Life in Eve: BOUSes? I don't believe they exist...

Woo-hoo! November insanity coming to a close! Our little faction warfare corp has joined an established FW alliance! I seem to have an exclamation point surplus I need to run through!

After some administrative tedium in the new home system, I set out in a cruiser fleet with JR at the helm, heading to the system of Aset, where our cunning plan is to sweep into an enemy Complex and start capturing it in the hopes of a proper fight.

Our plan seems to be paying off: scouts report an Amarr fleet inbound from the southern part of the war zone. Sounds like they've got greater numbers than our armor gang (15 vs. 25 or so), but roughly the same basic ship composition.

Our opponents arrive in system in what looks like two groups -- maybe that's just some stragglers catching up. Combined by their delay (and a request in /local comms for a quick bathroom break from one of our slightly more drunk pilots), there's just enough time for a smaller friendly shield gang to slip into the complex with us and achieve optimal combat ranges, bringing our total friendly force in the complex to only a few less than the Amarr, who hit the gate and warp in. The fight is on!

Or at least I assume it is, as I'm immediately volleyed off the field and I have to run and get another ship.

All in all, though, it was a pretty good fight, and went on for so long that I was actually able to reship and make it back in time to take over target calling for the last few ships (all the real fleet commanders had been forced off the field by that point). In contrast to the last few fights I've been in, the group's discipline was really good -- which is to say everyone was actually shooting what the target-callers said to shoot. This sounds like a pretty basic thing, but for some reason it's been terribly DIFFICULT for us in the past, and everyone really pulled it together.

Also (and this may not sound like a good thing, but...) it wasn't clear until fairly near the end which side would eventually hold the field, and that made it a very engaging fight. Ultimately, we persevered. Early losses were managed, discipline continued even after our support ships were brought down, and we were left with a few pilots still standing at the end, going through the pockets of our comrades, looking for loose change. Good fight.

I, like Wesley, was quite surprised to discover my error.

Then it was time to reship (well, not for me: I'd done that already :P.)

The Amarr seemed ready to go at it again, but had a longer trek than we did to reship, so we were more than ready when scouts reported their return. Some of us had reshipped to battlecruisers, because... reasons, I guess. The Amarr had brought cruisers, however, and forced the size restriction by moving into a Minmatar Complex in Floseswin that wouldn't admit any of our larger ships.

(That is, incidentally, one of the faction warfare features I have a great, manly, hetero love toward. Moving on.)

Anyway, our battlecruiser pilots swapped down to similarly-sized stuff, and we charged.

Once again, our combat discipline was pretty solid. The Amarr targeted our fleet commanders almost immediately, so others had to step up and maintain order -- our armor fleet ran through at least five target callers throughout the fight. Despite our numerical advantage on this fight, the absence of support ships and warping into the complex right at our opponents' ideal ranges meant we were struggling at the outset, and (again) it wasn't clear who would hold the field.

And of course I got blapped off the field pretty quick.

Again, at least two of our pilots had time to lose a ship, deaggress, jump back to our staging system, reship, return, and finish the fight. LONG fight.

In fact, I feel I should say this: kudos to the Amarr pilots for really grinding it out to the bitter end. I'm positive that they could have called the fight a lot sooner and got more of their pilots away, but they chose to buckle down and go down swinging -- it made for a hell of a good fight, and a great 'coming back after a long month' night.

Salutes all around, you filthy slavers.


Life in Eve: Revised Minmatar/Amarr Warzone Map

New routes (Kurni/Isbrabata, Siseide/Eszur, Gulmorogod/Egmar) and some system rearrangement by me. Mission stations picked out by Poetic Stanziel previously.
Click to embiggen.


Life in Eve: Getting a Bad Feeling

So this is just a short post and, worse, it won't make much sense or difference to anyone unless you both play EvE and do stuff in Faction Warfare.

So here we go.

Fact one: The Amarr-Minmatar warzone is getting some new jump gates in December, meant to open up a lot of cut off systems and improve moment throughout the warzone.

Fact two: Despite the fact that it's currently a pain in the ass to offensively run complexes in enemy systems, the Amarr are hitting a couple Minmatar systems pretty damned hard, as if they would very much like to flip them to Amarr. I wonder why?

Let's go to the map!

Click to embiggen

Orange is current Amarr territory. The green lines are where the new gates are going to go. The systems circled in black are the ones the Amarr are hitting hard.

I'll let you chew that over.


Home a-Roam 4

The next few evenings are spent battening down the hatches for the upcoming November privations, resetting Planetary Interaction timers, and building a few Condors for a roam JR wants to try out.

Well, that and a bit of solo fun, which included a new Cormorant I'm trying out that managed to net me a few kills on its first flight. Definitely need to take that crazy looking ship out more in the future.

One dark spot on this solo flight was that I tried taking out a minor complex in enemy held territory, and found it entirely not worth the time. With only about half the changes to complexes currently in place, the massive fountain of ISK-production has been shut down -- which is a good thing -- at the cost of the sites being worth doing at all. That's fine, though: I'll take the benefits even if it means a month of avoiding plexes until the rest of the changes go in.

But enough about that -- I've got Condors to build for a skirmish fleet!

There's something fun and liberating about flying incredibly cheap ships that can hit targets from over fifty kilometers away, fly 4000 meters a second, and chase down pretty much anything. Adding to the fun of this roam is the fact that Em and Shan are coming along on one of JR's roams for the first time (Em in a custom Condor that matches his very deep missile skills, Shan in a Vigil with several target painters, because he's Minmatar to the bone).

We don't find any 'big' fights, but that's fine for our group, which is happier mauling and taking down smaller groups of larger game. The Condor is (now) a wonderfully versatile frigate, and we have a number of ship variations that leave our targets all but helpless to harm us, and our losses are few and far between.

Not so the enemy, as we rack up kills on an Arbitrator cruiser, Retribution assault frigate, Punisher frigate, a Daredevil pirate frigate fit with entirely too many expensive modules that did him no good at all and, finally, a Rifter and Rupture out shooting NPCs in asteroid belts. It was a fine conclusion to the evening, so JR calls it for the night and we head home.

Or so I thought.

"Okay guys, I'm going to head o-- oh, there's a Pilgrim on this gate."

"He cloaked."

"Can someone decloak -- hey! We decloaked him!"

"Eh, he's just going to jump the gate. He's won't aggress anyo--:

"He's aggressing!"

"Everyone warp to JR. Everyone warp to JR."

The fight took well over five minutes, partly due to the Force Recon Cruiser's tanking ability and partly because we had to work through most of his drones first (and in two cases, reship in mid fight), but eventually we took the ship down, netting us a great tech-2 cruiser kill to cap off the night, as well as -- effectively -- the month of October.

And how has that month been going?

Not bad! Em, Dirk, and Shan have jumped into the pool, and last night our little corporation broke 100 kills since joining the war against the evil Amarr slave lords. Our win-to-loss ratio corp-wide is better than I'd expected at this point in our learning curve, but far more importantly, not a single kill on the board is any kind of structure. I'm very happy about that -- it simplifies the issue a bit, but it's still a good indicator that I'm getting what I wanted out of this experiment.

Why the retrospective?

Per usual, my free time during November will be pretty sparse, and what I have will be mostly dedicated to family and friends close at hand. Now is the time on EvE when we schedule a lot of long, slow, annoying skill trains that I've been putting off. I can't complain about how October concluded, and I comfort myself with the thought that I'll come out on the other end of November with a sexy new expansion only days away. I'm sure I'll post a few things here and there (perhaps stories of the corp's adventures while I'm MIA), but for the most part all I can say is good hunting, and I'll see you soon.