Sunday 28 June 2009

Operation Thundersphere

A good plan isn't one where someone wins, it's where nobody thinks they've lost.

-- (Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents)

A few weeks back I was in communication with some old corp mates in Ars ex Discordia, during the conversation on the IRC network they said they were having a corp frigate battle aka Frigate Thundersphere. They had invited me along so I started planning how to make the 80 odd jump trip to Delve, their new home.

I set up a Battle Cheetah that would make the trip quicker and also make it so I could get through any bubble camps I may encounter. Ars ex Discordia are part of the massive Goonswarm alliance and as such I would be a target the moment I set foot in Fortress Delve. Nevermind the fact I'm normally a target the moment I undock in empire space.

On the way I spotted an escape pod about 180 clicks off a gate in lowsec, no other pilot appeared on the local comms net meaning the pilot had logged his critical systems, so Kane being Kane I made my way over to investigate. During my examination of the pod, I activated my special pod analysers, they tore the pod apart and revealed a gooey centre and a freshly created corpse.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and I docked up in Sakht, waiting to hear what my final destination would be. Y-OMTZ is the home to ARSED, 14 jumps from Sakht. I headed on in and it was amusing to hear that the Delve and Goonswarm channels lit up.

I entered Y-O and local lit up, old friends and corpmates saying hi and I imagine a certain element of panic which was confirmed as they hastily set up on the exit gate with a small camp. Little did they know I was here for a party.

AlphaMeridian, Soup Spoon and Estar Thorongil were my team mates and the instigators behind this little roadtrip and I'd like to thank them for providing me with the mods and ships for this little shindig.

A large Warp Disruption Bubble was set up in a safespot and Captain Wolfman started giving the team leaders the rules.

After a bit of banter in local I was set, a Punisher my ship of choice for this and the very first time I have ever flown one. Our reasoning behind this was that I would plate the hell out of it as I would certainly draw some fire. The rest of our ships were Alpha in an Incursus, Soup in a Hero Vigil and Estar in a Kestrel. We had a simple plan, I would draw fire, Estar would take on any ranged ships as we closed on them, myself and Alpha would get up close and personal and Soup would whizz around painting the bubble red.

The first fight was a bit of a blur but needless to say our strategy worked till about midway through when only 8 ships remained. One by one we went down and soon we were eliminated.
A good fight and quite an interesting format.

Captain Wolfman then suggested a Free for all and I was gifted a Rifter for this one. I warped to the bubble and waited, spotting a Merlin near the edge of the bubble so I slowly made my way over. The go ahead was given and LymeM went down, I then made my way over to another Merlin piloted by Ikada, he was being harrased by another Rifter being piloted by Errik Thrakkar. Ikada went down and Errik followed suit. NightlyFlyer was engaging Errik at the same time and turned his attention to me, by this time I had taken significant damage and this was a damage race I would be hard pressed to win. His shield tanked Rifter was very strong and I almost broke through but ran out of hull, exploding in a rather magnificent fashion.

I managed to get on five kills between the two fights for two losses.

A good time was had by all and I'm rather glad I made the trip, many thanks to my old Corp for giving me standings so I could dock at their outpost, Alpha, Soup and Estar once again for sorting out the ships and mods I would need and for the invite to come play and all the pilots who took part.

Stay classy Ars ex Discordia

Tuesday 23 June 2009

It's a Mean old universe

The world is made up of four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This is a fact well known even to Corporal Nobbs. It's also wrong. There's a fifth element, and generally it's called Surprise.

-- (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)

Not feeling very creative as I have yet to sleep, 36 hours and counting so I'm kind of waiting for the coma. Part of the insomnia was being part of a fun gang with the Mean Corp crew last night.

Three separate engagements against the Deadspace Society, 17 kills to 5 losses, including a Harbinger and Hurricane of mine in the second fight , I came back in a Zealot to finish off the fight and used it to great effect in the third engagement but spent most of the fight jammed by ECM drones, we decimated the hostiles incurring zero losses.

An engagement against Rote Kapelle in which we killed 3 ships, including a Drake, Curse and Arazu before they legged it for zero losses on our side. We chased and caught a few other bits and bobs about the constellation, me flying my Zealot.

My personal tally for the past few days is 5 battleships, 7 Battlecruiser, 1 Recon ship, 1 Cruiser, 1 Assault frigate, 1 Destroyer, 1 Frigate and 2 pods at the cost of 2 Battlecruisers all with about 6 hours sleep since Sunday evening.

As always the Mean crew provided some good times, with some great laughs on voice comms. Thanks to the guys for a good time and especially Zorn from Triumvirate for some crucial repping in his Guardian, if not for him I would have lost a Zealot while fighting under sentries but he managed to claw my armour back from about 10% in our engagement against Rote Kapelle.

Keira was busy for most of the evening in her Claymore giving us a much needed edge but later went to high security space and undocked the corp Fenrir for its maiden voyage into lowsec. She moved down some more Harbingers and Hurricanes to bolster my fleet along with the mods to make them lethal. The freighter run went off without incident even as a few of us were camping a wormhole but she did have sufficient scouting and the Mean boys offered any assistance if it should be needed.

I docked up early this morning to do some cleaning around the place and then headed out for drinks with friends. Arriving back this evening I got back into the hangar and got the crews about assembling the new ships, I look forward to losing them in epic engagements and will try and take as many pilots down with me as I can.

Stay classy Gusandall

Thursday 11 June 2009

Republic Security Services are noobs

Look, that's why there's rules, understand? So that you think before you break 'em.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time)
I got in gang again with the Mean Corp crew last night and we tried to get an engagement out of some hostiles in Ingunn but it was more like a Benny Hill chase.

After chasing the gang a fair few jumps we decided to head back to Gusandall as we weren't going to get a fight. I set destination for Gusandall and followed the route set out by the autopilot. Not really paying attention I jumped a gate and was surprised to see Minmatar Customs agents on the other side of the gate, I checked the system and cursed as I had jumped into a high security system.

I mentioned this on voice comms and laughter broke out. I quickly looked arond for the nearest planet and initiated warp, the lumbering hulk of my Harbinger taking an age to get up to speed but I made it out just as the Republic Security Services ships appeared and started to lock. I landed at the planet and aligned for the nearest lowsec gate and prayed. I initiated warp as my ship was surrounded by security ships intent on exploding me. Just as I was entering warp my systems shutdown as I was scrambled, neuted, jammed and taking heavy damage. I was resigned to losing the Harbinger but then something rather fantastic happened... I entered warp.

A member of our gang who was not an outlaw was already en route to grab what he could from my wreck but when he landed all that he found were some rather confused security ships. I had meanwhile jumped into the safety of lowsec and surveyed the damage. 28% armour is all that was left but I still had my ship. Incredible, they dropped tackle allowing me to escape.

I headed back to Gus, pleased that my shortcut didn't cost me more than some embarrasment and laughter. Thanks to Waycharles and Colonel Kurtz for repping my damaged Harbinger.

Needless to say my autopilot has been punished.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

This is Gusandall

There were no public health laws in Ankh-Morpork. It would be like installing smoke detectors in Hell.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay)
Well know, it's been an eventful day in the life of one Kane Rizzel, insomnia making sure any plans I had for sleeping were all for nought so I decided to hang out with some friends from Mean corp and generally just shoot whatever was out there in a variety of interesting manners using various vessels of space violence.

I initiated a new ship into the NovaKane fleet in the shape of a Harbinger called Sgt Detritus.

The highlight of the day was a battle earlier this evening on the Eifer gate in Gusandall. We had reports of a battleship heavy gang with two battlecruisers. A quick check of who was online and a gang was formed, we had six battleships, two battlecruisers, an Onyx heavy interdictor, a Deimos heavy assualt cruiser and a Guardian logistics ship.

We gathered on the Eifer gate, when it was reported the hostile gang had warped to the Gusandall gate, we waited to see if they would jump into us, which they conveniently did. Primaries were called and the entire hostile gang dropped one by one.

Battle report

We encountered zero losses and were left with the spoils. Thanks go to Asssassin X for much needed repping as I took fire from sentries and my three brave Warrior II drones who died taking sentry fire.

We once again gathered on the Eifer gate when news of a Drake in Eifer filtered through the intel channels. The Drake was bouncing around the system so no one could get a fix on it but a Rook had the misfortune to jump into a bunch of Pirates thirsty for blood. The Rook didn't last long. His fit provided quite a few laughs, see if you can spot the fail.

Then a Hurricane undocked from Gus station and warped to the gate at 20km, he went down hard. I got a rather nice private convo from the poor fella.

Have had a very enjoyable two days back in the black, some good laughs on voice comms. Thanks to Mean Corp and Hellequin for the good times.

25 kills including 7 battleships, 4 battlecruisers, 4 heavy assault cruisers, a recon ship, an interceptor, 3 frigates, 2 destroyers and 3 pods, not a bad return for two days work.

Monday 8 June 2009

Hey Mr.Jack or, damn, how drunk was I?

Thunder rolled. ... It rolled a six.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)

There is nothing in the universe quite like the Rifter, the simple brutality of it still inspires me to this day. From my very first tackle and kill in 0.0 on an Omniscient Order Claw to my very first solo kill on a Cheetah in Delve, the Rifter has always been there for me.

So when I got back from the club, way over the limit, I decided to take my favourite ship out for a little dancing. Now there's only one place I go if the Bourbon has taken hold and that's Eifer and as such I took up a position between the clusters of belts to start scanning but it was quiet at first, just hauler traffic so I took the time to chat a bit in various channels, hitting scan every now and again.

A Thrasher appears and the hunt is on, quickly narrowed down to a cluster of belts I warp to the planet, another quick scan shows him in the third belt and off I go. I land about 30km off, curse my luck and start to close, maybe he won't notice the flashing red ship screaming towards him. He doesn't and shit gets real as I lock, scram and open fire. A short and unremarkeable fight and the Thrasher explodes in a flash of rather glorious fire. Pod is locked, scrammed and popped. I grab the corpse and the loot and warp off to a safespot. Not the most glorious kill but it doesn't matter, at this point I can barely feel my fingers.

I'm feeling rather light headed, the universe is swimming before my eyes and yes mom, I can now unequivicolly say that the universe does in fact revolve around me. However, inebriation is not going to stop the Rizzel tonight as a Vagabond appears on scan, I start to track his movements. He appears to be... Ratting! Well now, this could be an epic trap but what the hell, I narrow him down to a belt and warp in and just as I suspected, he was... Ratting! I start to close but he warps out, to another belt, I follow, setting warp to zero.

I land in the belt, half expecting the pilot to have warped at range and boy was I suprised when I landed right on bloody top of him. Most excellent, I initiate lock, it's quick and sure, Scram glows green as it goes active, webbed for good measure and I open fire, mentioning in a local intel channel I have a Vagabond tackled in a belt. Kashmyta jumps at the opportuinity to come join me and warps his Deimos in. The Vagabond melts as I'm being hit by his drones and he explodes, I quickly lock the pod and scramble it, I'm still being hit by his drones... Double you tea eff mate? I tell Kash to stop shooting as I'm ransoming, open convo with the pilot and deliver my terms, he accepts and my wallet flashes with confirmation. I break lock and ask Kash to do the same, which he complies and the pod warps out, with us left to gather the loot. I pay Kash his share and go to a safesot to bask in what was a rather epic tackle and delicious kill.

The Vaga pilot stays in my Ransom channel for a bit and we strike up a nice conversation, he was interested to know how I locked him so quick and why his MWD shut down, seems this ex Black Flag pilot has been on vacation for a long time and hasn't quite come to grips with the new technology. We chat for a while and then he goes on his merry.

I chill out, head still doing the Tango in my pod when a Claw appears on scanner, or maybe it's been there for a while, not really sure as time is rubber banding. Looks like first belt, I warp in but he's no longer there, seems he headed over to the V cluster, I warp to planet and start a scan, mmm, at a safespot between Vs and Emol stargate. Well, I'm just going to sit here, all quiet and innocent like at the planet and see if he comes to me.

Damn Kane, you are good, He warps in at 50km a minute or so later and I grin from ear to ear, Game on. He starts to close as I do the same, Scrambler and web set to overheat, same with the guns. He gets in range and it's on. Lock, scramble, web and ammunition starts flying, there was a firefight! My shield gets stripped away in mere moments and I start to dip into armour but my guns and rockets are doing a number on his hull at this point as my repper kicks in. He explodes in a satisfying ball of fire and warps his pod out rather sharpish. Good fight is shared in local and it turns out he's a regular reader of these here pages and just wanted to try his luck.

He opens a private convo and we have a good chat, turns out he's about to become a father and I congratulate Shadowforged on that but commiserate that his time to fly will be curtailed. Also turns out he's a regular in the Independence channel, well I've probably shot at most of them. :)

A good night but I needed to head back to Gus and dock up, I'm hungry, need a cigarette and could murder a cup of tea.

My head is going to be oh so heavy when I rise from the coma.

Saturday 6 June 2009

The Rizzel returns

The doors to the hangar close.

"holy Jita it's dark in here"

The sound of careful movement echo in the darkness and then a loud bang.

"OUCH! What was that?"

The one with the questions slowly gets back to his feet and mutters:

"Lights... Anyone... Lights?"

Another thud and the voice let's out a sigh.

"Did anybody bother to pay the electric bill?"

A light click and small flash of light appears in the hangar, a lighter has been lit and the face of Kane Rizzel looking rather annoyed is engulfed in its glow as he lights a cigarette.

Slowly he makes his way to the large desk in the corner of the hangar and powers the computer up. A few seconds pass as it gets going before he checks the mail.

"Sweet mother of Buddha, that's a lot of mail"

He scans through it until he finds one of significance and hits the 'Pay Rent' button.

"and then there was light"

The hangar lights up as Kane leans back in his chair and exhales a lung full of smoke.

"Home sweet home"

Game face

It's been almost a month and I'm well rested, sometimes you just need to unplug and go off some place sunny, where the drinks have those little umbrellas in them. It's been a good break, a much needed break.

I check the rest of the mail, some fan mail, some not so fan mail and the usual bills. I pay the bills and start surveying the hangar. The ships that are ready are few as I had most of the fleet in the corporate hangar, mothballed so to speak. I check what's ready: Dramiel, Succubus, Rifter and Broadsword. The corporate hangar inventory reveals a rather larger assortment but I'll have to wait till I can get the hangar crew back in to work till I can start thinking about them.

I log into the various intel channels and start scanning for any action. There's sweet and buggerall going on but it seems a lot of people are logged in. A few minutes pass when someone mentions that there's a Thrasher in the 2/10 Angel complex. Well now, just what I need to get back in the saddle. I saunter over to the nearest ship which just happens to be my Dramiel and get her started. The undock procedure takes slightly longer than I'd like but it's not too loong before the Gusandall night sky greets me.

I warp straight to the complex and activate the gate as I land, I'm slung into the first room and the Thrasher is calmly going about its business. I close quickly and once in range I initiate lock, scrambler kicks in as it resolves, the fight is short but oh so sweet, a reminder of why I enjoy this lifestyle. A short burst of adrenaline, the heart pumping blood at an accelerated rate. a rush of uphoria passes and I scoop the loot and corpse before warping to a safespot to enjoy the rest of the rush.

I head back to station and offload the loot, jump in a Rifter and head on over to Eifer but after a while I head back home as nothing's stirring.

Nothing too exciting for my return but I felt I should mention it none the less.

Keira is still doing some work in highsec but I'll be around a bit more often now so if you see me in local say hi and if I happen to be shooting you at the time, it's nothing personal.

Thursday 4 June 2009

Frigank 6

Just a heads up for some amazing Frigate work by Prometheus Exenthal, his Frigank series is amazing and the 6th and possibly last for a long while is no exception.

Do yourself a favour and watch Frigank 6, the music, editing and frigate action will leave you begging for more.

The Daredevil belonged to yours truly and it was cool to see it in action, I only managed 5 kills with it before mothballing it for a long time and when Prom mentioned he was looking for one I immediately donated mine.

Come back soon Prom

Stay classy