Archive for the 'Ship Losses' Category

Ironfleet’s enemies will get a laugh out of this, for sure.

After I lost my heavy salvager (see previous post), I built another one, just like the first except with a better rig setup.

Took it out last night for a test cruise. Worked like a dream, brought in almost a hundred burned logic circuits.

Today, on my very first visit to deadspace, I warp to the Navy Raven sensor hit and find myself in a debris field, watching the raven moving toward the warp gate.

Experienced mission runners will know what happens next. I didn’t see it coming, despite a similar painful incident with a pair of basilisks (one of them, mine) about six months ago.

My mail button flashed. Innocent… but sometimes the insurance company knows what’s happened to you, before you know it.

Cloud Environment hits you, doing 1500 damage!
Cloud Environment hits you, doing 750 damage!
Cloud Environment hits you, doing 1100 damage!
Cloud Environment hits you, doing 1374.5 damage!

Hello, pod my old friend.

This time around, losses among the modules were very high.


It’s been a while since I lost a vessel, but today I lost my favorite heavy salvage cruiser. It was a Moa, all rigged up and loaded with Tech II fancies, designed to let me probe out missions in progress, visit them, and then salvage the wrecks under fire, with plenty of speed (to get to the wrecks promptly) and artificially enhanced agility (to STOP when I get there, not overshooting in frustration). Being a cruiser, it had toughness enough to survive a little agro when things go south. All in all, a sweet little ship for a very specialized purpose.

So, today I dropped in on Major Knewbee of Astrodynamic Innovations [ADIN], as he was working a mission pocket in a Drake. It looked like a single pocket mission, mostly small wrecks plus a few mediums, and he was wrapping it up, with just a few cruisers or battlecruisers left to finish. I figured on cherrypicking the few medium wrecks near my drop-in point and moving along, nothing really in the mission worth a heavy salvage effort.

But the thing is, I was careless, and I didn’t take the mission space seriously. First rule of mission salvage: the mission space is dangerous until every last red plus is converted into a yellow triangle. This rule, I failed to heed.

To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what happened. I suspect that Major Knewbee had been avoiding a known mission trigger, which he then triggered at an inopportune (for me) moment. Because the first thing I know is, I’m getting aggro and fire from about ten mission targets that (a) were not present a moment before, and (b) were all right up in my face.

The second thing I see is Major Knewbee warping out. Thank you very much, sigh. But well played, I’ll grant you.

Emergency warp procedures were initiated, but I was on a battleship afterburner going in no useful direction, so warp was slow. And then it got a lot slower, as in, I was warp scrambled. And shortly after that, I went quite thoroughly kaboom.

Fully insured of course, and I recovered most of my fittings from the wreck, but the lost rigs are a pang.

Fortunately, I have a hangar full of supplies to build another one.

The twenty four hours after war retraction passed without further hostilities, and fighting is now officially over. So, what’s the final body count, and what has Ironfleet learned?

First, the tonnage destroyed.

Chebri’s War: No ship losses on either side (unless you count Chebri’s Ibis that TorpedoTed salvaged.) Chebri had one Blackbird get damaged into structure, so perhaps a small repair bill there.

Effectively a no-tonnage tie.


Ironfleet lost:

1 Kestrel frigate (details)
1 Vexor cruiser (details)

AC-ME lost:

1 Procurer mining barge (details)
1 Iteron Mark V hauler carrying a lot of loot (details, AC-ME Acting CEO Cordus’s loss estimate)
1 Sigil hauler mining/carrying ore (details)
1 Capsule with pilot (Vryder04, amount of metal in head unknown, see above for details)
1 Giant Secure Container (AC-ME 4 in Isaz belts)
many jetcans containing ore

INDY (non AC-ME) lost:

2 Retriever mining barges (details, details)
1 Vexor cruiser (details)
1 Capsule with pilot (accidental podding, implants reimbursed after end of war)

On tonnage, the wars were a clear victory for Ironfleet.

May I pause for a moment to note how astonishing that is? Ironfleet had a total of three pilots in space during this war, and I think the three of us were all in the same system only once during the entire war. AC-ME routinely had five or six combat pilots in space, once they stopped mining and focused on trying to catch us and kill us, and that’s not counting the handful of experienced combat veteran volunteers from the Alliance that they often had flying with them.

I take that as proof that guerrilla warfare can work in EVE, if you can fly cloaked and have enough patience. Hit ’em where they ain’t, as the saying goes. But of course, it only works against an enemy who has soft targets in space.

Which leads to the money part of the war, and then to the politics. Because, tonnage victory or no, Ironfleet wasn’t fighting this war for the purpose of blowing shit up.

Economic Wins And Losses:

In raw ISK, it looks like a slight win for Ironfleet, thanks again to TorpedoTed’s catching the Iteron.

Ironfleet’s war bill was $100 million isk, versus an estimated few million for Chebri’s. We also paid for a set of +3 implants for Aktala after the war, to avoid bad blood with someone who was never our enemy but for a quirk of game mechanics. Miss Iron’s cruiser turned out to be free — she replaced it cheap in Isaz and then had the purchase price cheerfully refunded by the seller. We also picked up valuable mods from the wrecks of a couple of different mining barges, plus everything we were able to grab from the Iteron wreckage.

There’s also the unknown factor: how much metal was in Vryder04’s head? We’ll never know.

Disruption of Ironfleet’s normal salvage operations cannot be ignored — we did some salvaging during the war, but I was more interested in finding targets. AC-ME’s operations, however, were heavily disrupted. Before the war they had unescorted barges mining in the belts all the time. During the war, those same characters were often found in combat ships, and it was common for me to see all the known AC-ME members who were online in combat ships. They did get some mining done, but only in heavily-guarded operations with more combat pilots than miners. (Of course they got more done at times when Ironfleet was not online — disruption had to be far from absolute.)

It’s also hard to know what was rumor, what was counter-intelligence work, what was psy-ops, and what was maskirovka, but it’s also pretty clear that AC-ME either attempted to move during the war, or put a lot of effort (and an Iteron V full of stuff) into a pretty convincing feint.

So, there’s room for dispute, but I’m calling this as an economic win for Ironfleet, despite the expense of paying war fees against an Alliance.

What about political factors?

First of all, Ironfleet’s war plan just worked. It was audacious and frightening to war dec an entire alliance, but there was a reason for doing it, and we got what we wanted.

The logic of the thing started and ended with my perception that there was a strong and organic link between Chebri and AC-ME. I’ve detailed the reasons I thought so, and had people argue and dispute each individual reason, sometimes with merit and sometimes not. It may be that parts of the connection were weaker than I at first imagined. But in the heart of the business, I was not wrong. I perceived AC-ME as a responsible party in the hostilities, and I still perceive them that way, and nobody much disputes that they were at least an intended beneficiary and enthusiastic cheering squad for Chebri’s war.

Chebri’s war was a problem for Ironfleet, because you can’t hurt a combat pilot even if you can kill them repeatedly, which it seemed unlikely that I could given my available military resources. They live for the fight and they don’t mind losses very much. Unless Ironfleet wanted a state of perpetual war, I had to find leverage. I had to find something I could hurt, something that somebody with influence over Chebri would care about. AC-ME was the only thing I could see that might fill the bill. I wasn’t sure it would, but I thought it was worth a try.

The unknown for me was INDY. A lot of corps, most of which sounded at least somewhat industrial, and AC-ME was a new member. How strongly would INDY respond? How supportive of AC-ME would they be, versus annoyed that their new member came in with stupid and avoidable diplomatic baggage? There was no good way a noob to EVE politics could predict that one.

So, of course Chebri denies any and all influence by anyone. No man is an island, but Chebri is, if you listen to her.

But, let’s review the tape:

Chebri’s war dec was received on 12/25 at 03:57. War went active on 12/26 at 03:57. She must have paid her war bill before 1/2 at 03:57. And again, before 1/9 at 03:57.

Ironfleet’s first AC-ME kill was on 1/04. Our next (the big one) was on 1/7. Our first INDY kill was on 1/8. Our next (AC-ME) was on 1/9 after Chebri paid her war bill. Then on 1/10 toward the end of the day, we made two more INDY kills.

Chebri’s war retraction came in the early hours of 1/11. Coincidence? Possible. But I doubt it. I believe she was persuaded to let her war drop. Why else would she withdraw a war dec with five days paid on it?

So, the war worked. What were the other political gains and losses?

Chebri’s still an enemy, possibly a more implacable one than when the war began. Wars harden hearts, and enemies in EVE always have costs. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her, and I’m sure she’ll never pass up the chance to do us an injury, if she ever sees one.

I think there are a few others in AC-ME who have greater enmity against Ironfleet than they did when the war began. Another political loss.

On the gain side, Ironfleet has several new friends in the vicinity of Isaziwa. Miss Iron in particular (being a nicer person and a better diplomat than me) made some friendly contacts there. But I met some new friends too. AC-ME already had enemies, and some of them like Ironfleet better for the war.

Also on the gain side, some of the AC-ME folks that I knew a bit and liked, I now like better; and some I did not know, I know better and like. There was some nice professional flying and good courtesy during this war, and it was appreciated.

The same goes double for INDY. Independent Faction is a good outfit with some friendly people and some excellent pilots. Ironfleet by its nature is not an alliance-joining sort of corporation, but if we were, I hope we could find one as decent as INDY.

What did I learn?

First, warfare can be fun. I still don’t consider myself a combat pilot — the usual rock/scissors/paper of EVE combat leaves me cold. It’s an adrenaline rush, but I hate those — and the randomness and number of factors outside my control make it uninteresting to me. The only kind of combat I like is the kind where I’ve got the scissors and they’ve got the paper. If I don’t have a pretty good idea that’s what’s happening when I go in, I don’t go in.

But flying the stealth bomber in target-rich space was an absolute blast. I don’t know why these ships are so despised. You get to pick your targets and pick your battles, and if you’re very very careful and very very patient, nobody can touch you. It’s a slow and patient sort of warfare that works much better when you have corpmates in local to find your targets, but it works solo, even against overwhelming odds, if you’re patient enough.

Second, during this war I got a ton of practical experience flying my Manticores, completely overhauled my standard fittings, and gained an enormous amount of confidence in my ability to engage and disengage at will. I also learned a lot about which sort of combat vessels can be killed, which sort can be forced to leave, and which sort just tank the damage and laugh while calling in interceptors.

Third, I think I want one of those Cerberuses. Missile spamming from extreme range? That’s me. I have a new goal, and it’s not that far out of reach.

I’m still a terrible noob at matters martial, but less of one than I was. All in all, the war was a good experience for me and (I think) the rest of Ironfleet.

Two incidents tonight, one inconclusive and one that was a net win for Ironfleet.

When I logged in in Rairomon, the system was clear of hostiles. TorpedoTed told me he was a few systems away playing tag with Chebri, who was attempting to probe him out using a Covert Ops frigate. He had also seen an INDY command ship in local, and assumed collaboration with Chebri.

Since I was in an unsuitable ship to engage, I set off for Isaz in a shuttle, waving to TorpedoTed as I passed through the system where he and Chebri were playing. Upon jumping out, I found the command ship in question, lurking by the gate, ready to jump in. I warned TorpedoTed, and he told me not to come back in a combat ship. Instead, we agreed, a combat sweep of Isaziwa, where AC-ME appeared to be, would be more fruitful.

So, stopping at one of my hangars for one of my many spare stealth bombers, I jumped into Isaziwa and warped directly to AC-ME’s favorite belt. Nothing … except fresh cargo cans belonging to a known INDY miner (not AC-ME). I decided to be patient.

My patience was swiftly rewarded when Aktala of AIHTD Mining And Trade Group warped into the belt in a Retriever mining barge and set her strip miners to burning the roids. Now, I’ve seen this person flying a Hulk, so I suppose the Retriever was a concession to the war risk. No matter — a war target is a war target.

Uncloak, launch, boom. One volley is sufficient:

2008.01.08 05:12:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Retriever
System: Isaziwa
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1825

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 1825

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II
‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold II

Interestingly, Aktala’s capsule does not warp away. In rapid succession, I targeted and blew up the five cargo cans and three drones left behind. Aktala’s pod is still here. I don’t like the intelligence platform it represents, but I’ve got no particular urge to pod an INDY person who has never offended Ironfleet in any way whatsoever. I’m thinking, “Pod, please go away.”

Sigh, target pod, perhaps that will send a sufficient message. Locking, locking, locking. Lock!

Ah, good, pod is leaving.

After cloaking, I sat looking at the juicy wreck, too far away and in the center of the belt. TorpedoTed, where are you?

The wish being father to the deed, there he comes out of warp in his now-famous +6 Kestrel of awesome destruction. He’s right by the wreck, and he promptly loots two strip miners and a tech two cargo expander. Off he goes to deposit them safely in a hangar. He has the instincts of a salvager, this one.

Hmm, when is the AC-ME response going to arrive?

Torpedo Ted returns. Near simultaneously, Murdock Jones arrives in the same place, in a Brutix. Uh, oh. I see a warp scramble message as I am uncloaking.

Sadly, by the time I drove Murdock Jones away with cruise missiles, he’d reduced TorpedoTed’s Kestrel to scrap. It’s not a big job, and he brought a big enough ship to do it. I saw TorpedoTed’s pod warp away safely, then Murdock went, then in rapid succession Vryder04 and Cordus showed up in Megathron and Drake, respectively.

I, of course, cloaked up and started running silent. They stayed a long time — almost twenty minutes in the case of the Megathron — but the action was over. They didn’t bring out any bait targets for me to shoot at, so I stayed cloaked.

Tally for Ironfleet: One retriever mining barge, three valuable components salvaged.
Tally for AC-ME: One kestrel.

All in all, not a bad night!

Don’t have all the details yet, but apparently late last night while Miss Iron was out shooting at AC-ME assets and generally looking for trouble, she found some. She met Aeternus Kahn of AC-ME when he came out of warp at warp-to-zero distance and scrambled her up in her Vexxor. I’m told the combat logs show that it took a full two and a half minutes for the battleship to do what battleships do best.

Ironfleet regrets the loss of a (fully insured Tech I) ship. The Iron Mistress was an elderly vessel with a storied history in the salvage industry — I do believe she was present almost a year and a half ago when Ironfleet pulled together all available cruisers (being the biggest ships we could fly, and ZOMG, we could shoot HEAVY MISSILES!) and went to throw rocks into the windows of an undefended POS because we were under the impression that salvageable goods might fall out. (They didn’t, but that’s when we learned that VampireZIM drinks carrot juice.)

Thank you Miss Iron!

You wouldn’t think a cargo ship should tangle with cruisers. But my Crane, as it happens, can fit a heavy missile launcher, and it’s a tough ship.

Today was typical. Warp into a belt, spot a fellow named Pooterhead mining in an Osprey. Near him was a jettisoned can, named to be a challenge: “Touch this can and die” or some such. Prophetic, as it happens.

Motor up to the can, dump the contents into my hold. Pew pew pew, he’s locking me. I can hear the pinging noise Bloodclaw light missiles make bouncing off my shields. Nope, I don’t need to turn on my shield booster, he’s barely ahead of my shield recharge rate. Turn on the warp scrambler, turn on the heavy missile launcher. He’s toast, he just doesn’t know it yet. Eventually, pop:

2007.01.24 21:42
Victim: Pooterhead
Alliance: NONE
Corp: QUANT Corp.
Destroyed: Osprey
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Involved parties:
Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Havoc Heavy Missile
Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas

Destroyed items:
XeCl Drilling Beam I
XeCl Drilling Beam I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 57

Aside from an entirely fair “Fuck you”, Pooterhead turned out not to be a smacker. From local, just after:

Pooterhead > FUck You
Rooker > ?
Pooterhead > came up, stole m,y ore, then scrammed and killed me
Griel > welcome to eve, n00b
Rooker > don't shoot back at things larger than you in a mining ship
Rooker > or shoot at*
Pooterhead > he was in a badger...forgot the t2s can have launchers =/
Marlenus > Don't feel bad, everyone forgets that
Pooterhead > lol
Rooker > haha.... battle badger ftw
Lagerstars > lol
Marlenus > It's too much fun *not* to do
Pooterhead > man, people down in 0.0 where i was for the last week r nicer then up here =)
Marlenus > I'm plenty nice to people who don't shoot at me
Marlenus > LOL, I'm not sure it's yours once you jettison it
Pooterhead > man, i knew i shoulda hauled at 2.5 k =/
Rooker > jetcan in amarr or gallente space. rarely anybody bothers you
Rooker > too many people in caldari space
Pooterhead > w/e i get my bc skill in 2.5 hrs
Marlenus > Suggestion? Don't name your cans to be a challenge, it makes it harder to pass them up
Pooterhead > lol
Pooterhead > it was made to ward off frigs
Rooker > another suggestion. T2 drones + 2pt scram
Rooker > ceptor thieves love it :)
Marlenus > Ah, I see. ;-) Two limos launchers probably would deal with frigs
Pooterhead > im workin on t2 drones as soon as i get my ferox up and running
Marlenus > Although it's hard to salvage enough ore in a frig to be worth the time, I'd think
Pooterhead > ud be suprised, ive had ibis take my ore lmao
Marlenus > LOL, I prefer to move the stuff in industrial quantities
Pooterhead > yea me 2 but mining with one highslot in a badger takes WEEKS

Notable salvage proceeds: ore, plus a pair of Upgraded Limos light missile launchers.

Hi there, Jim Bridger here. I’m a younger corp member, and my specialty is flying destroyers. My goal is to max every skill that can improve destroyer performance. Yeah, I’ve got a least a year to go before I’m even close.

Meanwhile, how do you salvage in a destroyer? Simple, mount a tractor beam. When you’ve got more salvage than will fit in the destroyer cargo, just bung it in a jet can and carry the jetcan on tow. When you’re done, just call Marlenus and ask for a BFB pickup. (BFB stands for Big Fuckin’ Bustard.)

So, my second ship kill ever. I’m salvaging loose ore that was floating around the belts in jetcans, have most of a jetcan full in tow. Marlenus in the BFB has not yet arrived.

This Iteron V shows up, flown by one Everecc. Danged if he didn’t lumber out of warp, take one look at me in my Thrasher bristling with guns, and open up on me with his single 75mm popgun.

By the time I stopped laughing, it was all over. Dig this killmail:

2006.09.27 22:20
Victim: Everecc
Alliance: NONE
Corp: The Scope
Destroyed: Iteron Mark V
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Involved parties:
Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Thrasher
Weapon: 250mm Light 'Scout' Artillery I

Destroyed items:
Expanded Cargohold I
Small 'Ghoul' Energy Siphon I
75mm Gatling Rail I
Civilian Shield Booster I
Civilian Shield Booster I
Civilian Shield Booster I
Pyroxeres, Qty: 3194 (Cargo)
Pyroxeres, Qty: 3193 (Cargo)
Condensed Scordite, Qty: 6946 (Cargo)
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 9581 (Cargo)
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 9588 (Cargo)
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 9581 (Cargo)
Dense Veldspar, Qty: 2035 (Cargo)

Yes, you’re reading that right — Everecc’s menacing battle Iteron was fitted with three (count them, three) civilian shield boosters.