The comedy race event returned last night, with Ranger Gama setting up another run for the SIG. It was the fourth such race for Reavers this year, and the third one I was able to make.
The first one was actually almost exactly a year ago, in 2017, so not really this year I suppose. That was the first one. We flew Daredevils around the north, hanging out on the Pandemic Horde Keepstar as one of the way points.
I missed the second one, which also flew through the north, while the third one was out of Delve and had us flying Ventures.
This time around Ranger had a bigger ship in mind. This time he set us up with Drakes. As usual, the fit was more for comedy than anything else, with four festival launchers as the main armament. They were also fit with hyperspatial rigs for faster warp speed, but the prop mod choices were frigate sized. The one saving grace was that he fit a micro jump drive.
Nine of us were there for the race. Ranger handed out the Drakes and I immediately insured mine, figuring that such a big target was likely to be blown up flying through the hostile space that we would likely be traversing.
It also gave me a chance to use the Drake SKIN that came with the holiday event in EVE Online, the Chromodynamic Candy SKIN.
I also grabbed some mining drones. Ranger was offering a bonus prize for the first person to show up with a cargo filled with Veldspar. He also wisely bought all of the Veldspar off the market in 1DQ1-A to keep us from simply buying it before we started. We would have to mine it ourselves, or buy it along the way.
Then he gave us the route and we were off.
We had to travel first to ZWV-GD, then to 0-MX34, then to C9N-CC, and finally to HED-GP where we needed to warp to Ranger’s alt to finish the race. The total distance was 67 gates. That route would put us through some fairly active systems. But first we were off toward Period Basis and our neighbors to the south.
We started out with most of us neck and neck gating our way to the first way point. It didn’t seem like we would face much trouble until we hit TEST space.
And, sure enough, just a couple of gates into the Paragon Soul region and TEST space we came through into a gate camp. At the time Ranger was first through the gate, followed by Losmortos Nolm and then myself, with most of the rest close behind.
A bubble was up on the gate as we came through. Ranger was the first to break cloak and managed to pull all the aggro immediately. Losmortos Nolm managed to slip past while I tried to activate my micro jump drive before breaking cloak. That led me to fumbling about a bit, which let those behind me break cloak as well. That probably saved me as I was able to MJD out of the bubble and warp off while the camp was busy with other Drakes. In all more than half of those in the race, five Drakes, were blown up and the pods destroyed as well. Ranger Gama, Arianhrod Begin, Shokalokaboom, Buer Argarves, and Roy Garfield, were all done in 0SUF-3.
Meanwhile, Hoff Talvanen, who was running behind, managed to get picked off back in Period Basis in VYO-68.
That left only myself, Losmortos Nolm, and Grodd Gandar still in the running. Losmortos Nolm and I were already past the camp so kept on the most direct route while Grodd Gandar, who was also a bit behind, decided to take an alternate path to the first marker. That put him many jumps behind us.
Losmortos Nolm and myself had a fairly smooth run after that.
It wasn’t until we had hit C9N-CC and had turned around for HED-GP that the first bit of trouble came up. We ended up with an Ares flying along with us.
The Ares decided to take a run at me, getting ahead of me through a gate and pointing me. However I was able to light the MJD again and jump away from him and then warp off, jumping through the next gate while he was still waiting on his aggro timer. But he was quick and tried to grab me two gates down the line. At this point Losmortos Nolm was maybe half a system ahead of me. I took the next gate and, instead of following along, I warped off to an asteroid belt hoping to maybe mind a bit for the Veldspar prize and ditch the persistent Ares.
The Ares kept on going, following after Lormortos Nolm, so I was alone in the system. However, the rats in the asteroid belt were not happy to see me and I had nothing with me to take them out. Also, I had forgotten how slow mining drones are. I recalled them, then had to fly towards them before warping out, my shield down below the 10% mark.
That delay put Losmortos Nolm about eight gates ahead of me. He was good about mentioning what he was facing, giving me some heads up as to what was coming. It wasn’t until GE-8JV that he ran into significant numbers in space. There a battle seemed to be in progress between the locals and some Imperium pilots with about 100 people in local. The conflict seemed to be centered on the gate to V-3YG7, with forces on both sides of that gate. Losmortos Nolm managed to slip past. But by the time I got there a camp of Brave pilots were on the far side of the gate. When I came through there was a bubble up. There was enough firepower to take me down before my MJD could spin up. My ship exploded. I was out of the race.
Losmortos Nolm managed to get through into HED-GP and was the winner of the race.
Meanwhile, Grodd Gandar, who had taken the long route around, was still something like 40 jumps from the finish line. However, being that far behind worked out for him. He had been watching the Gate Camp Check site, but by the time he arrived in the vicinity of GE-8JV the battle had subsided and the gates were clear. He was able to slip through and get to HED-GP and Ranger Gamma’s alt.
He also said that he had collected a cargo hold full of Veldspar along the way. However, it wasn’t clear how to verify that, so his Drake got blow up so people could examine the kill mail and see what he had on him. Sure enough, a bunch of Veldspar was in his cargo hold.
And so another race ended. First place went to Losmortos Nolm and second to Grodd Gandar, with the third place prize being rolled over for next time. The route most of us ended up flying looked like this:
Grodd Gandar went through Stain, which added a lot of jumps to his path.
It is always interesting to see who is out and about in space when we are flying. There is very much a randomness to it. You can fly through a dozen systems and see just one or two names in local, then stumble upon a gate camp or a battle with dozens or even a hundred people around. They will be for a bit, then gone a little while later. The same route can be safe for one person and a death trap for somebody else ten minutes later. But that is the way of null sec.