Thursday, April 26, 2012

AAR 4/26/2012

Entry: eight hundred forty-one.
Initially attempted to take out a frigate roam, but as the people who joined didn't actually have frigates, I was forced to upscale the roam to three Tornados, my Huginn, and three interceptors. Had N scout for the group in his Stiletto.
Huginn: Me
Tornado: Seer, Jacob, Drako
Interceptor: Oprah, Nilithan, Gerrr
First destination was BWF-. Didn't encounter much, so kept burning the long way toward AD-. As we sat on the L-H gate in WH-, a neutral gang of Drakes and Tengus with Scimi support landed on us. I froze trying to decide whether to warp or jump, Seer called jump. I'm happy he did. We bounced around in L-H for about ten minutes before the neutral gang left the area. We continued towards AD-.
The Tornados and I held up in UBX- on the AD- gate while the ceptors tried to find something to shoot. N eventually found two Vagabonds and a Stabber Fleet Issue a little over one hundred twenty kilometers off the Eugrana gate. I asked N to try to get them to come to UBX. That failed, but they did land one hundred off the UBX- gate. I asked G to get a warp around on them. N says G burned directly for them and that that was why he died.
Frustrated, I called fleet jump and warp Eugrana. We landed in drag bubbles seventy behind the gate, the enemy gang above the gate some two hundred kilometers. We approached gate after N's failed attempt to get a tackle and long point on the SFI. Eventually they came back at one hundred, and I asked N to get a warp around. At one hundred forty he called point, but was too close for warp. I told N to keep burning, and eventually managed to land on field with him. N died a second or two after I landed and put double webs on the SFI. The SFI took one volley from a Tornado and then warped off: apparently there were no points on it. I don't recall what O was doing in the final remaining ceptor.
The enemy gang warped off yet again. Reduced to one ship with a point, I called the fleet to burn home via EOA-. We lost a Stiletto and Malediction, killed nothing. It could have gone worse, it could have gone better. I need to teach how to secure tackles and how to scout for those unfamiliar with both, but I haven't the time right now. Maybe in the near future.
After the fleet, had a discussion with Seer, who is an FC, and he gave me some really good advice which I plan to put to use in future fleets. Hopefully my next fleet, more people will have frigates, as I plan to take out more frigate fleets when possible. I don't yet feel confident taking out gangs bigger than that simply because of my success rate.
Computer: terminate entry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Status Update

Entry: eight hundred thirty-nine.

It's been somewhat interesting these last few days how many in my alliance are willing to go criminal in the name of combat.
Since the alliance restaged from Detorid to Maila for the deployment, members have been trickling up here in ones and twos. The new favorite pasttime of the alliance, if the killboards are any indication, is killing cyno frigates. What surprises me about this is that null-sec is a mere three jumps from Maila, and how it seems that FCs are unwilling to lead roams out that way.


I wish I had more time to actually help my corp on the killboards. I thought last month was bad with me being under a hundred, but it looks like I may not even crest thirty this month. To say I am disappointed in myself would be an understatement. If only I hadn't procrastinated at all in my non-spaceship life, I wouldn't have this issue. To say I am not experiencing some withdrawals, that would be an outright lie. Thankfully, it's all soon to be finished with. In a little under a month I won't have to worry about choosing: the spaceships will the be only life competing for my free time. 
Recruiting has been slow. I've been fully introduced to the reality at this point that getting even a single new recruit is quite difficult, and then keeping that new recruit may not work out either. I had an example of such a recruit the other day. I won out for recruiting him, got him into the corp after a few hours, and then before twenty-four hours had passed, he'd left corp. That's a shame on multiple fronts. I think he would have made a fine addition to the corp, but apparently he felt completely inadequate because of his inability to pilot anything larger than a frigate.
I'll admit it. I like to catch them young. They take the most work, but are usually the easiest to keep around.  Recruiting the more experienced and older pilots is much more difficult, in part because they may have requirements we can't meet, but also because with experience comes a certain amount of arrogance, almost all of it undue. I find dealing with these people...not realistic. For the rest, it's simply that there are so many groups competing for the same person that it's like playing roulette.
Win some lose some, I suppose.
I plan to take out more roams soon, in the bits of spare time that I will have. Hopefully more after action reports and battlereports will be forthcoming to spice up the content on this transmission. I intend to do AARs on every roam I take out, but also instead to give the battlereports in the form of playbacks for fights that are particularly interesting or exciting.

Computer: terminate recording.

Friday, April 20, 2012

AAR 4/20/2012

Entry: eight hundred thirty-five.

Two fights worth talking about here, both proceeded by a lucky gank on pirate who loves to kill cyno frigates. Note to the wise, if this guy is hanging around, bait him out.

Fight Number One:
A corpmate was bringing a Maelstrom in from Perjola to Maila, the alliance's new staging system. I called it clear seconds before a Darkside Loki landed and jumped through. Presumably, the Loki pilot saw my corpmate Harbinger Terror land on the Maila gate, thus explaining his jumping back into Maila. Since we had two Hurricanes and a Curse on the gate, we felt we could protect HT. After HT jumped in and attempted to warp, the Loki engaged HT and webbed him down.
I called for fleet to attack the Loki, HT to burn to gate and jump back to Perjola. The Darkside Loki was extremely heavily tanked, however, and in the time it took us to take down his shields another DS Loki and two Guardians with him landed. An Against All Authorities Loki landed as well. The two guardians were not DS, but presumably part of a friendly corp with DS.
When the Guardians arrived, I called deaggression and ordered the fleet to the gate. DS, seeing that we planned to jump out, primaried me. The two Lokis were not able to apply enough damage to my standard Whelp Cane before I jumped out with thirty percent structure.
Seeing the Guardians come on field, I knew that we had no chance to kill the Lokis on field. With at least six remote armor reppers on even a shield tanked Loki, I had strong doubts we could kill anything. Even taking out one of the two Guardians would have been very difficult. I think I made the right call, especially as the Triple A Loki didn't engage the DS gang with us. All said, I think I made best call possible given my gang and the enemy gang.

Fight Number Two:
Took two Hurricanes and a Curse into Geminate. As we got close to BWF- I learned that the same DS gang was waiting on the other side of the low-sec null-sec gate. Not wishing a slow death, I decided to turn the gang around and enter null-sec via EOA-. EOA- was surprisingly unmonitored, as my previous experience had told me EOA- was good place to get killed.
With nothing to kill there, we took a few stargates to TJM- and then UBX-. After sticking around on the UBX- gate, getting myself plinked by a WhelpNado at seventy kilometers in AD-5B, we moved to TJM- for a short bit, where a warp stabbed Hurricane slipped by us despite our attempts to force him to bounce between gates. We moved back to the UBX- gate after that. I jumped into AD-5B and aligned to the stargate the Tornado was on scan at, and attempted to set up at seventy kilometers, expecting the Tornado to come in at seventy kilometers again.

The Tornado did come at seventy kilometers, but I had overshot the spot and ended up twenty kilometers away from him. I was unable to close the twenty to twenty-eight kilometer distance as he kept me pointed and kited me, so I called in the gang and aligned away from him. Just my gang decloaked, the enemy fleet came on grid. I ordered a warp out, and we all got away from that safely. I had thought nothing of eight neutrals in system given that there was a station in system; I had expected them to be all docked up.

We bounced around for a bit, before eventually trying to escape. We were unable to pull them apart in any meaningful way, as they had two Rapiers, two Cynabals, a Tornado, and two other ships I didn't catch. This was compounded by the fact that we had no way to slow down any of their ships, and would ourselves be held in place by the Rapiers. I managed to get out through Akora after having to gatecrash a few times, and the Curse managed to get away via EOA-. Our other Hurricane got caught, however, and wasn't able to get away.

The enemy did a good job of placing scouts in systems were trying to get out through. We did a bad job in staying around for far too long, not moving around enough, and ultimately not logging off, which we probably should have done as we were trapped. We could have gotten both Hurricanes out then at the cost of coming back another day.

I don't think two Hurricanes and a Curse is a bad gang at all, but we were never a position where we could really utilize that. In the future, if we do go out in this sort of gang, we need to be able to slow down enemy ships simply because Hurricanes are the slowest ships on the field. Cynabals and the new battlecruisers are too prevalent for regular nano canes to work against another nano fleet setups. I may decide to bring a Huginn in the future and give up the Hurricane role, which should slow down enemy ships enough to allow the Hurricanes to slash through enemy ships with ease. The trick there will be not getting caught by a gang landing on field, and not getting pushed off the field so fast that my fleet can't kill the target.
Computer: terminate recording.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Vacation Near Complete

Entry: eight hundred twenty-seven.

It's hard to believe I've been pretty inactive for so long. It has nothing to do with the lack of desire; I still want to be active. I just can't. Too many other variables are in play right now. Thankfully, that should mostly disappear by the middle of the next month.

The alliance's vacation will be wrapping up soon. For this month, everyone has been heavily vested in claiming bounties via cleaning up the Angel presence in Detorid, as well as setting up alliance and corporate infrastructure. In the meantime, I've done little except set up a single Electrolyte extraction compound on a planet in 0-G to help supply the corporation with fuel for the mobile starbases.

Although my alliance doesn't mind mindlessly attacking the Angel alliance, I find myself extremely unwilling due to the time versus reward value of the task. I find myself even unwilling to fight off the Incursion in Detorid. That said, some poor schmuck got scrammed by the Sansha on his way to an Incursion site, never mentioned it to the FC when he fleet warped the group off a stargate, the pilot lost his Tengu in the debacle. That brought a small smile to my face.

Since I've been so reluctant to destroy Sansha or Angel forces, I've found other ways of making ISK, and am still considering others. One of the ways I made ISK, a pure rip from Poetic Stanziel, was to make pounce-bookmarks for every stargate in Detorid, and then sell those to my alliance. I've only sold six copies, each at one hundred million ISK, but it's good money while still providing something worthwhile to the alliance. I don't have remorse for anyone who dies on a stargate because he didn't have a pounce point to check it out first.

The only issue with that is simply the ISK generation. It doesn't look like it will pick up after this initial six hundred million, and I'm not going to lower my price considering how many Angel officers and DED ten of ten complexes are in the area, nevermind the twenty percent markup on all good imported from high-sec. I've heard a story about someone who rented a bunch of moons while we were in Querious and made a killing. I think I may find myself doing that for some ISK, probably starting out at one tower and eventually moving into more, depending on how much ISK I'm looking to make every month versus how much time I have to put into managing the towers every month.
I've also done some recruiting. Even without an advert, we've taken in some new members. I'm always surprised when pilots come to us, as opposed to another corporation. Usually the applicants check out, sometimes they don't though and get turned away.  It does make me wonder how my recruiting workload will increase once I finally do get an advert up.
As for my corporation, most of the members have been raking in the ISK, hand over fist, buying up fleet fitted ships to go on deployment with. I suspect our next deployment won't actually be a deployment, such that we will stay in Detorid and clean up the random bits of rotting infrastructure left behind by various alliances over the years. After that, my guess is that we will deploy north to harass IRC or NCdot. At present I'm unclear if we'll deploy from friendly space, or pirate alliance space such as Curse or the Great Wildlands.
It doesn't feel like there are many entities out there to fight anymore. Goons, Brick, IRC, TEST, PL, Raiden, and NCdot are the only real entities I can see as targets, but among those, the only I can see as a viable target for an alliance fighting on its own would be IRC, especially since Brick and Cascade are still somewhat friendly to each other.
Things will get interesting again once this vacation wraps up, that's for sure.
Computer: terminate recording.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A little bit of learning

Entry: eight hundred twenty-one.

It's been pretty slow for a while. The alliance is mostly settled in the new home now, the Detorid region. Much of the region is barren in terms of population, and the main activity hubs are a bit spread out among the wasteland of systems. While the alliance at large has been taking time to rat up ISK, I've been trying to develop my combat skills, although only in small ships.

I haven't had any victories yet, but considering that I am trying to improve, success wouldn't teach much.

I took a Wolf out to Molden Heath a few days ago. I'm not sure whether I had trouble finding anything my Wolf could fight due to lack of knowledge of the area, bad timezone coverage, incompetence, impatience, or some combination, but I quickly grew bored of the area and moved back to null for combat. I know a few hotspots, and it's easier and faster to find targets near those than roam what seemed to be a pipe from Metropolis to Molden to Ammatar Space.

Shortly after leaving Molden, I encountered a Talos that jumped into me somewhere in Providence. I didn't think people were baiting with the newly developed battlecruisers yet, but my bloodthirst and lack of recent experience in combat for the last two weeks left me wide open for the rest of the Red Overlord fleet to break my Wolf into little pieces seconds before I could jump out. Well, maybe more than seconds, maybe ten to twenty. Fight time messes with the sense of it. 

Today I went up against a Malediction in a shield Rifter. I wasn't honestly expecting a solo Malediction, but there it was. It had the repper, the web and scram, and even though I brought him down to half structure, and only because I was manually flying my ass off to pull a little range so that he couldn't be a hundred percent under my guns, he still got me. My undoing in that fight, in my opinion, was my ammunition. At the time, I'd only had Republic Fleet EMP, and as great as that is, it's also the highest resist on a Malediction. It's much more likely I would have won had I been carrying Faction Phased, or even Hail.

After losing that Malediction, I felt inspired to roam in a Malediction of my own. I did, eventually, come across a Rifter in Severance space. He was sitting off gate amidst a bunch of wrecks, it'd been a few hours, and I wanted a fight. What I got was a merciless beatdown. That could have been a great fight, just me and the Rifter, but an entire fleet decided to jump in and kill me.
That's fine. That happens. The Rifter pilot and I are the ones that lost out, not anyone else. He lost a good time, I lost that and a ship. I wonder if he'll think about that in the future? Then again, knowing firsthand how timid many null-sec residents are about combat without a fleet, it's a near impossibility. 
As for me, I learned a few lessons worth taking home related to solo combat, and while the corp killboards are going to reflect poorly on my solo activity for a while, I'm becoming a better pilot because of it, and I don't think anyone will mind too much, as long I don't make the same mistakes repeatedly.

I learned that a Shield rifter is probably not the best choice for engaging a Malediction, but if I do, I should bring Phased Plasma with my EMP. Finding the Phased may be an issue, but it's worth at least trying to solve.

I learned that the new battlecruisers are fantastic bait, and that if I see one jump into me, I had better make sure he's off his in gate before I engage, or his gang will come in and kill me. Even better would be to warp away to a planet or another stargate, and see if he pursues solo, or a gang soon jumps in after him.
I learned that in null-sec, people don't sit fifteen kilometers off a gate, even if it does look like they might be salvaging. Must assume level five skills, as well as level five baiting techniques. I must make my potential target prove to me that he's as bad or as dumb and as alone as I hope he might be before I open fire.

Should I have known before? Probably, but taking note of these things while in a fleet is much harder, and less obvious as well since it's an entirely different scenario. But I know now. Every loss I take now is a lesson learned that will result in fewer losses in the future.

Sorry Militaris, I'll try not to hurt the killboards too much, but the investment is worth it, I promise!
Computer: terminate recording.