Yesterday evening I logged in to do some relaxed ratting and finally put my alt’s Noctis to good use (yes I should have done this much earlier, I know). For a long time I refused to rat or even to salvage properly. Partly because I don’t like shooting red crosses, partly because I suck at this. On Sunday I finally gave in and ran my sniping Oracle through a few anoms. 3 to 4 hours of ratting, interrupted by a few PvP operations and the occasional neutral visitor yielded 115M isk. Ratting works!
Anyhow, yesterday I wanted to add the noctis into the game. But already as TS comes up there is a huge crowd in one of the PvP channels. I drop in and quickly figure out that a Home Defence fleet is up. I switch to my clone in HQ, jump into my Rokh (home defence in Rokhs?? Ok…) and undock. The fleet was one system out chasing an 18 man Naga gang. I align to the gate, warp and jump. A recon asks in fleet if it is save to jump (the very gate I just took) or if it is camped … I tell him that it’s save.
Scouting in a Rokh e’ryday! Pussy!
Finally I arrive at the fleet and join the cat and mouse game. The Nagas try to use their superior manoeuvrability to evade us by jumping back and forth through the gates. Nevertheless we catch a couple of them in a cleverly placed bubble before they manage to escape. For me it is quite interesting to watch the two FCs using fake warps and gate mechanics to try to get into postion and lock the other fleet down or evade them. We try to use our jump bridges to get ahead of them on the pipe but they still escape us. Guess Rokhs are not good for chasing things. So back home we go to prepare for the coming Strat Op.
Wait a minute… there is a Strat Op scheduled? … no ratting today.
Our military experts have come up with something new they want to try out and before I can count to 3 I sit in a Cyclone at a POS and wait for the engagement orders. As a grunt in 0.0 this is a fairly typical situation. You often have no idea what is going on, where the fleet will be going and what will be shot. All this is kept hidden as much as possible for a reason. The FC explains the new, experimental doctrine, which sounds fun since it will require some piloting skills and is quite different from the usual “anchor up, shoot primary” routine.
Then everything goes pretty fast. We move the fleet to C3N and wait on the QY1 gate, listening to the reports of the battle preparations in QY. Fast tackle goes forward to setup pings for our main fleet on the other side of the gate. Finally the call is made and we jump into Querious. A few dozen kilometers off the gate TEST and GOON forces are already clashing. To be honest I am once again totally lost at who is friend and who is foe. My appreciation for our FCs grows by the minute.
A ping brings us in postion and then we warp into the cloud of enemy logistics and start our dirty business. TiDi had kicked in and I am busy trying to lock up things and getting the Cyclone into strike distance. Although we will have to practice this kind of flying a bit more things looked quite good for the first 10 minutes. What I am told only later is that our fellow TEST bros had already been whelped by a devastating xXPIZZAXx bomber run early in the battle. The remaining friendly DPS on the field as not enough. Suddenly there are webs, scram and target painters on me as the GOON Tengus primary me. Frantically clicking the “need shield” broadcast I die in a glorious explosion just as we had joked half an hour ago in corp chat.
I steer my Pod clear of the bubbles and make my way home. GF!
Just as I dock up the FC calls for a reship into Talwars, which strikes me as a bit odd given the carnage we just experienced. Turns out that we go back to escort a few stragglers back home. No man left behind!
All in all an exciting evening with one of the larger fights I have been in so far. Although I still miss a lot of the details that are going on in the crazy frenzy of these battles I notice that I slowly begin to make sense of some of the things. The debriefings with the fleet and corp mates help a lot. I also learned why some alliances prefer mumble over teamspeak and how dangerous spies can be for an FC. And spies are everywhere.
Did somebody say that 0.0 is boring? Come to the south this summer … and die gloriously!
Fly smart! Chira.