This weekend was particularly awesome for me in Dust514. I hit my weekly cap for the first time since the first week of open beta (I've come close, but an all-day murder-fest on Saturday chucked me well over the limit this week), and unlocked the B-Type Caldari Assault suit for BuregSardaukar. I would love to field test them in some Corp Battles, but with Uprising right around the corner, I think I'll save my ISK and suits for Planetary Conquest.
A small update on the politics within General Tso's Alliance, as well! We reset the Sea Hamsters; they were good for the small while they lived and operated within Seyllin and Ane, but have since joined a null-based alliance and have only been using Seyllin as a test bed for their rookies to get them ready for null. And since I don't give two flying fucks about null and didn't particularly see the benefit in Tso's keeping people blue that simply wanted to use OUR systems for a playground, it didn't make sense to keep blue status. In the end, if shit hits the fan, they have no vested interest in the area and can move their "school" anywhere else, and leave us to slug it out for the motherland. Not acceptable. That and SMERG guys always bust my balls about having blues anyway, so the less we have the better.
This leaves WORK. as our primary (and surprisingly very active) ally within these two systems. Their guys, even the new ones, are extremely good about not breaking chains (they just need to learn to kill one BS rat at a time to maximize the benefit) and are learning the ins and outs of lowsec PVP. And this brings us to the subject of today's blog: PEW PEW!
Since I've been neglecting the EVE half of SMERG as of late, as soon as I paid out the PVPIP to the tune of 1.7 B, I grabbed whoever was on and took a fleet of Battlecruisers (recently rebalanced) into Parts. I expected some of the DAYZE guys to be patrolling the area, but to my surprise a neutral Proteus was hanging out on the Obalyu gate. I aggressed in my Prophecy, trying to force him into the rest of the fleet on the other side, when an orange Legion decloaked at 0 km on the gate. The Proteus jumped and the Legion immediately scrammed, webbed, and neuted my ass. I figured this would be an easier target, being the covert ops version of the Strategic Cruiser, and I falsely assumed the orange status was tied to DAYZE, since we were inside of their stomping grounds. Come to find out (after the black ops ships bridged in) it was actually a Basgerin alt. Woops. Of all the fucking people, lulz. This resulted in my death, along with Selina's Exequror.
I felt this wasn't a particularly good way to end the night, considering we were only 10 minutes into the roam, so I reshipped and headed off into our usual place of harassment, Old Man Star. Within nothing but a strange Rise of Legion fleet roaming about, I thought this would be a shitty night overall for our roam, but after scouting neighboring systems, we found a Skiff on scan inside of Yvangier. I sat in a belt, pretending to rat, even announced it to the locals:
Burseg Sardaukar > I'm just here to rid this system of Serpentis SCUM!
And when the skiff landed, I pointed it. This was met with a point from the Skiff, immediately telling me this was a trap. A Talos appeared on scan, and an Arazu on grid (decloaked by asteroids). I was then pointed by all three, and a SECOND covert cyno was lit, but thankfully only a Redeemer jumped through. I got a point on it quickly, yelling to vent to get on grid and get additional points on him and other targets. Before they landed, however, the Redeemer micro jumped 100 km out of range, thanks to the new, awesome, battleship-class-only, midslot propulsion module added in Retribution. So we lost that kill, and the skiff scurried away during the fray, but we managed to kill the Talos VERY quickly, and the 700M Arazu, which I brilliantly switched my point to after the Redeemer fucked off.
Coming down off this high, and with about 300M or so in drops, we trickled back to our home to log for the night... when Colt found an obvious-bait-Prophecy in top belt. It was being tackled by some of our blues, so we figured: WTF and descended upon the poor bastard like a swarm of cockroaches (as we often do). The Prophecy went down hard, and a Myrmidon landed too late to help his friend. We began to kill it as well, when a Tempest also landed. We stayed on the Myrm, and I pointed the Tempest. After we had several ships committed, I did a d-scan from Bashar at our tower. I noticed 5 Hurricanes that were clearly not with out fleet. Since a majority of my fleet was in cruisers and below, I figured news of several Hurricanes on directional might spook them, so I kept this information to myself for the short term. Then all the 'canes landed.
It became a rapid fire "Primary is" "Secondary is" commands as I tried to get control of the situaton. I knew we could win this. Saggy lost his Stabber Fleet Issue, but we kept chewing through their canes faster than they were denting out fleet. A couple 'canes dropped, and Col reported Jade's Naga dropped. At this point, our Attack Battlecruisers pulled range and laid down damage, while myself and the smaller craft kept points on targets, ensuring not a single target escaped. The Hurricanes were wiped out, joining their Prophecy and Myrmidon buddies, and we soon focused all DPS on the lone Tempest, killing it very quickly. The engagement was a very decisive victory for SMERG and friends.
When we were coming down off the high, looting the field, there was another spike of neutrals in local. Directional scan alerted us to a small gang all with identically named ships (a terrible idea if you enter into unknown space.) They warped around to a few belts, I think looking for wrecks to steal drops from. They ended up at Seyllin IX Asteroid Belt II, where Iron Straw tackled one of their Ospreys. They had a pair of them, a Blackbird, Thorax, and a Tornado. It wasn't long until our fleet landed and began to tear them apart. This was engagement was a bit more of a cluster fuck as everyone ignored primaries for whatever reason, but the end result was an even clearer victory, since we lost absolutely fucking nothing, and wiped out both Ospreys, the Blackbird, and the Tornado.
On a side note, I've been putting out feelers for ideas to incentivize Fleet Commanders. For those of you unfamiliar with the inner workings of SMERG, no one does anything unless I am around to FC the fleet. This includes roams, defense, POS assaults, war, etc. This is different than our Dust514 group, which has several extremely competent squad leaders (chiapet, Thrawn, Imperial Storm Trooper, Arianne, this guy kyle, ironcitysteelers, Rectanus and many more). While it is easier to "FC" a squad of 4 (soon 6) in an FPS, since all the mechanics are straightforward, it doesn't change the fact that I needed to find a system to create leaders inside of Tso's, if we are to be equally versatile in space as we are on the ground.
While many ideas are being thrown around the general gist will be:
-Scheduled ops with a scheduled FC
-Ops at least once a week, maybe twice.
-We will aim for Saturdays, similar to the old suicide roams, and to bolster activity on weekends (especially when I'm not around)
-The FC will be paid on a per-member-per-hour basis
-This ISK will come from the moon-goo fund
-Proof in the form of screenshots will be required
-Some type of voting might be done on whether an FC was good or just phoning it in for ISK
More details to come as we finalize the concept.