Archive for the 'Today In Ironfleet' Category

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!

Today’s first combat patrol of the Isaz belts was entertaining.

Ironfleet scouting elements discovered AC-ME’s Wcaspar mining in, of all things, a Blackbird (Caldari EW cruiser). Now, cruiser mining is all well and good, but the Blackbird’s hardly ideal for that. Frankly, it smelled a little bit like a trap.

Observation continued.

Eventually it became clear that Acmes Protector was providing sporadic escort, in a Drake.

Time to stir this trap with a stick, and see what goes “Snap!”

Trusty Manticore stealth bomber the Iron Area Denial warps in at a nice discrete range from Blackbird and jet can. Drake is present (or arrives very shortly thereafter) but, as expected, is so far away as to be temporarily irrelevant.

Lock Blackbird, lock jet can, cruise missiles away! Blackbird immediately starts trying to close with me, but is making no great progress in closing the gap. Cruise missiles thunder away, doing good damage and lots of it. The Blackbird soaks up close to 10k damage by the time he’s lightly into armor and warping away. Chebri’s Blackbird wasn’t nearly so tough, and with a tank like that, I don’t think this Blackbird was here to mine.

Pop the can, wince at the lost salvage, cloak. Hey, the Drake is gone, some protector! Did I just clear the field?

Ah, no, here comes Murdock Jones in his Enyo. The range is good for me, not so much for him. One barrage of cruise missiles eats his shields, and he chooses discretion over valor and leaves. Now I’ve cleared the field.

No, wait, here comes some more pilgrims. Wow, it’s Corruptblitz in a Scorpion battleship, and …

{you have been disconnected}

Cuss cuss cuss. It’s no great strategic secret, my internet connection sucks. Some days, I can’t stay connected at all.

Long story short, today was one of those days. I made four or five attempts to line up suitable bombing runs, but I kept getting disconnected, causing me to warp away, causing me to warp back uncloaked on reconnect. Pretty much messed up my stealth. Seemed like every time I came back, there were more combat pilots at the mining party. By the time I gave up in disgust, it looked like this:

AC-ME mining as usual

By my count, that’s three battleships protecting the two barges and the hauler, not counting any cloakers. Glad to see mining continuing as per usual!

I just got a communique from Miss Iron, one of the early members of Ironfleet who hasn’t flown with us in a while. Hearing rumors of war, she apparently logged in and grabbed a neglected frigate from her noob days. As she put it: “Had to replenish the pod juice and the nanites seemed to have expired.”

Flying after I logged off last night, it turns out she found AC-ME’s Murdock Jones mining in a barge, feeling neglected and unloved by Ironfleet. Barreling in, she let fly with all barrels, tickling his Retriever variously with blasters, missiles, and rockets.

He, too, was alert on the warp button and gone in ten seconds, so Miss Iron salvaged what ore she could carry and blew the rest. For his part, Murdock Jones was subsequently seen patrolling in his assault frigate, but mined no more while Ironfleet was watching.

Good job Miss Iron — and it’s great to have you back! I look forward to seeing what you’ll do once we get you back into the ships you’re used to flying.

On about my third quick visit to the EVE universe today, I finally came upon a war target. During my usual salvage sweep of the belts, I came upon Garrikk of AC-ME mining, in a cruiser, with a jet can and a couple of combat drones out. Perfect! Just the sort of normal AC-ME member Chebri’s split-off was designed to protect. (And, thus, just the sort of target the Ironfleet war declaration was aimed at.)

Returning to the belt at comfortable cruise missile range, I uncloaked and let fly with the missiles. The first volley took Garrikk into armor. This was looking promising.

Unfortunately for the exercise of my very modest blood lust, Garrikk was alert and hot on the emergency warp button. Fortunately for him, he was gone before the second volley landed.

No matter, the name of this game is area denial, and he’s not mining here any more.

Checking local, I saw that Chebri had just appeared in system. Assuming that she is still sharing com channels with AC-ME, I figured that salvaging the jet can of ore was likely to be unduly tricky. So I blew it up (to deny it to the enemy), moved to a comfortable observation position, and cloaked.

I will admit that it pained me to explode perfectly good ore. But it made a lovely explosion.

About ten seconds later (and no more than forty or fifty seconds after the action ended) Chebri arrived in a battle cruiser. “Intelligence, that’s a roger on the sharing of com channels, make a note please?” Hanging a very careful 200 kilometers from the belt, she surveyed the empty system. Then, after some minutes, she warped closer to the belt (and further from me) and deployed ECM drones.

Whereupon we played the waiting game together. (That’s sort of like having lunch with Pancho Villa, but less nutritious.) Eventually, she grew bored of it, collected her drones, and left.

By that time, Garrikk had logged off. Excellent — one miner dissuaded from mining tonight. And, there were no further AC-ME targets in system. So I unfurled the day’s “Mission Accomplished” banner across the flight deck of my carrier (don’t I just wish) and called it a successful war outing.

Yesterday, being a party day, I didn’t spend online much. Nor did the INDY opponents, except for elements of their combat arm.

I spent some time in Isaziwa with nobody much hostile in system. Salvaged a bit of ore from an unrelated party, just to keep my hand in. Then went and talked to a locater agent to inquire about the whereabouts of the known mining characters. All the ones I checked were docked in Isaz except for one who was in Inoue, but he vamoosed as soon as I hit local.

Being bored, I set up an Observator probe to look for abandoned ships in deep safes. (People used to leave the most amazing stuff floating loose in space, back before probes were improved.) All I found was an abandoned Condor frigate, sadly. Chebri showed up in system while I was probing, but since I was working in a cloaked ship, I just ignored her and she eventually went away. It’s projects like this which ensure that Ironfleet remains a going concern no matter how many wars we have going.

So asks an anonymous person posing as an AC-ME diplomat.

As is clear from the various comments below, Ironfleet is currently in a state of war with AC-ME and their alliance (Independent Federation, short name INDY).

Ironfleet declared the war, after sending a diplomatic correspondence to AC-ME that went 48 hours unanswered. (Real life happens, no fault of AC-ME. But I felt it could not wait.)

Our grievance against AC-ME (who, truth be told, we still like rather a lot) is that they seem to be the driving force behind Chebri’s war. Accounts vary, and perhaps it’s not so. But Chebri herself has said that protecting AC-ME was her motive for launching this war, and AC-ME has been supporting the war and flying with her against me.

Whatever the history, I suspect that AC-ME has influence over Chebri’s actions, should it choose to exercise that influence.

Thus, our war aims are simple — to put pressure on AC-ME while avoiding undue losses. When Chebri’s war ends, I would expect to feel no further need to pursue AC-ME, the real party in interest in that war. Unless of course the war is going unexpectedly well for Ironfleet — but that’s not the way to bet. Putting it mildly.

In the first day of war AC-ME, there were no losses on either side, nor shots fired. However, it was not business as usual for the typically extensive AC-ME mining operations in Isaziwa. During the first few hours after the war went active, the relatively young mining characters were elsewhere or offline, and there were at times as many as eight fairly senior combat pilots observed in system from AC-ME and allied corporations. One Retriever mining barge was observed mining under the close escort of a battlecruiser, with the accompaniment of a third pilot in an interceptor when hauling ore to the station. Mining it may have been, but it looked pretty symbolic to me.

Updates as events warrant.

There are new diplomatic developments on another front, of which more tomorrow.

The new developments kept my attention fully in one system tonight, and I never saw Chebri there, so I, personally, have no news of that war to share.

However, a young corpmate of mine was at another Ironfleet office this evening, fitting up some ships with which to join in the excitement, when he noted an abandoned ship floating derelict some 75km away from our office. It belonged to Chebri… briefly.

Now it’s in our hangar, and the one unit of Tritanium it carried added to our stores. For it was indeed an Ibis (apparently Chebri met with a misfortune at some point recently, presumably at the hands of some other enemy), and now it’s both salvage and plunder.

Salvage is salvage, and if it formerly belonged to an enemy, so much the sweeter!

Howdy, folks. No real war developments tonight — I am traveling, and the hotel internet / business laptop combo doesn’t really support EVE at the level needed when there’s war in the air. But I did log in to tend to some diplomatic matters.

One thing I didn’t get a chance to blog about yesterday was a long and public conversation with Memm Nock, a member of UNDER-OATH (from whom the unexplained war dec was received yesterday). The conversation was mostly civil, but not particularly friendly. Memm called me a “no0b” (perhaps fairly, in reference to matters martial) and mocked my part of the action in Chebri’s little war with lots of comments like “lol” and “lmao”. And of course, like virtually all new aggressors, he puffed himself up in an attempt to scare his intended prey. Samples, deliberately presented out of context to avoid tedium:

[ 02:23:31 ] Memm Nock > well I can afford the dec for about a year sooo
[ 02:23:36 ] Memm Nock > :)

[ 02:28:22 ] Memm Nock > you can only run so far, and luck always runs out

[ 02:44:50 ] Memm Nock > We Are a PVP Corp
[ 02:45:00 ] Memm Nock > Its what we do
[ 02:45:08 ] Memm Nock > We’ll find you eventually

You’ve seen it before, you get the idea, it’s very big, we understand. But what was interesting was the part where I suggested Memm’s client might get bored or run out of money. This was a shot in the dark, but a reasonable one, since I’ve never heard of these folks before, and usually that’s a sign of mercenaries infesting the woodwork. Memm first claimed to be the client (which makes no sense) and then very kindly told me (or let slip, it’s not clear which) some info from which I was able to deduce the identity of the genuinely aggrieved party. That’s always useful (usually because the genuinely aggrieved party tends to have fat juicy industrial targets), which I said, and then I thanked Memm for the useful intel.

Fast forward. Tonight when I log in, I find this mail from the same Memm Nock:

2007.12.28 21:06

As you Know We are currently War Decing your Corporation. However Due to Diffrences in opinions and Actions. We Are Now Standing Down. The War Doc will stay active for 6 days. But My Members are Ordered Not To Engage any IRONFLEET Members, Unless Engaged. This War Dec wasn’t anything Personal ( We Don’t Even Know Who You Are) So Please Dont take it as such.

Fly Safe and Good Day,



I’ve replied, suggesting that Ironfleet will honor the proposed armistice unless we are given a good reason not to, but proposing that for safety the war dec be revoked. There seems to be an awful lot of scope for error and confusion, while wandering around “at war” but in a state of supposed cease fire.

That said, I’m not sure how to take this. It’s a radical change in tone, suggesting a change of heart on someone’s part. But of course, it’s a bizarre sort of armistice — why not just revoke the war dec if war is no longer desired?

My skeptical side wonders whether it’s intended as a trap, to lull us into a false sense of security. But that seems sort of pointless when Ironfleet has other active wars that will keep us at military alert levels.

I also wonder whether there’s some sort of factional politics or corporate disarray going on — whether, perhaps, the true party in interest is fearful of retaliation and wants no hostilities, but lacks the “pull” to get the voting parties to revoke the dec. I suppose it’s at least possible.

And then there’s “no0b” confusion to consider. Since I haven’t been an aggressor in any wars, it’s possible I am wrong about an aggressor’s ability to revoke a war at will. Equally possible, but seemingly unlikely, is that I’m right about that, but some no0b on the other side doesn’t know about it?

It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Meanwhile, “We Don’t Even Know Who You Are” goes right at the top of my new “Top 10 List Of Favorite Reasons To Make Peace With One’s Enemies”.

Updates as events warrant!


Two new Evemails seem to point the finger at no0b confusion. First from Memm Nock:

2007.12.29 04:09
Hi, Marlenus.

Once a War Dec Has Passed Sanctions, and Has Been Applied. it lasts for 7 Days. After which Concord will issue a bill for prolonged War Efforts. If This Bill is not met on the eve of the End of the War Dec. then the war is cancled.

An Order Has Been Passed to all Members of UNDER-OATH. I.E. : IRONFLEET Will Not Be Engaged, Unless Engaged Apone.

During this period, UNDER-OATH Will Remain Out Of Your HQ & Office Systems, To Honor the Stand Down.



Followed by a more sensible one from Concord:

2007.12.29 04:11
The war between UNDER-OATH and Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is coming to an end. UNDER-OATH has retracted the war against Ironfleet Towing And Salvage. The war will be declared as being over after approximately 24 hours.

“Not with a bang, but a whimper!”

The last couple of days were mostly uneventful. Chebri and her partner in unprovoked aggression (one Gengiskahn) seem willing to travel a bit, and have displayed basic prowess with locator agents, so I amused myself by traveling to distant systems, picking up ships that needed relocating closer to the war front, waiting for Chebri to show up in system, and then going home.

They also seem willing to camp fairly patiently, so I have spent some quality time watching TV with the girlfriend, looking in from time to time to make sure that the camp was still in place. I’m always impressed by how patiently aggressive EVE players will sit outside of a station waiting for somebody who’s AFK.

Tonight Chebri and I lobbed a few missiles at each other. She was flying a speed-enhanced Blackbird EWAR cruiser, and flying it well enough to disrupt cruise missile operations somewhat. Still, despite her EWAR I got her into structure once. If I were a balls-to-the-wall combat pilot I think it should have been a kill, but my cautious reflexes had me warping as soon as she got into heavy missile range.

Once Ghengiskahn showed up, the game of dancing triangles started to get tricky, so I decided to share some quality camping time with them, and docked to write this blog post.

The other thing that has become clear is that the war is an AC-ME operation in all but name — Chebri is frequently accompanied by AC-ME members as she chases me around. The AC-ME mining vessels in my system look more and more tempting the longer I spend on a war footing. I’ve suggested to Cordus that he may want to consider getting this situation under control, but there’s been no response as yet.

In other news, a small outfit (five members) named UNDER-OATH has also declared war. Since they’ve made no demands and expressed no hostility, I can only assume they were recruited by AC-ME, or have been hired by someone else Ironfleet has offended.

…a war declaration, the bird, and a compliment.

Actually, that’s not true. Outside of EVE space, I got some very nice presents, and had an excellent dinner with family.

But when I logged in? Another story.

What to my wondering eye should appear but the following:

Equilibrium L.L.C. has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage. After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

I searched my conscience, and found it free of recent offenses. True, there was a guy who got huffy yesterday over 600 cubic meters of ore:

Tootenh’amon > give me my stuff back plz
Marlenus > I don’t have your stuff?
Tootenh’amon > yes, you do. you took it from my cache
Marlenus > If it was yours, it would be in your cargo hold, or in your warehouse
Tootenh’amon > or in cache in which i store it
Marlenus > You mean, the can you jettisoned it in?
Tootenh’amon > yes
Tootenh’amon > we can resolve it two ways
Marlenus > Jettison = “throw away”
Tootenh’amon > you return me the goods
Tootenh’amon > or…
Marlenus > I’m a salvager, wouldn’t be much profit in returning salvaged goods.
Tootenh’amon > well, fortunately enough, next time when you’ll see you around i’ll know to let you salvage some missiles and plutonium rounds as well.
Marlenus > Do as you see fit, but you might want to have a look at the corporate blog … others who’ve felt that way have found out that shooting at Ironfleet is a losing proposition.
Tootenh’amon > just skip it, all right? You took my goods. when i shoot you it doesn’t matter if you are allah mc muhammad ali, you go down. beware of our next meeting.

But Toot didn’t really sound war-deccing mad. Better look up the corp info on Equilibrium L.L.C. Brand new corp founded three days ago, interesting. Two members? Curiouser and curiouser. CEO?

Ah. Light dawns on Marble Head (mine, that is.) The CEO is Chebri, she of the unexpected Hound. I wonder why she left AC-ME? Not just so she could come after little old me, surely?

Irrelevant aside: Chebri’s portrait is about as babealicious as EVE portraits get. Look:


My one encounter with Chebri was professional and smack-free, so this war shouldn’t be too unpleasant. Let’s check her bio for clues to current state of mind, shall we?

Pilots that need to die:
-Ore thieves
-Salvage thieves
-Macro Miners
-Macro Ratters

For Shamus Horus and Marlenus

[ASCII art of somebody gesturing with middle finger]

Because they are thieves.

Ugh. Judgmental much?

Apparently the professional politeness Cordus extended me did not reflect the sentiments of the AC-ME rank and file. Sadly, it sounds like Chebri is another Eve player who is not happy unless she’s telling someone “you’re not playing the game right.” Ah, well, it takes all kinds.

So, we’ve covered the war dec and the finger. Where was the compliment?

Well, it’s subtle. But if, as seems likely, AC-ME spun Chebri off into a separate attack-dog corporation to spare themselves and their new alliance (!) the devastating consequences of Ironfleet’s awesome retributional wrath, isn’t that a compliment of sorts? As a low-player-count corp with a stated policy of avoiding the sort of open combat that makes the pew-pew crowd happy, exactly how dangerous did they think we could be?

Sounds like a compliment to me.