Wednesday, 3 June 2009

21 Days Later

Twenty-one days of campaigning here has certainly produced some nice fights.

Placed a little ostentatiously in the middle of Aridia, we've been fighting both North and South factions (the Ombil Coalition and the Russians, respectively), sometimes on opposite sides of the same gate.

The first weekend was probably the most hectic, with virtually constant fighting. We'd hit BSOD & Blind Octopus (the South faction) a few times with triage gangs already, and knocked a tower of theirs into reinforced. They'd also lost some dreads in an attempt to kill a triage carrier shortly before the weekend. But they hadn't yet had a chance to form up properly and come at us.

After some nice fights on the Saturday, when the tower came out on Sunday morning we found that they had formed a fleet of 40-odd, battleship-heavy, and were waiting close to their RF tower system for our dozen or so pilots.

So we started out by killing a tower in Edilkam, in the North, and putting our own tower up. A game of cat and mouse then ensued with the bigger fleet in the South and we ended up cross-jumping them. This left us free to continue pushing further South towards the BSOD/Blind Octopus tower, with their fleet in pursuit.

The North then decided that this would be a great time to hit our still undefended tower in Edilkam (only two scrams online, no guns) - after all, we were trapped on the far side of a bigger, mutually-hostile Russian fleet that separated us from the tower we had just anchored.

But they miscalculated - as did the fleet chasing us, who jumped in and found themselves very much in a fight. Some nice triage action ensued and with the help of two carriers, we'd beaten a fleet three times our size, without taking a loss (again). Helpfully they'd jumped into us, allowing us to get stuck into their five Scorpions before they could blunt our dps.

Whilst scooping loot we realised that the North were attacking our new tower - and with their fleet defeated, the BSOD tower could wait. So we raced back north to try and kill two BS before they incapped the scrams. We weren't sure if they'd fight or if it was just a matter of getting a battleship kill before the last scram went incapped - after all, with their coverts they'd seen us fight the gang in the South.

To their credit though, the Ombil Coalition guys had prepped their cap fleet and fitted to counter the triage stunt we'd pulled against the Russians.

With a fairly equal number of battleships on the field (we gained a few while passing back North through our home system), they dropped 7 capitals and, for symmetry, we did the same. Fun ensued.

Once they were dead too, it was back South to kill the BSOD tower.

The fights have generally ebbed and flowed in this manner. I've even got round to flying a triage carrier again myself, on occasion. One of my favourite - if small - scraps was one that demonstrated a rather flattering, if unjustified, faith in my repping ability and overclocked hardware.

Shani was busy 'baiting' (read: killing) a gang in his Paladin, with yours truly on triage backup.

Me: Let me know if you need triage.
Shani: Will do.
Me: Cool.
Shani (as calm as ever): Actually I do need triage, I'm entering structure.
Me: Wh-
Shani (still unfazed): Half hull now.

Anubis claims I swore though I'm sure I didn't. Still, it left: alt-tab to cyno, drop cyno, alt-tab back, click jump on Watchlist; load grid; triage mode on; lock Shani; both reppers on; 1.9s cycle time.

At least it kept them aggro'd, that's what I tell my doctor.

Today involved similar kind of action. First we tried to gank a BSOD BS gang - but they de-aggro'd, spidered well and made it back to the gate, with no losses on either side. Whilst we still sat on the gate lamenting the missed killmails, an old fashioned nano-HAC gang turned up out of nowhere and started engaging our BS. I say 'old fashioned' because they reminded me of the classic nano era, where many a good time in Foundati0n was spent remote repping whilst using a Bhaalgorn or triage-tanked, remote-ECCM'd Huginn to grab the nano-HACs swooping in and out. Old fashioned now, young whippersnappers then.

This fight lasted about 40 minutes, with us - in true frugal nano-fashion - killing only a Curse, Oneiros and a couple others, for no losses. In the middle of it all, though, BSOD re-appeared for a cameo with a battleship gang. They primaried a Scorpion of Bw8, who stayed up (albeit with a brush of structure damage). We killed a Hurricane of theirs who'd drifted from their RR-range, and they then de-aggro'd and jumped out again.

Once the nano-gang had left, BSOD decided it was third time lucky and formed up about 17 BS + support. We jumped in just as they arrived on the gate. Cue postcard moment where one guy puts a scram on one BS and everyone is pondering on which side of the gate the chips with fall. BSOD open up, a lone capital jumps in (we were outnumbered 2-1, so doesn't seem excessive) and they went straight for it. It didn't work, and we won without losses. BSOD put up a good show of RR, but there was enough dps to punch through. Once their fourth or fifth BS was down they had started to de-aggro - one of their Dominix jumped in structure but alas, had so little hull left that the gate guns had their way with him on the other side, giving us a pleasingly morbid surprise after we'd looted and jumped out to head home.

A development of the last few weeks is that a good deal of this carnage involves the work of Guillotine Therapy, a new corp under which many of our existing French players have re-organised (though will run in parallel with BLT). At the time of writing they are taking an RL holiday so I hope sandcastles across europe's beaches are well stronted.

Finally, some special mentions for the month for those not named already: Link and Davinci for their good work in all of the above, Rinse putting pressure on the enemy at all hours, and hunting and killing relentlessly (with Theyu often at his side), Zuld leading gangs when I'm not (I was a good boy the past few weeks though and led what's mentioned here), Gunny for a great debut & Jack's solo-roaming (and Arbitrator of Doom).

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