Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Space cheese grater

First off today, my apologies.  My posting rate around here has been lower than usual lately.  Most of that is attributable to the fact that I'm assisting the Rote Kapelle Alliance Tournament team in a number of roles.  Will I be flying in AT10 myself?  Who knows?  We're deeply involved in our practice sessions now, and who knows what exact compositions we'll end up flying and which pilots and skills we'll need.  But I suspect you'll see me out there, particularly when we get into the 12-ship comps.(1)

In the meantime, my posting rate is down lately because I've been spending a lot more time playing EVE, which leaves me with less time to write about it.  Some of that time is on Tranquility, and some on Singularity for AT practice.  So again, I apologize for that.  I'll do my best to keep writing.

But that does bring me to an amusing story.  I don't often write battle reports here unless they're interesting in some way.  And this one certainly qualifies there.

Rote Kapelle's first AT match is against PERCUSSIVE PIZZA TIME DIPLOMACY on 1 July.  This is a small alliance associated with the Gallente Faction War.  Traditionally, Rote does a Friday night fleet every week at 0330 EVE time, and traditionally, this is a close-range armor brawling sort of fleet.  It's a fleet comp designed to produce lots and lots of explosions, both for us and most likely, for whomever will fight us.  We're in close tackling with Deimoses and Zealots and Sacs, with a Proteus or two and a Loki or two for additional heavy tackle, plus a minimum of logi.  Our feeling is that we'd rather have three more DPS than three logi.  ;-)

So, this past Friday night we're out in that exact comp.  Our Logistics were two Guardians.  I was flying a Damnation for the very first time.  I've done shield Command Ships a lot but this was my first time in an armor one.  We were rolling through low-sec when we encountered some PIZZA guys apparently looking for a Caldari FW fleet that was in the area.  Not finding a fight, we rolled on, only to have a PIZZA guy contact one of our fleet members.  "Don't leave!" we were asked, with the promise of a fight.  Just then, our scout picked up something else that was potentially interesting so we said we were going to check it out and would be back to fight then in five or ten minutes.  We checked out the report -- which came to nothing -- then came back.

By that time, our back scout reported that PIZZA had put together a tech1 BC heavy fleet of Drakes, Hurricanes, and a couple of Tornadoes, supported by five Scimitars, a decent size tackle Interceptor wing, plus a Lachesis and a Huginn.  Their fleet outnumbered ours slightly.  We braced ourselves for what we expected would be a really good, close fight.  We picked them up moving about a half-jump in front of us as we headed back toward them... but they wouldn't stop at a gate or engage.  We quickly came to the conclusion that we were being led back to either their home system, an even larger fleet, or both.

"Both" turned out to be accurate.

Our scout soon reported that their number of Drakes had doubled, and had been supplemented by four Tengus, additional random BCs, and six Blackbirds.  Needless to say we weren't happy, weren't at all interested in engaging that, and we turned to leave.  However, we were assured that some of the ships we were picking up on scan were a Caldari FW fleet and sure enough, the Blackbirds, many of the Drakes, and some of the other ships left.  But we were still faced with a fleet that now doubled ours in both ships and logi, and scan showed that it was sitting in the direction of a FW complex (a Caldari Minor Outpost).  Visual scan from our scout revealed the Tengus, BCs, Scimis, and some of the tacklers.  Directional revealed the rest of their gang was scanning just off-grid.

Having played grid-games on a FW gate a few weeks ago with The Tuskers, we weren't interested in this fight, either.  It was reasonably clear that their Lach, for instance, was probably sitting just outside of the grid line.  It would likely duck onto grid to point something, but duck back behind the grid if it was threatened.  You can imagine our comments on Teamspeak at this point.  ;-)  We were sitting in this system, after all, because they "wanted to fight us."

But we were in a short-range brawling fleet facing a long-range skirmishing fleet of double our numbers and double our logi, and they wanted to play grid games with us, too!  No thanks.

We warped to our in-gate and made it clear that the fight was happening near a gate or a station or not at all.  And that's how things went for five or ten minutes, while the PIZZA fleet continued to pick up additional stragglers.  They were now threatening to crack triple our numbers.

So we started chatting with the Caldari FW fleet: would they be interested in temporary blue status to catch and kill this Gallente FW fleet?  They were open to the idea and started heading back.  It wouldn't even the odds but it would at least give us a sporting chance.

It never got to that point, though.  Our scout soon reported that they'd warped off the minor outpost toward one of the other star gates in system.  We gave chase to the same gate.  We landed at 0.  They landed at 70...

...and then they started burning off from there!  They were never even close to skirmishing range and by the time most of our fleet landed, theirs was already at 85km from us and opening.  Needless to say, we didn't bother chasing them in our armor brawlers.  In due course, their fleet aligned and warped to a second FW site, a Caldari Major Outpost.  We warped after them to find them landing on the acceleration gate.  By the time we landed, all of them were through it.

This left us facing a FW complex gate that about half of the ships in our fleet wouldn't be allowed to activate.  As our FC put it, we were looking at a "space cheese grater" that would only allow ships of certain shapes and sizes through.  Their plan was obviously to trick some of us into warping into the site to get killed.  The whole thing was just a massive troll.

Needless to say, we turned around and left.  They "wanted to fight us"... but only if they could triple our numbers, double our logi, and play silly little FW games with us.  This is our first Alliance Tournament opponent.  As I put it on Twitter that night (edited slightly):
Dear PIZZA.  See you on July 1, when you can't out-ship us 3-1, out-logi us 2-1, and use silly FW gate games.  Love, Rote Kapelle.
Should be a fun fight when they can't run away.  I'm looking forward to it.

(1) Not "if".  ;-)


  1. FW plexes are generally not used for grid games but rather to eliminate reinforcements warping in and disallow warping to fleet mates. They are of great use to fleets that are fighting out numbered. If you can force some of them to warp out they can not rejoin the fight.

  2. Been on both sides of that one, and it is frustrating for both parties. I'm surprised that they actually asked for a fight however, which does change things. If I was on their side we'd have just tried to move ahead of you and bushwack you on our own terms.

    Oh well. Funny, you write so little of actual combat I'd forgotten you were in RK. Tell everyone I said howdy. lol

  3. The numbers you are sporting for PZZA are not within their capability.

    In fact all the Gallente alliances together couldn't put 6 BB, 5 Scimis and Tengus with a sizable fleet of Drakes at the same time. PIZZA has many actives players, but not that many.

    I don't see any "picked off stragglers" on your killboard. I'm interested to how I missed this fight. Want to know what system you were in if you could?

    Most likely, and this is suspect, I assumed your scout picked up scans of Caldari and Gallente fleets in the same Space. BB are not very common in Gall fleet comps. Drake/Canes are of course are. But Tengus rarely, scimis at 4 at most.

    Last time Gall Mil met you guys was in Kedama 2 fridays ago. I waved at you. You didn't respond.

    My heart broke. So I broke your guys Maelstrom.

    (Say that last part outloud, but imagine the Courage Wolf saying it.)

    Anyways, can't speak for PZZA, but being active last night and with your fleet and Caldari fleets out, the horn of Gondor would have sounded. And a fleet you would have been talking about building, I'm sure I would have been in.

    I do know at one point last Friday we heard of nice Tengu, BB fleet for Caldari moving by. We started building a fleet, but that never left station. They went to highsec right quick. Never heard in coms your fleet moving through. But then again, PZZA might have been keeping it secret just for you guys.

    Good luck to you against PZZA. I am routing for them, but I'll give you some props.

    1. mrmeh said:

      I don't see any "picked off stragglers" on your killboard. I'm interested to how I missed this fight. Want to know what system you were in if you could?

      Jester said:

      We warped to our in-gate and made it clear that the fight was happening near a gate or a station or not at all. And that's how things went for five or ten minutes, while the PIZZA fleet continued to pick up additional stragglers. They were now threatening to crack triple our numbers.

      I think you misread his post just a bit. ;-)

    2. Yeah, you misread it. The PIZZA fleet was adding additional members during that 5-10 minutes.

    3. Just saw this post, behind the times a bit. You should put an alt in gal mil. PIZZA isn't really liked by most of us. As for them leading a militia fleet, not likely. They have a few members that participate with general militia fleets, but the majority of them won't even undock to assist militia members.

  4. Isn't revealing your possible fleet comp before the Tournament a little like showing your cards in poker? I remember reading last year about Hydra going to insane lengths to protect their secrecy, training in wormholes on sisi.

    1. Ripard can now fly every sub-cap in EVE except those based on Amarr battleships and Caldari T2 BSs. My main alt can fly all the others. If you can gather intel on what our comps are based on that, more power to you. ;-)

  5. Here's something you missed on the Foums Jester: 8 day old characters are making 300 million isk a day worth of LP by speedtanking Minitmar FW complexes due to the NPC imbalance:

    1. Holy shit, I need to get in on that

    2. 300mill lol

      try 3 bill a day more like!

  6. This was not a SLAPD gang. This was a Gallente FW gang lead by other corps. SLAPD was no where nearby nor do they have the manpower of that size. I know because I was in that fleet.

  7. The rest of your entry is correct with respect to what we were doing. We had a feeling that you were trying to team up with the SQUIDS and your article confirmed it. We don't really blame you for not fighting us but there was no way we were going to get sandwiched between your armor gang and their shield gang.

    Also, we knew that they were trying to set up a drop on us by batphoning NC DOT. And low and behold, an NC DOT sighting was spotted in Akidagi so that was another reason we preferred to have fought in or around a plex gate.

  8. I lol'd when you said slapd had 5 scimi's. you were sadly misinformed. while I definitely believe rote kapelle to be a competent alliance, and I have very much enjoyed your posts in the past, this particular entry makes you seem pretentious.

    Slapd fleets are never more than 10-15 folks, and that is on a good night. Being in the corp, I would probably know :P

  9. Cat Casidy here, PIZZA director and whatnot, awesome writeup i would just like to clarify one thing real fast.... ok go, we are generally not on coms or in contact with the bulk of the gal mil fleets and that night among others is an example of us finding what looks like an awesome fight and then having the gal mil blob discover it before we can get there, at which point it's pretty much well f it, i guess we can try to whore on some kills. Oh well, at least we can brawl in the AT

  10. Looks like they held you off for almost the whole ten minutes without out-shipping you 3-1, out-logi-ing you 2-1, or using silly FW gate games.


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