In recent weeks my combat crew has been taking a little break while I conduct research on a new business venture (more on that soon) and the purchase of associated hardware. I’ve also been assisting in corp. logistics to ensure our assets are secured and maintained.
Both of these actions have meant my combat crew has been left idle on their backsides so its about time I redressed that balance with a few combat exercises.
KBP7-G is our empire entry point; its our border control and needs to be monitored and defended. There are many types of people, ships, corporations and alliances that pass through the Dital gate and it can be a dangerous place both for us and anyone passing through, which also means its a good place for a little combat practice!
I ordered my chief engineer in KBP Station to ready the Crow and rallied the crew to the briefing room. No long speeches, just some quick terse words regarding their tardiness and over consumption of spiced wine in the local bar.
I discussed our mission; simple, defend the KBP/Dital gate and engage any hostiles within our Rules of Engagement (RoE). Our alliance currently has a “Not Blue Shoot It” (NBSI) RoE, so I made that clear to my tactical officer and ensured he check our targeting systems and reset if needed!
With the ship and crew ready I ordered we undock from the station and head straight for a “safe spot” near the Dital gate, this would give us a tactical advantage against any traffic at the gate within our RoE. It wasn’t long before Caracal warped into gate range and held there.
The Caracal belonged to a member of the Sodalitas XX Alliance, it clearly looked like bait, but me as a lone ship it was a little risky to try and tackle the vessel especially if there were any of his “friends” around. A quick check of the local communications channel showed at least five other members of his alliance in the system.
I ordered my comms. officer to broadcast the ship on our Intel channel and to see if any of my alliance members would want to come and assist. It wasn’t too long before one of our alliance members warped to the gate and right on top of the Caracal and began to lock and shoot. This was my cue, albeit a little hasty, I ordered a 20Km warp-in to the con. officer and then issued commands to lock, warp scramble and begin firing on the vessel.
He was taking a good amount of damage, but was too close to the gate and was able to jump through! “Blasted” I thought, I should have known that was going to happen, but I was too concerned with the possibility of his friends turning up and making this operation very short.
I re-grouped and readied the ship again for another encounter. At this point we had a few more alliance members active in the system so it was decided to create a fleet to help co-ordinate our efforts. We formed-up on the station and to our amazement the Sodalitas XX Caracal was back in the system and warped to the station and docked!
It was now a waiting game, he would have to exit the station at some point and we would be waiting, but we also knew that his friends would be coming to help. We didn’t have to wait too long before he undocked and we quickly swarmed around him and began to attack.
Sure enough, five of his friends turned up to save him, but they were too late, his ship was no match for our small defence fleet. On the flip side, my interceptor was no match for their small gang of battle cruisers and frigates so I ordered we warp to a safe spot within the system until they dispersed.
We took some shield damage on the way out, but nothing to cause any concern, so I ordered we wait at our safe spot and recharge the shields. Once the shields were recharged I headed for the station, to change ships, I wanted the crew to get plenty of experience so I called ahead and requested the Worm to be readied so we could swap the crew as quick as possible.
The change over was quick, I was impressed with the crew. Their brief respite while I conducted business negotiations hadn’t made them in to lazy slobs and maybe the rush of adrenaline from the last battle gave them a boost to move quick!
The Worm is a nice ship. Its essentially a Merlin hull that has been modified by the Gurista pirates to increase the size of the drone bay and also the shields ability to resist all damage types.
Our small fleet was comprised of various sized ships, everything from cruisers through to battleships, but we were in good spirits. It was nice to have a group of easy going captains all with similar expectations of the fleet and all just really looking for a bit of fun and to put their ships and crews through their paces.
We managed to destroy a few more ships whilst defending our border, which was both good experience and great for morale.
A friend in the alliance joined the fleet in his Dramiel, this is another pirate modified ship and impressive too. We had a duel to allow both crews to test their capabilities. It was soon clear that the Dramiel was more than a match for my ship and had impressive fire-power and defences. Some of the crew grumbled that we lost the duel, but others made formal requests for me to train and buy a Dramiel.
Looks like I may need to get the datapads and books out again!