Monday, February 7, 2011

Roaming for Destruction...

So this week on chat, a couple of us decided we really needed to see some pretty explosions. So the plan was formed to go roaming in 0.0 in Vagas/Rapiers Destroyers. We put the word out across the loose alliance of pilots we party with, and after much haggling for cooperative time, scheduled a 20:00 start on Saturday night. Our EU friends would be just settling down for a quiet evening, US would be somewhere in the middle of a Saturday. We would start out in losec, go visit the so-called "Pure Blind/Fade Short Bus Crew" and see the newly formed "Eye of Terror" in Cloud Ring. With 3-4 ships each, medical cloning moved to the staging system, and a handful of unfit backup ships, we should get a couple hours of fun.

The unofficial count had us at 6-7 folks, which is kind of small for a destroyer roam, but at formup we finally ended with 10 in fleet, which is just about enough to take on any single ship, BS or smaller, with luck and good planning. Form-up was a bit haphazard, since most of the pilots coming aren't part of a combat crew by nature, so we were far from ready at the 20:00 start time. EVE was busy that evening, with good sized gate camps and fleets moving through losec, rumors of a hot-drop carrier roam in Syndicate, and over 55k pilots logged in overall. Although we didn't lose any ships that night, earlier in the week a couple had been lost moving to the staging system (I personally lost a Thrasher and Pod to a super-sensor-boosted Phobos/Hurricane/Sleipnir gate camp that insta-locked pods two nights earlier). Anyway, so we are forming up around 20:00, and our initial staging system has become a bit active, with a known losec PvP alliance setting up gatecamps on the local travel routes, staging out of the same system. We adjust accordingly, and move a couple jumps to a less-active staging point while the last 4 stragglers travel to the staging system.

Finally, we have 6 of 10 pilots in the main system, and start our roam. First jump into 0.0 Cloud Ring - 3 neuts in local. Nothing on scan, so our scout checks a couple of belts, and we move off to the next gate. Jump into system 2, set up on gate for a minute. As we set up, local starts to climb and we start seeing ships on directional. Vagabond, Vagabond, Rapier, Buzzard, Purifier, Hurricane, Rupture. Any one of them, maybe even two, would be a possible target if our whole fleet were there, but this is an obvious response fleet to our arrival. We scramble into a rolling safe as the Buzzard pops combat probes and starts looking for us. Fortunately the pilot in the Buzzard is not very skilled, and we are able to avoid any warpins as we roll through the system. We decide to stand down back in losec while the defense fleet is up, and work our way back out of Cloud Ring. Jumping simultaneously with both hostile Vagabonds into W-4, we warp to a safe then bounce to the gate into Okagaiken. We scatter or dock in Okagaiken, while the response fleet enters local, starts looking around for us (total group was about 6 hostiles, so 1:1 ratio, except they were all in T2 Recons or BCs at this point, and we are in Destroyers). We hang tight, while the last 4 of our fleet are still working their way to us from Empire, and wait out the hostile fleet. Finally we have all 10 of us within a couple jumps, and the FC decides to try and back-door into Cloud Ring from Placid, through F7C. We work our way to Kehjari and meet up with the rest of the fleet (now 10 destroyers strong) but we are cut off by the hostiles, who are surprisingly effective on hampering our undisputed entry into 0.0.

As they cut us off on the way to Placid, we backtrack to Okagaiken and enter again through W-4. As we jump into 6-4, RL intrudes on my ability to continue the roam, as my 7 month old daughter (in my lap at the time) suddenly goes ballistic, and I have to logoffski while the roam continues. Note to self: trying to PvP with small children on your lap is not a good idea.

...

I was given an update by one of my corpmates later, that they made it into Fade, and were trying to take down a ratting Hyperion when a defense gang (I assume) from Sev3rance spoiled the party and destroyed the whole fleet. Although all ships were lost, it was deemed a successful op as we introduced 4 folks to nullsec in that roam, everyone was in implant-free clones, and ships that cost less than some of our medical clones. Everyone had fun, and (perhaps) next time we will try to organize a more balanced DPS/tackle/scout fleet and have a bit more success on the kill side.

Killboard link here.

The roam ended at that point, apparently the FC and at least 3 other pilots had RL interventions which could not be ignored. I got my ship and pod out unscathed the next night, during the SuperBowl, without seeing another active pilot in local in any of the systems.

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