Well, that was a long hiatus.
First, when we moved house, the phone company fucked up the phone line install. This took 2.5 weeks longer than it ought to have. This delayed moving our ADSL connection, which itself then took 2 weeks to activate. Then, to top this all off, I had a field trip out into the desert to look at opal and gemstone mines, which occurred immediately that I got the internet connected. Result, nearly 5 weeks without EVE.
Nevertheless, I'm back, and it has taken a fair while to get back into the swing of things, let alone keep up to date with the changes in Rubicon 1.1 and form an opinion with which I can spout off about on this blog. Give me a bit of time, it will happen.
Re-acclimatising to EVE is always a feeling of disjointedness. Often people have quit your corp, or new people have joined, or in our case, lost their escalation quad and are down 18 billion ISK and sooking about it. But that's EVE. Similarly, patches and updates and the general creep of the in-game FOTM fleets, metas and concepts has moved on - even in a month you notice suddenly how everyone is flying Ishtars around in huge numbers.
Anyway, it took me a while to get enough time, calm headspace and will to sign on for a good hard trawl through the chains of holes which inevitably crop up when you are connected to the C2 Expressway. The first day I could really devote a good 4 hours to the task was Sunday/Monday. The results have been worthwhile.
Monday I found my way through the static into a C2, thence through an A239 to lowsec. In that system, a K162 to another C2, and there, a C2 within which was a forked pair of D382's. I scouted around and when coming back through, noted a Gnosis on d-scan doing a Relic site. I probed him down and we ganked him with my secret Arazu fit and whoring Proteus / Falcon for gay.
One of the D382's led to a C2 system with a hisec and an O477 to a C3. We stalked the Germans in here for a few hours, before stumbling through the O477 and seeing a POCO under siege. This was due to come out in 6.5 hours, right after downtime and in our prime time (though a late night for some).
As I've said before (I ought to have, at least), research your enemies in w-space, before you commit. The POCO was owned by New Eden Brewing Co., though the residents seemed to be Panhandle Industries. In this case, I'd encountered Panhandle Industries before, and we had bagged a 730M Drake Navy. Looking at the corp's killboard for the past month, they'd lost 9 Raven Navy Issues and a couple of other Caldari ships. It was a fair bet that this was what they would drop on the POCO when it came out of RF. Sure enough, the Raven Navy piloted by Draconian Maas signs in 1 hour before the timer expires, and we get excited.
The problem is that J110226 is a C3 Cataclysmic. In a stand-up brawl between a Raven Navy Issue or 2 and an active tanked Arazu, the odds are that they would have RR and my active tank would fall over. So we opted to reship; I chose a Pilgrim even though it broke one of my rules which is to never fight Caldari ships in a Pilgrim. Falcon hail mary was to be the name of the game.
So we wait, and Draconian Maass signs out 15 minutes before the timer. Just as we get despondent, Calleb Olerie signs in in a Raven Navy, then swaps to a Tengu and warps direct to the POCO. We swiftly deprive him of his ship and some SP's, then log for the night.
The next day, the POCO is in RF again, so I spend the next 24 hours or so just derping about, monitoring traffic and adding the corp to watchlist. No one signs on and leaves the POS, so Tueday rolls around, with my pal and I waking up in the a.m. and reconsidering our next move.
I decide we need to have cloaky RR and gank, which means either an Oneiros cloked at what passes for a deepsafe in the system, with a Depot for a quick refit, or RR Tengu or something else. I did consider RR Panthers, but that could be seriously unweildy. So I settle on a RR Stratios fit, which I'll leave up to a lossmail to reveal. Needless to say, for a Cataclysmic environment, it's pretty beastly.
The day drags on, with Draconian Maass warping his pimp Raven out of the POS every so often. Research suggested they'd usually lost their ships in the GMT 0300-0600 time slot, which meant that was their prime ratting time. As 0450 rolled aroound we had a steady stream of logins, and derping about on the U210 and various K162's, but the Raven Navy never left the POS, so we waited.
Then, finally they start an Oruze Construct, using RR Tengu, 2 RR Drake Navy, the Raven Navy, and a poor shlub in a Ferox. We sneak in, spread points (losing the second Drake Navy and the Ferox due to mis-clicks/stabs/EVE hating us) and set in for a 5 minute brawl, their RR versus our RR.
The final tally was Tengu, Raven Navy, Drake Navy and a Groundhog Day Scorpion (don't drive angry!), total haul 1.6B. That brought their corp losses up close to our corp losses for the month, and helped us regain a modicum of respect after the escalation quad losses.
Moral of the story: well, pick and choose, but always research!