Friday, December 6, 2013

The Sleeping Carrier

A ping comes up on our comm system letting me know that our FC is calling for a patrol fleet to move out of our staging system of Doril and see what we can find in the neighboring regions.  We have no set patrol path that we are going to take and no idea what we might find.  Our ship of choice for this patrol is artillery fit muninn with support ships.

I decide that this would be a nice distraction and who knows we might actually get to kill something.  It has happened on most of the patrols that we find something to engage.  I give the order to the system to have my muninn prepped and ready to go for me by the time I reach the docking bay.  The docking manager who we all affectingly call scotty, who knows what his real name is they are all scotty to the capsuleers, knows better than to keep a capsuleer waiting when we call for our ships.  It is good that my crews know as well I have never had one of the XO’s on my ships tell me that they aren’t ready for instant undock because a crew member is late.  Given the amount of isk I am paying these crews the XO’s know better than to keep me waiting and with that money I can afford to hire only the best of crews anyways from all over the four empires.

My muninn is ready to go and I dock my pod with it waiting while the others come back from individual patrols or other operations within the region or even for those that have gone to the upper levels of the station to have something to eat.  As I wait, I confirm that I have enough ammo and that the ship is fully ready for combat.  Given that this is an artillery fitted muninn I am not carrying huge amounts of ammo we generally don’t fire all that rapidly so we don’t need the extra that you would find if this was an auto-cannon set up.  I have about 5000 rounds of various types loaded into the cargo hold and a full flight of warrior II light combat drones.

The FC gives the order to undock and the fleet prepares to move out.  We warp first to one of the starbases that the alliance has put up in the system to get a feel for exact numbers and who is flying what ship, always a critically important issue to make sure that we have the right number and type of ships on the fleet.  Once the FC is happy with the ratio of our muninn to the support ships he gives the order and we head out of the system.

We make a number of jumps and see very little activity along the way.  Encountering a handful of hostile ships that we engage and either destroy  or they run away from the fleet the size of the one we have.  Few of them isolated ships that attempt to engage us survive the encounter.

Nearly 45 minutes into the patrol and over 10 jumps from our base we encounter a situation where we are being hunted by an enemy fleet roughly the same size as our own.  Our rear scout has reported that we are being followed so we set up in the next system and get ready to ambush the enemy as they come in.  Right as we are warping away from the stargate disaster strikes and the FC’s computer systems on his command ship fail, leaving his ship vulnerable to attack and we have to wait for him to do an emergency restart on his command systems.

We sit for what seems like hours but in reality is just a few minutes while he frantically restarts his systems to get them back into our tactical links and with the fleet.  When his primary command processors go down the emergency back up system does a short warp to try and get him clear of any hostiles since his ship is now totally vulnerable to enemy attack.  While he is waiting for his systems to come back online the enemy fleet that has been pursuing us comes into the system and finding nothing on their short range tactical scans leaves again attempting catch up with us.  Unfortunately for them we have all gone to silent running and switched all of our ships to the lowest possible power levels.  Just enough to keep life support running within our ships and keep our crews alive.  I have lost all of my tactical readouts on the system and must simply wait for the pulsed communication from the FC when his ship is back operational to turn my systems back to full power.

Once he has gone through the restart protocol and his ship is fully operational we all bring our ships back to full power and get back into our tactical net and we are ready for battle again.  The delay in this lifeless/useless system has made it so that another enemy fleet has gotten between us and our home base by the shortest route available to us.  So the FC decides that we have no choice and will be heading back the long way.  While this is annoying it is better than having to replace a ship with all the costs of the mods, ammo and drones.

We make a couple jumps and our forward scout reports that he has found a carrier sitting in space near a starbase but outside the shield.  We get ready to engage and the FC has him warp in and attempt to get a point on the carrier.  We only need him to hold it for a few seconds while the rest of the fleet including our interdictors land and get their warp disruptor probes launched.

The call comes in to jump the gate and warp to our scout at zero and prepare to engage the enemy.  We enter the system and we all enter warp burning as fast as our engines will allow us to in an attempt to reach the enemy carrier before he jumps out of the system or warps away.

The fleet is in warp and our advanced scout is reporting that there is no hostile action from the carrier.  We are less than 1 AU away and closing fast….we all land and the dictor bubbles go up trapping the enemy carrier and us for the next two minutes we can’t warp away but neither can he.

I lock onto the carrier and open fire as does the rest of the fleet….no defensive action from the carrier….this is strange and we all begin to suspect this carrier is a trap and we are about to die but we continue to fire as rapidly as our weapons will cycle.

I zoom in on his ship looking for the telltale visual effects on the hull of armor or shield hardeners being activated…or shield boosting or armor repair systems being engaged.  I see nothing and neither does any other member of the fleet.  The capsuleer commander of the carrier doesn’t appear to realize that his ship is under attack.  We can tell by our scans that a capsuleer is in command of the ship, our systems show his presence within the command systems of the carrier but he makes no attempt to evade our attack nor does he launch fighters or combat drones to engage us at all during the attack.

His shields have dropped so rapidly we are convinced it is armor tanked but the armor is going down quickly as well.  So fast that we are now fully convinced that the capsuleer isn’t active for whatever reason and is allowing us to kill his carrier without a fight.  His ship enters structure and begins to burn in space as we continue to fire our artillery rounds into the hull.  The ship is bleeding air into space that our sensors can detect….it is clear that the wasn’t expecting this attack and that his ship has not cleared for action.

The hull collapses and the enemy carrier vanishes in an enormous ball of light and plasma as the reactors fail.  While I detect no crew escape pods the capsuleer has survived the destruction of his ship, we always do.  Our pods auto-eject in the millisecond before our ships are destroyed which always allows us the opportunity to escape.  None of his regular crew members survive the destruction of his ship, and still without showing any activity our fleet targets his escape pod and destroys it.  The capsuleer wakes back up in the clone vat wherever his medical clone is being stored having lost not only his carrier but his pod as well.

We loot the field for anything we can carry and head out of the system.

One the way back to our base we encounter virtually no one and the fleet spends the time speculating on what happened and why the capsuleer commander never responded to the attack.  We speculate that the sheer shock of the attack in what he thought was a safe/secured system has made him forget to do anything in his defense.  While this doesn’t make a great deal of sense in terms of capsuleer training we have no other viable explanation to his lack of defensive action to our attack.  ((He was clearly afk but afk outside a pos shield.  Noob.  We all wanted to hear his reaction on his alliance comms when he got back and realized he was down a carrier and a pod.))

Ranger Gama

Str8nge Brew

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Battle For EI- IHUB 24 June

With the CFC’s invasion of Fountain more than a week old the constant calls to join fleets and attack or defend assets makes for a near constant state of exhaustion for my crews.  I have elected to strip the crews off of several ships in razor space and have the transported to B-D to allow for rotations of my crews to keep the exhaustion at bay for as long as I can.

I have already been on three different fleets so when the call comes out to form up yet again for a new fleet I almost say no and get some much needed rest for myself as well, but the call is for both battleships and stealthbomber doctrines.  This might be good so I order my hound prepped and transfer my pod to the ship and get undocked and ready to go.
I undock from the outpost in B-D and head into J5A to the rally point.  Several other bomber pilots are already waiting at the POS we are assembling at and getting ready to go.  We only have to go 1 jump from J5A into EI- so there is no sense of massive rush.  We are using a different fitting from what I normally fly with my hound and this causes a great deal of discussion in fleet comms as perhaps the cause of the low numbers of bombers present in our strike force.

The FC waits for several more minutes as a handful of other bombers joins us before giving the order to jump into the target system and warp to the designated point.  We are sitting on the IHUB for the system just waiting for something to happen.  The FC has us setting up long range observation points so we can see the area and adjust our positions for bombing runs if needed.  For this op we are all carrying shrapnel bombs which my hound was designed to fire.
The friendly battleship fleet has formed up and is ready for battle as well.  They are sitting on the IHUB waiting for the order to attack……

All of a sudden a cyno appears on my screen right near the IHUB….and suddenly the gravimetric sensors begin to scream as space and time are warped by dozens of point sources…..only one thing can produce a signature like that…incoming capital ships…..many carriers appear on the field of battle and the FC gives the order to begin alignment to the cyno ship and prepare for a bombing attack.

We have already sorted ourselves into the different squads needed to prevent the fratricide that is all to common to bomber pilots.  We make our first run but we miss and the target is not destroyed.  As we are regrouping a second than a third cyno appear on the screen as enemy sub-capital ships are bridged in.

Where the allied fleet contains Megathrons the enemy fleet is in Rokhs.  This will make target calling easier for both sides.  Our bomber group reassembles and we wait for the fleets to get set before starting our run.
Several of my fellow bomber pilots are shot down by the fast locking support ships being used to screen the enemy capital and battleship fleets.   I am lucky and survive all the runs with only shield hits.  Our bomber group lines up and we warp in to begin our runs….bombs away and cloak is the order given.

As we are bombing the enemy I notice that the enemy has also brought in a contingent of stealthbombers who are bombing allied ships while we are bombing theirs.

Given the number of heavy ships on the field on dedicated/specialized ships are detailed to anti-bomber work and our group looses relatively few bombers to the enemy.  We line up and strike the enemy over and over again resulting in the loss of several enemy ships.  I fire a total of 3 bombs then have to withdraw from the fight and go to our resupply ship in the system to get more.  Fortunately our FC has had another corpmate of his sitting in a remote spot with a covert ops hauler carrying ammo for us.  I arrive at the location and grab three new bombs reloading my launcher and back into the action I go.

The battle lasts only about 30 minutes, by that point the enemy has repaired the IHUB and their capital fleet jumps out of the system.  Once their capitals have left the field the sub-capital fleets begin to disengage and return to their own systems.
Overall it was a win for both sides.  The CFC caused a lot of damage but the enemy managed to repair the IHUB and the CFC will have to be back to fight over it again.

For myself I score the final blow on 3 enemy ships and assist in the destruction of 17 more.  This has been a good day for me.

Ranger Gama


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Soooo Close

The call comes out for additional pilots in frigate sized craft to come and assist in a wh system where some of our pilots have engaged the enemy.  Who is this enemy you may ask?  I have no idea and it doesn't really matter the call has come out to come and engage so I am off in my Wolf class assault frigate.  I just got this frigate fitted up over the past couple days, haven’t had a chance to fire its weapons yet so this will be fun.  As I arrive at the linked system with the wormhole to go in the FC reports they are pulling back leaving a single cloaked scout to watch the area and see if the hostiles will come back out from their pos and into the open where we can engage them.

The FC decides we should roam around a bit and just kill some time while we wait so off we go across a few systems seeing very little in the way of hostiles.  We encounter 2 BL. ships but our scouts in other channels have reported their fleet on standby waiting to drop on a target just 8 jumps away, within titan bridging range so we decide to not engage and continue on.

Having seen nothing of real value we begin heading back to our main system and our forward scout reports a single hostile naga class battle cruiser heading our way.  As the only fast tackle in the area I jump into the next system to wait for the naga to arrive.  As I come into the system and get set a small group of guristas ships is sitting waiting for me.  Of course they engage because I am just holding in the area and I begin to orbit the gate paying them no real attention as I wait for the capsuleer naga to jump into the system.

Gate Flash

Here he comes…..his transit cloak drops and he is only 10,000 meters from me, I overheat my MWD and prepare to grab him with my scram, I only need to close 1000 meters and I have him….9,000 meters….target locked…
Right as my systems lock on and the scram will activate the rats that I had been ignoring activate jammers and block my targeting systems with their signals.

I loose my target lock and the naga escapes, as I turn to pursue I forget to turn off the overheated mwd and my alignment times are so bad that we are never able to catch the naga.  He is always just head of us getting through the gate and in route to the next one.
No one can believe the rats managed to get a jam on me at just the right time for the target to escape, I had the target within 7,000 meters when the jammer went active.  With the rest of the group just seconds behind me their was no way he could have escaped once they jumped in but he did because of those rats.

In addition because I forgot to turn off my overheated mwd I nearly burned it out and had to repair it once back in our space.  Also, I nearly burned out my scram trying to get that point on the naga.

After chasing the naga for 4 systems trying to catch up we decided that we wouldn't be able to get him and headed back to our main systems.  We believe he was also a nano fitted naga, he was moving very quickly.
On the way back to our system I see the rats still on the gate where they had jammed me and I have serious thought to destroying all of them for costing us that kill but in the end I decided that I wouldn't waste my good ammunition on their hulls…..they got lucky…..this time.

Ranger Gama


Friday, May 10, 2013

To Kill A Nyx

The call goes out to form up and get ready for action…..while not unusual to have an FC call for a fleet what makes this one interesting is that the FC is calling for a loki fleet.  Given how expensive these fleets are, if we lost one, they are not called all that often, so I figured there must be something big going on to justify this.  I head to the staging system and prepare to get into my loki and join the fleet.  I arrive and transfer my pod from my hound class stealth bomber to the loki and double check all the offensive and defensive systems.  The FC calls for a small fitting change and I refit the loki changing out one module for another and back into space I go heading for the titan that is preparing to bridge us to who knows where.

We have a nice little fleet formed up for this operation over 100 capsuleers have come to the fleet including, 27 logistics pilots.  It is the first time I have flown with the loki fleet but it seems to me that nearly 25% of the fleet being logistics pilots is a lot and probably overkill but no one asked me.  I arrive at the titan and the bridge is up and the fleet is heading into the system.  We arrive at some no name system in the next region and I still don’t know what the final target actually is or where we are going.

The FC orders the fleet to warp to a fleet member and prepare to jump through the wormhole…ah we are going to go and attack someone in a wormhole and crush them….this should be good.  They probably will not expect 100 loki’s with logistics support to come in out of no where and crush them.  It must be a really good target to have this many of us in and ready to go.

We go into the wh and end not in a wormhole system but actually in low sec within minmatar space.  I am now somewhat confused as to why we are here and what the target is going to be, we bridged out to a wh to go into low sec.  Still there is nothing in the system or nearby that I know of that would be of any threat to justify this large of an expensive fleet….I would shortly find out that there was something of value nearby.

We set our destination into the navigation computers for a system about 5 jumps away and begin to head to the target.  As we get nearby we encounter a number of neutral ships heading either in the same direction we are or away from us, because we are trying to move the FC gives orders to not engage anyone on the gates and proceed to the target system.

We are one jump out from the target system when we arrive at the jump in gate we find that the gates are having trouble keeping up with capsuleers attempting to jump into the system and the safeties have locked preventing us or anyone else from jumping in.  ((CCP had a hard cap on the system of 2000 or so I was told))

We sit on the gate attempting to get into the system but the gate controls will not respond and several other capsuleers arrive at the gate, some are neutral to us, some are friends.  No one is able to make the jump into the target system.  Several of our pilots request permission to engage hostiles on the gate while we wait for traffic control to clear the fleet and the FC gives the go ahead to open fire on anyone on the gate that we can get a lock on.  ((TiDi was at 10% in the whole area, making this a horrible process to see whom we could lock and actually fire on))

Neutral capsuleers who had been trying to get into the system or escape the system find themselves under the guns of over 100 loki’s, along with a friendly naga gang that had arrived.  Between us we are clearing the hostiles off the gate without any real trouble.  I feel somewhat bad for the neutral capsuleers having risked their ships and crews to come out into low sec and finding two fleets of ships with tight fleet compositions along with logistics support and intact command & control….all they can do is die under our fire.  With so many of our ships the gate guns guarding the area are no threat to us and we ignore their fire.

After what seems like hours we are finally able to jump into the target system and warp to a station.  As we land at the station we can see the target approximately 60 kilometers from us….a Nyx Class Super-Carrier.  This Nyx is under heavy fire from ships ranging from frigates to battleships, all attempting to kill it before it can escape from the system.  ((The pilot of the nyx had told everyone in advance that he wouldn’t attempt to flee and that he would be staying in the system.  CCP also allowed him to dock at the station and to do so in an incursion system so no heavy capital ships could be jumped in to finish him quickly))

We lock up the nyx and the fleet fires several salvos into the target, after a few moments the nyx is destroyed.  Knowing that he could not escape and with more and more hostiles arriving the nyx pilot initiated the self-destruct shortly before we arrived at the station.  ((he would later say that he did this because of PL’s logistics repping his nyx and preventing it from being destroyed))

Once the nyx is destroyed, there is a small pause in the battle that lasts for just a moment and everyone begins to turn on everyone else, it becomes a massive free fire zone between well over 1000 capsuleers.  The FC begins to call targets and we put stasis webifiers, sensor dampeners, and of course our artillery cannons onto the targets and they begin going down under our fire.

All of the organized fleets begin doing this and the number of unaligned capsuleers in the area begin to drop rapidly as their ships are destroyed, some are podded but for us we aren’t interested in the pods and simply shift to the next ship when the primary target goes down.  The FC decides that priority targets are the tech 2 or 3 ships first, followed by pirate or navy faction modified ships that are in our range.

As we are killing them the other fleets are targeting our logistics ships and we begin loosing them at a steady rate.  They report this to the FC but it doesn’t seem like they are making a very big deal about these losses and the FC acknowledges but doesn’t make any real change to the operation of the fleet.  As we continue to engage targets they continue to explode under our fire and the next status report the FC asks the logistics guys report that 10 of our logistics ships have died under enemy fire.  Nearly half the fleets logistics ships have been shot down, this isn’t good.  With so much of our logistics ships lost the FC orders everyone to hold fire and approach the station, we are going to dock and stand down for the time being.  Soon the enemy fleets will be turning on our loki’s and without so many of our logistics ships destroyed we may no longer have the ability to repair the damage.

The fleet ceases fire and we all approach the station and prepare to dock, while ships are still being attacked all around us, but as we get into docking range of the station we are all able to dock up and our ships are safe.  The fleet stands down for a few minutes while we continue to observe local and see what is going on in the area outside.  Our cloaked scouts continue to observe the area and report to the FC what is happening outside the station.

After a short period of time local begins dropping as capsuleers leave the system, either from being podded or jumping out on their way home.  Once the scout reports that the undock of the station is mostly clear of hostile craft we undock and head back out.  There are a few hostiles on the undock that try to engage the fleet, not sure why but not too many make the attempt.  When you have a few frigates and 100 loki’s undock their isn’t much you can do against that kind of firepower.

We set course back to the system that had our entry wormhole and prepare to return to our space.  The journey is without any real incident as most of the capsuleers have left the area and those that remain aren’t interested in trying to engage us.

As we head home I take stock of our success and check my own statistics, I have engaged and been part of the destruction of over 20 enemy ships in the last few hours.  Our alliance has destroyed over 40, these kills occurred in two different systems in three different locations.  On the gates, and at the stations were the combat was occurring.  Over all getting to the location of the nyx ended up being a running firefight for most capsuleers as people converged from all over.

Ranger Gama



In the end the 10th anniversary event was a big success in my opinion.  Losses in the system show over 1000 ships destroyed in just a couple hours with over 2000 different toons on the nyx killmail.  Here is the video someone made of the fight. (Starts at about the 2:00 mark)

TiDi was at 10% for pretty much the whole time that I described the action above, which made our 12 second cycle time on our guns take two real life minutes to complete.  It was horrible but TiDi is so much better than the old black screen of death that used to occur with big fleet fights.  It didn’t really drop until the system population had been reduced to less than 1000.  At the peak I was told that 2000 people were in the system, we got in when it dropped to around 1800.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I send word ahead to the outpost to make sure that my scimitar is ready for immediate launch as soon as I arrive.  Word has come down from alliance fleet commander to form up for an emergency operation that must leave immediately or the enemy may escape.  As I jump into the staging system the fleet commander reports that they are preparing to leave from the outpost…I am in warp willing my ship to arrive sooner.  The outpost knows better than to delay a capsuleer when they are approaching and I am able to dock immediately upon arrival.

I extract my pod from my hurricane class battlecruiser and have it linked to the scimitar class logistics cruiser without ever setting foot in the outpost.  As soon as I have linked and the systems checks are passed, I launch the ship out from the outpost and set course for the target system.  It is only two jumps away from our main staging system so takes just a few moments to arrive.  I am one of the last to arrive at the target system and I assemble with the rest of the fleet on the entry gate.

The FC orders us to move to planet 1 and wait for the warp in to the WH.  One of our scouts has found a battle site with some people busy looting the field and has moved into position to get us a warp in right on top of them.  Our interdictor arrives at the WH and the fleet warps to him.  Everyone gets into position on the wh and the interdictor jumps into the wh system.  The enemy is beyond dscan range and do not detect his arrival.  He warps to zero on our cloaked scout that is sitting just 6000 m from the enemy.  His orders are to deploy a disruption bubble as soon as he lands.  He reports that he is in warp and the FC orders the rest of the fleet to jump into the wh system and warp to 0 on our scout.  We should arrive within seconds of our interdictor pilot.

The dictor pilot lands and deploys his bubble trapping two enemy ships….within 10 seconds the rest of us land and the FC calls the rattlesnake as primary.  Our entire small fleet drops to within 20 km of him and we all open fire, given that I am in a logistics ship my role is to repair any damage done to fleet mates.  I have a single light autocannon for self defense and I use it here on the rattlesnake knowing that it will do no real damage but you never can tell what can happen.

The rattlesnake explodes in a fireball and the FC shifts our fire over to the proteus that is also trapped in the bubble with rattlesnake.  We shift over to him but he is no match for us and he goes down in a nice fireball of his own.  Because we had the warp bubbles deployed the capsuleer pods are unable to make it clear before we are done with their combat ships and we send first one then the other capsuleer to his clone somewhere in known space.

While the main fleet was dealing with the rattlesnake and proteus our interceptor pilot burns nearly 80 km to get primary tackle on a loki that is sitting just watching us kill his friends.  As far as I know he makes no effort to escape from the area and our pilot lands primary tackle on the loki, with the dictor following close behind to trap his pod.  The fleet burns down the loki and sends the capsuleer to join his other friends in known space.

Only one of our ships took any damage and with several scimitars in the fleet we are able to rep his shields without any trouble.

The FC gives the order to loot the field and we pull in everything that we can find and prepare to withdraw from the system.  Our initial scout has found another wh into low sec so he is dispatched to check it out and see if there is something else that we can go and attack.  We have more than enough dps and shield repair power to deal with a small pirate base.  He reports that there is only one capsuleer in the low sec system and the FC makes the decision that we will head back into our space with our loot and stand down.

The final tally for our side:  Rattlesnake, Loki, Proteus, and the pods for the pilots destroyed.  300 million or so of loot recovered.  No losses to any allied ship.

Our scout later tells me that he had been observing this group attack, destroy two other ships, and just sit around at the combat site doing whatever they were doing until we dropped right on top of them and destroyed them.

Lesson for the future:  If you can ambush someone in a WH, there is no reason why you can’t in turn be ambushed.


Ranger Gama

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Never Trust A Woman....

Yet another salvo of missiles and beams slam into the drakes shields, the warning alarms scream that my ship has been locked up and under attack.  I check the tactical readout and smile to myself, those poor guristas pirates are doing their best but their best isn’t good enough to really threaten my drake.  Even with the number of battleship and cruisers they have engaging me.  More continue to warp in to try and support their fellows and while you can’t ignore their dedication to each other they are totally out matched and yet they continue to try.

While yet more pirates arrive to engage me and my corpmate one of the directors of the corp gets on our comm frequency and asks what we are doing and if we could help some other corp mates move some stuff to the new staging system in tenal.  They have two orca’s that need to be moved and they need scouts and combat ships to watch the route and protect the ships during the move.

Well we decide that helping our corpmates get their stuff moved and staged into the new region is more important than killing the pirates who have no real chance to do anything against us.  As such we elect to go and help get these ships into position.  We both fire a couple more salvos of missiles or projectiles and watch a couple more pirate ships explode before we warp away, leaving the pirates to tend to their damaged ships and rescue their friends.

They have enough scouts so we arrive with our combat fit battlecruisers to provide close in escort coverage.  At this point they have already been going for a while and several others have joined the escort rising the number of scout and combat ships to nearly a dozen, not to bad for just two orca’s.  This includes the webbing ships to help them align between the gates.

By the time we arrive with the fleet they are basically done but we are asked to stay to help escort some freighters to the new home region as well.  We are a little concerned about how slow they are and if we have enough people in the area to be able to scout and web and protect them.  The call goes out corp wide to get more scouts webbing ships and combat craft into position for this operation.  One of our principle fleet commanders offers his webbing Loki if anyone can fly it as he is in his rapier at the time.  I tell him that I can fly it and he sends me a contract for it while I head over to get it.

It is fitted slightly differently than I usually have them but the important part is that it has two webs that we can use to help the freighters align for their warp faster.  I have never done this before and it takes me a couple attempts to get the hang of it with them but soon I have them going into warp within 10 seconds of emerging from the artificial wormholes generated from the stargates.

The question goes out to the original director who asked us for help how much stuff there is to move and she replies that there is a lot and it will take several trips for us even with the number of freighters we have involved.  I don’t have an exact count but seems like we have about 10 different pilots involved in this operation.  I didn’t really notice that the director didn’t actually answer the question so the fleet commander asks her again exactly how much stuff do we have to move, her answer causes everyone on comms to groan.  18 million m3 of stuff.  We get to it and have it mostly moved to the next system we are using for the relay to keep our combat power concentrated when one of the other directors’ mentions that we have some more stuff to move that was in a different corp office and needs to be shipped as well.  We ask how much and again we all groan.  14 million m3 more.  A total of 32 million m3 of stuff to move and get into the new region.  OMG

Well we all get down to work and get it all moved, takes the fleet something like 3 hours to move it to the secondary base.  We had it scheduled to move in three stages.  After 3 hours of working on it many of the fleet have been active for 12 to 15 hours and their crews are getting tired and mistakes are being made, so the order to stand down for the night is given.  We have the stuff in our new region but not in the final target system.

So what began as a simple escort mission for two orca’s projected to take 15 to 20 minutes ended up taking 3 hours and we didn’t even finish the operation.  On the bright side we have moved a considerable amount of ships, modules, rigs, drones and ammunition into our new region so that it is available for use.

Moral of the story:  Never trust a woman when she says she has “a little bit of stuff to move”

Ranger Gama

Friday, March 22, 2013

PL's Super Drop

I get into my ship and am simply monitoring the situation around the area, nothing major just keeping an eye on local and our intel channels.  We have cloaked hostiles operating all over the place in our systems.  We have been harassing Pandemic Legions (PL) renter alliance (BOT) for the past about two weeks.  Hitting pos’s and sbu’s and generally just making a pain in ass out of ourselves.  We all knew that eventually PL would get tired of us doing this and drop the hammer on our heads.  Well just over a week ago they did just that and reinforced three of our outposts.  They however declined to return and finish the job so we successfully repaired all the damage they had done and our systems were stable again until approximately two days ago.

PL has apparently decided that enough is enough with us and has hit six of our systems including at least four outpost systems and put them all into reinforced mode.  Now we are at last night, we have outposts still in reinforced mode and there is nothing really that can be done against them until they come out and are vulnerable to attack.

I am sitting in my hound class stealthbomber just monitoring the area when intel comes in that a PL gila gang has arrived in 3-J and bubbled the outpost and set up just off the docking port.  Now that is just annoying but I want to see what they are doing and give my fellow alliance mates eyes on the situation so they know when it is clear.  I jump into the system and warp to an observation spot I have a few hundred km’s off the outpost and just sit and watch.

Nothing really happens, just about a dozen or so gila’s with some tackle support sitting on the undock just waiting for people.  They have managed to kill one of my alliance mates rifters that he had fitted with a cyno to move a jump ship of some kind, and that is really all.  Turned out that another alliance mate was also sitting watching the station in a stealthbomber but I didn’t realize it until we both started reporting on the changes occurring outside the outpost.

All of a sudden a cyno goes up near the outpost, and am surprised to see a cyno going up with the outpost in reinforcement mode and not capital ships of our own on the field I can’t figure out why PL has just light a cyno.

My sensors feel the gravitational stress as capital and supercapital ships jump into proximity with the outpost.  I can’t believe my tactical sensors when they report not only a dreadnaught and carrier but supercarriers and titans on the field.  Sitting at the outpost with the sub-cap fleet just waiting.  They launch fighters and fighter bombers and proceed to attack the outpost trying to disable the station services to make our lives harder as we try to work out of the outpost.

In the end PL jumped in 3 titans and at least a dozen supercarriers.  Their net effect was to reinforce one customs office in the system and damage some of the station services but they didn’t knock them all out.  While this was going on I was able to get into good camera range and get some pictures of the fleet shooting the outpost (linked below).

In my opinion this was an operation because the PL super pilots were bored and wanted to do something and this was the best they could come up with.  Not sure how much they spent in jump fuel to reinforce that POCO but I am sure it was worth it to them.

Before they withdrew from the system one of the titans did bridge their sub-caps back off the field with the sole exception of a hound class bomber that was in close proximity to a hel class supercarrier that stayed on the POCO in 3-J for some strange reason.  They both eventually left the system with no further action.


Ranger Gama

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roaming Gangs

I log into my hanger control system to get my ship ready for the operation planned in roughly one hour.  Nothing major we are planning on attacking some enemy structures so the alliance fleet commanders have called for close range fitted  teir 3 battlecruisers.  I select my tornado and realize that I need to adjust the fittings to get it ready for the operation tonight.  As I am preparing to adjust the fit several alliance mates report hostiles in our space in tech 3 cruisers and other assorted ships.  The order comes down from several of the FC’s to get into our standard shield battlecruisers to engage the enemy and drive them out of our space.

I give the order to prepare my hurricane with 650mm artillery to be immediately moved into the dock and ready to launch.  My executive officers have to make sure that the crew is ready given the quick change and they don’t disappoint me.  My ship is ready by the time I get into my pod and have it docked with my hurricane.

I undock my hurricane and redevous with the fleet and we begin trying to engage the enemy with some success.  The high point comes when we get a ship behind the enemy proteous and manage to get him webbed and nueted.  He engages our tackle ship and the rest of the fleet rushes to reach him before his ship is lost to the high volume of damage coming from the proteous.  We land on the gate and our logistics pilots get shield transfers onto our tackle cruiser in time to prevent his distruction.

The enemy ship is unfortunately able to break away and get into warp to another gate and escape the system.  We pursue the enemy ship and manage to engage him on another gate in the next system.  Unfortunately for him he attacked one of our other ships and the stargate would not allow him to jump because of the aggression he had just shown.  The enemy capsuleer forgot about engaging our other ship and this small thing allowed the rest of the fleet to land and get points and webs onto him, along with neuts.  With his cap drained, and his ability to warp away and even maneuver in nspace we quickly take down his very expensive ship.

As we finish him off we have reports of a 10 man gang nearby that is heading our way.  The fleet consolidates on the gate and reloads guns preparing to engage the enemy.  We wait a few moments until the hostiles are on the other side of the gate and they decide to come in after us.  All of the enemy ships jump the gate and are greeted by 10 battlecruisers sitting at point blank range waiting for them.

The priority targets are called and the fleet launches drones to engage the enemy.  The area immediately around the stargate is now crisscrossed with lasers, missiles, drones, projectiles and hybrid rounds as both fleets engage one another.  Ships begin to go down on both sides but for the moment no one is doing any damage to my own hurricane and I keep engaging the enemy as the priority targets are called.

The fleet commander goes down in flames and he gives the order to switch to the back up who begins calling priority targets as well.  We don’t have enough logistics to hold our fleet up as more and more enemy ships arrive and I become primary of the enemy capsuleer fleet.  I look at the tactical display of the area and realize that we will not be able to hold the gate against the enemy and my shields are falling.  I have been webbed and scramed, and disrupted.  They apparently want to make certin that I am not allowed to escape from the gate with an intact ship.

My shields hit the 50% point and the damage is only increasing as more and more of the enemy fleet concentrates their fire on my ship.  I align to an exit gate to help get my capsule out as soon as my hurricane goes down.  My shields have failed and my armor is taking damage.  It is now only a matter of time before my ship is lost.  As my armor fails and my ships structure begins to fail, I give the order to prepare the escape pods for my crew.  Once my structure hits 50% I know the ship is lost and give the order to abandon ship.  The damage control unit holds my ship up long enough for my crew to make it to the escape pods and flee the ships before it explodes adding to the wreckage already on the gate.

Given that I had already aligned I am able to get my pod to safety before the enemy can lock onto it and trap me.  The sole interdictor they had has either been driven off the field or destroyed, and thus I am able to escape without being podded.  Fortunately given how deep into brew space we are at this point my crew is able to easily get to one of our outposts and wait for alliance transport to take them back to my staging outpost.

The fleet commander orders us to reship and we eventually get into T1 cruisers to engage the enemy for the next round believing that the number of frigs dictate that we have faster tracking speed on our ships weapons to be able to hit them effectively.

The enemy fleet looses only a single hound class stealth bomber before withdrawing from the area and we head back to our outpost to get ready for the operation that had been planned for that night.  On the way back the FC orders us to destroy all the wrecks on the gates, I am not sure if I fire into my own wrecked hurricane but if not me someone has destroyed it.  We clear the entire gate of wrecks and cargo cans and dock up for the next operation.

In the end I loose one hurricane for approximately 80 million and destroy 8 ships worth 2.5 billion isk.  While I am annoyed I lost that hurricane, I have had that hull for a good while, I can’t complain on the fact that all of my crew survived and I was involved in the destruction of nearly 25 times the amount of enemy shipping.
((OOC, different systems so three different overall kill reports.  We got hammered in the second one but with the shiny expensive kills on one and three overall I think we cost them more.))

Ranger Gama

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sabre Down

                After finishing my meeting for the night I head out of my quarters to my pod.  Slipping into the pod and prepare my mind to link to the interface of the pod.  I close my eyes and reach out with my mind to the main system and establish the final connect to the pod.  All of a sudden the world goes black and there is nothing….no sound….no smells….no sights…..
                The interface finishes establishing and now I can see and hear through my pods sensors, this part is always a little odd for a few seconds until the mind can make sense of things.  I scan the area around my pod and send the message to the docking manager to prepare my hound class stealthbomber for pod interfacing.
                My hound comes into the hanger and I watch it from inside my pod as the docking sequence initiates.  Once mated with my hounds systems I get updates on the ships systems and I send the mental command to prepare for launch and run the diagnostics on all the ships systems.
                I disable my sensor dampener module and activate the bomb launcher to make sure that I can bomb a target should I need to.  I had the launcher turned off on my last operation to make sure that I could have my sensor dampener online but I don’t believe I will need it for this operation so I have decided to turn it off and keep my target painter active if I need to use my torpedo launchers.
                Now that the systems checks have finished I send out the command to undock my ship from the outpost and head down the docking bay launch tube.  Once outside I set course for the next system and send my ship into warp, activating my covert cloak once I am clear of the outpost.  I jump into the system and set course for the jump bridge into the ice mining system where my corps mining operation will occur in a few minutes.  As the CEO I kinda have to partake given that I am the one that called for a corp level operation.  Given that I don’t have any mining skills I have elected to stay point forward in the next system to watch for hostiles that may try to attack our mining operation.
                Jumping in P-Z I see not only a dozen of my corp members but nearly 20 other alliance members in the system,  always nice when you have 30+ friendlies in local for your operation.  I set course for the stargate into the X-9 system and prepare to set up in over watch position on the P-Z gate.  My ship is suddenly pulled out of warp over 40 km from the gate by the warp disruption bubbles that the alliance has deployed surrounding the X-9 gate in P-Z.  Which is annoying but does serve to slow down an attacker and give the mining and support ships extra time to escape from an attacker.
                I uncloak the ship and hit my afterburner to get into X-9 a little faster, after what seems like forever but in reality is less than a minute I am jumping into X-9 with my hound.  Where I find one other alliance member watching the system for his corp.  I immediately warp off the gate to get into my over watch position and let my alliance mate know that we have a mining op about to begin and that I will be the forward scout for them if he wants to head in.  He thanks me and he uncloaks a purifier class stealthbomber that he had been using to monitor the system and heads back into P-Z to get into his own mining craft and get some time in while I am watching the system.
                I report on my corp communications frequency that the system is clear and the mining craft can undock and head into the ice field.  I than set in for a long couple hours simply watching an empty system for hostiles.  This is the part of being a forward scout that is so annoying but it is so important that we have people watching the system to give the slow as hell mining ships the opportunity to escape from any hostile.
                I reach out with all my sensors and begin running periodic omni-directional scans of the system which yields nothing of any real interest given that I am the only capsuleer in the system.  I lessen over the comms as my corp members get into the ice field and get set up to mine.  We have a nice little group going, 16 capsuleers from my corp are in the belt and active for this operation.  Given that I hadn’t made this operation mandatory that isn’t bad number at all.
                After approximately 20 minutes a new capsuleers enters the system….he isn’t from the alliance or any of our allies.  We have a nuet in the system.  I send out the warning that we have a neut in X-9 but he isn’t on the grid with the stargate and I don’t see him on my scans of the system…..but I recognize him from some earlier intel reports of hostiles roaming around our space.  The alliance has acknowledged my warning of a hostile in the system and those in P-Z are preparing to warp to safe locations before he arrives.
                All of a sudden my short range tactical sensors pick up a new capsuleers ship entering the grid near the gate… is him and he is flying a sabre.  This is not good, I send out the warning that he is about to jump into the system in a sabre and that all alliance members need to be getting safe to one of the pos’s in the system.  Although we have an outpost and the enterence to the system is bubble a sabre with a MWD can move very quickly and clear those bubbles in a few seconds.
                I remain behind in X-9 to make sure he doesn’t have friends coming and thinking nothing of the miners in the next system over, I sent out the warning in plenty of time.  One of the alliance’s main fleet commanders comms on the general alliance frequency asking if anyone has been tackled by the hostile and to my horror one of my own pilots responds that they hostile has him pinned and is under attack.  The defense fleet moves immediately to his aid and begins to engage the enemy.
                I hold my position waiting for him to call in reinforcements and nothing happens.  I warp to the P-Z gate to be in position to engage the enemy on his way out if he escapes from the defensive fleet.  I hear shouts on the comms that they have gotten him, one enemy sabre down.  No losses among brew pilots, my original attacked pilot has survived without loosing his ship.
                 I jump into P-Z to get my ship near the gate to catch the enemies pod as he attempts to flee the system.  The defending fleet has reported that he has fled in a direction tword the gate but he hasn’t arrived yet and he should have.  Several members of the defensive fleet arrive to join me at the gate and still nothing from the hostile.  We can see him still in local so we know he is still here.  The FC drops combat probes to scan down his pod and gets a lock on him.  He reports that he is in warp and the target disappears from local.  We don’t know if he has gone to complete emissions shutdown (a.k.a. log off) or what has happened.
                The FC arrives on grid to where we had detected the pod and finds a capsuleers corpse floating in space less than 2000 m from his ship.  The enemy has self-destructed his pod rather than attempt to run the blockade of the exit gate.
                I head back in X-9 and resume my position in over watch on the gate and no others are spotted for the next two hours that we maintain the surveillance of the system.  In the end we destroyed an enemy sabre and lost nothing but some combat drones.  The enemy capsuleers self-destructed his pod and denied us that kill but we know that we had him and he had no real choice.  Either he did it or one of us would have with projectile or missile fire…….
                In the end I declared the op a 100% success and ordered my pilots to go about their own business.   Several decided to head back to one of our outposts for the night and get some sleep, allowing their crews some down time.  A couple others decided to keep mining on their own and I wished them well as I docked in the outpost and ordered my crew to stand down and get some sleep.

Ranger Gama
Schwarzschild Casmir Collective
Str8nge Brew Alliance