The Hunter

Plus one.

Xenon noticed some people in Local in our camp system this morning.  He’s a curious fellow,  so he flew around trying to find out who they are and what they are flying.   He finds a Vindicator and 2 Basiliks on directional scan.

Vindi and a pair of Basi’s on Dscan near P3.

So Xenon jumps in a prober and starts to look for the gang.  Puts some probes up.   Bitches about the new probe setups.  The gang disappears off scan.

Cloaked up.

One of the guys in the gang chides him in Local, tells him he needs to be faster at probing.  Xenon, probes down all of the signatures in the system, and waits.

And waits.

When we all start logging in, we ask him what he is doing?

I’m camping a Vindi and a couple of Basi’s in a complex in 8G.

Where?  You want us to come help?

Not sure, they cloaked up.  I have my probes pretty much on them.  Hang out, I’ll tell you when I get them.  

How long have you been out there?

An hour.

Dude.  You’ve been camping these guys with probes for an hour?

Yes.

Why?

It’s kind of hard for these guys to make ISK with me camping them.

Three hours later, Xenon is still sitting in system, probes out.  He’s doing something or another on an alt, checking DScan and his probes periodically.  The complex gang is still in system, cloaked up.  The rest of us jump in and out of start doing our Sunday housekeeping.

Dude, what’s up with this?

You ever been deer hunting, Bren?

Yeah, why?

The Vindicator is the deer.

Minus one.

Good Game

Plus one.

The other night, OUCH got into few skirmishes against Agony Unleashed.  We popped a Destroyer pilot on a tactical in a gang of frigates and he came back with friends in frigates and cruisers.  We fought three times, took a Coercer the first time, lost a Raptor to kill a Celestis the second, and lost a Kitsune and a Manticore to kill a Firetail in the third fight.  Unlike the first two skirmishes, it was OUCH who withdrew from the field in the last fight.   ISK-wise it was pretty even, but in the end, from my point of view, they won, we lost.

When our inty got taken down during the second skirmish, I noticed, but I had other things to worry about.  When our Kitsune got taken out during the last skirmish, I got a little concerned, but felt we still were in control.  But when I had a flight of Vexor drones  (uh, guys, where’d this Vexor come from?) on my Griffin, I had to make a decision:  Keep fighting or withdraw.  When I went into structure, nothing pointed, I gave the order to bail out.

One of my boys, a little animated because he was scrammed, called out, I need a jam on this mother<boop>.  I’m pretty sure I just said, Which mother<boop> is that?

There were a few on the field.

Yeah, so at 80 percent structure, I catch the Malediction with an off -race jammer, take another hit from the drones, and warp out at 16 percent structure.

You have to admit, that flashing alarm effect is pretty cool.

In the past, I’ve warped out with a ship in structure and then right back into the fight, to get that critical jam or tackle.  This time, I just told everyone to go to safes, get some repairs.

Double G’s in local.  

In the grand scheme of it all, I’m positive that most of the pilots in both the Agony fleet and my own would all chalk that one up as a good fight.  It was exciting and thrilling from individual perspectives.

Just not to me.  In fact I don’t think my pulse increased much during the last fight.

Looking back at this fight, I noticed a couple of things: Even up until a few months ago, I would have been happy with the getting the Coercer and Celestis and not taken the last fight.  And a few months ago, I would have blamed myself for taking the fight and losing three ships.

But last night, I took the fight because I wasn’t afraid of taking on Agony Unleashed with a handful of students and instructors and I also wasn’t worried about the losses we were going to take, because the OUCH pilots are pretty damn good pilots.

Each one of the losses were instructors in T2 ships, because Agony knows to go after the high value targets.  The Coercer pilot was mad, and looking for a fight.   They obviously were bringing counters to our EWAR.  They were all MWD fit fighing AB fit frigs.  Perfect reasons to just say, go to safe’s guys.

Don’t go away mad, just… go away

We can blame ECCM, missed tackles, EWAR and unfocused damage if we like, but each one of our pilots is a good pilot.  Each one of those losses was because our instructor made a mistake somewhere during the fight piloting their ship, and our opponents were able to capitalize on it.

Could we have engaged Agony better?   I like to think we could.  I like to think that I could have made better decisions that would have resulted in us holding the field.  Concentrated on one target instead of trying to spreading points and get two or three.  We had a solid EWAR plan, but we got spread out from one another and I should have brought everyone back in tight.

Maybe if you had a better FC?

True.   But all of us are good pilots, and we have permission to fly our ships.  As corporations go, Agony Unleashed are good small gang combat pilots.  We took the fight we could get, adapted to the fight we had, and there’s no shame in taking a loss or two against good pvpers, which is probably why it doesn’t bother me.

Alright.  Just try not to make a habit of it.

I’ll try.

Minus one.

Trading Spaceships

Plus one.

I might have a problem.

Do tell?

I’m a little obsessed with killboard efficiency.  Not just the simple statistics of wins and losses, or ISK destroyed versus ISK lost.  It goes deeper than that.

I realized this the other night.  One of the senior guys mentioned that he lost a Harpy on a roam, hero tackling a Sleipnir.  We got the Sleipnir, he said, so it was a good trade.

  • It’s never a good trade.
  • A Harpy for a Sleipnir?
  • Kill them all and give them nothing.
  • Don’t you think that’s a little unrealistic?
  • Maybe.  I don’t know.  Nice kill, by the way.

I remember the days when all I cared about was getting a fight.  Early in my OUCH career, when I tried to solo in frigates and cruisers here in Curse.  I lost my share of ships.  But with the adage of “just go out and lose ships” I was learning.  At least, I thought I was learning.

When I first joined OUCH, I bought a hundred frigate and cruiser hulls and fittings.  Shipped them to Berta, moved them to Sendaya.  Then I played the game the way it’s played by so many capsulers:  Jump into a ship, fly around, get in a fight, lose a ship, dock up, grab a Ibis, fly to Sendaya, reship.

Eventually we started staging ships in the systems we frequented:  Fully fit T1 frigates and cruisers in Hemin, Jorund, Doril.  Then we would roam.  I’d lead a fleet out to Scalding Pass or Catch.  We’d meet a gang, BAM, I’d be in my pod.  Time after time, I’d find myself in a noobship, scouting half a fleet home.

Losing ships is a essential part of Eve Online.  You, the pilot, are only as good as the sum of your character skills, your piloting ability, your grasp of tactics and the advantages and disavantages of your ship and fit. The possibility of losing your ship is the risk you take when you engage in combat, or simply travel through space.

I don’t have an issue with risk.  I just hate the logisitics involved with reshipping after a loss.

I have sufficient wealth, accumulated over several years, to afford my losses.  I don’t fly anything I can’t afford to replace a dozen times over.  My income allows my nest egg to grow.  I’m not affraid to risk the ISK, but I hate to risk my time.

Time?

Time spent warping back home in a pod, dodging hostile gangs.  Time spent shopping for hulls and modules,  Time spent moving ships from system to system.  Time spent designing, assembling and fitting ships. Time spent setting up caches in the systems I frequent.  Time spent mining, ratting and missioning to afford the luxury of a primary hanger with 80 odd ships, fit and ready to go.

I just feel that my time is best spent helping the other guy out of his wreck, instead of letting him help me out of mine.

So when I say, it’s never a good trade, when I don’t fight unless I have a clear advantage, when I put extra effort into making a clean kill, taking no losses, understand where I am coming from:

I’m just too damn lazy to spend a lot of time replacing my ship.

Let the other guy replace his ship.  I’ll wait.

Minus one.

Ebony and Ivory

Plus one.

I just wanted to make this prediction public so I can tell a bunch of people, “I told you so”.

It’s been a while since Goonswarm and TEST sat on a Titan together.  Anyone want to bet against me that:

The combined forces of TEST and Goons (BFFs) will be coming soon to bash a structure near you.

Live Together In Perfect Harmony…

For all of you out there who insist that eventually Goons and TEST have to face off, and now that the moons are changing, that time is now, just forget about it.  Except for “good fights” and bragging rights, there’s no money in it for either organization to go after each others systems.

But your systems?  Now there’s something they can both get behind.

Minus one.