4 Feb 2012

The Devil's Playground

The recent assault frigate buff meant that I had quite a few fitted and rigged assault frigates with empty slots, all scattered across New Eden in a random fashion. Jaguars, Wolfs and Vengeances to be exact. Now I only owned three different assault frigates but boy did I own some. Literally hundreds of the little firecrackers. However, seeing as most of these frigates were in remote places, I certainly wasn't planning on modifying them too much.

I flew to the relevant stashes and sorted through the ships. I must admit that I took the lazy approach to modification. I definitely did not intend on doing any hauling of new goods to these remote outposts. My plans were something like this:

1. Check my hangar for spare parts/junk/loot that might fit into the newly available slots.

2. Check the station's market for any modules that might be available for purchase and that may fit.

3. If desperate, check through cargoholds for anything lurking that might be fit for purpose.

4. If even more desperate. Check the asteroid belts for rat wrecks for any parts that would fit. (Didn't quite go this far but I was tempted)

5. If none of the above options were available. Repackage the fitted and rigged ships and put them on the market.

It turned out that I had nothing available for the Vengeance. Where they were based I had quite a bit of junk and some other ships that I no longer needed so I arranged for it all to be repackaged and sent to a main trade hub via the croaking midnight courier.

Nearly all my Jaguars I got lucky with and was able to buy and stick a Nanofiber Internal Structure II on them, regardless of how they were fit previously they all now have a Nano fitted or an extra Nano in some cases. An extra nano can't hurt, right? Quite a few of the Jags however were unlucky and I had to again dismantle them and send to market.

It was a similar story with the Wolf. Half of them I just threw a Tracking Enhancer II on because that's what I had in the hangar. Couple this with the metastasis rig on some of them and the autocannons on these Wolfs should be able to track a marble falling through space. I liked the Wolf better with poor tracking in all honesty. It made things a little more interesting come dogfight time. Some of the Wolfs I threw a repper on or an extra resist mod. But, again quite a few had to be given the silver bullet.

Anyway, I managed to make a good turn of ISK by selling quite a good number of these overpowered demons at over-inflated prices and I still have some to play with. Result!


I had five spare unfitted Jaguars in my hangar in Heild. With the new changes I thought I'd try a wacky fit to try and counter blaster boats. The plan being twin neutralizers that can be run permanently to literally shut off the blaster boat weapon systems and I would also sport a kinetic and thermic hardener to minimize the incoming hybrid damage types. In theory it might work by plinking away at a boat with no capacitor.

Unfortunately theory doesn't always work as you hope it to.

The first outing of this ship did not end too well. Although a tough ask going up against a good friend and old corpmate in Raxip who, if this was a boxing match would have 3 years of skills and experience over me. Not to mention the fact he is a damned good pilot. Although I did take Raxip to hull, which isn't that good really against the Gallente, but still. I was also hoping that Raxip had left the Nosferatu module at home and I also tried to second guess he would be plugging his resist hole so I went with EMP ammo. A bad choice but a good fight. I have four of these left, I am wondering if against a lesser pilot it might do its job. Time will tell I guess. It is definitely a situational ship.


Champion Jaguar pilot Alex Medvedov once said:

Jaguars do not end in boom sound. They end with fanfare and go straight to heaven.

This particular Jaguar that I was piloting was loosely based off the famed Alex fit that I must admit to being a massive fan of. This particular Jaguar also had a brand new Nanofiber fitted to it (surprise!). This particular Jaguar wasn't quite ready for the fanfare.

Running the Devil's Playground that takes you from Heimatar and up into the belly of the Metropolis region through the choke-point system of Eszur is a dangerous run. It is especially dangerous to those on the wrong side of the law. Notorious space-lane robbers, murderous executioners who scout the whole pipe and lay in wait with fast-locking Thrasher camps ready to strike are a constant menace for those navigating the pass. So much so that most pilots will avoid the area completely and pod run through high-sec or clone jump over the area to get to their destination.

In this instance this wasn't an option, I was in a hurry.

As the stargate flashed in Eszur and I waited my cloak timer I was confronted by a Curse 15 clicks away. A scary sight indeed, even more so the fact it looked like it was ready for a fast lock. It was guarding the gate like Lucifer himself would guard the Gates of Hell.

Running would not be an option.

I dropped my cloak and the Curse went red to me in a flash. My heart instantly started pumping faster, somebody had just stabbed me in the back with a massive shot of adrenaline. I smashed open the afterburner and burnt straight for the Curse, on the edge of scram and web range my capacitor failed on me. I was bled dry, completely dead in the water with the exception of my cannons. Drones began to eat away at the Jaguar's shield systems. My autocannons were hot, but I wasn't even close to doing any damage.

I had to somehow get in Nosferatu range to give me any chance of regaining my capacitor levels. I was running out of time but remarkably I managed to get in close, for a brief moment I had scrammed and webbed the Curse after the Nosferatu module began spitting its blood-red fire at the dark and moody Recon ship.

Both shields stripped away it was now a straight up burn to the finish line. Both our armour disappeared fast. We both had no damage control fitted. I was living by the skin of my teeth. My tiny amount of capacitor allowing me to micro-manage my modules.

As we both slipped into structure and the real possibilty of the dreaded structure bleed kicking in I banged my knee hard on the underside of my desk, the adrenaline was running that strong that my leg was performing involuntary movements.

Then there was a flash and it all went quiet for a moment.


3 Feb 2012

The Budding Ideas of Miura Bull

They were, with one exception, not original but picked up, raw, from the churning maelstrom of the life of piracy and the first years of his awkward life amongst the pirates. The old ways were dying of indigestion and it was time to tap into something new. For years the old breed had ruled with an iron fist and with the black flag raised high above the storm. They had stamped their unique language and their romantic culture on it. But the grip was slipping, weakening. The minorities, the outcasts could not be digested.

Piracy and in particular, solo pvp, was a melting pot. It was also bubbling and spewing out its contents to a wider audience. Ready to explode onto the scene.

Now, as the new era began, the various new school started to sprout like a beautiful wild flower. The various Brutor, Sebiestor and Vherok cool kids. Cast away from the chains, the boundaries removed, hungry for a share of the spoils and a slice of the pie. But it didn't stop at the Minmatar race. Gallentean punks more accustomed to the pop scene and fizzy drink dispensers. Caldari capitalist pig-dogs and even the Slavers from as far away as Amarr Prime were negotiating a route down the well-trodden path.

It was this new ideology that would shine like a fiery beacon on the new generation. Crazy and outlandish fits and tactics that were berated on paper but when put out on the field would reap the token killmails that these new kids chased. And chased they did. Meteoric rises up killboard ladders and ever more daring and outlandish attempts at gaining the kills that they craved like a drug.

But this was not all.

There was social revolt too and this often transcended into a downward struggle. The ever more unpopular lower classes of New Eden (in the eyes of the pirate) were demanding the ballot, a change for good, a cry of angst for more protection and the introduction of mind-boggling rules and stipulation. The workers and industrialist sector were insisting on the right to organize safe havens and no-fly-zones away from the grasps of the pirates and their bloodstained morals. Away from their guns and fearsome looking spaceships and modified weapon systems.

To these developments Miura, the fanatical young Brutor nationalist from Ammold, was bitterly opposed. To him New Eden was sinking into a foul swamp of bias and ignorance. It could be saved only if the master profession, piracy, reasserted its absolute authority. To Miura, those who followed the other professions were an inferior people. It was up to the pirates and to some extent the general pvp combat capsuleer community to rule them with an iron hand. Coalitions must be abolished and an end put to all the democratic 'nonsense'.

Though he took no part in the general politics of New Eden, Miura followed avidly the activities and killboards of some of the major players in the pvp world. He studied them like a hawk would study his next possible meal. And there now began to sprout in the mind of this wannabe leader, in the locker rooms of some Roden Shipyard hangar, a sense of clarity of a future goal and a vision. He could see his vision with amazing clarity. It was sharp and focused albeit quite barbaric by some standards. This vision burned down on him from above like the morning light bursting through the top of a dark cave on a Summer's morning. He wanted to mature and become a Master Leader and he knew exactly how he could do it.

At first contact he developed a furious hatred towards those that hunted his profession, actively engaging in trying to put down the piracy movement.

"What most repelled me," he says, "was its hostile attitude towards the piracy movement and in particular the way that these do-gooders would hide behind their shiny security status and strength in numbers approach."

In the first few months out in the spacelanes Miura had obtained what might have otherwise required decades: an understanding of a pestilential machine, cloaking itself as some kind of social virtue to the good community and spreading the righteous word of brotherly love amongst its followers and any other ear that was listening.

And yet he was already intelligent enough to quench his feelings of rage against these coalitions that were springing out of the ground at alarming rates. He was able to examine carefully the reason for their apparent success and championing. He concluded that there were several reasons, and years later he was to remember them and utilize them in building up the Black Rebel Rifter Club.

One day, he recounts in his journal, he witnessed an organized gate camp, a mass bundle of ships and crew, ducking and diving from the safety net of high-sec into the jungle of low-sec to commit sin against his pirate brethren.

"For nearly two hours I sat there cloaked watching with bated breath and an itchy trigger finger. This gigantic ball of slime slowly going about their 'work' like some kind of heroic super-machine. In oppressed anxiety I finally left the place and cruised homeward."

During downtimes he began to read the workings of veterans and those who were already mastering the art of which he craved. Kane Rizzel, Ka Jolo, Wensley, Sard Caid, Skira Ranos and many, many others. He studied their writings, looked deeply into their organizations and reflected on their psychology and techniques and he pondered the results that had churned in his wicked mind. He came to three conclusions: They all knew how to create a mass movement, without which any corporation and idea would be useless; they had learned the art of propaganda among the masses; and, finally, they knew the value of using what he calls "spiritual and physical terror."

This lesson, although it was based on his own observations and a sort of narrow-minded blinkered view, certainly intrigued the young Miura. Within six months he would put it to good use for his own ends.