Friday, 20 February 2015

Batphone of Oddity

Three nights ago, 11:15 p.m., I resolve to just check this C3 one last time before I go to bed, there was probably some explorer from nullsec which I might be able to gank. I jump in.

Packrat Mobile Tractor unit.

"Oh shit." I say. RUS Hour is a bit late.

We have 3 meat bods, 5 toons, one of which is basically a dedicated booster toon / T1 logi bitch at best, and one toon (TF) is stuck in a scouting Astero until the engagement drops, and must reship via our connecting C4. We quickly thrash out that there's no way we have enough numbers. Maybe a lone carrier, but two carriers which can possibly RR even a bit, we are shit out of luck.

We pick up the Batphone and begin a ring-around. Nada. No one is online, no one I trust or who responds at all. Except Johnny Twelvebore, who just happens to wander into channel as he signs on for the afternoon. I begin pestering him, and he pokes a few people...ho begin moving fairly sluggishly to make 8 jumps through hisec as the Russians finish their business, go back to POS, get out of their carriers, then back in...start aligning to the last radar site (handily ninja probed by myself, where I lurk). I start chivvying people - it's getting on past midnight now.

"The thing with wormhole batphones, gentlemen, is you make the 8 jumps before you know what's going down, because if it does there's no use being 8 jumps away. So just get in your ships and get over to Vittenyn."

Complication: Shadow Cartel and Johnny are pirates. This means nothing too fat and slow. "Bring your confessors, don't worry, first step is to get the fuckers tackled, then we'll sort DPS out once we've got the Guardians on field."

So, I provide warp-ins and a small gang forms on the inside of a wormhole in Vittenyn - 3 Confessors, 1 Ishtar, 1 Sacrilege, 1 Vigilant, 3 Guardians. Add a boosting Astarte, second Vigilant and a hull-tanked Barghest in the home C4, plus a hero tackle Astero and that's all we've got. That's all we're going to get, so we move the pirates through the chain (4 holes deep) and I get tackle.

Roll footage.

Araikas obviously needs to stack his windows better to make mega-pretty footage, so we will take this as a kind of learning video. You can stop watching when the Chimera goes down, some editing is in order.

Firstly, you will note we lack a bubbler. This is both a blessing and a hindrance. With such small ships on field, had the carriers deployed 23 Warrior II's against the Confessors I doubt the Guardian reps would have cycled fast enough - the Confessors needed to be able to GTFO. So we missed a few pods, big deal.

Secondly, we begin drone control. Initially these guys fielded about 13-15 Geckos, which is an avalanche of DPS. But we clue in fairly quickly that we are tanking the DPS quite handily and stop shooting the valuable loot drones. We forget to blap the Tractor, though, so it steals a few from the wreck of the Thanny and we lose them. You can see how quickly the drones get blapped early on; tactical dessies are very good at drone control.

Thirdly, the third Guardian of Brian Gragg, we find out fairly quickly, is actually travel fit. Being a dirty pirate he has opted for 6 stabs in the lows, to avoid being tackled in highsec. So we really only ever had 2 Guardians. Miskoranda's is MWD fit (heresy, i know) with an 800 plate. This is far faster and only 12% less buffer than a 1600 plated Ironclad fit, because you don't drop T2 ACR's and can go for twin T2 trimarks. it proves very effective, kiting the Geckos and Fighters of the carriers.

Finally, a note on hull-tanked Barghests, as flown by Araikas. I reship from an Astero to one as well. When looking at the situation Araikas gets into, keep in mind he has 100K hull EHP (total 138K) and my Guardian gets out of position due to pilot error. Sadly you don't see the tanking mine does at the end, which is quite extreme cycling of the armour buffer. Plus you'll note the speed achieved, which is 1800m/s. Luls fit? Yes and no.

It was a good fight. It goes to show you don't need 30 Legions, or 20 Ishtars or, it seems, more than 2.25 Guardians, to take on capitals. Just stay cool, take your balls out, and work your way through them. It helps when the carriers are ratting fit, of course, but you wouldn't have got the engagement if they weren't, neh?

Battle report.

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