It is just one of those EVE Online things. People have written complaining about it. People have written guides on how to do it. People have organized events dedicated to it.
Even having been a victim of it once, I have never actually seen it happen. I was AFK when it happened to me, which is why it happened, of course.
The Goons, while busy elsewhere, still have their anti-ice mining event going in Gallente space. I have a friend in a Goon allied corp and he was keen to give Mackinaw ganking a shot. (Mackinaw’s are the ships used to mine ice.)
So the other day he said I should fly out and meet in at Tolle, a system that sits between two stars with ice belts, and I could be his target for jumping in to attack miners. I agreed, wanting to see this happen at least once and not really having any other mission going on in EVE.
Tolle was 20+ jumps from my location, so I just hopped in a shuttle and started on my way. About half way there my friend suggested that I come in a ship that could salvage, like maybe a Noctis. I turned around, flew back, swapped into my salvage destroyer and flew out and parked in Tolle.
Once there, other events overtook and no ganking occurred.
The next evening though I got on and it looked like something might happen. He and a corp mate were stalking Mackinaws already. They wanted to know if I had a ship handy that could warp cloaked. I do in fact have such a ship. I have a fully fitted Buzzard. It was just sitting in a hanger 20+ jumps away.
The reason they wanted that is because ice miners, when they are not bots, are decidedly suspicious of random ships warping in and and laying along side. The miners tend to just warp back to the station when you do that, which can be amusing in and of itself. It is like sending a flock of birds into flight. I spent a little bit of time doing that.
Those that did not flee at the mere sight of a Cormorant pulling up alongside generally had some more active defenses going on, like this group which had a pair of Dominixes… Dominixae… a couple of battleships reinforcing their Mackinaws.
I went off then to check the other ice system and did find a big formation of Mackinaws, with two Orcas riding along and another Orca hauling back to the station. They did not appear to be spooked by my presence in the ice belt.
Mackinaws in formation
My pal asked me to move about 250km out of the belt and bookmark that location, so he could use it as a “perch” from which to strike. Of course, I failed to do that correctly. I managed to bookmark the ice field directly rather than my spot 250km away. I’ll have to go back and figure out how to bookmark a spot in space again. It has been a while.
My friend got his Brutix in system and ready to go.
Brutix ready to gank
While he did that, I went back to shadowing the Mackinaw fleet. That was when we discovered I had screwed up the bookmark, as the Brutix warped in about 20km away. Still, the mining fleet did not disperse, align, or even stop mining. They just carried on in formation.
They just keep mining
That made things easier. I was asked to get in close to the fleet, less than 5km if possible. I set myself to follow the middle Mackinaw at 2,500 meters and just became part of the traveling circus. I said I was in place and in the Brutix jumped and went to the attack.
Brutix opens up!
This is when I realized that I forgot to launch FRAPs, because I wanted to make a video of the attack.
Anyway, the Brutix went in, opened fire, CONCORD shouted, things happened on the far side of that obscuring Orca in the picture above, and before I could fix the camera angle, it was done.
A Brutix explodes
The Brutix was just a wreck (note the name of the ship in the picture above, that is the straight from the Goon playbook) and the Mackinaw fleet continued on mining. You can see my Cormorant, brightly lit by the explosion, in trail behind the formation.
This is the point where I am told the Goon handbook says you are to “stink up local” by taunting the infidels and shouting Allah Akbar! That is the whole Goon Jihad theme. Watch the movie.
That did not go as planned either and I ended up chatting with the guy running the mining op for a bit and taking a bunch of screen shots, since it is not every day you see a formation like that mining.
Pretty blue lasers
I am glad they put the blue lasers back for ice mining.
The fleet actually moved a couple of times so I could get some good shots. I put one of the more dramatic shots over on EVE Online Pictures after giving the URL in local. Meanwhile, my friend was casting about for another ship.
And then it was time for dinner. I said good bye to everybody and logged off.
I still have not seen a suicide gank in person, though I did get some nice screen shots.
My friend and his companion kept at it and managed to knock off a Mackinaw eventually.
Maybe next time it will happen when I am on… and have remembered to load FRAPs.