Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Entry: seven hundred eleven.

I find myself somewhat surprised lately that people are recognizing me in fleet. By people, I mean Fleet Commanders. My nature is to typically not make a name for myself, not advertise, not stand out, and yet there I am.

I suppose I've changed given the unwillingness of others to volunteer for a task, the incompetence of some fleet members trying to organize for specific tasks, and breaking the mold of flying the DPS ship.

Most fleets I go on, the FC calls for someone to do something, and no one volunteers. I don't understand this, as it's not as though bad is worse than none at that point. New pilots to the roles asked for should be volunteering, as it's the best way, and usually only way, that you learn to be effective in such a role. I'll give the example of scout. When an FC asks for a scout, we'll usually wait five to ten minutes for a scout before the FC picks out someone flying around in a frigate. Since I fly interceptors all the time, I've been taking this job.

As for incompetence, back when I still had a Guardian, I found myself as one of the last few that actually had a clue how to organize the logistics. Faced with either utter incompetence and failure, or directing it myself, the choice was fairly obvious. Still, even directing it, I was frustrated at our small logistics groups, as one seemed unable to set his energy transfers where they needed to go. I think a disgruntled medical bay assistant must have changed his genetic makeup and made him 'special'.

And as for DPS ships, I think people are too attached to killmails. Sure, you can get on more as a DPS ship, but I'm still surpassing most of them with little effort. Our fleets of late have been short on utility, meaning we have to brawl or otherwise die. We never have enough tacklers, never enough logistics, and almost never a prober.

This alliance isn't the one I remember joining. It was so different before we moved to 1DH-. I don't know what changed, aside from Atlas disbanding. I'm told that in it's struggle to stay alive, recruiting restrictions were greatly relaxed and Cascade took just about anyone that wanted to join, and maybe that's part of it, but surely not the whole story. Hopefully, such restrictions have been put back in place. More bodies isn't enough, you need more skill as well.

I'm sticking with my corporation, through and through, whether they stay with Cascade or leave. I'm just hoping things change for the better soon. 
Computer: terminate recording.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dead Zones

Entry: seven hundred four.

It's been a long few path days on the warpath. Combat-wise, very little has happened with the exception of three turkey shoots, one in which my fleet were the turkeys. Aside from those few instances of bullets spraying back and forth, it's been structure grinding. People aren't generally happy with this, but understand the need to wipe out these structures in our goal to retake CZK- and CNC-, as well as reclaim valuable moons currently held by enemies.

Delve and Querious are dead zones these days. Very little fighting happens at all in these regions except around structure timers. This is less a problem for our enemies as opposed to Cascade, as the nearest combat zones are typically near Stain in Catch. While this keep us safe so that we can make our ISK, there's the issue of life in the alliance.

That said though, the grinding really has taken the life out of the alliance right now. It's been hard even getting a respectable number pilots for roams, nevermind emergency CTAs.

I can't wait for this reclamation of our space to be finished so we can back to what we're good at: pissin' in someone else's Cheerios.
Computer: terminate recording.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two on One and then Eighty on None

Entry: seven hundred one.

Two nights ago, Archie led us in a fleet to fight against the Fountain residents. I tried the previous night to make it a more engrossing battlereport, but with the battle lasting thirty minutes, I doubt anyone, even myself, would have the patience to wade through thirty minutes of raw combat logging interspersed with fleet chatter. In fact, I know I could not.

In this particular roam, we formed up in Arty Canes and Drakes. We had one or two Scimitars tops, and a smattering of tacklers and recons. After a trip from 49-U6U to lower Fountain, we waited on a gate for fifteen minutes before finally jumping into LBGI- to engage. When the fight did finally happen, we were at zero on the WMH- gate when the enemy fleet landed.

There was a period of confusion, as the FC was deciding what to do, and then after ten seconds, when a fleet member called multiple enemies engaging him, we took action and burned off the gate and out of the deployed interdiction bubbles. Primaries were called one after the other as we burned off, aligning out with microwarpdrives active. Enemy targets fell minute by minute as they attempted to chase us down, but our superior speed and range kept us out of range by and large. They gave chase for over ten minutes before the situation changed.
Enemy reinforcements arrived. We engaged for another few volleys before warping off. We'd lost a quarter of our fleet.
A few minutes later, we warped back to the WMH- gate at range, ready for the enemy fleet to warp at zero to give chase. When they landed, we activated our microwarpdrives and aligned out, shooting down anything that came close. More enemy targets fell, but we started losing more of our own fleet faster as pilots became less able to manage their own diminishing capacitor levels. We warped off yet again. We'd lost yet another half of our fleet.
A few minutes after the previous warp out, we decided to change locations. We moved to J-R, warped to a gate at range, and waited. The enemy arrived as expected, but with so few of us left and so many of them, we lost far more than we took with us before we warped off and began bouncing safe spots for the next fifteen minutes. When fifteen minutes were up, we went dark.

Unfortunately, the FC was still probed down, destroyed, and podded. With him dead, those of use remaining were forced to burn back home. After fifteen minutes of zero power output, we reactivated our systems and burned up into Fountain and out into low-sec, taking the trip back home down through the Aridia region to 1DH-.
The roam was extremely successful during the first two engagements in LBGI-, but cascaded horribly in the third and final engagement, costing most of the fleet its ships. 

Fortunately, and unfortunately, I've gotten quite good at not getting myself killed. This is a blessing in the sense that I don't lose much, but a curse in that I have three such Arty Canes and have yet to lose one. I'm seriously considering contracting them off, or finding a way to modify them from the original spec without a serious ISK investment. After that, I still have a Whelp Cane, a Tornado, a Nano Pest, and several assorted frigates including interceptors, assault ships, stealth bombers, and an Imperial Navy Slicer.

The biggest issue concerning these is accumulation. I want to fly other ships than what I have, but I don't want to own twenty ships. I'm doing my best to lose them in PvP without intentionally losing them, but so far I've been unsuccessful. I'm starting to wonder how long I'll have these ships, if I'll even get the insurance money on them before the contracts expire.

As for today, we formed a practice run of a Drake doctrine, for which I flew the Slicer, hoping to lose it. We 'terrorized' BDEAL for two hours, disabling jumpbridges and attempting to bump a Hurricane out of the Jump Bridge tower's forcefield, as well as generally running around in their space while waiting for them to form up a fleet.

It seems, however, that BDEAL can't actually field a fleet strong enough to deal with an eighty man gang on its own. We left frustrated, no targets to shoot, no enemies to fight, no killmails acquired. Further roams against the CFC, if it can still be said to exist, will likely run farther into Fountain, even past PNQY-.

I find another situation more likely, though. With the CFC having left Delve, there's no one for Evoke to combat except for Cascade and Nulli, while Cascade also has former DRF entities in Catch to deal with, with the strong possibility of TEST and Pandemic Legion making a show there as well, if not on a regular basis, then at least from time to time.

Given that Evoke has been forming up for Cascade's timers as we retake our former space in Catch, Querious, and Delve, I expect we'll be seeing them more in the coming days long before anyone else. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out though.
Computer: terminate recording.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Retraction, PL might not have sucked

I was browsing about a bit before work and came across this particular link.
The particular section I am interested in is minutes 8-9, where one of the PL guys explains why he was camping the 1DH- undock. He doesn't specifically mention 1DH-, but the context was Morsus Mihi had gone to Delve to rebuild, and this guy (Graff?) started doing it to show Morsus Mihi (and Cascade and Brick also probably, just as an added bonus) how unsafe NPC space can be.
If that was the goal, I'd say it was a resounding success. I'd be willing to say that what I wrote a month earlier about PL sucking because of this was entirely uninformed. I have to think back all the way to my days with Morrdack to remember that even in the 34th Massachusetts, this is pretty much what it was about. Griefing and having fun no matter what.
Not that PL really cares about a small fry like me anyways. I should acknowledge when I'm (definitely or possibly) wrong though.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Entry: six hundred ninety-eight.

Yesterday a call came out for backup. N3MESIS apparently needed some help to deal with a gang of W-spacers coming in and out through a connection in 9SBB-.

Only a few short minutes passed before Cascade began forming up in 49-U6U. A few of us didn't wait for the main Cascade fleet to formup and just burned directly. It was only a few minutes after the initial formup that the fleet began burning furiously for 9SBB- as well. The thirteen jump trip itself was rather uneventful except for the frantic urging by N3MESIS and the Cascade FC to get to 9SBB- as fast as possible. Orders were passed down en route  to hold on the 9SBB- gate in 3-F, and I arrived only scant minutes before the rest of the Cascade emergency fleet did.

Just moments after the fleet landed and joined the N3MESIS fleet on that gate, N3MESIS jumped in and warped to the wormhole entrance, telling us to do the same only a minute later. There was a pause in orders as N3MESIS waited for the situation to develop on the other side of the connection, then began screaming for everyone to transit. The fight had finally escalated.

My stomach twisted sickeningly as I traversed the connection, only relenting once the other side was reached. The situation that greeted me was just as bad as traversing the connection had been though. Two FCs were calling targets in the same fleet against the enemy targets. Only when Cascade's FC relented and let the  N3MESIS FC call primaries did things become organized.

The enemy arrayed against us was Transmission Lost, a dedicated W-Space alliance that some of my fleet members had run across before once or twice. Their force was bubbled on the connection to 9SBB-, but they had an Archon in triage. Their sub-capitals were attempting to defend the triaged Archon while the Archon attempted to keep them alive. To make matters worse for them, when N3MESIS and Cascade had transited into J131401, the way back had collapsed due to the sheer mass that passed through the connection.

With no chance for escape, over fifty of us versus thirty of them, they went out fighting, all but a few of their ships too deep within the bubbles to burn for the edges and warp away to safety. Enemy sub-capitals were eliminated over the course of the next few minutes, before the Archon was finally destroyed in about a minute's time.

With no immediate route back to Querious, the fleet looted the field while a Prober scanned out new wormholes to get us back to K-Space. It was during this wait that I learned that the fight I had just been involved in was a revenge fleet. N3MESIS had apparently been in and out of skirmishes with Transmission Lost in the preceeding hours, and in the final skirmish before the revenge fleet, they had been whelped rather badly.

Being used as a tool for someone else's revenge just isn't as fulfilling I'd hoped it might be, and the several hours of waiting just to re-enter K-Space wasn't the best repayment either. Still, the loot was nice, and should deal with some of the costs of fitting a recently acquired Tornado, courtesy of Militaris Industries. I suppose it all balances out in the end.
After all, I could have ended up doing nothing all as opposed to having a little fun.
Computer: terminate recording.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Abusing Stront

Entry: six hundred ninety-five.

Three days ago I got greedy and lost a stealth bomber. The why is because I don't rat, or mine, or produce, or any of the other number of ways there are to make ISK.

The how is that it occurred shortly after a "grief Ushra'Khan" / "kill the cyno jammer" / "destroy station services" operation that took place in CNC-, as Cascade is attempting to remove them from its former space. As we were wrapping up the "destroy station services" portion of the operation, NCdot bridged in on a scattered Cascade fleet with its guard down. Multiple losses ensued, mostly on Cascade's side, a few on NCdot's side.

Some of the destroyed ships were of the tech two variant, and when the heat had died down and NCdot returned home, I returned with the intention of salvaging some intact armor plates from those wrecks, each valued on insta-sell at thirty million ISK.

Unfortunately, a cluttered overview resulted in a snipe Apocalypse nailing me while I was grubbing for ISK. At that point, I was down thirty million ISK.

Yesterday there was a very fast formup to knock out an Evoke tower in MKD-. After a five minute formup, Cascade, N3MESIS, and Krysis burned to and met in the target system. The pilots in the newest Battlecruisers warped in at range and the stealth bombers were provided a warp-in from a sub-FC.

The bomber warp-in was very bad.

Instead of being thirty kilometers away from the tower, the warp-in point was twenty kilometers away. This placed us too close to the tower for comfort, and during our confused efforts to get proper range, the FC called enemy targets, targets that were at the tower attempting to repair it. Bombers decloaked and began laying into the enemy, and I was forced to warp off of the field deep into armor midway through the fight. The small Evoke force destroyed fourteen bombers, however, before their remaining elements were pushed inside the forcefield.

Once Evoke was inside the tower, what remained targetable were the Evoke tower and a large group of stealth bomber wrecks. I set about salvaging while providing additional damage, and came out at the end with eighty plus million ISK in tech two salvage in the hold.

The fleet stopped applying damage when the tower shields reached approximately thirty percent. Evoke had managed to repair the tower shields just enough to restront the tower to come out of reinforce in their most active timezone, which coincedentally is not a strong timezone for us. We left, promising to come back in a few hours, at which point we would finish reinforcing it and use their stront levels against them to force the tower to exit reinforced mode in their worst timezone.

Evoke won't have that tower in MKD- for much longer, of that there is no doubt. Question is, how long will Evoke be able to repair and restront the tower before it goes down?
Computer: terminate recording.