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Monday, October 27, 2008

The Thrasher

The Thrasher is a lowly tech 1 destroyer. It is usually one of the first ships that newbies graduate to once they want to move up out of frigates. There are plenty of ways to fit it. Some good, some bad, some just different trade offs.

Since my current thrasher fit is pretty much public record now I thought a little discussion regarding this ship and it's fits is appropriate.

The first thing to do when approaching a Thrasher is to understand the design philosophy behind the class and the Matari variant of the same. To do this let's look at the bonuses and the slot layout of the Thrasher.
Engineered as a supplement to its big brother the Cyclone, the Thrasher's tremendous turret capabilities and advanced tracking computers allow it to protect its larger counterpart from smaller, faster menaces.

Destroyer Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Small Projectile Turret tracking speed and 5% bonus to Small Projectile Turret damage per level

Penalty: -25% Rate Of Fire for all turrets
Bonus: 50% bonus to optimal range for small projectile turrets
What does this tell us? The first thing is that it was intended to kill frigates. It's bonuses back this up. Extra tracking and small projectile turret damage are good against frigates. Then there are the class bonuses penalties. -25% rate of fire and 50% bonus to optimal. The first one means this ship is intended to have the damage output of a similar ship with 6 high slots, The difference is that it's supposed to do it with a bigger alpha strike (more guns, firing less often). The second is clearly aimed at long range guns. As a rule of thumb, optimal bonuses benefit long ranged weapons and falloff benefit shortranged. With a whopping 50% bonus to optimal this ship is designed for long range (from a frigate's perspective) fights against frigates.

The slot layout is 8 highs, 3 mids and 2 lows. 7 turrets, 1 launcher.

Now the thing to realize is that fitting a ship counter to it's bonuses is do-able but suffers in contrast to fitting a ship in accordance with it's bonuses. So let's thing about this.

The first thing is that this ship is designed for long frigate range combat. This is ranges from 20km to 30km on up as you hit T2 weapons. So forget about fitting tackle. Yes I know a solo destroyer that wants to PvP should still fit tackle, but the general lack of maneuverability and tank means that soloing a destroyer is at a disadvantage right off the bat. This ship is not meant to be a solo boat. It can be done, but there are better options. It does however need to control range against smaller faster vessels (as much as it can anyways) so at least one of those mids should be an MWD (smaller frigate weapons can't do more dammage to you with it on than with it off so might as well have it boogying you arround) I'll get into when to break this rule. This leaves 2 mids and 2 lows for your "specialization" modules.

The 7 turrent highs are easy: most of the time just fit a full rack of 250mm's. The 280's are used in specialist gank fits. Most of the time the extra tracking on the 250's make them a better choice.

The 8th high slot has a lot of options: Missile launcher, remote repper, neut/nos, salvager, smartbomb, rocket launcher with defensive missiles, empty. Choose something that will fit after everything else has been decided.

The 3 mids: Unless you're a specialist gank ship, an MWD in the first mid is almost mandatory. Unlike a tackler you're not trying to close, you're trying to keep the distance open. After that you've got sensor boosters, shield extenders, remote dampners, target painters and targeting computers as the standard modules of choice. Here it's very much up to personal choice and your vision of exactly what you're going to do. They all have applications and they are all useful. A squadron of dessies can mix their fits to provide various options.

the 2 lows: Gank or tracking are prety much your options here. Depends on your prey. But you will just about never go wrong if you fit 2 Gyrostabilizers if you can't think of anything specific.

Look, These ships are all about the ranged frigate kill. Fit and fly accordingly as part of a gang. Realize you'll die quite quickly if engaged up close - don't get close. There's realy no way to fit an effective tank on a destroyer. So don't bother - go for the gank as much as posible, use a range tank. A full on T2 gank Thrasher with a pilot that has destroyer 5 and advanced weapons upgrade 5 can put out a scarry amount of alpha at 60-70km (this is the one exception to the always fit an mwd if you can rule - it needs the 2nd sensor booster to range out that far). It can two volley most interceptors. A full on tracking fit has almost as much tracking as an autocannon frigate. This means you can actualy reliably hit ships that are orbiting you at tackle ranges (it's sweet spot is arround 10-20km right where long range tacklers like to tackle) and is even usefull at close range if you turn with your oponent to reduce traversal.

The are some subtle changes you can make to the ship to tweek it one way or the other. Trading range and gank for tracking and ability to hit reliably. But prety much under no circumstances should you try to tank this beyond a single extender in the mids. Dont' fly this ship up close, don't tackle with it. In wolfpacks it's all about the massed alpha. In fleets it's all about the anti-tackle and anti-interceptor. Against frigates, if you start out of range you should not loose 95% of the time. Never approach a target head on, always at an angle so as to be prepared to break off to keep the range open. Other ships are tackle. You're the anti-frigate alpha.

When setting up a warp in point defence (in FW) put tackle on the warp in point and setup with the warp in point at your optimal. For gate defense either setup on the gate (if you're closer ranged and tracking fit) or at about 40km-50km (if you're T2 range/gank fit). Again you're not tackle - that's someone else's job.

EvE's Metagame and the 7 month itch

After a blog entry by Mynxee, where she talks about her discovery of EvE's metagame, I got to thinking about how, unlike a lot of pilots, I didn't hit the "seven month itch" described by a lot of pilots. As I have commented before, it was mainly due I suspect to being thrust immediately into the larger eve game as a CEO and alliance leader right around that time. I've come to certain conclusions about EvE as a game thanks to this.

The first is it seems that the learning curve in EvE takes about 5 to 7 months. My observation is that newbies spend about that amount of time exploring the game mechanics and their options. This means that once they grasp the complexity of EvE (about after the first hour), their initial objectives involve learning the game. It seems to take about 6 months for them to attain the level of comfort where the "must learn the game" objective slows down and they either need to have something new to sink their teeth into or they need to take a break.

Basicaly they enter what I would call the "journeyman" stage of EvE. They've gotten enough of a handle on the basics and some of the advanced features of life in EvE and have a hopefully decent set of skills to build on. But the skill progression slows as they realize they need to address supporting skills and get into the longer skills. So the skill development becomes more long term and they need to concentrate on different objectives withing the game. A lot of pilots also grow beyond their current corporation's operations and may feel the need to move on.

This means two things:

One, as a new player be aware that as you approach your "journeyman" stage in EvE you need to give some thought to where you'll want to go in game and what you'll want to do. You'll need to set yourself some new objectives. But they should not be just "get to skill x level y so I can unlock gizmo z". They need to be a little broader. You'll need to start becoming aware of what's happening outside your little section of EvE. Explore other avenues, set new objectives. Get more involved at the Corporation and Alliance levels.

Two, as a CEO/Director becomes aware that one of his pilots approaches the "journeyman" stage in EvE, you need to start making the pilot more aware of the greater world of EvE around him and start introducing him seriously to the political landscape around him. The thing to remember is that I'm calling this the "journeyman" stage of an EvE player's life because one of the things that may happen is that the player may also wander from corp to corp for a bit looking for his next home. Not every corporation is suited to every stage in a players development. Realize this and don't burn bridges with the ones that leave.

Both players and CEOs need to realize this is a normal progression and to plan for it's occurance. This is where one of the advantages of alliances can potential come forward. Depending on the alliance of course. An alliance can be big enough to have "Newbie" corps, followed by more specialized corps. This allows for the newbie corps to take care of the needs of the developing player and getting them to the point where they are useful to the specialized corps and when they get to that point they can then transfer within the alliance. Single purpose corps will just have to get used to the rotation of pilots.

The point here is also that both sides need to be aware that the interface and game complexity is such that overloading the newbie with too much metagame when they are still learning the game can be bad, but not getting them into it once they pass the "apprentice" stage is also bad. Both sides need to work to help the pilot transition thru this phase (and yes it's different for everyone).

A tale of 3 engagments

It was a strange weekend. A mix of a lot of different things happening. I'll cover some of the other subjects in other posts but for now this one will concentrate on 3 different engagments I had over the course of the weekend.

As per usual - I think I get less EvE time during my weekends than during my weekdays. I did get on a few times though. I stayed mostly in low sec this weekend mostly engaged in plexing and associated skirmishing. As I have commented since the departure of the pirates, the character of engagements has changed in Faction Warfare. I will not comment on Smogg suiciding 2 matari fleets trying to kill MirrorGod, since I wasn't there except to note that it doesn't help us with system occupancy now does it?

On to more interesting things. Once again I'm finding that the give and take of plex warfare is proving to be quite interesting. It helps that I have a selection of ships available to me. With said selection of ships comes a selection of tactical options:

Rifter - Vigil - Slasher = Scout - Tackler
Probe = Utility (salvager - disposable prober etc...)
Thrasher = Anti frigate platform par excelance - more on it later
Stabber = Heavy tackle - light DPS
Rupture = DPS
Hound = cloaky sniping with missiles
Cheetah = cloaky scouting and scan down (also very usefull in plexing)
Jaguar - Wolf = kinda expensive for the usefulness atm but wait till the speed changes come in

Stuff I can fly but won't till my skills get up there into the ususable regions:

Cyclone - Hurricane = I realy need T2 Medium guns for these
Typhoon - Tempest - Malestrom = I need to get all weapons to T1 level 4 before I take one of these out

So as you can see I'm ship competitive up to Medium plexes and I can support others in larger plexes or roaming gangs. It's also here that you can see the advantage that a character with 23mil sp (even an industrialist) has over the newbies. Options.

Engagement the first

The first engagement of note involved the usual escalation of pilots and ships until we were left with an interceptor and myself in a Hound against an (damn I forgot what but it wasn't that important to this fight anyways) and a Purifier. The interceptor was going to try and get the other distracted while I got into point blank range for a SB (40km) in order to reduce flight time. The plan was to uncloak while alligned to a warp out point - get one of two volleys off and warp out against the other SB.

Well I screwed that one up totaly. Managed to panic on a long lock up and ended up double ctrl-clicking the target Purifier. With predictable consequences. Instead of staying alligned to my warp out point I turned toward the SB (about 120 degrees off course). Bye bye Hound, I knew you so shortly. I can tell that flying SB's is goign to be an expensive learning process untill I'm good with them.

Engagement the second

The next moment of interest was some solo offensive plexing. Now for those that aren't in faction warfare, this may be confusing. It's not realy. All plexes come with NPCs of one faction or the other depending on system occupancy. If you are in a system where your faction has occupancy, then the NPCs are on your side and won't shoot you but will shoot any war targets warping in (alas and alack, not pirates). If you are in a system where the other faction has control (the one you're at war with), then the NPCs will shoot at you. Trying to close the first type of plex is refered to as defensive plexing and the second type as offensive plexing.

I managed to spot an open minor plex so I went in solo. Eventualy I managed to get most of the rats killed when a Punisher war target shows up. I'm kinda busy killing rats and instead of engaging me he goes for the button. Ooookay, not an issue, I finish off the npcs and go to orbit him at my optimal and keep out of his range, he's half way thru armor when he warps off. Just as I'm chassing him off in comes a Coercer. Having learnt from previous encounters with this ship, I know there is a procavity for the Amarr to fit it for short range gank. Big mistake when flying against a MWD'ing arty thrasher who can perma run his MWD and his tracking computer.

I get to my optimal and once again chew thru his shields and armor without taking a single scratch. Off he warps and back to the button I go. Eventualy he comes back again. Aslo in a coercer. I figure he's re-fit but it'll be a question of pitting my tracking and mwd against his new long range fit. After I get a lock on him, I see that he repaired right up at the station. Once again I lay into him like the wrath of Matar and I'm only at about half shields when I'm chewing thru his armor and off he goes leaving me in possetion of the plex.

I realize that with no kills the PvP purists there will be screaming that the lack of kills is embarasing. Not so. If I had been in a roaming gang yes. But the objective here was to close the plex in favor of my faction. Killboard kills are incidental. The fact is I was up against a superior force and I held the field and closed the objective (looted and salvaged the npcs after as well). That's a win. I simply outflew the opponents and made better use of my ship and setup. Really good feeling.

Engagement the third

Once again this one started off by joining a plexing run in Metropolis hoping to shake loose some oposition as we closed down some plexes. The FC had called for a destroyer. I had originaly been in a cov-ops. I switched to it and went off to Metro systems. After having a horrible time finding plexes I offered to switch back to the cov-ops as this has the nice utility of at least confirming if there are plexes to find. He agreed.

So back to where I had left the cov-ops I go. Along the way I run into a WT gate camp. Ak! Destroyers are not known to be the niblest of ships. But armed with a mwd and having learned thru various ambush scenarioes how to avoid getting ganked in situations like these, I burn back for the gate make it with a bit of shield singing - then go back to providing intel on enemy fleet dispositions as I warp to another gate (the fleet is quite a ways away but having found a nice concentration of war targets the FC will be re-concentrating his forces and heading my way shortly). This time in comes a battle cruiser and an interceptor. Ak, another gate jump, they follow, I burn back to the gate, they get me to 50% structure, but I survive, then having weakend the gate camp at the original gate I was tryign to go thru I burn thru and get thru that as well.

The point here is that against superior forces in a ship that is renown for it's tissue paper armor and lack of maneuverability, I managed to out-fly my oponents and did not loose the ship. I proceeded to re-ship into my cov-ops and the ensuing attempts to get the Amarr to engage us. We did manage to kill the BC that had done such a number on my Thrasher. Jodie flies one mean hurricane (I take notes since once I get T2 guns this is a prety good setup). I'm not on that killmail since I was scout for this engagement and a cov-ops has no buisness being in the middle of an engagement.

I will say that I did screw up an attempt to scan down Jodie's warp out point from the station. But did manage to find out there was a large plex in system while screwing up (silver lining). After finding that plex with an anti-ship probe, I tried to scan it down. IT TOOK ME 5 TRIES to nail it close enough to pop it open - 2 of those it didn't show at all. This is why it pays to have a cov-ops on a plex finding run. The multispec can confirm without a shadow of a doubt if there is a plex to find in a system. That's all it tells you but you then know if it's worth going planet to planet looking for one or if it's better to move on. It also tells you if you do a first pass on the planets and don't find something that it's still there and probably nice and big (the harder to find the bigger they are usualy). It did reveal I need more practice with my cov-ops and I need to keep a Recon launcher handy for when plexing changes to fleet ops.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Plexing for fun and profit.

Day before yesterday was a fun evening we had a bunch of contiguous systems with some PIE pilots in the area so there was much too-ing and fro-ing and ninja plexing and occasional short sharp battles. As usual I had started off my evening in high sec and brought down some piping hot new ships to the battle zone. After getting the ships to the forward base I joined up in a gang and fun ensued.

Yesterday looked to be a mirror of the day before. I started by moving some ships arround in low sec, then a quick trip up to high sec to get a new batch of piping hot Rifters from the oven and moved to my forward base. At some point in time I'm going to have to talk to my Caldari, Amarr and Gallente bretheren in the militia for standard T1 fits for their vessles as well so that when I put together T1 frigate fleets I don't leave anyone out.

Once things delivered and one of the new ships moved out to low sec, it was just a matter of joining up the plexing fleet in progress. Apparently I missed out on a brand new (read full of ego) FC who hasn't even flown with the militia before he tries to lead it. Comments ranged from "competant and knows what he's doing" to "asshat" with a split between those who'd fly with him again and those who'd avoid him like the plague. Once again someone who tries to FC before getting to know the pilots he's FC'ing criples his future fleets.

This evening's fleet ended up after some initial bloodless skirmishes doing nothing but plexing as we aquiried a PIE tail for the rest of the evening. Now one of the things I've noticed is that when getting multiple plexes run at the same time, there's a lot of ad-hoc assigning of ships to the plexes. I think we need a bit more organization for stuff like this in fleet. I didn't make a comment about it because FCs run their fleets the way they want. I think however things would have gone a little smoother if he'd sub-divided his fleet into 3 dessy/frig squadrons and a bigger cruiser squadron. It would have made ordering the ships arround the plexes much simpler.

We'll have to see if we can organize things better next time. We definitly need more practice with dispersed fleets. Getting a handle on where everyone is going and splitting off elements is going to take a bit more organization and flexibility than the current monolithic structure allows.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A good skirmish over a plex

I'm glad do see the plexing mechanism is alive and well. Big fleet fights are fine and dandy but the smaller engagements are interesting as well. CCP implemented a system by which certain plexes are limited in the size of ship they can handle. So any fights in them tend to be with like sized vessels. The way you fly a frigate in a fleet fight and the way you fly one in a small gang are very different. Since running down these plexes counts towards system occupancy we do get fights over them. So things are running as intended.

I start off my night up in high sec. I've just started the manufacturing run on a Typhoon and batch of rifters and thier modules. That done I head towards low sec asking anyone if they had anything they needed for any of our bases down in low sec. After receiving an order I fill my probe up with ammo and head towards low sec. As I pass thru a system I notice an Amarr navy slasher in a plex in Tararan. Once at one of the bases I dock up, slap up a quick contract, and grab one of my Thrashers and head back to Tararan.

By this time, the plex had changed to T1 Cruiser T2 Frigate plex. The Slicer was still on scan however. So was a coercer. Humm ok, back to base and grab the Stabber. By this time a fellow corp made had reached the area and we both went in Stabbers. We figured our chances were small of getting a kill, but we figured what the heck. We're not letting the Amarr de-contest the system. So we charge in and sure enough as soon as we start motoring for the button and the two ships there, they warp off.

So we start killing NPCs and as we're doing that on scan comes an Iskur. Now we keep killing NPCs but then a Purifier comes on scan. This is looking less than favorable for a pair of Stabbers. Stealth bombers tend to eat cruisers for lunch. And Nostra had gotten a little slopy in his NPC'ing and was into structure.

So the Purifier takes a few pot shots at me as I warp out and Nostra also warps out. Yep down to 5% armor before I got out. Nostra oopses and docks up at a station that has no repair facility so he can't undock (he'll get a plate later). I end up back with my ships and repair the Stabber. We decide to go back in Thrashers. So we switch to Thrashers and head on back in to the plex.

When we get there, Vitak in a Crow was already engaged with the iskur and he had dispatched the Purrifier. So we get in on the action and kill the Iskur. Nostra somehow manages to loose his Thrasher in the fight, but we have no problem finishing off the Iskur. At that point I head to the button and start working the timer back to our side.

The rest of it was fairly event free as the Amarr retired from the contest for Tararan for the rest of my stay online that evening. With a new pilot rotating in as Vitak and Notra headed out, I ran down the plex while bookmarking one of the NPC wrecks. I even managed to go back and salvage all the npc wrecks and the T2 wrecks of the Iskur and the Purifier.

Final tally: 2 T2 frigate kills for 1 T1 Destroyer lost. Never more than 2 v 3 at any one time. Good little running skirmish over a plex in a contested system. Course the Amarr pilot had to complain that he died to a 1v3, but I'll just point to my new definition of blobing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Temporary diversion

A fellow pilot stopped over for food and drinks at my place last nice with a spiff new T-Shirt:

I'm in yer houzez & I'm drinking yer scotchez

Close up

Please define: Blobing

So I was talking with Black Claw last night. And the conversation turned around to the big break he had at one point and getting back into eve. And he commented how blobs seemed to be the "flavor du jour", And the upcoming speed nerf. I made the observation that "blob" is such is a loosey goosey word and how it's meaning is totally different for a pirate and for a 0.0 denizen.

I commented from conversations with friends that for a 0.0 denisen, a blob prety much needs to have like 100+ ships going up against 100+ ships and that any thing lesser really doesn't qualify. A fleet of 20-50 ships is just a nice tight roaming gang. And then there's my experience that a pirate who gets tackled and ganked by a small squadron of 5 ships will complain of being "blobbed". Even I went (o.O) to that one. After what? (goes and checks) what do you know... almost 2 months of FW. I've come to certain conclusions about "blobing".

My new definition of blobing:
Blobing is when you get your ass haded to you by a superior force when you fail miserably in the pre-battle phase of combat and want to bitch about your lack of skill.
I'm writing this as I'm listening to MicroWarpCast #2. An excelent pod cast, go listen to it. I think I need to address the apparent lack of Carebear blogs as mentioned in the cast. The reasons behind it etc... I'll save that for my next post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blog Pack Profile: Colonel Roc Wieler

The blog pack is going to cross post profiles of ourselves so our regular readers can get to know them. The first up is Colonel Roc Wieler, so here it is:

Name/Handle: Colonel Roc Wieler

Blog URL: Roc's Ramblings at

Faction: Minmatar Republic

Started EVE: 2006

What brought me here:
My love for science fiction has been something inspired in me since I first Star Wars at the theatre as a kid. I loved the richness of the mythology, the vastness of the universe; the true sense of wonder. So naturally, I played Star Wars Galaxies the day it came out. Played dedicated for five years. The last two years though, I noticed the game was continually being dumbed down. I hate dumbed down. I enjoy depth. Someone mentioned EVE Online to me, and well, been here ever since. Even gave up Star Wars for it, my childhood love.

I am a Fleet Commander for the Tribal Liberation Force, as well as recently promoted to Fleet Commander in my corp, Freeform Industries. I do missions every now and then, but my real passion is the market. Both my alts are out of the box traders, and I really enjoy the cutthroat nature of doing business. I've never mined, never even opened research or industry, and have never managed a corp. One step at a time.

What keeps me playing:
Ironically, there are two things. The first is that you don't need to be here 23/7 for fear of missing out on some huge event. That flexibility combined with real time skill training (as opposed to mindless grinding) makes it great for me. During the week, I'm a casual player, and that's just fine. The second reason I've already mentioned indirectly. Depth. Vastness. Mythology. EVE Online is so comprehensive that I am STILL catching up on my reading, just to absorb myself deeper into this universe we call home.

What I write:
My personal blog is all in character (with occasional exception). My approach to writing is a little different than most I am told. I tend to merge real life happenings with in-game happenings, with a bit of complete fantasy mixed in to throw you off. So far, it's been fun. I am also a columnist over at EVE-Mag and hope to also get an article or two into EON Magazine. That would be something.

Other Interests:
I am also a co-developer for Capsuleer, the definitive iPhone application for EVE Online. I enjoy making 3D wallpapers as well, and have contributed some to the EVE Online galleries.

What you should know about EVE:
It's intimidating when you start; overwhelming actually. It's like learning a new Operating System and learning how to live in a completely new universe all at the same time. But stick with it, seriously. The rewards are worth it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Speed vs Agility

Since not much went on yesterday, I've decided to have a wee bit of discussion of speed vs agility as it applies to EvE online. Regardless of what will happen during the "Speed Refactoring" as you design your ship fits it pays to understand the difference between these two factors.

First of all there is Speed. Speed allows you to catch the enemy in combat and/or control the engagement distance. So more is better. Speed does however come at a cost. Afterburners are relatively benign just costing a bit of cap and effectively lowering your agility just a teensy bit. Microwarp drives on the other hand give you a massive boost with some real drawbacks (not so much for battleships but for frigates - ouch) in the form of trickier fitting, smaller cap size, massive cap drain while operating, and they turn your ship into a glowy big target by multiplying your sig radius by 5. Overdrives push up your top speed at the expense of cargo space and maneuverability (we'll get to that). Nanofibers reduce your hull weight which affect both your acceleration and top speed using both afterburners and microwarp drives, but not your normal speed, and they cost you structure - making your ship more fragile once you loose your armor. The point is that speed costs one way or the other but it's tactical advantages outweigh it's costs very often.

Agility is basically how fast your ship can accelerate and turn. This affects things like how fast your ship can get to it's maximum speed, how close you can orbit things and how fast you end up going at any particular orbit distance. Your ability to do all these things is determined by your agility rating and your mass. Interestingly Microwarp drives ADD mass to your ship making it more sluggish. Nanofibers REDUCE your mass and since that goes into this equasion this makes your ship more responsive indirectly. Inertial stabs increase your agility directly. This has no effect on your speed, but your acceleration goes up substantialy.

The thing to remember about all of these are the tactical uses of speed and agility. Frigates are blessed in that you can pile on quite a bit of speed without sacrificing too much agility. Battle cruisers on the other hand? "Ah the nanocane - it goes fast - in a straight line." to paraphrase someone in a fleet recently. Now on to the consideration that most blocade runners know intuitively. Zero to warp speed is important. if you are pointing in the right direction and going at least 75% of your maximum speed, you will warp instantly. If either of these two factors is not met, you ship will turn and accelerate towards maximum speed and warp when the conditions are met. This is where acceleration and agility come in. You need to a) get up to speed and b) turn to face withing about a 5 degree cone of where you want to go before the warp drive engagnes.

An interesting aspect of the mechanics of EvE is that if you are pointed in the wrong direction the system will slow you down to make the turn and then re-accelerate you as you get close to the correct orientation. The faster you ship can turn the faster you can get to the acceleration phase. The quicker you can accelerate the faster you hit that 75% mark. Note that this actualy penalizes faster ships. This is because with equal acceleration it will take a faster ship longer to get to the 75% of max speed point.

Generaly speaking you want resonsiveness in scouting and evasive vessels, speed with tacklers and short ranged weapons ships. Snipers realize they are boned if they get caught so tend to go for range and gank and try and avoid getting into a situation where acceleration or top speed will get them out of trouble.

Three things I've observed:
  1. if you want to not get tackled - your zero to warp time is in a race against their lock you up and scram you time. This tends to apply to the scouting phase of any fleet battle and any traveling you do. Inertial stabs and Nanos are your friend.
  2. if you want to tackle and/or get within range of the enemy speed is your friend. Even at the expense of some maneuverability.
  3. If you are trying to warp - make sure your afterburner or mwd are turned off if possible. Having them turned on slows down your 0 to warp time.
Now one interesting effect is that since mass goes into the acceleration equation, it's not necessarely evident which is better: the Inertial stab or the nanofiber. The answer is: It depends on your ship. It turns out that for heavier ships - nanos tend to be better and you can stack in quite a few before you need to switch to inertial stabs to keep improving acceleration. In frigates howerver Istabs are much better right off the bat. My advice?
  1. Determine YOUR standard use of the ship you are fitting. Does it need speed or agility?
  2. Use EFT to determine the optimum mix of Nanofibers/Inertial Stabilizers/Overdrives (or their corresponding rigs) for the desired effect
  3. Remember you are using module/rig slots for your speed adjustments. Make sure the speed is worth the loss of other functionality (gank/tank).
The upcoming speed changes will affect point 3 more than 1 or 2. The race between time to warp and sensor lock time will remain unchanged prety much. However the ability to use sheer speed to avoid damage or engagments while on grid will be severely impaired. This might increase the value of gank/tank modules significantly relative to pure speed ones. But remember that the ability to get within weapons range of the enemy depends on relative speed - yours vs theirs so it will still be important.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ah, finaly some reduction in hull inventory

As you all may have noticed from my comments, I can be an industrious little beaver when I want to be. I now find myself with somewhere around 40 fitted T1 hulls of various stripes (ok, there's a distinct preponderance of Rifters - but that's to be expected). This means I can now settle in to a nice long campaign of burning through these hulls.

One of the things I had fitted out was a Ninja mining Scythe. A simple insured T1 fit that can fill it's hold in 2 cycles. The idea being that in off hours I can so a bit of ninja mining on the sly. Well that particular hull did not last too long. But it died giving me some horribly valuable information. My overview tabs had gotten bugged at some point and I hadn't noticed. After some checking it turns out about 60% of my overview settings weren't showing combat recons on grid. And therefore not on scanner (since I had checked the box - match overview settings to remove distant wrecks from the scans). This meant that the pirate simply wandered up to my fat little Scythe and the first I knew I was in trouble was when I noticed my cap was gone!

After swearing about damn overview settings in local I have since managed to get things fixed on all my overviews. Something must have happened in one of the updates or I had derived a whole bunch of settings after an update had messed things up. I also couldn't see black-ops, marauders electronic attack ships and what not. Very distressing. On the flip side, problem solved and it was a fully insured Scythe which means my net losses were pretty small. Well worth the cost of correcting my overview.

Later in the evening I went out in various fleets as a scout/tackler. The first fleet was rather successful in having an interesting engagement for no losses. I suspect we got one of the newer Amarr corporations who are not yet used to PvP yet and taught them a lesson in PvP. Capped a plex and later lost a Rifter being overly aggressive against a tackled Crusader (note to self - let the long range boys take care of those). A later engagement down in the vard area was not quite as successful. This was a classic meeting engagment. Both forces were about equal strenght with a slight edge to the Amarr. Both sides engaged, both sides got kills. We ended up having to conceed the field. Lost a Vigil and finished the fight in a (surprisingly alive) Stabber.

Did some scouting. Got on some kill mails. Overall a good night.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Switching Corps

Thanks to the wonderful corp theft of Sunday, yesterday was spent moving ships around and getting in the new corp.

Note to any newbie forming his first corp (It's been written before but needs to be emphasized):


After the corp is formed the shares can be distributed if necessary or according to an investment plan. The problem is that if the corp is left with it's own shares under it's own control, any director can then grab them and take over the corp. To re-itterate: ANY DIRECTOR CAN TAKE CONTROL OF CORP OWNED SHARES AT ANY TIME.

So we made a new corp. Just waiting out the time it takes to get the corp back in the militia.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Drama bombs

It's been that type of a weekend. The weekend started off with news that some "mercenary" corp had been hired to go after PIE inc. From what we've been observing PIE seems to have the most plexers of the Amarr. So fine and dandy. So our corp were set blue to them and had strict instructions never to engage. Unfortunately it turns out that many militia corps had not been set blue to these guys.

The consequences I'm sure you can imagine since these guys can best be described as "indiscriminate". Various quantities of fecal matter hit various rotary impellers. In the course of this it looks like certain elements of the militia will be turning pirate once again.

Closer to "home" it turns out that there was a "coup" staged by someone in my corp. They are currently in the process of walking away with the contents of the corp hangars and wallet. (24h role drops and share votes slow things down. So it looks like by tomorrow I'll be in a new corp or back in the militia in general. One of the two.

EvE - it's a sandbox - with landmines.

Friday, October 10, 2008

News and stuff

A long time friend and all round excellent diplomat has decided to take a break from his position in a 0.0 alliance. We got to talking. Looks like a case of general 0.0 burnout. As he stated he wasn't burned out on the game, just on the responsibilities and the constant PvP of his (now ex-) position. This got me thinking on the subject of burn out in general.

It's like life that way. Too much of a good thing can be bad. The problem can be recognizing the symptoms early enough to change course without getting burned out on the game as a whole. As a general clue, if you're a PvPer and your mining alt starts looking more and more like a main character - it's time to take a break.

One of the advantages of EvE, with it's higher average age bracket, is that most of us don't have a problem staying in touch with good pilots when they go off to different pastures. You need to take a long view in this game, not a short one. Politics in EvE are Machiavellian enough that today's fleet mate will be tomorows target and vis-versa quite frequently. There's also the fact that although you can specialize to specific tasks quite quickly on a single character, having a fully developed, flexible, main character takes quite a bit of time. Very much can happen in that large chunk of time.

Part of adapting to the long term part of this game and/or the metagame of EvE is recognizing these facts and planning accordingly. It does not matter if you are the leader of an alliance or a simple PvP footsoldier. In EvE if you do not establish at least some long term goals you will eventualy flounder and burn out. In this game, even PvP'ers need to keep an eye on the bottom line (for the most part) or they run out of ships. Making sure their support system is in place to keep them supplied in hulls and modules takes planing. Remember EvE is a sandbox. You need to establish goals for yourself, and they will change over time.

Ok, enough of that. Onto last night. Various conversations took up about half the evening last night. I did manage to get out and do some PvP with a new FC. Not too bad, lacking a bit in the self confidence departement, but didn't make any stupid calls. As a plus we managed to catch a Drake and an Abaddon. I actualy got the killmail for the Abaddon so that's the first KM I've received that was not a pod or a noob ship. Woot!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A few minor look and feel changes here

Recently I've been feeling dis-satisfied with my blog's layout. So I've changed things around a bit. I still need a few more things to fix up (like the artwork now). But for now I hope it's better.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Solo belt kill

As I was looking at my wallet, I noticed that it had dropped bellow my comfort level. Mainly due to a recent skill and BPO purchase. In order to alleviate this situation, I decided it was time to build a few Typhoons for sale in order to replenish my coffers. Making typhoons is a mineral intensive operation however.

So I spent the evening mining (transfer box mining). By the end of the evening I had killed a belt. Combined with my existing lows and some purchased highs, this was enough to pop a Typhoon in the oven. The only decision left is who to sell it to market or militia and where to fly it to.

This got me thinking. One of the propositions still on the books is to have the entire belt system move to the exploration mechanic. One thing that would be great is if CPP could have belt kill mails for when a mining site despawn is triggered. One of the things that miners live for (at least the serious ones) is melting entire belts. We'd love to have a more permanent record of the number of belts we kill.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rather interesting

The Amarr are rather strange. I had logged into the game and motored to the Kamela station and was reporting war targets in militia when I noticed a fleet nearby in Kourmonen. I then proceeded to x up (indicate my willingness to join an ongoing fleet). We were operating under an FC I was not familiar with. This was a little earlier than my usual time, but a few of the pilots were familiar. The various scout reports including my own indicated that the Amarr seem to have various squadron sized fleets operating in close conjunction. One of the elements was definitely BS heavy and the decision was taken to up-ship.

Due to the usual dis-organization of the Militia we'd gotten split up a bit while trying to up-ship. Pilots already in BS were still in Kourmonen, a small ship element was in auga and the rest tried to do an end run and ran into a Vard gate camp on the way to rally in Amamake. (I suspect that this was the group that I had originally tagged in Kamela that we'd lost track of right before the decision to up-ship). During this evolution (and before the decision to go round the long way) I had motored straight to my forward base and up-shipped to a Stabber.

After we managed to get the re-shipping elements together in Amamake, most of our pilots were divided between 3 elements, the majority in Amamake, a small element in Auga and a heavy element in Kourmonen. Although the enemy was moving around quite a bit, we'd managed to nail the location of quite a few of their pilots. There was a rather large presence in Auga blocking our linking up between the elements.

It looked like they were organizing to keep our fleet separate. After waiting for an opportune moment the FC (remaining cool under the strain) managed to get the elements linked up after which we discovered that the Amarr dispersed, unwilling to go up against our concentrated strength. Even though their various elements outnumbered our fleet 2 to 1 in BS strength by our estimate.

I suspect that the elements we were tracking were not actually in proper coordination with each other. But our FC did the right thing and treated them like they were. We missed some opportunities to smash some smaller elements while we were less concentrated. But we did not loose a BS heavy fleet to the Amarr. Although disappointing, the FC is to be congratulated on getting the fleet concentrated properly.

What was interesting was the way the Amarr seemed to operate to keep us separate but then faded when we linked up elements. This of course lead to calls to hunt for spies. At the end of the day however, I suspect in this case that what really happened was that the Amarr militia was not coordinating their elements - they just had multiple fleets operating independently. This gave the appearance of a coordinated opposition but in the end the fact that the Amarr keep moving their fleet in the ways they did looks more like smaller fleets trying to avoid getting decisively engaged.

After some dithering we managed to catch a small squadron in Lamaa and exterminate it. I then took a break for dinner.

The rest of the evening was much less interesting after I got back from dinner - mostly indy stuff. Incidentally I'm sorry about the lack of talk of things I plan, but I have to operate under the assumption that the Amarr Militia are avid readers of my blog (probably not, but you never know) so I just don't talk about my future plans as much.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bye Bye Blacky

I've had that Jaguar for quite a while. It wasn't my dual medium extender jag but it was quite solid. Setup for tackle. Last night saw a bit of a mess happening as I was ferrying it to the combat zone so instead of docking it up I charged in to help some corp mates that were getting their asses kicked by Elise Randolf in her Crow and someone in a rupture.

After getting ourselves semi-organized and a gang of 2 cruisers an AF and an Interceptor on the warp gate of the complex, we charged in with the rupture 60 off the gate. Then it was charge to the rupture and ignore the Crow.

Bad news: my AF went down hard and fast, I didn't have enough time to re-orrient and get out of dodge. Good news: the rupture also went down. Initially I thought that I would be the one that lost the most out of the exchange since this was a rigged AF. But no, after checking the Rupture kill mail it turns out that he was fully tech 2 fitted with some nice faction missiles for his assault launchers. Which explains why he did such a number on my AF. Also he had a 1600mm buffer plate with resists. The end result was about an even trade but ouch. Going to be a while before I get another one of those.

I then changed to a Thrasher and proceeded to help finish the plex (with Elise hanging arround) and then go off and re-inforce another engagement. Down goes a Moa. Pod kill on the moa pilot (gota love Thrashers for getting pods). Then this neutral Drake proceeds to engage our fleet. An active tanked drake...

One more kill mail later. The fleet re-concentrates and splits into PvP and Plexing elements. I end up with the plexers and eventualy switch over to my cov-ops. The plexes are getting hard to find but we manage to find some. Eventually I have to bail.

And That was my sunday evening.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Militia

Good morning. Not without it's drama, but then again, I wasn't in the FC channels so I'll leave other to comment.

On one side, an old corp mate and all round excellent pilot (and his corp) have joined the militia. This instantly gives me more pilots I'd be willing to fly expensive ships with (always a good thing). Getting into any long conversation with the guy may lead to depression and thoughts of suicide (by way of charging at the enemy) but he's good in a fight.

We started off the morning and initial I was in a Thrasher as per FC's request. That soon changed to a loaned Cheetah (one of my favorite ships in EvE). Not that I don't have my own rigged Cheetahs but they were far and the op was underway. I must discuss with the FC one day why I found 3 tech 2 expanded cargoholds in a Cheetah (this was soon rectified) but I digress.

I spend the rest of the morning scouting for plexes as we were mainly a (rather large) cruiser/frigate gang. As per the FCs design, we plexed madly, stedfastly ignoring any Amarr buildup in fleet concentration. When we heard they were running an un-restricted plex however, judging the timing right the FC ordered a burn to the system and an precipitous up-ship. The rapidity ouf our re-location and the swiftness of our strike were well rewarded with many dead Amarr ships for few losses. Once that plex was capped, it was back to our plex running.

This time we were dodging a re-concentrated Amarr fleet, but once again we simply ignored them and concentrated on plexing. Their un-willingness to downship to follow us into the plexes that were size capped is evident by the regular capping of plexes for little losses on our part. But then again, we're Minmatar. We're not there to play into their hands. It was practicaly a textbook example of "Raid and Fade". An excelent example to future FCs about how to run this type of operation, get plexes capped and ignore the enemy until it's time to strike. Then strike hard, strike fast and faid before counter operations can be moutned. Keeping mobile.

For most of it I was actualy plex scanning in my cov-ops, confirming systems without plexes and tracking down those that had them. I only switched to a combat ship for the strike, then right back to the cov-ops after the strike. I didn't get a lot of plex points this way but it did allow the militia to keep moving from system to system with something to do when we weren't attacking the enemy.

A note to vairous pilots that want to FC in the milita:
  1. This is not 0.0, one does not "have" to hold any ground. This is much more like skirmish warfare mid sized fleets for the most part.
  2. If things go wrong (and they will) do not make a prat of yourself and start recriminating the other pilots. They've been doing this for months and they can tell when you make a bad call.
  3. It's usually a bad idea to insult existing matari FCs (especialy the ones that can get the pilots to x up).
  4. Again, this is not 0.0, most of the pilots you are flying with are self-supported. What they've got is what they've got. You want them to fly specific ships they dont' have? YOU supply the ships.
  5. After a few bad experiences with bad FCs it'll be a very rare competant matari pilot that will fly something expensive with an FC they have not flow with before, or one not backed by the other known FCs. Fly with us a bit as a normal pilot before trying to take over a fleet. If you're competant and we can see it, you'll get the pilots. If not, we'll be avoiding you like the plague and good luck getting anyone to form a fleet with you.
Having addressed this morning's drama, more general advice for anyone joining a Militia follows:
  1. Do not call for people to help you out at gate x in system y in the general militia chat. Plenty of spies have done this in the past and it's lead to some juicy ambushes. If you keep it up we will simply asume you're a spy even if you aren't.
  2. Do not give travel destinations on the militia chat. Ever. You idiot.
  3. Do not say "I'm going plexing in system x" in militia chat. It's like painting a nice big "shoot me now" target on your ship.
  4. You can report war target system presence. If you can see them, they can see you, so revealing your position with this intel is irrelevant. The enemy already knows and the militia pilots can use the intel. A simple x wt in is sufficient. If youv'e got eyes and after you get to know the pilots "it looks like Armada's cap pilots are undocking in - get ready for a hot drop somewhere" is more useful, but again experience will tell you. Stick with simple till you know the players.
  5. Be careful replying to pilots who just joined your fleet who ask "where are you going" instead of "where should I go". The first are probably spies trying to see if they can setup an ambush, the later are actualy trying to join your fleet. As a corolary, do not ask a fleet you've just joined, where it's going, ask it where they want you.
Ah, EvE, don't you just love the paranoia.


When I logged on there was some action happening around Arzad. I managed to get in on the tail end of a pretty spectacular debacle. I still managed to get a pod kill, but it was not a good engagement. The FC was not someone I recognized (this not being my usual time online, that's hardly surprising). So a frigate was lost for a pod kill. The thing is, that various recriminations between certain participants who had been involved longer than I was started happening.

Drama, in the militia, who'da thunk???

Basicaly I spend the rest of the day on Indy pursuites and when I want to fleet up at the normal time I end up back with the level 5 stuff from the previous night. Sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles. Not as much as the prior evening but still we'll be able to turn the drone loot into some nice milita ships.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Man what did I do last night?

Kinda fuzzy this morning. Darned cold. Ok, some stuff went down but little action as I got into the war zone. Eventually a corp mate calls me up for a level 5 - but he needs salvagers... So I re-fit a probe with dual salvagers, and off I go.

The level 5 was fun to watch (one of the ones with a carrier) and much was salvaged, the tag sales went to all the participants, and the rest of the loot got put in the refining bin of the corp. Then we got another one and I switched to my Mastodon for that one since it was a drone one. After a relatively uneventful level 5 mission it was off to a station to melt over 3k m3 of compounds. Got enough to manufacture 4 Ruptures (which I did immediately). Sent the rest off towards the corp hangars via corp contract.

Wait a sec, 2 level 5 missions... THAT's where the evening went...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More indy stuff

You may want to skip this post if you're here for battle reports.

So I take a look at my mineral bank. Tap the gauge. Hummmmm.... Time to fill it up a bit. The previous day's mining followed by some very nice pew pew didn't fill my personal coffers. So I head out to my manufacturing center, grab my Hulk again and head for a nearby spot. My survey scanner reveals Crap roids but oh well, no mining = no mineral. I get down to killing roids. I'm liking the new capacity on my hauling alt I must say. Althought the system had quite a bit of thru trafic for an out of the way place, I was rather un-disturbed all evening.

Fighting thru my cold, I only got about 2 hours of mining done for 4 jet cans worth of ore. Not great but then again, with the roids that were there, about what I was expecting. One of the mining crystals finaly poped. Ooooo the excitement (well the 2 alloyed trit bars from some rats were nice). On the other hand with my cold developing nicely, that was about all I could handle. Good thing I decided against PvP this night.

I put in 2 more Rupture hulls. So I'll make some modules for the ruptures tomorow so I can ship down 2 more ruptures and a Thrasher. I also put in 3 of my BPOs for research to 10 ME. HOLY MOTHER OF ***! I am suddenly forcefully reminded why I'm a proponent of high sec research POSes. 60 odd days before I see my BPOs again and over 5mil per bpo??? Good thing I'm only doing this to keep my research skills in use. My Blackbird, Moa and Osprey BPOs will be out of circulation for a while. Good thing I got my Minmatar hull BPOs researched before it all hit the fan.

Back to the pew pew tomorow.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rapier kills are sooooooo sweet

After the previously engaged small gang disperses, I end up scouting around, humm known dread pilots in Tzvi but only 3 war targets. Nothing seems to be heating up so I head back to Kamela and those previously spotted war targets. This time there's myself in a Vigil and Calius in his Rapier. We spot an Amarr Rapier and a Manticore at the station in Kamela along with 2 wrecks. Eventualy after some docking-undocking, some wreck looting under the noses of the two enemy pilots in my Vigil, we manage to get the Rapier to aggress at the un-dock point as I dock up after looking like I'm going for a second ninja looting under their eyes.

After I dock up I hear Calius trying to get in position to web him (still under cloak). So I un-dock and both Calius and I get points and engage the aggressed Rapier. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet jumps in and starts burning for us. The enemy Rapier pilot however is boned. Webbed, pointed and still under aggression timer so he can't dock up. We actually manage to kill the Rapier before the other guys in the fleet get to us. I'm pretty sure everyone in the fleet is happy anyways. They are in BS mostly and a Rapier kill is a Rapier kill.

So since I'm on top of it anyways I loot the Rapier wreck. You see that True Sansha Warp Disruptor? I picked it up and will be donating it to the corp fund for militia ops. I dock up and make sure it's in station for later disposal. To add insult to injury I finish by looting that last wreck that was sitting outside the station at the start of all the fun.

The op continues. After trying to find more targets, I'm headed back to my forward base as it's after midnight local time. On my way back I hear of a rupture on the other side of a gate I'm approaching, so after seeing that the pilot on this side is a stabber and coordinating with the FC, I jump thru and get tackle. He aggresses me, the stabber pilot jumps thru with the rest of the fleet on his heels. My vigil goes up but the stabber is hammering away. Unfortunately as I'm warping away in my pod, I hear that they loose the Rupture.

This small engagement shows the importance of having good follow-on tackle to the first tackle. The Amarr have a tendency to prioritize frigates when we start the engagement. So frigates in first tackle situations have a very short life expectancy. My loss rate definitely shows this fact up. However they are T1 and fully insured. Their crews have been briefed that their battle stations are IN their escape pods. The point is that we know we're going to loose the ship (we're usually horribly surprised if we survive a fight). All we ask is that there's a follow on tackle that's solid to get the target as we're warping away in our pods. It also shows the importance of flying aggressively and boldly. We did not end up with any large fights but we did end up with good kills. Over the course of the evening I traded a Rifter and a Stabber for an Ishtar and a Rapier (still stoked about the Rapier since I put a lot of work into that kill). It was a great evening.

On up to the First kill

As I get back to the forward base, I decide to move some frigates to fill out some low sec frigate caches that have gotten used up a bit. I barely have time to move one when the call comes out that a fleet is forming and needs pilots. So I burn back in my pod to grab an insured Rifter and join the fleet.

It turns out that a) it's a newbie FC on his first try at it. b) it's against Angelonico's gang and c) we're not getting the numbers. After hemming and hawing (note to self - quiet while thinking and make decisions quickly - safespot the fleet if nothing else comes to mind), it's decided to go on a roam. Knowing Angelonico's habits I suggest a destination that should avoid walking into an Angelonico/Elise/and Co trap. After way too much double checking that the gates are clear we finally move off (note to self - do not hesitate when people say it's clear, get the fleet moving - a moving fleet is safer than a stationary one). We end up in Arzad, two of us tryign to get some action going with a Purifier, but no luck.

While the games were happening, one of the Directors and an experienced FC comes in and joins gang and it's decided to re-ship and up-ship. I stay in my Rifter. That turned out to be the right decision for a number of reasons. Mainly because after up-shipping we were a little short on tacklers. So I lead off. While scouting out Kamela and spotting some war targets in system, we get the call that a fleet pilot is in trouble on the Auga gate in Kourmonen. I burn back there. I'm in warp when I hear the pilot goes down, but I know most of the fleet is in Auga at the kourm gate, so I let em know I'm warping on the battle zone. I land on top of the enemy ships and point an Ishtar and call out the name as the fleet jumps in with that pilot called as primary.

Sure enough I loose my Rifter quite quickly. But it's done it's job. I held the target in place long enough to get second tackle on it and erase the Ishtar from existance. I imediatly re-ship from a cache in the system happy to trade a Rifter for an Ishtar.

I am reminded that decisiveness is very good in an FC. Having some plans on how to conduct yourself in the pre-engagement stage of a fleet op helps. As a new FC, it helps if you have some default action that is relatively intelligent to do if you catch yourself over thinking a situation. Never stick too long at a single gate. It's an invitation to have an enemy fleet drop on you.

I make up for lack of recent action

This is going to take multiple posts. Otherwise it would be a wall of text.

Started off the evening up in my manufacturing hub. Due to a mining op that was called by the corp, I switched to my hulk, got my alt and headed down to the mining op's designated location. Due to it's proximity to Rens I plan on transfer box mining. I can tell my corp mates (even with their industry alts) are not used to large mining ops. Only the two of us with alts bring haulers with the alts (at least they are high volume haulers). We end up being 6 most of the time, with gusts to 8. The mining ships involved were: 2 Hulks, a Covetor and a Retriever. The haulers were an Iteron 5 (my alt) and a Mammoth. One of the directors showed up in a short lived Scythe and there was one other pilot. What he was flying I have managed to forget (sorry).

After making sure that the hulks are in different belts and I got my transfer box (GSC - anchored - password-ed) setup, I settled down to some "relaxing" roid crunching. A bit of jiggling and I was in charge of the squadron so my Mining Forman 5 was boosting all of us.

Now immediately I see that there will be problems. I'm the only guy transfer box mining and we are WAY too close to Rens - aka griefer central. Before the Covetor and the just appeared mining Scythe can fill a can, sure enough a griefer shows up. I call it: "Guys you're about to get your can flipped and he's got a BS on backup". Sure enough, he flips the can, the Scythe pilot back flips it and warps of to re-fit with guns. Before all this went down I had filled my hauler and it was back at the transfer box just starting to fill up. I send it to the station to drop off what little it has and head to the Covetor. The can is still counter flipped but the Scythe is not in system. I grab the ore (22k worth) and get flashy to the rest of our little fleet, but manage to get the ore to station. Meanwhile the Scythe pilot comes back and so does the griefer. They go at it and sure enough a BS uncloaks. Both the Incursus and the Scythe go down (the Scythe had overheated). And that prety much ends the excitement for the mining op.

I spend the rest of the evening bopping between my transfer box and the Covetor's jet can. The original plan was to drop the ore one station over, but in order to minimize any further griefing losses, I decide to haul both from my hulk and the Covetor. In order for my hulk and T-box not to max out, I pull in my drones and change to a station in system. Once I get into a rythm, I am able to stay ahead of the hulks mining rate (4 warps and 2 session changes between pickups). It would not be possible to stay ahead one jump away - as I suspected. Then it was haul everything over to the other system for melting.

The end of the evening gets 6.5 mil trit, 1.4 mil pye, 340k mex and a teensy bit of iso. Not bad for 2.5 hours of mining with the excitement we had and the ships we had. The Covetor was using strip II's without crystals though. I explained for the next op, he really does need to bring standard strip miners if he can't bring crystals. I get my hulk back up safely to my industrial hub.

This concludes the indy part of the evening.