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, April 1, 2013

Friday night lights

Friday night "Cass fleets" are practically a legend in Rote Kapelle.

Named after their regular FC, these fleets depart from Rote's home in TXW in Syndicate every Friday night (USTZ).  Normally, 20 or so ships, for a long while the traditional doctrine was "fleet of sex": Deimoses and support, and the doctrine is called that for the reason you think it's called that.  As Drakes have dropped out as a thing, the Rote FoS has been replaced with more or less traditional armor HACs: a mix of Deimoses, Zealots, Proteii, Legions, and the occasional Sacrilege, backed up by special teams.  These usually include a Command Ship or two, a Loki, two Guardians, and a HIC, I usually try to get the Ashimmu slot for myself, and someone always feels the need to bring a goofy one-off e-war ship of some kind, too.

If by now you are thinking with 20 ships, that isn't a lot of DPS ships with all those specials, you're absolutely correct.  Rote Kapelle: home of special snowflakes, and I obviously include myself in that count.  Still, it's a fun fleet to fly in, we try to get ourselves killed, and it often ends hysterically.  If we can find a major fight, we'll sometimes throw in a triage carrier to make sure our few DPS ships stay alive long enough to get some kills.

This FNCF was no exception to the rule: two Guardians, Damnation, Claymore, Loki, two Sacs, three Zealots, one Deimos, Proteus, Legion, Phobos, and Ashimmu.  The goofy e-war ship of the night was a sensor damp-fitted Ishtar with Sentry drones lovingly named "Fuck Falcons."  A couple of interceptors tagged along to scout and off we went.

We had traveled only four or five jumps from our home system when another pilot, inbound to our home system in another inty, reported that he had spotted a fleet of 20 or so Omen Navy Issues in Aridia.  We were headed in the opposite direction but that was a problem we could solve easily.  "Keep eyes on them", the scout was told and we started rushing in that direction.  As we traveled, the FC noticed that we were light on DPS even for a normal FNCF.  Our Phobos was ordered to switch to a HAC, and I offered to switch as well, and given the affirmative, both of us docked up and traded for Deimoses.  Now with 11 heavy and two light DPS ships, we rushed toward Aridia.

As we traveled, we were almost disappointed; our scout lost contact with the fleet for a couple of minutes before we learned it had taken a right turn toward Genesis.  Ripard has -- no exaggeration -- almost 4000 bookmarks in systems where he's traveled before.  But this little pocket of Genesis was quite literally somewhere I'd never been, deep in Amarr low-sec on the southern pocket about ten jumps from the New Eden gate.  The ONI fleet -- now reported to include three Oneiroses, was reported to be moving deeper into this area.  It was Unprovoked Aggression.  "Do these guys live around here?"  We didn't know.  It's not our usual roaming grounds.  But it soon seemed so: we started picking up single UA pilots in systems we passed through and soon assumed they had eyes on us.  Would they want to fight our gang?

At first, the answer looked like no; they opened a bit of range and we found out why: they wanted to add two more Oneiroses, making their total count four, maybe five.  Our triage pilot for the night, Ben Booley, heroically started rushing a mid-point cyno into position, then jumped an alt Archon to a not-lonely-enough system to support us if needed.  Thanks to one of our scouts, we found the gate they were holding on and set up on one side of it... only to hear that they were setting up in their side.  They wanted us to jump into them.

Faint heart never won fair maiden.  In we went.

Their Oneiroses had significant range away from the gate and were being screened by that wall of ONIs.  The big question: could we break an ONI under that kind of rep?  We decloaked a couple of baitier ships to encourage them to aggress (they did).  Then we burned in to find out.  Meanwhile, our "Damptar" went to work, damping out several of the Oneiroses and forcing them closer.  With the gate guns on our side and with some overheated guns, it turned out the answer was yes: two ONIs went down on their side.  Meanwhile, they started attacking our four tackle ships, killing two inties.  Our Damptar dragged two Oneiroses in close where our scram-fit ships could pin them and we turned DPS on them, killing both.  We then got some luck, a Huginn that pulled closer than he should have to ensure the inty kills flew well into our kill-box and we obliged him.(1)

The next phase of the battle was a bit of a brawl.  We had broken their reps, but they struggled to break ours; our Guardian pilots were doing an absolutely masterful job.  We lost another tackler on our side, to an Omen, ONI, Oneiros, and Loki on theirs.  "Spread points, they're gonna run," someone said, so spread them we did, but no.  They weren't running.  Their reinforcements arrived, in the form of several tech three cruisers.  This proved a costly mistake.  We quickly switched points them and held them down hard.  Then the blood-bath began.  With only one or two enemy logi on field, we switched targets to the low-resist ONIs.

One two three four five six seven of them went down in two minutes, an ONI popping every 10 or 15 seconds, then we finished this string of death with an AB Zealot.  A few random people drawn by the bubble on the map showed up, some to whore on mails, some apparently intent on trying to get close enough to light cynos.  Our side and their side popped the latter together where we found them.  With us holding several of their tech3s hostage, they'd soon have to decide to either sacrifice these unfortunates or escalate.

They chose "escalate".  One of the new tech3s lit a cyno and a triage carrier jumped in.  We counter-escalated, bringing in our own.

Before their carrier could get its bearings, our Proteus scrammed another Oneiros and we put it down, pushing through its thin buffer with overheated guns.  The last one fled.  Now it was our fleet, our little rabble of their tackled tech3s, and their triage carrier.  And that's where things stayed for ten... freakin'... minutes.  We tried heroically to break this carrier's self rep, refit neuts from our own carrier, applied DPS to him, applied DPS to our trapped victims to make him spend cap that way... nothing worked.  We found out later that it was because the thing had an enormous tank, dual CONCORD self-reps, was using boosters, and was generally hugely expensive.  Good show to the pilot!

Meanwhile, a couple of randoms warped in, a pretty damn good Vengeance pilot who dove into the fray popping our drones (we managed to alpha through him despite triage reps) and a mostly PvE Drake with no prop mod.  What the latter's plan was, I couldn't tell you.  Maybe he only had a few days of insurance left.  And yet this triage carrier lived on and on and on.

Now it was our turn to decide to let our victims go, or escalate.  We also choose "escalate", using the same mid-point the triage carrier had arrived from to bring in two super carriers and a Moros to break the Archon's tank.  They counter-escalated, bringing in a second triage carrier.  But their communication was a little bit off and we didn't give them time to correct it, crushing first one, then the other.  A Rook arrived, apparently intent on trying to break our reps but unfortunately decided to warp to zero and landed after the second triage carrier died.  Needless to say, he didn't last long.  We turned our attention to our captives, starting with CSM7 member Alekseyev Karrde in a Legion.(2)

They chose to escalate again, bringing in yet another triage carrier and a number of shiny battleships.  It proved another costly mistake, but the new arrivals managed to put an end to our Damptar.  It also proved far too big a temptation for our remaining outlying watchers, who dove in to whore on the expensive kill-mails only to be made into kill-mails themselves.  ;-)

After smiting the new triage carrier, one two three four of these shiny battleships fell under our guns, plus a well-tanked Ashimmu and an ONI that had lived from the very start of the battle long enough to see the first triage carriers arrive.  Then it was time to kill our last couple of hostage tech3s and that ended the fight with many GFs all around.

Here's the full battle report:
I can honestly say that that was the most fun I've had since the Death Race, the most fun I've had in 2013 so far, and one of the most memorable fights I've had in EVE Online.  Thank you to Unprovoked Aggression and NoirDOT for bringing it, and bringing it again!  Fantastic fight, and I'm sure you'll return the favor on us one day soon.

(1) Anyone who wonders why I often say faction webs on Huginns and Rapiers make the ships "more survivable"?  This is why.  He didn't have to be this close to us.  It was the fact that he was that got him killed.
(2) One hopes that Alek will tell NinjaTurtle that I Play This Game(tm).  ;-)


  1. "Proteii"? Really Jester?

    The "ii" suffix is the Latin pluralization. "Proteus" is a Greek name. The plural for "Proteus" is "Proteodes".

  2. would I ever be as amazing as you guys..? :)

    Nice fight!

  3. Gods are unique, no need for a plural.

  4. Drake was a Noir. Academy guy who was so excited to bring more DPS to the fight he grabbed the first thing he could. He understands he did wrong.

    Fight really was absolutely great, even on the losing side. Not only does Ripard play but he may have convinced me to put him on my ballot as the small gang guy

    1. http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=17055103

      As one of the last ONI's that went down I can say this was a tremendously fun fight and we definitely intend on doing it again.

      Ripard / Jester you did forget to mention how we got your deimos down to structure (IIRC, might have been the other guy), as well as one of your guardians, another 2 seconds on that guardian and we would have had you.

      Once you had ewar and webs on a few of our logi though it was looking dicey, but we hung in there.

      GF's all round, next time we might just turn up in T2 / T3's for a solid brawl :)

      Also I second the CSM vote, I am seriously considering you as my vote now.

  5. Almost makes me want to apply to Rote, but I'm GMT+13 so no point.

    1. We have a most excellent AU/NZ timezone as well, AND I'M NOT EVEN FUCKING JOKING

  6. I love when people post battle reports like this. They always remind me of battles of my own and bring back all kinds of fun memories. This one reminds me of a battle with the Gallente Militia, where a carrier of theirs was dropped into a bad situation which we exploited. We spent forever beating off waves of Gallente reinforcements until we finally got a PL batphone to come in and kill the carrier.

    This also reminds me of another issue that has recently come to my attention and on which I would like to see if you could post your opinion. Seeing as how you have somehow gained a sort of omnipotence in the ability to work, play EVE, hold relationships in real life,and post on this blog and do research for this blog more then either EVENEWS or TheMitanni usually do with a whole team of writers you've probably already seen the interview of CCP Unifex and Soundwave at PAX on TheMittani.com about the complete removal of the current local chat system from all of the EVE universe.

    As a Small Gang PvPer and an occasional FC in Faction Warfare and someone who has had Local used for and against them on a regular basis I can say that I am rather divided on the issue.

    On one hand Stealth and Surprise Tactics will be a lot easier to accomplish now that Local Intel is removed. This is a rather subtle but HUGE buff to the capability of CovOps Drops in particular and cynos in general.

    On the other hand while local is a large intel tool, is it too much of a powerful tool? As an intel tool I personally would rate it above the D-scan but below a scouts personal eyes on. Will the lack of local intel increase the amount, and quality of PvP? Or would it decrease it. I personally would think it will make people a lot more risk averse. The lack of Local in W-Space provides a rather interesting dynamic when combined with the other features. However the mechanics of Low-Sec, Null-Sec and even High-Sec are a lot different from W-Hole space and each other. Should they all be painted with the same 'No Local' Brush?

    Also CCPs replies to the interview seem to me to be a little heavy handed. Modifying a tool that everyone in EVE takes for granted and completely and all they can say is that 'We are confident players will adapt just fine until then'. That comment was in reaction to a question about upgrades to the D-Scanner. So CCP is gonna remove a rather large tool that everyone uses for intel gathering and not find some way to at least increase the functionality of the other intel tools until AFTER everyone has gotten used to the less limited intel? Its like saying that POS's no longer have reinforcement timers but the replacement for the timers wont be up to replace it.(Might be a tad over reacting on that.)

    Was thinking about what you might say on the subject considering it is rather important, wondering if you might write a post on it. Considering your (hopeful) place on the new CSM this is sure going to be a topic of discussion of at least SOME importance.

    Love reading your blog, hope to see you representing all of us on the CSM soon.

    P.S. Do you take requests? :P

    1. Yep, I noticed that story, and I immediately scrolled to the bottom and spotted the question mark, though I didn't click it.

      And sure, from time to time someone will ask for my take on a subject and I'll usually give it if I can get a blog post out of it.

    2. I'VE BEEN HAD!!! I feel like an idiot for not noticing the April Fools. The statement about your omnipotence still stands though ;).

  7. Drake pilot checking in. I was in the 2nd Oneiros to die. The Drake was was one I happened to have from a past life in Eve that was sitting 2 jumps from the fight and was my quickest option to get back in the fight with some "dps". Fitting was pretty craptastic, but yeah I got the insurance money from it as well.

  8. Nice battle report!
    Moar like this please!

  9. @Alekseyev: "Drake was a Noir. Academy guy who was so excited to bring more DPS to the fight he grabbed the first thing he could. He understands he did wrong."

    He did right: He grabbed DPS and joined the fight. The rest is implementation detail. :-)

    Put another way: Would you rather that he sat out the fight because all he had was a PVE Drake?

    1. If he was in an alliance like rote and not noir, I'd shit down his throat for it.

    2. He'll never do it again, let's put it that way. If this was an actual Noir. pilot, there would have been some serious issues.

    3. I <3 it when you talk dirty Leboe

      p.s. wtf at these elaborate capcha's Ripard :(

  10. I was a UA oneiros there were two others.
    what's this about several others and the last one warped off?
    We had 3 and why would a logi run so 3 died, several t3's?
    Again are you sure you were in the same fight we had a few but all were on field the entire engagement.
    Please if you are going to write a battle reports have Less bullshit it was a fun fight but this is just terrible.
    If there were so many t3's and oneiros please point me to the kill board where I can see them.
    Shit was I in a different fleet what if there's a second dimension where UA has more on field then we know of.


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