The other day our Harpy fleet got caught on a jump bridge, bubbled, and smart bombed into pieces. That is apparently a known Pasta tactic. The warp disruption bubble disables the jump bridge so the fleet landing on it is stuck there as soon as the bubble goes up. And then the battleships drop in and start smart bombing the the knowledge that they can survive while their frigate foes will likely perish before they can retaliate. We were probably lucky to kill a couple during that run.
Last night was a whole lot worse.
There was a call up on Jabber for a short duration fleet to take care of some hostiles sitting in our staging system, F2OY-X. The fleet was going to be either Ruptures or Harpies depending on how many people showed up. Asher Elias was the FC and he had a plan.
The numbers appeared to dictate Ruptures. I had two docked up in the station. There was a change to the fitting requested and some special ammo to be purchased. This was going to enable us to kill some bombers that were running about the system.
We undocked and got ourselves together. We didn’t have enough logistics, not that it would matter in the end, but the FC spent some time trying to get people to switch. I nearly did… I bought a Scythe on contract… but really wanted to shoot something. I had never flown a Rupture before, so it was a new thing.
After some moving about the FC got us lined up on towards the 1DH gate. There was a Caracal fleet there acting as bait. We knew it was bait. The FC told us it was bait. The moment we landed within range to shoot them, we would get bombed. Our goal, with each Rupture fit with a sensor booster in place of a hardener, was to shoot the bombers as they came in for their run.
The fleet warped into range of the Caracals, which just hung about ignored by us. Then bombers landed and launched their bombs which hit us square on as we were locking up and firing. I think we got two. Our fleet, however, was ravaged. My Rupture was gone. The logis, flying off to one side as they should, survived, and a few of the Ruptures made it, but it was a bad exchange for us.
Worst of all though was the fact that I didn’t get a good screen shot of all those bombs going off. It was seriously beautiful, but in my haste to get the shot I hit the escape key rather than they key I have mapped to turn off the UI and snap a screen shot. I’d lose a couple of ships for a good screen shot most days of the week, but this time it was a bust.
Those of us who lost ships warped back to the station. Podding people did not appear to be on the agenda, which was fine with me. My clone costs almost as much as a Rupture.
However, the station was out of sensor boosters this time around, so we went with the stock Gamma Fleet Rupture fit. I bought some more of the special bomber hunting ammo and undocked to join the fleet. There was some carping about a participation link at this point, people having lost ships, but the FC was disinclined to generate one so soon into the op.
At this point there was talk of running out to fight Brave Newbies. Then the word came down that a Brave Newbie Drake fleet was in the area. That sounded like an ideal target and there was much enthusiasm for shooting them. But first we were going to take another run at the bombers in system. The bait was now on the station undock, so the FC maneuvered us around to get us lined up to warp in at just the right spot. That set, he warped us in with essentially the same plan; shoot bombers as they dropped from warp to launch. However, we were not exactly in the right spot and, I swear on this, the last order I heard before the bombers hit was, “Prop mods on!” to speed us up a bit to get us in position.
Of course, that just meant most of us had our microwarp drives on when the bombers hit, boosting our signature radius and making us all the more vulnerable to the incoming bombs.
The Scythes were well positioned again… hail to the logi anchor for being on the ball… but many Ruptures went “Boom!” all to quickly for logi to save us.
We got our participation link after that.
Ruptures are supposed to be cheap, expendable brawlers to jump in en masse, so losing a couple wasn’t a big dent to the wallet, but I’d still like to get on a kill mail before one explodes.
I made it back to the station. There was some talk about what to do next. Ruptures were momentarily out of stock in the system. I decided to call it a night at that point. I had started a bit late for a work night in any case and talks of roaming out for an hour or so were no longer thrilling me. Life in New Eden.
You can look at the kill stats for the time frame of those encounters. That is a lot of dead Ruptures relative to hostile kills. And you can see a lot of the pilots listed twice.
You will also note on that listing a couple groups of bombers made up of pilots with variations on the same name.
There is an example of the recently controversial IS Boxer debate, wherein a good bomber pilot has his skills effectively multiplied and is able to do perfectly timed runs solo. All good and legal according to CCP, differentiating them again from some other games in the genre. Better to just not take the bait as we did… though we did knock off one of his clones at least, making him 14% less effective I suppose.
But I am still annoyed that I did not get a good screen shot of the bombs going off on either run against us. That is what I really wanted! Life of a space tourist.
So a few other shots will have to do.