Way back in February I was wondering what ship I should fly next.
There were a number of good choices, but I went for the Scimitar both because it required Minmatar Cruiser V, which opened up some other interesting possibilities, and because there was a clear CFC drive to get people to fly logistics in general and scimitars in particular.
Last week I finished the final big skill, Logistics V, pulled up Pyfa (Pyfa is the new EFT, like 40 is the new 30… sometimes you just don’t have a choice) to check out the fleet fits only to see that I was not cap stable as I expected. I was only good for five minutes in the Alpha fleet fit and under two minutes in the Drake fleet MWD fit.
The classic EVE Mon scenario for me. Yes, I only needed to train Shield Emission Systems to II in order to fly the ship, but if I wanted to be cap stable, I needed to train that up to IV.
So last night I was finally there, cap stable and with the repair drone skills added in to boot… since I missed those as well. Just in time for a fleet call up on Jabber.
The call was for a Drake fleet at CS-ZDG, and I dutifully logged in, got into my Drake, got on coms, and joined the fleet.
The fleet was headed to Venal to break up a Black Legion fleet that had another small CFC fleet cornered in some part of the region. A rescue mission. Unfortunately, we were not going anywhere because there were only a couple of scimitars in fleet. The FC wanted a dozen or more and there were four.
After about the fifth request for people to swap over to a scimitar on coms, I asked in fleet chat if we were desperate enough to take a brand new scimitar pilot who was just able to fly the fleet fit that very afternoon.
I was asked “Do you have logi IV?”
I replied that I had logistic V and was told to go reship for logistics. I bought one from the contracts at the station for 200 million ISK, swapped the fittings for Drake fleet MWD. (It came with fittings for both Alpha and Drake fleets.) And so I joined the fleet for the first time as a space priest, healer of shields!
I got on the logistics channel and the anchor was nice enough to go over the basics of who to put on the watch list and how to anchor up scimitar style. I was reminded to change my fleet broadcast view to show shield requests while turning off targets.
By this point the FC was impatient. We had nearly doubled the number of scimitars in the fleet (to 7) and he was ready to go. We started bridging down to Venal when I realized that this contract scimitar did not come with any drones. Oh, and that I forgot to insure it.
Still, when does Drake fleet ever lose, right?
We arrived in Venal, got a bridge deep into the region, finally jumping into N6G-H3 where we were greeted by a sizable fleet.
Then began the bounce game. We started popping around the system, warp, align, warp, align, while the opposing fleet gave chase, dropping in on us time and again just as we warping away.
Unfortunately, on one jump we hit a drag bubble. We aligned to warp away and just as fleet warp hit one of their heavy interdictors put up a bubble that caught a chunk of the fleet, while the rest flew off.
The bad guys then dropped on top of us. There were only two scimitars and we were primaried and blow up pretty quickly as we tried get out of the bubble and away. Thus my first scimitar loss mail.
So my worries about screwing up on my first fight in logistics did not come to pass. I really didn’t have time to screw up.
And then, when ships had been blown up or had gotten away, focus came back to me, still trying to sneak out of the bubble in my very slow pod. And they blew that up too.
Which only continued the comedy of errors for me for the night.
Not only did I not have insurance, but I realize that I had implants in that clone (though cheap-ish ones, it wasn’t my +5 clone), and that I had forgotten to move my clone up to CS-ZGD, so I came back into being in VFK, a long way from the fleet.
Meanwhile, it became clear on coms that things were not going well. Basically Black Legion had a bubble waiting at each gate while the fleet was scattered around the system, bouncing between safe points and trying to find a way out. We had been well and truly screwed. (Hey, the Black Legion kill board says we killed one of their ships! Go us!)
The sure fire way to tell things have gone badly is on voice coms. If the fight is a win, or even a close run thing, everybody loves the FC. But when things go badly, there are always a half a dozen people speaking up with perfect 20/20 hindsight about what we should have done. And so it was on voice coms for several minutes until the FC got control of things again.
The plan for the fleet was to get out, which they managed somehow, and to get back to CS-ZGD and reship as Alpha fleet. Jabber had some choice words on the subject from the FC.
We are all fucking terrible at this game, but the one thing we do well is blob more dishonorably than anyone. We just had a subcap engagement, in USTZ, outnumbered. The fuck? Let’s set this right. They will either bow to our superior blobbing and we take more tech for the tech throne, or we murder dudes.
Unfortunately, being in VFK pretty much put me on the other side of Venal from the rest of the fleet. They formed up in 92D, and for me to get there I would have had to fly though all the hostiles.
So I left fleet and logged of for a bit.
I patched LOTRO, played with the cats, chatted with my wife, and logged into LOTRO to get my five year anniversary gifts. I left myself logged into voice coms, and listened in now and again. It sounded like we were at least doing some damage in the return engagement. After a bit I logged out of LOTRO and was thinking about going to bed when Jabber popped up this gem.
Would you like to kill Supercaps? Our caps are being hotdropped.. BURN TO 92D : Op 5 || Fleet Name: Reinforcements || FC: Corlan Dashiva ||
Well, you cannot say no to that. I had purchased a new Scimitar in VFK, so I logged back in and began to burn for the battle.
My thought was that a supercap fight would drawn in everybody, friend and foe alike, and that I ought to thus have a clear run to the target system, which had just been broadcast in fleet. Just 17 jumps to go!
My theory appeared to be fairly accurate. I saw two reds in local at one point, but they appeared to be burning for the same goal about a gate ahead of me, so I never got a visual on them.
And then the word came back that the enemy supercaps were gone, the tackle had been broken, and that we were going to form up and head home. By that point I had made it one system past 92D, so I turned around to wait on the titans that were waiting to bridge us home.
The general consensus on coms seemed to be that we lost for the night.
I filled out my reinbursement forms and had ISK in my wallet when I got up this morning. TNT seems to be pretty good about quick payouts for operational losses. Or maybe I just know how to fill out the form correctly.
Meanwhile, the comment thread on my Six Fleets in Venal post over at EVE News 24 included this tidbit that I did not know.
NCdot called in ewoks, evoke and IRC to help out with a fight in venal. IRC sent a small fleet to venal, but never actually engaged in the fight, instead opting to duke it out with a -A- oracle fleet in Tribute: http://irc.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_i…
Meanwhile, DBRB’s alt, Jarna Civire, convo’d the IRC fleet, and said, basically, “Mittens warned you, you ignored it, now your CSAA’s are in trouble.” DBRB then raced his 200 goon fleet back to Cobalt Edge, attacked a JB POS and a CSAA POS. IRC put up a Maelstrom fleet and a harassing bomber fleet, and NCdot brought in a small Tengu fleet, but without much effect.
It is unclear at this point whether:
– Goons ever intended to NOT attack IRC;
– IRC was intentionally flaunting the “warning” Goons sent them, or just misunderstood what was and wasn’t “allowed” according to Mittens blustering;
– Goons are now going to split their already slightly overextended attention between their so-called “bonus round” against NCdot in Venal and their promised retribution anti-csaa campaign in Cobalt Edge.
I cannot verify how much of that is fact (the poster was “Some Dude”), but it seems like the quick clean war in Venal to punish Northern Coalition might indeed bog down into a long grind of nightly raids on multiple fronts. We shall see.
(Oh, and there is a thread on Kugu about the war in Venal. Signal to noise ratio about normal for Kugu… which means lots of shit posting between drops of information.)
Addendum: Black Legion has their own version of last night’s battle up at EVE News 24.