Monday, November 12, 2012

Battle Of 6-EQYE

I wake up to the screaming of the GQ alarm in my temporary quarters in the SAH-AD system.  Something is happening and I run down to my pod to find out what.  As I seal myself in the familiar sights and sounds of the “Real World” disappear and my mind becomes fully linked with my pod.  An emergency CTA has been called by a coalition FC, this isn’t good but it does tend to happen on a pretty frequent basis when you have an entire region basically under attack.

I don’t know what has happened but I send the command to get my pod linked with my Hurricane class battlecruiser and send have the GQ alarm sounded aboard it as well.  My crew knows that they have until I dock my pod to be ready for combat or their will be hell to pay.  Fortunately my XO’s are good men and women and they make sure that the ships are always ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I double check my ammo load and undock from the station, once out in space the FC has given orders for everyone to rally on the G-QTSD stargate and wait for orders.  I give the command and warp to the gate in jump range and wait.  The FC is giving orders for everyone to try and get more people active and into our current fleet, capsuleers are returning from other operations from several systems away as fast as they can.  Several more are currently planet side and have disconnected from their pods and our FLT communications networks.  There is no way to raise them and get them back until someone can physically find them and get a comm into their hands, for without our pods our neural receivers are useless.

We sit waiting on the gate and as people trickle in from other areas it is clear to me that whatever has sparked this emergency CTA is over by now.  Either the attackers have completed their task or the defenders have driven them off.  After over an hour the FC stands the fleet down.  He notes that in just over an hour we have a scheduled CTA and wants to make sure that the maximum number of pilots are available to come on that operation.  We later learn that the enemy had attack a cyno jammer in a system nearby but the fleet couldn’t get enough members quickly enough to help repel the attack, and the jammer was quickly destroyed.

I decide that I will simply dock back up and give my crew a rest before the scheduled CTA.  I give the order for them to stand down from GQ and send the ship back to the SAH-AD outpost.  I remain in my pod docked to my hurricane as I review the tactical situation and look over battle reports, get some new ammunition and decide that the losses we have seen in the area having another ship ready to go would be a good thing.  I buy and fit out a new hurricane class battlecruiser as a backup to the one I am currently flying.  These ships aren’t cheap but they aren’t horribly expensive either so it isn’t that big of a deal for me.  Getting a competent crew is by far more of an issue then getting modules and hulls, of course that is an issue that the HR people have well under control and I have never had to leave a station or outpost without a full crew.  I don’t know how they do it but I am sure the amount of isk they charge my corp for their services makes it easy for them to find new recruits, plus the salaries capsuleers pay to their crews mean that we can be very selective in who serves on board our starships.

The time for the CTA arrives and the fleet begins to fill up along with our comm channels as capsuleers prepare for battle.  Ship fittings are checked and rechecked, ammo loaded and combat drones are repaired from previous battle damage, all the thousand and one details that a good capsuleers and his/her crew have to do before battle.  I make sure that my medical clone is up to date, always have to check those before you undock.

As the fleet rapidly goes over 100 in number the FC gets on the fleet comms and asks how many capsuleers have experience with adjusting overview settings?  This seems like an odd question to me right before battle but I have done that before and it is something that you have to be careful with but isn’t terribly difficult.  The big risk is that if you turn off something that could easily get you killed as an enemy ship or defensive structure kills you and you can’t see it on your tactical overview.  With over 100 pilots in the fleet I respond that I know how to adjust those settings and several others state they are capable of adjusting them as well.  The grand total of those of us that can do it…..six…out of 100+ pilots.  The FC says that he can’t believe that only six of us know how to adjust these and that people shouldn’t be lazy, nearly a dozen more people volunteer that they can adjust them as well.

The FC picks me and several others to adjust our overview settings and refit our ships to specifically target stealth bombers with artillery.  Most of us refit to have at least one sensor booster and I load mine with a scan resolution script to increase my targeting speed against such small ships.  Our orders are simple, if any stealth bomber shows up on our grid we are to target them with everything we have.  While this makes sense to give us the better targeting speed against such small ships it also means that I have had to remove one of my shield extender which makes me more vulnerable to enemy fire, I don’t like this part of the plan but orders are orders.  We can still shoot the primary targets as designated by the FC but the SB’s are priority.  I undock to activate my full tactical systems and adjust my overview settings before docking back up to wait for the fleet.

The fleet finishes forming up and we head out after sitting at a jump bridge in a nearby system for what seems like forever we get orders to prepare to move out.  The enemy is on the way and the FC sends scouts into several nearby systems to monitor their movements and orders us into the 6-EQYE system.  We assemble on one of the stargates and deploy combat drones.  Our fleet numbers over 100 pilots and I am confident that we are in a good position to ambush and destroy the enemy as they return to their staging system.

The scout reports that hostiles have arrived two jumps out and gives the numbers; approximately 100 enemy ships are on the way.  Mostly battleships and their support, now our fleet is all battlecruisers so this is going to be tough but we can do it.  Battleships are stronger but slower and easier to hit.  With even numbers we might just take a good number of them out before one side breaks contact.  Everyone prepares for combat, they jump one system closer and we are warm up our weapons.

“FC BREAK FC BREAK” comes over the comms (never a good thing in a scout when you already have the enemy fleet under observation) and reports that a second enemy fleet is entering the system two jumps away.  The FC asks how many and the scout again reports over 100 enemy ships have entered the system and are headed our way.  We are now outnumbered two to one and the new fleet contains tech 3 cruisers along with support.
This is not good and I start to think that the FC will order the fleet to retreat rather than engage 200+ enemy ships that are all individually stronger than our own, but he doesn’t.  He orders us to keep our drones out and get into position to engage the enemy.  We now wait, ready to ambush the fleets that have now combined and are waiting just on the other side of the stargate from us.  The gate flashes as the hostile fleet begins to transit into the system and everyone waits for the first salvo of hostile fire.
The enemy fleet holds their jump cloaks but with so many of our own ships already in position on the gate proximity causes several to become visible to our tactical sensors sooner than the others.  The FC orders the fleet to open fire and begins to call and designate targets.  With so few targets and so many ships I have a hard time locking onto them before they are gone but I do manage to get shots in on the enemy.
The first kill is a maelstrom class battleship, followed quickly by a scimitar class logistics, a huginn class recon, and another scimitar.  By this time I have been called primary by the enemy fleet and am taking heavy fire, my shields fail and my armor melts.  I prepare to give the evacuation order to my crew as my hull starts to collapse when the fleets’ logistics pilots are able to pull me back from the brink of destruction (about 20% hull integrity).  They are able to hold me with my shields long enough to kill a nemesis class stealthbomber that decloaks in the middle of the insanity on the gate.  Another scimitar is called primary and my guns fire on him as well, I have lost track of my combat drones and have allowed them to simply find and shoot whatever they can.  Their onboard AI’s are more than enough to handle the combat surrounding me as I ever could.

The logistics pilots of the fleet have saved my ship twice by now but as the enemy scimitar goes down I have been called primary by the enemy fleet for the third time and with losses already mounting among the coalition fleet they are no longer able to keep my ship up and it goes down in a burst offlame.  With my hull already severely damaged by the first assault they didn’t have enough time to get reps on me this last time.  Fortunately I had enough time to sound the evacuation alarm and my crew manages to get to the escape pods in time.  The enemy fleet is using smartbombs but because I was fitted with artillery I was slightly out of the main fight and my crewmembers pods are not lost to the area effect weapons of the enemy battleships.  Nor do I lose my pod, after making my way out of the disruption bubbles that surrounded the gate I bounce around from safe spot to safe spot, celestial to celestial while I search for a way to escape from the system.

I eventually hook up with two survivors and we make our way back toward SAH-AD, two jumps out from SAH-AD we encounter another group of five or six survivors and we all jump back into the SAH-AD system together.

Over the next hour or so the survivors come in from the fleet, some in pods, some in new clones from the medical bays and some in combat ships that survived the battle.  I am not sure what the final loses look like coalition wide but from Str8nge Brew they came out as follows:

                                Ships     Pods      ISK

Enemy                  13           3              1.93 Billion

Brew                     15           5              1.17 Billion

Brew pilots lost more ships and pods but we cost the enemy by far more isk; in a battle outnumbered 2:1 that is about the best we could hope for.

Ranger Gama


Str8nge Brew

Monday, June 18, 2012

Covert Ops and Sleepers

Covert Ops
I am sitting in my ship firing away at sleepers with a corp mate. We are doing well, we have had to control the range and make sure that we are keeping our ships moving to avoid at least some of the incoming fire. We have managed to clear the anomaly were we detected the sleeper activity. Nothing but wrecks remain.

My corp mate warps away to grab a salvaging ship while I remain behind to watch for any intruders into our area. Nothing. It is very quiet, probably too quiet. He returns in the noctis and gets to work on tractoring the wrecks and getting them salvaged. It is going well when all of a sudden a Buzzard uncloaks approximately 80 km from me.

I sound the alarm that we have hostiles in our area and knowing that he would only have uncloaked if he was here for trouble, I begin the locking sequence for my guns. They have a terrible locking time against such a small target but it is all I can do, none of my weapons nor drones will do anything until I can get a lock on him. The targeting sequence counts down and I see no reaction from the buzzard, I am a little surprised but still he will get away before I can get a lock. And even if he doesn't he is outside my optimal range.

I arm my primary cannons and prepare them to fire the instant that my systems lock. 5....4....3....2....1....Lock...1400mm Artillery Cannons Firing...Target Destroyed. I send the command to begin locking onto his pod while my cannons cycle....9....8....7...6...5...Target Lock failed, the target is no longer within targeting range.
Crap, he warped away. I have my dscan open looking for additional targets but nothing appears on my screen. My corp mate goes back to salvaging and gets the area cleared of sleeper wrecks. He is headed to the buzzard wreck when my dscan picks up a megathron, I let my corp mate know we have incoming and he warps away to safety.

I lock onto the buzzard wreck and fire another salvo to destroy anything of value that we are not able to retrieve. I continue hitting the dscan but the mega has vanished and no other ships are on scan. We return to our base and call it a good night and we both order our crews to stand down for the evening to get some rest. I believe that the buzzard pilot made a mistake and ended up with his warp carrying him into an object that destabilized his cloak without him realizing that we could see him. By the time he realized it, his ship was down.

Ranger Gama

Monday, May 14, 2012

Been A Long Time

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. Been a little crazy for me. First I got laid off and was trying to find a new position but it didn't work out for me so I had to move over 1000 miles back home to stay with family while I look for a new position (I hope we all survive this one). Then (literally) the next morning after I get into town and get settled in we got word that my fathers mother had just died, so I was back on the road within 18 hours of arriving to drive another 1000+ miles to help my father and his brother and sister with everything. Of course we then get to drive back home after everything which adds another 1000+ miles, so in less then two weeks I drove over 4500 miles. Which I admit is nothing for a professional driver but for me that was more then I drive in a couple months and I did it in something like 13 days. Which is rough as hell on anyone, don't know how those long haul truckers do it. I get back and everything appears to be going well for a change (should have known) and about a week later my mother is diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. Really universe WTF??? So now we are all having to help her deal with that and get her surgery scheduled and the radiation treatments she will need afterward. My father and I had planned on a trip to Moab Utah to go ATVing with my aunt and my mother insisted that we go and have fun. Well got on the first trail and I had no real idea what I was doing and got tossed/jumped off and hurt my back, like 20 min into our ride. Finished going around with everyone, like 6 or 7 more hours on the trails, and I pretty much couldn't move all that well the next day. Saw some good stuff, very pretty view at the end of the day of the green river from some place on the canyon rim. So spent the rest of the trip drugged up and doing nothing, which isn't so bad I guess, but still. Needless to say it has been an interesting couple months, but I am hoping that I can be on eve more now and have some more stories of fun and general eveness excitement.

Shameless plug:

They picked up my mothers breast cancer on a routine mammogram and the cancer is only 7 to 9 mm in diameter, which is pretty damn small. Their has been a lot of talk about a year ago with some groups saying that routine mammograms should only be performed yearly on those women who are in a high risk group, well my family has never had a single case of breast cancer until now. So my mother was in the lowest risk group you could imagine, and I am glad she told those guys to fuck off she would get them every year no matter what those dumb asses said. I whole heartily recommend to every guy that actually reads this to encourage your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, whoever female you have in your life that matters to you, to go in and get these mammograms done every year. I can't imagine how bad this would have been if she had waited two years or more, which is what was recommended by these guys in their brilliant press conference last year, between hers. As it stands they have caught my mothers so early that she has every option available to her, it looks like she will not have to do any chemo, the surgery and radiation will be enough.
Getting off my soap box.
Ranger Gama

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Caldari Low Sec

Having failed to get any kills the day before I led a small group of cruisers into caldari low sec to see what is happening. One of our members has never been on a PVP roam before so we decide that cruisers are good thing to take. They are cheap and yet still should be able to do something, we have four of them. We go on about our jumps one system after another and see nothing.

Finally in Kubinen we find a good number of people around and I give the order to spread out and search the belts. See if we can find people mining or ratting. We warp to the top four belts and nothing, just a few rats here and there. So I give the order to warp to the bottom four belts, again for three people nothing. I find a single drake doing some ratting and order the others to warp to me. While I am waiting for them I engage the drake, knowing that he will probably crush me but should allow the others time to arrive....they land and engage. It isn't going well for me, he has 5 hobgoblin 2's on me and I can't tank their fire and his heavy missiles.

Not 60 seconds after I engaged him I go down in flames.....but right before I do I see a Talos and a Tornado warp into the belt at range on us. DAMN, that isn't good at all. I order the others to withdraw to the safespots I have been having them make during our trip. It is too late for one of my pilots and she is taken down next.  Apparently a stabber fleet issue arrived at some point and I missed it.

The other two manage to break contact and get to their safespots. I tell them to keep warping around the system as we have 15 minute GCC's to clear before they can jump back into high sec for the return trip to our base.

After 10 minutes of warping around one of my pilots makes a mistake and warps to one of the planets in the system. One of the hostile ships is waiting for him and he is tackled and killed.

He gets his pod out and we resume warping around the system. It has now been 17 minutes since we engaged and I order the other two pilots to jump into high sec and head back to base. Although my GCC has been cleared I remain behind with my final pilot. I refuse to leave one of my pilots behind when I have the ability to sit and remain with them. I have him warp to me and I squad warp us around the system using my safespots until his GCC clears.

After another 10 minutes of continuous warps his is clear and I order him to jump out of the system as well.

He warps to the gate and I follow him, we both jump clear of the system and head back to our base.

This roam has not gone well for us, three cruisers down and we killed nothing. However, not a single pod was lost and in every engagement you learn something new.

Turns out someone had a big op going in the system that I didn't realize when we engaged that drake. As we were all bouncing around safespots I did some dscans looking for probes and anything else when a cyno lites and we have not only a thantos and nidhoggur in the system with us but a wyvern. I think I am going crazy and clear my dscan and reset it....scan again and all three show up again. DAMN....ah well such is life in new eden.

Ranger Gama

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Got a new shiny toy last week and this was my first real chance to take it out and see how it works. After hearing rumors of operations going on between eveuni and RvB I decided to go and check out the location my source had mentioned. It wasn't too bad, just about 12 jumps or so from my main base. I arrive in the system feeling good about my new found nemesis and my loads of torpedoes that I could unleash onto unsuspecting foes.

I spent the next 90 minutes setting up watch positions on the gates and the belts in anticipation of getting in on a kill for someone doing mining, or even going up against the rats that are all over the place. Still amazes me that these guys can find crews, ah well that is their problem not mine.

I warp to a belt and set up my final observation point, seeing three rat battlecruisers in the belt and knowing there is nothing you can do about it is annoying to say the least. My little nemesis would be toast if they got a good solid hit in on it so I set up my bookmark and I am about to warp away when I pick up a new ship on scan.....I hold my position to see if I can find him....and what do you know he drops into the belt that I am at...excellent....he is in a rifter and that could be a problem for my nemesis but as I am cloaked he doesn't know I am in the belt watching him. My sensors detect weapons fire and signs of warp scramblers in the area in immediate proximity to the rifter and the three battlecruisers.

A sly grin crosses my face, he is engaged against those rat battlecruisers and thus presents an opportunity to take him while he is engaged with them. Their firepower and distraction could be all the opening I need to score my first kill with this nemesis.

I continue moving towards him, keeping an eye on the asteroids that are near my flight path to avoid being uncloaked by their proximity...the three rat ships are going at him with full intensity and I can see on my hud that he has an mwd drive. That shouln't be a problem, I am faster than the speed he has relieved so far but if I get within scram range I am in big trouble.

My tactical systems can provide me only limited information on how the battle is progressing, cloaks are so great for so many things but the lack of full scale tactical readouts is annoying. No matter I continue to close the distance and get ready to attack.

40km and closing.......

30km........I send the neural command to arm my torpedoes and begin the warm up sequence for my disruptor and target painters......

25km.....the rifter pilot and the rats are still going at each other full tilt......

20km nearly in attack range.....I prepare to uncloak and attack of the rat battlecruisers explodes sending wreckage out in all directions....

17km...I am within attack range and I mentally reach out to my cloaking device to shut it down and begin the attack sequence....the rifter warps off....DAMN close.....I reverse course to head away from the site to clear anything that might decloak my ship.

Having never been able to get a full lock on with my targeting systems I assume that the rifter wasn't able to remain in combat with the other two battlecruisers because of battle damage, or capacitor drain.

I remain in the belt for several minutes but the rifter does not I set course back into high sec and proceed to dock up for a few hours.

I need to rest and get some food.....I have heard about a new restaurant in a system nearby that serves something they call mexican database I have searched has relieved what that name really means.....crazy people and their novel names for foods.....turns out it is pretty damn good.