Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 689

Entry: six hundred eighty-nine.
Today is day two of trying to flip the W-IX station to Cascade control. Black Legion have come back yet again to mess with us while we handle our business in subcapitals. We know better than to light a cyno and take the easy way out with Dreads: we do that, and Raiden or Pandemic Legion or anyone else itching for capital kills will come knocking down the house to save the couch.
As Black Legion attacked the TCU, the main FC, who was overly tired, asked for bombers. I took command as no one else was going about organizing any sort of bombing run. His fatigue and frustration are egging me on.
I ask bombers to "x up" with bomb types. Four scorches with mine, one shrapnel, one concussion. I create a group chat with the scorch bombers and a prober, simultaneously setting up a pounce at the TCU while Black Legion takes a brief break in K7D-. Just as I make my pounce, Black Legion warps in on the TCU and starts attacking it. Bubbles go up at zero on the TCU: I hoped I wasn't wrong in my next judgement.
I ordered the scorch bombers only to warp to me at ten and to "x up" when they landed. No one is being vocal and the fleet FC is getting frustrated in part because his fatigue is so intense. The only bombers talking are the ones I don't want around for the bombing run.
Finally, my scorch bombers "x up". Warpin is fifty behind them towards the P4- gate. I order a warp up to the warpin at ten, we end up twenty from the nearest. FC is infringing on me, and I make a bad call to get thirty from the nearest, turn around, bomb, warpout. 

First scorch bomber decloaks and launches, and I call a stop because I read shrapnel. I see it as scorch a moment later and call the resume action. Too late, first bomber down, second going down, random shrapnel bomb from the damn shrapnel bomber, my bomb goes out. I lag, try to warp out, but I'm not in my bombing fit because I was shooting the station, and I die.
No bombs hit. Not a single one was set up for a proper bombing run, mostly because of alignment, partially because of fit, and partially for the mixed bomb that blew up bombs immediately behind it. What a cluster****.
"Computer: playback forum post."
Computer: "Confirmed."


While working on the W-IX station BL came in with Gilas and started knocking on the TCU. I asked for bombers to x up with types. 5 scorch including me, 1 shrap, 1 concussion.

I had a pounce on the TCU and had the scorch bombers warp to me at 10. None of them decloaked. We got a warp in behind them and began bombing. Our target was the drones, but 5 bombs should have done a substantial amount of damage to them as well.

1) Bombers that died lagged out or got insta locked and killed.
2) Mixed bomb types were launched despite only scorch bombers only being told to make the run.
3) Our warp in position had no aligned warp-out. We did have time to do it, but I felt rushed and made a bad call
4) Main fleet chatter was pretty active despite our setting up to bomb. It's very hard to coordinate when non combatants are talking about anything.
5) Squad members did not speak on comms. Do not know why.

How I'll be looking to fix this:
1) I will not execute any bombing run when "lone bombers" with bombs not part of the main group are present. They get impatient and disobey orders because no one can see them. If a TCU falls, so be it.
2) Bombing runs will be aligned with a warp out if time permits. Ambushes will be set up ahead of time, defensive bombs have a short time before the enemy target is destroyed.
3) Even though I lagged, I still took a few hits before dying due to the Invuln I had active. If I had had an MSE fitted and online, I could have survived long enough to warp out despite the damage. Instead, my bomb never hit because I died. Will bring an offline MSE from now on. Cannot use this bomber on thorn fleets period since I can't switch between the MWD and AB. Can still fit torps for structure shoots by toggling off the MSE and MWD as necessary.
4) Will use separate comms channel instead of staying in main fleet channel.
5) Will tell squad members in this separate comms channel to reply over voice comms instead of holding silence.

Are there any suggestions on other improvements that could be made? Any bomber FC can learn from this, so I encourage constructive criticism.

Computer: "Playback terminated."
Such a humbling experience.
Computer: terminate recording.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 688

Entry: six hundred eighty-eight.

I'm painfully reminded of Suleiman's comment yesterday. "lol sov". Indeed. I've been scouting for the main fleet for quite some time, perhaps six plus hours, I'm not real sure. Raiden and Evoke went around taking sovereignty away from us in three major systems today: A2-V2, 9CG6, and W-IX. We've only been able to manage a smallish fleet of forty to fifty for this mission of taking back space.

I'm sure Raiden are laughing at us for how long it's taking us. First, we had to destroy the TCUs in those systems, and then we had to flip the stations. So far, we've destroyed the TCUs with torpedo spam, and then reshipped into Battleships to flip the stations, of which only 9CG6 has been flipped back to us from Raiden. 

Currently the W-IX station is in structure being flipped from Raiden to us. A2-V2, but the Neocom network is going down for upgrades in a few hours, and I doubt we'll flip A2-V2 in time for that.

Raiden attempted to get a super fleet up against us for the 9CG6 and then the W-IX stations, but failed and formed up a small bomber squad. While forming up, Black Legion rolled past us into 9CG6 in their Gila fleet, then came back to W-IX and killed a few of our battleships. After Black Legion left, Raiden managed to drop some bombs on our kitchen sink battleship fleet and we lost a few more.
Setbacks sure slow station flipping down.

"lol sov". No kidding. But it's this or gate and station guns, and I'd rather deal with this, especially since the flipping process usually results in combat, just not when your opponent would have to fight you out of their timezone.

On the upside, it looks like I'm going to win the first place prize this month for combat. I haven't necessarily been the most active, but two major strikes with bombs put me over the top for the month. I'm looking forward to perfecting my bombing tactics, solo and in groups, to win these sorts of prizes more often.

Computer: terminate recording.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 687

Entry: six hundred eighty-seven.

About six hours ago, while I was setting up tactical bookmarks in NOL- for a large scale conflict I anticipate in the future, I saw Suleimain Shouaa in local. What a rare chance to speak with someone whose public logs I follow! But it was a curious situation: The Tuskers were several hours late for the party with nothing left but preparation for the next conflict. Computer: play back private chat stream with Suleiman Shouaa.

Computer: "Confirmed."

Suleiman Shouaa > o/
Truen1ght > nol should be dead for quite a while 

                > good luck huntin
Suleiman Shouaa > ah cheers
                           > we saw many kills on dotlan
                           > ::(
Truen1ght > 1300 in sys about 5 hours ago
                > station timer
Suleiman Shouaa > ah lol sov war
Truen1ght > evoke ddos'ed goons comms
                > and goon's backup comms
                > so, that didn't work out
Suleiman Shouaa > lolsov
                           > ty for heads up
Truen1ght > yup
                > lol sov
                > was there a wh to here from gallente low-sec?
Suleiman Shouaa > nope
                           > just roamed from hev
Truen1ght > ah
Suleiman Shouaa > hoping for :thunderdome:
Truen1ght > 1dh is probably best bet
                > black legion should be aroudn 1-smeb
                > my delve intel channel is dark though, so I don't think much is going on right now
                > KFIE is where you'd have the best chance of finding evoke
Suleiman Shouaa > we're heading back soon
                           > and in a "dram is OP fleet
Truen1ght > you were the only one i saw in a dram lol
                > saw a flicker of scimis and some other stuff, wasn't really paying attention
                > oh, derp, I think 1dh has a gatecamp
                > probably on the pr-gate
                > but, have a good trip back, gl on the kills
Suleiman Shouaa > nope
Truen1ght > weird
Suleiman Shouaa > on other gate
Truen1ght > a-e?
Suleiman Shouaa > y
Truen1ght > alright, i'll let you be
                > o7

Quite strange to see pirates from Gallente low-sec all the way down in Delve, but interesting. Black Legion are the resident pirates in nearby low-sec. I didn't think anyone else would bother.

It was after this conversation that I realized that I haven't done much to explain the way things are around here much, however, and that perhaps I should do that. It would be best to explain why The Tuskers bothered to take a roam down to Delve in the first place though.

The Tuskers were four hours late for the major conflict in NOL-. Goons on one side, the DRF on the other, both vying for control of that system. Sovereignty Blockade units had been deployed by Goons, the station about to become vulnerable once the reinforcement timer expired, and the IHUB in line for reinforcement immediately after the station. Evoke was facing a serious threat of losing NOL-, a system that Goons seem to desire above all others at the present time.

It wasn't long after I logged in, activating my ship in the depths of space, that a bomber fleet was posted. It was difficult to understand the situation, as comms were constantly active. "Polaris fleet" was the keyword of the hour, and the only fleet I could think of to match that description is one similar in vein to the one destroyed in Tama not long ago.

This was not that type of fleet.

After joining fleet, I made best speed for NOL-, managing to stay one very small step ahead of the Evoke tackle wing in 1DH-, PR-, and NOL-. They were diligent about trying to catch anything making its way towards NOL-. I only managed to get in because of the rush they were in to get into position.

After escaping the clutches of the tackle wing, I notified my fleet of the local population: thirteen hundred. A population that size in null sec is all but unheard of except in the largest battles in null, such as one in Teneferis a few months back and a battle in Uemon nearly a year ago. The hell camp of 6VDT-H was only six hundred, and the major battles at HED-GP and GE-8JV never crested nine hundred.

The scope of the conflict to be had was quite clear to me immediately. "Epic" is only the frosting on the cake for what I expected to happen. I was sadly disappointed, however.

My fleet came into NOL- through a detour via HM-. Once in system, we all set up at the edge of the station grid, where we expected the fight to take place via our communication with Goons. Evoke had several triage carriers repairing the station, and it didn't take too much longer before the Goon fleet warped in to the station at zero and started attacking.

And almost as soon as they arrived, they left. Reports came through that Goon comms, both primary and backup, had been DDOSed by the enemy, preventing any sort of coordinated attack. The Evoke carriers were free to repair the station as local dropped from thirteen hundred to eight hundred and the Evoke subcapital fleet, consisting of a ridiculous number of Drakes and Scimitars, destroyed all four Sovereignty Blockade units within twenty minutes of starting the task. That feat is equal to using several Motherships in conjunction with a Battleship fleet of size seventy, per SBU.

The Initiative stopped by to try and ninja a few kills, but ended up being sent home with their tails between their legs.

My biggest issue with this entire conflict is simply that I was unable to participate. Our FC was someone I had never heard of, and while he knew the concepts and understood patience, did not have the brass balls to make an attack happen. I saw several opportunities to simply warp in and launch bombs, bombs which would have destroyed the large majority of the clumped up Evoke Drake-Scimitar fleet, both at the station and at SBUs. Our FC was overly concerned with not losing bombers and not concerned enough about destroying billions worth of ISK in ships and modules in thirty seconds of kinetic hell. Fourteen bombers, totaling approximately four hundred million ISK in trade for billions of ISK? It's a no brainer.

Pilots were chomping at the bit so fiercely that they began engaging Interceptors at the PR- gate once the fight was over with torpedoes and bombs. I logged out, frustrated, unwilling to give in and become a mindless idiot and lose my bomber needlessly.

After that break and cooling my emotions, I logged back in and set up tactical points all around stargates and the station for a future conflict in NOL-, one which I am certain will happen. It was during this time that I saw the Tuskers.

It's hard to blame them for not knowing the area, it's not like they live here after all. I didn't want to leave them with the bad taste of fruitless searching, however, so I offered some of my knowledge of the area, but perhaps not as much as I should have.
Goons live near JP4- right now, more accurately at and next door to Y-2ANO. Evoke in the area populate NOL-, Z3V-, and KFIE- for the most part, and roams from deeper regions of their space in Delve enter into upper Delve from those systems more often than not. 

Cascade Imminent makes its home in 1DH- with easy access to its controlled systems in Querious via F20Y-, but also patrols within a few systems of 1DH- in addition to roams towards Raiden in L-6BE1 or its former home of CZK-, which is currently occupied by DRF pets. Occasionally, White Noise, Against All Authorities, or Nulli Secunda will travel down to 1DH- when they are really bored, but those are only rare occurrences. 

Nulli Secunda lives not far from 1DH- in the region called Period Basis, and while easy to reach, are often out of the way for forces hostile to them. As for the final major player in Delve, Black Legion makes its home somewhere in nearby low-sec. I suspect Kaira personally, as they usually come into Delve via 1-SMEB. 

With the Goon freeporting mission in Delve nearly complete, I wonder what they will do once they are done with that, and how diligently they'll need to defend their assets in Delve from Evoke and Ewoks.
More importantly, I wonder if the pirates had much fun beyond wasting a Cynabal whilst in Delve.
Computer terminate recording.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 683-1

Entry: six hundred eighty-three, supplemental one.

It's been a pretty slow day, and I spent the majority of my time awake actually active today. It was a rare and welcome change, right up until the end, where I warped down to the PR- gate in a Hurricane during a gatecamp fleet with bad intel.

Prior to my demise at the PR- gate, goons had brought yet another Rifter fleet down. While I wasn't wildly successful, I soon learned the reason why: apparently I'd become a main feature point of these frigate fleets into 1DH-, whether by name or not. To quote my contact: "Only newbs die to your bombs."
Apparently, after those first five or so bomb runs, people started to catch on when and where and under what circumstances I'd launch a bomb. It seems I'll need to expand my engagement envelope. I'll still be able to bomb on the undock and catch the newbs, but for the big hits I'll have to engage elsewhere, preferably on a gate that has a drag bubble.

A few hours after that I got to experience another death of fiery decompression.

DaBigRedBoat had been commanding an Alpha Fleet in the area. We'd seen him come to 1DH- once before and very few kills were to be had. They went to NOL-, did something in terms of grinding towers, and after being taunted, came back into 1DH- via the PR- gate.

This is where it went south. The scout in PR- failed to mention that an Alpha Fleet was on the way behind the few frigates that were being engaged. I had at first suspected this, but as the seconds passed, I began to wonder, and warped down. Mere seconds later the Alpha Fleet jumped in. My Hurricane crumpled, my pod soon after.

They don't make medicine strong enough for these headaches. Literally. The Med Bay faculty load me up with what they can, but the pain still knocks me out. I put in the order today for my sensory nerves to be destroyed throughout the bodies of all my current and future clones.

I got in the Purifier and taunted Goons a different way. I launched bombs at them at will. There was little chance to kill anything, but it was less about destroying them than pissing them off.

I warped to {station 231 -x}, then {10 undock bomb -x-y-z}. Aim, decloak, bomb, activate DCU and Invuln, warp off. Minimal shield damage. I warped to {station 231 -x}, then {10 undock bomb +x-y-z}. Aim, decloak, bomb, activate DCU and Invuln, warp off. Minimal shield damage. I warped to {station 210 +x+y}, then to {10 undock bomb +x++y-z}. Aim, decloak, bomb, activate DCU and invuln, warp off. Minimal shield damage. Goons were reported warping PR-. I warped to {pr- 280 -x}, then {40 pr-}. Fix alignment with A-E stargate, align A-E stargate, at thirty decloak, bomb, warp off, no shield damage.

Every bomb hit. One blew up a Rifter. At best I was completely annoying, at worst barely a consideration. My revenge was most assuredly not sated. I needed more bombers, but no one else has the patience to be part of a real bomber squad.

Maybe the majority of my alliance isn't interested in covert warfare, in subterfuge, in mind games, or most importantly, the big score. Nothing does things for your ego like taking out a swath of enemies with a single strike.

The one desire excellent bombing doesn't fulfill is instant gratification. That damn plague affects countless trillions, mortal and capsuleer alike. The unfortunate side effect of instant gratification is mediocrity, and mediocrity is a terrible fate.

I have to admit though, so is impotence. I'll not stand for it, and I WILL correct it.
Computer: terminate recording.

Day 683

Entry: six hundred eighty-three.

The suggested scheme I laid out for bookmarks hasn't quite worked out. I realized this once I saw how bookmarks are catalogued by the computer: alphabetically. With that in mind, the new scheme is {?L ?R ?X?Y?Z}.

For those who follow my logs, the investment I've put into 1DH-SX is clear. I've become pretty attached, and somewhat spoiled for choices with all the bookmarks I've created at and as tactical points. I'll wrap this up with the view from my favorite perch outside of 1DH- station.

Computer: terminate recording.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 681

Entry: six hundred eighty-one, supplemental one.

     Everyone knows bookmarks are necessary. The problem is defining a system of handling coordinates to label bookmarks in an understandable fashion. I feel dense for only recently realizing the most obvious, and perhaps best, coordinate system for bookmarking.
     There are only two constants in all solar systems: the star, and the orientation of Z-axis in space. When multiple bookmarks describing multiple locations on the same grid are defined, the best way to label the bookmarks is by setting the center of grid as an origin unto itself, but treating the star as the origin for the total map.

     I have many bookmarks around 1DH- station. Simple descriptions of range and locations won't suffice, eg. 231 station.
     Lack of clear X and Y orientation about the origin.

     Warpable spots are difficult to determine, paths that cause decloaking are difficult to avoid. Requires initiation and halt of warp to check alignments, actions which are attention intensive and possibly fatal.
     The positive X axis is opposite the star 2 the origin of the grid. With Z and X now clearly defined for any grid, Y is easy to understand, and any bookmark on grid can have a clear RLXYZ definition, where R is radius from grid origin, L is object, XYZ are directions. Double +/- indicate a heavier bias towards an axis as opposed to another. With bookmarks clearly defined in this fashion, bouncing between bookmarks without decloaking is much simpler.

Solution Examples: 
     231 station is now 231 station -x-y. 10 undock bomb is now 10 undock bomb -x-y-z.

     Future bookmarks should be labeled {?X?Y?Z ?Radius ?Location} in the future, as orientations and locations will be easier to read for evasive warping and covert observation. ? denotes variability for use in general naming conventions. 

     Old locations should be updated to match the new scheme.

     Z width of an undock ring is large on some stations, twenty kilometers for 1DH- centered on the terminus. Boomarks do not reflect this knowledge directly, only through actual locations.
Computer: terminate recording.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 593

Entry: five hundred ninety-three.

Turns out there's been a discrepancy in my logging. Some clerical errors were made, they'll be resolved. Today is my five hundred nintieth day as a capsuleer.

I've not been as active as I would like, but circumstance at current forbid me from being so. To top it off, it seems the galaxy has been quieter these days. I find myself if many other capsuleers are in the same boat as me in terms of time management, or if they're planetside on vacation. I'm doing what I can to sort out some of these issues to give more time for killing and less for admiring my ass in the mirror.

We had a small op today, nothing serious. We dropped some SBUs in GE-8JV, recently taken over by the DRF, then proceed to push the IHUB and Station into reinforce. It was a small CTA, maybe seventy members in total with a little under half being supers. Total operation timer was about thirty minutes before we burned back to GE-8JV.

Hopefully, once I get things in order and my ships moved, I can get back to killing on top of CTA fleets.

Computer: terminate recording.