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First impressions of the South

January 31, 2010 3 comments

So I have recently joined Against All Authorities. I originally applied to Ushra’Khan, but weighing up the options and pros and cons of each option, -A- suited me better. I’m used to being in a large space holding alliance while Ushra’Khan is more of a roaming-bases alliance. Every corporation generally has requirements to remain part of it and the Ushra’Khan corporation that I applied to required a payment of anywhere between 2 and 10 million per month per member to support the role-playing wardec against the providence members. The corporation that I have joined as part of -A- requires that every member get 20 killmails per month to remain in the corporation. This was more to my liking, and so I chose to join them. There were some other smaller reasons that also contributed. The 20 kills haven’t been hard to accomplish, having been on 26 ship kills in 4 days. some of those were of course as part of the large battle for D-G, but nevertheless I think it won’t be hard to maintain a good rate.

Before I go any further, I’d like to set the record straight about Goons and the Providence holders. I blame Podded Podcast for the source of this misinformation but I have since seen many people on both sides of the battle lines deny that the goons and providence holders are in any sort of non-hostile agreement, including seeing declarations to that end in Ushra’Khan pilots bio. I’d like to apologise for perpetuating this myth.

Against All Authorities Market system of G-E
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First Impressions of the south:

Against All Authorities
This alliance seems extremely well organised. It seems like there is almost 50% russian pilots and so every fleet that I have been on except the small roaming gangs have had the fleet commands translated from english into russian either by the FC himself or a translator. Most of the important fleet commands are also transliterated into fleet chat in english, which most of the russians can apparently read better than they can understand spoken english. This is quite cool. I think though I will make an effort to at least learn how to count in russian so I can get an idea which gate they’re talking about before the translation comes along.

It is hard to compare it to my previous alliance Mostly Harmless because there has also been some changes in the sovereignty mechanics since I last participated in large fleet fights. It seems that Capital ships are deployed with an almost reckless abandon compared to what I’m used to and Battleships are relegated to an almost support role. This is good in a way as it increases the incentive for pilots to train for capital ships. I’m certainly inspired in any case. on Saturday night we had a CTA to go and destroy some goon POS’s in Querious and the battleship fleet wasn’t used for anything except destroying cyno jammers so that the capital fleet could warp in and do its thing.

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General fighting
The highlight of the evening was coming back from querious to Catch via empire, where the fleet of 50+ battleships stumbled upon a 5 man war target camp in a 0.9 security system. our scout mentioned they were there and one of the alliance undocked a freighter at the station and warped it to the gate. The wartargets must have been so busy wetting themselves that a freighter had been stupid enough to warp to the middle of their little camp that they didn’t notice the battleship fleet jump in. We killed Two Loki’s. Very cool.

Also of course, we had the huge fight in D-G the other night, the same day I joined.

Fleet Salvation Initiative
My first thoughts when joining the alliance and reading alliance mails about CTA’s was that everything was fairly similar to what I’ve been used to for so long. Get the Teamspeak details, get the jump bridge map, bookmark all gates along the main routes etc. but then they kept on referencing “FSI” as in: “CTA 18:00 Dreads > Carriers > BS > FSI > support” which usually tells you what to bring in order of priority. After asking around I found that FSI stood for “Fleet Salvation Initiative”. this is simply the most organised bunch of logistics ships that I’ve heard of in a nullsec alliance. if you can fly a logistics ship but can’t afford, or don’t want to afford one. just grab an alliance logi ship before the op and hand it back afterwards. Pilots are encouraged to rotate out from damage dealing ships into the FSI every now and then.

Casual Roaming
My prior experience to frigate/cruiser roams have been mixed. In the north, unless we stumbled on a gang of empire guys wanting a bit of pew, or some pirates that ventured into nullsec for a change, most of the fights were close things. We would go roaming down through cloud ring and syndicate where Evoke was at the time and during these roams we all knew it was only a matter of time before an equal or more powerful fleet of evoke or Sons of Tangra was formed to take us down and it would be an intense fight on a gate somewhere, after which only one side would emerge victorious.

My first roam through providence however was completely different.

I dusted off my Onyx, which hasn’t seen action for a couple of months and joined up with a mixed cruiser/frigate gang that was going for a little roam through southern Providence. Ga’len a fellow blogger from Ushra’Khan joined up in his vagabond and about 20 of us roamed free, back and forth through a few dozen systems owned by CVA and Paxton Federation. No one stopped us, no one seemed to care. We hit a little bit of a gate camp at one point but they were quickly dispatched. We went to one station system and bubbled the station, staying there for a few minutes while unsuspecting proviholder members undocked and died. Now, when I first joined eve, I spent a little bit of time down in severence’s space and I had access to their intel channels. When a red was reported nearby you safe’d up and waited until they went away or got destroyed. I find it hard to believe that providence’s intel channels have degenerated so far that people were so willing to die to our fleet.

Bubbling a station
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Perhaps it is just a lack of morale after losing D-G to -A- or perhaps it’s just a general incompetance. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but my initial impressions are not good.

What was good however, was getting back into my Hictor. they seem to be appreciated a little bit more in this alliance. I did stuff up at one stage – that station in the screenshot above is an amarr refinery. I’d never seen one of these before and moved to the other end and bubbled, not realising that the undock point is the flat end, not the pointy one. “Fail bubble” on teamspeak and a sorry from me in fleet chat and I changed to the position you see above. I won’t make that mistake again.

Other thoughts
I am in the same corporation as Wensley of rifter drifter fame. he is also a new recruit. it will be interesting comparing our blogs. I think we have different blogging styles and we come from different backgrounds in the game so there shouldn’t be too much overlap. hopefully he’ll pick me up when I exaggerate too much about -A- victories 🙂

#Tweetfleet Shoot the fleeing goons roam!

January 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Are you part of the tweetfleet? do you want to have a bit of fun tomorrow after down time? do you like killing Goons?

Saturday 30th January 2010 13:00(ish)
Form up in Orvolle
Tech 1 cruisers and frigate scouts. bring your own reppers, bring mwd’s and cheap weapons/ammo
Mission: Get to S-U8A4 without dying, or die trying, or at least kill lots of goons while dying trying…

Need volunteer FC or I can do it if you all want to die horribly in balls of flame.

Sorry for the late notice, lets see if we can get the numbers anyway. tweetify, publicise…. gogogo!!!

if it goes well, perhaps we could make this a regular monthly thing.

Categories: Uncategorized

Station Killing D-GTMI

January 29, 2010 4 comments

once more we find ourselves in D-GTMI.

The destruction of the i-hub went swimmingly, you could say it was almost overkill:

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Then Thursday night the station came out of reinforced. This time, as before I slipped into the system in my tengu.
shortly after, however I was accepted into -A-.

I don’t have much story to tell here, so I’ll let the screenshots do the talking.

Capitals at a pos ready to go
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the cap ship battle commences and we warp in our big guns:
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sixteen titans!
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I managed to get on a kill with my token multi-spec ECM (I couldn’t find heavy missiles on the markets in the vicinity)

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As the station came out of reinforced, our cap fleet warped to the station, blotting out the sun.

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CCP atlas turned up in a Polaris frigate and for some reason seemed to pop our large T2 bubble that was on the station:

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Towards the end, there was almost 1600 in system, with everyone weighing in, including Atlas.

one of my corpmates flying a titan posted this in corp:
23:34:32 Combat Your Judgement hits rhialto [GSY](Revelation), doing 679547.9 damage.

Here is the final -A- killboard – as you can see it was quite a slaughter:

http://www.a-kills.com/?a=kill_related&kll_id=353578

last I checked it was 232 kills for 11 losses. and of course, we took the station.

it was certainly a good first day in my new corp 🙂

The battle for D-GTMI

January 26, 2010 2 comments

This has been reported elsewhere and is perhaps overshadowed by the news that NOL has been taken from the goons in the heart of Delve but here is the story of last night.

I had finished hauling a large amount of my ships down to the high-security systems just outside providence/catch last night when I decided that a whiskey-fuelled roam through nullsec would be just the ticket to celebrate. I knew in the back of my mind that I’d likely lose the ship but I didn’t care.

Turns out I didn’t though. Initially I thought I’d have one more roam through providence while I’m still not red to the residents there, but I got sidetracked.

I fitted out my tengu with an interdiction nullifier, covert configuration, warp core stabilizers and nanofiber internal structures. this is as hard to catch as any ship you’re going to get and it paid off. There was a heavily populated gate-camp by Against All Authorities (-A-) on the gate from empire but I blew past them. A few systems in and I went through another large camp with permanent bubbles anchored. it took me a while to realise that I had stumbled on a major battle between -A- and allies vs the providence holders.

I thought I’d hang around to see the show despite being neutral to both parties. I had my graphics turned right down due to the nearly 900 people in system so sorry for the quality of the shots.

Current location: D-GTMI
Sovereignty > Paxton Federation (Vulnerable)
Constellation > 4BZ-R3
Region > Providence
Security Level > 0.0

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Immediately after entering the system, an old corp mate of mine from a year ago convoed me. Turns out he had been in Systematic Chaos for 6 months or so and was fighting on the side of -A-. It was good hearing his side as it went along.

First of all, it was my duty to take a screenshot of a Sovereignty Blockade Unit which I had never actually seen up close before, having always had something more important to be doing, like shooting the bad guys. Now I wasn’t allied to anyone and had warp disruption bubble immunity so I had the freedom to move around the battlefield:

Sovereignty Blockade unit and two anchored bubbles at a gate
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Next stop was my very first deep safe. Both sides jumped in capitals at a deep safespot, which, although I’ve not used these much, give time for whoever is jumping in to get their ships out before anyone can possibly warp to the cyno beacon.

Deep safespots 253au away from the station. the safespot bookmarks you see there are 14 AU apart.
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It was actually quite funny at one stage. The first cyno I warped to was lit by an -A- blackbird. after hanging around for a while about 10 or so severence stealth bombers turned up. I thought they’d target paint the blackbird and shoot it with torpedos or something. but no… they launched bombs…. I counted 9 bombs (at 1mil or soeach) before the blackbird died. talk about cost efficiency…….*rolls eyes*. They left and the cyno pilot was dead so I scooped the loot: some t2 ecm modules, t2 10mn mwd etc. not bad for all the not fighting I did to get it.

At this point I was told by my mate that they were “titan bowling” where they warp titans into a hostile pos, hoping to knock out any ships inside….. then they blew up the pos as you’ll see in a screenshot at the end of this post.

Next was a trip to see the aggressor’s capital staging POS. Here was a fairly largeish fleet of both -A- and UNITY (Ushra’Khan) capital ships that seemed to be slightly smaller than the Northern Coalition brought a while back vs PL but not less impressive by any means:

Capital ships in a POS.
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Shortly, their non-capital fleet warped to the station. I thought I’d be smart and warp to the station from the opposite direction of the POS, but it turned out to be a bad Idea. I warped to an asteroid belt first, then back to the station at 100, only to land about 10km from the bulk of their fleet. luckily I didn’t become decloaked, but it was hairy there for a few minutes.

-A- and UNITY sieging the station
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Then they warped in the big guns….

capital ships land at the station
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In case you missed it, that’s eleven (11) titans on the field according to my directional scanner, five avatars and two each of the other titans.

This image: pretty much sums up the fight

Business is War

January 26, 2010 3 comments

I am a business man by nature, as are most of my race. The Caldari have always been and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Supply and demand. These are the two irrefutable laws that we live with just as other races live with gravity and the principles of thermodynamics.

My decision to apply to The Ushra’Khan is not, therefore, based on any political motivation, nor is it a self-righteous crusade to free the Minmatar slaves. Although I can sympathise with them, I also understand the desires of their Amarr overlords. Yet still I believe the practice of holding slaves inefficient. Amarr society should be freed from this burden, the slaves replaced by automations, “robots” if you will, which are far more cost effective.

Nevertheless, the demand that has compelled me to join with the Minmatar freedom fighters is a purely selfish one. I have a grudge against the Goonswarm and all their allies. A grudge which has caused great demand, and vengeance must be supplied. It has become apparent that the Amarr loyalist Providence holders have chosen their side in this conflict. It is my decision, therefore as a business man, to free them from themselves, from their inefficiencies, from their mis-placed loyalties, from their yet still living corpses.

Business is War, as they say…. and I have business to attend to in Providence.

Thanatos by starlight

January 23, 2010 2 comments

Behold the mighty Thanatos
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Categories: Screenshots Tags: ,

HICS need redesigning

January 20, 2010 3 comments

As I collect all my stuff, preparing to move back out into nullsec, I look at Gothic Robo-chicken, my trusty Onyx-class heavy interdictor. Sitting there, collecting dust ever since I could fit a t2 galente battleship and started flying them instead.

It occurs to me, that the Heavy interdictor is no longer fulfilling the role it is designed for. This, quite frankly, sucks.

Here’s why:

TL;DNR: Because of Titan

The long story: Cast your mind back to pre-dominion times

Titans had an area of effect weapon, that pretty much blasted any sub-capital that wasn’t a heavily tanked battleship. Your battleship fleet set up for gank and not tank? Boom, one doomsday and you’re sitting in a pod, Dual doomsdays and local drops by the exact amount of pilots that were in your fleet. Most alliances in the Northern Coalition therefore mandated that their battleship fleets should be able to survive at least one doomsday device.

a poor defenceless support fleet gets blasted into space dust, their battleship fleet barely hanging onto their ships by the skin of their structure while a Malicious titan laughs at the effects of his Doomsday Device
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Both Titans and Motherships are immune to electronic warfare. This includes warp scramblers and so interceptors are useless against them. The potential for area of effect doomsdaying renders standard interdictors, destroyable, err, destroyer-class vessels less than survivable should a second titan come to assist the first supercapital.

Enter the Heavy Interdictor: A cruiser class vessel with the Effective Hit points of a heavily tanked battleship, able to project Warp bubbles if need, sacrificing manoeuvrability and speed, but also able to pin supercapitals with a focused warp disruption script, maintaining manoeuvrability and speed, making it hard to hit. Double doomsdays from titans of different races? Pah! A mere inconvenience. Doomsday destroy your fleet? Hold the supercapital in place, light a cyno when you’re fleet is ready to jump back in. Supercapital ships lived in fear of the cyno-HIC.

Small gang cruiser warfare? Oh, I’ll just take my cruiser class vessel with the hit points of a battleship and a bubble generator and infinite warp scrambling power along and see if we can’t trap a HAC or three at a gate.

They were Gods in nullsec.

Now: Post dominion:

So, what are Heavy interdictors good for now?

Tackling supercaps?
Titans now only hit one target at a time. Battleships no longer need to be tanked against Doomsday devices. You can tackle a titan and it can have ten doomsdays go off without reducing the effectiveness of your 100 man battleship fleet, despite the fact they are all glass cannons.

Sure, the supercapitals are still immune to ewarfare but I can buy and equip five standard interdictors for the price of one Heavy interdictor. And if a titan doomsdays, none of the interdictors die. And they have the manoeuvrability and speed almost equalling frigates.

Small gang warfare? Ok, they may be still good for gate camps, but if given a choice between a 30 million ship and a 160 million ship just to have a bubble up on a gate, heck – if you’re camping a gate why not deploy a large static bubble? That’s only 5-10 million.

Tackling tech III ships: ok – I admit, this is the one specialist role remaining. Only a focused warp disruption script can tackle a interdiction nullifier equipped strategic crulser. How the hell am I supposed to catch one though.

Tackling supercapitals in lowsec: ok, the HIC remains the only thing that can tackle super capitals in lowsec. I know I don’t fly in lowsec very much, but I’ve only had that happen once, and it was a fluke.

Wormholes? Please… you can’t fit a supercapital in a wormhole. Use an interdictor, although perhaps it would be nice to pin down a carrier… hmmm.

Gate camping in empire: Ok, a remote sensor boosted Onyx or Broadsword is still king of gate camps in lowsec, but why not have I don’t know… five interceptors for the same price.

My point remains: The Heavy Interdictor’s unique ability to pin down supercapitals while surviving multiple doomsday devices, is obsolete. And sitting on gates in lowsec is not what the ship was designed for.

What should happen:

In My Humble Opinion, the following changes should happen to HIC’s:

1) Hit points reduced
2) Warp disruption field generator range extended to at least give it a bit of advantage over a standard interdictor
3) The addition of scripts to change the properties of the bubble for example (and these are just ideas, some perhaps overpowered):

a) Make the bubble area of effect tracking disruption.
b) make the bubble area of effect webbing.
c) make the bubble area of effect sensor boosting (for friendly fleets)
d) make the bubble area of effect hit point boosting (portable shield for fleets)
) My personal favourite: Make the bubble Area of effect cloaking. Remember that protoss ship in starcraft that could conceal troops, revealing only itself..

Warp cloaked? Able to use black ops bridges? Perhaps too overpowered…

I’m not asking for a buff, I am just asking that it be looked at again in the light of the dominion changes.