A long time friend and pirate Ariartus decided to give up her position in Snuff Box to return to more casual gameplay, and has since found a comfortable niche in RANSM. Since she joined I've lost more ships and security status in the past three days than in a month of gameplay. This girl is FUN, and her aggressive nature is infectious.
The fun started off on in earnest on Friday, with a small Everset Dropbears gang nosing around Istodard pocket. Ari was having none of it, and with her in an Absolution, myself in a Raven and a friendly pirate named Titus Veridius in a Pest we managed to draw an engagement, crushing two BCs and a supporting Falcon, while a remaining Tengu and Drake slipped away. The following day Ari was pulling a long shift at work, and was only around to briefly aid in the demise of an Orca pilot which chanced moving through lowsec and left in a capsule. Saturday saw an usual amount of medium sized gangs moving through Molden Heath, which left the few pirates online with little to do but sit and wait for the area to cool down. One of said gangs attempted to aid the Orca we destroyed, blowing up my Harbinger only just after the Orca went down.
Later on after the Europeans had logged off, Lt Graham had logged on for some action, and it was a short minute before I found a Machariel missioning in Oddelulf. Graham was already a few jumps out in a Raven, and fortunately Coffee was able to swap out his Blackbird for a Cheetah to probe down the faction battleship. While scanning, Coffee reported several ships on scan, noticably a Rapier briefly coming up while probing the Mach. I figured the Recon could tackle the Mach for us, then I would warp my Sleipnir into the site, tackle the Mach, kill the Rapier then finish off the Machariel. Believe me, flying a command ship makes for grand imaginings.
Coffee finished scanning down the battleship and fleet warped my Sleipnir to the result, which powered through the first two rooms to activate the third and final acceleration gate. Upon landing, I was greated with a number of cans and wrecks, but no Mach. Disappointed, I paused for Graham to join me in Oddelulf, a respite which lasted only a dozen seconds before the Rapier Coffee spotted earlier decloaked and tackled me.
I had already loaded Barrage, assuming that I would have to chase down the Mach and perhaps deal with the Rapier, so I was well prepared for the Recon's arrival. With Barrage falloff extending to 33km and faction point range, augmented by the interdiction ganglink I was running extending to 47km, the Rapier was quickly attempting a retreat, then dispatched as the limited AB enhanced speed proved too slow. Graham arrived in system shortly afterwords, and I switched to a Myrmidon for more casual, inexpensive roaming.
Jumping into Bosena, I was greeted by a half dozen outlaw locals, who were on scan in battlecruisers and seemingly waiting down GCC at celestials. Graham waited in Oddelulf on the Bosena gate with Coffee, who had switched back to a Blackbird to even the odds. I decloaked, warping myself to celestials that appeared to have a ship waiting, eventually chasing down a Prophecy from a belt to a celestial. We had warped to the planet 70km from each other, and in the short 30 seconds it took to burn into point range, Graham had jumped in and was in warp to my location. Bokonon and another TEXN pilot had also been informed of the imminent violence, and were on their way from Oddelulf.
Once tackle was established, Coffee jumped in, warping to the fight at 70km. His ECM would be especially helpful, as an enemy Falcon decloaked shortly after all the outlaws had landed, jamming both Graham and myself. Upon landing, Coffee was able to jam the Falcon and one of the enemy battlecruisers, however two of the three on the field, a Brutix and Harbinger maintained their locks and poured the hurt on my Myrmidon. I had allowed the Prophecy to tackle me while attempting to kill the Falcon, and my dual MAR tank was woefully inadequate in dealing with the two heavy hitting BCs bearing down on me. Drone aggression forced the Falcon off grid, however with my tank failing and Coffee unable to jam both of the DPS BCs, my ship was quickly overwhelmed and destroyed. As I went down, Boko arrived in a Harbinger with a arty Pest as support, which finished off the Brutix. The Falcon returned to facilitate the retreat of the two remaining BCs, leaving the field to us.
Miffed at the loss, I returned in a Cyclone and ordered Coffee to grab his covops to attempt to probe down the remaining outlaws in their safes. Fifteen minutes later, Coffee snared the Prophecy, which managed to bump the score to two BCs killed for one lost. We called it a night shortly afterwards.
I logged in Sunday afternoon to find Ari online and talking with a few friends of hers that had recently moved into Atlar. A Fortis Bellator's gang was prowling about lowsec in battlecruisers, and we decided to form a small RR BS gang to ruin their day. Baiting with an Abaddon (we're classy), we managed to kill half their fleet, eliminating three Drakes while the rest fled. Scouts in Atlar located another gang passing through from Gelfiven into MH lowsec, however the BC gang powered through Atlar, Illamur and into Horaka, out of reach of our outlaw gang. Masty, another old friend and new addition to RANSM suggested we head the opposite direction and meet the gang on the other side of Molden Heath.
Heading back around, we accidently jumped into a different gang, again composed of several BCs and supported by a Dominix. Our much heavier gang made short work of those vessels we tackled, and we proceeded further down the pipe towards Egbinger, where I expected to meet up with the expected gang. Again, I was reminded of this incredible increase of activity in Molden Heath as we jumped into Muttokon, only to find fleeing capsules, and in Egbinger a different outlaw gang which had evidently smashed the one we were expecting and promptly docked. Unable to locate any straglers, we headed back to Oddelulf, probing down a Myrmidon and managing to tackle a Legion, which refused a reasonable ransom. He managed to escape with his pod intact.
I took a break to do some homework, and the rest of the pirates took a break as well, as we had been at it quite a while. Returning two hours later, I joined Ari attempting to tackle a Drake in Ennur, which she found to be stabbed and proceeded to frustrate her efforts at catching it for the following 40 minutes. In this time I responded to a lengthy phone call, smiling while Ari reshipped to a Broadsword and futilly chased the Drake around the system. Masty joined us, and a few minutes after my phone call concluded we moved on towards Hegfunden, where the Dragoons. alliance dwells, a group started by the Loki's Marauders folks I mentioned in a previous entry.
In transit, someone brought up Haddaway, and anyone that's flown with me a while knows of my need to stream music over voice comms. After repeating What Is Love to the gang, I eventually set up a 80's disco station on Pandora, and set that blasting over Ventrilo. Over the next three hours we had some very relaxed piracy all over Molden Heath. While we didn't manage that great of a volume of kills, good teamwork and coordination in fleet chat meant we were constantly working on scanning targets, scouting systems, camping gates and generally not wasting much time at all waiting down GCC. Several pilots not even in the fleet, but friends from the area logged in for the tunes and to observe our awesome lack of voice comms coordination. While the op ended (VERY) late in the AM for the euros, everyone from the corp had a blast, with Ari remarking having the most fun in over a year of playing.
The following day Alex Medvedov and Krivas, both in Jaguars kicked off a fight in Hegfunden, culminating in an impressive victory, evening up the score from a previous attempt to brave the Dragoon.'s fleet that failed. I had to do homework immediately afterwords, though the rest of the corp kept on, managing a Maelstrom gank and coming close to tackling a carrier in a level 5 mission, to no avail.
With new blood in the corp and MH hopping with action, I'm looking forward to this fall holding the most fun yet in my EVE career. Looking forward to sharing how it goes down with all of you!