Sunday, March 23, 2014

General Tso's 5th Anniversary

For fuck's sake...

We have reached a pretty large milestone, our motherfucking 5th Anniversary, bitch!

Preparation for Lulz

If it hadn't been for Selina and Salid pointing out that it was almost here, I probably would have let it past with little to no fanfare, to be completely honest. Thankfully they kept prodding me for ideas for what we should do for it.

Since Shadow Cartel had celebrated their 5th with a Venture-bridging, I figured we couldn't "just" do that, too, but I also wanted to do something out of the ordinary. We went with an INDUSTRY THEME!

Fleet membership was restricted to Exhumers, Mining Barges, Blockade Runners, Industrials, the Venture for those that couldn't fly anything else, and we even had Salid volunteer to play the noble role of fleet booster in his Orca.

Shadow Cartel were kind enough to offer us use of their Titan for our anniversary, so we gladly accepted this gift and parked our fleet on their POS. Meanwhile Selina scouted in his bait ship. He was flying a Gnosis because everyone apparently stopped falling for his Procurer, so he didn't quite fit in with the theme, but it was a necessary evil. The wait was a tad long, about 15 minutes or so, with all our ships parked on a technically-hostile tower. I made sure I was in empty pods on both my toons in the event that SC decided it would be more fun for them to warp a smartbombing battleships gang onto our fleet.

The Bridge of Industry

As I hit d-scan for about the 1000th time, Selina finally piped up on Vent:

"Okay... you guys ready? Cyno up! Bridge!"

In a flash, our gang of 20+ Industry ships launched through the warp tunnel onto a gate in Resbroko. There were several suspects engaging Selina's bait ship, with two Ospreys providing logistics support. Huntin4Cloud9 was in a logistics ship of his own: A Noctis, which boasted the most high slots in the fleet. We made very short work of the hostiles, and despite the powerful repping power of the Noctis, Selina's Gnosis fell, as did Charles, but no surprises there. While we looted the field, a curious Hurricane warped in at range, then made the mistake of warping to the star, which was tens of AU away from the battlefield. Since our warp speed was faster than that of his Battlecruiser, I commanded the fleet to warp at various ranges to the star, and most of the fleet was on field before he even exited warp. He was barraged with drones and fireworks until his hull could not handle the festivities any longer and exploded in ecstasy... or rage. We can't really be sure.

All in all we killed the Hurricane, two Ospreys, a Rupture, a Thorax, a Stabber, a Rifter, while only losing the Gnosis and a Nereus.

A Little Help, Here?

We went to station to dock, where everyone was given a chance for a piss break and to trade loot across. I told everyone to remain docked until we were all set to roll out again. Tricanis, being Tricanis, of course undocked and relayed intel that a Machariel was on the undock and was actively aggressing him. Someone did a quick check and discovered that this character has an Archon alt that he uses to bail himself out of tight spots when engaging on station (my favorite - station games!). So we all made a mad dash to undock and save Tricanis, and notified SC that there was potential for an Archon kill in additon to the Pirate Faction Battleship. Eventually the Archon did undock, but the Mach ceased fire and allowed himself to rep up, so the Archon would not inherit the full 60-second weapons lock timer. SC was on standby one jump out and waited for word that the Mach was aggressed WHILE the Archon was repping him. It took several minutes, but eventually that sequence occurred. SC jumped into system with a bunch of Attack Battlecruisers and blasted clear through the Archon reps and aided us in the murder of the Mach. We switched targets to the Archon, but only managed to get it to 20% structure before it was able to dock. Had we started with teh Archon, we might have killed the Carrier, but hindsight is what it is...

Aimless Wandering to Our Demise

We moved on from Resbroko and headed deeper through lowsec in search of fights. Eventually we ran across a system that appeared active, with a Megathron and several tech 1 cruisers on scan out and about. We tried baiting them in top belt of the system just myself in my Skiff and Salid in his Orca. They didn't bite. A scout came up from behind the rest of the fleet and must have relayed word that there was a mess of Industry pain awaiting them!

But, instead of just docking or shit talking in local, they rallied a fleet of Severance guys in various cruiser hulls and warped into the gate. There was a small mexican stand off between our fleet and theirs on one side of a gate until I made the call to "Just fucking jump through and be scattered, we aren't here to survive!"

And we most certainly did not. Survive, that is, of course we jumped. The hostiles pursued and immediately tackled the Orca. They had a bunch of Scythes so I made the call to start chewing through them. It was about this time that Shadow Cartel decided to drop the both of us with their Prophecy gang (augmented with a trio of Guardians) and all hell pretty much broke lose from there.

The Severance fleet slugged it out for a bit, and managed to drop the Orca. I avoided calling any SC pilots primary, and they were kind to avoid killing Tso's guys for a bit, so at least we had that going for us.

I commanded the Tso's members to tackle "as much shit as you can that isn't SC" and chewed apart whatever hadn't warped off. As the stragglers were consumed, their fleet mates came back onto grid at range. I had our fleet rush out to scram whatever we could before they warped off again. It was at this point that I finally started calling the Guardians in the SC fleet primary, swapping from ship to ship, until they managed to slaughter all of us. I guess our ~200 combined DPS wasn't enough to break through their rep cycles quite enough.

Not bad.
All in all, it was a resounding success, and we killed much more that I though the fleet would be capable of. I was pretty disappointed that CCP fixed the corpse-spew that used to occur when a ship was killed that contained corpses. Every ship was loaded with a hundred or so corpses that dated back to the foundation of SMERG in 2007, and I expected them to launch into space in a glorious cloud of cadavers... but CCP must have changed that shit at some point. Lame.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Should Have Seen It Coming

So a little over a month ago our SH!T alliance started the move down here to Molden Heath after some small roams in the area had gotten us lots of 'gud' fights. Up until then guys would jump clone down from Gallante space to do OB ops or help out on the contracts GI4NT had undertaken when Negative Feedback asked "hai gais can we haz eve?".

Over the coarse of that first month we grew our family and started to settle into our new home...can't wait till the boxes are all unpacked...we had a few new pilots in fleets...a pile of districts and a fresh crop of Dust mercs to troll in alliance chat.

Dust made Eve content which made more Eve content?!?

During this time even with the retarded act of district locking (if you don't know what it is ;tldr = an ISK printing press with zero risk) being a 'thing' we were plenty busy pew pewing over NF vs AE fights, NF's PFC and regular contracts and covering the increase in alliance PC matches. 

Despite the ups and downs of NF logistics (hell we rage at our own guys when they fuck up their timers) in our time working together we remained patient and accommodating when mistakes happened (NF did have to coordinate with other Dust corps on their end after all) and scrambled fleets more than we should have to clean up other peoples messes...even dropping what we were doing to fly in for last second requests.

So what went wrong then?

Now while the casual removed party that takes the Dust lolforums at face value will no doubt buy into the meta as to why the 3XXXD/NF relationship fell apart I'm not one much for the 'he said, she said' route...the record could be easily set straight in a few minutes of copy/pasta but I'ld also rather not be 'that guy'. 

lolo said it best so I'll just leave it at this.

Family > all else...thats the take-away on our end boys and girls.

So...tables are flipped...AE/RA hires NF...someone decides that General Tso's Alliance is a notch above forever irrelevant (we maintain a difference of opinion on that)...our spreadsheet fills up with defends and we get to try our hand, as a very newly changed alliance, at fighting off 2/3rds of the highest concentration of Dust 'talent' left in the game. 

Dust side we had some successes and some losses, some disappointment and some valuable some lessons learned...all said and done we lost just under half of our pixel land holdings over the weekend...Friday being a rough night moral wise for the ground pounders...Saturday through to Monday saw our dusties pull up their big boy pants, get down to business and minimize losses...some solid defences and great matches were had by all. 

Feel free to scroll through @DUSTAlerts for district changes

Eve side...meh...we did alright I think.

So here we are...General Tso's Alliance is by no means 'the new kid on the block' (5 year anniversary just passed) but having district holdings is a new wrinkle on our saggy ass just as having a large portion of our Eve content being generated by a second rate F2P console shooter is now a 'thing'. 

We just got our first taste of minor war...some of our Dust troops have shaken off a bit of rust  after all the retarded district locking and some have learned a hard lesson on where they need to improve and grow within their own corp...our pilots were already prepared for the hellish schedule that comes from supporting a PC involved Dust group thanks to already working for those that attacked us...its almost like this was planned out or something O.o

Interesting times ahead I must say...NF has shown that they will do whatever puts the most ISK in their g-string (as mercs would)...3XXXD <3's 3XXXD before all else and a hell of a lot of other corps want to hop in the #ChickenShack because we somehow became the Cool Kids, or the alternative to the Cool Kids, I'm not sure which it is...either way we're here to stay so deal with it.

Spring is coming...try and stay dry.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Gospel of Eve, Pt. XII: Servi Rebellant!!!

Whenever you are lost in space, tired, damaged, alone, you can always take comfort to know that someone is watching you. It may not a physical entity, or a friendly pilot, but His eyes are watching you. But when you are down, broken, and all hope is lost, you can always count on one word of truth for guidance, slavation, hope: the Gospel of Eve.
Part XII: Servi Rebellant!!! (The Slaves are Revolting!!!)

This is the Gospel according to Servus RectAni...

First letter to Dominus RectAnus:

Master, forgive me. Our slaves have been lost. I take full responsibility for this failure and will apply lubricant in preparation of my punishment. I know I did not have permission to take your slaves but I wanted to do something special for the alliance. I was going to use all 502 of your slaves to construct a monument to commemorate the 5 years that General Tso's Alliance has been together.

But I knew I needed permission to build anything on behalf of the alliance. I went to find Burseg Sardaukar to ask for permission but found he was out on a roam. I decided to catch up with him, but once I did, I got caught in a titan bridge and myself in a low security system in Metropolis in the middle of a battle between an alliance industry fleet and a cruiser fleet.


I told the slaves to remain calm and keep up with repairing the Amistad and the other industrial ships in our fleet.

That would have been a glorious mining op...

They were not happy with my orders but they followed them for some time. We successful in keeping the fleet alive in several engagements. We even almost took down a carrier, my lord.

It wasn't until Shadow Cartel engaged our fleet that the situation took a turn for the worse. Prior to Shadow Cartel's involvement, morale was very high. But once I informed them of Shadow Cartel's engaging us, those cowards immediately became like children. In the midst of battle, the slaves saw an opportunity they could not pass up. Turning against me, they tried to take over the ships. I was left with no choice, master. I locked myself on the bridge, sent out a distress call, and set the self-destruct.


Shadow Cartel, who until this time has mostly ignored us, responded to my distress and opened fire on the ship.

I know you are probably very angry about the loss, but I also figured you would also rather see them as frozen corpses in space than see them free with their own ship. Unfortunately, the destruction did not kill all of the bastards. But I promise, my lord, that I will search the very corners of the universe to return the survivors to your servitude. Again, I am very sorry sir for my failure. All I ask is that you are gentle with me...

Forever your servant,

Servus RectAni 
Transcribed with anger-shaken hand by Lord SphinctAnus RectAnus