Sunday, December 13, 2009


About three months back I finished training Gallente Battleship to V, a few weeks after that Large Hybrid Turret to V and the associated blaster spec to IV. Sadly, between the cost of armor rigs and my growing boredom with the game, I never got the chance to give Gallente battleships the shakedown they warrant. Recent activity in Placid yielded the perfect opportunity to acquire several of these hulls, placing them in the seed for my new hanger there.

With the Dominion patch looming just days away, many alliances had gone through constellations knocking every POS they found into reinforced, preparing for eventual takeover once the patch hit. A POS owned by a member in ERIS had been targeted in such a way by FREGE, and ERIS wasn’t about to let this occur without a fight. Jumping onto their comms as I was in the area, I found ERIS in the midst of forming a RR BS gang to refute a FREGE siege hopefully before the POS went into reinforced: perfect opportunity to try out a gank Megathron. A few jumps from my hanger I joined the ERIS fleet, and we were away.

Timing for the fleet was poor: the FREGE fleet was several minutes into the siege before the ERIS force even undocked, and maneuvers from Placid lowsec into Syndicate took precious time. A jump from Syndicate, the ERIS force was joined by a second fleet, composed of another alliance under attack from FREGE. Their POSes had already been knocked into reinforced, however between POS gunners and an ERIS stealth bomber gang, several FREGE support had been destroyed. The secondary fleet was composed of sniper BS, which took up position a jump behind our advancing RR gang.

Entering nullsec, FREGE activities became less clear: scouts began reporting that the POS was already put into reinforced, and the FREGE support fleet was fleeing the area. Things became fairly hectic over comms, until it was finally confirmed that FREGE had left with their work complete. However, several elements from their support fleet evidently were slower than their comrades, and it was possible we could cut them off from their route home.

Jumping into the system containing the friendly POS, fleet was ordered immediately to the D2-HOS gate, where we encountered the fleeing remains of the FREGE support. Jumping through, we were able to catch several fleeing battlecruisers, however nothing worth the 30+BS fleet which we represented. Denied their engagement, the two fleets decided to convene for a FREGE POS smash in an adjacent system. To this I tipped my hat, employing a wormhole in D2- to make my way back to Placid.

Less action (and thus enthusiasm) than my typical report contains, and I suppose I’ll use this space to express my dislike about the give and take of POS warfare. In theory it gives a wonderful incentive for gang PvP, as it focuses PvP activity at a single point, the POS. However, in the big fish eat little fish universe of EVE, it’s often a rather lopsided affair: not to mention the activity of sieging POSes themselves constitutes a form of PvP grind that to me is as fun as watching paint dry.

To me, EVE is all about small and medium gang warfare, employing skirmish tactics to counter larger gangs, a strategy which yields incredibly exciting combat which is never a forgone conclusion. Large scale PvP takes the individuality out of combat, and turns your foe into a faceless being, removing much of the personality of EVE PvP. Certainly I’m making many sweeping generalizations about large gang PvP, but I’ve devoted two years to nullsec combat. Fighting in medium to large gangs normally end in colorless meat grinder action, with little occurring beyond shooting primaries and moderate gang maneuvering. The change from that to small gang and solo PvP was a breath of fresh air that renewed an otherwise stale EVE existence.

Moving into small gang combat removed the overbearing FC figure, and required pilots to exhibit much more initiative and skill than a typical nullsec fleet required. The stakes are higher, however smaller gangs acquire more fights as their reduced numbers are more accessible for other players to counter with gangs of their own. Eliminating the need for very specific fittings for an optimal homogenized fleet (sniper, nano, RR) promotes highly varied options for small gangs, increasing the value of underused ships as well as allowing for creative fittings of more popular ship hulls. Put simply, small gang PvP makes EVE more interesting.

I do miss BS slugfests, capital ganks and the incredible flurry of activity that goes on in large scale fleet combat. There is an absurd amount of cloak and dagger between those climatic fleet engagements, which in itself lends EVE Online one of its most unique flairs. It’s also awesome to win a fleet fight, and literally require haulers to scoop the mass of loot strewn about a battlefield. However, all these perks couldn’t incite me to give a crap about the monotonous lifestyle and stale PvP regular large scale PvP alliances often offer their members.

I’d LOVE to eat my previous words, and join an alliance that manages combat without the drudgeries of politics, POS warfare, and elitism while managing regular, intense large scale combat. Not holding my breath, but who knows what the future holds.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I’m often ushered into FCing gangs that I take part of, whether they’re composed of friends I’ve flown with for years, or individuals I just met, while being the only outsider in their group. I guess it’s my knack for knowing what to do, or at least what best to do in order to preserve a gang while inflicting maximum damage to an opposing fleet. Or it’s merely the fact I have more drive than most pilots in EVE to PvP, and hence I’m forced into the most unpopular and demanding position in the fleet. So it goes.

Returning to Molden Heath to catch up on some much needed security status redemption, I found that my favorite pirate of the area, Ariartus was on the prowl with a few friends. Her gang had roamed the lowsec of the region for the past hour, and finding nothing, she too was looking forward to a little action in Great Wildlands. Not one to pass up good fun with a friend, I joined their gang, taking up the FC/scout roles in a Huginn for our gang of three Ruptures. All three pilots expressed the utmost desire to lose their cruisers in glorious combat, and I had every intention to shepherd them to an explosive end.

Fortunately for us, the time couldn’t be riper for a roam through GW: COW had just vacated the area, and in the vacuum Republic Alliance had set up shop in their old haunt M-MD38. RE-AL has nothing on the Foundati0n of old, and their diminished numbers haven’t a chance in policing their slice of nullsec from small marauding gangs such as our own. The gang moved past B-VIP9, scouting the pipe to NIH-02 with efficiency. Asking my flock if they desired immediate or eventual blobby death, and with an overwhelming response for the former, I jumped into M-MD38 to give the RE-AL population a look-see.

Ignoring the thirty pilots in local and wall of -10 standing most of them represented, a quick 360 scan revealed an Abaddon, ratting at the only belt in range. Giving the order to jump, I activated warp to the belt, and was rewarded with a moment of calm with which to admire my Matari recon. The Huginn is really a gorgeous ship: the green trails totally make it a killer. It doesn’t get nearly enough attention for its abilities, though that only translates to a cheaper hull, to which I can’t complain.

The warp tunnel collapsed; my reverie ended with a brutish looking golden hulk taking up my view. The Amarr battleship had just finished blasting apart an Angel Cartel ship, and was quite oblivious to the pain his vessel was about to endure. Twenty kilometers between his ship and my own were well within tackle range of my T2 disruptor and bonused webs; it was a simple matter of immobilizing his ship for the rest of my gang to take down.

Flights of Caldari Navy HAMs streamed from the Huginn, their sleek contours following trails of projectile ordinance to add a concussive climax to the relatively minor projectile impacts. Seconds passed slowly in the opening moments of the attack: time seems to dilate when you know you’re doing something utterly foolhardy, and have the off chance of getting away with it. Of course, realizing its mistake, time travels extra fast to catch up once things start to heat up. In my case, when a trio of Matari gunboats drop from warp to lend their arsenal to the battle.

The pirate Ruptures converged on the Abaddon to weave tight orbits, using their superior tracking to confound the efforts of the larger ship to fend them off. Fortunately, the ratter neglected any sort of tackle equipment to slow our assault to a speed his pulse lasers could track. Once the (disposable) Ruptures had demonstrated this, I eased into a similarly close orbit, drifting into optimal range of my autocannons.

So far so good, however good isn’t enough when ganking targets in an alliance’s home system. I ordered all ships to begin overheating their weapons to hasten the battleship’s destruction. The incessant chatter of projectile fire rose to a furious crescendo, crews on each Matari hull noticing an increase in the rhythmic vibration in the hull, just as a minor earthquake escalates to a moderate one.

Despite our efforts, support came trickling in to aid the beleaguered Abaddon. First arrival was a Rapier, decloaking 40km from our position. He must have sensed our menace by the way four drone flights immediately streamed toward his vessel, and promptly initiated warp away from the belt. Next was a Drake, landing at 30km. Unfortunately the mesmerizing sight of the Abaddon entering hull distracted us from pointing the battlecruiser, and it warped off as well. No more intrusions presented themselves in final seconds it took for us to evaporate the Abaddon’s hull.

Goal accomplished, evasive maneuvers were called, and the next twenty minutes were spent avoiding M-MD38 while exploring adjacent systems for more ratters. Lacking any appreciable targets, and with the Khabi gate in 7Q-8Z2 camped, we decided to brave RE-AL once more, pushing back through to M-MD38 on our way to BRT-OP. Stinging from the earlier ratter loss, RE-AL decided to give chase, following us through NIH-02, into N-DQ0D, culminating with an engagement in P1T-LP.

P1T was ideal for our skirmish gang. Mashing scanner as we went, we knew we had only battlecruisers and smaller chasing us, which meant we had a good chance of killing a few ships before larger vessels arrived from M-M. With the chase gang hot on our tracks, we jumped into P1T, deploying drones and waited for RE-AL to make their move.

Jumping into P1T, the RE-AL gang was welcomed with all the fury four Matari cruisers could provide. A Brutix, Prophecy, Eris and Rapier were first to decloak, and I called the Rapier primary, fearing its ability to dictate range over the rest of the ships on the field. The Eris deployed its bubble, opposing drone flights swooping toward targets as pilots jockeyed to lay their firepower on designated targets. It seemed the RE-AL gang had similar worries regarding my EWAR arsenal; my shields were quickly under assault by multiple drones, and taking hits from the Rapier’s artillery fire.

Their fears were realized as my webifiers both halted the retreat of the Rapier and charge of the Brutix, allowing ally Ruptures to swoop in on the enemy recon. The RE-AL gang had an ace to call upon however, and as the Ruptures arrived in range, a Falcon decloaked, disrupting locks of our gang. Cursing, I called the Falcon primary, overheating my MWD attempting to maneuver into range of the Falcon and away from the closing RE-AL gunships. I had to endure several cycles of ECM before my impressive signal strength finally won through, allowing me to regain lock. Ten seconds were all I needed to remove the plated force recon from the field.

With their ECM piece eliminated, the flow of action quickly turned to the pirate’s favor. The flimsy Eris had decided to follow adjacent to my Huginn to deal maximum damage, however without a Falcon to preserve it, drones quickly consumed it. The Rapier dropped quickly as well, lacking tank for greater tackling ability. With their support destroyed, we moved to focus on the battlecruisers holding the field.

We soon found that the Brutix sported a shield tank, which allowed our cruisers to move within web range to deal sickening damage, while evading blaster return fire. Unfortunately Ariartus wasn’t so careful in her approach, and lost her already damaged Rupture to the Brutix. The BC didn’t last much longer after that, leaving a Prophecy to battle our three remaining cruisers: a lone, brave and stupidly durable Prophecy which harbored the seed of our destruction.

Observing the Prophecy, I decided that it was using a pulse laser load out, and from that assumption ordered my gang to engage from 10km. From that range our cruisers would be able to deal good damage while the Prophecy would be forced to use Scorch M, which is inefficent against Matari plate and shielding. In reality the Prophecy was sporting medium autocannons, and was hitting the vulnerable EXP/KIN resistance holes of our cruisers.

A minute had passed when one of the Ruptures declared he was hitting structure, and unable to flee in time lost his ship. I cautioned the remaining Rupture to hold outside of web range, which should allow him to escape with ease. Time crept by as the Prophecy’s tank slowly diminished, however our progress on his plate was much too slow. The stargate adjacent to us flared to life, depositing RE-AL reinforcements into the system. Fearing the worst, I activated my MWD, burning away from the gate and telling my comrade to mimic the maneuver.

Unfortunately for the pirate Rupture, escape would not be possible. The Prophecy managed to slip a webifier onto his fleeing ship, and paired with a newly arrived Wolf, the Rupture was lost in a sapphire blaze. Several more RE-AL vessels jumped into system, their target now the sole remaining pirate cruiser on grid, my Huginn.

Chagrined at the loss of my command, I decided to destroy as many wrecks as possible and make my escape. Diving back toward the gate, I destroyed both recon wrecks, as well as the cruiser wrecks of my comrades. Green engine trails traced my path around the gate, skimming beyond weapons range of the RE-AL group until finally I departed to the stargate leading toward BRT-OP.

That route home wasn’t my true destination, however. Landing at a celestial adjacent to the outbound gate, I watched the RE-AL HIC as well as tackle support arrive at the gate, likely expecting me to arrive there at any moment. My Huginn however was already en route to the NIH gate, which I promptly jumped through. My misdirection afforded me a clear path back to B-VIP9, and finally into the comfortable embrace of Molden Heath lowsec.

The pirate gang was ecstatic with victory: they had planned on traveling into GW with hopes of a gank or two before being blobbed horribly. My smart FCing allowed us to destroy a great deal more than they expected, snubbing RE-AL alliance with painful losses while at it. Cheering up, I joined their celebration and bade each in turn good night as the Europeans logged off, having stayed up well into the morning.

Despite the fact they were expecting to lose their ships, the poor call to engage a ship known for its fantastic staying power egged at my conscious. So close to their home system, I should have called for the two Ruptures to destroy wrecks and retreat further into nullsec, using my webifiers to keep the Prophecy out of trouble. It just goes to show I have much to learn of skirmish warfare, even with over a year of small gang experience under my belt.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Continued from reunion.

The situation had me in a tight spot. I wasn’t about to fire upon my alliance mates, and as the alliance executor was in the STUGH gang, I’d likely be asked to fight if it came to that. I flipped over to alliance chat, and began my usual work as a liaison trying to sort things out.

Fortunately, a fight wasn’t necessary, and the BS heavy STUGH gang was willing to let the ERIS (Aggressive Dissonance) gang go. I relayed to the news to Cephas, dropped gang and switched over to STUGH comms, joining their gang as I did so. It didn’t take long for things to get interesting from there.

In the time it took for me to join the STUGH fleet, a scout one jump over in Ostingele reported two bumps in local, shortly preceding the arrival of two neutrals at our location in Pelelie. A Stabber decloaked over a dozen kilometers away from my position: too far for me to tackle, and the nimble cruiser warped away unmolested. The Rupture he was paired with wasn’t as lucky with his arrival, decloaking less than ten kilometers from my scrambler fit Brutix. I manage an overheated tackle, and begin ripping into the cruiser with my blaster arsenal.

The STUGH gang hesitantly followed my lead, combined ordinance culminating to the quick demise of the Rupture. The cruiser duo weren’t operating alone however; our pilot in Ostingele reported another ten bumps in local, which we took as our cue to leave. Battleships began entering warp just as Pelelie local began spiking, and after entering warp myself, I managed to glimpse the greater composition of the enemy fleet: ten or so BC, a few cruisers. It’d had been a losing battle to entertain them with sentry aggression on a gate.

Landing at a different celestial than the fleet, I continued watching scanner as I aligned to a new destination in case any hostiles followed my escape. Our FC had warped the gang to a station, which had promptly docked to escape and assess the situation. Inquiring how he intended to proceed, he replied that due to his lack of experience in lowsec, I should take FC in his stead. Brilliant strategy, commander.

Spying a newly arrived Nidhoggur on scan, I dropped any aspirations of combating the BC gang, and docked myself. Alliance attendance was limited due to the time of night, and we couldn’t expect any blue reinforcements. Grinning, I shot a chat invite to Cephas, and quickly worked out a compromise: the reinforcements we needed, without the expected drama, courtesy of yours truly.

Leaving Cephas to sort out his people, I concentrated on keeping tabs on the enemy fleet, which didn’t seem in the mood to camp a station at length. Roughly twelve minutes after losing their Rupture, the BC gang began filtering out of local, back into the Ostingele system. From there, they flirted with our scout still remaining in Ostingele (who flew an Armageddon, a very heavy scout) yielding precious more minutes to wait down GCC and for ERIS to mobilize.

Finally our GGCs expired, and the STUGH gang undocked, entering warp towards the Ostingele gate. The plan was to use our known force as the anvil, and once the enemy fleet was engaged, jump the ERIS force in as the hammer. The only trick with the situation would be to engage the enemy fleet in such a way that they didn’t merely cream our ships before our comrades could turn the tide.

Landing on the Ostingele gate, the plan began to deteriorate as the situation within Ostingele shifted. The BC fleet kept moving about, at some points chasing our geddon within the system, at other points warping to stargates or stations. I wasn’t about to complain, as this gave time for ERIS to converge a jump from Ostingele, however indecision has its costs. Amidst the confusion, the BC gang filtered from Ostingele local, until only three enemy pilots remained.

Fearing the worst, I ordered all ships to jump, and converge on the gate our scout estimated they had left through. With the ERIS and STUGH gangs together, we no longer had the element of surprise, but with our combined force of arms, I wasn’t much worried. Landing on the Alperaute gate, I readied to send our HIC in to investigate the adjacent system, when a lone battlecruiser, a Hurricane, landed on our gate at 10km.

I decided to force the issue once and for all, tackling the Hurricane with my Brutix, while calling for the rest of the gang to hold fire. Holding the BC down should force his comrades to jump back and join the fight, leaving us in a good position on the gate for remote repairs and deagressing. I wasn’t disappointed, as local began to increase as the enemy fleet returned to aid their comrade.

The Hurricane pilot was pushing the bait card a bit too much, and hadn’t taken any hostile action on our gang. Not wanting to lose my Brutix needlessly in the opening moments of the fight, I warped off, giving my active tank time to recover before returning to the greater fight that was about to take place. As I warped off I placed Cephas in charge of target calling, and began the grim wait between warp hops.

With my ship departing, the Hurricane took its cue as well, leaving the field just after my Brutix. The hostile fleet took its time decloaking, and I was able to land at the celestial and start aligning back before any hostilities broke out. Curiously enough, the Hurricane had decided to follow me in warp, landing several kilometers away from my position. I tackled the Hurricane just as Cephas started taking fire at the gate, and had begun directing primaries for our fleet.

Initially I hoped by tackling the Hurricane at the celestial, we could have our engagement at a celestial without the worry of sentries, but with the fight underway on the Alperaute gate that hope was dashed. Additionally, the Hurricane decided to return the favor, matching my tackle kit with a point of his own, and had begun returning fire. Lacking optimal range for my own arsenal, and capacitor from running repairs tackling his ship at the gate, I was in poor condition to win this fight on my own. As I jockeyed closer to the Hurricane, the other two pilots which had been curiously absent from recent action arrived, sealing my fate.

Cephas, while losing his Armageddon to the combined BC fleet had carried the day, his target calling resulting in the in total destruction of the enemy fleet. The three ships that had split off to deal with my Brutix arrived too late to affect the outcome of the fight, and had been taken apart piecemeal. The overall engagement can be seen here.

Distancing myself from any possible drama within the alliance, I had never understood why STUGH had decided to purge those members that eventually formed ERIS. That an ERIS FC led a STUGH gang to victory merely cemented my dislike of the current situation. At least I proved to the two alliances that cooperation is still possible, which will hopefully lead to more joint operations in the future.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Scheduled combat report put off in order to build anticipa. . . because I felt like it. Conclusion to previous entry in a few days.

A reply from Ombey after commenting on one of his recent blag posts got me thinking about my future in EVE, specifically what I could be doing right now. Well, I’m quite content with what I’m doing, however there’s a distinction between awesome solo lowsec PvP, and awesome small gang lowsec PvP: one can be done anywhere, while the other can only be done in a populated corp. Lacking comrades in my own organization, I’m left considering whether I should leave to join another. This quandary leads immediately to who I could possibly join that could meet my needs?

I have my friends in Rote Kapelle and Aggressive Dissonance, who have proven themselves able gang mates both past and present. However their emphasis on nullsec PvP has always estranged my relationship with them, especially STUGH, which has lacked coherence of late. That aside, it’s an easy bet that I could return to visit, joining gangs to do exactly as I do now with them. So the tried and true is out.

My old allies around Molden Heath have for the most part moved on or faded away. Triksterism, while never much of an ally but a friend regardless left to do his own thing, leaving that association fallow. Capital Punishment folded some time ago, and its principle members are now spearheading Aggressive Dissonance, dismissed previously. The Black Sinisters crowd is still functioning in Molden Heath, however I don’t feel like being that one guy in the off time zone, logging in when corpmates are either waking up or going to bed. So that’s out of the question.

In my time combating Foundati0n and now Republic Alliance, I’ve drawn the respect of several of their pilots, so I probably have a foot in the door with their organization. However, they’re NRDS, so sod that.

Well, what’s left? What’re some of my dream corporations I could join?

Well, I hear Club Bear is starting up again. The Bears are also in the same alliance housing Garmon, Laedy and a few other friends from my Molden Heath past, all flying together under the banner of PvP movie pwnage. Having flown with Garmon, I’d definitely enjoy working with him as well, if there wasn’t that nasty time zone difference between us.

The Accursed are home to another dream team of pilots whose names coincide with my favorite EVE PvP flicks. I’m unsure if they’re even open for recruitment, though I’d like to imagine my resume would be up to par, considering our methods for PvP run parallel with each other. Definitely a good option if I could get in.

Raxip made it into Veto Academy; I always have the option of joining Veto proper, especially with my old corpmate vouching for me. From all Raxip has asserted, PvP in the VETO fold is a glorious thing. Now if only I could catch the bastard online to iron out details, I might give this some serious thought.

Last but definitely not least, there’s the alliance that started this whole line of thinking: Ursha’Khan. They RP. They fly Minnie. They shoost Amarr. They’re cloak-faggy. They’ve been around forever doing what I love best, small gang PvP. Just about anyone who’s played this game at some point wanted to join them or shoot them, without ever having seem them in space, merely due to the concept behind their alliance being that cool. They represent what this whole Minmatar thing is about, or at least that’s what it said in the back story. Well, I can’t remember distinct details, but that sounds about right.

If it were up to me, I’d have a run with all these corporations/alliances like a man through a buffet, sampling each in turn for a few months until I found the one that suited me. The cool thing about most of these organizations is that I know a few pilots from each of them: I know they’re full of nice people, and are chill about details like that. It’d be okay for me to move on after giving my best, and come back if I decide they were actually ‘the one’.

I’m not sure where I want to end up, and considering the dynamic theater of EVE, I’m comfortable with that. I know what I like about this game, what I dislike, what I want and what I need to avoid. It’s amusing to consider that these concepts were in flux for so long; however it’s only after a few years that I have really established with myself what is enjoyable about this MMO, and what will likely bring about that joy in abundance. So with that in mind, I think I’m going to send out a few mails, join a channel or two and get a feel for just what’s available out there. Who knows: perhaps by 2010, Sard will once again be trying something completely different.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


After spending my first days back in EVE around Molden Heath and Goinard, my alliance began to pick up on my activities and once again started to chide me to join them in Syndicate. While I wasn’t about to move my operations into nullsec out of personal preference, planting a hanger in the nearby Placid region would place me in comfortable roaming distance from my comrades in arms, as well as acting as a staging point to launch roams into Placid itself. I like the lowsec of Placid. It houses an ample number of both PvPers and PvEers, both of which are concentrated within a cluster of roughly a dozen systems: high target density if you hunt at the right time of the day.

However, Placid was not a target region in my logistics planning months earlier, and it would take several days to acquire and move sufficient assets for a new hanger to be readied. Not to be deterred, I decided to finalize my withdrawal from Huola by jumping to my clone there, and moving one of my last remaining ships out of dock: an autocannon fit Punisher. Setting my destination to a system in Placid, I had only an even twenty jumps to travel. Even with a 400mm plate fit, my sturdy frigate slew the distance between regions in little time.

Arriving in Placid with no plans and nothing larger to switch into, I decided to see how much mischief my little bleeder fit could get itself into before going pop. Flying about the region in a hasty ship would also allow me to reacquaint myself with the locals as I could quickly scout who dwelt where and with what forces I could expect to face. I decided to check northern Placid first, and work my way south from there toward the area my alliance is currently active.

Two jumps from Maut, a pair of assault ships started trailing me: an Ishkur and Hawk. My quota of mischief currently unfilled, I decided that I’d experiment to see how much tolerance the AS pilots had for bumping. After landing on the Alparena gate, I waited for the frigate pair to catch up. As each ship landed on the gate, I maneuvered my Punisher to collide with each ship, eventually ping ponging my ship between the two. The opposing pilots retaliated by locking my ship and attempting bump back, which I laughed at as I exited through the gate into Alparena.

The pair followed me into system, and performed the unexpected: they both decloaked with haste, and as I attempted to warp to Maut, the Ishkur locked and placed a point on me, deploying a flight of Hobgoblin IIs my way as he did so. Standard missiles screamed from launch bays nestled in the Hawk, speeding ahead of the drones to strip my Punisher of shields in a single volley.

Shocked, I approached the Ishkur, moving into range to place tackle and mete out Barrage S justice. I couldn’t understand why the AS pilots thought they could engage under sentry fire and survive the encounter, but I wasn’t about to let them flee from their folly. My hefty armor buffer barely registered damage as the Hawk’s missiles and Ishkur’s drones began their assault on my plated hull, all the while my SAR reduced damage accumulation to a slow trickle.

I had overheated and applied my webifier before the Ishkur could rush into blaster range, forcing it to wade into range all the while taking significant damage from sentries and my ACs. The combination proved too much for the Ishkur, and he predictably kersploded less than a minute into the fight. Turning my attention to the Hawk, I was pleased to find he had coasted within 10km of my ship. It was a simple matter of easing into scrambler range to pin the assault ship down for the gate sentries to finish off.

The entire flurry of action left two T2 wrecks adjacent to the gate in less than a minute. Throughout the duration of the fight, I didn’t have time to fire even 50 rounds of munitions into targets before the sentries finished picking them off. I lightheartedly consoled the two rookie pilots as I scooped their loot, and then continued on my journey to Maut to deposit the spoils there.

A short break for drink later I undocked my Punisher, this time setting my sights south toward TXW-EI, the gateway system into Syndicate my alliance had chosen for their base of operations in the area. A rather uneventful nine jumps later, having chased one T1 cruiser/frigate gang to highsec, and another to a complex, I was chatted by an old friend Cephas Boaz from STUGH, who had split off to form the splinter alliance Aggressive Dissonance. While exchanging pleasantries we decided to form a gang to try for the cruisers raiding the complex, my friend logging in his main in a Cyclone to supply DPS. Unfortunately, the three jumps Cephas had to travel were too many, as the cruisers finished their work at the plex and had begun to land on my gate to leave.

Doing the only thing I could imagine to pique their interest to stay, I rushed to bump the nearest ship, bumping between the three cruisers in the enemy gang as they landed on the gate. Incredibly they paused in their flight, each in turn locking me after several seconds of my irritating actions. A Thorax was first to open fire on me, followed soon by a second Thorax, both unleashing their drone and blaster arsenal on my minor frigate. My Punisher slipped between streams of Antimatter rounds, deftly avoiding fire while tanking what little managed to land on its golden hull. I traded tackle with the nearest Thorax, closing in to a tight orbit around the cruiser, using my small Nosferatu to fuel repairs while waiting for my DPS backup to cream the cruisers on the gate.

Additional aid became unnecessary as I realized the novice pilots of these cruisers had fit little in the way of a tank. The first Thorax exploded brilliantly before Cephas could even enter the system, and I had to pull back my pitiful DPS from the second to ensure Cephas got on at least one KM from the engagement. My companion was barely able to lock in time before the second cruiser evaporated from sentry fire. The third cruiser, a Caracal, choose to jump once Cephas had arrived at the gate and placed two volleys of EMP M into his shields.

Cephas warped off to wait down aggression, and I once again moved through the wrecks to scavenge anything of value. Not wanting to wait the full fifteen minutes of GCC, Cephas prompted me to continue scouting adjacent systems, which I readily relented to. While I scouted, Cephas opted to switch to a passive tanked HAM Drake nearby, and began to head in the direction I was probing when I found us another prize: an Ishtar, this time likely belt ratting.

I quickly narrowed down the belt the Ishtar was engaged with, noting the number of wrecks already on scan at the belt: it appeared the Ishtar was done with the rats there, and would likely move on to another belt soon. Predictably, the Ishtar moved one belt down, which I immediately warped to in hopes I could catch him at zero kilometers from the belt. No such luck: the Ishtar had sniper BMs from the belts, and was engaging rats with light drones at distance.

My AC Punisher devotes the vast majority of its power grid and CPU to a massive tank; there is little enough room for weapons, none at all for a speed mod. I didn’t have the luxury of being able to rush out 100km to tackle the HAC. Instead I’d have to approximate a way to warp on top of him using celestials as a midpoint, warping to the celestial then back at the belt at range, hopefully closer to my target. Picking a stargate roughly in line between myself and the Ishtar, I warped off, and after arriving at the stargate, back to the belt at 100km. The Ishtar was now 40km away from me.

With Cephas a few jumps out, I was left with little other choice as I slow boated to the Ishtar, hoping he’d either ignore my smaller frigate or decide to engage me. Kilometers crept by every few seconds as the distance between our two ships deteriorated: a hasty ‘Look At’ later I found that the Ishtar had begun to approach me under normal speed, making my task easier. He was still enamored with destroying pirate frigates with a flight of Hornet IIs; no hostile action was taken until I came within twelve klicks of his ship. It was then we both locked each other, I placing my tackle first while the Ishtar began to recall his drones to deal with my Punisher.

It was slow going trying to move within a close orbit of the drone carrier, as a webifier had reduced my march towards him to a crawl. Small hybrid fire from the HAC lanced into my frigate, soon joined by the flight of Hornet IIs which quickly combined to savage my frigate with devastating effectiveness. To make matters worse, the Ishtar pilot had opted to fit a medium energy neutralizer, evaporating my ability to alleviate my woes via SAR. My fate sealed, I steeled myself to my task of immobilizing the HAC, employing my Nos to keep tackle equipment active. Roughly two thirds of my armor was gone by the time Cephas arrived in system with his Drake.

While the drones made steady progress into my armor, I had incredible difficulty tracking their progress around my ship with autocannon, as I couldn’t spare my webifier in fear the HAC would flee before Cephas had a chance to arrive and exchange tackle. Cephas finally landed at the belt at my location, resolving lock on the enemy HAC with practiced ease to loose deadly volleys of Caldari Navy munitions into the Ishtar, as well a flight of light drones to counter those demolishing my vessel. It was too late to make a difference for my frigate however, as it was moments after the Drake landed that my Punisher hit hull, and succumbed to the Ishtar’s drone flight.

Cephas’ flurry of HAMs turned out more than a match for the passive armor tank of the Ishtar. The drone carrier’s tank failed a short two minutes after contact with the Drake, granting us a worthy prize for our endeavors. Cephas scooped loot, and we headed back to his base of operations in Placid.

Before setting out to scout for Cephas, I had joined him on his vent server to smooth out communications. By the time of our Ishtar kill, voice comms had become much more active, with many old comrades from my earlier days in STUGH logging in for their piece of action for the night. Upon reaching his hanger Cephas sold me a Brutix, and we formed a gang to continue our roam through Placid. We set out BC heavy, with my dual MAR Brutix spearheading the gang, scouting one system ahead in hopes another gang would engage my tanky vessel first. It wasn’t long before I arrived in Pelilie, jumping into a small BS gang of none other than my allies in STUGH!

The situation was made all the more awkward as not only were my friends in Aggressive on shooting terms with STUGH proper, I was FCing for their gang. To say the least, the next half hour was an incredibly interesting flurry of explosions, which I’ll report on next post.

Fly reckless folks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

greener pastures

Hard to believe I haven’t written up a combat report in over half a year. Vacation’s over; let’s see how out of practice these fingers are.

During the three months of my absence from EVE, I’ve redistributed my ship and fitting assets from older hangers, mothballing them in preparation of the time that I’d return to the game. After the interesting discovery that Sard had been banned during my absence, and the two days it took to get him back in action, I was in the perfect position to return to my bread and butter of EVE: lowsec PvP!

Raxip Elamp had set me up with the coordinates of an awesome lowsec system, Goinard, which is less than a dozen jumps from the major lowsec areas in EVE while itself only a jump from highsec space. Having a hanger there also allows me to quickly join Raxi for PvP, something I’d been looking forward to in the time since our last venture together. I quickly assembled a Rupture, deciding that I needed a hastier option than my normal battlecruiser arsenal to explore the lowsec regions I had set myself to conquer.

Raxip’s approximations about the richness of the area didn’t disappoint: three jumps after undocking I arrived in the Angatalie System, to a duo of battlecruisers who couldn’t possibly be up to any good. I grew a grin, gave the mental shrug of the borderline insane and launched my ship into alignment towards one of the gates in the system. The Harbinger/Myrmidon pair didn’t disappoint, immediately locking me up and placing disruptor points on my Rupture. Without missing a beat, I returned the favor to the Myrmidon, matching his point while loosing a volley of Barrage M.

Before the fight was underway, I had quickly formed a few guidelines to make victory possible: keep the Harbinger at 20km distance or greater, as well as keeping the Myrmidon within 15km. These distances would allow me to engage without the withering effects of turret or possible capacitor warfare modules affecting my ship, as well as drawing out the Myrmidon’s bonused drone flight to a distance where it’d be difficult to recall them back to their bay before myself or the sentry guns annihilated them. Fifteen kilometers is also the distance where my loadout of ACs do roughly 50% of their maximum damage; enough with sentry turret fire to wither a dual MAR Myrmidon down given enough time.

Putting my plan into action, I angled my ship away from the Myrmidon, and moved to establish a distance that placed the Myrm directly between myself and the Harbinger, as well as away from the stargate. Autocannon fire glittered from my ship, creating a lethal trail of ordinance as my Rupture nimbly maneuvered from the stargate into position, occasionally connecting with a member of the drone swarm hastily approaching my ship. Tense seconds passed as I switched overview settings to lock up the majority of the enemy drone flights: my Rupture didn’t have an armor repairer fit, and any incoming damage that could be avoided had to be hastily neutralized for me to survive.

Sentry turrets cycled off my battlecruiser aggressors to aid with the near dozen of medium drones buzzing around my ship; between my own drones, ACs with webifier and the damage from the sentries the drones were subdued, at the cost of a third of my armor. With that threat out of the way, I settled into position to hammer at the Myrmidon, while bursting my MWD to keep the Harbinger at an arm’s reach. It was around this time another combatant decloaked his Nemesis 25km away from my cruiser, firing a volley of torpedoes to at least contribute to the fight. His ill planned gesture ended on a bright note.

Fortunately for me, it seemed the battlecruiser duo weren’t expecting the war of maneuvers that I was giving them. The Myrmidon was shield tanked, meaning that I was able to afford drifting a few kilometers closer to it than planned, as I had no additional enemy tackle to worry over. Both enemy ships were fit with afterburners instead of MWDs, which meant I was easily able to keep the Harbinger at range, while tantalizing the Myrmidon with being *just* out of reach. After traveling several dozen kilometers from the gate, the Myrmidon began to slow, until reaching normal velocity. It then turned tail and began a slow crawl back towards the stargate.

With the Myrmidon’s will and capacitor broken, it now became a game of keeping the Harbinger away from the Myrmidon so that he couldn’t cover his ally’s retreat to safety. Once again, good fortune smiled on me, as a glance over to the Harbinger’s armor reserves suggested that the pilot neglected an armor rep in his fittings: he had roughly 60% remaining, slowly whittling down as gate sentries cycled from the Myrmidon to his ship. I switched my drone flight from the Myrmidon to the Harbinger, exacerbating his worry until finally forcing the Amarr BC to warp off towards a nearby celestial and flee the field. I was finally alone with the stricken Myrmidon, and turned the full force of my weapons to bear upon him.

Overheating my ACs saw the last of the Myrmidon’s shield reserve destroyed, and it was a hasty matter removing the unresisted plate underneath. With the Myrmidon destroyed, I set out to locate the Harbinger, who was still in system. Several minutes of chasing later, I moved on to repair in an adjacent system as he had opted to warp to a midsafe instead of engaging my damaged Rupture. Unknown to him, I had my alt ready for the occasion a mere four jumps away, and within minutes had him probed down and finished the damaged Harbinger in the deadspace of his manufacture.

I happily scooped loot from the wrecks strewn about the system, and returned to Goinard for repairs and munitions. While I still disagree with Raxip that Molden Heath is a dead region as far as PvP goes, I have to admit that his slice of space definitely has a nicety of action to it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

for Kane

In responding to Kane Rizzel’s latest blag post, I instigated a strong response from the old pirate. Since Kane did me the honors of expanding his response into the form of entirely new blag post, I’ll do the same. I’ll not attempt to cheapen his writing by picking it apart with quotes. Rather, I’ll reply by addressing the underlying theme behind his post: solo piracy.

EVE piracy to me is self sustained PvP at the expense of others, achieved through ransoms, player kills, assorted theft and griefing. Given every player’s experiences of solo activities in general, solo piracy must be a difficult task. Taken from a solo PvPer’s experiences, solo piracy is an amazing accomplishment. Borrowing finally from a pirate’s perspective, what Kane suggests he's accomplished with NovaKane is downright unbelievable: two and a half fucking years of solo piracy in Heimatar and beyond.

Kane, I think I safely state for the entirety of the EVE blagging community that we’re all impressed by your accomplishments and associated tales of victories and defeats over the past few years. Many pilots, including myself half a year ago have been inspired by you to break away from their fleets, and give solo PvP or piracy a go. Thanks in part to you, I founded a new corporation and have been running amok about Molden Heath and beyond causing havoc and grief at my leisure and others' expense. However, in responding to my comment, you fucked up. You decided to state that one can’t be a solo pirate while flying in a populated corporation or alliance. And I call bullshit.

So what if you’ve flown in your own corp for two and a half years; it doesn’t secure that your way is the only way for solo piracy. After bothering to check your personal KB for the past year of combat you’ve had, a solid half of your combat kills have other parties contributing to the mails. You know this, however you state that you’ve been doing your thing for years, without the option of backup? No. Just because your help comes from an organization outside your corporation or alliance doesn’t make your kills solitary accomplishments. It makes you the corp loner, the hermit that comes and goes as he damn well pleases: an approach to this game we all should take up and try out, honestly.

So I’m happy to see you making trails on the blag again, Kane. Even vacationing from posting & playing, your class act bests mine over here at Broadside. It’s not due to your stubborn approach to PvP, or your incredible feats as a solo pirate. By itself, you could writing could lose the ego, and I could care less about the quotes. However, combine everything: the attitude, the content, the (once) regularity of it, and you have a winning formula from the self proclaimed pirate dinosaur of EVE. The hat is off to you, sir.

Fly reckless Kane, and hopefully see you in space.

Friday, July 3, 2009

for Roc

An invitation to a private conversation flashed before Sard's eyes. Glancing between the two retrievers in the asteroid belt and the invitation, Sard accepted the invite. It'd take some time for his Arazu to approach the miners while cloaked.

"Coffee, make it brief, I have friends in need of liberation from their ships."

Good Coffee grinned manically from his visual feed. Something about his prior enslavement with the Amarr broke his bonds with reality. He had since been tied to several terrorist elements within Amarr space.. of all things, sabotaging their coffee production. He was a wiz at the markets though, which was why Sard tolerated his brushes with insanity.

"Any faster and the brew doesn't percolate properly. And you know I must be the best there is."

Sard gave a mental sigh, thankful that Coffee couldn't see the frown forming on his face.

"What is it Coffee?"

Coffee straightened up slightly, the wild look in his eyes draining as he read from a terminal. "Colonel Roc Wieler has been exonerated of murder charges against Daul Halwick. However, an investigation into the good Colonel's fiscal assets have revealed a startling development. Sard, he's been dealing Matari slaves through a third party."

"He what? That man's cast of stone, he'd never knowingly betray his people! Not for money, power, or friends." Thoughts of Mynxee's latest encounter with the law sent a shiver of rage down Sard's back. The good Colonel did nothing but sit on his ass and wait for her to die.

Sard blinked. Fifteen kilometers from the mining barges. "Anyway, he's had this coming. His latest run in with Mynxee was just the tipping point. I don't see why you're so excited by the whole mess."

"While contacting one of my sources in the Empire, a name came up, as well as this story. A name we know." All the wildness was gone from Coffee's face, replaced by a frigid stare. "Minara Dawn, Sard. She's alive, and just screwed Roc as she screwed yo-"

"FIND HER! Find her and report her position to me immediately!" Sard had just decloaked on the barges, scrambling their warp drives when Coffee related his findings. Antimatter blasts ripped apart the hapless mining vessels, tearing and blasting into the fragile hull until finally destroying reactor containment. One after the other, the barges exploded with sapphire radiance, briefly illuminating the entire asteroid belt with their glow.

Debris floated past his Recon cruiser. Several identifiable corpses rotated lazily in the void, contortions of agony literally frozen into their forms. It was not enough to contain the rage. Nothing would be enough until blood was on his hands. Her blood.

Minara Dawn. The bitch had finally surfaced, in a most fantastic fashion as well. Typical of her. Fortunately for Roc Sard was feeling magnanimous. He might just interrogate her about her involvement with the Colonel before removing her ability to speak ever again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

under construction 4

Short update: Sard is alive and well in EVE killing more dudes than ever, however relaying his stories into written form just hasn't been a priority for me of late. Blame summer break lethargy, nihilism, or just a need to try something different.

On that note of change, I may be starting a new blag project in the next month, or just revive this journal. I will try to update with the next two weeks to give old fans an idea of where I'm going with this.

Anyway, fly reckless, and I hope to see y'all in space.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

unknown pleasures

There's a difference between individuals that take the initiative and those that do not. It's a matter of intuition, of insight, of taking a situation into perspective, identifying what needs be done and moving to accomplish those objectives. Seizing the initiative doesn't necessitate taking the first move, at least visibly. It doesn't entail being aggressive. Initiative is merely created and exploited by those that employ their minds during an engagement, allowing one to dictate terms and ultimately secure victory from any number of larger or more powerful foes.

After flying alone and leading gangs for so long, a pilot gains an innate grasp of what can and is occurring before and during a fight, and can apply his experience to turn the advantage. Looking at the pieces on the field, a Cyclone and Kitsune versus my Myrmidon, I knew the odds were against me. However, I saw through the facts of the situation, and took the initiative. I tapped my MWD and burned away from the station to meet my foe, locked him, and left him with few decisions to make.

I knew that the opposing pilot had the EWAR advantage. This would give him a sense of superiority, and prompt him to act with more confidence he may normally have. Predictably, he engaged me. Instead of attempting to maintain range, or taking a cautious approach, he closed range as fast as his ship could allow him. Medium Barrage rounds slammed into my Myrmidon, stripping shields and laying bare energized plate, which twisted and buckled under the punishing assault.

However, if there is one fact I understood better than any other, is that even the best laid plans never survive contact with the enemy. While yes, the Cyclone pilot did have an ECM ship in his gang, that ship wasn't on grid. It couldn't deny me from fighting back while still held in reserve, and fight back I did. Allowing himself to approach into such close proximity meant I could quickly recall and launch drones as they took damage. It meant I didn't have to expend capacitor to close range myself, and could devote all my juice to running reps and tackle equipment. It also meant if more of the Cyclone's buddies showed up, or the Cyclone itself was more than I could handle, I wasn't terribly far from the station to retreat into.

Once within 10km, I responded to the Cyclone's advances. My mixed drone stack sailed out of their hanger, and followed a fairy trail to their target caused by my warp disruptor and scrambler. Between the fierce projectile exchange between the two ships, it was remarkable how ably and securely the drones orbited the Cyclone, avoiding the glittering trajectories of autocannon fire to exploit previous damage to the integrity of the Cyclone's shields. Occasionally turrets and missiles would switch targets to track the larger members of the automated flight; however their proximity to their carrier meant escape was a simple activity. While the Matari battlecruiser cycled from drone to ship to drone, it made little headway on either and only sustained further damage itself.

Seconds passed and accumulated to form into a minute as our two battlecruisers slugged it out, trading shell for shell, testing the resilience of the Cyclone's passive shield tank against the endurance of my active armor tank. It became clear that the Cyclone wasn't able to best my dual MAR setup, while his shields steadily declined to nothingness under the caress of my arsenal. The Cyclone was going to need help to escape from this encounter alive, help that was taking too long coming. Where was the Kitsune that was still on scan? Was it at a POS, or indeed piloted?

The Cyclone's shields failed, and with its tank routed, the armor and structure that remained were quickly swept aside. While Gallente drones had been the brawn behind my attack, it was a burst of 425mm shell that tore into the Matari battlecruiser's heart to loose the sapphire fire that raged within. Smug with victory, I informed Raxip of the results and started to approach the twisted remains of the Cyclone. He congratulated me, and informed me that he had a replacement Rifter underway to my position. Acknowledging, I began retrieving the spoils of my conquest. It's amazing that the final explosion missed over five thousand clips of Barrage M, not to mention why any pilot would take so much ammunition into combat in the first place.

Aligning back to the station to deposit loot, the Kitsune exited warp behind me, seventy kilometers off from my position. I waved to the pilot in local, watching him warp off to an unknown destination within the system. Docking with the station, I couldn't help but smile at my good fortune. It didn't matter much to me what reasons the Kitsune pilot had leaving his corpmate to die by my hand. It was only further proof that I was right to take a chance, and attempt what had appeared impossible. Despite what scouts tell you, what intuition predicts, the results of a fight are always suspect. It takes action, following opportunity and riding out it out to its conclusion to understand what will really occur during a fight.

Take the initiative. Go out and seek engagements on your terms, possibly conceding a term or two to the opposition. What follows is the crux of it all, the reason why we play EVE. Just remember to joke, laugh and have fun with the guy you're shooting at while you’re at it.

The roam ain't over yet! Hell, the Myrm hasn't even blown up yet! More combat reports to come. Hope y'all are enjoying the (mental) show.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

block rockin' beats

My current housing situation doesn't offer a stable internet connection, and due to this difficulty I'm not able to PvP, or much less go about any meaningful activity online beyond browsing the web. Every few weeks I visit my folk’s house, and for a few days am able to get my PvP fix. Not the most ideal situation, but I like to think I get my money's worth.

Returning from my latest break from EVE, I was greeted by my partner in crime Raxip, and we hastily set out to do some damage. The roam path was over fifty jumps distant: the plan was to burn our way through lowsec until we arrived at the Placid region. According to Raxip, Molden Heath has declined in engage-able targets of late, and has been feeling the itch to travel to greener pastures. It's a feeling I had no intention of suppressing.

With Raxip piloting a Rifter, and myself in a Myrmidon, we set out from Egbinger. The six jumps to Skarkon were utterly quiet, as were the remaining three jumps from there to Tabbetzur. Scouting the adjacent Offikatlin, Raxip noticed increased activity in the system, with pilots active in space. I jumped in to help investigate.

Offikatlin lacks stations, so chances were good that there was a target somewhere in the system's eight asteroid belts. Moving about the system and scanning the area, the belts lacked any activity; however there was a Cyclone in space. Narrowing the battlecruiser down to a planet, I warped to the planet at ten kilometers, hoping the opposing Cyclone would be at a similar distance. Landing, he was idling at the planet at zero bubble; ten km away. A warp disruptor, followed by a webifier and scrambler ensured that the enemy vessel wasn't going anywhere without destroying me first.

Destroying me, much less lending my vessel a worthwhile challenge wasn't on the Cyclone pilot's agenda during the engagement. Republic Fleet EMP augmented the damage of my thermal damage drone flight, tearing past the active tank of the Cyclone to take generous bites into the pristine armor plate underneath. So devastating was my onslaught that the Cyclone was nearing structure before Raxip had time to respond to my call and warp in to contribute to the kill. I pulled my drone flight back to their bay and stilled the chatter of my autocannons in anticipation of Raxip arriving; we were a team, and he deserved a place on the killmail.

Killmail aside, Raxip has an affinity for tackling and popping pods. After Rax arrived and aggressed the Cyclone, I instigated my arsenal once more and silenced the Cyclone for good. Raxip caught the pod before the pilot could manage to warp off; he asked if we should ransom the pilot. I gave the go ahead, and started towards the wreck to pick up some spoils of this victory.

Negotiations were cut short as a vengeance gang consisting of a Jaguar and Rapier arrived a short minute after the kill, forcing Raxip to squish the pod and both of us to move into action. The Jaguar had arrived first, ignoring my Myrmidon for Raxip's Rifter, which he immediately burned towards and aggressed. Raxip return the favor and tackled the cocky assault ship pilot, trading autocannon fire with his superior foe. Lacking the enhanced resistances, speed and capacity for damage, Raxip was fighting a losing battle, his armor quickly giving away under the Jaguar's assault. When the Rapier decloaked twenty kilometers away, Raxip's fate was sealed.

Neglecting a drone carrier is an action few frigate sized vessels ever live to regret; it was an error the Jaguar was quickly realizing as medium sized projectile ordinance came smashing into his active shield tank. A bonused Warrior II flight screamed out from my Myrmidon's drone bay to aid Raxip's savaged Rifter, the flashes of chattering projectile ordinance lighting the void as the two frigates were consumed in mutually overwhelming firepower. Raxip's Rifter exploded, followed moments later by the opposing Jaguar. All that was left on the field was the fresh Rapier and my Myrmidon.

The Rapier switched his dual webs onto my Myrmidon, as well as a tracking and warp disruptor. Artillery shells reached out to slam into the energized plate of my battlecruiser, while an explosive damage drone flight sought to find chinks in my regenerating plate. The Rapier pilot's priorities were misplaced however, and my mixed flight of thermal damage drones raced out to erase their master's tormentor. Lumbering Ogres, Hammerheads and a Hobgoblin found their prey, and proceeded to hurl antimatter death at the Matari force recon.

Despite the apparent danger of the drone flight eating into his shields, the Rapier kept at my vessel rather than my vulnerable drone flight. Too late did the recon pilot notice his shield tank failing, and my drones hungrily consuming the fragile armor plate beneath. Too late did he realize that my overheated warp disruptor was still shackling his cruiser's warp core from hurling his stricken ship away from his tormentor. Too late did the Rapier pilot understand to leave well enough alone, and flee with his ship intact.

Exalted with victory, I informed Raxip to grab a ship in Tabbetzur and help me loot the mess of wrecks and abandoned drones strewn in orbit around the planet that served as our battlefield. I set my battlecruiser to approach the nearby Rapier wreck, and posted the killmails associated with this most recent slaughter. Arriving at the wreck, a most pleasant surprise: a Domination Stasis Webifier! Returning to the Jaguar wreck, more gems were found: a Gistii B-Type Afterburner and Small Shield Booster! It seemed Raxip and I had stumbled upon an isk mine of targets to exploit in the future: the only question was getting the loot stored in a station before continuing on.

Waiting down my GCC, I did just that, leaving the valuable loot safe for later recovery in Tabbetzur. Doing so I recognized one pilot from the three we had just vanquished in Offikatlin, as well as another from the same corporation. Undocking, there was a Cyclone two dozen kilometers off, as well as a Kitsune EAS on scan. Recent action had trashed my sec status enough that I was an outlaw, and the Cyclone was free to engage without worry of the station's sentry turrets interfering. More brazen than sane, I started my MWD and burned towards the Cyclone, hoping for a fight and damning his ECM support as a handicap he needed. The Cyclone was more than happy to oblige.

Plenty more from that night coming up in a day or two. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Had my last midterm before final exams on Monday; the late night studying left me too zonked to really consider doing anything productive beyond schoolwork the two days afterwords. But hey! It's my b-day, so I have a few things to say.

First of which: if anyone had doubts about the EVE player base growing larger, they haven't noticed the rash of new blaggers hitting the scene! Two blags of note: Mdih Lihu's EVE Online Blog and Scop's Log. Mdih is a new player to EVE learning the ropes, and does a great job of depicting his adventures in RP fashion. Scorp is another aspiring pilot with intentions of storming lowsec with an eye for piracy. I see great things ahead of y'all, so try to keep the content coming!

A few blagger friends have caught the eye of CrazyKinux, and have been added to the blagroll! Venom, Ash and Rax have made the rolls; congratulations folks!

Other news:

Venom enjoyed her present.

Mdih is a lucky SOB.

Shae creates incredible fiction.

Wens has too much time on his hands.

Scop is considering his future.

For those of you wondering where the hell the PvP stuff went, I have an entry written and waiting. Y'all are just going to have to wait until tomorrow. Gotta pace myself, you know. =)

Fly reckless, and hurray to growing older (wiser)!

Friday, May 1, 2009

EVE Blag Banter #7: aspiration

"Welcome to another installment of the EVE Blog Banter, a monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter invites enthusiastic EVE bloggers to address a common topic for a period of one week. Posts run the gamut: short, long, funny, serious, and everywhere in between, but always fun to read! This month's topic comes to us from CrazyKinux of CrazyKinux's Musings who asks "What 3 things haven't you done in EVE and why? Would you be willing to try one day? Why so? Why not?" Direct questions about the EVE Blog Banter to CrazyKinux. Links to other EVE Blog Banter articles will be listed at the end of this post as they become available."

Chief amongst qualities that I cherish in EVE Online is the complexity and strategy associated with the game. Mixing an open sandbox environment with competitive peer versus peer mechanics equates to a constantly evolving PvP meta and political arena. Frequent patches are updating and improving the balance within the game, however leaving intact the core game mechanics. As such finding a way to beat your opponent isn't always a clear cut question: between fittings, implants, boosters, cunning and treachery, there is always a myriad of ways to defeat an opponent.

I strive to become a master of ship to ship combat, particularly with small gang and solo tactics. However, this humble goal isn't where I originated in terms of EVE PvP, and is only a growing phase for bigger things. While I don't miss the politics, drama and egos of nullsec alliances and empire building, I do miss the massive fleet engagements, and one day will return to that.

I'd like to return to that in a big way. I've never led a larger fleet of more than fifty players. I've never led a corporation or alliance. When I have the monetary, industrial and player backing, I do intend to give nullsec another go, and not merely as another raiding force. I want to dictate terms to a superior force. I want to slam wave after wave of fleets into enemy territory, and decimate player operations. For a peroid of time, I want to develop a group of friends into a fighting force not lightly reckoned with, employing the knowledge and strategies I acquired from these months of solo and small gang warefare.

I'd also like to make PvP videos in the near future. I know I have the tenacity and ability to find worthy fights and record them. Looking over my killboard, it's apparent that when I put my mind to it, I find fights, and am more than able to win them in fantastic fashion. Unfortunately, I only need over half a grand to update my PC enough to make quality recordings. Damn thee, poor college student status!

So, all this chest pounding and star gazing leads to one question: what haven't you done in EVE?

List of participants:

Monday, April 27, 2009

the scarlet strobe

It's been asked of me many times in the past my thoughts about outlaw status in relation to solo PvP. The short answer is I'd avoid it. For the full answer, well, grab a cup of java and start reading.

DISCLAIMER: Yeah, I'm going to talk about stuff other than solo PvP on occasion. Suck it up: we all know you PvP with friends from time to time, loner!

Let me start off by listing the basic effects of dipping below -5.0 security status:
  • Unable to travel through any highsec systems without NPC police aggression
  • Other pilots can engage you without sentry fire or Global Criminal Countdown repercussions
So, fleshing out these effects, a pilot is effectively cut off from highsec space with the exception of dodging about in high agility or warp core stabbed ships. Pilots are able to engage you on gates or stations without worrying about sentry fire. The lack of sentry fire allows for many tactics to be used against the outlaw, ranging from frigate swarms to untanked EWAR or logistics support cruisers. Additionally, outlaws are a liability in gangs, as they can be singled out without repercussions while the rest of a gang must incur aggression to defend their comrade.

Many players shrug off the detriments of outlaw status, and argue that there are perks to the condition. For instance, you will get more fights from pilots that don't have to worry about sentry fire. Anyone who has a few roams under their belt searching for targets would appreciate this facet to outlaw status. Another boon that's less often tossed about is that it adds challenge to the game: being handicapped forces pilots on their toes, and acts as a way to measure competence. An outlaw doesn't need sentries to get the job done: they rely on tactics and skill rather than the crutch of sentries.

I'll drop a tactic I employ that uses outlaw status to my benefit: I've mentioned in the past that my corpmate Raxip Elamp is an outlaw. While roaming, he often acts as a scout in his Rifter, and will probe ahead a system while I hang back waiting for the results of his scanning. It's a common occurrence that he will jump into another frigate or cruiser that is more than willing to oblige him in solo combat; usually a lopsided affair against my ally. Once they've aggressed Rax, I jump through in my tanky battlecruiser and bop the unsuspecting vigilante with a heavy load of weapons fire.

Considering solo PvP, there are many reasons against going outlaw. First of which is logistics.

Solo PvP isn't exactly a money making activity. Put simply, you're rolling the dice every time you engage that your target doesn't have additional support, that you can best the target before support arrives, or that your fit is indeed up for the task at hand. While player skill vastly improves one's odds of survival, the fact of the matter is the paydays generally won't match the failures. This is especially true if you're an aggressive PvPer, who doesn't cut corners or take breaks. Constant action is going to see regular victories as well as defeats. The ship and modules replacements have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is going to be highsec.

So unless you have an alt or a friend to move replacement equipment to you, the pirating stint isn't going to be long lived. Additionally, while spoils of war definitely make for shiny coin at the end of the day, comparing to losses and other expenses, it probably means additional revenue is necessary to keep the PvP trend going. Some of the easiest and best isk are found in, you guessed it, highsec space. To go outlaw means you must have good logistic support outside of your main character, and you must have means to isk beyond what can be found in highsec space.

While not an outlaw, I tend to skirt that definition, with my sec status running anywhere from -4.0 to -4.9. Through skill, I am for the for the most part able to make back what I lose in loot, and perhaps a little more on top. To really support myself, I have an extra account that dabbles in trade, industry and invention, all within highsec. I would not be able to do what I do without that alt account.

The second problem with outlaw status and solo PvP is lack of those sentries backing your ass up.

Once again, I know there are many professional pirates out there that say this isn’t a problem, but my experience depicts a different picture of how things work. Running around alone, truly alone, means you're often going to be butting up against gangs of folk that would want nothing more than to erase your vessel and amend a new killmail to their boards. It's often the only thing that promotes any notion of hesitation from this event occurring is sentry fire, and the fact that even if the enemy gang is modestly sized (say 6-10 vessels, frigates to battlecruisers), a well fit (and flown) cruiser or battlecruiser will kill something in return for that aggression. Without that support, something as mean as a gang of T1 fit frigates will sweep aside any plan or strategy for defense and pound your ship into dust.

The other fact of the matter is that with outlaw status, there is a great deal more running involved, where non-outlaws instead move about with a wary stroll. Take for instance my previous combat report: if I was an outlaw in that instance, I would have been running my ass to the gate for real and doing my damnest to get away. It's possible that I could have split them up eventually, perhaps draw them to a celestial where I could take them apart piecemeal, but the fact remains that retreat was necessary before anything was said or done. From the same report, taking on a competently fit and flown Dominix without sentries in a battlecruiser? I don't care what kind of range advantage I had; I would have had to eventually give the field to the battleship, for lack of cap or armor.

Sentries allow for aggressive action. They take the bite out of lopsided engagements, and provide a means of turning the tide on multiple aggressors. If the odds are too great, sentries are going to give smaller vessels enough pause for the solo PvPer to at least start burning back towards a gate, or away from the enemy gang. With sentry turrets, a player can roam through lowsec worrying less about camps and more about potential targets (perhaps even the camps themselves).

The way I see it, a pilot that devotes himself to solo PvP can't go down the outlaw path without making concessions and sacrifices along the way. An outlaw can only casually roam with a ship that boasts high agility or evasive qualities, like frigate or force recon. To fly with anything else requires good intelligence of the area, which often limits the pilot to an engagement theatre of only a few systems from home. Outlaws must also be more selective of their targets, and can't accommodate much more beyond the original quota.

I like flying my battlecruisers, my plated cruisers, and speedboost lacking fits. While it's not often I take them to the field, I like that a frigate is going to have to take a serious gamble tackling my battleship off a gate or station, and that a lone interceptor isn't going to keep me tied down until support can arrive. Outlaw status is a play style choice in EVE that does not suit my method of PvP, and is why I don't go down that path. I would submit that any player serious about solo PvP, beyond ganking pilots engaging in PvE activities that they stick to non-outlaw status.

Truly aggressive and active solo PvP is going to pit the pilot against a multitude of other pilots, at the same time. While it's a romantic thought to imagine one ship besting so many, sentries act as a helping hand; an unnamed gangmate per se. I have a hard time imagining my method and vision of solo combat working without the threat of these automated turrets offering their menacing support.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the ideal gang

This question has been asked many times in my past, and admittedly was affected much by the meta at the time, as well as who was asking the question and who was answering! However, I feel passing it by my readership would provide interesting insight into the dynamic of small gang PvP in EVE at the present. So, here's my query:

Given the option for any ship combinations, what would be your ideal gang composition when roaming through lowsec for fights? How would it change for a two man, five man and ten man gangs respectively? Please explain your selection: from a standpoint of cost, synergy, objectives, strategy and fun, why are your choices ideal?

And while I'm not trying to limit my readership per se, no capital ships in your selection. Anything beyond that is fair game.

(For those nullsec only folks, I'll be posting a followup inquiry for that as well, so sit tight with your master plans)

read this

From Venom, in response to my post about solo PvP:

"Hey Sard, I've been meaning to comment on this but just never got around to it, better 6 weeks later than not at all, no?

I appreciate this post, as I try to manage and learn to be a solo pirate as much as I learn to be in a group. I like both, I'm good a following directions but there is something appealing about being solo.

The part you mention about keeping a positive outlook and assessing where the fun comes from, well that was just plain good stuff.

I have a group of friends in hi-sec who are in a corp with an alt of mine. We tried hi-sec wardecing and invited some great players at PVP that we knew from what we started.

Why is it I hate hi-sec pvp vs low sec piracy? I thought it was the mechanics or the difference stations play, no that's not it.

The key was, pirates (well my pirates, bastards and hellcats) have a positive outlook on killing and being killed, we seek fun and if that means a ship is lost, oh well. Yet with my buddies in hi-sec, they were wrapped up in worries about KB stats and lost ships, often yelling or insulting others in fleet for things they in fact were the issue and not everyone else.

So when I'm asked why I like low-sec and piracy better, I say it's all about the positive mental attitude I have to losing a ship and the easy going folks who I run with.

Fun is the key, stress is at work, don't bring it to EVE."

How's about not spying and responding to your comment in three weeks myself? =3

While you can have easy going fun PvP anywhere, it's difficult to find respectable partners in crime without the accompanying baggage that takes the fun out of it: I'm talking about epeen waving over KB porn, smack talk, and the other immature garbage that goes along with that kind of attitude. Playing with like minded folk that respect your method about the game is huge. Finding friends open to the reality that so much drama occurs over a video game is just as big.

You win a cookie girl. Next time I'm in game, your insight will earn you a treat from my goodies hanger.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

lasers go pew pew pew

All the while my drones chew on you.

It's a long established fact that the Myrmidon, lacking a turret bonus, is often fitted with exotic weaponry compared to normal hybrid arms favored by the Gallente Federation. Commonly this takes the form of capacitor warfare modules, remote repair equipment, autocannons for a capacitor independent bite, or even smart bombs to fend off enemy drones. Much less common and far more entertaining is using medium energy turrets to blast through the opposition.

Lasers are normally eschewed on unbonused vessels due to the dramatic capacitor and fitting requirements they impose. That virtually all Amarrian gun boats have a 10% per level reduction in laser capacitor use highlights just how much of a cap hog they are (This bonus brings them roughly in line with hybrid turrets in cap usage). Pair this high cost to available energy with the typical active tank on a Myrmidon and the jury is out on the matter. Mostly.

What many individuals disregard are the traits which make energy turrets so viable in today's battlefield: range, damage and flexibility. Boasting the best optimal of any close range weapon system, pulse lasers with short range crystals are able to deal full damage where other weapons are in heavy falloff, which inflict markedly reduced damage for it. The T2 range ammo for pulse lasers, Scorch, allows engagement ranges unheard of compared to autocannons or blasters.

This range paired with good damage makes lasers remarkable, but the third major selling point is the ability for lasers to quickly adapt to chaotic battlefield conditions. There is no wait to change between crystal types, nor do they wear out quickly. This means a laser fit ship is able to hastily change from short to long range crystals as a situation develops, and does not have to worry over ammunition reloads as other turret or missile systems do. All these traits lend to consistent, deadly fire dealing maximum damage where other weapons would fall short. Pretty cool trade off for ships that can accommodate the extra fitting and capacitor requirements.

Having trained Gallente Cruiser to three, I decided to give the Myrmidon a try. Being the inspired, mischevious person that I am, lasers were the obvious choice for the ship. With Raxip unavailable, I set off along my typical roam path through Molden Heath in search for fights.

Jumping from Oddelulf into Istodard, I happened upon a small gate camp consisting of a Cerberus and Sacrilege. A quick scan of the locals confirmed that they were indeed alone, giving me a snowballs chance in hell of taking the pair by myself. I broke from the gate cloak, and started MWDing back to the stargate, hoping they'd interpret my action as cowardice. Neither of the HACs were outlaws, so I'd need for them to fire on me and incur sentry fire for victory to be possible.

Fortunately for me, both ships obliged, racing to place tackle on my battlecruiser and followed soon by missile ordinance. My larger hull shrugged off the heavy explosions, dual MARs fighting back damage as offensive systems responded to the aggression. A mixed flight of heavy, medium and light drones launched from the drone bay, moving to consume the Cerberus in fire. A disruptor, followed soon by a webifier and scrambler completed my tackle on the Caldari HAC, denying it the ability to MWD away from the battle while the more capable Sacrilege slugged it out with me. Focused Medium Pulse Lasers lit the void between our two ships with white brilliance, each strike adding a noticable drop in the Cerberus's shield reserves.

Even with sentry turrets on my side, the situation I had gotten myself into was dire, lending a note of desperation to my actions. This was evidenced by virtually every module on my ship running overheated to stave off destruction as I tried to put down the Cerberus. It was exhibiting much more of a defense than I anticipated, likely due to the thermal damage type my drones were inflicting. Even with the potent passive tank, the Cerberus just wasn't intended for close range brawling, its tank failing about the same time mine was kissing structure. Its shields gone, the HAC folded in seconds.

With the Cerberus destroyed, I shifted my attention to the Sacrilege. Lasers stabbed out at the HAC, followed soon by my swarm of drones. This time my drones were striking directly into the weakest resistance of their prey, and coupled with sentry and laser fire, the Sacrilege was dropping faster than the Cerberus was. The Sacrilege attempted to stave off defeat by targeting my drones; my close proximity to the HAC and my drone flight meant I could recall and relaunch them with ease. Striking through the last of its structure, an Ogre II touched off munition stores, the explosion ripping through the ship until breaching reactor containment. The sapphire inferno that followed was remarkable compared to the opposing pilot's ability with the vessel.

The field mine, I finished armor repairs and began scooping loot from the nearby wrecks. The fight wasn't over however. The nearby stargate flared to life, depositing another ship into the system.

A Dominix decloaked two dozen kilometers away from me, lumbering towards my smaller Myrmidon with speed afforded by a 100mn MWD. A flight of Ogre IIs launched from the battleship as Aura calmly informed me that my warp drive had been disrupted.

My mind raced, setting priorities while instincts took over and started locking up the enemy drone flight. Still adjacent to the Sacrilege wreck, I scooped as many 800 charges as possible to replace those I previously ran through and then I set into motion. Pulsing my MWD, my battlecruiser easily outpaced the battleship, maintaining enough distance to be out of range of blasters while in range of my warp disruptor. Watching my capacitor, I confirmed the Dominix lacked any heavy energy neutralizers. This fight was doable: the adrenaline high of a second underdog engagement in as many minutes refused any thinking otherwise.

My plan was simple: stay the hell away from blasters; kill his drones. Once his drones were dead, I could use my superior range to bleed him to death. The slow speed of the enemy Ogres meant one popped before the flight came into firing range; my webifier allowed me to track them once in close range, and for my own heavy drones to easily keep up. My dual reps were more than enough to keep up with incoming damage, and with each drone I swatted aside the damage fell lower and lower. After sending half a dozen heavy drones to their doom, the Dominix recalled the rest, realizing that he’d be unable to break my tank. Further, chasing me while running his MWD meant he was over 30km off the gate, facing a target he couldn't shake while taking sentry gun fire. The enemy pilot wisely turned around and started back to the stargate.

Victory in sight, I pursued, chasing the larger ship at range with Scorch ammo loaded, my drones finally turned lose against the enemy battleship. After nearly a minute of this though, the Dominix's tank showed no sign of breaking, and he had managed to make it back into range of the stargate. I needed to do something drastic to keep him from fleeing. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to close distance and slug it with the larger ship at point blank range.

Closing in had the desired effect, and the larger ship once again launched drones and renewed his assault on my ship. My Myrmidon took a few volleys of blaster fire before closing into a tight orbit: even with a webifier on me, the large bore weapons couldn't track my vessel. However, at close range the Dominix was better able to guard his drone flight, recalling and launching drones which were taking fire. This also meant replacement drones didn't have to speed back into range of my ship. My armor repairers were fighting a losing battle against this sustained fire.

The Dominix has over double the drone capacity than the Myrmidon: it can carry a total of three heavy drone flights if the pilot deemed necessary. However, having lost so many drones chasing me, and with sentry guns switching from his ship to his drones, the tide of Ogres faltered, until running out utterly. The Dominix was left with only medium and smaller drones, which my repair modules were capable of matching. With the larger drones destroyed, I set to work once again on the Dominix.

Lacking proper drones to break my tank, and unable to track my orbiting vessel with his turrets, the opposing pilot eventually recalled his drones and stilled all hostile EWAR active against my ship. Banking on the prolonged combat having run through the battleship's 800 charge reserves, I threw myself against his ship with everything I had. My lasers burned with increased intensity as I set them to overheat, however my arsenal was too slow in blasting through the battleship's armor tank. The enemy pilot jumped through the gate with roughly 10% remaining, leaving a “GF” in local as he left.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

don’t blink

Been a while since my last post, eh? I could place blame on a host of issues, ranging from scholastic pursuits to a poor internet connection, but what it really boils down to is that I haven’t had the urge to write of late. It stems in part from lack of game time, but that can only account for so much. I’m definitely no Roc Wieler when it comes to regularity of entries; I never intended to be. Hopefully this offering will serve to stir my muse from her slumber, and drive me towards future creativity for my readers to enjoy.

So! Let’s talk violence!

In the weeks since my last post, RANSM has doubled its member count with the addition of a Raxip Elamp. While sanctioned within the corporation as my official redshirt tackler pilot, the fierce combat I’ve exposed him to has only honed his abilities as a pilot, and trained him into an awesome force while piloting a Rifter hull. That he carries a positive K/D ratio on the KB in spite of my maniacal orders is a testament to his maturation as a capsuleer.

Rax and I have been doing some major damage around Molden Heath the weekends I have been able to log in to play, proof of which can be found at my KB. Perhaps our best fight of yet resulted from a roam into the Heimatar region, as we came to see what Kane Rizzel’s neck of the woods was like. MEAN Corp was happy to throw down a welcoming gauntlet for us to blast through.

After passing through Gusandall and its hoards of macro haulers, Raxip in his Rifter took one pocket of celestials to scan, while I in a Cyclone took another. Beyond the macro trash on scan, several viable targets were nearby: a Rupture, Arbitrator, Ishkur and Myrmidon. The ships were scattered, and as I began to relay orders to Raxip attempting to catch one of the ships, the Rupture interrupted my speech as it landed at the celestial I chose for scanning, twenty kilometers off. It wasted no time upon arrival, closing distance with a MWD to place tackle and streams of EMP rounds into the shields of my battlecruiser.

Seasoned in my trade, I exchanged tackle with the cruiser, calling out to Raxip to join me at my location. The five autocannons of my Cyclone spoke out against the Rupture’s four, followed immediately by volleys of heavy assault missiles and a drone flight. The cruiser’s shields winked away in the opening few trades of ordinance, with the armor plate of the Rupture fairing little better. Landing at the scene, Raxip had little time to apply his own share of firepower before the Rupture was removed from the field. The Rupture was not alone in space however, as both the Ishkur and Myrmidon spotted earlier arrived mere moments after their ally’s demise.

Facing two potent drone carriers, I cautioned Raxip to be extremely careful in his dealings, and called the Ishkur primary. Drones from both enemy vessels converged on Raxip’s Rifter, but my prodigal companion shrugged off the onslaught and managed to keep the Ishkur pinned in place with his tackle kit. Webbed, scrambled, and unable to close into the safety of a tight orbit around my battlecruiser, the Gallente assault ship caved in under the combined projectile might of our gang, lending a brief but brilliant flair of illumination to the black of space. Unfazed, the Myrmidon pressed on alone, attempting to close distance with my Cyclone and add its compliment of blasters to the fight.

Unfortunately for the Myrmidon, its inability to deal with the Rifter meant it would be unable to close distance with me: the Rifter’s webifier and scrambler meant the Myrmidon was approaching nowhere fast. Unable to match the range of my mixed projectile and missile arsenal, and unable to shake off the frigate hounding him with drones or blasters, the Myrmidon succumbed after a short lived attempt to tank our damage. Lacking GCCs as the MEAN Corp pilots were all outlaws, we scooped loot and left the scene before a possible vengeance gang formed in nearby Gusandall.

(ED: Myrmidon ended up being a LASER fit, which I thought only myself and Kil2 ever flew. Pilot lacked T2 laser skills though, so a failure on his part.)

In the past, I would have eschewed a partner in a frigate for something larger: ideally another battlecruiser for reasons explained previously. However, having flown with Raxip the past few months, I’d now say the synergy between an agile frigate and a powerful supporting cruiser or battlecruiser can’t be denied. The frigate is able to acquire hasty tackles, and uses its speed to avoid damage while its larger associate brings the pain. Additionally, the frigate is able to ward off other frigates from riding under the guns of his larger companion, which is a breath of relief to ships I fly that can’t even manage a webifier in their fittings, such as my favored Cyclone. And despite all the monstrous reversals that have been in place for months present since QR, many pilots still underestimate frigates, either ignoring them, or believing them to be an easy gank. Raxip has proven time and again that he’s much more likely to speed tank your ordinance while setting you up for my larger vessel to knock you down.