On vacation

In case it is not evident by my lack of posting, it is essay writing season in real life, and have not had time to write anything on here.

Be back in a few weeks!


Harbinger: The Special Ed Guide

Following my previous post on Amarrian combat philosophy, I have been feeling the compulsion to expand on these fundamentals and how they apply to specific ships.

So, I decided I would begin with one of my favourite ships in the game, both to fly and for pure aesthetics, the Harbinger.

For research, I've trawled (and trolled) my way through a variety of different fittings, from both Battleclinic and Failheap. I've consulted with pilots in-game who I trust to know what the fuck they're doing when they undock, and of course I've done a fair amount of flying in the ship itself. One particular site that I do recommend for anyone looking into trying out any new ships and wants to learn about engagement strategies in PvP is Azual Skoll's blog The Altruist. Azual is a member of the famed Tuskers corporation, known for their expertise in the field of small-gang PvP, and has a series of posts called Know Your Enemy, which provide brief analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of a wide range of ships in Eve Online. Azual's analysis for the Harbinger is fairly general, and is geared toward the low-sec pilot, so this post will be a more in-depth look at the particular nuances of the Amarr's iconic battlecruiser, as well as its usage in and around my current home in null-sec.

The Harbinger is an exemplar of what it means to fly Amarr. It is large, imposing, and expresses a beautiful art deco aesthetic; It is the more damage-focussed platform in the battlecruisers, while its brother the Prophecy is more focussed on putting up a beastly tank, and the Oracle fulfils the niche role of the Tier 3 battlecruisers with its use of large guns. This means that the primary role of a Harbinger pilot is the outpouring of lasery death upon one's enemies, and not really a whole lot else. The standard (cookie-cutter) fit that is used looks something like this (note that for efficiency's sake, these fits are made using the All level V option on EFT, alter accordingly):

[Harbinger, Standard]
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Medium Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 200

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Hammerhead II x5

This fit will accomplish most goals in PvP that are acheivable with a Harbinger.  With Navy Multifrequency it puts outs 620 dps with drones, with an engagement range of about 6km. It's modest drone bay is a complement to this and gives you the option of two flights of small drones or one flight of mediums  The cap booster ensures that the ship can drag out any engagement as long as necessary and is basically immune to capacitor warfare, which is not unreasonable to expect, as its arch nemesis, the Hurricane, often has a pair of neuts on board. It is also able to answer with a single neut of its own.

It possesses a standard array of tackle, which makes it potentially viable to engage targets alone, and also ensure that anything it does catch will be held down for the duration, and doesn't move too much, as lasers notoriously suffer from relatively poor tracking compared to autocannons and blasters.

 For a damage-focussed ship, it also possesses a fairly formidable tank - this fit has an EHP listed at almost 73k, and has over 18k hp in armor. The tank though, comes at a price: this is not a fast ship. While it can reach 900m/s, not an unreasonable speed for a battlecruiser, the huge plate on it means that it handles like a '53 Buick (pictured left). It has an align time of 14s, which basically means that if you're going down, you probably won't make it out in time. Which is fine, because in the Amarr worldview, they will not run from their inferior foes, and would rather die for their God then scurry home as cowards. It also means that dictating range against virtually anything else will be difficult, so I would recommend two things: carry crystals for all occasions, especially, in this case, the almighty power of T2 Scorch, which extends your reach out to 20km. The other thing is that really, unless you have the truly massive balls required to fly expensive ships in risky situations, you should never be alone. Ideally, I reckon that you should have at least two friends, one in something smaller to provide fast tackle support and protect you from frigates and their ilk (they can and will get under your guns), and another to provide either more damage (and flexible damage at that, seeing as you are only able to deal out EM and thermal) or some kind of electronic warfare that keeps them from engaging you at range (sensor dampeners or ECM). This triad should allow you maximise the benefits that come from having a Harbinger in fleet, namely applying overwhelming force upon a target. The utlity of this kind of fleet covers short-range roaming (if I was going on a major excursion, I'd feel better if there were at least 4 other Harbingers/damage ships with me), gate camping, in which case instead of tackle, bring an interdictor, and defending structures like starbases, where its high durability allows it to endure extended sieges.

With the standard fit enumerated, how else can you fly this ship? The most drastically different, but still viable, fit in common usage is the Shield Harby. The Shield Harby is basically the Amarrian attempt at answering the Shield Hurricane. A battlecruiser that is light, fast, possesses a moderate tank and is good at applying lots and lots of damage, as all your low slots are freed up for damage mods. As an example:

[Harbinger, Shield Harby]
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
F85 Peripheral Damage System I

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
[empty high slot]

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Valkyrie II x5

I might personally use this kind of fit if the rest of my fleet were out in canes and I simply didn't have a cane available or didn't feel like flying a rust-coloured phallus. This is not that uncommon, as, barring the nerf that the Cane is destined for this winter, it is a stock ship for most groups operating in null-sec. When fitted using Pulse lasers and Scorch it puts out about the same damage and longer range application than the cane, with it's massive optimal (this fit can hit out to about 30km). This said, because this is an Amarrian bulwark, it is persistently slower than the cane, although its align time is virtually the same (with at least two Nanos, mind you), and you find that in order to keep up you will have to sacrifice your damage potential. Also, Eve is an unrepentantly racist place, and people will pick on you for being a token Harbinger in a Hurricane fleet. In short, while this fit does work, it is probably better, unless the whole fleet is Shield Harbys, if you just use a cane, which accomplishes this kind of role better, and it will save your FC from having to castigate you for falling behind/sucking at delivering damage.

Other kinds of fits? Well, there is the Beam Laser Harbinger - Beams are a relatively unloved weapon for PvP, unless you're sniping, which is a relatively uncommon activity out here null-sec, as close-range combat is currently in vogue. The fit is not that different from the shield harby. Dump the tank, fit beams, and, as the operating range of this ship is now 35km+, sub out tackling equipment for things like sensor boosters and defensive EWAR in the event you encounter something that actually can actually fire back at you. Fit with T2 Aurora, a Harbinger using Heavy Beams has an optimal of 70km, and its alpha will definitely get your attention if it hits you (at least 1000 per volley). I've used this fit on a couple of occasion for things like gate camping, but it relies on having tackle actually down on the gate, and for your alpha to count, there should be several other pilots sniping with you. Lots of fun,  but possesses relatively limited utility.

The other kind of fit that I've encountered is the Neuting Harbinger. This fit isn't technically a true neuting ship, but instead has a 4/4 split in its high slots between lasers and neuts, while the rest of the fit will be an armour tank and tackle complement like the Standard fit. This is most definitely a fleet ship, and provides a surprisingly effective amount of neuting power in a brawl, while still delivering damage of its own and mounting a significant tank. While I've never actually used this fit myself, I have seen it used in fleets I've been in to devastating effect. Perhaps though, I would only recommend this if you've had a lot of experience using the Harbinger, and have an established niche for it in the fleet that you are in.

So there it is, The Special Ed Guide to the Harbinger. Live big, fly safe, shoot all da tings and have fun

Signing off,



Combat Philosophy: Amarrian Might

Today I'd like to talk about something that is generally referred to in a variety of forums, blogs, fittings and wikis, but is rarely talked about as a singular subject:

The Combat Philosophy of the Amarrian race

A little while ago, after having rotated through all 4 different racial groups, I came back to the Amarr. Having experimented with the fighting tactics and strategies of all the races, I found myself consistently coming back to the Amarr as my preferred race, largely because I find the fighting style of their ships to be my preferred way of playing Eve Online and my favourite engagement style of my enemies.

So then what is Amarrian combat philosophy? And can you, as a potential or current capsuleer of Eve Online use this knowledge to make decisions regarding how you play the game?

The answer is a combination of role-play history and a common traits shared by almost all 53 (soon to be 54) non-unique vessels that constitute the Amarrian ship line-up.

The Amarr are depicted as this monolithic, theocratic, advanced slaveholding master race of the New Eden Cluster. Barring the Jovians, they were the first and thus most advanced of the Eve racial groups. From their belief in the divinity of their emperor they derive their drive to assimilate and dominate all life in New Eden for the glory of their religion. The important bottom line in this is that they are convinced of their absolute supremacy in the universe. They fly gorgeous, sleek, golden, instruments of destruction, tirelessly working for the glory of God. They honestly believe, at all times, that they are the shit, and no corporatist, freedom-loving, or rebellious scum can match the sheer capacity for pwnage that the Amarr are capable of delivering. The two fundamentals that can be taken away from this are:

1) The Amarr are not pussies, they will not run away, they will stare you down and melt your face.

2) Because of a common thread of religion, they place high value in their unity as a race. Thus, the Amarr function of the principle that together they will conquer their enemies.

These fundamentals thus form the basis for understanding how Amarrian starships are designed and the particular goals they are built to acheive. Their supremacy complex is manifested as a doctrine for the the projection of a massive, overwhelming show of force. Thus, their racial weapon, lasers, are built to accomplish this. So they only do EM/Thermal damage, who the hell cares when you have some of the highest damage modifiers of any weapon in the game that can be adjusted instantly to almost whatever range you want (with only the longest ranges being beyond engagement). Kiting? Who needs kiting when you can just put your lasery fist through the front window of that Hurricane? (though it should be noted that if it weren't for the huge plates the ships carry, Amarrian ships are in fact quite fast). Speaking of Hurricanes, it could be argued that the Amarr and Minmatar represent a dichotomy in Eve, whereby the style of fighting of each is built around neutralising the advantage of the other. The dotrine of overwhelming power is also evident in the defensive style of the Amarr. The use of staggering amounts of armor plating, coupled with the largest capacitors to power both the lasers and the damage hardeners, is used to absorb anything you throw at it, at the same time demoralising the enemy by showing how slowly they can burn through that tank. Even relatively small ships in the Amarrian line tend to work best with huge amount of buff armour (leave active tanks for the Gallente swine). T2 variants in the Amarrian line reflect generally a preference for either overwhelming firepower or overwhelming tank (though with the tiercide of the T1 line, this is beginning to show in all of the ship classes now).

The second fundamental is manifested through the increased effectiveness of the Amarr in fleets. When trawling through the forums, you tend to notice that it is relatively uncommon for someone to cite an Amarrian ship as a good solo combat ship (generally eschewing them for the Minmatar or Gallente, which do solo/small gang rather more effectively). The Amarr are a generally fleet-style race. For instance, I find being solo in a Harbinger to be rather underwhelming. I'm a flying brick with lasers. Everyone can run away from me and my damage output is not terribly frightening. Now take ten Harbingers and you have a singular monolith of force, with excellent damage projection and an aggregate amount of armour approaching 200 000 hp. The reality is that a horde of Amarrian ships presents a nearly unstoppable force, only really overcome by an even larger oppoosing force (and to be fair, that's not terrible difficult to do in null-sec).

In conclusion, what is Amarrian combat philosophy? It is the unshakeable belief that you have balls given to you by the Divine and that your enemies are weak and feeble so when you show up on field, you use the threatening reach of your powerful weapons to commit them to dust while laughing at whatever crap is bouncing off your hull. At the same time, you place faith in those around you that together, the heresy of your opposition will be burned into the abyss, and tarnish the glory of the Empire no more.

Signing off,



Report from the Docking Ring: October 2012

Captain's Log of Edna Ironsides
Aboard CS Gatekeeper (Harbinger-Class Battlecruiser)
Outside docking ring of TransStellar Shipping Storage, in orbit above the 11th moon of Sagain VIII

The day has come. After weeks of preparation and squeezing the last dregs of LP from faction warfare, I, along with my corp, are leaving our home in Dal for the frontier of Stain.

The run-up to our move has been a dramatic and often hilarious series of events. Our last Tier 5 push involved us all running around like headless chickens trying to get everything onto market and make all the ISK needed to move our resources south. It would seem that we've left a good mark on the war zone, as we are aware that some Amarr corps are under standing orders not to engage us in space. Meanwhile, after some time and effort on the part of Stoogie and the directors to negotiate with our new neighbours has largely failed, as it would appear we'll be dropping in hot on everyone.

They will probably live to regret that attitude.

Jump freighters have been mobilising a staggering number of ships and weapons down, and we fully intend to clear out the carebearing riff-raff. The last week has been characterised by watching the freighters come and go as a collection of us gate camp here in Sagain and generally make life unpleasant for the locals. Already bubbles and gamps are up in Stain, although rather anti-climatically, Carrion made himself the first casualty of our endeavour in this Drake. Hopefully though, the rest of the alliance can resist this rather embarrassing kind of behaviour, at least to begin with.

With some work, we hope to have established ourselves as terrible nuisance in Stain by the end of November.



RP: New Frontier

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
Aboard CS Quicksilver (Catalyst-Class Destroyer)
On patrol, Z01V-Z Constellation, Region of Stain

Edna slowly tapped her fingers across top of the command console. The relaxed, even bored, impression she gave covered a nervous tension that had her eyes darting over the readouts, especially the directional scan, ready for something hostile to appear on it at any moment. The directional scan however, remained serenely blank. Local comms showed a few signals in the system, but nothing signficant. All, for the moment, was calm, but Edna was under no illusions. That very morning, a Tornado had taken a few shots at the Quicksilver on the station undock with long-range artillery.

It had been a long time since Edna had been this far out from the imperial homeworlds. The last time time she had ventured into these lawless regions of space had been a testing and grueling experience. She had been a much younger capsuleer, with relatively little experience, and had suddenly found herself neck deep in the aggressive diplomacy of the sovereign corporations that pushed and pulled their authority around 0.0 space. She had quickly found herself overwhelmed and after some staggering financial losses, including the loss of several expensive ships, had been forced to return to imperial space, licking her wounds and her pride.

This time though, things would be different. Fighting in the low-intensity war zone for the Minmatar Republic had hardened her, abolishing her fear and panic that tended to grip moments like now when her tactical overview could be suddenly filled with hordes of enemies. She now had the knowledge and experience (and ISK) that meant that this hostile space held no fear over her. She was also coming back not as a minion of a sovereign corporation, but as a member of a piratical horde. The Cadre directorship had no interest in holding assests out here. They wanted to come and destroy other people's assests. For Edna, that was just fine. No patrolling required or starbases to defend. "But", she thought, as she looked out of the bridge into the black void, "this region of space is no uncontrolled frontier". Stain remained the home to Sansha's Nation, one of the most terrifying criminal organisations in New Eden. The incursions by Sansha's fleets throughout the cluster had been going on for nearly two years now, striking fear and death in everyone. "And now", Edna thought, "I've come to the dragon's nest." As if to accentuate this point, the local channel suddenly spiked as a fleet entered the local system. 10, 20, 30... "adjust scanning to watch for probes." Edna ordered her navigation officer. Quicksilver was in a tactical safe position, so the only way she could be found was if she was scanned down by probes. It would appear though, that the fleet, was merely passing through. Edna exhaled slowly.

She had returned to null-sec.


Thorax: If I get to zero I'll melt your face

Blasters are not the easiest weapons to use.

For one in an age of Eve, where kiting and sniping are quite popular, getting within effective range is a serious struggle. Once you get within that range, blaster dps is almost unsurpassed, but with so many ships being a lot faster than you, the big issue is always a matter of closing range.

The Thorax, at least for as long as I've been playing Eve (circa Jan. 2010) has been the icon of blaster-style combat. With a rack of 5 blasters, and the trinity of a MWD, web and scram or disruptor to lock down it's enemy, the principles of fighting are very simple. Burn down the target, lock it down and melt it. Any kind of variation in fit tends to only appear in the low slots of the ship, wherever different people have varying opinions about the balance of tank vs. damage mods, which should be considered depending on the nature of the fight you seek. In my opinion, it is primarily affected by how suicidal the pilot feels, as the very nature of his/her fighting style dictates that somebody is going to lose a ship, and ideally it should be the enemy. In perhaps a counterintutive move, I am of the thinking that when going out with a fleet, (as opposed to solo or small gang), more tank is better as there are likely to be larger engagements with more damage flying around, and the Thorax's capacity of as a heavy tackler overtakes its capabilities as a damage dealer (unless ofc the Thorax is the biggest ship, unlikely, in which case use even more tank as you'll be called primary).


He's baaack...

To my random and irregular readership, I have returned. In real life, I recently moved into a new apartment, and have been deprived of my internet for almost the last two weeks, which is an intense experience for someone who games a fair bit.

I was greeted by finding the Amarr had managed to reclaim 19 systems, though Nulli Secunda has gone and it looks like their comeback is to be short-lived. Even now, Kamela has fallen, and the opinion seems to be that the once proud Wolfsbrigade have given up the cause and looked to destroying the Amarrian militia. Fweddit, the burgeoning power of the Amarr, gone.

What the hell happened?


Report from the Docking Ring

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
Angel of Death (Omen-Class Cruiser)
Outside docking ring of Republic Justice Department Tribunal, in orbit around the 17th moon of Dal IV

The war zone isn't what it used to be.

It's not a complaint, but it is perhaps an apology. Before Inferno, and indeed when I joined the militia war, there was something approaching an established way of doing things around here. This applied to both the Amarr and the Minmatar sides. While things perhaps were lethargic at best with regards to the progression of the war (and I will be among the first to admit the mechanics were broken), each side could be trusted to do a few things well and a fair bit of good tactical combat could be counted on to happen on a regular basis. The veteran corps functioned with a degree of harmony that ensured that fights would be had and ships would be lost.

All that died with the fiery new Inferno.

Suddenly, the forgotten war of Eve was reinvigorated and rocked by the long needed, but perhaps not entirely expected, changes to the war zone. Suddenly, we found ourselves besieged by outside forces as the long arms of the null-sec alliances reached out and meddled in our affairs, the forgotten warriors of the factions. As well, most particularly for the Minmatar, we found ourselves inundated by new pilots and corporations rushing to join the cause, many of whom up until that point had never before fired an autocannon at a fellow capsuleer (and many that still seemingly can't manage it), but were eager to make a rush for the rolls of isk to be had from the new complex system. The whining of Susan Black reached a fever pitch. Veterans suddenly were able to reach new levels of bitterness as their established harmony was broken in by these wanton forces, and the balance of power of the war between the Amarr and Minmatar (and I suppose the other two as well) was irrevocably up-heaved.

So here we are, scrambling, amidst a brave, new war zone, to find a new bearing, to accomodate and internalise our new reality. I would hope that when the dust settles, while I imagine that fighting will be a great deal more vicious and war zone control more tenuous, that each side can come to understanding as to how this war will be fought.

Signing off,



Daily Schedule for a Low-Sec Eve Pilot


Introducing Cadre


To begin with, I haven't been writing much on here because my real life has been interfering a great deal with my Eve playing, and also I have discovered DayZ, which makes a most excellent distraction from internet spaceships.

I'm back now though, and I've found myself a new home.

As noted earlier on this blog, my corp Reckless Brilliance, was never really planned as a long-term project, simply a stop on my way to finding a new corp that I could fit in with and continue to rolling with the fun times of Eve. It would seem now that my search is over.

Cadre Assault Force (CFOR) is not your standard FW corp, for one thing, although according to history it has been with the Minmatar Militia previously, it would appear to have been roaming the wilds of 0.0 for some time, and has made its way back to the militia for the isk and rather more unstructured PvPing. It becomes apparent from the discipline of its more senior members that it has been used to the more rigid rules of fleet doctrines and the kind of tight manoeuvring that only life in null-sec really commands, and I'm at the stage of my Eve play where I'm actually beginning to find that a bit more attractive than the madness that pervades most militia warfare. That said, there is little serious internet spaceships here. Everyone just wants to have fun.


Vexor: Multi-tool of the Federation Navy

As a member of the Minmatar Militia, the sight of the quintessential drone carrier of the Gallente is a relatively rare sight for me. The 'Minmatar Rush' has meant that Matari vessels are used disproportionately both by on my side and by the Amarr (see the composition of most Fweddit fleets). The fact that for PvP, there is considered to be a relatively small range of effective ships that more often rely on a philosophy of face-rolling your enemy (Drakes, Hurricanes, Harbingers, Abaddons, Thrashers, Wolfs, Ruptures and to a lesser extent Stabber Fleet Issues) are all guilty of this particular quality. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's an uncomplicated play style and for fleet commanders its easier to coordinate fleets that have a singular method of fighting (and chances are you'll see a lot of fleets made this way for the upcoming Alliance Tournament X). For myself though, I felt the desire to try something new, if for no other reason than I'm getting bored of seeing the same ships in my hangar day after day and need some occasional changes to keep my play interesting. A secondary consideration has to been to find ships that are able to effectively counter the kitchen sinks that Fweddit are gaining a reputation for fielding. Most surprisingly, I've been hearing whining (actual whining) from within the militia for this at once most endearing and irritating quality of Fweddit, their signature "lack" of fleet organisation, and how this spoils good fights. The fact is that Fweddit's swarm tactics tend to ruin the more carefully arrayed forces of more experienced players. Like this. And this. This entire engagement. And also this because it just looks funny. It made sense that you need ships that are more durable and better able to sit through swarm engagements (which Matari ships, with their requirements for pulling range and kiting, are not really optimal.). As Fweddit's favourite ship seems to be the Thrasher, it makes sense you want a ship big enough to withstand little bits of projectile bouncing into it while still have to bring effective dps to bear on smaller ships. It seems then that the effective answer to this was go for drone carriers, which are known for being dangerous for smaller ships, and can adjust damage types with different drone swarms. They also give no fucks about range, as they are quite happy fighting at 0 or at 20km. With weaponry decentralised, it means that onboard you can concentrate on build a heavy tank (1600 plate or active tank) that can wipe thrasher ammo off its hull. Drones of course, do suffer from the weakness of being destructible, but if can field of fleet of even just 2 or 3 of these, you could easily take on 6 or 7 Thrashers and have obliterated them while only losing perhaps half the drone swarm of the cruisers, assuming the Vexor pilots are competent and have good drone skills.

 This is the basic idea anyway. Eve remains tricky like that as any counter always has a reply, and I'm sure that experts in the field could say what is precisely wrong with my theory. But hey, everything is worth trying once, and my killboard will tell the story of how well it actually works.

Signing off,



Reckless Brilliance

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
EDs Botheration (Myrmidon-Class Battlecruiser)
High Orbit over Siseide III


Reckless Brilliance.

The last few weeks have seen a change in tone of my life with the Minmatar Militia. Valkyr Industries, Almost Epic's mother corporation, made a unilateral secession from the Late Night Alliance, and has now subsequently moved on to other parts of space, with what remains of Almost Epic. I for one, have had my fill of training newbies and administrating a bastard corporation. So I resigned my directorship and began looking for a new home. Now, despite the allure of certain corporations in the militia, I decided, after much contemplation to make a go of it on my own, for various reasons in-game and in real life. So, with Karigan Vespire, another ex-Almost Epic pilot, we formed Reckless Brilliance. Our ethos is simple. We kill Amarr, we pay no taxes, we have fun. I don't anticipate this to be particularly long lived, but for now, it's good to be without the accountability of a corp of noobs and responsibility of answering to anyone but myself, especially as Late Night Alliance continues to destabilise the the militia generally with its worsening reputation throughout the war zone, the dispensation of its professional image, and its penchant for making enemies of people on both sides of the war. For myself, I'll be happy for now making my own little way around here.

Signing off,



The Art of Deception for Eve Online

I, like so many others, loved Samurai Jack, and was most sad when it was cut short. He was everything I idealise as a warrior and as an aspiring master of PvP in Eve Online: cunning, quick, alert, and honourable. My detractors would probably like to point out that I never hesitated to fire guns at the slightest provocation, regardless of the status of the person I have locked. I would like to point out in return that to fight honourably doesn't mean you will always fight fair. While the clashes between Jack and Aku were sometimes straight-up brawls, the vast majority were won or lost because of some element of deception one or the other was able to use to their advantage. This brings us my lesson for today, one that I think that all pvpers of Eve should know, but seem to often forget:

All Warfare is Based on Deception.

It is often said around FW space that the only way you are likely to get a fight is if you're outnumbered at least 5 to 1, or will be overwhelmed, at least on paper, by enemy firepower. This certainly appears to bear out in large part, as oversized gangs, both fw or otherwise, tend to have a hard time finding fights around here, in part because large ships are relatively rare (most of faction warfare tends to occur in ships smaller than battlecruisers and anything larger usually only comes out for special activities, like hub and POS bashes, or Pandemic Legion coming to visit), and resultedly, having an fc comfortable organising such a fleet usually comes down to a few select individuals who may or may not be online. So then, as fitting of true combat, engaging in a fight comes down to looking like an easy target, but possessing some kind of ace up your sleeve.

This particular Taranis pilot makes an excellent example of this. At face value, even a minimally experienced Eve pilot will, quite rightly, assess the matchup as "ZOMG, it's a bleeding Rifter vs. a Taranis, Ed's gonna get pwned in the face, badly." Indeed, a combat interceptor should have no trouble obliterating a T1 frigate on its own. However, as the killmail shows, this doesn't tell the whole story. I had two aces up my sleeve on this occasion. Firstly, I was actively armour tanked, which in itself could not win me such a battle, but it does significantly increase my survivability against a pilot that had evidently thought me a quick kill. However, the second ace was, as may be guessed by the heavy NPC firepower, that I was sitting on the button in a Major Outpost, and this pilot was the third such to have made a go at me, so the spawn cycle inside the plex was already active. What it amounted to was a staggering amount of dps and neuting power was brought to bear on him as he leeroyed straight at me from the complex entrance. To his own credit, he had made it most of the way through my armour when the NPC's ate his capacitor and then masticated what little armour and shielding he had. But none of that was evident when he would have picked me up on scan and decided to have a go. All he saw was a lonely noob sitting in a plex running down a timer to save Tzvi from the Amarrian menace.

A message to those people new to faction warfare, or any kind of PvP in Eve really: never imagine that simply because you're low-level and lack the experience and firepower to defeat enemies in pitched engagements (of which there are an overwhelming myriad on YouTube), you cannot defeat enemies who should by all accounts eat you for breakfast. Battles in Eve are often not won by the side that brings the biggest or most number of ships, but by the side that knows how to shape the battlefield to their advantage, be it in plexes, on gates, outside stations or in asteroid belts, and most importantly, the side that knows how best to deceive the other. If Eve PvP was really only about charging in armed to the teeth, we'd probably get bored of it very quickly.

Signing off,



The Inferno Cometh

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
EDs Judicator (Rupture-Class Cruiser)
Minmatar Major Outpost, Huola Star System

*crackle* pzzzzt... ssssss: Begin Recording... Message to the Matari People - Kasorata Fogneko, Grand Admiral of the Republic Fleet, from the forward command office in Amamake.

---Begin Transmission---

Children of the Minmatar, a new day has begun for us. Our people, through the outpouring of blood, sweat and tears, have pushed back the insidious spectre of tyranny and subjugation. We have thrown off the mantle of empire and the colonial misery so long laid upon us by the lords of the Amarr and their abominable God-Emperor, and reclaimed for ourselves our homes, our tribes, and our people. We have done this since the beginning and we will continue until all Matari people are liberated from the clutches of the enemy.

The great battle that has been in action over these systems for the last few days has attained a high intensity. It is too soon to attempt to assign limits either to its scale or to its duration. We must certainly expect that greater efforts will be made by the enemy than any they have put forth so far. If after all their boasting and threats and lurid accounts announced throughout New Eden of the damage they have inflicted, of the vast numbers of militia pilots shot down, with so little loss to himself... if after all this their whole onslaughts were forced after a while to cough out, their reputation for veracity of statement might be seriously impugned. We may be sure, therefore, that they will continue as long as they have the strength to fight.

Why do I say all this? Not, assuredly, to boast; not, assuredly, to give the slightest countenance to complacency. The dangers we face are still enormous, but so are our advantages and resources. I tell you this because the Minmatar have a right to know that there are solid grounds for the confidence which we feel, and that we have good reason to believe ourselves capable of continuing the war, continuing unaided, and continuing for many years to come.

Fight savagely to the last man, leave free, die well!

---End Transmission---


On Request...

Ryven Krennel is annoying

Shalee Lianne is the prettiest princess in the castle.


Brace Yourselves, the Inferno is Coming

I notice that many, many others within the Eve blogosphere are chattering away about the changes that this summer's Inferno release will bring to the game, most relevantly in my case the long overdue changes to the mechanics of faction warfare. At this time, incredibly little is actually known for certain, but this hasn't stopped people from speculating like a bunch of American stock exchange workers and extrapolating all kinds of things from supposed "certain" additions that will be added.

I for one, could care less.

This isn't to simply say that any changes that occur won't be important and may significantly influence my life as a militia pilot. However, my choice to fight for the Republic was never predicated on the ease or excitement of the mechanics of the game concept - I that were so, I may have disregarded FW altogether for being so mundane, archaic, and utterly pointless. No, for me, I play where I do, because, in a way I never experienced anywhere else I've been in Eve, there is a sense of real community of players here in faction warfare. They're not simply a bunch of guys driven by a plan or ideology (which I found to be rife throughout 0.0 space), or the fapping around and sheer impotence of high-sec players. These are people that have relationships that are vibrant, dynamic, and often transcend the boundaries of the militias themselves. There are real, interesting personalities at work in this part of Eve, that make it exciting and fun to log on, if for no other reason to hear what everyone's up to. With this, in commemoration of my 4th month of being in the Matari Militia, I would like to briefly talk about the people that made my time here splendid, fun, and just outright awesome in a way only internet spaceships can be:

Name: Lokarios
Lok is probably one of the most crass, bullshitting, half-assed people I know in Eve. He was in fact the man who hired me in the militia in the beginning. I don't like his politics, and often his attitude, but I can count on Lok to be straight-shooting (pun intended), upfront, and wise when it really counts.

Name: Djan Shilde
Our Great White Chief. Djan is always on, always up to something, and always mumbling something incoherent on voice comms. He is laid back, knows his shit, and takes everything as it comes. He is the old soul, the one who's seen everything, and probably knows how each and everyone one of us ended up here.

Name: Fateamendabletochange
Fate is cool. He bum-rushes around, making a jolly mess of enemies' days, has absolutely zero fear, and is just an all-around great guy. Fate is the kind of guy who is always fun to have a chat with, fly with, or anything else for that matter.

:Name: Darc Kaahar
This man gives no fucks, whatsoever. He pirates, pillages, and it is probably one of the most prolific trolls I know in-game. For him, the ends always seem to justify the means, and he just does Eve without inhibition or hesitation.

Name: SigmaPi
The great man with the great heart. This man knows his eve logistics. If you want to know if it works, how it works, can it work, or whether you should even try it, Siggy is the man. He's probably been playing even longer than Djan, and is another old soul. For all intents, a master of internet spaceships

Name: Voi Lutois
The fittings master. This man knows his ships. He's got a fit and flying style for every conceivable occasion. While not necessarily an FC, Voi is an invaluable addition to any fleet, and is downright deadly if you're 1v1 with him. Always friendly, always helpful, and always positive!

There are of course legions of others that I value in my life in Eve. The above are just some that tend to stand out in my mind. You're all terrific, keep flying!


Cretinism in Eve or How to be a Gate-Camping Spaceship Pirate

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
Fearox (Ferox-Class Battlecruiser)
Tactical Pounce, Huola

What a bunch of obstreperous f*****s!

Of the breeds of pirate in Eve Online, arguably more than the Hulk ganker and the market hub scammer, none is more frustrating, or more certainly fatal, than the gate-camper.

We've all been there, you've jumped into a system, notoriously it is often the high-to-low sec gates that are the worst (i.e. Osoggur->Amamake, Nourvukaiken->Tama), and upon your overview loading, it is filled with large, hostile bars of bright red that informs you that you have blundered into a hoard of pirates and you've almost certainly lost the ship you're flying. You now have at most a minute to contemplate the premature death of your starship (assuming you didn't mean to lose it in such a situation) before the gate-cloak drops and a disproportionate amount of force is applied in the destruction of your vessel.

So it was that I found myself on a gate pounce with fellow pirate and obnoxious bastard Darc Kaahar, waiting patiently for our next victim to stumble through the gate. As is common practice, we have eyes in the next system to give us a warning that something was coming. Various things come and go, and we shoot up a few particularly hapless frigate pilots. Quite commonly this gate is constantly watched by our pirating comrade, Tyrolen, who is somewhat infamous for camping this particular gate, racking up kills into the hundreds.

Most of the time was spent talking shit and hatching unrealistic ideas for PvP, but, once again, my evening was made by a miner, a Covetor pilot. We'd dropped on the gate in fact to try and catch a Wolf that had landed on the other side. We see the gate flash, we wait, weapons primed... and the Covetor de-cloaks. Apparently he'd passed the Wolf and just barrelled on in in his slow, undefended mining vessel. To add insult to injury, after we'd obliterated his ship, he sat quietly in his pod while our battlecruisers locked him up. And what a pod it was! Baffled by this lack of tactical awareness, we returned to our pounce, wondering how on earth, given the amount of time he had (it takes us nearly 8 seconds to lock a pod), he had not managed to get out. We concluded that the shock of losing his Covetor impaired his will for self-preservation.

Not that we were complaining.

Signing off,