Monday, September 16, 2013

Fleet Up!

I had a fun weekend of fleet activities, most plexing. There was also a fleet operation consisting of about 50 ships on Saturday night, though its frustrating to be on the losing side. It was a valuable experience to get time in a fleet and try and keep up with the lingo and commands.

Notable events: I undocked and without knowing how, I got blown up almost immediately.  I had heard of insta-undock bookmarks but had not started using them. NOW I use them! There was a Loki picking off Gallente militia members (i.e me) as we undocked.  Talking to Kyle about it, he directed me to our collection of corporate bookmarks which contained an instant undock and a 0km dock bookmark, which would allow much safer ingress and egress to our station.

On Saturday one of my corpmates said he was plexing and I asked if I could come along. He agreed, but quickly diverted us to join a fleet that needed fast tackle ships. A fast tackle's job is (a) be a fast ship and (b) hit an enemy ship with a device that pins them down and stops them escaping, so they can be eliminated from the fight.  We joined a group, which moved on and joined a larger fleet that was "poco bashing", that is, destroying Player Owned Customs Offices that are involved in planetary mining and were, obviously, owned by the opposition.  After about 15 minutes of unopposed attack, the enemy fleet showed up to defend themselves.

A single Ares appeared on the grid and all fast tackle was sent to chase it off. We responded and to my surprise (but I'm sure to nobody else's) it moved away faster than we could chase. Turns out that the Ares is the faster, cooler big brother of the Atron we were flying.

A few minutes later the enemy fleet appeared but did not close in. Instead, the Ares came forward again and we were ordered to "push it off". This is where I started to wonder: why? What could one ship do by itself that it is worth sending all the fast tackle off to chase it?

I swung passed it once but I don't think I managed to even lock it, though I tried. I wish I'd recorded the fights so I could re-watch; it can happen so quickly that you're not sure what you did or didn't do. Our fast tackle leader was killed and over comms he told us to get out of the area. I picked a random direction and went in a straight line for a few seconds and suddenly BANG BANG! I'm in my capsule and I head back to Nenna to re-ship. I continue to listen in to our frustrated fleet commander trying to marshall his forces. Attention seemed to be mostly on the repair ships that were too far away from too many of our ships that needed help, and he was also angry that 9 out of 10 fast tackles were dead. Someone pointed out to him that it wasn't our fault; the enemy "primaried" us, meaning all the damage-dealing specialists in their fleet specifically targetted us when we followed the Ares. We were led into a trap and it worked.

The Sunday night roam under Marcel was more rewarding and felt a lot safer. About a dozen of us roamed around looking for plexes to capture and for fights.  I, unfortunately, did not survive the first surprise attack outside a plex, but I did smack some bullets into enemies in the next fight inside. The target didn't get killed though, so no kill-mail for me, just a couple of hundred loyalty points. It's really nice that after each kill someone asked if I'd managed to get on it. Nope, not yet, but we're getting closer!

In non-fleeting activity I wanted to try picking up lost tech 2 drones, as was my wont in high-sec, so I looked around for a place to buy an Imicus, probe launcher, probes etc to building a cheap scanning ship. Most of the stuff I needed was at Ichoriya, a high-sec system that was under Caldari control. I should have flown over first to see if I'd be able to move around there (I forgot that I already knew NO, there's a militia defense that will attack you), but I didn't. I bought the stuff (a few million, I bought extras) and flew over, got the "we keeel you!" warning and headed for the station anyway. It turns out that if you move quickly enough, you can get in and out, but my corpmates later advised me not to risk it any more.

In trade news I finally sold a set of 5 Federation Navy Garde sentry drones for 7M EACH! They'd been on the market for a few weeks and they finally sold yesterday, just after a set of Warrior II drones that I found floating in space. I'd picked those up with the Imicus that I managed to get out of Ichoriya. I need a cloaking device to be safe, though. My last Faint Epsilon scrambler at Arnon sold for 2.9M.