Monday, December 28, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Stabber Fleet Issue

Pandemic Legion was persecuting our alliance and, after a few fights in which they escalated to their supercap fleet, we decided that the best course of action was to run away. So I took all my market orders down, did a few jump freighter runs, and set them up again in the new home system. Then I was bored because there wasn’t much PvP action. So I jumped to lowsec.

I have received several suggestions for solo ships. Thanks everyone!

- RLML Caracal
- Arbitrator
- Stabber
- Procurer (I thought this was the T2 version and was going to scoff in derision at the thought of skilling up into a mining barge. But it is only a day or two training time so I will give it a go.)
- Command Destroyer(s)
- Navy Maulus
- Rifter

I decided to try the Stabber first and upgraded to a Fleet Issue because I could:

[Stabber Fleet Issue, SFI solo dual prop active]

Gyrostabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
10MN Afterburner II
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Infiltrator II x3
Acolyte II x2

Republic Fleet EMP M x3000
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M x300
Navy Cap Booster 800 x16
Nanite Repair Paste x70

As usual, I make no claims as to the validity of this fit. My thinking was that I wanted to be able to engage a) other cruisers, and b) small frigate gangs that I would inevitably come across. I wanted to be able to pull gangs apart and therefore needed a MWD. I also knew that getting scrammed was pretty much guaranteed so I fit an afterburner which would help reduce transversal on smaller ships. The end result was essentially a brawling fit but with some semblance of range control.

I set out and soon found a small gang consisting of a couple of Comets plus a Dragoon. Comets can be very nasty and the Dragoon’s neuts would really not help my cap with two reppers running, even with the booster helping out. But, of course, I jumped into the medium plex anyway! They all ran away to the small plex. Ridiculous.

The next candidate was a Svipul. I was very uncertain about taking this fight, too. I would have little trouble killing my SFI in a Svipul, especially if I was in the active tank variant. But what the hell. He waited for me in the plex and we fought. I was instantly scrammed and the Svipul went into a tight orbit.

I turned on my afterburner and aligned to a celestial, wanting to reduce transversal as much as possible. My drones quickly took him to half shields, at which point he repped back to full. Bugger. He then switched to my drones. While he was killing them I overheated the afterburner in an attempt to pull away. It worked, allowing me to land a few solid hits which took him to low shield. Unfortunately, he figured out what was going on and rapidly moved back into a close orbit.

Things were looking grim with a bunch of hot modules and a reducing pile of cap boosters. Fortunately, a plex rat appeared and started attacking the Svipul. Whether on purpose or by mistake, my opponent approached the rat. This gave me an opportunity to scarper.

Svipul OP, please nerf. Seriously, when I devised the Stabber fit I was mentally comparing it to the Svipul, coming to the conclusion that the smaller ship did practically everything better.

Anyway, I escaped. A few systems later I was drawn like a moth to the flame of a Frostline site. I knew from personal experience that the site of a lone ship in one of these sites is entirely irresistible to a PvP-hungry pilot. And so it proved on this occasion.

A Sentinel (again with the neuts!), a Magus and a Thrasher jumped into system and very quickly appeared on short scan. I had already moved to the second room and immediately stopped killing the rats, knowing that they would likely switch targets as soon as the new guys appeared. I also burned away from the site, making it to about 60 km from the beacon by the time they landed. I figured this was a good range given the presence of a Command Destroyer which could jump their entire fleet to 100 km.

The Sentinel burned for me and landed a long point. I set up a slingshot but just missed him at 12 km. I should have jumped to my Snake clone earlier. Still, he wasn't doing much damage so I set my drones on him while I started chewing through my cap boosters. The other two ships were still at the beacon so I started moving away from them, hoping that they would use the dessie to jump. Sure enough, they went for it and I soon had all three ships around me.

For some reason the Magus didn't come too close. But the Thrasher did! I killed him good while burning toward a celestial:


But their combined DPS had hurt a lot, and I was at about half hull when the Thrasher popped. Neither of the other ships had me pointed so I simply hit warp to the celestial I was already aligned to. Good stuff.

I probably should have stayed on field and had a go at the Magus. I hadn't consumed my Exile yet (I forgot about it of course) and still had a bunch of cap boosters. But I hadn't done much solo PvP lately and was satisfied with my win.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Suggest a solo ship!

I haven't had any time to get my solo ships ready. I have only logged in a few times since the last post. (What is it with people? Everyone at work seems to have a major mental deficiency that leads them to think that EVERYTHING has to be completed before December 24 with the result that I will be bored during January. I've refused to do half of it, having learnt to differentiate the important from the urgent, and I'm still too busy!)

Where was I? Oh, yes. I haven't had time to get my solo stuff set up. It was an interesting realisation: the fleet Proteus, Cerberus, Muninn etc are utterly useless as solo ships. In fact, I'm open to suggestions as to what ships I should set up. Please feel free to post suggestions. Preferably less than a billion isk but I'm not too fussy.

The few times I did log in were interesting, though. PL has been visiting lately and we have been bringing the fights. It started out well with a fight in which we killed a bunch of their Nestors and other ships:

Example Nestor:

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. I was involved in two more large (for me) fleet fights which were utterly disastrous. We had very simple setups consisting of DPS ships and logi ships. They had DPS ships, logi ships, the new Command Destroyers, ECM Tengus, damping whatsits and all other sorts of stuff.

Maybe we could be a bit more imaginative.

After the last fight we found a Legion sitting 50 km from the station:


I was sure it was a trap involving a cyno but I guess he just forgot to cloak. The second Legion was found shortly after, running a Relic site in the adjacent system. Very strange:



I hope PL sticks around for a while. It is interesting to fight people who really know what they are doing.

If you want to leave a post suggesting a solo ship you would like a story about (and please do) then please only suggest the hull rather than a fit. I enjoy trying to fit them up, however badly :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Sniped! (Apparently)

We were camping a gate in the middle of Catch, bored stupid (well I was, anyway) when one of our scouts up the chain called a Hurricane Fleet Issue. It was piloted by a streamer who frequented the area and so I logged onto his Twitch account. Sure enough, he was streaming. Sure enough, he jumped straight into us (unscouted) and promptly died a horrible death.

Hurricane Fleet:

He complained on Twitch about being stream sniped. I have seen this happen very often. There seems to be an extraordinarily high probability that anyone who dies while streaming must have been sniped.

Shortly afterwards a Cyclone also jumped in. (No doubt he would also have been stream sniped had he been on Twitch.) I tackled him on a gate but strayed too close to his nasty scram and lost my poor Slicer. I am really out of practice. Fleet combat with anchors doesn’t exactly stretch the skills:

My poor Slicer:


We then fought an Ishtar gang in Curse and shot their tower to pass the time. We blobbed a solo Vagabond good ( and fought a Pandemic Horde Ferox fleet (e.g. including a nice Vulture (

All of that, however, paled into insignificance with a Coercer I fought solo in my Svipul. I had been running some Frostline sites, waiting for someone to come and try to kill me, when we happened to meet on a gate. He burned away and yellow-boxed me, clearly wanting a fight. I didn’t trust him to be solo and therefore warped off to a nice and obvious planet on the other side of the system. I hoped this would buy me a few extra seconds with which to extract should a nasty gang appear.

He followed me, landing 40 km away. I burned for him and landed a scram. He webbed me in return (no tackle?) and we settled down to the fight which he inevitably lost:



This was not a high stakes fight. And it wasn’t even close, me being in a Svipul. But it was solo and my hands were shaking at the end of the fight! I decided that it was time to fit up a few ships for solo shenanigans.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It never rains but it pours

It never rains but it pours. It had been a sad roam of many jumps but no kills. We had finally turned for home when we were intrigued to see mention of two Dominixes only two jumps out from F4R2. Now, two neutral Dominixes simply have no business being just two jumps out from F4R2. Especially when they are from Provi! And ratting! So we decided to remove them from the vicinity.

(I really like Provi. I would almost certainly have ended up there if it hadn’t been for that whole “don’t shoot people” nonsense. They love a fight and have become disturbingly adept at predicting my increasingly inept incursion attempts. But I didn’t really want that Stratios anyway. Or that pod.)

We surrounded the system in our little ships (it connected three ways) and sent a prober in. He localised them to a site which they quickly vacated upon seeing the probes. But it was really just a matter of time before we landed on them and killed them dead:

Domi 1:
Domi 2:

Shiny pod:
Not a bad pod:

This was a highly satisfactory end to the roam. Except it wasn't quite the end. After we had docked up in F4R2 someone piped up on comms and asked if we could help him break through a small gate camp in Curse, not too far away. As it transpired, this was the same gate campers who had ruthlessly assassinated poor Zappity in her Svipul just a few posts ago.

Time for revenge! We undocked and it wasn't long before I was sitting on a gate, circling a Stabber Fleet Issue in my Svipul amidst a swamp of bubbles. He had me yellow boxed. This made me quite uncomfortable. I had accidentally picked up my PvE Svipul which was built specifically to run the Blood Raider sites a few weeks ago:

[Svipul, PvE]
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Warp Scrambler II

Small 'Knave' Energy Drain
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
Expanded Probe Launcher I,Sisters Combat Scanner Probe

Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II

As you can see, it has a bit of a buffer and enormous (323) passive shield regeneration. I hadn't planned this as a PvP fit but, after all, why not? So I aggressed. He started killing me but only made it halfway through my shield before he ran into the passive regen barrier and stalled. He soon switched to a corpie who had arrived but exploding soon after despite strong local reps. I'm pretty sure he had some links to help him out.


Just as we were finishing him off, a Maelstrom landed in the bubble! Good times! We tackled him and started chipping away. The Maelstrom started shooting me but also ran into the passive regen barrier. I was quite enjoying this test.


I was well satisfied with the afternoon's haul. And yet, when a Hyperion landed in the bubble just after the Maelstrom entered structure, I somehow found it hard to say no. One more wafer thin ship? Yes! Especially since it was piloted by the SFI pilot:


We loitered for a couple of minutes like stray dogs, hoping for him to keep feeding us. Alas, it was to no avail. He decided, quite correctly, that discretion was the better part of valour. No doubt he will kill me many more times in the coming months.

So next time you are in Curse, break a gate camp - you never know what will happen!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Good ganks all round

We were deployed. It was something to do with C-J6MT which has been in the news so much lately. To be honest, I only had a vague understanding of the situation. I managed to move a couple of ships and was then busy for the rest of the week and unable to log in for the big fights. That was disappointing because there were evidently lots of good times to be had. Nullsec is pretty active at the moment, at least on this side of the map.

Regardless, I was finally logged in and looking for something to shoot. We headed out in T1 cruisers, absolutely assured of a fight because we had entosis modules to wave threateningly at their bits and pieces. Whoever ‘they’ were. Needless to say, they ignored us completely and we were forced to resort to killing a poor, lone Algos who we stumbled across at a gate.

Another familiar face! Prda Prda held his cloak after jumping through and had time to respond with a wry smile when I said hello to him in local. I concede that this was not exactly a fair fight but by this stage an Algos was completely irresistible for our bored mob.

And that was the extent of my deployment action. A couple of weeks later we were all back in Catch and hunting down a small Provi gang who had been reported in intel. Those dastardly Provi people! We hunted them down in a cruiser gang plus, for some reason, a Drake. I was really disappointed because he didn’t ask the FC if he could bring it.

The Intel situation was becoming increasingly complex, with the small cruiser gang a couple of systems out (refusing to fight us, undoubtedly because they were in terror of my magnificent Vexor), a separate fleet of 30 cruisers near HED-GP, and a worryingly strong Shadow Cartel gang heading up through Catch in our general direction.

Suddenly, one of our scouts frantically called for us to jump in and warp to him. He had tackled one of the Provi Caracals. Our hero was in the final stage of dieing to the Caracal’s light missiles when we landed on top of their newly arrived gang. It was a messy little fight. Our fleet was not particularly well coordinated in terms of speed or range and we ended up splitting DPS between stuff in the bubble and stuff at range. But we killed them all, including a Caracal and Maller that I collected the kill mails for:

It was time for me to log off so I split with the fleet and started heading towards a nearby station system. I was thinking glorious thoughts about how many kill marks my Vexor would soon have as I jumped into the next system. Right into that Shadow Cartel gang. Oh bother, I'd forgotten about them.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The annual scrape

“What have I been up to lately that will interest my dear readers?”, I asked myself, confidently upgrading to plural in a mad fit of optimism.

I have been market trading, an activity which coincides nicely with dodgy hotel internet connections. Sigh. I'm fed up with travelling, especially when such travelling involves an “Experienced Leader” course consisting almost entirely of being told by a gaggle of organisational psychologists exactly why you are so rubbish at, well, leadership.

Anyway, I decided to stock a few (hundred) of the more obviously missing items from the local market in my new alliance headquarters. I have station traded before, mostly in Jita and lowsec. An active nullsec alliance is pretty good in comparison to lowsec, roughly equivalent to Jita trading in terms of total profit on my relatively meagre total investment. Well, at least for someone who is fundamentally opposed to 0.01 ISK games - I tend to update about once a fortnight.

I set up a bunch of reasonable buy orders in Jita for a bunch of T2 mods and ammo. It was awfully expensive, even with Margin Trading V, because I really dislike changing orders and therefore prefer to set them up for at least 100m each. I then let them fill in their own time before carting the whole lot to their destination via a jump freighter straight out of Jita. Those are some expensive jump freighter loads!

At the other end, of course, I take the equally lazy step of ensuring that I always have a minimum number of each item sitting in the station. This means I can restock without having to visit Jita. It also means that I have a lot of ISK, about 60b, tied up in assets: a few dozen for sale, a few dozen in the nullsec station inventory, a few dozen in Jita. However, since these are all commonly used items which are easily turned over I am not overly concerned.

What I WAS concerned about, though, was running out of ISK. I may have gone a bit mad with the buy orders. They seem to be filling faster than I am used to, even at my relatively low bid price. So I decided it was time to give the hangars their annual scrape. I fired up jeve assets and had a poke about:

107,821,123 items (yes, there is a lot of ammo there)
1,266 average ISK value
54,708,484,070 reprocess value
136,525,483,768 total market value

I was surprised by a few things including a Nestor (I have no idea where it came from), a few Thanatos carriers (I traded them for a while), a couple of fit Protei in Amarr (that I had forgotten about), and an Obelisk that I never use any more. I put this lot up for sale and liquidated a bunch of now profitable speculation items.

The ISK crisis passed after a few days of increased sales and I settled down to watch the progress. My low effort methods result in turnover averaging about 1.5b/day. A minimum profit margin of 25% (hey, it’s risky!) equals a few billion each week. Good enough.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: I have been very busy lately

I have been very busy for the last couple of weeks. This nullsec business is very different to the lowsec life to which I had become accustomed. First up was a small gang roam to Provi in destroyers and frigates. I must admit a certain partiality to small ships since they allow you to cover a large amount of territory, not to mention the fact that they are generally maneuverable enough to evade defence fleets.

Provi, however, has become disappointingly quiet during the Australian time zone. Defensive response fleets are practically a Provi institution but I am sad to report that the last three times I have visited we have had to make do with mining barges and industrials.


Having said that, we were shamed by a local who bravely brought his Astarte out to play. We had just finished killing a Rupture ( who adroitly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by aggressing our gang whilst sitting upon his own jump bridge. The Astarte was just a couple of jumps further on and we leaped upon him, betting on the stupid that is so often seen. Unfortunately we backed the wrong horse and the very competent Astarte pilot killed several of us before we ran away, humbled.

It is not all one sided, mind you. Provi gangs have been visiting OUR space, especially in the US time zone. I think this is very rude and therefore happily join fleets to hunt them down whenever the opportunity arises. These invaders particularly enjoy persecuting the inhabitants of a pocket adjacent our home system. Unfortunately for them, however, the pocket is adjacent our home system with the consequence that placing bubbles to trap their fleet is very easy.

Their last visit came in the form of a couple of dozen destroyers which we were happy to whittle down for them:


Lots of solo ships visit our space, too. The last one I can remember happened to come to our attention just as a fleet was returning home. We cornered him in a constellation. He did not like it and complained bitterly about being blobbed. It was a justified refrain and yet I find a certain adrenaline inducing rush associated with hunting down a cornered opponent. It reminds me of fox hunting!

Scythe Fleet Issue:

Of course, solo roaming is entirely possible but I haven't really had much time or desire to do it recently. The closest I have come would probably be a Stealth Bomber who foolishly decloaked next to me and was casually popped:


The larger fleets are very interesting to me. We are at war or something (I'm still a bit vague to be honest) with GClub and have been doing our best to make their lives miserable in retaliation for their malicious entosis activities. I am utterly convinced that it is totally one sided. No doubt at all. So I felt fully justified in joining a fleet designed to go and harass one of their key stations. They did not like it. We killed a few ships before local spiked and they undocked a flipping great wodge of T3s, Macharials and carriers. We were chased away and, humiliatingly, had to log off a couple of systems out because we were trapped by their gate camps who were clearly sitting ready with cynos.

They returned the favour a few days later, appearing in our home system with an awful lot of Hurricane Fleet Issues and logi (CCP please nerf because they make it too boring). It was all fun and games, as they say, until someone went a bit too far by entosing our station services. That really wasn't on. We hastily formed a fleet of armour T3 cruisers and undocked into their midst. It was tremendously exciting. They very effectively bubbled their own fleet with the result that we killed every single one of them. Admittedly, a few of them did manage to warp away but I am convinced that they later died of their wounds.

Battle report

I have even done a little bit of entosing myself. It is very boring. I look forward to the patch that introduces the roll back (or, as I think of it, the 'troll back'). But I really wish that successful entosing was traceable by API since this would enable the placement of bounties or rewards for both offensive and defensive cycling. This would mean that people who wanted to earn ISK could do it and leave me in peace.

On the whole, I would have to say that this Aegis sov business is pretty good. I am enjoying sov null an awful lot. I have no idea what it is like elsewhere but the south east is very enjoyable at the moment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A change is as good as a holiday

I decided to leave ABA after it became clear that the leadership had decided to do the responsible thing rather than jumping straight back into another sov attempt. This involved NPC nullsec, recruitment, and a very long timetable.

Despite (or is it because of?) being very responsible in real life, the idea of a similarly grown-up attitude in EVE is anathema to me. Activity, fun and fights are the primary goal! In addition, I think NPC null is a terrible place to live.

Nevertheless, it was a sad moment because I quite like a lot of the people there. One of the Stay Frosty directors, Joffy Aulx-Gao, is running for the next CSM. I hope he gets in because he is a very good advocate for the small gang and solo play style.

So I began looking for a new corp. My requirements were:

Sov null.
A hefty AU timezone presence (and not just be a very big corp with a small percentage in AU).
A strong (but not exclusive) PvP focus.
Mustn't be too l33t about killboards. Obviously!
Not CFC because I don't want to join the dominant side and I think they are going to increasingly be bored.

I did my research and Black Aces was ranked at the top of the list. These primarily AU and US guys had recently formed a new alliance within their coalition of Stain Wagon. I joined and was immediately busy entosing a bunch of nodes left by a roaming gang. It was very boring because nobody came to fight us. And yes, I am sticking with that verb.

The next day I tried to bring an Occator in through Curse but found a gate camp a few jumps out from the home system. Unfortunately, I was still thinking in solo mode and didn't take the logical course of action by simply asking for someone to come and shoo them all away. I tried to crash the gate in my scouting Svipul but was quickly webbed down by a Daredevil. Ugh.


Oh well. A roam into Provi space cheered me up, especially after a scout found a Paladin on a station piloted by someone called 'Suitonia'. He aggressed and we jumped on him, only to see him MJD away. Our light tackle was burning towards him when he warped, very obviously to a specific planet.

Being a good player, I expected him to warp at range and thus chose 70 km as my own destination. But he landed at zero, of course, and by the time I had burned in his reps were already struggling to keep up. And so it was that his ship died in glorious combat and his modules surrendered to the whim of the Loot Fairy, that most fickle of mistresses:


I'm a big fan of Suitonia's videos and felt quite honoured to kill him, even though his reps sustained surprisingly little damage. I would personally have had dual reps.

We continued into Provi space and were over the other side of Catch when a small G-Club battleship and cruiser gang jumped into HED-GP, apparently intent on a little Provi bloodletting of their own. Now, Gentlemen's Club are apparently our mortal enemies although I am somewhat hazy about the precise reason for this. It is probably something sov related. But to be honest they could have all been in an NPC corp and the verdict would have been exactly the same: we burned back to them.

This was quite an interesting fight for me. All these targets being called out is very confusing when you are meant to be shooting one ship while simultaneously bumping another away from the gate and keeping a third tackled. It was tremendously good fun!





The most satisfying part was that we noticed a cowardly, but very wise, Vexor Navy Issue who managed to jump through the gate to freedom. As soon as our weapons timers were clear we gave chase, tackling him just a couple of jumps out on a gate. Hehe, that'll learn him!


Of course, such fights are not particularly relevant in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, the sov angle has been a little quiet. The two large CTA fleets I have managed to fly on have been disappointingly uneventful with our enemy not making an appearance. Perhaps they were frightened of my magnificent Proteus.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A lesson well learned

All hail Thera the Beneficent, Enabler of Logistics for Poor Null Pilots. (CCP, please don’t nerf. I feel that is a necessary addendum these days.) As you have no doubt gathered we found a Thera entry just a couple of jumps away from our home system. This was tremendously helpful in our efforts to evacuate. However, before long a neutral appeared in our system! Again! This time it was a Brave pilot who I soon saw was the proud owner of a Dramiel.

“A neutral! KIIIIIIIL HIIIIM!”, I cried in local. I do local etiquette. He was toying with an Ishtar and Caracal near the station when I undocked my Svipul, from which he fled in terror.

I warped to the gate he had been aligned to but no Dramiel had landed. Hmm. He was still on d-scan but not at a celestial. A safe spot! Innocent Scout hopped into her Buzzard and probed the scoundrel down. Unfortunately, he was burning straight up (not toward a celestial) at 4.5km/s and was already 50km away when Innocent landed. I could have pulled a fast Interceptor out but he was still rabbiting away in local and I figured he was unlikely to hang around when he saw a faster ship coming his way.

So one of the guys had a good idea. He refitted his Ishtar with omnidirectionals for drone tracking and range and made ready with his sentries. He then warped to Innocent before aligning upwards in the direction of the confident Dramiel. Innocent then probed and immediately punted the Ishtar towards the Dramiel. He dropped his sentries and popped him in one shot. Hehe, that’ll learn him.


As it transpired, our valiant Brave pilot had visited us out of the goodness of his heart to tutor us in the finer points of EVE. FIrst, he told us that we had 'completed Level One', although this was tempered by the statement that we were ‘plebs’ and that it ‘took us long enough’. I like lessons like that. It was very good of him. He then left the system and abused some of our corpies next door for not being able to AFK in J2 any more.

And so ended our adventure in Scalding Pass. I have to admit that it was a sad moment when I departed for the Thera entry for the last time. I finally understand the allure of sov null. Fighting for a system and staking out a claim made me feel very invested in the process. I'm hooked. But I will never rent.

Since I promised that this thread would be an honest account of my activities I must confess that I gave serious consideration to hiring mercs to torment that nasty corp who persecuted us with such a cowardly home ground advantage. I also contemplated leaving Innocent Scout in their system to entose their stuff when they were offline. But given the blue complication I decided it would just become too much hassle.

What really tilted the balance was the pilot who was so recently bereaved of his Dominix coming into our system and crying about his ship. Apparently he had brought it into null specifically to deal with us. He was extremely upset that it had died. I told him to cry me a river and that his Dominix was weak and deserved to die. It was glorious. And yes, I am that petty :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I awoke to a phone ablaze with Slack notifications and pings and whatnot. The German corp from a couple of systems away were attacking our station!

Not working that day meant I was in no rush to get moving and thus sat at my computer with a coffee and logged in. Only half a dozen ABA people were in null and we were outnumbered both in number and ship type. They were disabling station services.

We decided to take the fight, even though we were badly under-equipped and very likely to lose. DPS cruisers plus my magnificent local tank Dominix undocked simultaneously and we fought! Oddsodz ran the fleet and told us to kill the Caracal first. Then we switched to their Dominix before we lost too much DPS and had to run away.


Despite being primaried my own Dominix survived, a fact for which I was very happy. The battle report would have looked quite different otherwise! It is expensive.

This fight, however, did not end the trouble. We really needed either more people or more large ships. They had already managed to entose the Fitting and Repair services. (I'm pretty sure that isn't a verb but never mind because it is much neater than the alternatives I have seen.) So I broke out my stash of pre-built suicide Griffins and threw them up on contract. These have one of each meta 4 ECM module fit but there are plenty of each available on the market for those who wanted to specialise against a particular ship.

The idea is that you undock/warp in, F1-F4 and click on the entosing ship. Align to your undock/safe and enter warp as soon as you either succeed or fail to land jams. It takes about two seconds. If they catch you, try and get your pod away before collecting another ship. The ships only cost 2m and are (in my mind anyway) utterly disposable.

This was a useful strategy because entosis cycles are disrupted by jams. And the entosis cycle cannot be prematurely stopped, so the entosing ship needs to finish the current cycle before starting again. It is intensely frustrating. Which is great.

After about half an hour of this procedure at the station, TCU and I-Hub we noticed that some of their ships were starting to warp away. It was nearly 1am in Germany and the poor little things were obviously tired. Ten minutes later, they had all departed and the station services were switched back on and we were back to business as usual.

We talked after this event and came to the realisation that we really needed to be able to take the fight to the enemy's system. Unfortunately, the politics were complicated by their station being owned by blues which meant that they were effectively attacking from an unassailable position. So the decision was made to pull out and begin looking for a better opportunity. Rixx Javix wrote about this in fuller detail at

Frankly, I was quite pleased with this decision. The complicated arrangement by which we had entered sov was not to my liking. Next time we will carefully identify our hapless victim and then CRUSH THEM!!! Mua ha ha!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ratters, ratters everywhere

Ratters everywhere. And there's me forgetting to put the Expanded Probe Launcher on my Svipul. I had decided to test the waters in our new base and so put up a fleet ad and hopped on teamspeak. Before long I had a couple of partners in crime and we were winging our way through Scalding Pass in destroyers, hunting for victims.

I checked dotlan and linked us toward a couple of bearish looking systems. We were chased out of the first one we arrived at with some hard-counter ships to whom we lost our Catalyst. Our hasty retreat meant that I landed in the waiting arms of a Hecate on a gate. He redboxed and I ordered us to open fire. We killed him very quickly. I think he may have forgotten to switch to defense mode, just like someone else who shall not be named.


A few snide comments were left in local at our passing. We were distinctly unwelcome in the ratting systems. Honestly, what do these ratters expect? To be left alone in peace? Disgraceful! At the next ratting system we were greeted by a Rupture who warped to me at 50km. I figured he was artillery fit and so spiralled in on him with an overheated MWD. He died very quickly, especially when Thane decloaked his Stealth Bomber and started getting his volleys off.


Ha! We died less than they did! OP success for the first fleet I have ever led.

I logged in later in the day and saw one of the Stay Frosty directors talking about a Pirate Detection Array. Apparently our system did not yet have a high enough Military Index for this particular thingy to be installed somewhere or other. I felt it my civic duty to assist and therefore did a quick run to Amarr to pick up a few Ishtar and Gila hulls.

On the way, I played around with some fits (admittedly under the guiding light of the killboards of the undisputed ratting masters in Deklein) and arrived at the following:

[Ishtar, Angels Ishtar v1]

Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Pith B-Type Explosive Deflection Field
Pith X-Type Large Shield Booster
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II

[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Hornet EC-300 x5
Berserker II x5

The B-type is only 4m but the X-type is over 100m. You can swap the active Pith B-Type Explosive Deflection Field for a passive Pithum C-Type Explosive Deflection Amplifier (under 1m ISK) if you want to swap to T1 rigs.

This will drop your Explosive resist from 85.0% to 81.4%. Both variants are cap stable at ~38%. Other resists are EM 30.0%, Thermal 72.0%, Kinetic 89.5%.

This fit does 636 DPS with the heavy Berserkers which deal Explosive damage for Angels. If you use the expensive (20m each) Augmented variety you get 700 dps. The drone control range is about 80 km but the tank does not rely on speed or range. Just warp, align out and let the drones do their work while cycling all the things.

It was truly boring. But it was, admittedly, somewhat relaxing and cathartic after the stress (albeit enjoyable) of a PvP roam. I did an Angel Port (whatever that is) and then a Hidden Something-or-Other and was halfway through a Forsaken Whatsit when a neutral entered the system. A neutral! In our home system! The hide of it!

I checked d-scan and saw a Taranis who was no doubt greedily eyeing my Ishtar with evil stirring in his heart. I aligned out and collected my drones before warping to the station via a safe.

Yamir Ke’Shark, the aforementioned piratical specimen from Agony, told me that he would not have tried to kill my Ishtar in his Taranis. I chose to disbelieve him, knowing that I myself would have done exactly that although I happily acknowledged that I would almost certainly have died in the process. He then teased me about carebearing!

Ha! Me, a carebear! All I was doing was ratting in an anomaly with an AFKtar! For all he knew it could have been a trap. Anyway, why can't they all just leave us alone to rat in peace? Disgraceful!

Unfortunately, I decided to stay docked in order to have dinner and was therefore absent when the alliance's honour was upheld by two persistent corpies who tracked the blackguard down and killed him just a few jumps later. Innocent Scout, cloaked, observed his pod enter the Thera wormhole from whence he evidently came with enormous satisfaction.

Friday, September 4, 2015

What a bunch of [sov] noobs

As I mentioned last time, our illustrious leaders in A Band Apart decided to set up a nullsec outpost. Well, not Set Up an Outpost but rather to establish our good selves in a nullsec system with a pre-existing station to call out very own. They had made some sort of shady arrangement with a nullsec mob I'd never heard of (sorry FEIGN, please don't take it personally since I haven't heard of most nullsec entities, mobs or otherwise) to take one of their stations. We had been given the opportunity to take a couple of systems plus station without resistance (from the owners at any rate) in order to increase PvP content in the area.

I gave Innocent Scout and Zappity their marching orders and they quickly arrived due to the magnificent connectedness of Thera. The next day I logged in to the middle of a scuffle between the ABA guys (that's us) and some disgruntled locals who were being very mean, trying to switch off our station services. Apparently, they did not like the idea of a PvP group moving in. They had a nice, quiet ratting pocket next door and we're distinctly unimpressed with the idea of us sitting bored just a couple of brief jumps away.

We were at a distinct disadvantage since we were not nearly as prepared as we ought to have been. There were no hulls available in the station either on the market or on contract. Our logistics were not yet established, meaning that we didn't have any modules available either. So they took some station services offline while we cowered in station, unable to bring the fight and receiving only an IOU for future destruction as their reward.

However, later in the day I was present when we reinforced the station and took the Territorial Control Unit using entosis links, first on the TCU itself and then on the newly spawned command nodes. This was much more to our liking since these nodes and very much like ungated faction warfare plexes. It is a very troubling experience, sitting there on the mode and unable to exercise the capsuleer's natural right (namely, the ability to run away).

The requisite number of nodes were completed after about half an hour and the state of affairs inevitably progressed to the realisation that now we needed to deploy a new TCU. This was very amusing. We were clueless. Do you need roles to anchor the TCU? Do offline station services come back online when the station enters freeport? What about after the freeport? Is the timer exactly 48 hours? And so on and on.

Eventually we just decided to do it the ABA way and just try to do it. Someone dropped the TCU and was thoroughly confused by the option to 'launch for self'. Nevertheless, we persisted on the assumption for "How hard can it be?" and we're soon cycling an entosis link on the thing after alternative ideas (like shooting it) were exhausted. And so shortly we were proudly gazing upon the ABA logo as it circled the newly anchored deployable. I felt like someone should have made a speech.

We went through the same thing the new the day with the station command nodes. I had expecting resistance from our erstwhile persecutors and had spent a few hours bringing in lots of compressed ore for the production of Vexors (reasonably fitted) and logi (atrociously fitted because I haven't got a clue about logi). I also made a truckload of attrition destroyers and frigates, Thrashers and Catalysts as well as Mauluses and Griffins, in case we needed cheap ships to throw at our adversaries.

It was all, however, for nought, with not a single competing entosis ship making an appearance. It was a bit disappointing. Oh well, I'm sure the ships won't go astray. And the locals will no doubt come to visit after we kill them a few times.

Speaking of which, our motley crew of brigands demanded action before the station timer had started. One of the guys commented that there was a ratting Thanatos just one system over. He was not blue to us and we started getting ideas above our station. Or, to be more precise, ideas above THEIR station, ideas involving bubbles and lots of DPS.

It took about 20 minutes before the wormhole contingent of the alliance arrived in suitable ships, with the few of us already in null assembled on the gate awaiting the command. The wormhole Interdictor jumped into the system and made a beeline for the station. He quickly bubbled up before we all jumped in. The Thanatos ran for the station, straight into the bubble.

We warped to the Interdictor, arriving at about the same time as the doomed carrier. When I locked him up I saw that he was already in low armour (no repper?) and it only took us a minute to chew through his hull.


Now for some of you battle-hardened large fleet types this is, no doubt, not particularly impressive. But it was my first ever carrier kill and I was very proud of it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bugger 'em, I say.

I decided to go to Providence. Down with the Imperium! But before setting course I decided to snack upon some more Lustrevik locals. I commenced with a Drake and pod chaser, just to whet the appetite:


In order not to discriminate against the Caldari I next selected a Hurricane:


A Cyclone became the next course with the pilot happily donating a capsule to the cause:


I enjoyed this one so much that I went back for another:


Last on the list was a Bellicose. This cheeky beggar baited me with a heavily tanked Procurer on the station undock before coming to the 'rescue' in the cruiser when it became apparent that the mining barge's tank was failing. I chased the mining barge to an asteroid belt after finishing off the Bellicose, desperately lunging for him as he successfully entered warp to safety.


What I found most interesting is that, of these five pilots, three asked for PvP fits and advice on how to get into this most enticing side of the game. I am usually friendly after killing people and am willing to answer their questions. This is also somewhat self-selecting since the pilot has chosen to aggress first.

So next time you kill a mission runner you are really just doing them a service. Offer to answer their questions and be friendly. You might help them over the 'being willing to shoot another pilot' hurdle.

While on the way to Providence I hopped into the CVA diplo channel and asked if they would let me into their stations for the duration of the invasion. In return, I promised to not kill them. They explained that I could be a spy or turncoat and that they would therefore be unlikely to set me blue.

Spy! Turncoat! I explained that I had always been upfront and honest about my dealings with Providence (namely killing them for fun as per this magnificent post but that I was incensed by the Imperium invasion and wished to help. They declined. So bugger ‘em, I say.

Regardless, I soon arrived at Kari and jumped in, an uninvited and very much unwelcome guest. No gate camp! Very lax. I’m not surprised they are losing so many I-Hubs, albeit much more slowly than expected (which is great). After going a couple of jumps I found a Sabre on a gate. It was a goon Sabre along with two other CFC toons in local. So obviously I attacked him.

He bubbled up and valiantly decloaked his Falcon along with a second Sabre. I hate Falcons. But what else could I expect? So I killed the Sabre while slowboating back to the gate under perma-jam (long live drones!) and was busily chewing through the Falcon when he did a Brave Sir Robin. What a noob.


The next Sabre I came across was a Provi one. He attacked me! So I killed him good, too. Purely in self defence.


Unfortunately, my Provi time was cut short when I foolishly tripped over a corpse on a gate, decloaking right in front of an Imperium gate camp. Ugh.


While sitting in Amarr I received a convo from one of the Stay Frosty directors. He asked whether I would like to go and help set up the alliance's first nullsec station.

The next episode shall be entitled, "What a bunch of [sov] noobs."

Friday, August 21, 2015

What percentage fearless?

Mission-runner baiting was the ideal occupation whilst recovering from my terrible Firetail losses.

I checked dotlan for shining beacons of bearishness and ended up in Korsiki. It didn't take long to find my first victim, a Caracal Navy Issue who gave me the Carebear Stare. He asked me what I was doing in his site. I told him it was nothing sinister and that I was merely after all of his loot and that he had better hand it over on fear of death!

He didn't respond but when he finally whittled the field down to the last rat (Terzam, or something along those lines) I zoomed over to the wreck and quickly emptied it.

My companion was unhappy about that but did not warp out. The stare continued. I confessed in local that I had filched his goodies and that I was willing to do battle for the drop. I gave him fair warning: "But you will die. Mua ha ha." He aggressed.

I went straight into orbit and began laying into him. I was working hard, overheating both guns and reps and accumulating the sort of heat you would expect. When I was halfway through his shields I remembered that I was in a drone boat and launched my Acolytes. (Well I can't get everything right, can I? You just wouldn't believe me.)

He had just entered armour when both my rappers burned out. Stupid. I had actually turned the heat off in time but the residual was enough to tip them over the edge. I toyed with the idea of warping out but decided that one of us would explode.

The fact that I was in a Gallente ship saved the day, the Caracal Navy exploding in a very satisfying manner when I was a third of the way through my hull.

Caracal Navy:

After gfs were exchanged I complimented him on the creative version of a Mining Permit in his bio. It gave me a chuckle:

............('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
...........''...\.......... _....¡´

Solid gold.

The next time I logged in The Citadel was far too quiet so I decided to transfer my attentions to my old stomping ground in Heimatar. I set the destination and was soon winging my way through Rancer (how sadly declined it is) and on the Lustrevik.

I began to stir the locals up. "I am Zappity the Mostly Fearless. I am here to inspect your wrecks for juicy loot and to destroy any who dare oppose me! No ship can stand against the mighty Ishkur!"


I then asked the audience in general why highsec local was so quiet. (Again with the silence.) I asked them whether all missions took that long, why they were so boring, and couldn't they please find something better to do like fighting a fearsome opponent? (That was me, by the way.)

Whether he took pity on me, was goaded into action by my incessant noise or was oblivious to my ineffectual taunting, a Dominix finally aggressed. I spent some time killing his drones before transferring my attention to his ship. The room full of rats then turned their collective attention to me all at once. This made things very interesting for a while.

He requested mercy when he realised he was going to die. ("Begged" is too strong a word for the mildly keen requests.) As I said, he requested mercy but I politely declined and finished him off.


I sent him some ISK because I like to encourage them to have a go. My suspicion that he was a little disgruntled was confirmed when he rage quit after enquiring as to 'why people have to be dicks'. Oh well. I saw him a couple of hours later in another battleship which sternly refused to aggress my ship.

I continued to torment the locals after dinner. They became feisty after a while. Role playing a pirate in highsec can be quite amusing and I have actually found it to be a useful way to encourage people to aggress.
Whether this is because they just want to kill me even more or just because I appear less of a threat when prattling away like a complete numpty I have yet to discern.

I had mercilessly pillaged the loot from a particular Maelstrom's mission several times before he finally called me out in local. He told me that I wasn't fearless at all, and that I would flee from a serious threat. Another local chimed in and asked what percentage of fearless I was. We had quite the philosophical discussion about it and eventually arrived at 81%, although I confessed that this figure was directly correlated to the amount of alcohol that had been imbibed shortly before any particular threat was taken into consideration.

Anyway, the discussion was cut short by the Maelstrom's guns. My adversary's scram was an indisputable indication that he was ready for me, something further strengthened by the medium, rather than large, guns that he was sporting. This didn't worry me much and I went into a tight orbit while frantically killing his drones.

What worried me most was the neut. I was soon relying on cap boosters with the result that my afterburner kept shutting down,  further increasing the damage I took. I toyed with the idea of trying to escape but decided to stick it out. To be honest, my armour wasn't in a good way and I would probably have died on the align out anyway. Regardless, his guns landed a lucky hit and I was soon just a pod next to a smoking wreck.

That was a great fight. I had killed an awful lot of drones and he must have been close to empty. But he was victorious and I honoured him in local. A good encouragement to the rest of them!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Pacific is still far too large

I killed an Astero to death in Provi. He lingered in his relic site too long and I caught him good:


Unfortunately, I then proceeded to linger too long myself in a ratting pocket. I was then foolish enough to bite on an obvious Dominix cyno bait. I managed to get him to about a quarter hull before he lit his cyno and the defence fleet landed on me. I honestly think he was just toying with me:


For my next trick I tried to kill a Tengu in a Maze. I had figured out the gates from someone’s helpful video (sorry, I forget which one):

Press F11 and have d-scan facing north
Room 1 – the gate faces 4 o’clock
Room 2 – 8 o’clock
Room 3 – 12 o’clock
Room 4 – 9 o’clock

The ratting Tengu was in the second room. The cheeky bugger aggressed me as soon as I landed! That's just not right. He is meant to run in terror. I charged towards him but swiftly realised that the rats had switched aggro to me and were quickly depleting my armour tank. I managed to warp away just before I hit hull.

I’m not sure how to kill these Maze ratters. They are terribly conceited, just sitting there watching you on d-scan and mocking you in local. I need to ponder the situation. I am determined to kill them.

On the journey back to Thera I checked the new and decided upon the Fountain/Cloud Ring border as my next destination. Fozziesov had just landed this was the most active region. I expected to find myself crowded out by the crashing waves of opposing armies, fiercely contesting Fountain.

What I actually found was a lone interceptor, and that was only after half an hour wandering through the desolate wastes. I thought he was trying to salvage a beacon but have since been induced to believe that he was using his entosis link. I decloaked at 50 km and killed him with Warriors because he couldn't warp away.

It was thrilling.


I jumped back to lowsec to my learning clone before another trip away (I am of the sincere opinion that the Pacific is far too large) but wished I hadn't after I returned. My lowsec roam was disastrous. This was SOLELY due to the fact that I was again jet lagged.

I lost five Firetails in exchange for an Atron, Venture and a Stealth Bomber. What a noob - he aggressed on a station when I was not suspect and was rapidly torn apart by the station guns!

These losses were a mixture of poor warp-in choices, hanging around too long, taking on too many people at once and generally just being bad and out of practice. The only excusable loss was when I forgot that lowsec had gate guns and went to town on a cruiser. He appeared mildly amused by the rapidity with which I was dispatched.

Quire understandable and totally different to station guns.

Monday, August 3, 2015

He walked the plank. Yarr.

[Please forgive this atrocious piece of roleplay. It was amusing over a hefty glass of wine.]

Zappity > 50m and i will let you go
Zappity > this be a ransom demand, yarr
Worthy Adversary > yarr

(A highsec Raven had aggressed my humbled Ishkur while I was innocently pilfering loot from his mission wrecks.)

Zappity > do you decline?
Zappity > for i may be forced to bring in the Orca of Reshipping

(Actually, I must confess that this was all bluff. I have an Orca alt but she was on the other side of the map and I've never used her for highsec shenanigans.)

Worthy Adversary > well I dont know
Zappity > you have a hefty tank. methinks it be made of whale hide

(Translation: he had an active tank which I was barely scratching.)

Worthy Adversary > sort of fell for your trap didnt I
Zappity > that be so, matey
Worthy Adversary > you could just let me go
Zappity > yarr, but the act of deactivating yon warp scrambler is so tiring it deserves some pennies
Worthy Adversary > you dont want pennies
Zappity > i be awaitin' a counter offer

(His valiant alt arrived in a Kestrel. I stayed on the Raven and sent my drones after the Kestrel. He managed to escape deep in hull.)

Zappity > when will your parrot return? or was it a Kestrel?
Zappity > he be a fiesty specimen
Worthy Adversary > Kestrel but he wont be back
Zappity > ye showed some spirit so i am willing to lower my accustomed fee
Zappity > 10m and you're a'sailin free
Worthy Adversary > well thank you - to what
Worthy Adversary >  10 mil is fair
Worthy Adversary > how do I know you will leave me alone
Worthy Adversary > once I have paid
Zappity > you must trust me. but i be an honourable pirate, yarr
Worthy Adversary > lol

(Sigh. You lot make life so difficult sometimes.)

Zappity > my patience be wearing thin, ya briny barnacle
Zappity > the old Orca, she takes a while to align but helpful she surely is
Worthy Adversary > Yes I am sure
Zappity > and I sense ye are a'stallin, waiting for a fleet sailing in on the winds
Zappity > if it give thee comfort, I be a member of the Honourable Ransomers' Club:

(Whether this would have had any effect we shall never learn. At this moment his alt arrived again, this time in a Drake.)

Zappity > treachery!

(I had lost my Suspect flag and so sent the Drake a duel request. He had set it to auto-reject so I had to wait for him to summon up the courage.)

Zappity > yon Drake will need to send a duel request for i no longer be suspect
Worthy Adversary > yeah noticed
Zappity > i be willing to take on the two of ye
Zappity > foul play be damned!
Worthy Adversary > why dont I feel this is a good idea

(Ha! He aggressed! And didn’t take the chance to depart while I burned the ~30km from the Raven to the Drake. I knew I couldn’t break the Raven and wanted a crack at the battlecruiser.)

Worthy Adversary > still want 10 mil

(This came after I broke his shield. It was a passive regen tank and it was very close. I needed overheated guns to crack it and reached 80% heat before getting past peak regen.)

Zappity > ye had your chance, now thee walks the plank!
Worthy Adversary > fair enough
Zappity > gf, catch you around mate
Worthy Adversary > cu

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jet lag, a terrible affliction

I had logged off in Deklein a week before, right in the middle of a tasty ratting area. I figured that they would wait for me until I returned home from a trip away. Sure enough, they were all still there when I logged back in a week later.

Everybody talks about goon AFK Ishtars but I didn't actually come across any. They were all very much on the ball and in warp by the time I landed. A little down the road I found a Sabre waiting patiently on a gate. Innocent Scout escaped this time (she has had some bad experiences lately) and Zappity hopped through to take the fight.

The Sabre put a bubble up and tackled the Svipul. So I killed it and podded him, escaping moments before the inevitable backup landed.


The local ratters started linking gifs at me in local. I hate gifs in local and never open them. To punish them, I cloaked and went afk while doing the dishes. When I returned they seemed to be getting a little excitable so I left the system and headed toward a distant Thera entry on the other side of Fade.

I made a slight detour to investigate an SMA ratting pocket which was just a few jumps out of the way. I found an Ishtar at a plex, tackled him and went into orbit while juggling my modules.

Now, before you read this next bit I want you to understand what a terrible affliction jet lag is. It is obviously a VERY good excuse for poor flying.

The Ishtar's heavy drones were soon winging their way toward me after abandoning their efforts against the local rats. They started to hit me. It really hurt. I was shocked to see myself suddenly in armour and then my pod! I hardly had time to dent his shield.

I sat there, wondering why my faithful Svippy had so let me down. I then realised that I had forgotten to switch from Propulsion to Defence mode. Oh boy.

Please go back up and read the paragraph on jet lag again. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

I self-destructed my pod and was sitting in Amarr when my Ishtar opponent convoed me. He had been AFK in the shower and just returned to find a nice, expensive solo kill added to the tally.

This is so embarrassing. But I did promise to be honest!


Friday, July 24, 2015

A Svipul duel

Fountain! You hear a lot about Fountain these days. The extent of my knowledge is that a) Brave lives here (although why they ever decided to become entangled with sov warfare is well beyond me), and b) that much of the population of nullsec has descended upon them to teach them a lesson. I am happily oblivious as to what said message entails.

[Edit: Yes, I know this is out of date but I had already written it and couldn’t be bothered to revise it.]

What I was not oblivious to was that another Svipul was following me from system to system like a lost puppy. I had set a meandering course toward a promisingly dense ratting constellation and was slowly working my way over, keeping an eye out for lazy pilots on the way.

The Svipul pilot had picked me up quite close to the Thera entry system. After five or six jumps I asked him if he was stalking me. In response, he offered a 1v1. I decided to let him stew a little longer and stayed true to my course. I don't like arranged fights very much.

I was quite disappointed with the size of the local population to be honest. I was expecting hordes of pilots swarming over every anomaly, fighting for the opportunity to be picked off by yours truly. What I saw was mostly empty systems with the occasional dimly lit spot. Quite sad, really.

But never mind that. The Svipul followed me through a gate into a quiet system. I held cloak. He decloaked and burned to the gate. I finally decloaked and he instantly aggressed, rapidly approaching under what appeared to be MWD acceleration.

This was actually rather a boring fight but I am telling you about it because I was very well behaved and didn't make any silly mistakes. Just to show you that I can do it if I really try, you understand.

We were both confident of our fits and were content to sit at zero, duking it out. I immediately saw that he was shield buffer fit and had evidently filled up his lows with damage mods. The DPS hurt, and I was only slowly chipping his shield away. I left my shield repper overheated but turned the heat off my guns, which were starting to get toasty.

My shield was getting gradually lower each cycle so I took my Blue Pill. I was startled to see the shield immediately drop even further but then realised I had received the penalty to shield amount. That was fine - the reps more than made up for it. He finally entered armour was sitting in his pod soon after.

My defeated opponent warped away and immediately requested my fit. He said I was repping too much and accused me of having links. My Scout is Innocent of such a charge and I valiantly defended my honour. He then said I must have a crystal set. I told him this was realms of fantasy for nullsec. But I confessed to my Blue Pill addiction and he seemed content with this revelation of foul play.

Buffer Svipul:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

To Link or not to Link

Poor, defenceless little Svippy died to a merciless gate camp:


They clearly knew about the Thera entry and were ready for visitors so full marks for that. Lots of nullsec groups seem to forget that wormholes exist. I decided that something really ought to be done about these gatecamps. I further decided that I would need a battleship for such occasions (what could possibly go wrong?) and so started taking a closer look at the Dominix.

I came up with a horrendously expensive fit which repped about 2,100 EHP/second. (More on that when I inevitably lose it in a hugely embarrassing manner.) Out of curiosity, I decided to see what difference links would make to such a beast. What follows is no doubt old news to most of you (especially anyone familiar with the whole "Slippery Pete" caper) but was a journey of discovery for me.

I fitted a Legion up with one of each armour link and saw that the Dominix’s repair amount increased to almost 3,000 EHP/second: +41% repping power. In what I assume is a common thought progression, I then decided that such a link ship would have to be a) Nullified, b) Covert, and c) difficult to scan down:

[Legion, Links]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I

Command Processor I
Command Processor I
Conjunctive Radar ECCM Scanning Array I
Conjunctive Radar ECCM Scanning Array I
Conjunctive Radar ECCM Scanning Array I

Armored Warfare Link - Damage Control II
Armored Warfare Link - Passive Defense II
Armored Warfare Link - Rapid Repair II
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I

Legion Defensive - Warfare Processor
Legion Electronics - Dissolution Sequencer
Legion Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Legion Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Legion Propulsion - Interdiction Nullifier

In order to determine how difficult this would actually be to probe down I sent Innocent Scout to SiSi with her Cheetah. Innocent Scout's relevant scanning skills are perfect so I merely had to play around with the fit and implants. This was my starting point, Innocent's regular T2 scanning fit:

[Cheetah, T2 fit]

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]
Expanded Probe Launcher II, Sisters Combat Scanner Probe

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II

Co-Processor I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Inertial Stabilizers II

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade II
Small Warp Core Optimizer II

(The Warp Core Optimizer is for Thera and is T2 because I can.)

The Legion hit was only 72%. Adding a third Rangefinding array only increased this to 73% due to stacking penalties. Swapping the T2 probe launcher for the Sisters variant increased it to 74%.

What about implants? Adding the Prospector AR-810 achieved 81% and this was increased to 88% with low-grade Virtues.

The result was 98.3% with mid-grade Virtues. I finally got a warpable hit by adding a Prospector AR-802 although better probe arrangement would probably have given the same result.

Ridiculous. ECCM should obviously be nerfed somehow. And links should obviously be nerfed too. An extra 40% repping power! Such ludicrously high bonuses makes this practically compulsory for a solo pilot in a big ship. That is not a ‘good’ decision from a gameplay perspective. Having said that, I can sympathise with the view that links do allow small gang and solo feats that would otherwise be impossible (like a 3000 EHP repping Dominix).

So conflicted. Sigh.

I promise I’ll put my soapbox away and post an actual fight next time.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

EVE has sound

Have you ever played EVE without sound? I tried it tonight. It did not work. I do not recommend it.

I was listening to something that required concentration so I muted EVE before undocking the shiny new version of Svippy with the B-type repper. Yes, you already know where this is going. Stop laughing.

It was just a few minutes before downtime and I had roamed through a fair chunk of Providence when I came across a Scythe Fleet Issue. Or, more accurately, a Scythe Fleet Issue came across me. Zappity was sitting on a gate and I was diligently paying attention to the scan results on the other screen. Something caught my eye and I looked back to see Zappity already in low shields. How rude!

I quickly activated the repper which, of course, wasn’t overheated. I then belatedly switched to defence mode when I hit armour while trying to tackle the cruiser and getting into orbit. Things then picked up for a while, with my EMP chipping away nicely at his shield and the nice, expensive (and now overheated) repper managing to just keep up with the damage.

I decided to consume my Blue Pill, only to find that I had forgotten to pack it. I’m really not very good with drugs. Worse still, while I was busy examining my cargo hold for the absent booster my cap ran out. Which was really bad news, especially since I didn’t notice for a few seconds because I couldn't hear the audio alert. My cap booster wasn’t overheated due to the general panic that had ensued right at the opening and I couldn’t catch my reps up in time. And so I died.


Had I been listening to the client I would have heard the gate flash and prepared all the modules. I would have heard the shield and armour damage alerts. I would have heard the "Your capacitor is empty you silly bugger" notification if things had even become that serious. And I would almost certainly have killed a Scythe Fleet Issue. It was just one of those times when EVERYTHING went wrong and it was entirely my fault.

It was hugely frustrating and I was absolutely furious with myself. I almost rage-quit the client but the knowledge that I had a pile of replacement ships just four jumps away in Thera kept me logged in. After all, it would just be more hassle the next time I logged in to find my pod sitting in the middle of nowhere (no offence, Provi) nursing a useless bookmark to a collapsed wormhole. By the time I had returned to base I had calmed down a little.

Oh well, at least the repper dropped. I like it when people are rewarded for bringing the fight. And he certainly brought the fight.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I need a bigger repper

The next day saw me in Geminate and a new corp, though not a corp in Geminate if you understand my meaning. That would be awful.

I will start again.

I decided to join Wingspan Delivery Services. This was not a reflection on Stay Frosty who I will probably end up rejoining at some point. I had been spending a lot of time in Thera, hunting through wormholes and random connections to null with the result that I was rarely seeing any corpies. At the same time, I was frustrated with finding targets that I could not kill alone.

As I was saying, I found a fresh Thera exit to Geminate. I warped my Svipul in, narrowly missing a ratting Ishtar. Never mind, dotlan promised more opportunities to come. Two jumps in saw an Exhumer and Ishtar waiting patiently at a safe spot for me.

Innocent sent Zappity on her way to the probe result using what is, according to CCP, a heinous, game-breaking manoeuvre. Zappity landed at the probe results on top of both the Ishtar and Exhumer. She chose the Ishtar and tackled it while the Exhumer warped away to safety. Nice to have a bit of choice.

The Ishtar put up a rubbish performance, immediately launching sentries at my low sig ship. What is it with Ishtars and sentries? Anyone would assume they were all that your average ratting Ishtar carried. These drones, of course, achieved nothing.

Much more concerning was the appearance of a Taranis who immediately pointed me and started to orbit. I had seen him coming but decided not to warp out. First, I figured that the Ishtar was a worthy trade. Second, I thought I might be able to kill the Taranis, too.

The Ishtar popped in a most satisfactory manner. I then turned my attention to the Taranis who was foolishly orbiting me at close range. I tackled him back, switching off his MWD. He didn't last long.



I left the system to repair some overheated modules and have dinner, courtesy of a mobile depot and cloak which was no doubt infuriating to the locals. When I returned, well sated, I hopped through a couple of empty systems before finding a Gila at a signature.

Innocent warped Zappity in to the probe result (she's going to get banned, you know) where an acceleration gate was waiting. Dammit, surely the Gila will disappear now!

The Gila waited patiently while I jumped through two successive gates plus the time it took me to burn 60 km out to the waiting ship. Honestly, I didn't have a clue what to think at this point. If he had been waiting for PvP then why wouldn't he have had drones out, hammering at me the instant I landed? If he was PvE, why wouldn't he have warped off? The only thing I can assume is that he was just too busy doing whatever he was doing and ignoring his d-scan.

I tackled him when the overheated afterburner finally brought me into range. Unfortunately, the afterburner was overheated and I merrily continued past the waiting Gila, straight out of scram range. The 10mn afterburner fit isn't particularly agile!

I managed to get back into range to tackle him for a second time. He finally sent out some drones, nasty faction heavies which hurt badly. I had flashbacks to the last Gila I fought with less than stellar results.

I decided that orbiting with the 10m afterburner was decidedly dodgy. I was constantly overshooting and going into odd trajectories so I switched to recurring approaches instead. The Gila was tough but eventually died:


My modules were badly overheated so I applied the paste while deciding on my next move. What I should have done was turn around and leave the area. I had clearly tormented the locals enough and given them plenty of time to form a response.

Balanced against this sensible position, however, was the fact that there were still locals around to torment. I hopped into the next system.

An Assault Frigate, Stratios and Omen Navy Issue were on d-scan. I initially had thoughts about finding the Stratios but when the Omen landed on the gate I decided that he was good enough.

He burned off the gate, aggressing me as he went. I followed with overheated afterburner, gradually catching up to him. I finally landed a scram and started chipping away at him, unfortunately with the wrong ammunition loaded. Then the Stratios landed on the gate, and the Harpy and I knew that my first instinct had been correct. The Harpy was piloted by the ex-Gila pilot, clearly looking for revenge.

The Stratios drones were really starting to hurt but I decided to see it through instead of running. The Omen was at half armour when I popped. Oh well, gf. The two cruiser pilots responded in kind but not the Gila pilot! He said ".!." which I thought was very rude when I had spent some time thinking about it.


What did I learn? Should I have run away? No! I just need a bigger repper, of course!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Foiled! Damn killrights...

I remembered the killright when my nemesis flashed up on the watchlist. In an earlier episode, Kry Saz had foolishly opened fire on Zappity's cousin in marketing, suffering the instant wrath of CONCORD. This had resulted in the generation of a kill right. I decided it was time to cash in.

A locator agent tracked him down to a highsec island in Heimatar. A good Thera exit landed me reasonably close to the system and it wasn't long before Zappity was sitting next to the acceleration gate which promised to house the Vexor Navy Issue of my foe as well as the Stratios and Vexor of his corpies.

Zappity warped in, her cousin sitting on the button, ready to share the kill right. He had tried to share it with Zappity specifically but, unfortunately, the stupid interface wasn't working properly. The character search didn't work and he couldn't assign the kill right to a specific entity. Oh well, it would just have to be available to everyone.

Zappity warped in and approached the VNI, ready to land tackle. Her cousin hit the button to make available at 50m - done! I looked for the little kill right symbol in Zappity’s Selected Item window - nothing! And still nothing! He warped away. Bugger. I then guessed that you must load grid before the symbol appears. Frustrating!

Of course, he disappeared into a station, now well and truly alerted to the shared kill right. He mocked me, making it clear that I would never catch him and that I was waiting my time. Unfortunately, he was correct. The next time I saw him online, shortly before the right expired, he was safely tucked away in a wormhole.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

I have not lost any more Stratioses

I have not lost any more Stratioses. I switched to the Svipul and have been losing them instead.

[Svipul, Svipul active 4]

Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II

10MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 400
Pithum C-Type Medium Shield Booster
Warp Scrambler II

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
[Empty High slot]

Small Ancillary Current Router II
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer II
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer II

Barrage S x3000
Republic Fleet EMP S x3000
Republic Fleet Fusion S x3000
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x3000
Nanite Repair Paste x100
Navy Cap Booster 400 x33

I lost the first one when I found a ratting carrier and decided to solo him. What can I say - I was curious! First he tried to kill me with Curators (I mean, honestly, sentries at zero) which I ignored while chipping away at his armour. But then his more competent friend arrived in another Archon and very quickly killed me with Praetors. I didn’t even have time to align out. But I suppose I was asking for that.

After giving up on the carrier idea I found a Thera exit to the top of Catch, the CVA part. There were lots of nice, NPC kill-rich systems on dotlan; I was like a moth to a flame. I first caught a Loki sitting in the middle of nowhere which, unfortunately, escaped when my connection lagged and I stopped orbiting. Frustrating!

One system over saw a Myrmidon come out to play. I spent some time merrily killing his drones until a Stealth Bomber decloaked 30 km away. He was in the same corp and quickly started to send torpedos my way. This didn't really make much difference (because torps) but it was a good opportunity to try and snare a bomber. I tried to look casual as I gradually widened my orbit and then overheated the afterburner for an approach. But my adversary was worthy and understood what I was up to, warping away before I could tackle. When the Myrmidon repped back up to full armour I became bored and moved on. I clearly didn't have enough DPS to break him.

About a minute after I jumped into the next system a familiar dscan result appeared. A Gila was stalking me! I jumped a couple of systems down the pipe to find a quieter spot and, sure enough, he followed. We fought on a gate where I quickly died. Those Gila drones are tough, especially the Augmented ones. I headed back to Amarr via Thera and a fresh Svipul was soon winging it's way back to the Catch connection. I would have my fill of Catch residents!

The next time I logged in I only went three jumps before a small defence fleet came to greet me. A Caracal, Stabber and Atron were sitting on the gate waiting for me with yellow-boxes. One of them convoed me, first asking whether I was friendly ( and then asking whether I would join their fleet to try and bait someone.

I have a nasty, suspicious mind and so decided it was a trap. I wanted to split them up and kill them so I yellow-boxed them back and followed the Stabber when he jumped through the gate, all alone. He aggressed while burning away from the gate so I immediately jumped back and tackled the Caracal. He also aggressed (success!) so I got in close and killed him good:


Those rapid lights actually hurt pretty badly but the overheated repper managed to (mostly) keep up. By the time he was dead the Stabber had returned, intent on seeing the colour of my blood. He aggressed just as the Caracal was about the explode. I went into a tight orbit and killed him too:


For good measure I decided to kill the Atron as well. I think he was tackling me so I had no choice. It was self defence!


A Heretic had landed a little while before but he jumped through the gate while I was killing the Atron. I called it a day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A clichéd kill: the AFK Ishtar

More hunting in the Stratios! I decided that being careful in my choice of engagements was unsustainable nonsense, doomed to failure. So when I warped into a busy ratting system with an Ishtar at the nearest anomaly the only thing to do was warp in and hope for the worst (for the Ishtar pilot).

I had replaced the afterburner with a MWD, wanting to be able to close on targets more rapidly and willing to sacrifice some range control after tackle. This was fortunate, for the Ishtar was orbiting the site at about 1 km/s. Clearly a 100mn afterburner fit. AFK, perchance?

I predicted the orbit direction and began heading for a distant intercept, still under cloak. Unfortunately, I derped into some rocks or strewn wreckage and decloaked. But I hit the overheated MWD and was soon within range.

I was instantly tackled and feared the worst. The Ishtar, however, didn't attack. The NPCs did, though, and were soon nibbling at my armour. It began to dawn upon me that the tackle might actually be one of the rats, although I was too busy trying to kill the Ishtar to check.

He died quickly and my suspicions about the 100mn fit were confirmed. He had a rubbish tank once tackled, despite the blue shield repper. And I got his somewhat shiny pod, too. Hehe. Most satisfactory.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

I should stop flying the Stratios

I have been losing Stratios cruisers hand over fist. I am bad.

I decided that a break from lowsec was required and reactivated my Thera base. It is much quieter there now. Innocent Scout was doing her job and found a Sabre, Caracal and Hawk on a gate. I KNEW that I would probably die, especially because there was a Vexor Navy on scan somewhere close. But I jumped in anyway because by then I was bored. On reflection, my killboard would probably look much better if I was poor and had to worry about losing ships. But I don’t, so I did:


I didn't even manage to kill any of them before I died. The heavy drones were really struggling to apply damage to the targets and I didn't last long enough to wear them down. Sigh.

Not one to be deterred, I went and hopped into another Stratios, eyeing an exit to a nice quiet corner of Delve with a lot of recent NPC kills. On the way, I briefly detoured to kill a ratting, faction-fit Gila which I serendipitously isolated at a Relic site near the wormhole:


Very strange. He obviously had a death wish. I told him that Thera was a dangerous system to run sites in. He argued with me! I simply can't understand these people who do stupid things and lose faction cruisers in such silly ways. Ahem.

Rather than continue the argument with my victim I followed my original plan and headed off to Delve. I nearly caught another ratting Gila a couple of jumps in but he warped off just as I landed. I continued toward the inevitable dead end system, guided by Innocent who informed me of a nest of cruisers sitting on the station undock, clearly already warned of my presence.

Bugger it. In I jumped. The Vexor Navy had kindly come to meet me at the gate so I locked him up and went for it. Sigh. I couldn't break him either before everyone landed and killed me very dead:

Stratios loss:

I was starting to take the hint that the nice, shiny (and somewhat expensive) Stratios wasn't the right tool for the job. It certainly excels at ganking unaware Gilas but it just doesn't have the tank for a semi-prepared cruiser gang. And while I have no objection to killing silly people if I can catch them, I usually want to take a fight. What I need is a battleship!

I was deeply pondering the merits of a Thera-based solo Dominix approach when I came across a Stratios and Machariel running a site in Stain. I warped in and had a look at the situation. They were both quite far away from the NPCs and at opposite sides of the site. Fortuitously (or otherwise, as the case may be) the Stratios soon started burning back toward the NPCs on a path which went right past me.

I decloaked a few seconds out and tackled him. His reps were pretty good but what really decided matters was that the Machariel pilot was very much on the alert and rapidly transferred all his DPS. I died when the Stratios was at half hull. So close. I should have known better - those Russians tend to be on the ball.


Oh well, these things happen. I gave them a gf and returned to Amarr via Thera to collect another Stratios. I promised myself that I would be more careful with the next one and not lose it in such a silly way.

The next Thera exit led me straight into a busy Space Monkey's Alliance system. This didn’t bode well for my newly-formed resolution: there were Tengus, VNIs, battleships and my old friend the Gila. There was even a gate camp with all sorts of interceptors, possibly there to protect the tatters. It was obviously the height of foolishness to think that a visitor could sneak a kill and then escape. So obvious that the VNI and Gila chose not to leave their anomaly.

I know I had promised not to be silly with this Stratios but how could I let such an opportunity pass? I warped into the anomaly and saw that the VNI was piloted by a very old player with a non-existent killboard. The Gila was piloted by a nooblet. Still, a noob in a Gila with a companion VNI and a system full of support is surely a fair fight!

I angled between the wrecks, slowly making my way across the site. Finally I was in range. Just as I was about to decloak I noticed that Innocent Scout had been decloaked! Why hadn't I warped her safely away earlier? I cursed my poor coordination and hastily warped to the first thing I clicked on. Naturally, this was the bubbled gate with a swarm of interceptors all over it. Innocent died just as Zappity's scram landed on the Gila.

Revenge! I started killing the Gila and was surprised to see that he tackled me back almost immediately. Hmm, not a good sign. I watched the VNI, fully expecting him to add his significant damage to what was obviously a trap. However, although the VNI yellow-boxed me, he did not aggress until I had almost finished killing the Gila. I recalled my Geckos when the Gila popped and was aligning out when the VNI finally aggressed - with his NOS modules. I ignored this strange behaviour and warped away to a safe.

I kept an eye on the site by dscan, expecting to see a horde of angry interceptors appear at any moment. Nothing! Now, I don't pretend to understand sov null dynamics but if a gate camp is already set up in system why on earth should I be able to get away with something like this? I don't understand why they didn't warp in to help. I don't understand why the VNI didn't assist. I don't even understand why the Gila was carrying a scram. All very strange.