks I came near, and Marlenus picked up a ton of stuff from the failed excursion out of Tama. In addition to quite a bit of T1 shipgear, we got four expensive pieces of T2 gear and six (!) bits of T2 salvage from player wrecks — more than enough, Mar says, to cover the cost of the ships I lost today.

Fleet combat turns out to be surprisingly fun, even when it’s chaotic and disorganized. I’m not sure I’d want to do it every night, but it was a refreshing change of pace.

Interestingly, there were a lot of pirates and Alliance guys sniffing around our FW operations, but they were for the most part flying smart and staying out of our way. Our guys were pretty trigger-happy, and we popped several neutrals just for making the fleet commander nervous. I really think that if there are militia fleets conducting regular operations in low sec from now on (and I’m pretty sure there will be, with or without rewards), the character of low-sec has just changed dramatically. The pirates won’t be going away, but their risk factor just skyrocketed, which means they’ll have to dial back on their WTFuberPWN shipfits and fly with a lot more humility and care. Result: more opportunity in lowsec for regular folks.

Jim Bridger here. By popular demand of the corp minions, Marlenus signed Ironfleet Towing And Salvage up for factional warfare, on the side of the Caldari (my CEO he may be, but he’s still a fascist bastard and slaver-lover, what can ya do?)

He’s not much inclined to play with the new FW stuff — not enough rewards, and he does too much hauling into all four empires to want perma faction loss — but he was willing, at least temporarily, to put the corp on a war footing and let slip the dogs of war (woof). He was even kind enough to stock the Ironfleet hangars with a bottomless pile of frigates and a round half-dozen Thrashers for me. There must be twenty sets of destroyer guns in cheap second-best-named flavors, and they’d all melt down trying to fire the enormous cans full of ammo he’s stockpiled. Turns out the Old Man is a paranoid sumbitch who doesn’t believe in shopping or hauling when there’s a war on, y’know? So, war material we got.

I myself have a ton of destroyer skills, but damn little actual PvP experience. So faction warfare seems like a nice cheap way to get some.

Logged in this morning, found myself at the edge of the war zone, checked my militia office, set my destination for a contested system. Off I went.

The militia chat was full of noise about a huge furball in Tama, but I was on the wrong side, with an enemy gate camp between me and the main fleet. So I went to this other contested system, or tried to.

Along the way, I found a contested system (one of ours) that had nobody in it but me, so I went to the beacon and captured it for the Caldari. Got some militia faction for my boring ten minutes of orbiting, and the system stopped being contested.

Found a nice wrecked Ferox (one of ours) with several thousand Tech II heavy missiles in it, and a best named warp disruptor; so I salvaged those, and docked them in the next system I came to that had a station.

Long story short, finally got to the system they said was contested back at the militia office. Their intel was old by the time I got there; it was firmly in Gallente hands and there were, oh, about a bazillion red stars in local chat. I therefore resolved to return whence I cameth.

Jumped through gate out of death stars central. While aligning for next warp, a red star in a newbie ship came warping in and stopped, 15km from gate. Bait, or noob?

Firing all guns!

Bait ship popped before all guns were activated. And then things went to shit.

I never really saw what hit me or where they came from; I think an enemy fleet must have followed me through the gate while I was sniffing the bait. All I know is, the sky filled with flashy reds and hungry drones, I exploded, my pod exploded, and it was all over. Free pwny ride for Mr. Bridger.

I just checked, there were ten different Gallente Federation scums in on my kill. But only six of them contributed to my pod-squishing.

It was overkill so bad it was funny, and fun as well. I never expected to survive; I don’t know what I’m doing in PvP, but I know enough to know that roaming around alone in a destroyer in lowsec is not survivable, even without hostile militia fleets setting traps. I just wanted to see the elephant. And boy, did I!

So I woke up in my clone bay … at the noob station of my birth, deep in (enemy) Minmitar space. Oops, should have moved the clone!

Go to undock. “It’s scum like you who’ve ruined your own lands, you’ll not ruin mine!” (Not a perfect quote, but you get the idea.) By the time I got control of my newbship after it squirted free of the station, it was being pounded by the Minnie faction navy. I went to kindergarten with those boys, but I guess they have their orders.

By the time my newbship made warp, I was into armor. From there it was a hot and hostile set of warps back to “friendly” territory, but nobody shot again before I could warp.

When I finally hit friendly territory, I did find an enemy newbship wreck and an enemy pod, drifting where the ship got blasted on jump-in. Was the pod pilot AFK? One way to find out!

Turns out a civilian gun only does two or three points of damage per shot, to a pod, and apparently the pod pilot was not far from his keyboard, because he warped out after about a dozen shots.

So now I’m back in the Ironfleet hangar, my clone is moved into the local clonevats, and I’m kicking the heat dissipation vanes on all these used Thrashers Marlenus bought, trying to decide which one gets blown up next.