Wednesday 30 September 2009

The POS, The Punsher and the Fail-fit Maesltrom

It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand.

-- (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)

It's been very quiet, too quiet. Gusandall and Eifer, normally a buzz with traffic is silent, so much so that the locals spent a lot of time drinking and chatting down the local.

I did a few roams far and wide in the Rifter but there was nothing around worthy of a fight. My friend in her Cheetah also did a few trips looking for potential violence. All for nought.

There was a brief glimmer of some hot action as a mixed fleet of battlecruiser and cruiser hulls entered Eifer but by the time we got a mixed fleet of blood thirsty Pirates together they had bugged back to highsec, apparently the sight of so many flashing red ships on the overview of their scout was enough to send the fleet packing. Amusing thing is they all hail from a corp that claims to be "Anti Pirate"

I had been doing some paperwork when news of an undefended POS in a neighbouring system appeared to interest the locals, shortly after a mixed fleet went to cause some damage, we were that bored. After an hour or so the small POS was put into reinforced, I lost 5 million ISK on a bet whether the POS had Strontium :(

It had a three hour timer and we went back home till the appropriate time came around.

Thanks to DeathStar for the loaner of a Cap stable Apocolypse for the POS Shot.

Whilst shooting the POS, Mandaro and myself were chatting about frigates, he really rates his Punisher, and while talking setups and crunching numbers he suggested a 1v1, now, you know me, I would so be up for that.

Once our Global Criminal Countdowns were up we made ready for the fight. Now I'll admit right now I cheated, well, not really cheated but knowing frigates inside out and knowing full well that Mandaro runs a version of the infamous Bleeder Punisher and that he would be using Barrage ammo, I had already won the fight. I was already at a safespot when Mandaro warped in, a few others came to watch the fight and there was some betting on the outcome, those who have known me for a long time favouring me heavily. A countdown was given in the fleet channel and it was on.

My afterburner flares into life, launching my Rifter forward, the first few seconds were key. I got in close, 1000 metres between us and settled into a tight orbit, my web and scram active, afterburner keeping my momentum going. Guns and Rockets spilled forth. Mandaro had locked and opened fire, but the larger calibre guns and high-tech Barrage ammo struggled to track my Rifter in such a tight orbit and this allowed me to chew through the absolute epic tank of Mandaro's Punisher. And it was epic, 6,141 points of damage when he finally popped.

A good fight, if a little one sided, he never broke through my shields. I'm sure a rematch is in the works and he'll be better prepared next time.

A lot of Frigate combat comes down to knowing every variable of a given engagement, what potential damage and tank a target has, what kinds of ammo to use, what kinds of ammo your opponent is likely to use, engagement ranges, transverse and tracking and being able to dictate range. Being able to adjust on the fly as it were to any changes is also key. All this I have learnt over years of flying frigates and is not something easily taught. Basically you have to go out and learn through trial and error, learn from mistakes and expand on success.

There was a little action on the gates as a lone Dominix jumped into Gusandall and was quickly dispatched and his pod ransomed, he took it all very well, followed almost two hours later by a lone Drake who managed to make it all the way to Gusandall before returning home via Clone Vat Express™.

As the time ticked down to when the POS came out of reinforced, Keira had moved an Armageddon battleship down for me for the shot, half an hour to go and RedBad came in and asked why we were shooting his POS... Holy shit, you have got to be kidding me :D

Lucky for him and for us he came in when he did.

Anyway, there was much laughter amongst us, however I was aching to shoot something and without the POS to unleash hellish lasers upon I was kind of down. Luckily there was news of a Maelstrom in Ingunn, a very old pod pilot in a very big ship. Scouts were tracking his movements as a small fleet moved into place to engage on the Gusandall side.

Serenetor jumped his Megathron in to push the Maelstrom into us, which went exactly to plan. It was very suspicious that such an experienced pilot would be solo on a gate and the Admiral Akbar senses were tingling, if it were a trap we were going to spring it regardless, we were itchy for a fight.

Maelstrom jumped in and broke gate cloak trying to align out but was very quickly tackled and webbed. Lasers spat hot death at the Maelstrom and the famous shield tank of the massive Minmatar ship was non existent, his armour melted and so did his structure even as Serenetor tried to get back to join in the merriment. I hastily shut the mega Pulse lasers of my Abaddon down but one last salvo and the Maelstrom was no more.

Sorry Seren, I just don't know the power of this Abby yet :P

The stricken pilots pod was tackled and ransom offered, no response and when he logged his critical systems all that was left was to pop the egg.

The fit is curious to say the least, not something you expect from a pilot who has been in the same corp for over 5 years.

Oh well.

Too damn quiet, I need more action but was fun to fly with the Mean crew again, always a good laugh on voice comms.

In other news I have been approached on more than one occasion to be a mentor to hopeful Pirates, while extremely flattering I always tend to decline, due to time and mostly due to me being rather selfish with the knowledge I have acquired over the years. This is not to say I'm not open to questions via evemail or convo but I do prefer to keep to myself and if I do fly with others, it is people I know and trust.

My lecture for the Black Rabbits Academy fell through, mostly my fault due to my extended absence and it's a real shame, not sure what kind of learning I could have provided though. Apologies to everyone who was involved with the project.

I'm also in the process of acquiring a rather special item, more for nostalgia and the novelty of it than anything else but if I get it y'all will be the first to know.

Stay Classy

Monday 21 September 2009

There was a FIREFIGHT!

Chain-mail isn't much defence against an arrow. It certainly isn't when the arrow is being aimed between your eyes.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies)

Five Rifters and a Kestrel prowling around Eifer, this can not stand, this is my home, my hunting ground and interlopers are not tolerated. Well this may be a bit of an exaggeration as I rather like visitors but you know me, delusions of grandeur et al.

I started tracking the raiding party and soon I got a bead on them, warping in I was greeted by all five of them, Asssassin X bowling in with his Thorax, they bailed like skittles but one got stuck on the end of Asss' and my guns, I quickly started tracking the survivors of the initial attack, soon to find them at a planet, in I went, heavily outnumbered but up for a fight. I landed right on top of them and proceeded to lock them all up, one , two , three Rifters exploded and it was only the Kestrel left as the most experienced Rifter pilot threw valour into the wind and bolted. The Kestrel explodes, the grin on my face expands. Good fight lads.


There is a new shiny in my hangar and she was unveiled much to the chagrin of a Hurricane pilot who had the misfortune of being spotted travelling towards Ingunn, he was caught and roasted on the Gultraten gate. In all honesty he deserved to die for the sacrilege he carried out on that poor Hurricane.

So without further adue, I give you "Nanny Ogg"

Nanny Ogg would later see action in the BBQing of a Raven who was spotted by Mean Corp pilots on its way through Eifer, caught on the Eifer gate in Gusandall it melted under the fire of Nanny's Mega Pulse IIs. Props to Sarvic for the tackle and Jorge for the assist.

An old friend of mine was brought out of the corp hangar for a rather tasty treat, Keira was doing some business runs between Gusandall and highsec when she spotted a Hulk exhumer on it's way to Gus, my Broadsword would be ideal for this task as it's beastly tank and infinite interdiction point meaning the prey would not be long for this universe. HULK SMASHED.


Then it was back to some hot Rifter action. My covops friend spotted a Rifter in Gus, in the direction of the 2/10 plex, I quickly boarded the latest iteration of my favourite ship, new and improved, even deadlier than before and made my way over. As I burst out of warp the other Rifter was over 100 clicks away and I started to try and close the massive gulf. He did me the favour of warping to the 1/10 plex. Knowing how these things work is key to successful hunting, I knew he would land right on the gate and launched my Rifter after him. As I landed he had started to try and make some distance between us, I started to close and he swung around to engage, soon we were locked in deadly battle. My shields were stripped rather too quickly, impressive damage from my opponent, my armour started taking the brunt of the fire but I had caught up and soon overtook in the deadly race. His armour repairer was working overtime, I didn't even bother to activate mine, such was my confidence in how this dance would end.
Bits of Rifter rain against mine as he violently explodes, he warps his pod out too quickly for my targeting systems. Good fight L Kahn, good fight.


There's been a Dramiel pilot trying to farm the 2/10 plex recently, it seems my absence from Gus has been taken advantage of. I decided on something different for this pilot, my Taranis interceptor, absolutely beastly damage but rather like a paper bag when it comes to defence.
Never mind, nothing ventured nothing gained. I knew he came around more or less when the complex re spawned and added him to my buddy list, as soon as he logged into the comms net I was alerted and made my way over to the gate to wait for him. Sure enough in he came and the fight was on. The damage of the Taranis is scary and soon I had broken through his impressive tank but he managed to pull range on me and had started working on my drones. His tank recovered but I was deep into structure, ship on fire and in no way capable of breaking his tank before I expired. I warped out and shared "good fight" in local comms. This is not over by a long shot.

It's 0615 as I write this, Insomnia has gotten the better of me, I have a splitting migraine and it's rather fresh in the hangar but all in all I've really enjoyed myself.

Stay Classy

Friday 18 September 2009

I'll take those two and... oh bugger... I'm exploded

"It's going to look pretty good, then, isn't it," said War testily, "the One Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Apocralypse."
-- The Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse encounter unexpected difficulties
(Terry Pratchett, Sourcery)

It's a curious thing, space, for all it's darkness and danger, it's unpredictable nature, it's just so comforting. The cold embrace, the stars, the planets, the auroras and flares... Home.

My Rifter, like a second skin, eases into the dark, systems primed, my senses honed through years of training and experience and every inch of the Minmatar starship an extension of my body. It's been too long my friend, far too long.

Moments earlier I was sitting in my hangar when word of fresh meat reached me via an intel channel, two Crow interceptors and a Retribution assault frigate somewhere in Gusandall.
The undock was long, it seems to get longer each time, a trick of the mind as it prepares for what is to come... Sweet violence.

My years as a Pirate make the task of scanning my prey intuitive, within seconds I have their location, moments after undocking I'm in warp to where my onboard scanner shows them to be.
I burst out of warp at the 1/10 DED Rated complex, hoping the targets would be there, new sensor recalibration meaning scanning is slightly more tedious than it should be and it adds even more suspense to an already dangerous situation.

As the warp bubble collapses the targets are exactly where they should be, in my crosshairs and about to be introduced to one Kane Rizzel. Two Crows, one Retribution, a tall order but I have my game face on, a massive grin. I close on the first Crow, all systems primed and overloaded, lock scramble, web and sweet death spits out of my guns. The first Crow goes down hard, his friend closing in to help, he's already locked, bits of Crow are raining against my Rifter as she opens up on the second, the Retribution closing, not much time but it doesn't take long and the second Crow is but a memory. I focus on the Retribution but it's not going well, it has a strong tank and I've taken too much damage, my beautiful Rifter no longer capable of containing the awesomeness that lies inside and my escape pod is jettisoned as she explodes. I warp the pod out rather sharpish, a good fight.

And it was thus I announced my return to Gusandall, my return to Piracy.

I docked at the station and grabbed the first ship I could, an Ishkur assault ship, I wanted another go at the Retri but he left in a hurry. I scanned a Wolf assault frigate in the 2/10 complex and made my way there. Warping in, right on top of him, the fight was on, however I was never able to close the distance sufficiently and as such my blasters were largely ineffective. I was taking massive amounts of damage and I decided to bail, not something I'm accustomed to but Keira would be most displeased were I to lose a rather expensive ship in a brash manner. As I entered warp I thought to myself "Kane you fucking idiot, this thing has drones"

Yes, I'm rusty, yes I'm an idiot.

Still, good wake up call.

I clone jumped to a combat clone, something better suited to the task at hand.

I would later fly a Taranis to kill a few Rifters and a Cyclone and narrowly missed out on a missioning Drake in Ingunn but all in all, I think I rather enjoyed myself and this is a good thing.

I'm still in space as I write this, all sneaky like in my Pilgrim, in desperate need of a cigarette and sleep but there's a Skiff that needs killing.

Edit: I got the Drake, he came back, they always come back.