Saturday, 28 February 2015

All The Small Things

A few people have been asking about a certain fight that happened this week. This isn't it! This is just a quick little something-something until that's written up (soon). 

Sometimes it's not the big fights or the big kills that make you smile the most.

Every now and again when we got a Wolf-Rayet static with a quiet chain, we'd take advantage of the system bonus and take out a fleet of Coercers and Catalysts backed up with Augorors to run a few sites. It something that a few of the newer guys to the corp had never tried, and given how refreshing we had found it compared to cap escalations, it was something we were eager to get them in on.

The static had some activity earlier in the evening, but it seemed all OEG Industrial's pilots seemed to be offline - something that was not unusual for a russian corp with low activity on the killboard at that time of night. Sherpa watched the connection while I set up an Eos in a safespot, while being acutely aware that the Eos cost more than our entire ratting fleet combined.

It's no secret that the Wolf-Rayet bonus in C5's gives certain frigates and destroyers in the region of 1000dps and a low enough signature radius combined with resists decent enough to handle the incoming damage from a sleeper site with just a couple of Augorors. A single site will pay for the whole fleet with some change, but it's easy to lose the ships if you aren't careful with transversal and sig bloom from MWD. And as PvE in Eve goes, it's actually pretty fun.

After a couple of sites, we'd brought in a Noctis to clean up after us. That was when I noticed a Loki appear briefly on Dscan. Odi said the tag was something he'd seen on the ships before the Russians logged off. If they were logging back in, I doubted they'd take kindly to us running their sites. Despite how the Destroyers performed versus the sleepers, the small amount of armour hitpoints didn't make them viable for a sustained battle against a balanced fleet. The raw dps a group of them ought to be enough to deter solo gankers, however the concern was for the Noctis.

We sent the Noctis home as soon as the combat probes appeared on Dscan. With no new signatures and nothing having jumped past Sherpa, it had to be the locals. And it has to be said, they were crap at scanning. Eventually, we caught the probes on close range Dscan to our fleet. A few minutes passed, while they must have been getting eyes on field and perhaps a warp in, but suddenly the probes moved and started to home in on the Eos.

If I'm flying the Eos, it usually means I'm dual-boxing, so I tend not to put a point on it. The midslots I interchange for various types of EWAR. On this occasion, it was still fitted with sensor dampeners. Just as I was lamenting this choice, a Proteus landed on grid and started to lock up the Eos, perhaps expected a helpless offgrid boosting ship. Oops! I couldn't have been happier that he'd gone for the Eos over anything else. I returned the lock, setting drones on the aggressor. What was worse for the Proteus pilot was that I fit my Eos with neuts in the spare high slots, so it would only be a matter of time until he was dead in the water. The only problem was that he could still warp out.

This is an eventuality we had planned for, however. Sherpa decloaked his own Proteus to point his opposite number. To add insult to injury, we warped the ratters, along with a Sabre in to get on the killmail and the pod

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Resistance is Futile

The fact that Waldemar Pawlak was hanging around in our pub channel was bugging Utari. I know what you're thinking -  the former prime minister of Poland hanging around in the public channel of an eve online wormhole corporation might bug a few people, but it wasn't actually him. It was his Hard Knocks Inc. recruiter namesake. He did eventually find a way of breaking the ice:

Waldemar Pawlak > so... whats going on in here?
Utari Onzo > Sharing fail fits
Jay Joringer > Nothing. Pub channel stuffs.
Utari Onzo > Wanna see my drake fit?
Waldemar Pawlak > nope, thanks
Jay Joringer > I do
Jay Joringer > Unless it's not armour/sensor damp fit
Utari Onzo > Aw damn
Waldemar Pawlak > well, i have my own
Waldemar Pawlak > i dont really need to play with others' drakes
Utari Onzo > RUSE is on sale on steam. Nostalgia time here I come
Waldemar Pawlak > i bought rise of nations last night
Waldemar Pawlak > ffs, i loved that game but now its so tiny on a 4k screen that it made its unplayable
Utari Onzo > Lol
Utari Onzo > I looked at playing stronghold crusader 2
Utari Onzo > Was bitterly dissaointed it's jsut a Stronghold Crusader 1 reskin
Utari Onzo > Anyone know if they fixed Assassin's creed Unity yet or is it still broken as fuck?
Waldemar Pawlak > dunno
Hemez PeYo > o/
Waldemar Pawlak > sry, slow to respond - carrier tackled
Waldemar Pawlak > so... you guys are c5-c5...
Waldemar Pawlak > and youre recruiting?
Jay Joringer > Aye
Waldemar Pawlak > if youre capable of c5-c5 wh how come i didnt see your application to HK?
Jay Joringer > Didn't realise you were recruiting
Waldemar Pawlak > we always are!
Jay Joringer > Actually, I do prefer the smaller gang fights.
Waldemar Pawlak > i see

Well, it was a small fib. I was well aware Hard Knocks were recruiting. I just didn't realise they considered it obligatory for C5 pilots to put in applications to them. But still, it's cute of them to try to absorb WH corporation while they are still new and trying to expand, rather than having another populated J-space system.

Another offer. This time it was an invitation to join an alliance. Enter Falconsfury via eve mail:


After looking into your corp I wanted to extend an offer to join my alliance Vanguard of the Phoenix.

We are a WH C5 Alliance who does mainly PVE content with PVP when it comes our way.  We hope to expand both our PVE and PVP options with the addition of some new people.

If interested we can talk further about the Alliance to see if you would fit in.

Our posting can be found here.

"PvP when it comes our way" That one killed any consideration stone dead. Not to mention any alliance whose name you could append to phrase "Harry Potter and the..." and have it legitimately sound like a rejected book title should perhaps be avoided. I ignored the mail.

Then another. This time a merge, and merge offers tend to come from people whose activity has dropped off or have been evicted so that larger alliances *cough*[KICK]*cough* can have a farming hole.

Hi Jay,

My alliance is looking for another WH group to merge with.  While we are trying to recruit new blood to our current alliance, we are certaintly open to joining up with another group.  The years and real life have cost us some valuble members that its been hard to replace.

We currently live in a C5 / C3 WH and are open to options for working together with another WH alliance (including moving / mergers etc).

We have about 15 active people throughout the week, with numerous alts etc.  Everyone is tech 3 / with numerous capital alts, Archons etc.

Our main problem is numbers, 15 people just isnt enough to keep the ball rolling every day with RL and such.

If this interests you, please send me a mail.


Once again, it was from Falconsfury. Scrutiny of their killboard looked like they'd be pretty hard to work with. Couple that with a leadership base in a different timezone, which in my experience is asking for trouble. And these guys looked suspiciously like Solus Blacksun all over again - someone who could talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

The next mail was my favourite. It was another merger offer from Henrick Toralen of Jaded.:

I'm contacting you in regards to your corp, in curiosity about a possible alliance merge, If you'd have any intrest in this let me know.

Here our the stats.

C5-C5 WH 
The Natural Order
Jaded: Currently 12 PoS's 89 Members. 
High Self Esteem: 9 Members fairly active. 

Both Corps live in the WH.

Yours truely,

Hendrick Toralen [Jaded]

This one even had pretty colours. I remember Billy Hardcore from RCC's invasion of Void Legion's home system and I had to wonder what the offer had cost him to make. Either way, I had no intention of flying with the guy, so I said no in the most diplomatic way I could administer:

o/ Hendrick

Thank you for your interest in our alliance. Enigma Project is not currently considering recruiting corporations, however 13. will look at applications from individual pilots who are active in the EU window. 

We are listed as 'newbro friendly', which is true of our recruitment doctrine, however I would be sceptical about recruiting rookies en masse at the moment. In the meantime, I would recommend Red Federation/ Blue Republic as well as Noir Academy to augment the skills of anyone in your alliance interested in PvP, and also this online course in spelling and grammar for yourself.

Kind Regards,

Jay Joringer

To his credit, he took it well and responded with a simple "lol".

But this wasn't the end of things. Perhaps spurred by the success of Utari's birthday roam in mining barges, to which he invited United System's Commonwealth, Galdur Trudaihnel made the same offer of a merger.
When me, Utari and Odi left USYSC, we all hoped things would carry on as normal and we'd have two active groups in C5 space instead of one. Obviously things hadn't panned out that way. The prospect of flying with the guys again was something we all thought would be a great thing, and to be honest, all the offers of merges an recruitment had worn me down. USYSC would still exist, but Enigma Project would be assimilating some good pilots into our collective.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Outnumbered, but not Outgunned

I've had a couple of complaints about this blog. Not quite to the degree that Red Coat Conspiracy (RIP) or indeed Brawls Deep (RIP) complained, but complaints nonetheless. To prove I take reader satisfaction very seriously I am now going to address those complaints.

The first complaint is from Thornir. Hewas bemoaning that fact that he hasn't been mentioned thus far. Which thereby resolves the complaint. And if no one knows who Thornir is, just try to imagine a window-licking, Danish AliG. Just less funny.

The other complaint is from Utari. Apparently, I don't update this enough. By virtue of mentioning this fact, I am now considering this complaint resolved. While waiting for any subsequent instalments, he's tried to fill the apparent blog-void by writing his own. I've been assured that there's no need to worry about there being crossover in what I'll be writing as it's 'in-character'. As soon as he'd said that I accused him of reading a certain Dussette's blog, to which he pleaded guilty. So far, no one believes that this very blog is all very much in-character. I'm not actually smug at all in real life. In any case, onceyou are done here, Utari's blog is certainly worth a read.

As for my lack of updates, it's not like things have been slow. Just real busy! While recruitment has dropped off, PvP content has picked up quite well. It's also inadvertently given us a new question to ask prospective recruits; "You've got 7 guys online - would you fleet up to provoke a 28 man fleet into a fight?"

Our scouts had been watching a C4 connected to the same static C5 we had. I've got to say, C4 space has become a lot more interesting lately. I'm sure the capital restrictions are a draw for some of the newer corporations and players as much as the dual statics. The way connections and population is at the moment, that's potentially a ridiculous number of systems to scout and keep tabs in the signatures in. They certainly hadn't checked the adjoining C5 thoroughly. Enough to be sending a Venture in to scoop gas while their PvP fleet roamed out of their other static, but not enough to bookmark or scout Lazarus, where we were lurking.

The reports on numbers were a bit sketchy with so many of the Unseen Wolves (the C4 residents) moving around, but it was in excess of 20. They were well equipped too. At least 4 guardians supporting their T3's. As things stood, we had 7 guys. If we had opted to bring a decent number of our own logistics, we wouldn't be able to field enough dps to cut the proverbial mustard. With options so limited, choices tend to make themselves, but choosing to roll to find something different wasn't on the cards - But making it look like we were rolling definitely was.

E'lone and myself logged in a second toon each as Utari did his best to do an impression of a beleaguered rolling Archon while our flotilla waited on the home side of the H296 while the carrier slowboated back to the K162, well within D-scan range of the Venture. The bait had the desired effect and almost instantly, a loki jumped from their C4 home and dropped combat probes.

Utari > This guy is taking ages. I'm almost at zero on the hole
Jay > Burn away for a little bit. When he warps, head back to the hole so it doesn't look too much like a trap.

The intrepid scanner did eventually manage to scan down our capital ship bait and was soon on grid to tackle it. A sabre arrived next, and as the rest of their fleet followed, our own fleet jumped through to meet them. The interdiction probes that the sabre dropped caused the guardians to land conveniently close to our ships and the combination of neuts and ecm made sure their guardians couldn't establish a cap chain effectively and we blitzed through three of them as a fourth scrambled for range. Aware of our range from the carrier, we did not pursue. The other thing I was aware of was that this was the first time most of our fleet had flown together in this kind of engagement. And for Zerolaws, it was the first time he'd ever been in fleet PvP.

It was something that showed. He was eager to prove he could cut it when it came down to a fight and had charged off after a Proteus, perhaps hoping his actions might help turn the tide in our favour. His enthusiasm took him outside of the carrier's rep range, losing him both the ship and his pod.

Utari's carrier was having no trouble keeping the rest of the fleet alive, and with their logi as good as negligible, we were laying down fire on the main body of their fleet, starting with their Armageddon. Their final guardian had put some distance between himself and our fleet, leaving the armageddon in dire straits. In desperation, the geddon's neuts switched to the tacklers and he managed to warp away in low armour. We switched to a Loki but our low numbers saw our tackle neuted away by Unseen Wolves' Legions and another of their ships escaped in the nick of time.

With the Archon feeding cap to the tacklers, we downed a Legion before the Wolves could land more Guardians. Another three joined the fight and far out of our range. We would have to be patient before we could break any of their ships again as the sensor damps forced their logi closer.

The Wolves noticed an error and switched dps to our own armageddon which had drifted out of the Archon's rep range. Solara drifted slowly back but neither fast nor far enough for his ship to make it. With ships down, breaking their fleet would be difficult if not impossible and I called the fleet to burn the 40 clicks back to the WH. As I did, the Unseen Wolves decided to target the Archon, while putting webs and scrams on our retreating ships. Each kilometre ticked by painfully slowly, and as the Archon's capacitor reservoir depleted, the Wolves started to target the Eos. With no reps available, the only choice was to jump home, depriving our fleet of armour links and therefore a big chunk or EHP. The Wolves turned their attention to the rest of the retreating ships who one by one crawled slowly back to jump range, with the exception of Thornir's Tengu (look at that - mentioned twice in one post).

The only remaining question was whether the Archon could last the triage cycle. Utari seemed confident, and none of their fleet had pursued our ships back into Lazarus, opting to focus on the Archon, but as the triage module deactivated, Utari jumped home, putting the wormhole on the verge of collapse and ending the fight.

The battle report suggests that Unseen Wolves won the ISK war, but at 9 vs. 28, I'll happily take the moral victory and the fact that we killed 4 ships while losing 3. All in all, a decent smash and grab but what was encouraging, our new guys enjoyed a good fight and were eager to learn from the experience.